Category Archives: American Black IPA

Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 10.8%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: 2011 label, 2016 re-release. 100 IBUs. Hops – Columbus, Citra, Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade

Brewer Description: (from bottle) In the 15 years since we entered the craft brewing world, change has come not in a straight line but as an exponential curve. The craft brewing movement has long been called a “revolution.” But today the air is so thick with revolution it’s palpable. No longer is it only an awareness among the faithful; the unconverted are beginning to feel it as well. Denial and ignorance are disappearing in favor of opened eyes, curiosity and the sense that there’s something larger out there. For far too long we have been lied to. For far too long we have been oppressed by the notion that dumbed-down-lowest-common-denominator-mediocrity was all that we could, and should, expect. You might think we’re talking only about the world of brewing, but we’re not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads… hell, there is stuff pretending to be “food” that our great-grandmothers would not recognize as such. Yet the craft brewing movement, together with the artisanal food movement, is making much progress. Where the industrial companies can’t dismiss or bury us, they are attempting to copy us with cheap facsimiles. Yes, chances are if you are holding this bottle, you understand these things to be true about the world of brewing. You also likely understand the importance of our fight at Stone against accepted “norms” over the last 15 years. We believed that America was ready to embrace things made with artistry and passion. You have spoken. Your response has been clear. We are not merely consumers to be spoon-fed whatever commodities need to be unloaded for a profit. We have only just begun to move the needle of this revolution & mediocrity still reigns. Consider that when you reject dumbed down, industrialized food and drink, you also support craft brewing. The line is nearly seamless; we are fighting the same battle. We will not win in our lifetime, as the powers are too entrenched, and the masses too… fooled. And shackled. However, this is a revolution of ideas and of taste, and we will win. How do you want to be viewed by your children, and your children’s children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those who don’t think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. We hope you’ll stand with us. Strong and unyielding. You are needed. This bottle and its glorious contents are a celebration of you, brothers and sisters, and your importance in this fight. Cheers to all we’ve accomplished together in the past 15 years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.09
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 22 oz bomber, bottled on 17th August 2016, to be enjoyed by 23rd November 2016 (drank on 24th, so I’m a day late). Poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark brown near black colour with a one finger tanned head that had pretty decent retention and eventually fades to a thin cap, leaving nice lacing.
Aroma: Roasty malt and light chocolate with nice tropical pineapple, peach and apricot. There’s also a touch of citrus orange and lemon zest, pine and a light char at the end.
Taste: Bittersweet chocolate, light char smoke, followed by strong bitter grapefruit, orange zest and pine. The roastiness comes back and the bitterness lingers on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate to low carbonation.
Overall: A nice roasty and hoppy Black IPA. I’m glad that they re-released this.

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Surly x Three Floyds x Real Ale Blakkr

Brewery: Surly Brewing Company x Three Floyds Brewing Co. x Real Ale Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 9.99%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: Collaboration beer. Surly version.

Brewer Description: (from can) This double black as night IPA is too massive for just one brewery’s efforts. BLAKKR took the trinity of Real Ale Brewing Co., Surly Brewing Co. & Three Floyds Brewing Co. to actualize this crushing ale. Cheers.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 1 pint can canned on 26th January 2016 and poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark dark brown colour with an orange hue and a slightly less than one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly but left nice lacing.
Aroma: A mix of piney and citrus orange hops and roasty dark chocolate.
Taste: Starts sweet-ish citrusy orange followed by caramel malt, light roast coffee and chocolate plus a hint of char before ending with a lasting pine and juicy citrus light bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation.
Overall: A nicely balanced Black IPA that hides it’s high ABV well.

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Founders Dark Penance

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 8.9%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: 100 IBUs. Malts – Crystal and Midnight Wheat. Hops – Chinook and Centennial.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A heavy malt foundation includes Crystal malt for sweetness and just enough Midnight Wheat malt to push the color to black. The bitterness is huge, but balanced by malt sweetness. The hop flavors and aromas range from citrus to floral to pine thanks to a delicious blend of hand-selected Chinook and Centennial hops.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.1
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle bottled on 14th September 2015 and poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: It poured a deep dark dark brown colour with a one finger tan head that dissipated fairly quickly to a thin layer but left nice spotty lacing.
Aroma: Sweet roasty malt with some light pine and citrus orange in the background.
Taste: Light roasty coffee and chocolate with nice spikes of pine and citrus bitterness which lingers on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: A nice Black IPA that balances the sweetness, roast and bitterness.

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BrewDog Arcade Nation

Brewery: BrewDog
Country: Scotland
ABV: 5.2%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: Hops – Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) West Coast America ups sticks and heads out east. Pac-mania is back and this time it’s gone over to the dark side. A pistol black hop bomb packs the roasted malty punch of a stout and the hop laden incendiary hit of an IPA. Roasty, coffee and chocolate notes duke it out with citrus, mango and pine. Insatiably flavoursome, insanely drinkable, immensely satisfying. This light bodied hero punches like something twice its size. A Donkey Kong let loose on Rainbow Island. This all-out American hybrid should run for President. Stack up the quarters. Vote Arcade Nation – Game over.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.49
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 7th January 2017 and poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark dark brown colour with a less than one finger tanned head that had poor retention but left some spotty lacing.
Aroma: Fruit strong, citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and pine. In the background there is roasty malts and a hint of coffee.
Taste: Bitter grapefruit pith and its not very juicy. There is some roastiness in the background, but its not really there.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: Seemed to be closer to an IPA instead of a Black IPA. Would have preferred to have more roastiness as this had very little. This was just ok.

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Hawkshead Hop Black

Brewery: Hawkshead Brewery
Country: England
ABV: 5.6%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: Hops – Chinook, Citra and Simcoe.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Dark in colour but surprisingly light and refreshing on the palate, with aromas of tropical fruit and resinous pine from big flavoured American hops, Chinook, Citra and Simcoe.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.28
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.1

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of March 2016 and poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear dark brown colour with a slightly less than one finger tanned head that dissipated quickly leaving spotty lacing.
Aroma: Pine, citrusy orange juice followed by cocoa and toffee.
Taste: Lightly bitter with citrus orange, cocoa, chocolate and pine.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with low to medium carbonation but on the watery side.
Overall: Was hoping for more hoppy bitterness and it was definitely on the thin side. Too watery for my liking.

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