joeneugs (2572) - Livermore, California, USA - OCT 5, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500 ml bottle. It pours a dark brown color with a really nice, thick lasting tan head. The aroma is potently citrusy, fruity and floral with mild vinous notes, cocoa, spice and barely any wood. The flavor has much more of the wine barrel influence. Up front it’s very strong with a combination of grapefruit, licorice, red wine, spice and pine. Little oak near the finish. The alcohol feels strong here, but the body is not overly thick. The finish is bitter and vinous. Really well balanced and well done as usual.
Damico (2202) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 17, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours very murky dark brown swampy in color with a creamy bright cocoa head. The aroma brings sweet winey barrel a little more prevalent than citrusy hop flavors that are present, but a beautiful blend overall. The flavor brings bitter orange notes from the hops that seem nicely enhanced by the wine barrel flavors that help give a dry ending.
Huhzubendah (2156) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 30, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottles acquired from the release last weekend. Couldn’t wait any longer. Shared this with Brad while watching Le Tour de France.
Served in my new Hill Farmstead wine glass.
The beer has a beautiful appearance. Dark brown with a thick, lasting, oily beige head. Seemingly everlasting retention with a thick sheet of lacing on the glass.
The aroma offers roast, pine, malt, caramels, wine, oak. Fabulous.
The flavor is fabulous as well, imparting an elegant sour and tart character. Gracefully balanaced. Oak, pine, hops, caramel malt, wine, sweet and sour.
The feel on the palate is ridiculous. Alcohol...where?!? Silky smooth and wonderful.
Overall, this is without question the best black IPA I have ever had, although this is a bit of a diversion from that style. Regardless, a phenomenal brew. So glad I made it to this release.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 07-21-2012
JulienHuxley (2136) - Hilversum, NETHERLANDS - 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 ;)
oteyj (2124) - 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.
_angst_ (2084) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 1, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 9, 2012 500 ml bottle received in trade. Thank you Dany! Pours extremely dark brown, almost black, with a creamy and slightly bubbly mocha head that slowly dissipates while clinging to the glass and leaving some thick lacing. Smell is sweet, malty, slightly fruity and slightly herbal with roasted malts, caramel, pineapple, peaches, dark chocolate, lemon balm, brown sugar sweetened coffee, grapefruit juice, orange peal, alcohol, passion fruit, pine, sweet dark grapes, elderberries and resinous wood. Taste is slightly sweet, bitter, tiny sour, floral, fruity and tiny herbal with roasted malts, grapefruit juice, green and dark grapes, caramel, resinous wood, juicy plums, passion fruit pineapple, moist freshly cut grass, high quality dark roast coffee, orange peal, bitter chocolate, lemon balm, dill, toffee, black pepper and hints of salty liquorice and tar. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth, extremely balanced, very tiny boozy and near full bodied. Finish is tiny sweet, bitter and tiny sour with resinous wood, dark grapes, pine, dark roast coffee beans, grapefruit peal, freshly cut grass, lemon zest and hints of caramel. Extremely balanced and extremely nice! This is one of the best beers I’ve ever tried.
craftycarl21 (2073) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 10, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Again, giant thanks to my man oteyj for saving a bottle of this for me!! Pre-Farmhouse Festival 2012 tasting, 500 ml. Pours a not-quite-black with a bubbly light beige head. Nose holds big resiny pine and loamy earthen hop character with touches of oaky vanilla sweetness. Slight scallion bite and caramel/brownie sweetness residing in the background of the aroma; great so far. The flavor is absolutely stunning, with the oak and vinous dark fruit sweetness immediately up front, then quickly giving way to rich, dark hop profile of spruce, sap, with dry red wine character melding with the bitterness beautifully. Complex, a touch of boozy heat which I honestly really like in congruence with the other aggressive characters of this beer, and the usual lovely HF carbonation. A work of art, particularly in a style that seems to get more and more difficult to make distinctive.
Fred82 (2069) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 7, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml bottle huge thanks to JulienHuxley.
Appearance : Pitch black with small foamy and creamy brown head. Very long head retention with awesome lacing.
Aroma : Crisp, resinous, citrusy and herbal hops with some roasted malt, coffee and slightly wine-y woody notes. Awesome complex nose, a bit unbalanced towards the hops but still well married with the malt. Very light hint of alcohol as it warms up. Light smokey notes as well.
Taste : Great citrusy and juicy hops, piny and resinous. Then the malt comes in, great roadted notes with coffee and light chocolate. Hops come back on the finish with great resinous and juicy piny notes along with some coffee and some wood. Slight red wine notes.
Palate : Awesome soft fluffy and pillowy mouthfeel. Soft carbonation that fits perfectly with the beer.
Overall : Wow this is good. Big citrusy and juicy hops all the way with a great malty backbone with the subtle added complexity of the wood. Awesome persistence on the finish by the malt and the hops. Very elegant, packed with flavour, drinkable, awesome palate, great appearance... hard to find something bad about this beer.
Steve_0 (1912) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 5, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at home with friends. Pitch black in appearance with a small khaki head and great lacing. Smell is very hop forward with aromas of grapefruit, wine notes, tannin, light char, and grass. Smoke, tobacco, light grapefruit, graham crackers, and dark fruit with a lightly bitter finish. Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well and really easy to drink.
Reynolds314 (1873) - 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.