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.
daknole (9114) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 5, 2012
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Well fuck yeah this one is amazing. Almost black with a fluffy light brown head. The nose is a red wine, toasty, chocolate lovers dream. Grassy hops, milk chocolate. And a crazy hint of kids watercolor paint. Flavor is toasty and hoppy. Chocolate, light vinous notes. Resiny finish. Bold yet delicate. Wow.
jtclockwork (8431) - , New Jersey, USA - SEP 3, 2013
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle thanks to Leighton. Pours black with brown head. Nose and taste of red wine barrel, french oak, roast chocolate, roast vanilla coffee, unsweetened raisins, tangerine peel, piny hops, toasted nuts and light grapefruit. So delicate and beautiful. Medium body. Really takes the style to a whole new level.
JulienHuxley (3076) - 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 ;)
Ernesto987 (3714) - 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.
mikem409 (1486) - bloomfield, Michigan, USA - JUL 31, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle big big thanks to ernesto. pours black/red with perfect tan head that last and last. aroma of hops and oak. taste is absolutly amazing, hoppt, sweet oak and hint of wine best ipa i have had so complex
_angst_ (2782) - 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.
jrgratz (113) - New York, USA - MAR 12, 2013
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from gnosis.. thank you. Consumed after the Everett. Pour is dark brown/black with a tan 2 finger frothy head. Smell is chocolate, cofee, dark fruit, some citrus. Taste is bold.. chocolate, wood, dark fruit, some hops, coffee. Medium body and resiny. I dont know if it was because I drank after but certainly reminded me of a hopped and aged Everett. Delicious.. best black IPA i’ve had (if that is what this is considered)
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.
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). :)