Friday, February 17, 2012

Beer Review: Alaskan Black IPA

Reviewing the Black IPA from Alaskan Brewing Company.
Score: 86

10 oz tap pour served in a Anderson Valley Boonville snifter glass (which looks a lot like the Surly Darkness snifter I ever so much love) at the Brickhouse BBQ in Madison.

Appearance: Pitch black color with a layer of brown highlights atop the glass and faint ruby highlights in the middle. Served with a finger of foamy tan head that settles entirely. Average oily lacing. 4/5

Smell: Citrus hops and sticky caramel blended with roasted coffee and cocoa. Hints of unsweetened dark fruit. 3.5/5

Taste: Earthy hops, nondescript citrus and bitter dark roast coffee. A little charcoal and mellow brown sugar. Dry roasted creamy cocoa/chocolate flavors, akin to what you would expect in a milk stout or an Irish dry stout, peeks its head out as the beer warms. There is a light roastiness to this brew. Finish is a bitter and citrusy coffee flavor with a moderate linger. Becomes more milk stout-like mixed, with citrus, as it warms. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-minus carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a drying effect and slightly bitter finish. 4.5/5

Overall: A very solid tasting black IPA. I have not had very many beers within this relatively "new" style, but black ales are a hybrid style of beer that I am finding myself quite fond of given my love for stouts and IPA's.

Recommendation: If you like creamy Irish-style stouts and IPA's, or if you were a fan of the Black Sun Stout from Three Floyds, then this is a brew for you.

Pairings: Fudgy peanut butter brownies.

Cost: $6 for a 10 oz pour.

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