jefcon (1276) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - OCT 30, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Rich-looking in the glass, with an amber glow. Lots of fruit and yeast aromas, and then a surprising amount of hops on the palate. This is a big beer in a small beer’s body. Aggressive flavors of juicy raisin, light caramel, grapefruit, orange and bitters, with a slight candy sugar finish. The beer borders on sweet, but pulls back at a smart moment to let the significant contribution of the hops be tasted.
jcweaver (740) - VA Beach, Virginia, USA - OCT 29, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a dark reddish-brown with a nice tan head. Aroma of piney hops with a hint of malt sweetness. Flavor of piney hops followed by a nice coffee or chocolate sweetness. Balanced and tasty.
Zeswaft (1315) - Seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 28, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I’m yet to have a bad black ipa but this is on the weaker side. What i do appreciate is that new belgium has releasing new quality beers in unique styles. Curse fat tire. Anyways there’s definitely some centenniel hops up front quickly fade and you get kind of mediocre porter roasty malts and chrarcoal butterness. A nice addition to Ranger.
sickboy79 (66) - USA - OCT 28, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dig it. Very interesting flavors. Don’t taste a lick of wheat at all. A nice carmel malt head and floral hoppy finish. Very enjoyable. Another great seasonal from New Belgium!
3fourths (7517) - Boulder, Oregon, USA - OCT 27, 2011
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
brown. dull cola brown, and surprisingly smells like cola too: light pepper, plum / caramel flavoring, semi-sweet with a touch of egg-shell / powder yeast and light dried cheese powder hop aromatics, dull and dried rather than fresh and green. medium-light body; mild toast / burnt cracker malt, light dough / yeast powder / cracked grains, light roast, a bit like the character found in poorly-made schwarzbier - toasty black patent char without roast or the typical chocolate / coffee notes of stout and porter. and the hops? entirely lifeless and dull.
craftycarl21 (2073) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very dark brown pour with a fairly dense ivory head that built quickly and impressively. Nose holds a nice combination of earthy hop, spruce tips, chocolate, roasted bitterness, and caramel apple. Flavor holds notes of bark mulch, pine sap, and bitter chocolate. Also some herbacious hemlock wood. Fairly light on the mouthfeel, but otherwise quite a nice effort.
oteyj (2124) - New Hampshire, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black pour with reddish tints. Medium sized off white head. Earthy wet sod and evergreen bark in the nose, with a citrus and pine oriented flavor, rounding out with bitter chocolate. Medium body with low carbonation and a hint of wood flavored tannic acidity.
TomTron (325) - Aiken, South Carolina, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a dark brown with a minimal white foamy head. Aroma of licorice, citrusy hops and some chocolate. Tastes strange like most black IPAs do to me. The hop bitterness of an IPA is there, with the inclusion of licorice, chocolate, and some dark fruits, but overall this is not something I would consider an optimal snow day beer. Interesting but not my favorite style...
nearbeer (3280) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. Clear, deep mahogany with a spongy-sticky foam. Nose is resiny cocoa, with hints of berry and earthy ozone. Flavor is coffee, then a big orange and grapefruit combo, resin, creamy chocolate and a glint of metallic ozone. Citrusy wheat, menthol and ash in the long finish. Mouthfeel is comfortably medium-bodied, but dry and tingly enough with acidic hops and char to be more than just a slow sipper.
5000 (5606) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - OCT 25, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle:   Nearly black, large frothy sandy head, very nice lacing.   Faint musty hop nose, a little pasture, very faint toasted malts.   Pretty muted overall.   A little citrusy start, very pale hop bitterness, no real roastiness.   This one falls of super quick.   Its also bordering on thin.   Wow, yeah, this one is too subtle, too thin, too lacking on flavor overall.   Very much a watered down Black IPA.   So much so, hard to even tell that it is a Black IPA.   Not my idea of a Winter type offering.   Neat label, but thats about it.   Too thin and simple overall.