yourefragile (139) - 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 (742) - 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.
sisuspeed (62) - New Hampshire, USA - JUL 15, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 16, 2012 Poured into some Hill Farmstead stemware. Beautiful dark brown body with a fingers worth of creamy tan head. Looks great. Lots of chocolate and oak on the nose with a hint of alcohol. Earthy pine hops with a touch of citrus and grape. Really nice aroma. Taste follows the nose, but adds in some vanilla and toffee. Wine profile from the barrels comes through a bit more in the flavor. Body is super smooth and creamy. Touch of hop resin. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Overall, another stunning brew from the Hill Farmstead.
tom10101 (3773) - Quebec, CANADA - JUL 15, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle 500 ml. Black with a small persistent brown head and nice lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, pepper, citrus, raisin, plum and wood. Taste of roasted malt with citrus and strong presence of the wine barrel aging. Mouthfeel is dry but almost creamy too with a vinous finish. Crazily complex but not 100% that all those flavors fits perfectly well together. Still a superb beer!
JulienHuxley (4120) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 14, 2012
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Nice black pour with off white foam and tons of lacing. Aroma is absolutely enticing - tons of roasted malts, burnt oak, vanilla, piney hops, pepper, five spice, ginger and tons of raisins and plums complete this über layered aroma. Taste is roasty, hops and wine barrel flavors coexist remarkably well - I wasn’t expecting it to be this harmonious. Palate is quite dry, well carbed, medium bodied, long lasting winey finish. Surprising, and amazingly good. This is one of many beers that I wish to have not shared with Fred ;)