mikedR (1561) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - APR 1, 2014 chuktuk44 (5) - - FEB 2, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Similar to the Dark Knight but higher on the malt scale, tasty. Smooth finish with lasting notes of chocolated and roasted nuts, coriander, nice beer.
Very nice black IPA. Frothy pour (warning). Good hops, good malt, but what I like here is the slight sweetness, which makes this beer unusual and interesting. Recommended. Ibrew2or3 (8814) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 17, 2014
This 7.5% rendition pours up at AZ Strong Ale Fest 2014 with a deep mahogany colored body that supports a tan head of foam. The modest aroma offers up dark roasted malts, some thin caramel malts, some mild earthy spicy hops and then a good load of coffee. The taste comes across the palate on the thin side. I get dark roasted malts mixing with pine to spicy to mildly dank hoppiness. To midway it picks up a dark roasted coffee sensation. I’m really enjoying the various hops that are pine and earthy dank onion mixing with coffee. The thin leaning toward watery body kind of distracts from the entire flavor that’s going on here. FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 8, 2012
UPDATED: APR 7, 2012 Sampled 1702, Tucson; February 2012
The beer arrives from the tap with a 1.5-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head, that is very creamy textured and leaves a thick layered lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is simply deep black colored. This smells of dry, amply roasted coffee, hints of burnt plums, and a dark burnt nuttiness. I can’t get any hoppiness in the aroma at all, no matter how hard I smell.
The beer has a light carbonation to it and is lighter bodied, which is good for something called IPA. The flavor has a nutty, smooth roast finish, as well as a dry, lightly bitter roast character up front. There are some, light, herbal hops flavors here, some hints of green hop character, and perhaps some fruitiness that might be hop induced, but the hop character is really quite faint. A touch of vegetal black / burnt grain character is noticeable in the flavor and the finish is at times acrid and a bit sharp from a roast / burnt acidity. The roast character just hugely dominates the flavor profile; this is definitely a lot like a really roasted porter. There is perhaps some soft citrus character that peaks through, in fact there might be a fair amount of hop character here (though not at IPA levels) that would be noticeable if the roast character wasn’t so dominant.
Surprisingly, not as bad as I was expecting; it has some off flavors (vegetal & acrid), but not nearly as much as I was expecting. The biggest problem is that it has no real hop character to speak of (how is this an IPA again); you really have to dig to get any hop notes at all. Not as fun as I wanted it to be, as I was expecting a complete train-wreck and this doesn’t quite get there. A completely flop as an black IPA, but not a bad porter.