TheBeerGod (6233) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - FEB 1, 2013
Bottle. Very dark brown pour with a dense, foamy brown head. Aroma is soft roasted malt, light citrus and piney hops and dark chocolate. Taste is more roasted malt, dark chocolate, citrus fruit, pine and floral hops. Body is medium with a moderate, dense carbonation. Light bitterness lingering throughout. Finishes with more roasted malt, dark chocolate, pine resin, citrus notes and floral hops. DocLock (10743) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 26, 2013
Draft at Railroad Street. Poured hazy black with tan head. Nose was roasty patent malt, resiny hops. Tasted rich, hoppy, with a solid roasty black patent malt component, nicely balanced hops, and some cacao and blackberry notes late. thedm (6223) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 30, 2012
This bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a extremely large sized head of cascading foam fine to medium sized dark tan colored bubbles that were and left behind a softly carbonated semi-transparent dark brown colored body and a thick foamy lacing. The aroma was mild malt. The mouth feel was tingly at the start and at the finish with a mellow biting hoppy black malt aftertaste. The flavor contained notes of mild biting hops black malt and dark malt. A decent one that I would consider buying again. GT (10000) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 10, 2012
651mL from Norms. Pours clear brown :/ with a medium lighter tan head. Soapy, delicate lace. Nose is lemon scented detergent, cleaning product, toast. Taste is quite bitter but astringently so... Like sucking on tree bark. Oversteeped tea character. Hard to enjoy. Very harsh. Very soapy and chemical feeling. dogfishho (669) - Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2012
On cask @ beer authority. Pours thick and creamy with a huge cappuccino colored head. Very dark. The aroma is strange. Filled with hops and some sweetness but Parmesan cheese? Wtf? Anyway on tha palate it’s nicely balanced but uninteresting. Pretty decent.
4thmedbn (2) - Sanford, Maine, USA - OCT 23, 2012 does not count
Not normally huge on Black IPA, but this one exceeded my expectations. I usually feel I’m being robbed of some hoppiness when I drink one, but this one had decent piney hop presence, with firm bitterness. Roast was still on the light side, as is right for a BIPA. Dark in the glass, minimal lacing. High drinkability, even if not the most incredible beer you ever had. Still worth a shot, for sure. Travlr (25269) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - AUG 26, 2012
UPDATED: MAR 15, 2013 Bottle. Almost black, small tan head. Aroma of coffee. Taste is coffee grounds, pine. 3.3
Second try, also bottled. Black color, large fluffy brown head with good retention. Nice pine and roasty aroma. Tasty roast coffe, bitter finish. Tmoney99 (14626) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 23, 2012
Bottle shared by Beerpig317. Poured black with an average frothy light brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted resin hop aroma. Medium body with a dry slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy dark bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration. This is a complex beer.
b3shine (8940) - Indiana, USA - AUG 21, 2012
Bomber to taster (thanks Bunker). Looks decent; a dull black with beige lacing. Smells like a mix of hops, malt, and chocolate. Tastes the same with an average (at best) mouthfeel. Meh. BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 28, 2012
A three-way vertical between Lakefront IBA (India-Style Black Ale), Three Heads Skunk Black IPA, and Hoppin Frog Hop Heathen Imperial Black Ale.
Bottle and served in one of my numerous Duvel snifters: Appearance: All three have basically the same color, very deep brown nearly opaque. The difference is head retention with the Three Heads maintaining a fluffy head and producing the best lacework (5). The Lakefront had a slight better head and spotty lace (3) versus the Hop Hopping Frog which left almost no lace on the glassware (2).
The nose: Resiny, bile, oniony hops with some pale chocolate and roast for the Lakefront. Juicy, grassy, piney and a tad faint hop with a dusty roasted malt note for the Skunk. The Hop Heathen is most unique for sure with a grapefruity, piney and smoky earthy malt vapour. Almost meaty and oh so earthy. I love the aroma of the Hopping Frog (9), while the Three Heads is tame and weak but not offensive (7) and the Lakefront has the oniony, garlic, and catty overtones I do not care much for (5).
The taste profiles: The taste profiles: We start with the Hop Heathen this time and I get quite a bit of heavy resin, pine sap, and some of the catty high alpha notes that were much more noticeable on the aroma of the Lakefront. There is a nice roasted and slight smoked, leathery, tobacco, liquorice undertones as well for the Hoppin Frog. It is complex for the genre, perhaps too much so. (7). The Skunk has more a basic fruity, piney, and cardboardy taste. Much like the aroma this beer is tame and weak compared to the other two. Even the finish is far too short (5). The Lakefront has a nice bitterness but is still not quite as aggressive as I would like, a bit too malty (but not sweet). Coffee and earth are pronounced with this beer. (6)
Mouth feel/Palate: Start with the Three Heads Shunk this time: Lively enough, too much (which explains the lasting head), over carbonated, thin, ashy, short. Not all that good (2) The HFHHIBA (haha) is aggressive, biting, a tad boozy, and a tad medicinal. This one suffers from being the one that is a tad under-carbonated. (3). Then there is the Lakefront IBA which a bit thin and a bit over carbonated as well. There is a minerally and metallic quality about this I found a bit off-putting (2). Wow, NONE OF THESE are clean nor properly carbonated, either over or under. All have major flaws on the palate IMO. <insert sad face emotion here>:
Final Verdict: None of the beers are something I would buy again. Each failed to meet expectations. Each are classic examples of when a brewer attempts the "next big thing" without a clue on what they are doing. (Remind me not to but a Berliner Weiss from any of these three breweries.). Off to find a good beer and dump the remainder of these bomber. such a waste of my time and monies.