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.
"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than selfish and worry about my liver.'" - Jack Handy