Pours opaque but clear on the edges. Half glass of mocha, creamy, thick foam covers. Retention is well above average as it comes up from the bottom. Thick, coating, sticky foam laces the sides.
Aroma is nicely complex for a hopped up beer. Pine resin is foremost but each sniff brings others forward: oak, mild roast, earth, and citrus.
Taste is sweet and roast up front with hops joining the middle. Roast lingers and almost becomes a touch of debittered chocolate. Oak, pine, and citrus hops come up strong in the end while sliding nicely into the finish. Hops linger a bit.
Medium body with a medium carbonation on the front end but a huge helping in the back end. Dries the palate.
This is a solid first beer from Hill Farmstead. The balancing act of flavors and aromas is top notch. I wish the oak was a bit more forward as I like that profile in the beer. Enjoy!
Jim (1954-1998) is the name by which our Uncle was best known. Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his four siblings. In his honor, we barrel aged our Black IPA(James) in a French Oak Pinot Noir barrel for four months and dry hopped the beer with Simcoe. Naturally carbonated and hand bottled, this is one of only 300 bottles.
"Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers." - Cliff Clavin, of Cheers