Foster
Hill Farmstead Brewery

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Style:
IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #23
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
92
Ranked #3,298
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 7.97%
Reviews:
58
Ratings:
227
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  26
Gots
  7
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Notes: Foster is our Black Wheat IPA, brewed with a large percentage of malted wheat and hopped with our favorite American hop varieties.
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 227 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned 04/15/19
Drink by 05/27/19
Opened on 5/25/19

Opaque blackness, khaki foam is creamy and bubbly. Big lace.

The nose had husky and earthy black pepper grains, dry earthy hop notes and mild coffee bean aromatics. Subtlety sweet smelling dark berries way down deep.

Roasted malt and dry-earthy hops make this a pretty potent combo. The grains and barley taste is sharp, clean and very dark roasted. The hops have this outstanding earthy edge that's peppery in the after taste.

The mouth feel has a certain crisp but very dry bite that turns peppery and hot. Light in the middle and then smooth,yet dry in the end.

My issue is, I'm just not a fan of darker, toasty malt style flavors right now. I need bright golden grainy adjuncts and malt. For it's kind, Foster is on the top of the spectrum.

May 26, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pouring coffee brown filling to dull brownish-black with a persistently fluffy khaki head that clings at the edges leaving some spotty lace.

The nose has a citrusy introduction before nutty ground coffee and woody cacao come to the fore.

Taste is spicy spruce and pine with nutty medium roast coffee and a bitter punch of pine.

The medium-light body has a crisp then softening fizz before a paper dry finish.

Apr 29, 2019
Photo of nhctborn
nhctborn from Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best new beer I’ve had in a while. And if you like a dunkles (dunkel weisse beer), you might like this. Not as much head on the pour as I’d like but delicious nonetheless. Nice after taste too. And if you’re in VT, near the Canadian border, you oughta grab some.

Apr 25, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a very dark black color, with a small head, and tons of lacing.

This one smells really awesome - rich dark bitter chocolate, roasted malt, light smoke, and fresh pine resin.

Hill Farmstead makes just about the only black IPAs I'd ever want to drink. It's got such a smooth flavor to it (is that the wheat?), with much more of an emphasis on dark malty goodness than hoppiness. There's definitely a nice clean pine character, but there's also so much clean dry chocolate and roasty character.

This is medium bodied, and really creamy, with a really great level of drinkability.

Hill Farmstead still doesn't give me any reason to hate them. This is so good.

Apr 25, 2019
Photo of smcolw
smcolw from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color where light passes only along the edge. Great lacing on the glass, lots of large spots which interconnect in many place.

Mildly smoky nose with some near-burnt toast aromas.

Dry and hoppy with some black patent malt flavors as the the initial impression. A bit of chalkiness. Reminds me of black coffee. Leans rich but with decent carbonation. Long coffee ground-like aftertaste.

Dec 10, 2016
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL growler. Black with a small off-white head. Thin collar and wispy surface. Aroma of grapefruit hops and black roasted malt. I think I smell wheat? Nice. Taste is really strong on the wheat. Grapefruit hops. No sweetness. Roasted and almost burnt flavor in the back end lends a bitterness. Interesting. Medium body. Well carbonated. Not sure what I was expecting. Nothing over the top in any way. The flavors are interesting, but maybe not a really approachable combination.

Nov 10, 2015
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark brown to black color.

The beer offers grapefruit, lots of zesty citrus, leaning tropical, bright and minty hop flavors with medium minus roasted malt, espresso bean. The finish has an herbaceous bitterness with lingering earthy hops and chocolate.

Oct 28, 2015
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on draft. Deep dark brown, borderline black with a tan creamy head. Great lacing and retention. Aromas of wheat, fresh grassy hops, slight citrus with some roasted barley. Flavor has plenty of bitter pine/grassy hops up front, slight roast but the finish is just all wheat. Really enjoyed that.

Oct 21, 2015
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2015-10-15 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge

A - Opaque dark brown with a 2 finger tan head and good lace

S - Fresh hops that are quite strong, sweet chocolate, toasted rye bread.

T - Hop forward. Vegetal. Dark chocolate. Pepper. Medium roasted grain. Finish is fairly bitter but not over the top.

M - Thick body and light carbonation. Creamy and rich.

O - Very good example of the style. One of the best I've had.

Oct 15, 2015
Photo of Skrip
Skrip from New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the brewery poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass.

A~ dark brown in the light with red undertones. big tan head and a lot of lacing.

S~ dark roasted biscuity malt up front followed by slight caramel and tons of bitter hops.

T~ bitter hops rush the pallet which smooths out into some nice roasty malt, finishing with dank grass/earth.

M~ very dry bitterness with great carb.

O~ really solid offering of the style! i know its not suppose to be a black IPA but the bitterness really puts it over the top, i would prefer more fruity hops, the bitterness kind of takes away from everything else. dial that back a bit and this would be outstanding! but don't get me wrong i still want more! haha!

Oct 14, 2015
Photo of SABERG
SABERG from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a fresh growler into a modified tulip glass.
A - Dark, intriguing, fabulous mocha cap, steady carbonation.
S - A touch of roast, pine, orange peel, and grassy notes
T - Hop forward, nice touch of cocoa, and a grain quality that strings it all together.
M - Medium bodied and a bit crisp in the finish, simply delightful
O - A wonderful example of the craft, Hill Brings to bear.
So very well executed.

Mar 16, 2015
Photo of blackie
blackie from Oregon

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Blackback, Waterbury. Foster is black in color with a nice khaki head, depositing some good lacing on the glass. A balanced roasted and chocolate malt body with a low sugar presence and laid over with dense, dark pine hops and touches of acidic citrus rind. Oily and bitter. Moderate in body and dry to finish. Earthy. Enjoyable.

Oct 08, 2013
Photo of ThirstyBird
ThirstyBird from England

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

catching up with an old rating from 2010. From a growler thanks jedwards! Appears super dark cola color with a nice tan head than falls to a blanket. Smell is citrus, chocolate and dark malt. The taste is slightly sweet up front, lightly bitter in the middle with a subtle dryness on the aftertaste. Medium body with elegant, smooth fine carbonation.

Mar 11, 2013
Photo of oline73
oline73 from Maryland

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the growler into a goblet.

Pours black with a finger of tan head that sticks around nicely. The smell is a bit strange with the dominant notes being chocolate and roasted malt. There is more roast and bitterness in the flavor than there was in the nose. There is a light bready undertone that backs up the roast. The finish is quite bitter. The carbonation is smooth with a dry finish.

This was a very different beer. The intense and refined flavors worked together, but I'm not sure I got it. Well made but not my favorite.

Feb 19, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL growler paired with original Nintendo and a wife.

The beer is a deep, dark shade of brown nearing black. The head is wet sand hued, standing in at nearly two inches tall and plastering the tulip glass with sticky lacing.

The aroma offers pine, hops, roast, chocolate.

So fresh and flavorful. While I'm not normally a huge fan of black IPAs, this one is delicious. Hop forward, yet well balanced, offering chocolate, bready malts and lingering resinous pine.

Medium bodied and smooth on the palate. Lightly bitter for the style with an elegant roast character.

While Hill Farmstead Jimmy is undoubtedly my favorite black IPA (though barrel aging certainly plays a role in this instance), Foster stands in second. A great example of the style.

Jan 24, 2013
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark malt, pine, hints of citrus and coffee

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, pine , citrus , nice bitter hoppy finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-a solid black ale with good balance, easy drinking

Jan 19, 2013
Photo of MasterCraft
MasterCraft from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml growler, though I've had this on tap.

Pours black with a nice light brown head

Nose is fruity, tropical hops followed by a little pine, coffee, chocolate, toffee. Very very nice.

Taste is assertively bitter, robust dark malts combine nicely with a hop bite. Coffee, chocolate, orange peel, pine, bread dough. Don't remember the bread dough from having this at bars, but I keep tasting it now.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium bodied, typical of style and nothing to complain about.

By far the best black IPA I've had, and the only one that has made any sense to me. While the flavor profile still looks out of whack on paper, it makes a delicious beer, and one of my favorite semi-regular offerings from HF

Jan 11, 2013
Photo of cfrances33
cfrances33 from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Served in a nonic pint.

Pour: Dark black, splashy body, with a finger of khaki brown head. Head hangs around for most of the glass, and leaves some solid lacing.

Smell: Big bitter pine and some citrus up front, followed by a very enjoyable roasted aspect. Almost coffee like. Some light breadyness comes through.

Taste: More bitter pine up front, that gives way to a melding of roasted malts and citrusy hops. A light floral aspect. Some bitter chocolate, and a very nice fresh bready sweetness. Finishes bitter and roasty.

Mouthfeel: A very, very drinkable Black IPA. Goes down easy. Medium bodied.

Overall: Was really looking forward to trying this, and it did not disappoint.

Jan 07, 2013
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black, two finger brown/tan head with lacing.

S-Roasted malt, coffee with lots of hops.

T-Roasted malt, some burnt, good though, tad vanilla, ends with a nice bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and a tad creamy.

O-Easily the best Black IPA I've had, great balance, nice bitterness, the flavors mesh well.

Dec 31, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JealousChalice for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors.

Dec 23, 2012
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64 from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml growler filled at the brewery yesterday. Poured into HF glass. This is my second time having this beer, first time was at Lord Hobo during Zwanze Day.

A- Pours an opaque dark black with with a finger and a half of mocha brown head that has great retention and slowly recedes to a thin creamy mocha brown head coating the glass in nice layered lacing. Nice consistent rising carbonation.

S- Pine, grapefruit, greeny hops, and roasted malts. Fairly aromatic and very well balanced.

T- Grapefruit, pine, greeny hops, roasted malts, a hint of chocolate and lightly bitter hops on the finish. Lingering aftertaste of greeny hops and chocolate. Extremely well balanced and definitely flavorful.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, very smooth, and highly drinkable.

O- This beer was fantastic for a black ale and quite possibly the best non-barrel aged black ale that I've had. This definitely needs to be drank as fresh as possible, when I had it on tap at Lord Hobo it was good but definitely not as good. Overall this beer was extremely well balanced, very flavorful, and I can't see how this style could get that much better. I highly recommend it.

Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985 from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Armsby Abbey 9 days ago, at the Zwanze release.

Black beer, bubbly tan head, retains quite well leaving plenty of thick lace behind.

Smell is hop-forward, lots of grapefruit, tropical, earthy, with some toastiness there as well.

Taste is similar - there is an emphasis on hops rather than any stouty notes. Nice citrus, grapefruit, earthy, and spicy hops present. A light tropical feel. There is some darker malt presence (roast, chocolate) but I found the malt to be more bready and toasty than anything.

Smooth mouthfeel with ample carbonation, easy drinking.

I prefer more stoutiness in my black IPAs usually but there was a fair enough balance. The interplay of toastiness and hops works well here. Hill Farmstead, man.

Dec 10, 2012
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WanderingFool from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Foster pours black into the glass with a big, rocky light tan head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick sheet on the surface leaving behind clumps of lace on the side of the glass. The layer of foam remains on the surface as the beer empties from the glass.

On the initial pour a lot of hoppy pine notes were present. As the foam fades away the pine lessens and aromas of chocolate, roast malt and a touch of toffee are detected. It's not a very strong aroma.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, dry with moderate carbonation. The flavor is roasty and bitter with a hoppy finish. It begins with roast malt and chocolate, which is quickly followed by toast, nuts and a touch of fruit (grape?). It finishes bitter with piney and grassy hops. Once gone the roast malt and pine flavors linger on the palate.

Another tasty beer by Hill Farmstead. I thought the aroma was rather faint for the style and the body seemed a little thin. Overall though I could drink this beer all day long. I'm glad I had some friends who went to the brewery recently and filled a few growlers for me.

Dec 08, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone from New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Farmhouse Tap and Grille in Burlington.

Such a lovely take on this style. One of my two favorites, along with an example brewed by that other Vermont genius of beer. Black body, sizeable tan head that settles slowly, strong creamy lacing. Aroma balancing roasted malts and vivid hops; floral, pine, citrus, caramel notes.

The flavor is typical of a black IPA, just done with the utmost finesse. The hops, with their piney, floral character, roasted, almost burnt-tasting malt, a distant hint of rye; bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and citrus. Medium length bitter aftertaste, dry finish.

The body is where this one really shines; so smooth and creamy on tap, still with appropriate, medium to slightly low carbonation, and a medium body. Another winner from Hill Farmstead.

Dec 06, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79 from New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/03/12 notes. Had 2 8oz. pours of this on tap at Pony Bar on the UES in NYC.

a - Pours a very dark mahogany brown color with one inch of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of pine hops, roasted malts, chocolate, citrus hops, light caramel malts, light floral notes, and light fruity malts. Very nice nose with a lot of things going on. Nice hops and malts mixing together; great nose.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, coffee, fruit, bready malts, citrus, and toasted malts. Taste has a little bit of light bitterness but not much, and the roasted and pine dominate a little more than the nose did.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation, with great mouthfeel. Very smooth and easy to drink; like it a lot.

o - Overall another good beer from HF. Nose is great and everything mixes together really well, and there is a great mouthfeel that is easy to dirnk with no bitterness. If you're a fan of the style it's definitely worth seeking out, and would like to have it again.

Dec 04, 2012
Foster from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 227 ratings