Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #5

society5

The next beer in Sean Hill’s experimental Double IPA series, Society and Solitude #5 is an Imperial IPA brewed with American and New Zealand hops.

Final Rating: 4.62/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml HF growler into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery.

Pours a beautiful, hazy bright golden body with a 3 finger white head that reduces fairly slowly, leaving blotchy lacing and some retention. Very nice.

Absolutely inviting on the nose.. tons of citrus, tropical fruit, mango and pineapple, hoppy and forward.

On the tongue citrus dominates, orange, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, fresh tropical fruits. The finish is not bitter at all, just straight potent hops on the follow through and throughout, absolutely fantastic! Easy drinker, medium body and medium-low carbonation.

Worth the hype. World class DIPA, plain and simple.

Jester King Provenance with Oranges and Grapefruit

ProvenanceOrange

The Jester King Provenance beers are a series of dry, highly-attenuated, authentic farmhouse ales, brewed with Hill Country well water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops, and fermented with a unique blend of brewer’s yeast, native wild yeast, and native souring bacteria.

This variation uses Oranges and Grapefruits. The other two use Lemon/Lime and Tangerines/Clementines. Really enjoyed this one. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.22/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass.

Pours a super hazy golden yellow body with a big frothy white head that sticks around for a while, leaving blotchy lacing.

Aromas are fruity and tart – sour apple, ripe bananas, oranges, zesty citrus and lime, Belgian style spice and farmhouse yeast.

Starts off tart, sour citrus; lemony with grapefruit, oranges and bananas, peppery spice, wheat and farmhouse funk on the finish. Aftertaste is tart. Refreshing on the tongue, easy to drink with low carbonation.. a little more carbonation would have beefed up the crispness.

Overall, as for with most of the Jester King wild ales, I am very pleased with this beer. Super balanced and complex, very easy to drink. Wish I was in the JK distro!

Firestone Walker 15: An Anniversary Blend of 8 Beers

firestone15

This Firestone Walker 15th anniversary beer released in 2011 is a blend of 8 beers, perfectly blended by world class blenders to create a true masterpiece. Here’s the blend of Firestone Walker Beers:

18% Helldorado (11.7% ABV) Blonde Barley Wine.
17% Sticky Monkey (12.5% ABV) English Barley Wine.
17% Bravo (13.5% ABV) Imperial Brown Ale.
13% Double Double Barrel Ale (11.5% ABV) Double Strength English Pale Ale.
11% Good Foot (14.3 ABV) American Barley Wine.
10% Velvet Merkin (8.6% ABV) Traditional Oatmeal Stout.
9% Parabola (13% ABV) Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
5% Double Jack (9.5% ABV) Double India Pale Ale.

My Final Rating: 4.05/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Firestone Walker Proprietors Reserve snifter.

Pours a deep brown, chocolatey body that, once in the glass is deep black and opaque. Off-off head rises a couple inches then reduces to a small layer of foam, leaving blotchy lacing.

Aromas are delicious and inviting, vanilla cake and butterscotch upfront, heavy bourbon and caramel, slightly nutty, molasses.

On the tongue is caramel and brown sugar upfront, bourbon and vanilla on the follow through, slightly roasty on the finish. Slight hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is kinda thin, medium carbonation.

Overall it started out nice but I think this may have fell off since bottling. Thin and weak on the palette. Nonetheless an enjoyable drink.

Wicked Weed Amorous: A Heavily Dry Hopped American Wild

amorous

Traded for a bunch of Wicked Weed sour beers, glad to add them to my lineup! This beer, Wicked Weed Amorous, is an American Wild ale dry hopped with tons of hops.

Final Rating: 4.5/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a Wicked Weed snifter. Acquired in a trade with Mike M – thank you very much!

Pours a slightly hazy amber body with a big frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing and chunky retention.

Aromas are delicious and inviting – oak and barrel, sour lactic, green apple, citrus, and hops, pine, and light resin. I can’t wait to take a sip.

Upfront are sour, citrusy, tart fruity notes, sour cherry, musty funk, oak, wine, grapes, followed by a hoppy bite on the finish and a slight bitter, sour aftertaste. Super complex and flavorful! Mouthfeel is light, drinkable, and crisp.

I was pleasantly suprised at how balanced, flavorful, and complex this beer was.. took the characteristics of a world class wild and added a level of complexity with the dry hopping, but not too much. Would seek out again.

Snowed in With Some Bomb!

christmasbomb

Christmas Bomb! is an imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers with winter spiced added. All the flavors meld to create a truly unique beer. The peppers add just the right amount of heat to compliment the intense coffee and chocolate flavors.

Final Rating: 4.59/5

look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Prairie dino glass.

Pours a deep, inky black body with a 2 finger dark mocha head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing and retention.. very nice looking!

Big aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasty malt, and slightly spices.. very nice and inviting!

On the tongue it’s big, bold and flavorful, lots of milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, dark roasty coffee, dark fruits, vanilla beans, with slight spices on the finish.. rich, creamy, low carbonation, and super balanced and actually very easy to drink. This is amazing!

Overall I was pleasantly suprised at how awesome this beer was, the reviews do not reflect my experience, this was one of the better stouts I’ve had. Super bold, rich, flavorful, and balanced. Would seek out again!

Bourbon County Vanilla Rye

vanillarye

“First brewed for the legendary festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago, drinkers enjoyed this Bourbon County Variant so much we bottled it the next year (2010). People flocked to stores to get their hands on a bottle and have this one of a kind barrel aged stout. Over the past few years we have heard our fans express their love for this version and we are extremely proud to bring it back in 2014. This years version features a little twist of aging the stout in Rye Whiskey Barrels with a mix of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla beans!”

My full review:

Final Rating: 4.61/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Goose Island tulip. Purchased on black friday in western MA. Bottled 31Oct14.

Pours a deep, inky black body with a modest 1 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces to leave no lacing, but a faint ring of foam.

Allowed to warm to a little under room temperature prior to analysis, as I wasn’t getting much aroma straight out of the cellar. The vanilla really opens up once it warms, lots of vanilla bean, caramel, butterscotch, reminscent of vanilla cake or a light vanilla extract smell. Bourbon and chocolate in the background with a little booziness. Very inviting on the nose.

Upfront, the vanilla is very apparent on the tongue with a sweet vanilla bean/caramel flavor, leading to a chocolatey-bourbon flavor reminiscent of other bourbon county varieties, followed by a nice roastyness that sticks around for a while. Rich, full mouthfeel with a heavy body and minimal carbonation.

Overall this was very tasty and a few notches above regular BCBS. Richer in body and with the addition of vanilla a little more complex and flavorful.

Omniscience & Proslytism

Omniscience

Ale Refermented in Oak Barrels With Strawberries: Strawberries from Fredericksburg, Texas were added to oak barrels containing mature sour beer. The beer was then allowed to referment to dryness. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally conditioned

Final Rating: 4.54/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade

Pours a bright cherry, slightly hazy body with a bubbly white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave little lacing or retention.

Aromas are sharp and inviting.. big, juicy strawberry aromas upfront mixed with tart lactic, vinegar, oak, farmhouse funk, cherry, lemon. I could smell this all day.

Upfront the strawberry shines with a pretty acidic sour berry taste, lemony citrus on the follow through with a nice oakyness to compliment. The finish is tart, unripe berries, funk, and a sour fruity bite. Mouthfeel is light and easy to drink. Tough to sip this one!

Overall an outstanding beer, nicely balanced and very flavorful.

Hill Farmstead Arthur: A World-Class Farmhouse Saison

arthur

“Arthur (1922-2005) was our grandfather’s youngest brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Saison is crafted from American malted barley, American and European hops, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Arthur.”

Final Rating: 4.5/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery in November.

Pours a super hazy, pale yellow body with a big gushing frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing a decent, uneven white retention that sits for a while. Some sediment.

Aroma is super inviting with big fruity and tart aromas, namely tart citrus, lemon, and green apple mixed with banana-clove, peppery spices, farmhouse funk.

Taste is equally as complex, upfront is tart citrus but not overpoweringly sour, saison yeastyness & barnhouse funk, estery banana, a creamy caramel, with a spicy, peppery, and slightly bitter finish. Super complex. Excellently balanced. Easy to drink with a medium body and medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Overall a world class Saison, super complex, balanced, and tasty. I expect nothing less from Hill Farmstead.

Grey Monday: Black Tuesday Gone Nuts

greymonday

Grey Monday is a special version of The Bruery’s Black Tuesday imperial stout, in which they add hazlenuts to the bourbon barrels while it’s again. As is the case with Black Tuesday, this monster of a beer lingers at 18-20% alcohol, making it one of the heaviest stouts you can drink.

Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.41/5

look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a large Bruery snifter. 2014 vintage. Acquired in a trade with vitese, thank you sir!

Pours a deep brown, nearly black opaque body with a small light hazlenut head that reduces quickly to leave no lacing or retention.

Allowed to warm for ~30 minutes prior to drinking for maximum flavor and aroma profiles. On the nose comes nice potent vanilla, bourbon, butterscotch, caramel, milk chocolate aromas.

On the tongue comes that big, sticky, syrupy sweetness of the Black Tuesday base, combined with sweet molasses, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, bourbon. The aftertaste is where the hazlenuts shine through, with nutty notes followed by a nice, deep roastyness on the finish. Mouthfeel isn’t as thick as you’d expect with low carbonation as expected.

Overall I’d say this is probably my favorite BT variant so far, the complexity is definitely there and the hazlenuts added something to this beer. Definitely a sipper!

Backyard Rye: Bourbon County’s Most Berry Variant!

backyardrye

“Always on the lookout for the next thing they can throw in a barrel, our brewers actually looked no further than their own backyard for this release – literally. Inspired by the berries they remember first eating from the trees in their yards; this Bourbon County release is full of the dark, spicy, and pleasantly sweet flavors of mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries. This trio of fruit nicely rounds out the spice and heat of the rye whiskey barrels in which they were aged, resulting in a smooth, jammy stout perfect for sipping on your back porch.”

Final Rating: 4.44/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Goose Island snifter. Bottled 20Nov13, purchased in Smithfield, RI last year.

Pours a deep Bourbon County Stout characteristic black body with a 2 finger suprisingly fizzy milk chocolate colored head that reduces very quickly to a slight ring of foam. Leaves no lacing.

On the nose is lots of milk chocolate, bourbony caramel and vanilla, some boozyness and a hint of berries.

Upfront is bittersweet chocolate, sweet vanilla and butterscotch, followed by a bourbon, caramel, and a delicious compliment of berries (reminiscent of raspberries, which I’m sure are similar to the 3 berries used to brew this beer). The finish is roasty, leaving a toasted malt taste on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, not quite as heavy and sticky as other bourbon county beers.

Overall a delicious, complex beer, the berries definitely added a level of complexity to it. A must try for Bourbon County fans.

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