CanIHave4Beers (4024) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a very dark brown with ruby tints when held up to the light. The head is big, sort of loose and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
The aroma has a lot of fruit forward hoppiness with complimentary spicy and pine like hop aromas. Sort of a hop trifecta in the nose, but itís not messy in any way, really quite nice. The beer smells a bit sweet with some mild roast.
The hop character in the flavor is not as intense or multi layered as it is in the aroma, that said the beer tastes very nice nicely hoppy with plenty of spicy hop flavor up front and a fruity finish. There is a bit of that odd roasty bitterness on hop bitterness interplay that the Black IPA is so notorious for, but itís mild and works about as well as it could here. The beer is a little on the sweet side for my liking, at this point the beer is pretty fresh... I can handle sweet with fresh hop flavor (to a point) but I have to think this would be pretty bad if it sat around too long.
Itís sort of weird how New Belgium is kind of re-inventing themselves with all these IPA/APA creations over the last few years. Itís not a problem or anything but itís funny to look back at the brewery that came into my consciousness 8 or 9 years ago and think of them as being one to brew these styles.
Oakes (15805) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 4, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark brown. Very thin head. Fresh cascadey nose with a mellow chocolatey dark malt character. Similar flavour - light chocolatey malts and fresh cascades. Simple, but effective, like a Black APA I guess.
vyvvy (5887) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours brown with a crimson hue and is lighter than most under the Black IPA label. The head is large, sudsy and beige. The aroma has some cocoa, wheatish, light toast and a hint of funky hops. Medium crisp body with a modest amount of carbonation. Starts with a smooth maltiness with a bit of roast, but very non-abrasive. There is also piny and funky hops going on and it is quite dry. The finish has a pleasant bitterness and a nice hoppy presence along with some spiciness to it. Compared to a lot of other Black IPAs itís not up to par, but for a six-pack line-priced beer this is a nice deal and a heck of a beer. New Belgium impresses again.
bsp77 (724) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 4, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.
Appearance: Dark brown with just a hint of red. Nice foamy head with strong lacing rings.
Smell: Roasted and caramel malts, with orange, pine and spice floating on top. Fairly pungent. Smells like a Black Ale/IPA.
Taste: Tastes like one as well. Smoke and bitter chocolate co-mingle with orange and grapefruit. Finish is more pine-like and spicy. Seems like this should be a burst of flavor, but is a little subdued, maybe due to the wheat.
Feel: Moderate carbonation with a nice dry finish. Unfortunately, the beer is a little too thin.
Overall: This is a nice Black IPA / American Black Ale that could use a titch more flavor and body. Otherwise, quite enjoyable and better than 2 Below.
DWestrick (657) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle. description on rate beer says black ipa - definitely not how Iíd describe it. Falls in line with the traditional Winter Ale. Quite tasty though, Iím impressed
Guerde (1288) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
(bottle) Pours dark brown/black with ruby highlights when held up to a light, with a medium tan head. Aroma smells like convenience store coconut Hostess Donettes at first, but then gets more piney and resiny. Further warming veers this thing into vegetal territory, with plenty of canned green beans joining the party. Flavor is more malt-forward than the aroma indicated, with plenty of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and a fair amount of bitter hops on the finish that are slightly piney. Gets more astringent as it warms. Has this spicy quality to it towards the finish that is kind of nice and unexpected. Overall this beer is ok, but the off flavors and aromas were a bit too much.
robgibbens (431) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Extremely dark amber color with some lacing. The aroma is like fresh hops and pine needles. The taste has a slight bitterness to it but backed by a maltiness. The brew is medium to light-bodied and goes down easily leaving a dry finish.
rangerred (989) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - NOV 4, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured out of a bottle.
Appearance is dark brown with a slight reddish tint. Decent head with good lacing.
Smell is of piny/citrusy hops with some roasted malt.
Taste is very hop forward with the citrus and pine dominating at first but then giving way to a pleasant roastiness. Finished fairly clean with a lingering hop bitterness.
I feel like this is a pretty average black ipa but I can see myself revisiting it many times.
Beardface (1517) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - NOV 3, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Bier Stein. Mahogany pour with a touch of red and a light tan head. Aroma is a nice mix of caramel and chocolate malts plus a totally unexpected blast of citrus and pine hops. Tastes much the same, very much hoppier than I was anticipating, nice surprise for a NB seasonal.
CharmCityCrab (244) - Maryland, USA - NOV 3, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma is mostly hops with just the smallest hint of porter/stout malt. Appearance is light black with that slightly darker white head that one associates with stouts and porters. Taste is similar to an IPA with piney cascade notes and some milder hops similar to what one might find in a Vienna lager mixed in, plus slight notes of chocolate and roastedness from the malt. Word is they used a wheat malt in this beer thatís relatively new to market- it tastes good, but more like traditional barley malt than a wheat malt, which is a good thing in a beer like this, in my opinion. Overall, a strong seasonal outing from New Belgium. A nice hearty beer to ward off the winter chill. Refreshing, but with a complex enough taste profile to keep anyone from getting bored. Iíd give it the edge over the Sam Adams Winter Lager and the Sierra Nevada Celebration in a big craft brewers flagship winter seasonal show down, if there was such a thing. ;) Introductory price in this market a little higher than SA and SN, though, which may keep me from buying this as often as Iíd like- I assume competition will bring that down eventually.