Sometimes you have a special bottle tucked away for a special occaision, and some sometimes you just open a special bottle to make the ordinary day special. Thats what I decided to do last night. I opened a bottle of Hill Farmstead Jim, which I purchased last summer. Hill Farmstead is a very small brewery, only selling it’s bottled wares at the brewery in the northeast kingdom of VT. This makes their beers rare to begin with, and this is one of their limited releases. Jim is a a barrel aged version of James, a black India Pale Ale. I don’t usually like hoppy dark beers. The acrid bitterness of porters, expecially hoppy ones usually doesn’t agree with me. In general black IPA is a style I’m not a big fan of, and barrel aged beers are hit or miss w/me as well.
The first sniff is somewhere between porter and IPA, coffee, bitter chocolate, piney hops, and I’m smelling a bit of red wine. The first sip is all porter. Perhpas it’s the age on the beer causing the hops to drop out, and if I wanted the black ipa expierence I should have drank this long ago. The beer is well balanced, and as it warms it tastes much more so.
This is a good beer, but not something I’d buy again. I’ll stick with Hill’s pales, ipas, and farm house styles which suit my tastes better.
Vital Stats: 7.5 ABV IBU ? SRM ? Served too cold, in a tulip.
Taste: B+. Black IPA isn’t a go to for me, but this is good.
Drinkability: B-. One and done if that.
Packaging: A-. Nice Simple look. Nice story, good details including ingrediants. No bottled on date :/.
Value: C+ It’s a $15 500ml. A very good beer, and for the rarity one of 300 bottles, it’s not a bad price, certainly beats $200 on ebay.