nimbleprop (4163) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - OCT 29, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Oily opaque black with some tan head. Nose of coffee, hop pellets, very dank, chocolate, earthy, wet soil. Flavor is even better, sweet, chocolate, pine, grapes, earthy, coffee grounds, dried lemon peel. Full bodied, earthy finish. A little hot. Really earthy. For those who don’t think black IPAs work, you have to try this. Plenty of coffee/porter flavor and plenty of citrus/IPA flavors. Excellent.
Glouglouburp (5929) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 25, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
In short: An original, hoppy and very oaky big black beer.
How: Bottle 500ml. First and only batch so far. Twice. This rating for a bottle consumed 4 months after the beer release.
The look: Black body topped by a medium tan head with good retention and leaving lots of lacings on the glass.
In long: Interesting nose blending dark berries, soft liquorice candy, mild vinous oak presence, subtle piney hops. The base beer (Society and Solitude #2) is unrecognizable yet the aroma is really not overwhelmed by the barrels, it’s entirely a new beer. Taste is dark berries jam swimming in bittersweet chocolate, some black liquorice, earthy notes, burnt molasses, unexpected black pepper sensation, some piney hops resin, a whole lot of oak tannins, a bit of booze. The finish is very harsh (burning sensation) with the astringent oak tannins raking back of the mouth along with some hops resin and some booze. A smoother carbonation would have been more appropriate. Very good big beer, an original creation that defies style classification and offers lots of complexity, yet I found it a bit too harsh and not quite up to my expectations from this great brewery. This is my 5500th rating, what an achievement, but let’s be honest, we the top-100 raters on ratebeer are collectively one big argument against the theory of evolution.
jbeatty (915) - New York, USA - JUN 10, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, reviewed 06/10/2013, thanks to Mac! Pours dark brown, near black, thin white creamy head, dies to a nice foamy surface slick, sticky spotty lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, piney haze, vinous roasty finish, almost juicy, sangria-like. Taste is soft, roasted malts and coffee, piney hops, slight sweetness with a bit of wood. Body is soft, creamy palate, typical Hill Farmstead. Really nice, the wine notes add a different dimension to this style.
JorisPPattyn (7682) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JUL 14, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good tan/brown head over virtually black beer; shards of lace. Chocolate, sweet liquorice, garden herbs and leaves. Stout-like taste, littel impact of the hops; again liquorice & chocolate. Finish yields the barrel-aging, even Bourbon (rather than wine), and a light, refreshing acidity. Rich MF, alleviated by fine CO˛ pearling. Rich for its purpose, barrel aging has done a world of good. Thanks to the kind donator!
NielsenRatings (8124) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 5, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle @ Stephen’s house, courtesy of Stephen. Deep brown appearance with a dark brown head. Tangy, lightly vinous, mild berry, roasty malty, light chocolate, piney, a bit earthy aroma. A touch tart, slightly burnt chocolate malty, mild vanilla, somewhat fruity, earthy flavor with a somewhat bitter, vinous finish.
pushkinwow (1822) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 13, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500ml bottle from Tom10101. Dark brown with a slight red hue and a dark biege head that fades to nothing unless you want to swirl it around. Lots of resin with light citrus hops, oak and some smoke, tannins, roasted malts. Moderate to low carbonation, moderate to full body, somewhat sweet with an intense bitterness underneath, becomes dry and some alcohol with tannins.
j12601 (6585) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAY 23, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Dany that I shared with Andy, Max, and Pearl prior to our trip to the Hill Anniversary. Pours a deep black with a thin beige head. A touch of wood and smoke, hints of roast and cocoa, light dusty old hops. Caramel, roast and cocoa. Perhaps a bit more age on this than it should have, but I felt I needed to save it for friends, so that’s my fault. Though, maybe it’s one of those things that just changes in strange and unexpected ways. Who can say. The wine barrel does start to come through about midway, getting a touch vinous and woody. Warming alcohol and big heavy roast comes through toward the end. I’d be interested in trying a very fresh bottle of this (though with the barrel aging on a black ipa I’m not sure hop the hops would translate anyway).
ReggieDunlap (2898) - The dub c, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 30, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black with a thin lt mocha head. Aroma is lightly tart and winey with dark fruits and roast. Flavor is winey and tart with underlying roast and some coffee...light piney hops and nice oaky notes...faint booziness. Mouthfeel is medium with a winey/piney dry finish.
mcberko (5228) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 9, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500mL bottle, sent from Glouglouburp (thanks a lot, Dany!), pours black with a small tan head. Nose is very complex, still bringing out more of the black IPA base beer than the barrel notes, with the hops still present after the barrel aging and subsequent aging time. Moderately roasted malts underpin the hops. Very subtle red wine and oak qualities are present, but they are certainly secondary. Flavour is very complex, bringing out the best of both worlds: caramel and roasted malt upfront, followed by the hops, with complex but subtle barrel qualities that accentuate everything else going on, finishing on a vinous, hoppy note. The carbonation has somehow become more aggressive than the regular Society & Solitude #2 – I feel this could do with a tad softer mouthfeel. I do much prefer the regular Society & Solitude #2. Nevertheless, yet another expertly crafted Hill Farmstead brew, though not in their upper echelon I feel.
Scopey (5309) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 10, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle consumed at THE stouts tasting part 2, big thanks to Mr L-to-the-eighton. It pours very dark brown with a medium beige head. The nose is varnish, pine, charcoal, caramel, sweet treacle, toast and faint cocoa. The taste is roasted malt, berry, red grape, plum, vinous, cocoa, powder, earth and wood with a very, very dry finish. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation and sticky mouth-feel. A creative and interesting "black ipa" for sure, but far too dry for my liking.