Black IPA follow-up tasting

August 26, 2010

I had a cause for celebration this afternoon/evening and popped open one of the Black IPA homebrews. Man this beer keeps getting better! I poured into a pint glass and then went off to do a few things while the beer warmed from fridge temp. About 15 minutes later the head was still 3/4 full and spongy as ever!

Nose is crisp with wet hops and toasted grains. Notes of lemon grass and caramel amid an undeniable and unsuppressible hop presence.

Taste is everything I could have asked for. Faintly tart and very bitter, with a nice mix of burnt caramel and charred wood, and a nice firm bitter finish.

The beer has about a medium body to it, but finishes quite dry and tacky, leaving you wanting another sip.

I am beyond thrilled with how this beer came out, and can’t wait to brew it again!

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Black IPA, batch #1

July 28, 2010

This homebrew concoction is a play off the new Cascadian Dark Ale category, but with a huge hop wallop. I don’t have specs for the recipe handy, but here’s the lowdown on tonight’s initial tasting (bottled last Monday). To set the stage, it’s an Imperial IPA brewed with dark grains and both Simcoe and Amarillo hops, and landed at 8.1% ABV.

Pours a very dark brown (need to tweak the color, maybe, else rename it) with a beautiful spongy tan head. Nose of hop cones (dry hopped with several ounces), molasses and charred wood. Beer is very bitter but quite smooth at the same time. Initial attack of citrusy hops and toasted malt, then flavors mellow to an almost lemony caramel flavor, finishing dry with a nice floral hop sustain. Highly drinkable, which could be a problem (this ain’t no session ale!). Mouthfeel is fairly silky going down with a nice dry tackiness to the palate afterwards, leaving you wanting more. Color is a deep, dark brown, and though clean-pouring, does not filter light.

I couldn’t be happier with this batch! Co-brewer Angelos is also wowed. We give a hearty nod to Dark Brewer as this was a bastardization of his quite amazing Simarillo IPA recipe. Enjoy a rather crappy shot I took from my iPhone. Note to self: you need a decent white set with good lighting, and a better camera.