Jim | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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119 Ratings

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Jim (1954-1998) is the name by which our Uncle was best known. Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his four siblings. In his honor, we barrel aged our Black IPA (James) in a French Oak Pinot Noir barrel for four months and dry hopped the beer with Simcoe. Naturally carbonated and hand bottled, this is one of only 300 bottles.

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

Added by sisuspeed on 10-03-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of rondufresne
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of oline73
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was lucky enough to be invited over to try batch 1 and 2 side by side. Poured into a goblet.

Batch 1 - The smell is rather smokey with some wine notes as well. I'm getting some bacon and bbq sauce notes. The flavor it quite smokey as well. This is like a wine barrel rauchbier. There is a slight roast bitterness that builds towards the finish. Just a touch of cardboard due to the age. The body is smooth and dry with a ton of carbonation.

Batch 2 - This one is missing the smoke that made batch 1 so interesting. There is more of a hop bitterness to this one. Just a hint of roast with a higher bitterness level.

I enjoyed both of these, but the older version won the night in my opinion.

 696 characters

Photo of starrdogg
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batches 1 & 2 served side-by-side. Thanks Michael! Scores are for Batch 1.

The beers look nearly identical, both pour a very dark brown with fluffy white heads. This is pretty much where the similarity between the batches ends, however. Batch 1 smells excellent, it's got some roastiness and a bit of smoke which combines very nicely with some hints of red wine and oak. The Batch 2's smell is much more muted and sweet smelling. I'm getting more wine out of the batch 2, but that's really all I'm getting. Flavors on both follow the nose. The Batch 1 has y wou up excellently, and the mix of roast, smoke, red wine and even a little hops comes together in a really nice way. Batch 2 seems to have really fallen off, on the other hand. The flavors have really faded except for the roast and some wine barrel, and it's just not all that exciting. Batch 1 has a nice, medium-full bodied mouthfeel, where Batch 2 is a little thin and overcarbonated. Overall, it's pretty incredible how different these beers are and how much better Batch 1 has held up than Batch 2. We went to Shaun Hill for the answer, and he said that Batch 1 had a small amount of Fear & Trembling blended in which has worked as an excellent preservative (and was the source of the unexpected smoke flavor). I really wouldn't recommend seeking out Batch 2, but if you can get your hands on the original Jim, I would highly recommend it.

 1,404 characters

Photo of jbuddle
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Quackus
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Kelp
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BeerCosmonaut
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of chippo33
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 10/13/12 notes. Big thanks to whoever brought this to the Top Hops tasting in NYC; second new HF beer of the day.

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks great.

s - Smells of roasted malts, pine hops, wood, light smoke, peat, dark fruits, and light chocolate. Some decent pine with lots of roasty notes...pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, pine hops, dark fruits, oak/wood, smoke, toasted malts, and a tiny bit of sourness almost. Nice taste; very heavy on the roasted notes again.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink; pretty smooth.

o - Overall I thought this was a pretty good Black IPA. Tons of roasted malts to it and some decent pine hops, and I thought the wood came through a decent amount, and added a little smokiness to it. Very nice and worth checking out.

 878 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of xenjoiii
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of DJButters
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of EJLinneman
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of billab914
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing IrishColonial. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured black in color with a thin, creamy head sticking to the sides of the glass.

The aroma shows a lot o citrusy hoppiness to it. I get a good dose of smoke to it along with the roasted malts. The wine barrel gives it a little bit of a fruity and oaky quality. Really nice aroma to it, lots of complexity to it but it comes together well.

The taste show a little more bitter roasted favors to it with a good amount of smoke still showing up. The hoppiness is pretty bold in it as well with some juicy citrus qualities. It tastes a little like burnt, smoky hops, which sounds bad but I'm really kind of liking it. A little bit of the oaky fruity wine barrel smooths it out an brings it together.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and seems fitting for the style. Overall I really liked it, especially the smoke. The hoppiness seemed to work pretty well for it as well, which is impressive to me as I usually think hops and roasted favors clash. The wine barrel was a little reserved in the taste but did seem to smooth it out with the oak and fruit favors. Very good version of the style.

 1,176 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 500mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 4/5/12
*From notes

-- Another winner pulled from the cellar of IrishColonial --

A: Dying autumn leaf brown. A good pour yields a .75 finger head. It lingers for some time, and a thick collar and above average lacing follow. A lovely beer.

S: Quite a bit of smoke. As I swirl it in my glass and allow it to warm a bit, I get a lot of freshly picked garden herbs and crushed rose petals. Wildly unique.

T: Extremely complex, and not too far off from the bouquet. It comes off a little salty up front, followed closely by a massive amount of natural smoke. A touch of red vine fruit rides in on the mid. The charred and smoked malts tone down on the back, revealing a vinous, wine-like finish. This literally keeps evolving in my glass like no other beer I've come across.

M: A bit odd. It sort of washes over my palate instead of sticking to it. Oily yet ever-so-slightly velvety. It lacks what I would call proper carbonation. It just feels thin.

O: Hill Farmstead's Jim. What a great beer, folks. I'm not a smoke beer guy in the slightest, yet I found this so inspired and one-of-a-kind. Almost unclassifiable in it's flavor profile. Worth seeking out. My HF sleeper pick.

 1,219 characters

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks ramnuts.

Appearance- Black with some brown hightlights around the edges. Tan head and decent lacing. 4

Smell- Pine tree hop aroma and a small amount of dry Pinot Noir grape aroma. 4

T- Pine and some coffee flavors. Good bitterness. It finishes with a Chardonay dryness. 4

M- Good. Style appropriate.

O- An interesting beer to be sure. I am not a big fan of barrel aged IPAs, but this has an interesting twist with the wine barrels. Even though this is a black IPA I would enjoy it in the summer. 4

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500mL bottle into HF tulip (bottle is a few months old, hops are expected to be reduced.)

A - Beautiful. Translucent, light can barely peek through. Nice 1-2 finger tan-brown head develops and lingers for a while. Excellent lacing.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, subdued pine hops.

T - Definite vinous and oaky characteristics. Pinot noir, chocolate, roasted malts, some pine hops. Again, very wine-like in complexity and subtlety, but beer-like in intensity and bluntness of some flavors. I imagine it tastes even better fresh, when the Simcoe dry hopping can really shine.

M - Medium body, a bit wet initially. No real sharpness to speak of, it is rounded out and smooth, even the carbonation is smooth. Perfect drying finish.

O - A fantastic, complex, and interesting beer from a wonderful brewery. I will be sure to drink it fresh next time around. The beer with some age on it is clearly exhibiting some hop fading, but it still remains a delicious and complex brew. Wine fans should enjoy this beer. I think the barrel aging really rounds this out compared to James. Whereas James is a fantastic black ale, this becomes something beyond that when it is aged in barrels. Go Jim!

 1,188 characters

Photo of dunix
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of sincereNc
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of grahambo
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of phingdong
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Jim from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 119 ratings