wmubronco1992 (709) - Coldwater, Michigan, USA - AUG 20, 2011
Bottle. Pours black with a large dark tan head. Big piney hop aroma. Flavor of burnt pine. Medium to thick palate. Big dry bitter finish. Wow this is good stuff. Hats off to Rodney, the originator of this fanstastic black IPA. The only downside of this is that I only have one more bottle. Sam Adams should reward this homebrewer and add this to its imperial series. ekoerper (599) - Iowa, USA - AUG 13, 2011
Aroma: lots of roast, chocolate, coffee, also plenty of floral and spicy hop aromatics. Pours black, basically opaque, with a thick and creamy tan head, great retention and lots of thick lacing. Big roasty and chocolate flavor, strong bitterness both from the hops and roast, coffee and some caramel sweetness. Citrusy and spicy hops meld fairly well with the dark malts, and don’t leave a bitter aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation, smooth on the palate. Drake (13726) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 6, 2011
12 ounce bottle opened 4/11/11. Pours an opaque dark brown color with a large frothy tan head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, bitter leafy hops. The taste is bitter leafy, earthy, resiny hops with a roasted malt finish. Medium bodied. oteyj (2139) - New Hampshire, USA - AUG 6, 2011
Black pour with a frothy tan head. Lots of resinous pine and citrus with hints of chocolate roast, earth, and a bit of oxidation. The hop character is pretty tasty, but there are a few flaws. Medium body with lively carbonation. adam42381 (386) - Fort Myers, Florida, USA - AUG 5, 2011
Poured from an 12 ounce bottle into a chalice.
Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown, almost black, with a 2 finger creamy light tan head consisting of very fine carbonation bubbles. Excellent head retention and perfect lacing. I don’t see how it could look any better.
Smell: Piney hops with a touch of citrus and a hint of malt in the background.
Taste: Pine and sweat cream-like malt up front followed by toasted malt the middle before ending with lemon zest and burnt toast at the finish. Aftertaste is a mix of burnt toast and hoppy bitterness. Very well-balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a fairly high amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth.
Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. I could see myself drinking several of these in one sitting. The slightly elevated ABV% is well-masked.
Overall: Excellent beer overall. While I admit I haven’t had more than a handful of American Black Ales, this one is the best I’ve had. This is easily one of the best Sam Adams products I’ve tasted and think they could do well by releasing this full-time. If you can still find one, give it a shot.
theOptimator (385) - Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 4, 2011
Aroma is heavy pine resin grapefruit hops as well as roast. Appearance is dark brown almost black with small tan head. Poured slowly, you can tell this will be a thick beer. Taste is very malt forward. Hops pine grapefruit aroma just behind. Some nuttiness. Hops and roast bitterness comes in just before this becomes cloying. Roast and resin bitterness linger nicely. Palate is full. Flavors dont come together quite as well as I would like and it falls a little flat. Overall a nice beer, but lacking something needed to take it to the next level. PorterPounder (7961) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JUL 30, 2011
Denver, Co. - Tower Liquors - 12 oz bottle - part of the Longshot Homebrew mixer six pack. Jet black, viscous pour, light khaki colored head. Faint spruce-like aroma with some traces of licorice. Flavor is pleasantly bitter with some strong citrus notes, some licorice, a bit of brown sugar. Full bodied and rib sticking. Mouthfeel is nice and sticky. Best of the three in the six pack. blankboy (7689) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 27, 2011
My bottle [12oz] shared with garthicus & HogTownHarry. Pours black with a large lasting frothy light-brown head. Aroma: Yep, that smells like a Black IPA, with toasted dark malt, resiny leafy hops and coffee. Flavour of roasted malt, light leafy hops, a hint of coffee and an average bitter finish. Average to medium bodied. Pretty good. bigrond (1499) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 27, 2011
This was great. Dark pour, deep flavor and an really nice complex palate. Hops, malt, everything....its all in there. HogTownHarry (6823) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUL 21, 2011
12oz bottle shared by blankboy with me and garthicus. Deep ruby-brown pour, minimal off-white frothy head. Black IPA aroma - light roast, resin hops. Taste same. Average body, mild carbonation, surprisingly bitter finish.