TreborWhip (393) - Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 4, 2012
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 12/20
This ale was called McHale’s Black IPA when we visited the brewery on 08/30/2012 but I assume it is the same as the one listed based on the description. Draft pours black with thick brown head. Aroma of roasted malts. Flavors of smoke, burnt wood, and light pine. Very smooth on the palate with a nice hop finish.
Bulk_Carrier (2222) - Juneau, Alaska, USA - JAN 22, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 31, 2014 On the appearance, she pours an absolute awesome "jet black" colored body and leaves a nice frothy/foamy sort of half fingered head that must last for at least a minute. Lacing just awesomely clings superbly to the glass riding on an awesome slightly that wants to be speckled as I see some light spots. The aroma, well, I could say its quite close to perfection for an American Black Ale, whoah - ok (Baranof before I go forward, this beer is gonna get you noticed in the world of beer). I just wonder how to describe an absolute superbly stellar American Black Ale, hmmm.... ok chocolate combined with bitter hops, bitter coffee tones, wonderfully combining to settle in an absolutely spectacular aroma to appease hopheads and maybe the malt heads as well. The taste, whoah, once again, I’m amazed, just wondering for the masses how many American Black Ales anyone out there has had, because personally, I’ve had a fair amount and this one comes across as an absolutely almost perfect American Black Ale as the bitter hops pervade through a super nice chocolately sort of feel. Aftertaste is hoppy and slightly bitter. On the palate, she comes across as slightly bitter and harsh on the mouth and tongue like a decent American Black Ale should, sessionable - hmmm...maybe - perhaps. Carbonation comes across somewhat harsh which is good for the style and good to me
Overall, ok Baranof, really, where has this American Black Ale been all of my life....sigh, though I’m not a true fan of the style but recognize enough of the qualities that are supposed to come in this style, in my opinion, you have knocked this one out of the park. Go on, make Alaska famous. This one, I absolutely entirely hope will be bottled and will be sent South to the lower 48. Please do it, they need to know, this is an absolutely stellar beer.
kathouse (1056) - Nevada, USA - JUL 22, 2012
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours a deep black/brown with a thick foam head. Strong hop aroma of citrus, pine, and spice. Thin body throws this black ale of balance. Very bitter hops have little malt body and lingers well in to the finish. I must admit I’m not an IPA fan and this didn’t help change my mind. Hop heads would not share my point of view and I’m ok with that.