Blakkr - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BlakkrBlakkr

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

957 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 957
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 77
Gots: 158 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  9.99% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stvanderwoude on 02-15-2014

This double black as night IPA is too massive for just one brewery's efforts. BLAKKR took the trinity of Real Ale Brewing Co, Surly Brewing Co, & Three Floyds Brewing Co, to actualize this crushing ale. Cheers.

This is the 16oz canned Surly version.
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Ratings: 957 | Reviews: 127
Photo of Mr_Bongard
5/5  rDev +18.5%

My favorite ipa

Photo of Tedster
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer -- love it '

Photo of jwerner23
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is very good beer from three very good breweries. I tried a can cold and tried one warm. Cold it is a good beer but at room temp this beer shines. You get more flavor at room temp and I think that is the way to drink it, let it warm up a little bit and the flavors meld a lot better. Either way its a good beer but so good letting it breathe and warm up a bit.

Photo of Awolter
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can dated 3/30 picked up in Minnesota. Delicious and surprisingly quite citrusy.

Photo of joiceed
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Phenomenal Beer. Despite its bold 10 % ABV, it is extremely drinkable. Dangerously so. It's appearance is nearly as black as a Guinness with a slight hue of red cedar on the edges. It develops a nice head with a tan coloration. It smells of citrus: orange, apricots, and even suggests the slight sour of pomegranate. The taste is a bouquet of deep plum, caramelized apricots, oranges and even hints of a very smooth red wine soaked tobacco. Wonderfully flavorful in the realms of sweetness without tasting sweet. This is due to its excellent hop character. As a Double IPA should, it finishes with the tingling bitterness of fresh hops. Tangy and tongue twisting the hop profile is very noticeable. The only drawback to this beer that I can conjure is that I think it could have a little more zing with regards to the hop. Nonetheless, absolutely smooth. Its dangerous because it's extremely delicious and easy to drink, but also this beer will be quick to knock you on your ass!

Photo of B1gears
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a beautiful dark brown almost opaque color. 2-3 fingers of tan head, which lasts long and leaves a nice lace.

S - Hop aroma is present and on the piney side.

T - Initial taste is of charred wood and chocolate, replaced quickly by licorice on the back of the tongue, and then a vague pineapple taste. It's really surprising that it's so high in alcohol content.

M - Good mouth feel. Carbonation is a bit more than I'm used in a dark ale. Not a bad thing!

This a beautifully balanced and delicious beer. Surly does it again (with help).

Photo of paladinjoe
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First of all, I'm not understanding the low ratings I'm seeing on this one, this beer is AWESOME! I've only had two of what we call Black IPAs, and I love both of them! For some reason, this style isn't getting a whole lot of love.

In a lot of ways, this beer is very similar to Surly's Abrasive Ale, which is a 100 beer rated beer, hence, my lack of understanding for the low ratings. With all said, it's basically Abrasive Ale, with some roastiness to it, and a slight hint of stout qualities... just very very good. I know there's a Surly Overrated IPA, I'd call this Surly's UNDERrated IPA!

Photo of CraigP83
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep black with a tan head, about what I expected for this style. Smell is.....MANGO and pineapple, wow I wasnt expecting that. Flavor is malty beer with citrus and pine, fucking fantastic!

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Have had this on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl and from a can.
L: Pours black under a 3” frothy, sticky tan foam collar that provides prominent lace.
S: The nose is richer on tap than from the canned version. The tap version has mild espresso, light roast over cocoa and a light hop accent.
T: Its very soft in the mouth with layers of roast, coffee, cocoa, and toasted bread, with a big bitter finish woven from dark roasted grains and a moderate hop addition. The beer has distinguishable layers of both malt and bitterness.
F: Very creamy, medium to medium full body, medium carbonation, very soft.
O: This is an interesting complex beer with layers of flavor. It is not as bitter as some of this brewer’s brands.

Photo of yokken
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Canned on 2/17/14.

TL;DR: Picked this up expecting another decent Surly brew/collab. Was blown away.

Appearance: Poured into an Ikea oversized wine glass, whatever you call 'em. Very dark chocolatey color coming out, but black in the glass except for around the edges where it looks more brown. Not thick like a RIS; around the same thickness of a nice juicy DIPA. About an inch of fluffy head that receded over 5 minutes or so. Leaves great lacing on the glass if you drink it at a consistent rate.

Smell: Wonderful. Huge on the hops, with very loud tropical notes and a touch of pine. Loving the roasted malt and subtle chocolate overtones. I knew it was going to be good the second I got a whiff. I didn't take too much time to pick out every ingredient, because I was eager to get a sip as soon as possible.

Taste: BOOM. They nailed this. A nice bitter bite right off the bat, quickly followed by a punchy tropical hoppy explosion. The alcohol is very well concealed; if this wasn't such a big tasting beer, you could easily get yourself in trouble with this bad boy. The bitterness lingers from drink to drink, but as the hops fade away, a wonderful roasted chocolate taste settles in. It doesn't stay around for too long, but it adds a whole 'nother layer to the complexity. This is definitely not just another black ale/IPA. I won't claim to taste everything in the beer, but what I do taste is extremely pleasing to my palate. I'm a huge IPA/DIPA lover, and words cannot express how much I like the flavor profile of this brew.

Mouthfeel: Too good. I'm a fan of juicy/oily and dry IPAs alike, but this seems to combine the strengths of milky porter/stout with those of a moderately dry IPA. It doesn't dry out my tongue, but it doesn't leave it feeling like I just drank olive oil. It's unbelievably creamy, reminding me a lot of a milk stout, but everything else about this beer screams IPA. Just the right amount of carbonation - I can feel the bubbles tickling my tongue. It's smooth but not slick like a thick stout that sometimes make you feel like you're drinking motor oil. I won't go so far as to say refreshing, but it's definitely got a crispness to it that doesn't leave me feeling as full as after drinking a thick RIS.

Overall: I love this beer. I'm glad I bought 2 4-packs, because if I hadn't, I'd be running RIGHT NOW to go buy more before it's gone. The bite at the beginning followed by the tropical punch in the face characteristic of big IPAs was already enough to have my attention. But the roasted aftertaste with the chocolate undertones was like mixing an amazing stout with an amazing IPA, leaving you with the best of both worlds. The creamy mouthfeel is possibly the best part, and really helps to smooth out this otherwise huge brew.

This brew seems to be pretty widely available (for now), but I highly recommend it to anyone who likes IPAs. It's got everything characteristic of a great IPA, but throws in a few roasted notes to leave you with a wonderful rich flavor that makes you long for another sip. It's spendy, but very worth the asking price. I hope they brew this again, because it's WAY too good. Surly/Three Floyd's have done it again. Honorable mention to Real Ale, which I've never heard of, but if this brew is any indication of their quality, I'll have to keep an eye out.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have another.

Photo of dmgeng
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I made a trade for this annual Surly release and I was really not let down!

A - Pours a beautiful dark brown color. Off white colored head with fine bubbles and great lacing.

S - The smell is of citrusy hops along with pine and herbal tones. Mixed together with some bakers cocoa, medium roasted coffee, sweet malt, and roast. Smells just as you would expect this beer to and it's great.

T - It hits the tongue with a sweet malt character that is ushered by the citrus, pine, and herbal hop character from the nose. In the middle there is some caramel to compliment the hop flavors that I really enjoy. On the backside there is more of the coffee, dark chocolate, and roast similar to an export stout. Also on the end is a resin fueled hop bitterness that sits perfectly with sweeter porter flavors from the middle.
.
M - Moderate mouth-feel. Moderate carbonation. The mouth-feel is the best I've had for a BIPA and basically sits like a really good DIPA but has that bitterness from the roast to add balance.

Overall, this is an amazing black IPA. I would definitely seek it out next year. This is my new favorite BIPA and if it had a more amp'd up hop flavor it would be one of my favorite beers of all time. The hops are good but could definitely be stronger. I also couldn't drink more than a few due to the palate wrecking nature of an Imperial Black IPA. I would strongly recommend this beer if you like DIPAs and robust stouts.

Glass- Imperial Nonic

Photo of facundoCNB
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A dark black pour with 2 fingers of dark brown head which dissipated slowly and left behind copious amounts of sticky thick lacing. Smells fantastic.. Lots of pine/grapefruit, subtle charred notes of roasted grains and dark chocolate.
The flavor is just as intense with soapy resinous bitterness up front, chocolate follows and is killed off completely by grapefruit citrus wall of hops. This is a nice medium to full bodies roasty, super bitter beer with medium carbonation. Definitely lives up to the name, and the mental hype I have it as soon as I heard they were doing a black metal collab. This is insanely good and tops Wookey jack as my favorite black ipa.

Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

For this purposes of this review, I'm including my side-by-side notes for both the Three Floyds and Surly Blakkr iterations: half a twenty-two-ounce bomber in a Junkyard sixteen-ounce tulip, and half a sixteen-ounce can in a twelve-ounce Florida Beer IPA tulip.

Immediately, the Three Floyds smells a lot maltier, more chocolatey and burnt-toffee, and pours with a much more robust, bubbling, khaki-colored head. The Surly, meanwhile, boasts some authentically-detectable hop elements on the nose—a pleasant olfactory pulse for a beer as black as this (or, these two, more appropriately). Indeed, the more you snuff, the more the Surly measures: pine notes, some pretty intense citrus, surrounded with merely a hint of dark sugars and earthy petrichor.

The Surly is surprisingly dry, too, with light hop-candy notes and a pleasant hop-fused tartness that floats along the mellow, rich, smoldering-malt smoothness. In a lot of ways, the Surly is what I might have expected from the Three Floyds.

The Three Floyds, on the other hand, is much stouter: where the Surly is sort of a Black IPA suprême, the iteration from Munster, IN, leans much more heavily towards the “hoppy stout” spectrum. It's thicker; it expresses its abv much more strongly in the nose, especially, as well the flavor-profile; it billows with much more head, and lingers with much more substantial lacing; and its more deeply rich in its malt assertion. Cacao-forward, toffee'd, slightly smokey (almost ashy, in fact), and more bitter-hoppy than anything else, this is still a very good beer—clean for its heft, well-bodied and -balanced, and hoppy, if more narrowly so than the Surly—it nevertheless just feels less successful than the version of this collaboration brewed up in Minnesota.

Even though I do like Surly a lot, the results of this comparison were a definite shock to me—and it really forces one to consider more than just local elements (equipment; water), but the very substantial effect the bottling-vessel has on a beer, particularly as it ages. Indeed, I had Surley's effort on draught in Rochester, MN, but I think it's honestly better from its sixteen-ounce can. Moreover, the particular importance of pairings also further crystallize for me through this direct comparison, since I remember feeling more more positively about the Three Floyds version when I was drinking it off the tap at Owen & Engine, expertly poured alongside elk loin seared in brioche-ash and grains-of-paradise to bring out the strengths of 3F's offering.

So, it's certainly a good reminder: when a brew is delicate, and full of very deliberate effort, the smallest perturbations can truly create very different end-products.

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at House of Pizza.

L: Pours a deep black with a thick tan head. Good retention moderate lacing.

S: Pineapple, grapefruit, mango, orange, citrus, pine, roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, plum, coffee, earthy hops. One of the best smelling brews I've ever had.

T: Pineapple, orange, roasted malts, dark fruits, molasses, slightly sweet chocolate with a great earthy hop bitterness on the finish.

F: Full bodied, creamy, slightly oily, good dry finish.

O: This is my favorite Black IPA so far. The smell if absolutely phenomenal and taste truly follows suit. This brew is an absolute must try.

Photo of reebtaerG
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had cask with simcoe and centennial 4oz pour at churchkey on 5/8/14

A-Pours a dark brownish black with light tan head. Good lacing.

S-Aromas of pine, caramel, citrus and smoke. This is awesome.

T-Tasting notes of roast, smoke, pine, citrus, caramel.

M-Medium body with a dry finish.

O-Overall oh my gosh this was an impressive black IPA so smooth love the cask

Photo of isenblatter
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured out of Bomber into Pint Glass

A-Dark, dark, dark. 4 finger head, heavy lacing.

S-The aroma of roasted malt.

T-Outstanding taste, I'm not sure what the ABV of this is, but definitely outstanding.

M-Once again, outstanding on the mouthfeel. Very little carbonation. Very "sticky."

O-Outstanding collaboration by Floyds, Surly, and Real Ale.

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look - super dark brown with good head and great lacing
Smell - floral hop smell with a great toasted maltiness
Taste - incredible blend of a ipa and black ale. Floral hops with slight citrus and great toasty malt
Feel - smooth medium body with light carbonation
Overall - incredible beer!!!

Photo of JamesMN
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Canned on 2/17/14.

Appearance: Black with a two finger tan head.

Aroma: Caramel malt with a big helping of fruity hops. Kind of similar smelling to Furious in the hop department but with something a little darker in the malt.

Taste: I've only taken one sip but this beer may already be the best black IPA I've ever tasted. The balance and overall flavor in this thing is insane. Usually the style tends to be harsh dark malt bitterness with hop bitterness, which doesn't always work. Blakkr is the rare occasion where the hop character is so juicy and sweet that it balances out the dark malt beautifully. There is a bright sweet bready flavor during the finish that really heightens the experience. I have no idea what the IBUs are but its anyone's guess because there are definitely a lot of hops in this beer but the bitterness just doesn't show itself. Aftertaste is smooth like you wouldn't believe. Amazing.

Mouthfeel: Just above medium in body with the smoothest carbonation I've ever experienced in a non-nitro beer. The ABV is dangerous due to how drinkable this beer is.

Final Thoughts: Wow, was skeptical going in but definitely an amazing beer. My favorite beer is Abrasive and Blakkr could easily be its cousin. The nearly $18 price point may seem steep but this beer is worth it. This should definitely be a yearly release. Phenomenal. Would I drink it again? Duh.

Photo of garymuchow
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Boy this one hurt at the checkout. $18.99/4-pack 16 oz. I can count on one hand the breweries that I will submit to this way.
Poured into riedel beer glass that can hold the whole can and looks nice too. Canned 3/4/14, so only a few weeks old.
What a fantastic aroma. Fresh fruit, esp. pineapple. This is mixed with other hoppy citrus a streak of fresh green hops and shored up with a soft roast and dark malt. Really, really nice.
Definitely a black ale with dark red highlights. Nicely sized full and thick light brown head.
Flavor is more balanced than aroma with malts playing a key role. Very smooth roast with shots of caramel and no apparent malt bitterness. Bitterness, however on the finish with a tasty hop flavor. The start of the drink is such a nice mix of malty sweetness and fresh fruit-filled hop flavor - super good blending. As the malt flavors grow and change so do the hops with a huge cornucopia of flavors in the middle that are distinct and blended fantastically well simultaneously. This all flows into a very smooth bittering finish of great length with a soft blending of roast flavors. Alcohol flavor is present too and shows in a straight alcohol manner, like smelling everclear, yet somehow it flows with the rest of the drink.
So nice.
Nice full feel with a bit of grittiness at times. Perfectly carbonated with just enough to fill the mouth with action, but no too much.
Hard to say any beer is worth this cost, but man is this a nice beer.

Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Surly is the only part of the collaboration I know on a tastebud level. With their name on the label one correct assumption is it's boomshakalacka good.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This one was canned exactly 3 weeks ago.

An aggressive center pour from the 16oz. can into a tulip glass produces a strong, dense foamy head. It slowly subsides to a light coating on top and a lovely lace along the sides of the glass. This beer is blacker than most. No light shines through this brew.

The aroma is not extremely strong and is mostly pine and citrus with a little bit of roast coffee or dark chocolate hiding in the shadows. As it warms, the smell seems to grow a bit with some pineapple showing up as well.

The taste is rather amazing. A hoppy, bitter bite right up front quickly followed by dark chocolate, maybe some strong coffee and then finishing with a lingering piney dryness. I want to keep going back for another drink. The alcohol is hidden, buried deep in the inky depths.

The mouthfeel is about right with a hint of creaminess and even a touch of sweet stickiness. The carbonation is just right.

Overall, an excellent beer. This one runs deep.

A little pricey? Perhaps. I paid $18.99 for the 4-pack.

Photo of dwabell
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance:
black
impenetrable at center-glass
crimson-brown around the edges

off-white toasted-marshmallow head
nice lacing from head on glass

Maybe it's a stretch, but the outer edges of the glass somewhat resemble the color-scheme of the can at each respective base. Good head structure with a quarter-inch thick line present from start to finish in a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Smell:
marshmallow
malt
tart fruit
red berry
hint of coffee
alcohol
molasses
fig
hop spice (the fifth of the girls)
hints of citrus
pineapple

Taste:
tart on the front end
subtle fruit

not as much fruit as the nose suggests in the middle
molasses
nougat
bittersweet chocolate
black licorice

long finish
ice coffee
toast
juicy hops
hazelnut
orange juice acidity finish

Mouthfeel:
tingly from the get-go
sharp
perfect carbonation

medium bodied
lightly resinous
tannic/sticky

airy, porous finish
dry

Overall, a hypnotic collaborative from three heavily-hyped breweries. Love the can art. Love the tart fruit on the front end. Love the complexity and long, steady finish that dissipates into a wine-like dry-roast acidity. The aftertaste is the lingering aftermath of a rich brunch washed down by the last sip of orange juice (mixed 50/50 with Cava?). Blakkr is the best Black IPA I've tasted to the date of this review. I feel bettr about the future of this hybrid category after having drank this beer.

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Definitely black ha. the head is dark tan. There's some particles in the beer, which for some reason excites me.

S: Burnt oats and hops. Pine and graham cracker.

T: This is amazing! I'm getting a wonderful balance of IPA bitterness with dark chocolate and roasty stout. Just awesome. Oats, toast, beef jerky, tobacco, hop bitterness, pine, orange peel, graham cracker. Very nice.

M: Thick and awesome! Not super duper thick but it has a nice velvety smooth feel to it. It's a mouthful.

O: Very well-made beer. Alcohol is well hidden. The flavor is complex and holds two different beers into one! Amazing.

Photo of Qbdoo
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fabulous beer and an interesting take on the so-called black IPA. This is as dark as a porter or stout. The nose is a bit of roasted coffee and chocolate, with a hint of pine. The taste is the same. This is a much maltier black IPA than others, but there's still a piney quality that marks as an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium with some creaminess. Very smooth. Quite different from others of its kind like Sublimely Self-Righteous but a great beer.

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black (surprise surprise) finger of deep tan head, nice lacing

Smell is, if you have had abrasive you know where the hop side of this is at, grapefruit, pine, orange, pineapple... Now the malt cocoa, coffee, black licorice, toffee, herbal note

Taste is heavy roasted malt, cocoa, pine, grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi, caramel, finishes with a bittering citrus

mouthfeel is nice and full, nice finish not to roasty or dry, great balance

Good beer, great cross between a Imperial Stout an a DIPA, one of the better ones I have had that is for sure.

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Blakkr from Surly Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 957 ratings.