awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 3, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at O’Brien’s. Dark black, semi-transparent, fizzy pour with a healthy serving of well-sustaining frothy tan head. Very porter-like in appearance. Lots of fruity, citrus hops in the aroma, along with a subdued sense of caramel and toast that seems to linger in the background. Light to medium bodied, crisply carbonated mouthfeel. At first, glimmers of the expected caramel and toast flavors start to appear on the palate, but this is quickly obliterated by a thundering hammer of pulpy white grapefruit hops that comes blasting through on the palate. The bitterness of the hops seems to keep growing more and more intense as the palate draws out its lengthy finish. The black color certainly is misleading with this one, as the hop flavors and palate dryness are so strong, they completely dominate the malt character, making this one drink similarly to a pale IPA. In fact, I also had a Pliny the Elder draft simultaneously, and did a side-by-side tasting. This beer actually had a much greater perceived bitterness to my palate, but the hop characters were much more one-dimensional than with the PtE. Still, a really cool beer.
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 1, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Sampled ’08 BSAF. Beer is murky, very dark mahogany with a huge, rocky/creamy, tan head. Thick cuff of lacing left to cuddle the pint. Pretty.<P>The aroma is malty with light notes of roasted grain; Hoppy with heavy resin/pine notes, trace of lemon zest; Miscellaneous notes of metal and generic tropical fruit.<P>The flavor is moderately/heavily sweet, light/moderately bitter with a very long, lightly/moderately bitter, lightly/moderately sweet finish. Slightly warm.<P>The body is medium, the texture is watery and the carbonation is velvety.<P>Not great, but pleasantly plush.
ajm (1066) - Los Angeles, California, USA - NOV 12, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at PP Carl. I have become a sucker for black IPAs and this certainly didn’t disappoint. Nose is a rather earthy hop with some nicely roasted malts. Flavor is more of the same with a very thick creamy texture. Light chocolate compliments the green hops. Very good.
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 21, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap @ Solana Beach. Pours jet black with a short-lived fizzy head. Toast, rye, hops, pine, apple, and some smoke. Sharp, crisp hop bite up front with a lot of pepper and grapefruit. The malt gives it a velvet feel and a nice, rich, earthy back. A fair amount of roasted flavor, but its almost more like a toasted rye as opposed to a roasted malt. Kind of a nice tobacco flavor. Just an excellent beer.
steview (1020) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 14, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
the body is confusing me because it’s black, which is obviously not normal for any kind of IPA, and certainly makes me wonder how Three Floyds didn’t think of this! regardless, it’s good--a nice, literally dark IIPA (though more subtle than others in the same class) that i never knew i would ever enjoy.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - FEB 22, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at Liars Club 7th Anniversary. This beer was made specifically for the Liars Club by Jeff Bagby to mark their 7th anniversary.
Dark dark dark brown, almost black color. Aroma is pure Pizza Port hops. There is a bit more malt than usual, but this beer kind of resembles an IPA with food coloring in it. I like Logans description - like a hopped up schwarz bier. Good stuff.
hapjydeuce (941) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 11, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 13, 2008 On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad. I’ve been waiting a long time to try this one. A pretty outstanding black IIPA I thought. Frothy and lacy white head with a thoroughly floral and piny aroma. Flavor and hop profile seemed quite similar to Poor Man’s IPA. Spicy grapefruit and orange citrus that leans crisp and refreshing, with a prominent malt undertone. Lots of carbonation in the finish that helps to prolong the resiny bitterness.
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - MAR 2, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Drafted at O’Briens. Had a sample of this and since I may not get a chance to try it again, I will jot down a note. Darkest IPA I ever seen. Is this really a, IPA? Tasted, smelled like one. Interesting hops confused by the dark color.
DenverLogan (796) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - FEB 20, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2007 Dark brown, small amber head, hoppy, slight molassas, and rich roasted malt aroma. Kind of like a strong, hoppy schwarz bier...rich roasted dark malts, some hoppy bitterness, dry, lingering bitter hoppy finish.
BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 23, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On draft at O’Brien’s for CBC/WBC.
Appearance is a pitch black hue, thin layer of off-white head dissipates, minimal lacing.
Smell is big grassy and pine hops, subtle roast and caramel malts, alcohol, and sweet candy.
Taste is big hops and alcohol burn initially, opens up to coffee and roast malts, pine resin and caramel linger, finishes bitter and dry with moderate alcohol presence.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, watery smooth texture, amped up carbonation.
Drinkability is moderate and hampered mostly by the alcohol presence which seems larger than the 8%, overall a nice balance of malts and hops, more of a sipping beer.