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Archive for the ‘Black IPA’ Category

Brewery –          S.W.B

Beer –                  Cohort (Double Belgian Black Rye PA)

Alcohol –           7.5%

Origin –              Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

Style –                Black IPA

Season –           I haven’t a bloody clue

Another fashionable Black IPA, this time the Summer Wine brewery have their say with a Black Rye PA (yes, very clever).

Whilst other Black IPA’s are closer to their IPA routes, and tend to make me feel like they’re an off spin of the classics, this beer tastes more like a mix between a strong IPA and a traditional London Porter; A less subtle and more rip your face off type beer.

Pours blacker than black and don’t bother holding it up to the light, you won’t see through it! And the head is brown and clings to the glass like it’ll cling to your tonsils!

Surprisingly light and airy on the nose for such a dark ale, with the good floral, passionfruit late hop notes characteristic of a strong IPA.

Complex is a clear understatement when describing this ale. You’ve got your thick chocolate coffee flavours as a backbone, overlaid with citrusy, tropical fruit notes. The bitterness of an IPA but the thickness of a Porter.

It’s a bit off-putting and unusual to begin with as it assaults your taste buds but give it time and you will begin to understand and appreciate its individuality. Just don’t leave it too long as at 7.5% you may end up a bit worse for wear.

Not one for the traditionalists but I don’t think SWB will really care, as they’re all about pushing the boundaries, ‘tearing up the rule book’ as they put it.

A great example of just what can be done and a real pace setter when it comes to beer evolution. 

 

 

 

 

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Brewery –           Hardknott

Beer –                  Code Black

Alcohol –           5.8%

Origin –               Millom, Cumbria

Style –                 Black IPA

Season –            Autumn

Black IPA’s seem to be the fashion statement of 2012! Hardknott, Thornbridge, BlueBall, Moor, Stone, Rogue are all at it, but Hardknott recognise the fad aspect of it and flaunt it in their own hilariously honest way.

Pitch Black and Silky; this ale is sexy! and to top it off, a frothy, foamy, and clinging head.

Chocolatey and Hoppy at the same time, the nose is strong, complex, and enticing.

I think you can class this as Jaipur’s Dark Side! Peach Passionfruit flavours are contrasted by toasted bbq smokiness, making this ale exciting, unusual and distinct.

The finish is buttery with further toasted notes and has an underlying bitter-sweetness.

At 5.8% this ale is dangerously drinkable, exciting, intense, and packed full of flavour. I cannot recommend you try this enough.

 

 

 

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Brewery –          Blueball Brewery

Beer –                  Black Betty

Alcohol –           7.2%

Origin –               Runcorn, Cheshire

Style –                 Black IPA

Season –             Summer

It was my first trip to Kash Bar, Chester over the weekend after finding out that it is child friendly hoorah!

Stepped up to the bar and asked for a pint of Black Betty… didn’t realise the strength of it! Usually beers of this strength are served in half measures but like the Blueball beers, there’s no messing around! A pint you ask… then a pint you’ll get!

This is rich and smokey brown black ale, interestingly highly carbonated with a frothy cappuccino head, and served a beautifully sculpted Kash Challis.

Dark Chocolate, Smokey with hints of Coffee on the nose, and laced with deep dark fruits. The strong alcohol content is apparent in its aroma; sweet and punchy.

The mouthfeel is smooth but like all the Blueball beers I’ve tried thus far there is an appealing tanginess to the brew giving it a modern and vibrant feel. It coats the tongue, thick and silky but this increases the time the beer is on the tongue, intensifying the flavours; longer, and deeper.

The coffee and dark chocolate on the nose give way to liquorice and blackcurrant flavours with the solid strong alcohol content apparent throughout, and leads to a lingering and clinging sweet finish.

This beer is packed full of flavour; it’s exciting, gripping, thoroughly satisfying, and is scarily drinkable and sinkable at that ABV!

 

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