Under Pressure Brewing Company
When Black India Pale Ales first appeared I found the oxymoron of it all appalling but beers like Under Pressure Brewing Company's Black IPA (6.3% alcohol by volume, 118 International Bittering Units) eroded my disdain. My crowler was packaged 6 days ago and is fresh. The pour releases a blend of toasty dark malts and hops, medium chocolate and medium low coffee. The hop medium aromas offer berries, tropical fruit, melon, and stone fruit. Dark malt aromas are moderate with traces of toast and mostly chocolate with some malt underneath. The hop aromas bounce around between the different malt nuances. The beer is nearly opaque brown but has some bright spots around the edges. There is no haze or murkiness. The pour produces a 3” tan cap with good retention. A big malt presence starts the flavors and then the hop bitterness creeps in, smoothed out by medium malt flavor. The hop bitterness and hop flavors accent dried fruit flavors and a light taste of nuts. The hop bitterness is medium high and there is nothing acrid or harsh. The flavors are layered and complex. The roast notes are not intense, the malt flavors are well developed with traces of coffee peaking through the bitter in the long lingering finish. The level of bitter is perfect. There is nothing ashy or burnt and malt and hops harmonize rather than clash. The beer starts mildly sweet but the sweet works with the hop bitter and flavor. It dries a little in the finish. Medium carbonation lightens a medium plus body. The beer is smooth with no astringency from either the malt or the hops. With the balance of bitterness and malt this well made beer with excellent malt development is definitely not a porter. If you drink your coffee strong and black you are going to love this beer and will find it very drinkable and repeatable. I rate it 94.
Go to Black IPA Reviews for an introduction to the style, food pairing information, glassware recommendations and links to reviews of similar beer