If you haven’t caught the vibe just yet, I ride Hill Farmstead’s jock like a Sybian. I will seek out anything and everything that they release for the simple reason that every, single, thing that I have had from them has been nothing short of amazing. The only beer that was a B+ to me was Jim and that was still an amazing beer, just not suited to my palate. So here we go, another world class Double Black IPA, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Hill Farmstead, Society and Solitude, Black Double IPA, 9.5% abv
A: At first glance this looks like someone fucked up and sent me Everett and I am about to spend 25oz in Porterville. Not the central California mountain town. Then you pour a little bit and shit turns arboreal very quickly. The beer cascades from the swingtop growler in a needlessly descriptive stream of jet black with mellow mahogany at the edges and the user ponders where the line between charred malt and hop usage places his palate in this penumbra of capricious tastes. The carbonation is dead on, not too much, not too sparse and the lacing looks like a monochromatic Jackson Pollack work. She is a thing of beauty, fuck Stella.
S: This is interesting beyond belief. Most black IPAs I shirk off in a cantankerous manner, upturning my mandible and tightening my lips. This thing is the real deal. I thought double dry hopped Stone Sublimely Self Righteous did not have fuck arounds to spare, but this thing is in the poor house if fuck arounds were currency. It comes right out with a pine that subsides into a chocolate waft, just when you think shit is tame: a MINT NOTE. I am dead serious, then some juniper and finally the citrus grapefruit I was looking for, all in all its like the craft aisle of Michaels went into a blender and then was coated in Godiva chocolate, and it is fucking amazing.
T: The taste just carries out the complexity and the bitter and sweet zones of your mouth are already dividing up the tenancy in common because they can’t agree on shit. It starts with a nice english stout or american porter charred chocolate roastiness that, upon swallow turns into this epic Mars Volta solo of herbal notes and again, fucking MINT and juniper are present. To bookend the experience, the chocolate delivers a nice eulogy to the sip and your tastebuds mourn the loss. But shit is on again real soon, to the tune of 24oz more.
M: The mouthfeel is similar to a heavy DIPA or a thin imperial porter. God damn, if I wasn’t so lazy I would make a line graph but, just use your imagination, I shouldn’t have to make an App for every aspect of description. The bitterness from the hops lingers far longer than the bakers chocolate aspect and I like it more that way, the coating feels lighter as a result and suddenly a 750ml growler seems pretty insubstantial. It’s like if you’ve ever dated a girl who just gets on your nerves and you bemoan every visit to Chick Fil-A with her, but when she goes away to her Mormon mission, you have a tiny Latter Day Saint Shaped hole in your heart. You know the feeling.
D: This beer is incredibly drinkable for how ambitious the flavor palate is. For all the mint, chocolate, pine, grapefruit madness going on, the glass seems to have a mild leak, directly into my mouth. However, I don’t know if I should rate this relative to the other Hill Farmstead offerings since the 2 Liter growler of Galaxy that I drank, by myself, was gone instantly and all my characters were power leveled when I woke up the next morning. It was like the RPG fairy just changed the game on me. So yeah, super drinkable.
Narrative: After losing his job at the pencil factory Gunnar Taylorson was at a loss with what to do with himself. His degree in American Studies did not seem to evoke the sense of awe and prestige that he had predicted, despite graduating from the inimitable University of Florida, an institution practically enshrined in American Study. After long hard thought and several days at the EDD and unemployment offices, Gunnar resolved to set forth into the everglades and open a boutique herboreum. His business plan was simple, venture deep into protected government lands, uproot rare plants, grind them down into a consumable paste without FDA approval, and then sell it within interstate commerce: a bulletproof scheme. The first concoctions largely just caused blindness and erections that lasted more than 4 hours, and he felt like a failure. “GOD DAMNIT GUNNAR, the hell were you thinking, a deep south apothecary? You should have just went and worked at the Waffle House fer fucks sake!” he would think to himself. One day, while speeding about on his stolen pontoon boat he came across a rare hibiscus flower in the shape of someone flipping you off. “Well fuck you flower,” he quipped as he pulled the lot of them from the roots. He sold them piecemeal to passers by and it soon became apparent that Gunnar had stumbled upon a tactile halucinogen. The south never seemed so interesting or so racist as when you viewed the scope of nature with your fingertips in a Baton Rouge AMPM.