Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Libertine Black Ale - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Libertine Black AleLibertine Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 359
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 25.13%
Wants: 14
Gots: 83 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: flyingpig on 08-18-2012

Lose yourself in this voluptuous beast of a beer. A twenty-first century hop overdose. This mother will seduce you, ravish you and you’ll be back gagging for more. Adore it. Lust for it. Fall for it. Libertine Black Ale is a dark hop bomb combining the hop awesomeness of an IPA, the decadent and indulgent malt flavours of a stout with an insatiable drinkability that belies the punch that this beer packs. A Dark Knight amongst pale knaves. Taste the hops, live the dream. Learn to speak beer, love fruit and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, dreamers and warriors… the outlaw elite. Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Swallow hard – this beer bites.

65 IBU
View: Beers (99) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 60 | Hads: 359
Photo of Tony_Sarracino
4.76/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

The main reason for the high scores is the fact it makes me want to take another sip. It has a good hop taste, which I am looking for, and the dark malty flavors are great for the cold weather. There is a lot of good happening in this beer and I keep going back for more. It is a very smooth beer which makes this, in my opinion, to be a great beer for someone just venturing into the darker beer universe.

 406 characters

Photo of hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice black colour, with a touch of red. Smell of citrusy hops, dark chocolate, coffee and some sour dark fruits. Taste: same as smell, bit of grapefruit. Medium body, medium bitterness, touch of sourness. I'd give this beer 5.0, but I'm saving it for perfect black IPA, although it's hard to imagine better than this one.

 321 characters

Photo of Doderlein_Bacillus
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice creamy head with excellent duration. Color is black. Aroma and taste are rich hops, flowers, citrus, pine, roast malt and notes of nuts. Just Excellent.

 157 characters

Photo of endovelico
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a jet-black liquid with medium effervescence and thick mocha head.

Aroma: Nicely achieved dark malt & hop balance. Medium intensity. Notes are of chocolate, coffee, toffee, honey, fresh hops, citrus and dried hay. Very fresh and aromatic.

Taste: Intense and rich with the notes of hops and malt in perfect accord. There's the caramel, chocolate, fresh hops like herbal character, citric splash and a noble hops like quality.

Palate: Medium low bitterness. Medium low carbonation. Medium full bodied. ABV works well, doesn't get in the way. They got the palate and the way it works with the aromatic notes perfectly.

Overall: The first Black Ale I can really get behind of. It has great complexity and drinkibility value - it drinks like a session ale. One of my instant favourites from Brewdog.

 817 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a nice deep brown colored beer with a dejection light brown colored head. The lacing and retention are both pretty good here. The smell is really nice, it's hoppy and sweet smelling. Very impressive nose. The taste is also really nice, hoppy but it's also rich and sweet... It's great in my opinion. The mouthfeel is smooth it's almost creamy. Lightly carbonated and very drinkable. Overall this is one of the best Black IPA's I've had. Very good brew all around. I would love having this again.

 514 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep black colour with no real light getting through. Light tan head poured big, thick and foamy and faded slowly to good thickish covering... lots of sticky lacing most of the way down the glass...

Aroma - Lots of roasted malts followed by juicy fruits (orange zest, some grapefruit, pears), light chocolate and coffee notes, sweet brown sugar traces, strong piney resin and citrus hopiness, raw nuts - pistachio, some rubberiness, honey, cut wet grass / hay...

Taste - Nice light piney, grassy hop bitterness followed by roasted dark malts, nice sweet caramel malts and notes of floral honey balance out the hops, grapefruit notes, some chocolate hints, quite herbal, some liquorice, light toasted bread...

M&D - Fairly smooth with a little oiliness in the background then some sharpness comes through... full bodied... a very drinkable brew - the 7.2% is well hidden

Overall - An excellent example of a black IPA... recommended

 990 characters

Photo of chogm54
4.25/5  rDev +9%

330ml poured into a pint glass. BB date feb 2015

A - jet black, opaque, pours a thin off white head. Thin lacing

A - roasted malt, coca cola and a big chunk of floral odours. Throw in a faint whiff of coffee

T - very good mix - the citrus (orange), grapefruit and brillant hoppy bitterness of an IPA, blending well with the roasted malt, milk chocolate and coffee tinge of a dry stout. Great balance

M - creamy texture, soft carbonation, medium bodied, alcohol is muted.

O - very good mix of an IPA and stout. It brings out the best of both - the brillant floral bitterness with the roasted malts and choc. Yet neither is too strong. Give it a crack!

 662 characters

Photo of hopley
4.25/5  rDev +9%

• Poured close to pitch black, but can see a mahogany color in the bottom of the glass
• Thick solid creamy cream colored head which eventually receded into a nice slight head with a little lacing
• Medium mouth feel
• Taste is initially coffee and roasted malt feel forward when cold out of the fridge, but then mellows down into a frigging great thick and solid black IPA – roasted taste seem to mellow as it warms
• Almost got some fruity and sweet Belgiany taste toward the end – really nice ending to a great beer!

 533 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a tapered 8 oz glass.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam.

S- Bright hop aroma that's a bit on the earthy side and is complemented well by the dark roast.

T- Aggressively bitter but not too off-the-scales. Has a pleasant hop flavor that's, once again, quite earthy and goes well with the roastiness.

M- Oily but also dry at the same time so it makes for an interesting duality. Medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- One of the better "Black IPAs" I've had. Definitely done in an American style and isn't incredibly complex but I could definitely knock back a few of these happily. Now if only the price could be lower...

 820 characters

Photo of Act25
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding. From a WFM craft sampler: $12.99 for 12.
Love this brewer. pours into a tulip.

Pours a dark walnut murk, with generous, dark tan head, gorgeous lace, that lasts all the way down.

S: Wine like. Aromatic, hoppy, grassy, roast, piney, with peppery citric edge. Very peaty/ roasty; a peat fire in Scotland.

T: Follows the smell wit roasty dark malt upfront, dark chocolate, much charry bitterness. Hops play in the end, resinous, salty, with a salt/ bitter/ roast finish. Wine like meditation beer.

MF: Again wine-like, a bit dry, with long roast & hops finish. Leaves you in a tickle, good food or after dinner beer. Meditation. Pleasant texture.

I love this style, and Brewdog has put their salty, peaty, roasty, charry stamp on it. This is a favorite of the style and a favorite beer.

 806 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into an IPA glass. Best before date puts it a month and a half within code.

A: In color it is as dark as brown can get before becoming black. The head forms a massive, rocky tower atop the beer, and retention is amazing. Lacing forms huge foamy gobs on the walls of the glass.

S: Dark chewy caramel, burnt crust, dark fudge, tootsie rolls, vanilla extract, charcoal. Aromatic pine, tropical scents of tangerine, passion fruit, and melon.

T: Semi sweet dark chocolate, char, acidic black coffee, dark caramel chews. Hops bring both tropical and earthy dimensions. Pine needles and bark. Passion fruit, blood orange, white grapefruit pith. Peachy esters. Peppery alcohol is gentle and fleeting. Unsweetened cocoa,toasted crust, and oily, tropical hops on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Ultra silky and smooth with a soft and creamy texture. Decadent, but fluffy and airy rather than weighty. Low tingling carbonation. Brush of warming alcohol. Astringencies are actually very gentle.

O: The mouthfeel and texture really help to bring this one together. This black ale manages to stay very balanced and drinkable, which is a challenge within the style as the double dose of bitterness and astringency from both hops and roasted malts often makes for a rougher experience. One of the more cohesive Brew Dog beers I've had to date.

 1,350 characters

Photo of Mikus
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ordered a Hardcore IPA. Tap changed. This came. Thought it was the wife's stout. They said it was Libertine. Absolutely pitch black with a chocolate milk head... stout. Aromas were big, citrus and tropical notes. Balanced tastes. Period. Great match of malt, hop flavor, bitterness, and smooth mouthfeel. This was sent home run. I don't normally try Brew Dog too often as it is really pricey here, but this was excellent.

 421 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle gifted to me by @lacqueredmouse. Enjoyed from a pilsener glass on my mother's patio.

Pours a dark mahogany colour, with murky clarity. Head is very generous: fluffy and dense with gorgeous lace, beige in colour. Looks scrumptious, maybe could be a shade darker though.

Smells hoppy, but not a lot. Fair grassy and slight piney, citric edge. Most of it is roasty though with a slight coffee edge, bit of cocoa. Quite a nice mix, would like more aromatic hops though.

Lots of dark malt upfront, plenty of roast, chocolate, and a touch of charry bitterness. Hops play a nice complementary role towards the back; resinous, almost salty, but quite fresh. Really pleasant drinking, not too aggressively hopped but a nice balance.

Little bit dry, with quite a pull from the hops in spite of their mellow flavour. Pleasant texture otherwise.

Really lovely IBA. Superb example of the style, just artistically put together. You've surprised me with this one, BrewDog. There's almost a subtlety here with the amount of finesse used. Love it.

 1,045 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a slim 330ml brown bottle, not bottle-conditioned; BB 01/02/2014, served cool in a Tripel Karmeliet’s branded tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a pitch black colour topped with a creamy, dark beige frothy head retreating to a thin sheet to last.
S: keeping my eyes closed, the nose initially is in fact very much like an over-charged hop bomb such as American IPA or Double IPA, but a very subtle edge of caramel, roastiness and sweet nuts would lead my imagination away for a bit; given a very good swirl, the pronounced grapefruity-citric, white grapey and gooseberry-ish notes arise on top of other hop and malt elements. All are integrated very well in one. Very enjoyable, and quite… clean.
T: soothing and mildly-carbonated on the palate, the initial swallow is… surprisingly light and fruity, backed by a light-bodied maltiness as of mixture of roast malts, caramel malts, and other paler counterparts, without the really oily, burned, and coffee-ish thickness from the black malts. It quietly settles on a chewy, dry and bitter finish where the palate could still feel the lingering joy from the tannic citrus peels, roast nuts and random notes of forest berries.
M&O: softly refreshing on the palate, medium-bodied, at the same time very smooth, this Black IPA or “Twenty First Century Black Ale” has delivered a fairly satisfying result overall. The alc. content is also well hidden, increasing the drinkability by a very good margin. Highly recommended.

 1,482 characters

Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

BrewDog Libertine Black Ale - Black IPA - 7.2% ABV - BB 08/21/14 - Consumed 10/06/14.

A: Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with deep ruby edges and one finger of tan foam. Strands of sticky lacing line the tulip glass, and the head retains for the duration of the beer. A great looking brew.

S: Bright citrusy hops, roasted malt, piney-resiny notes, dark chocolate, passion fruit, ashtray, mint, and grapefruit. Huge, clashing aromas that come together really well. Excellent.

T: Big fruity-citric, zesty and tropical hop flavours upfront, roasted malt, pine and dark chocolate mid-palate, resinous grapefruit hop bitterness transitions to a bone dry, roasted-ashy finish (very porter-like). A tasty and robust Black IPA.

M: Medium-bodied, lush, velvety and juicy middle, bold yet balanced hop bitterness precedes a super dry finish with roasty afters. Solid.

O: Surprisingly good considering it's a month and a half past due. Libertine beautifully integrates a massive PacNW hop character with classic porter/stout flavours. Worth buying.

 1,058 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate brown with piles of creamy taupe head that sheets.
Fresh orange peel and hops sack nose, with depths of resin.
Fig Newtons, oily coffee, kola nut with resin, pompelo and orange rind.
Slight catty and cocoa finish and ringing piney linger.
Medium, good chew, soft.

Black notes are quite black in this one
While there is plenty of hop oil and IBUs, single Simcoe doesn't shine through in the aroma the way it might in other CDAs.
The rare Black IPA that's black more than IPA without being a porter. And probably the best of those.

 546 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color forming a medium and creamy tan head. Medium retention and some lingering thin lacings formed and left

S: A mix of roasted malts and flowery hops. A bit fruity with some notes of apple pie

T: Great mix of roasted malts and grassy and pinny hops. Notes of caramel malts and apples. In overall, a quite dry and bitter taste. Perfect mix of roasted malts and pinny hops bitterness. Yeasts have a very American Pale Ale profile with a nice earthy taste in the very end

M: Medium body and carbonation. Toasted malts with a strong punch of pinny hops in the aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Perfect definition of black IPA

 687 characters

Photo of mick303
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle with freshness date. Pours jet black, with a nice soft tan brown head. It has a really excellent lacing and some foam retention.

Smell has a nice dark herbal hop bitterness. Grapefruit, graham cracker, pine needles, roast chocolate malt. Dried and spicey fruit notes.

Taste is very herbal, pine needles, some honey hidden behind. An interesting medicinal tea quality and dried grapefruit fruitiness with a lot of earthy spice toward the end. Malt is there but this is very much a hop forward beer. Some roast coffee notes, pepper, earthy spice. Grows really delicious, the hops are aggressive, but there is a balance there and the complexity of intense flavour is quite nice.

Mouthfeel is heavy but slick, with some moderate carbonation. Rich 'inky' almost syrupy bitterness. Ends quite dry, heavily hopped, pine. Has a nice bitter bite toward the end that lingers, but not a very sessionable beer, one to savour.

A really intense, quite bitter black ipa. If thats your thing you'll probably love this beer. Quite herbal and slick, malt roastiness is slight, a lot of intensity here. I quite like it here, strong, rich and dark, but the intricacies and subtle balance really make it work.

 1,209 characters

Photo of heygeebee
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From Beer Cartel - 9 months on clock.

A - black n tan - three finger head fizzes and subsides beautifully. Spotty lace.

S - treacle, roasts, choc.

T - more treacle, add some choc. Balanced hops without being too bitter. Medium to big taste but not overbearing.

M - medium weight, no hint of ABV.

O - pleasant surpise and return of fresh Brewdog shows they can still make some Good Beer. Surprised I had not reviewed before.

 428 characters

Photo of Leviathan5
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Teku glass

A - Dark chocolate to black color, with a 2 finger tan head. Good retention and great lacing

S - Great citrusy hops (orange, grapefruit) with a hint of pine. The hops aromas are not overwhelming and there's a little balance from the malts.

T - Again citrusy hops, present in the dry, bitter binish and the aftertaste. As it warms up the roasted malts are a little bit more present, but not enough to shadow the hops

M - Medium body and medium-high carbonatation. Really smooth, with a great feel. Very drinkable.

O - A really nice black IPA, with a strong hops presence, both in smell and taste, but not overwhelmingly bitter. Definitely recommendable and worth repeating

 715 characters

Photo of Fux
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a creamy milk chocolate colored long lasting head.
S: Smell is hoppy (citruses, resin, tropical fruits), along with some milk chocolate, coco and herbal scent. The balance between those aromas is very nice.
T: Taste is straighter than the nose with more roasted malts , some toasted bread, and a grapefruit bitterness on the finish. Quite bitter aftertaste.
M: Soft carbonation, light to medium bodied. Dry on the finish. Quite drinkable.
O: A nice black IPA, balanced, refreshing.

 495 characters

Photo of flyingpig
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with some deep red tinges when held close to the light, and topped with a foamy tan brown head that leaves some lacing.

Subdued hops with a mild malt background character and some back fruits mixed in. There is some pine, mango and tropical fruits as well as the some apricot. It is a very sweet smelling beer and lighter than the colour would suggest.

Medium to strong pine and grapefruit flavours to begin with along with a huge array of fruit flavours including some passion fruit, mango, apricot and orange along with some citrus and some darker fruits in there too. The finish has a little malt to it and some sugar along with some more of the pine/grapefruit taste.

Lively with medium to strong carbonation and a touch spice to it. The beer is smooth and quite bitter towards the end with a wet finish.

This one was a beer that I really enjoyed, very much like an IPA but not quite as bitter and with a good alcohol content that was well hidden but the excellent blend of fruits in both the smell and the taste.

 1,027 characters

Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a standard pint nearly pitch black except for some redish brown highlights when held to the light,a thinner quick to fade beige head atop.A good burst of resinous hops in the nose along with a little grassiness to go along with deep chocolate notes.Piney hops stand out at first sip along with nutty malts,more "greeness"comes into play from the hops providing grassy tones,malt driven sweetness becomes bigger as I drink more providing some molasses and caramel flavors to go along with bitter choccolate.This is how a ABA should taste in my mind,big hops but good dark malty sweetness,good job here from the Scottish guys.

 635 characters

Photo of Aleks_P
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black with a super-thin tan head, doesn't even cover the top of the beer. Light does not pass through it. Was surprised by the absence of any discernible head.

Smell: Smells great, get some charcoal notes and some fruity tones, kind of like a tart apple smell.

Taste: Pretty complicated taste. Definitely getting some tart notes, maybe like grapes in the way that wine is tart. Balanced in a unique way with the smokiness or dark coffee. Aftertaste the most noticeable thing is the smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly good carbonation given the absence of any foam when I poured it. Having a hard time deciding if it's smooth or dry, guess it's somewhere in the middle. After a sip the alcohol warmth is very evident.

Overall: I oscillated between rating this a 3.75 or 4.00. Think the appearance was okay but the taste pushed me to a 4. Took me awhile to figure out what the flavors were and it was pretty unique although I haven't had a ton of black ales.

 978 characters

Photo of djura
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got it on tap.
A - Excellent ruby dark color with two finger darker tick foam. Staying all the way.
S - Beautiful aroma of fresh dark fruits,coffee and chocolate.
T/M - Bitter finish,plum and mocca in the mouth. Low carbonation,creamy and drinkable. Maybe a bit watery.

O - One more good ale from Brewdog.

 306 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Libertine Black Ale from BrewDog
87 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.