egajdzis (5305) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nearly opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla, red wine, citrus, pine, light roast and some floral hops. Taste of some roasted malts, vanilla, red wine, tobacco, cocoa, and a creamy mouthfeel. I liked Jim better.
pantanap (3353) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 19, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml bottle released over the previous weekend. couldn’t resist the opportunity to drink this as fresh as one possibly could outside of being there in person. thanks to you know who for sharing... pours as it should yielding a dark licorice hued consistency, fairly homogenous throughout, with the edges showing a bit more of a dark reddish transparency. a thin to medium khaki rests on top which gradually recedes to a thin wispy film... aroma of semi-sticky roasty chocolate notes upfront that mingle rather effortlessly with a semi-pungent green piney citrus hop notes. the oak smoothens things out adding a bit of wet wood and vanilla sweetness. i personally enjoyed the more vibrant hoppiness of the ss#2 but this explores that base beer in a different perspective... smooth, softer and lush, the oak really adds a less assertive nature to its former self, more gentile overall. while the hops and roasty chocolate notes continue to intermingle, the aging in oak seems to encourage the synergy between the three dimensions. sweetness comes into play midway through but a soft bitterness surfaces late offering a welcoming respite. overall it comes together resoundingly well. the mouthfeel is smooth as can be, a bit fluffy even on the palate. quite enjoyable to drink even at its strength which i might add creepingly sneaks up on you... all in all, another fantastic HF offering. i absolutely cannot wait to visit in person to witness shaun, the site, the surroundings, even the terroir if you will, which is Hill Farmstead.
Reynolds314 (2296) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 17, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I feel like Im being a homer with all of these ratings for Hill Farmstead but they are completely deserving. Pours a creamy black with frothy beige head that receeds very slowly leaving lacing behind. Aroma is rich chocolate, evergreen, floral, and mellow ash. Taste is so creamy and perfect. Lightly sweet with a nice mellow bitterness and a clean finish. The french oak barrels add a great spicyness and depth of flavor. This is the best black IPA I have ever had.
oteyj (2130) - New Hampshire, USA - JUL 16, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black pour with a robust tan froth. Huge vinous notes in the nose with piney herbals and juicy fruit nectar, all sitting upon a massive base of chocolate roast. The flavor starts with a blast of creamy milk chocolate, turning to dark chocolate and cocoa nib, and eventually finishing with roasty barley notes. Assertive hop character in the flavor as well, with ample bitterness to complement the bitterness of the dark malts. Fruity depth and hints of evergreen sneak in as well. Warming but not boozy. Massively thick rich palate with creamy effervescence and a roasty sweet finish. Awesome.
Ernesto987 (3687) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 16, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
WOW! great spiciness from French oak. This is absolutely insanely good. How is this possible? This release is the best so far.
AdamJackson (2535) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 16, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Picked this up at Hill Farmstead on Saturday. I put these in the fridge to retain the great IPA properties as long as possible. Today, enjoyed with a friend in a Hill Farmstead Glass on a beautiful afternoon in New Hampshire. Thanks Shaun for your time and care!
A - Appearance is as expected. Pours a very dark brown to black out of the bottle. The beer in the glass is completely black with a 2-finger coffee coloured head of creamy and big bubbles. It fades slowly with nice sticky lacing.
S - The scent is raisins and tangerines with some vanilla and roasted malts. Citrus is the only hop scent I’m getting.
T - Pinning down all of the tastes in this beer is proving to be very challenging. First, I get raisins and a fine mix of lemons and oranges. In the middle, the acidity from the wine barrels comes through with a nice level of tannins and grape skin must. The finish is a hint of pepper with a finish that’s a nice balanced bitter hoppy finish of pine and oranges.
M - Big level of carbonation on the mouth swish. Medium body and oh boy. If you fill your mouth with this beer and drink slowly, it coats your tongue and makes your tongue tingle. Very few beers do this.
O - Society & Solitude #2 is my favorite beer from Hill Farmstead. I was skeptical when Shaun said he’d be putting the beer in wine barrels. However, Jimmy is a beer that is complex and contains a lot of depth. It’s also a beer that is perfectly suited for 500ml bottles because, you want more than a glass, but it should be shared with a friends. Two pours per glass. Great for sharing and nice on a hot summer day.
Minderbinder (1748) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 16, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black with low beige head. Nice lacing. Aroma is of citrus, roasted malt, fruits, sweetness. Taste is of citrus, roasted malt, wine, sweetness, alcohol. Overall: very good, nice body.
yourefragile (138) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUL 15, 2012
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
500 mL bottle, 2012 batch out of 900 bottles. An Imperial Black IPA (aka SS2 aka Imperial James) aged in French Oak wine barrels for four months and double dry hopped with Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial (aka Imperial Jim). Served in a HF tulip because drabmuh would want it this way.
Pours an opaque mahogany tinged black with a rich, fluffy light tan head. Excellent retention and creamy streaks of lace. Oak and pine (simcoe) hit the aroma immediately and are followed with a subtle blend of roast and chocolate malt with a vinous red wine character drifting in and out of each whiff. Remarkably balanced and complex, yet each time I nose the beer I settle on a different dominant note. Creamy body, medium thick with soft carbonation and a smooth, oaky and vinous finish. Remarkably no alcohol present throughout (though finish has a strong "warming" sensation) and this strikes me as more subtle and balanced than Jim is with age or fresh. Oak and chocolate malt dominate the flavor with light caramel, roast, red grape, and citrus throughout. Finish is drier and more hoppy though not bitter. Probably my least favorite bottle of this weekend’s releases (Ann and CD 4). :)
BeerGolem (665) - Quebec, CANADA - JUL 15, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours dark brown. Good lacing. Aroma: torefied malt, dark fruits, citrus, barley, hops. Taste: Torefied malt, wine acidity, sweetness, barley. Medium bodied beer. Alcohol is well hidden. Oily texture. Really good, but hard to tell if it is on style. The sweetness and the colour reminds us of a sweet stout. High sweetness gives it a low medium drinkability
strawberry (14) - Hanover, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 15, 2012
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured into a Hill Farmstead glass, producing a creamy tan head over black body. Smells... wow. Juicy, grassy hops mingling with an even roasted aroma with a tinge of barrel at the back end. Hard to beat that for a barrel-aged imperial black IPA.
Tastes sweet, almost fruity, with a rich hop character and a pleasant warming finish. Body is just thick enough to hold the flavors to the tongue after swallowing. Relaxed, creamy carbonation. It’s very, very easy to drink a whole bottle of this.
Overall I’m having a hard time imagining how a black IPA can get much better than this.