theisti (3237) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - NOV 28, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nonic pint draft at Cafe Twenty Eight in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pour is an opaque deep brown with subtle ruby highlights and a frothy one inch tan head. Head falls with thick coating lacing. Aroma is fresh pine hops, bright tropical fruit, and a nice toasty roasty malt underneath. Taste is bright pine initially, turning towards the pineapple fruit acidity and sweetness of the nose, and clsoing with and ever so slight roast and malt. The pine and roast comes to the front as it warms, retaining great balance and softness. Palate is light to medium bodied, soft natural carbonation and a clean bright hop and dry mineral earth finish. Crazy drinkable. Really interesting and bright flavors. This is far hoppier than I remember Darkness being, and the second running really cuts the malt sweetness. Thoroughly enjoyed this, and was delighted to be able to try it.
Nuffield (3671) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 22, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Really run of the mill. I’m surprised to see it described as a black IPA because it doesn’t have the sensibility of that much hops (esp. dry hopped). Somewhat thin body and a quick finish, even after warming. Nice dark color. Here’s one beer where the name and label really promises too much. (on tap at the Groveland Tap)
50belair (2240) - Florida, USA - NOV 14, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at 3 Floyd’s. Black pour with no head. Chocolate, roasted malt, and hop aromas. Bitter with lots of hops, dry roasted malts, and bakers’ chocolate. I didn’t know this was a black IPA, I thought it was just a really hoppy dry stout...
HonkeyBra (3381) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled on draft at the XV Anniversary party. I guess all hoppy black ales are black IPAs now? Not sure I’d consider this all that similar to the other beers in this category but I digress . . . Dark brown to black pour, tan head. Aroma of chocolate, caramel, mild hops. A fair amount of roast . . . perhaps more than I was expecting. Flavor is smooth and nice. Chocolate balanced out with bitterness derived from the roasted malt as well as the hops. Body is a touch on the light side but that’s not necessarily a knock on the beer. All said, I feel like it was pretty good. Enjoyable, sessionable hoppy black ale.
jrallen34 (3483) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
draft at XV... I was really looking forward to trying this, but its very forgettable, just too light in all respects, if they used the runnings and made a mild session beer it would much better received but at 5% lots of better more flavorful options
mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at grumpy’s ne. Deep brown color with a minimal head. Nice aroma with grapefruit, more orange citrus, roast coffee, and some chocolate. Wow! Taste is a bit different. More citrus with less malt. Slightly thin. Still, this is the best escondidian dark ale I’ve had.
pantanap (3357) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pint pour at hopleaf... Pours a darker cola dark brownish black hue with less intense reddish brown wedges with a creamy light tan head that quickly recedes to a thin wispy film... Potent with a roasty piney citrus notes. Extremely hoppy but the roast really comes through. Nice... Flavors fall a bit short with semi-roasty notes to pair with the citrus and piney aspects. Body comes across as a touch too light. Adequate carbonation but the aroma left me quenching for more than what was actually delivered.
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
I also had this at Hop Leaf. Pours a black with a nice enough off white head. Nose is lots of citrus, faint pine and some onion. As it warms, some soy sauce comes out. Odds nose. On tasting, it is far better chilled than warm. Nice level of bitterness with some faint roast. as it warms it grows savory with soy sauce and earthy notes. Some onion also comes through as well. Initially a solid beer but it just turns on itself and becomes unlikable. Not inherently bad but, like darkness, not particularly good.
TheAlum (5701) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft on tap at Hopleaf (Chicago, IL). Another Surly rate. Top #2 Rater still going strong (Despite not living in Minny and only being there once). Pours a lively dark blackish pour, with some lighter brownish edges, dies to a frothy offwhite head, some light lacing. Darker but not opaque. Aromas are a decent touch of piney hops, some gentle deadened grapefruit, some roast and toast, just a gentle touch of sweetness but dry overall. As it warms, the aroma grows a bit more. Initial is lighter end of medium bodied, offering prickly dry hops up front. Grapefruit, some pine, and earth mix with decent roast, some toast. Some gentle cocoa comes in with that gentle hoppy yet malty "Darkness Jr" essence. Envelopes the palate well, offering healthy balance with an ode to the dry and hoppy, touches of roast, cocoa, smoothed out malts. Finish is dry, pine and grapefruit lingering. Nice, better than this year’s Darkness in my opinion.
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at hopleaf, pours dark brown with off white head. Aroma has lots of piney juicy citrusy, grapefruit, some chocolate roast to it. Flavors have big hop bitterness, earthy rye character, lots of citrus notes and pine, finish as toffee and chocolate notes. Body is a bit thin and hop and malt Flavors arent really dynamic but it’s a solid black ipa.