TheAlum (6146) - 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.
gyllenbock (5564) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - MAY 4, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sample at CBC 2015.
Black with a small tan head. Aroma and taste of roasted malt, light licorice, chocolate, coffee and some citrus. Medium bitter and with a medium body.
Skyview (5283) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - OCT 22, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draught during Darkness Day 2011 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Pours an opaque dark brown colored brew with a thick and creamy beige head that slowly dissipates and leaves behind some excellent lacing. Aroma of spicy and piney hops, a hint of black malt and a touch of tangerine. Taste is medium bodied, mild black ale character with flavors of light tangerine, grapefruit zest and roasted dark malt. Finish has a mild bitterness, soft palette with some roasted black malt aftertaste. An easy drinking Black Ale with a short lived mild bitterness.
JohnnyJ (4788) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 17, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft. Cloudy brown pour, with a light tan head. Roasted malt, light ash, dry cocoa powder, citrus, moderate hops, and slight pine. Ok, for a "Black IPA" I wish it had more hops.
badgerben (4564) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 9, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Minnesota Winterfest 2013. Black color with a small head. Piney hop and chocolate malt aroma. Piney flavor. Fairly thin body.
drewbeerme (3895) - 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.
Nuffield (3761) - 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)
HonkeyBra (3655) - 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.
CanIHave4Beers (3534) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - NOV 2, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draught at Darkness Day
Pours bascially black with a small head and good lace.
The aroma is quite pungently wonderful featuring lots and lots of dank and piney hops.
The flavor is bitter with some spicy and piney hops right up front. The hoppiness fades about mid palate but keeps some nice citrus and allows some of the roast to shine. There really isn’t a lot of competition between roasty bitterness as most of that roastiness is very subdued giving the beer a more lightly toasted character, which works well here.
The palate is pretty gosh darned thin, I was surprised to see that this had 5% abv, I would have guessed it a bit lower in gravity, but it is highly drinkable and doesn’t ever come across as watery really.
jrallen34 (3488) - 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