zach8270 (4022) - Henrietta, New York, USA - AUG 31, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(bottle - 22 oz) Dark black pour with a thick tan head. Heavy hop and floral aroma with a lot of pepper and citrus notes. Dry chocolate malt and grassy hop flavor dominates the flavor and leaves a really nice and bitter earthy hop aftertaste. Very nice.
mR_fr0g (9220) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 30, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle shared at CBC Clerkenwell 10/9/2015. Big thanks to Leighton for this one. Reddy mahogany brown coloured pour with a lasting loose light tan head. Aroma is black malts, nutty, toasted coconut and some mineral. Flavour is composed of nutty toasted coconut, black roasted barley, light earthy piney hop, Good stuff. Palate is medium full bodied, slightly milky with moderate carbonation. Xolid.
madmitch76 (22055) - , Essex, ENGLAND - SEP 13, 2015
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
10th September 2015
Craft Clerkenwell Bottle Share. Thanks to Leighton. Almost opaque dark amber beer, good pale tan head. Palate is crisp and dry. Tangy caramel and a little toffee in the malts, some cream. Touch of bitter dark chocolate. Woody bitterness before a light dry finish. Bitter linger. Fine.
The_Osprey (6276) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 12, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle share at CBC Clerkenwell. Thanks to Leighton. 7.4%. Black, small foamy tan head. Aroma is caramelised sugars, spices, roasted malts. Body is medium, smooth, soft carbonation. Taste is sweet with some molasses and chocolate, resinous and piney, rye, soft bitterness. Pretty nice.
Scopey (12502) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 12, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to Leighton. It pours jet black with a medium tan head. The nose is rich roast, big dark malt load, rocky road, malt loaf, treacle and dark chocolate. The taste is bitter-sweet, rich roast, earth, espresso coffee, rocky road, dark chocolate and mild acidity. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Not bad at all.
Leighton (18520) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 11, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at a CBC Clerkenwell tasting - London. Picked up at a DeCicco’s in NY. Pours rich brown with a creamy tan head. The nose holds well roasted malts, chocolate, earth. Medium sweet flavor with more cocoa and scorched earth, some charred wood and pine. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Hard roast on the finish, some bittersweet dark chocolate, earthy bitterness. Good one.
Theydon_Bois (16850) - Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - SEP 11, 2015
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle split at CBC Clerko, big thanks to Leighton, 10/09/15.
Black with a decent tan covering.
Nose is charr, pine needle, light roast, chocolate malt, earthy hop.
Taste comprises light tropicana, charr, pine, cocoa powder.
Medium bodied, fine carbonation, semi drying close peppered with earthy hop.
Ok CDA, ticks the boxes but balance not quite there ... over chocolatey.
tillmac62 (685) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - MAR 17, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours pitch black. Outstanding head volume, retention and lacing.
Nice nose of chocolate over caramel, a touch of coffee and a hint of roast.
Light medium body with a light smooth texture. Below normal carbonation with just a touch of effervescence in the finish.
The flavor profile is intense, complex and somewhat balanced. It begins with a blend of flavors that separate as the bitterness kicks in. Coffee, roast and chocolate emerge as a hop/roast bitterness comes to the forefront in the middle. The finish is a continuation of the bitterness which adds a citrus note. Very little sweetness emerges to provide balance.
boto (2102) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - DEC 28, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bomber: This one pours an inky dark brown color. There was a small dark tan head that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing. The nose is good. chocolate and caramel malts. Earthy, pine and citrus notes also. The taste is good. Bit of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, pine and earthiness. A touch on the bitter side. The flavors are nicely balanced. A definite keeper.
ChadPolenz (1690) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
The best Black IPAs are a marriage of both IPA and stout or porter brews. It’s amazing how well hops can complement flavors of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. In the case of Horseheads Black Horse Ale it’s more a hop-forward brew with incidental porter/stout characteristics (if any at all, really). That’s okay, because the palette is actually really enjoyable because of its delectable hop selection.
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. I bought this at the brewery tasting room for $5.75 ($0.26 per ounce).
Appearance: Completely opaque black body with faint brown highlights. Pours to a large, tan, frothy head which laces and retains with excellence.
Smell: Pungent bouquet of orange and grapefruit, as well as a clean, floral scent.
Taste: It seems like most Black IPAs tend to incorporate hops of the “East Coast” variety; i.e. those with pine and resin flavors. In the case of Horseheads Black Horse Ale, it’s all “West Coast” hop character: huge orange and ruby red grapefruit flavors. They’re present immediately, creating for a candy-like flavor. Maybe even a bit sweet. The bitterness doesn’t kick in until the apex of the swig, which is rather dry and a little biting, but it finishes exactly as it starts with an almost juicy flavor and refreshing quality. I didn’t get much of the dark malt character, unfortunately. There is a faint coffee sensation underlying here, but no chocolate nor roasted malt flavors. I’d actually say this kind of fails as a Black IPA, but since that’s still a style that’s yet to be cataloged, it still works as an original, delectable, and enjoyable brew.
Drinkability: As far as taste goes, Horseheads Black Horse Ale could be mistaken for a regular IPA if drank blind. However, when it comes to palate, it definitely has the body of something else. There’s a noticeably smoothness to the texture here; softer, smoother, and lest overtly crisp than a normal IPA and something more akin to a porter. It does seem a little inefficient at 7.4% ABV, though. Yes, there’s plenty of body and flavor, but not much complexity or raw energy. It is highly drinkable; I was able to gulp down the entire bottle quickly and easily and without any complaints.
Ferris (12675) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 27, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - Perfumy hops and roast malts. Jet black with a nice beige head. Roast malts and a nice piny hop bitterness. Pretty nice, but more hoppy than roasty.