BBB63 (6373) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 28, 2012
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
A three-way vertical between Lakefront IBA (India-Style Black Ale), Three Heads Skunk Black IPA, and Hoppin Frog Hop Heathen Imperial Black Ale.
Bottle and served in one of my numerous Duvel snifters: Appearance: All three have basically the same color, very deep brown nearly opaque. The difference is head retention with the Three Heads maintaining a fluffy head and producing the best lacework (5). The Lakefront had a slight better head and spotty lace (3) versus the Hop Hopping Frog which left almost no lace on the glassware (2).
The nose: Resiny, bile, oniony hops with some pale chocolate and roast for the Lakefront. Juicy, grassy, piney and a tad faint hop with a dusty roasted malt note for the Skunk. The Hop Heathen is most unique for sure with a grapefruity, piney and smoky earthy malt vapour. Almost meaty and oh so earthy. I love the aroma of the Hopping Frog (9), while the Three Heads is tame and weak but not offensive (7) and the Lakefront has the oniony, garlic, and catty overtones I do not care much for (5).
The taste profiles: We start with the Hop Heathen this time and I get quite a bit of heavy resin, pine sap, and some of the catty high alpha notes that were much more noticeable on the aroma of the Lakefront. There is a nice roasted and slight smoked, leathery, tobacco, liquorice undertones as well for the Hoppin Frog. It is complex for the genre, perhaps too much so. (7). The Skunk has more a basic fruity, piney, and cardboardy taste. Much like the aroma this beer is tame and weak compared to the other two. Even the finish is far too short (5). The Lakefront has a nice bitterness but is still not quite as aggressive as I would like, a bit too malty (but not sweet). Coffee and earth are pronounced with this beer. (6)
Mouth feel/Palate: Start with the Three Heads Shunk this time: Lively enough, too much (which explains the lasting head), over carbonated, thin, ashy, short. Not all that good (2) The HFHHIBA (haha) is aggressive, biting, a tad boozy, and a tad medicinal. This one suffers from being the one that is a tad under-carbonated. (3). Then there is the Lakefront IBA which a bit thin and a bit over carbonated as well. There is a minerally and metallic quality about this I found a bit off-putting (2). Wow, NONE OF THESE are clean nor properly carbonated, either over or under. All have major flaws on the palate IMO. <insert sad face emotion here>:
Final Verdict: None of the beers are something I would buy again. Each failed to meet expectations. Each are classic examples of when a brewer attempts the "next big thing" without a clue on what they are doing. (Remind me not to but a Berliner Weiss from any of these three breweries.). Off to find a good beer and dump the remainder of these bomber, such a waste of my time and monies.
Travlr (14780) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 17, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Almost completely black, beige head, nice lacing. Aroma of fresh pine and coffee. Taste is pine needles covered with dark chocolate and dipped in espresso. Tasty.
Dorwart (2413) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - JUN 16, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nice 1 inch thick head of fine, malted milkball colored foam. Rather mild aroma with some light chocolate malts, floral perfumy hops, roasted grains and a bit of anise. Color is a very dark brown almost black. Moderate hops presence in the flavor with more dark roasted grains, bittersweet dark chocolate and a bit of dry chalky carbon late. Alcohol is not noticable. Finishes dry and a bit chalky with lingering burnt toast and anise.
Patrickctenchi (4538) - Coxís Knob, columbus, Indiana, USA - JUN 10, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours nearly black , bubbly with a thich, dark tan head.
Scent is licorice and hops.
Taste is dark fruit, cola, caramel sweetness.
sneaks2210 (46) - New York, USA - JUN 9, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours dark brown with mahogany hues around the edges of the glass and a thick khaki head. The aroma is hoppy and malty. While pouring the beer my nose was hit by roasted grains and dark fruits. This is backed up by pine and citrus hops. The taste has a nice hop presence, a good amount of bitterness, balanced out with a sweet malty backbone. Medium to full bodied. Silky smooth finish.
ccex (1023) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 30, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle pours an opaque dark brown with lasting tan head and good lacing. Smells like an IIPA with piney and floral hops. Flavor is almost that of a porter, with lots of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Taste is initially on the sweet side, with the hops kicking in on the long, satisfying finish. Medium body and average carbonation with a slightly slick texture. Iím glad to have tried this one. Very satisfying, although not the greatest Black IPA Iíve had.
demmbonz (633) - Erin, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 25, 2012
3.2 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I try not to rate any IPA style beers because I really donít like hop predominant beers. I thought this would be a good one to try with the darker malts. Very good beer. Aroma is all hops but flavor is very malty and balanced with the hops. Glad I tried it. Good gateway hoppy beer for me?
Brandman (2288) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAY 23, 2012
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark brown body, khaki head. Aroma is very intense with chocolate and surprising green hops. Very fresh for a black IPA. Flavour is really harsh, roasted and gold, lots of hoppy dark fruits. Nice and balanced.
drpimento (2404) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 14, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Not bad. Poured at a good temperature with a decent tan head that lasts a little whie and good lace. Color is perhaps clear to slightly hazy depending on the width of the glass and a dark garnet. Aroma is hop, malt, dark ripe fruit, roast. Flavorís somewhat like nose where I pick up those qualities, but also a whole set of complementary characteristics as well - a bit smoke, fairly dry, good carbonic tang, earth. Body is odd but good and carbonation is spot on. Finishis is like flavor, a little long and astringent.
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - MAY 13, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled date - Jan Wk2. Poured brown with a creamy tan head that left good lacing. Aroma of pine and floral. The flavor found floral and a roasted malt backing. Medium body with a light bitter and roasted malt aftertaste.