James Black Ale | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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James Black AleJames Black Ale
405 Ratings
James Black AleJames Black Ale

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of WVUbrew
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of chivermac
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of phuntasy
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler: Poured a clear deep black color ale with a large dirty brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of piney hops is incredibly intense with great floral qualities. Taste is a mix between roasted malt notes with light bitter and dry notes submerged by a huge amount of piney hops with some citrus notes. Body is average with good carbonation. This a great demonstration on how dry-hopping should be done to limit the bitterness of hops but ensure floral piney notes are prevalent.

 509 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

James pours black into the glass with some brown highlights around the edges. A creamy tan head forms on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thin sheet on the surface and leaves behind a coating of lace on the glass.

The aroma is hoppy with orange citrus notes and pine. Some chocolate and roasted malt notes and a touch of bread are also detected.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth, creamy with moderate carbonation. The flavor is well balanced between citrus & pine hops and dark malts. It begins with orange citrus and pine. Soon, sweet flavors of chocolate and pale malt appear along with a touch of roast malt. It finishes dry with a hint of ripe fruit and moderate bitterness. Once gone the pine and chocolate flavor lingers on the palate.

This is one of my favorite Hill Farmstead beers. It's very well balanced and easy to drink. I had this on tap at several bars in Montpelier when I was there a couple months ago. This pint was poured from a growler a friend got me on a recent trip to the brewery.

 1,031 characters

Photo of freshcarl
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ACB
4.64/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Willytee3
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Blackback in Waterbury, VT, poured into Hill Farmstead stemware.

Pours a dark chocolate black with rich cappuccino color head. Incredible lacing clings up and down the side of the glass for the entire drink!

Smells of apple pie and light spice, the strange richness of kiwi fruit comes to mind. A nice variety of lightly roasted malts complements well the hop esters.

Tastes of mild bittersweet chocolate, light and complex roasty malts with a pine hop character. I would say the middle is made up of a kind of tropical fruit but on the darker side, the hops and malts blend well in a complementary way. The pine hops contribute to an overall bitterness throughout the drink and brighten a bit on the finish.

Feel is medium body, on the lighter side and ultimately quafable, this one goes down easy.

I was pleasantly surprised, this is truly an IPA character with a mellowing light black maltiness.

Hope this one makes sense cause it was a pleasant surprise to drink an delicious IPA without all that hop bitterness. And I do appreciate the hop side of an IPA.

Incredibly well balanced and very drinkable, I would definitely recommend trying this one.

 1,179 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.6/5  rDev +9%

Photo of jcoleMA66
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phurley2
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on draft at Farmhouse in Burlington.
Poured into a snifter glass.
Oil dark with minimal caramel colored head.
Smell was hoppy, cloves and molasses.
Tasted great! Deep roasted malts with cloves, floral hops, molasses.
Mouthfeel was clean with a much cleaner finish than I was expecting.
A wonderful black IPA.

 321 characters

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

At Armsby Abbey....

19 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark brown body with a bubbly tan head. Tons of lacing, head stays around and leaves some bubbles after a while.

S- Huge herbal hop aroma along with somewhat of of a floral hop aroma. Hops come through in a big way with a smooth, roasty malt aroma in the back.

T- Lots of herbal hops balanced out by roasted malts. Some piney, earthy hops come through towards the end. Very interesting hop variety that changes the notes that come through.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and drinkable with a big hops that wear out the palate.

O- Great beer. The mix of hops is unique and the smooth roasted malt makes for a great balance.

 648 characters

Photo of doremite
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lateralundertow
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopsSlayer
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Scarfer_Brad
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of RyanOooh
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of gr8zehaman
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of HoppyBastard1
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of rondufresne
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Beeranator
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

James Black Ale from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 405 ratings