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James Black Ale | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
58 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
James was our Uncle (Edward James Hill Jr.). Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his four siblings. In his honor, this Black Ale is dutifully crafted from American and German malted barley, American hops, our ale yeast, and water from James’ well. It is unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and dry hopped. Roasty and smooth, with accents of chocolate and a balanced hoppy finish, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with James.

Pale and Caramel Malt; Roasted Barley; Centennial and Columbus hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

Added by SFLpunk on 06-27-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
58
Ratings:
399
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
19.15%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 399
Reviews by NoLiberty:
Photo of NoLiberty
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great to see the Black IPA style gaining popularity and serious attention from brewers. Thanks to GrassrootsVT for brewing and sharing.

James pours completely black into my Euro pint glass. A thick, creamy head builds from the depths of the beer into a solid 2 finger oozing, cream-colored cap on top of the beer. This mellows into a persistent cap with sticky lacing dripping down the edges of the glass. James is completely black allowing no light through but clearly has a lighter, more athletic body.

The aroma is a wonderful blend of sticky, resinous hops - pine tar, ripe tropical fruit, citrus oil - with a backbone of mahogany - trim but deeply rich. There's a light alcohol kiss and subtle sweetness that softens the edges and entices a sip.

This is a completely hop-forward version of the black IPA, bordering on double IPA. Wonderfully clean, fresh, ripe, resinous, and addictive. Flavors of charred pine logs blend with ripe tangerine, grapefruit and Greek retsina wine. The hope forward biting front moves to a slightly more sweet middle that leads to a more roasted end that finishes clean with subtle lingering bitterness.

Carbonation is great, clean and effervescent. Body is light to medium with structural strength to mirror the dark complexion but light enough to make for an extremely refreshing and drinkable beer.

I would come back to this again and again, as long as it's available.

 1,411 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.85/5  rDev -9%

Photo of lateralundertow
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thetommo
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours dark, dark black with a small brown head that quickly fades, thin lacings starts to slowly form. Nose is awesome, it's hoppy and fruity, wild fruit and pine nots come through strongly. There's a bit of maltiness but it's not over the top which is good.

Right off the mouthfeel is really nice, it's light and sharp and quite creamy, very similar to a good American IPA, with a nice sharp finish. The taste is quite roasty and a bit grainy - I get this from all Black IPAs, and I'm not a big fan of it, but it seems to just be inherent in the style. There hop flavors are well balanced with the dark malts, and the citrus and mango flavors come through well. I think this is one of the best examples of a Black IPA that I've had to date.

 797 characters

Photo of doremite
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Bizoneill
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tugg407
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of roostor07
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Dawkins
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Black Back Pub. An IPA that happens to have a shwartzbier element,resiny,piney, chocolate stoutish and grapefruit. Dark body and some lace.Hops and some roast aroma. The roast was lightly done which was nice to drink. Average mouthfeel.

 258 characters

Photo of RyanOooh
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Ace1117
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopsSlayer
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of CraigMack61
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of markcp
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big khaki head. Eternal retention. Great lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell - Really citrusy. Some of the roast comes through, but it's mostly citrus hop.

Taste - Bright citrus hop and roasted malt blended with the hops. Grapefruit hops. Roast is very strong, but the hops never let up. Lends a nice complexity. Slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very carbonated.

Overall - Excellent. Love how hoppy it is. Really impressive.

 496 characters

Photo of gr8zehaman
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of robgage
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.23 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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