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Emelisse Black IPA - Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Not Rated.
Emelisse Black IPAEmelisse Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

33 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 33
Hads: 84
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 17.94%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse visit their website

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: metter98 on 10-02-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 84
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (close to near black) in color and has a slight amount of bitterness. It poured with a quarter finger high creamy tan head that died down, leaving a film of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass..
S: There are aromas of chocolate and roasted malts in the nose along with hints of citrus and pine resin hops.
T: The overall taste is very similar to the smell with flavors of roasted malts and notes of chocolate and hints of licorice. The hops contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with some crispness and a moderate amount of carbonation. There is dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is rather interesting for the style because its smoothness and roasted, chocolaty flavors share some similarities with a porter. It is rather easy to drink and has no traces of alcohol in the smell or taste.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a light black color ale with a medium size foamy head with average retention and some light lacing. Aroma of stale earthy hops with light dry roasted malt is not very good. Taste is also dominated by stale hops with unrefined grainy notes and light dry bitter finish. Body is a bit thin with good carbonation. Definitely below par for the style IMHO.

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Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a 3 finger, brown head of bubbly foam. It left sheets of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine and roasted malt.

T - Good roasted malt flavor with some sweet toffee and a bitter piney bite.

M - Crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied black IPA. Lots of sediment.

O - This is a very good black IPA. I need to try more from Emelisse.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 3/2015. Pours hazy very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, floral, grass, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Black IPA. All around good balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap at Cafe de Pass in Den Haag. On to the beer:

The black color is emphasized in the glass. A creamy inch of head sits on top and is long lasting, and it leaves some creamy lace around the glass. The aroma of tea leaves and kiss of roasted malt demonstrates the marriage of a black canvas of malt and aggressive colors of hops.

It's intense and tasty, which shows that Emelisse has nailed this American style of beer. A kiss of fudge and brownies take the first hit, and from there it's the taste of burned hops and succulent tea leaves. Bitter and sweet at the same time, not overkill in either direction. An added bonus is the medium-full and smooth mouthfeel, which gives the beer a smooth landing.

I usually prefer my dark ales and hoppy ales in seperate glasses. That said, Emelisse has found the trick to fuse the two and make a very tasty result which I would re-order again.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours almost pitch black, just some faint brown tinges when holding the glass towards the light. Rich two finger light beige head, decent retention.
IPA smell up front, with pine and citrus hops, also biscuits and caramel, licorice, but very low dark malts. Weird (comparing to other reviews) but mine packed more IPA than porter notes, at least in the smell.
Hops dominate the taste too. Sweet citrus (tangerine, oranges) start, even with tropical hints, some pineapple, granted, on top of some clearer dark malts, with some nice roasty (even a bit smoked) notes, some coffee and cocoa powder, stronger in the aftertaste. Dark spices and vanilla, touch of licorice. Green piney hops towards the finish, with a big bitterness.
Medium body and bitterness. Finish is very bitter from the hops and the growing roastiness. Aftertaste of hops and a bit of charcoal.
Big tasty hops, nice dark malty backbone, maybe a bit too rough and bitter, but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Dark chestnut brown. Loose bubble structure. Low retention and lace.

S – Crispy booze, char, and a bright herbal hop. Honey sweetness. Hazelnuts.

T – Booze slips in early and hangs on throughout the profile. Soft char throughout, with a coffee, cocoa and lightly burnt toast.

M – Medium light body. Boozy-roast finish.

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Photo of Tone
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 2/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, yeast, alcohol, hint of chocolate, hint of oatmeal, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight caramel malt, hops, yeast, slight pale malt, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and complexity.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a very dark brown appearing nearly black with russet tones at the edges in the glass. Half finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Light aroma of toasted malt and chocolate, slightly nutty, reminiscent of a porter. Flavor of subdued toasted malt, light fruits, chocolate, finishes with dark malt and light bittering hops. Nice creamy body. Not a typical black IPA, there is little herbal hop presence here, but somewhat more bittering hops than a porter. Nice fairly complex flavor. It may not be strictly in style, but it is very enjoyable and I will buy again.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, label says best before end 06/2013, Lot A. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours very dark brown with a small tan head that didn't stick around for long. There's a small amount of lacing left behind on the glass. The brew smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and some light citrusy hops. It tastes like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, citrusy hops, coffee and some licorice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good beer overall, even though I think it's more of a hoppy porter than a black IPA (not that I'm complaining). The hops aren't overpowering, but there's still enough hops to make this interesting. Even though it was $4.99 a bottle, I think it's worth a try.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a large, lasting light tan head.
Nose shows toasty and bready malt, caramel, figs, sultanas and some resinous, piny hops.
Bittersweet flavours, some bready malt, lots of piny and resinous hops along with a bit of hot booze. Finishes with an aggressive bitterness.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, pine like hops and a small caramel like roast. In the taste, pine hops with a caramel and chocolate like roast. A small hop bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine hop in the aftertaste. Nice hop presence with a small roast, quite drinkable.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Raspberry black with off-white speckles and film.
Blackberry, ash, orange marmalade and maybe fig.
Char, oily coffee, dates and red currants, then piles of resin and orange rind hops. Brown sugar as it warms.
Roasty bite to finish and ashy, bitter linger.
Medium, chewy, some fizz.

Decent hop presence. Gooey but cuts dry. Wouldn't guess 8%. Not huge on aroma hops but gets the job done.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the local liquor store down the road. Nice to see these guys become available so close to home.

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a one finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a thin wisp and ring. Clear black body with lower levesl of carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Light roasted notes with chocolate as well, much like a porter, then some piney and floral hops. Not quite bold enough to be really interesting, unfortunately. The porter elements are more prevalent than the IPA as well.

TASTE: This is much more like a bitter porter than a hoppy black ale. Porter comes first with roasted notes and some dark chocolate flavors. Cocoa powder as well. Very bitter after the swallow with more dark chocolate, cocoa powder, some bitter floral hops and light lemon notes. A bold and lingering hop bitter aftertaste. This is almost just bitter without any complex flavors, and it's missing some of the standart IPA components. Still, this is a tasty beer.

PALATE: Medium body and modest carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate with enough weight, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Good feel here.

OVERALL: This was a good beer for sure, but it was more of a bitter porter than a hoppy black ale. I'd expect to find more of the classic IPA flavors, but that didn't happen. That said, this was enjoyable and I wouldn't turn it down. Would be nice to find this on tap somewhere as well.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2014, so it's a bit out of date. Hopefully still in good condition. Acquired a while back from Trembling Madness in York. The label doesn't give much away.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears pitch black in the glass. Produces a decent head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of fruity hops with hints of grapefruit, peel, citrus, mild pine, roasted malt, subtle burnt grain, molasses, earthy yeast and stewed hops. A twinge of butteriness in the background along with some warming booze. Not too bad.

Tastes of intense hops and dark malt, with a powerful bitter finish. Notes of pine resin, dank weed, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, roasted malt, burnt grain, coffee, molasses, earthy yeast and stewed hops. A touch of alcohol in the background. Well-attenuated, followed by a vigous, hop-driven bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with spritzy carbonation and good body. Hop oils stimulate the palate. Pretty astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of bitter aromatic hops, pine, roasted malt and earthy yeast.

Tasty - a big beer with a big character. Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour are seriously hoppy and stuffed with dark malt notes. Bitter and boozy. Nice body. Goes down OK; I would wish for the hops to be slightly better defined but the bottle age probably influences that. If you're a fan of black IPAs then this is worth checking out.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Chez Clem's, and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : dark brown color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : roasted malt and licorice aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : bitter chocolate and coffee with a malty bitter finish.
Overall : a nice beer in the style Black IPA.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown, almost black beer with a creamy head that stick to the glass.

Smell is malty with some light roasted notes. There is the fruity, citric hop nose. It gives the beer a green, tangerine and lychee smell. Very nice, although not very bold or aggresive.

Taste is nicely balanced between the light roasted taste and the hop. The bitterness is high, but average for an IPA. When swallowed the beer leaves a distinct bold bitterness, characteristic for US hops. There is a tangerine and lemony taste. The malt adds a mild roasted taste which is far from the level of a porter.
Although not as aggresive or bold as the other black IPAs I had, this is a very good example of the style.

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Photo of Cresant
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 33 cL brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Best before end: 06 13 lot A. The body was a muddy dark brown with reddish highlights when held up to the light. The khaki head was small.

The smell was metallic and nutty like a porter. Fresh baked soda bread.

The taste was roasted char, light but lingering bitterness. Underlying fruitiness. Again, more like a porter than an IPA. Well masked alcohol.

The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth. Modest carbonation and rather dense. Tasted pretty good but the letters I. P. A. should not be used to describe this one.

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Photo of Brabander
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer in a kind of trade with Mark, Mar02x. Mark is really fond of Emelisse beers and he hopes i am getting the same feeling. With this beer Emelisse made a good one!

Poured in my Struise glass this beer looks very nice. A very deep darkbrown/red fluid with a three to four finger head. Some lacing.

Smell of young coffee but i think it's more the burned malts i am smelling together with some nice boozyness.

Taste is good, very drinkable. The bozyness comes back in the taste but in a very pleasant way. Not much carbonation in the mouth.

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4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. ½ Pint glass. Enjoyed on dec´11. Black color. Beige,small size bubbled, crown. Good retention & spotty sides. Hints of chocolate, pine, bitter hops & toasted malts to the nose. Flavors as expected from the aromas. Pleasant malty palate despite sharp bitterness. Full body, medium carbonation. Subtle coffee finish. Resiny aftertaste.

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Photo of Ralphs66
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a really interesting beer. And, I enjoyed it very much. But it is not an IPA. The hops component is very muted; so much so that this beer should probably be classified as a porter. The malt and creaminess are very pronounced. Thick, fruity, chocolatey...all there and all good. This is my second offering from this brewery and I've been impressed. I hope I can have the chance to try some more.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Really dark brown, nearly black pour with nice one finger caramel colored head with good retention and great lacing. Complex nose that starts off with a lot of roasted malt, but quickly opens up to nice resiny, piney hops with hints of caramel and chocolate. The taste is complex as well but very nicely balanced. Lots of burnt toast and coffee that plays nicely with the piney, resiny, slightly citrusy hops. Also getting hints of dark chocolate and cocoa. The mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and oily, with a great bittersweet finish. I'm a huge Black IPA guy and this is definitely a standout in the style. Not quite in the Sublimely category, but very close...

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in the Netherlands in January 2012.

Black with some brown color on the edges. Very little head on top of it. The little head it has, it is brown in color. The aroma is dominated by grilled bread. Its the only thing I notice in the nose. Taste is very intense compared to the aroma. Well balanced. It starts with chocolate and then the bitterness takes all the place. Nice taste. Dry finish. Medium body. The alcohol is well hidden.

A nice black IPA that could also be a stout... only lacks in the body for a stout.

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Photo of janubio
2.62/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown colour, with a brown head that does not last. Almost no lace. Is it me, or it smells as indian ink?, Well, first impression passes, there's resine, dark fruits and caramel. Too much carbonation. Taste of resines, caramel and dark fruits. Not my favourite Emmelisse.

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Black with a large tan head that left a heavy lace on the glass
S-roasted malt with some hops and sweet chocalate notes
T- burnt roasted malt with a bitter hop aftertaste and a hoppy finish that slowly fades
M-light body with a creamy feel
O-burnt roasted taste seems to be highlighted by a hoppy aftertaste and a hop finish. Could smell chocalate but never found it in the taste

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Emelisse Black IPA from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
85 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.