Blakkr - Surly Brewing Company

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958 Ratings

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Ratings: 958
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 77
Gots: 159 | 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: 958 | Reviews: 127
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 Tedster
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer -- love it '

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 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 BeerTick
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cola brown with an inch and a half of a creamy wood colored head. It smells of delicious hoppy raisins. The taste is of a hoppy chocolate mixed with slight fruitiness and finishes with a not over powering bitterness. It feels like your sucking on a delightfully moist cloud. An awesome beer.

Photo of KillerJigger
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I like this because the juxtaposition of two differing styles in one beer to me is amazing. Hoppy and yet stoutish! Blows my mind in a good way.

Photo of FLima
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with red highlights and a thick dark beige head with great retention and leaving laces.
Nice hoppy aroma with notes of grapefruit, fresh grass, mild cocoa, pineapple, oranges, resins, licorice and some home-made coffee.
Complex and bold flavor with notes of grapefruit, oranges, coffee, piney resin, perfume, lots of nectarines and black fruits, caramels, lemon peel, dark chocolate, tobacco and licorice. It made me sneeze right away, attesting its powerful 90 IBUs. Very dry aftertaste with a long lasting intense bitterness and roasted note.
Medium towards full body with appropriate carbonation. Relatively creamy sensation. Alcohol of 9% abv is completely absent.
Great Imperial Black Ale, a burst of flavors and hop bitterness. It has an interesting diverse complexity: earthy, perfumy, citrusy, roasty, floral, chocolaty, and fruity. Simply incredible. And I love the style.

Photo of Mr_Bongard
5/5  rDev +18.5%

My favorite ipa

Photo of kkleu357
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From notes on 5/3/14

Had it on tap yesterday and now I’m drinking a can. This beer is very good. Dark black pour. Good amount of carbonation. Fruity roasted aroma. Taste is very hoppy citrus, with some roasted flavors. Very interesting, but very good. Best black IPA I've had.

Photo of M_chav
1.65/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

I fee like this may have been infected. terrible taste, I've had in the past and it was not this bad - at least that I can remember.

Photo of communionofthesaints
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Canned: March '14
Opened: September '14
Found this sitting on the shelf in Minnesota, had to give it a shot despite its age.

Poured into IPA glass.
A: very black but thinner than a typical stout with a healthy khaki head.
S: Black malts, charred wood, a little chocolate and coffee
T: Interesting hop profile with black malts; somewhat citrusy. Citrus with coffee/black/roasty malt makes for an interesting experience. It's like the tongue doesn't know how to feel about it.
M: This beer captures what I love about black ipas, the richness and roastiness of black malt with the aggressive hop bitterness that quenches the hop appetite.
O: Fantastic beer and a great example of the style.

Photo of SteveB24
4.05/5  rDev -4%

pours black as night, with a thick, surprisingly light colored, thick head. Despite the dark color the beer is not exactly opaque. The beer has malty flavors of coffee and burned sugar, as well as crisp hoppy flavors of pine and mild citrus peel. A complex and satisfying beer, if i had access to it i would buy it every now and then fore sure.

Photo of mjpolzin
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

I believe this is the first black IPA I have had. It was interesting. It had a nice hoppy flavor and aroma but with a maltier backbone than I am used to in a traditional pale ale.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Sixteen ounce can shared by Andrew - thanks. Canned 2/21/14.

A: Pours black with a half-inch thick tan head which fades slowly to a cap and leaves splotches of lace.

N: Roasty, citrusy, piney, floral, and earthy.

T: Very fruity citrus with roasted malts and dark chocolate overtones, earthy.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Finishes creamy and dry.

O: This version has more hop forward and earthy and thicker feel than the Three Floyds bottle.

Photo of alphagnome
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black body allows no light to pass through. A thick, light brown head with great retention and lacing.

This is a potent black ale, and I love it! More pine and tropical fruit than any other beer I've had to date. Very fresh aroma - clean and earthy. A hint of roasted malt and cola.

This hop forward beer packs a punch. Plenty of earthy pine notes and some and a bit of grapefruit and tangerine. A malty backbone, rich with bittersweet cocoa and roasted coffee. Has an interesting sweet flavor on the finish and it clashes a bit with the booziness of this brew. However, it's still highly enjoyable.

Quite thick for the style and lightly carbonated. Dry finish.

A fantastic brew that is best enjoyed one slow sip at a time. The explosive flavor of this one will catch you off guard if you don't prepare yourself. Worth every penny!

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

its almost too much, this insanely dark and hoppy collaboration. jet black on the pour with an obsidian luster and a mocha colored half inch of steady head. the nose is hops, bitter and vegetal, even through the tremendously robust roasty grain bill, i get the hops first. in terms of taste, this is pretty two dimensional. extremely dark roasty barley and chocolate malt make up the front end. its bakers chocolate and tobacco, pavement, and licorice, while the back end is all hops. not particularly flavorful either, just bitter and intense. its almost bitter double jeopardy from the hops and the roast, but the enormous rich body cuts some of that, or at least spreads it out over a longer taste experience. carbonation is about average, but no amount of bubbles could lighten this one to drinkable, and i was certainly thankful to be sharing a pint can. very intense beer, taking black ipa to a whole new level. in the way that i dont need to drink more than one 120 minute ipa, this has similar properties. its a palate bomb too, so finish rather than start your session with blakkr.

Photo of MarcWP
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with compact dark tan head that leaves nice lacing behind.

Aroma is grapefruit, bittersweet chocolate, fruity coffee, and orange liqueur faint to the back. A piney hop character also joins citrusy hop presence. I'd say the balance is good between the hops and dark malt base.

Flavor is more roast heavy with hops coming in secondary in the form of lemon and lime peel, grapefruit pith, and pungent pine needle. Sweetened black coffee and dark chocolate are heavy from the malts. Again, the hops are pretty complimentary to and balanced out nicely by the roasty malt base. Reminds me of sublimely somewhat.

Mouthfeel is definitely in between an IPA and Stout which also follows suit to the taste and aroma of the beer. Lighter medium body with carbonation that's close to porter bubbly territory.

A nice black IPA and among the better ones I've had. It's no Wookey Jack (the best black IPA ever) but it's not far behind. Tasty brew.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Did a side by side with the 3 Floyds version

Appearance - Rich dark black. Very thin head with lacing that leaves quickly.

Smell - Bitter hoppiness and chocolately malts balanced well.

Taste - Charred cocoa with some subtle hops thrown in there as well. I like the balance though. Quite a bit boozier than the 3 Floyds version

Mouthfeel - hops come though in the end of this one

Overall - good beer and I enjoyed it more than the 3 Floyds bottled version.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I loved Blakkr last year from Surly... I would have called it my favorite black IPA. This year, not the same story. This first can seems strange. Its either the hops or yeast, I can't put my finger on it. Almost a strange Belgium yeast taste this year.

Photo of Tanktizzo
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rich and flavorful! This is my second out of the four pack from the Surly release. It gets better with every can! The smell, taste, and overall appearance in the glass is great! For an Imperial high in alcohol this beer is well balanced and full bodied at the same time. Never had anything from Real Ale and I am guessing the love of metal music is why the collaboration happened.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a Goose Island tulip. Big citrusy hop notes hit me the moment I opened the can. The pour is very dark and nearly black, but shows a hazy mahogany color when held to a light source. It sports 2 fingers of fine tan head and retains very well for the ABV. As mentioned, the nose has a massive hop character that's dripping with notes of oranges, pineapples, lemon, pine trees, and a hint of coffee.

The beer has a medium body and a hop-forward character with just enough roastiness to remind you this is not an Imperial IPA. Big grapefruit and lemon flavors hit you up front, supported by a nice bready malty foundation. Underneath it all is that roast, which would seem much more prominent if the beer weren't so hoppy. At mid-palate the grapefruit recedes, but the lemon remains and greets the espresso-like roastiness, creating a nice marriage of flavors. The roastiness intensifies towards the back of the palate and threatens to become porter-like, but the lemon stays with it and both flavors linger nicely on the finish. Very appetizing and enjoyable. No trace of booziness at all. At first observation, the feel seems a bit thin, but as one drinks the beer I find that the feel seems to complement the flavor just right.

Just when I think I'm justified in staying away from Black IPAs, this one comes along and sparks my interest. Excellent beer. I hope the brewers make it again. Anyone fond of espresso and lemon should try this.

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 cbutova
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Tallboy can poured to a tumbler with a pitch black body but remains somewhat less than stout thickness. Light tan cap forms to two fingers with pretty good retention. Frothy ring deposits thick sheets of lace towards the top of the glass with webs and spots following.

S- Hops jump off the top with the deep roasted base supporting them. Hops come in as fruity with citrus and slight stone fruit as well as pine. Grapefruit rind, tangerine, cocoa and burnt roast grains.

T- Started off with a hefty dose of chocolate, deeply roasted grains, toasted nuts and slight sweetness from the grains but before long the hops burst in. Fresh grapefruit, orange zest, tangerine, apricot, stone fruits and pine.

MF- Medium to thick bodied with a slightly oily, creamy texture. Carbonation hits the palate at a medium-high level and makes the hops and roast burst out. Finishes with a medium bitterness.

It took me a fair amount of time to get into hoppy Black ales but I think I am finally a huge fan of this style. Beelzebub is back from Alchemist and this actually reminds me of that somewhat. Roast and cocoa from the malts compliment the citrus, fruity hops.

Photo of cervezango
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I convinced my buddy to buy this as we were browsing the discounted craft beer. It was not discounted , it was 15.99 for a four pack of all boys. I try to jump on surley whenever it shows up here in wisconsin. I love most of there beer, Blakkr looked and sounded delicious.
the beer is good, but not exceptional. I Darkness from surley is so much better.
I didnt get any devil powers from this beer as far as I can tell. kinda a let down.

Photo of mwilbur
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz can into snifter.
A: Pours a black hue with 1+ inch dark tan head with good retention. Very faint sticky lacing lasts throughout.
S: Citrus and pine hops (a la Furious) predominates. Underlying this (and becoming more apparent with warming) is a good dose of smoked and darkly roasted malt. Interesting and enticing.
T: The malt takes the lead here--smoked and darkly roasted--and provides a firm backbone for this brew. Pineapple and soft pine hops also present...just not quite as strong as in the aroma. Hint of peat and anise.
M: Medium body. Smooth, mildly sweet, moderately bitter, and with slight char. Dry and bitter finish.
D: A very solid offering...not quite top tier but close. I typically don't like to comment on price, but will here...not quite sure the end result can justify the $20 for a 4-pack.

Blakkr from Surly Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 958 ratings.