Libertine Black Ale - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Libertine Black AleLibertine Black Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

55 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 55
Hads: 352
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 4.07%
Wants: 14
Gots: 75 | 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
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 352
Photo of MarkoNm
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Although I generally love BrewDog, this is not really my favourite beer from these guys.
Pours with a nice almost completely balck color and a medium beige head.
There is a strong aroma of roasted malts, coffee and an addition of some hard liquer aroma.
The taste is very bitter, with lots of roasty feel, coffee, and a slightly chocolatey finish (the best feature).
A very strong beer, with a bit too much bitterness in the taste for me. (440 characters)

Photo of TequilaTom
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really tried to like this, but it just wouldn't happen. Too bad too, as I have liked many brews from BrewDog. Just had some off-putting flavor to me. Maybe an old bottle? Oh well, going to try their Cocoa Psycho next. (219 characters)

Photo of Mantooth
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Cork and Cask, Cornelius NC.

I get what this is supposed to be, but the hops have faded (assuming they were ever there/being fair to the brewery), some of the extreme bitterness remains but the nose and taste are quite medicinal, old licorice comes to mind - though I doubt I've ever had any. I'll give it another shot - and as low as this review is, realize I could go much lower. I lean towards the overall good reviews and assume something is wrong here. (468 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: spotty surface film, opaque, black; scattered jagged lacing
S: musty, woody, espresso
T: bitter, seriously hopped, espresso
M: on the side of light-bodied, but with a coating, thinly syrupy texture
O: Decent, not memorable. Mouthfeel is the winner, but the dark, musty nose was somewhat off-putting.

Pilsner Glass / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD (353 characters)

Photo of Gusmotel
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Leave it to BrewDog to confuse the dedicated dark beer drinker. Here's a beer built like a stout . . . actually more like a Porter. Served from a bottle into a mini iced Lager pint glass (not really pint size) in Chinatown Singapore on a dark and stormy night.

Appearance. It's dark brown, not quite black, but you can just barely see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one. Decent foam that didn't last long. It never does here, I'm convinced its something in the air. Minor lacing.

Aroma: Hops. It smells like an IPA to me. A bit fruity, but primarily there are hops doing their best to not be discovered on the nose. Unfortunately, their position has been compromised and I know what's coming when it's time to take a drink.

Taste: Grapefruit. The fruity smell coalesced into something very specific. The beer tastes like a breakfast grapefruit, freshly cut, with some brown sugar layered on top. I imagine this latter taste is a roasted sweet malt flavor defining itself. Once completed, the hops step up and take over reminding you that this is a hop bomb of IPA type stature. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation and a light body force you to reassess the stout, strong ale Belgian creamy character that you were expecting. It's porter light and therefore an easy drinker.

Overall: the confusing flavors detract me from enjoying it fully. I like the complexity and feel as if I had a gastronomic, "foam of carrot" experience; however I could get this easily from a solid Belgian beer and would prefer to do so. I'm glad I tried it, I would recommend it, but I doubt I would immediately jump to drink it again. (1,635 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 203, best before 27-08-14

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into thick, lasting ring. Good retention with streaks of soapy lace left behind.

Robust, deeply roasted dark malt aroma that's countered by sweeter dessert-like notes. Surprisingly, the nose is severely lacking in hop character which is really odd and disappointing for the style. I'm struggling to pick up any hops at all and wouldn't have been able to guess it was an American Black Ale if sampled blind. Slightly smokey with gourmet coffee bean, oatmeal and dark chocolate countered by caramel, toffee, fudge and bakers chocolate. Smells okay and not offensive in any way but doesn't live up to expectations.

On the fuller end of medium body with subtle earthy hop bitterness countered by very strong malt flavors. There's a bit of earthy pine and resinous oils but like the aroma, the hop character is overpowered by the prominent malt bill. Slightly smokey with robust, roasted coffee bean flavor along with hints of burnt toast, oatmeal, charcoal and bittersweet dark chocolate. Dry and bitter but not harsh, acrid or overwhelming. The bitter roast is cut mid-palate by lighter malt sweetness with hints of silky chocolate, caramel and toffee. The ABV is well masked and it's light enough to drink easily, I just wish that it had more of a hop presence to balance out the malt flavors. It drinks more like a slightly bitter porter than an American Black Ale. Not bad, but not what I'm looking for in this style. (1,602 characters)

Photo of danieelol
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Slowbeer.

Pours black with good head.

Smell is hops, sugared tomatoes, roast/brown ale malt (nutty).

Taste features more sugared tomato hops, little bit of ye olde roast.

Mouthfeel is decent, roasty, watery.

Decent if not mind-blowing. (255 characters)

Photo of bark
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The colour is very dark brown (90 EBC), the liquid is clear. The three finger head is brown, airy and uneven. It sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is bitter and hoppy with lots of American citric flavours. Hints of smoked delicatessen and alcohol.

The taste is smooth, it is less bitter than expected. Some smoked and burned notes. Bitter herbs, citric fruits and salty Marmite-flavours. Clean bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got the same burned salt flavours, with some added sweetness and anonymous ripe fruits. The finish is malty and roasted.

The carbonation is medium to strong; the small short-lived bubbles soft. The liquid is smooth.

There is nothing wrong with this beer, I just don’t get it. (744 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown, copper tinge when held to the light. No visible carbonation and 2 fingers of grey beige fluffy head.


S: Dark tar like quality and bright floral hops all in one. Dark chocolate and apricot jam. Jaffa orange cookies. You get my pic. Dark and fruity all at once, unique to this style alone. Hops are subdued compared to say Yakima Glory.


T: Again, that dark stout like quality, fruity orange peel. Dark chocolate and candied orange peel. A light caramel quality, hops are mostly floral, and a toasted light charred note on the finish.


M: Medium thick smooth consistency, with moderate carbonation. Slightly sticky in the aftertaste.


O: Great brew. I expect this one came a long way to Thailand, so likely the hops have fallen off some. Still a treat, having it with Aussie steak in Kunming, China, Jan 11, 2015. (842 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Almost black, some reddish hue. One finger of beige head.
Malty smell, light toasty. Lightly citrussy (grapefruit), and something fresh and almost balsamic.
In the taste a light toastiness, then a lot of hop, grapefruit, maybe a bit prickly, but for sure it has character.
Light body, quite drinkable, long and bitter aftertaste, even bitter root. (347 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color; it's very close to being completely opaque, but not quite there. There isn't much head, sadly - just one finger high with a mocha shade. Even with a small head, retention isn't very good. It does leave a bit of lacing on the glass, at least.

S: This one combines a mildly roasted background with lemony, spicy Centennial hops, and actually does it well. The more I sniff on this, the more that I notice that it's the hoppiness that's in the background rather than the roast. Aromatically - while it's not explosively bold - it isn't far off from Wookey Jack, and I consider that very high praise.

T: Roasty, roasty, roasty, did I mention roasty yet? Its hop profile is definitely in the background, though it definitely comes through in the finish with notes of pine, grapefruit, and maybe some lemon. This works better than a few black ales/hoppy porters I've had, but the malt/hop transition is jarring at times.

M: It's well carbonated, while the finish balances between sweet and dry. This one goes down pretty easy because of its slender feel and slight sharpness.

O: It's a really nice black ale, but I'm not sure I'd buy it again given its inflated price. Actually, it isn't that hideously expensive by import/BrewDog standards, so actually, it's more a freshness thing that makes me hesitate a future purchase. I'd definitely give it a second chance on tap, though. (1,446 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle 7,2% Abv.
Served chilled in a wine glass.
Batch: 167
BB: 18/07/2014

Appearance: Libertine Black Ale lives up to its name - appearing almost pitch black in the glass. That said, a strong back light reveals some deep red highlights. A rough pour yields a massive tan coloured head that displays good retention and leaves beautiful rings of lacing as it recedes.

Smell: The initial nose certainly leans towards the hoppy side of things, with notes of sweet grass, grapefruit, a little orange peel and some leafiness. Once the beer starts to warm a little chocolate and darker malt becomes apparent.

Taste: As with the nose, the hops dominate the flavour, but it isn't powerful or that bitter. Notes include: Citrus, grapefruit peel, sweet grass, a touch of roast and a smidgen of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The body is just fuller than light and is a touch watery on the back end; while the carbonation is of a medium high level and fairly smooth.

Overall: Libertine is a decent beer, but it certainly needs a lot more oomph (either that or it needs to be a lot fresher). (1,087 characters)

Photo of NilocRellim
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%

Pours very dark brown, almost black (duh) and clear. Heavy malt smell with roastedness, hops, and tobacco. The taste is of roasted malts, hops, and slightly bitter. It has a dry finish.

Would I buy it again? Probably. (218 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney notes with light fruity touch is great with some dry roasted malt notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by medium dry roasted malt notes with a decent dose of Simcoe citrus and piney hops. Body is about average with good carbonation. Solid rendition of the style thought a fuller body would have been even better. (442 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's pretty close to black, a little bit of brown-red shining in the thinnest parts. A tan head rises to a full finger and rests there soundly, retaining itself well and throwing down sturdy lacing.
I get some nice character, plenty of depth, and a lot of balance in both the aroma and the flavor. What would really put it in contention for the style would be a stronger hops backbone; there should be a focus on maintaining balance while remaining hop-forward. As it is, the malts provide very nice notes of a sort of light nutty smoke, plenty of roast, a hint of dark fruits, and a creamier sweetness along with bittersweet chocolate. Hops are a bit more muted than they ought to be but put up some earthy, resinous and citric undertones.
The feel is good. it has an even balance of sweet and dry and is very bright, lots of crispness without taking from the smoothness and flowing nicely on the tongue while remaining at a solid medium body, maybe a hair on the lighter side of it. (984 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a creamy and long lasted tan head. Nice lacing.

Fruity citrus aroma with malt and bits of roast. Good.

Slightly chalky with just a touch of roast. Nice earthy and somewhat citrussy hop flavour. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A decent Black Ale. Nice balance of hop and roasted malts. (318 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter

A: Black with a tan half-finger head that settled down to a tawney rim. Curtainly lacing.

S: Chocolate, anise and grassy hops. A strange combination, but it works.

T: A nice blend of chocolate malts and grassy hops. Smooth, mellow, slightly bitter on the finish.

M: Medium with light to medium carbonation.

O: I'm really starting to enjoy black IPA's. And this odd hybrid goes down easy. Cheers to the boys from Scotland. (449 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass with a fine two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney hops, orange and grapefruit citrus, and hint of tropical fruit. Flavor is mixed citrus with citrus and grassy hops, mild fruit esters and light toasted malt. Medium bodied with light creaminess; despite the beautiful head, a surprising lack of carbonation in the mouth feel. An interesting take on the black ale style, well hopped, but with a European flavor profile. More dominated by citrus hops and flavor than toasted malt, which takes a third row back seat. I'm baffled by the weak showing of the carbonation in the feel, but it was a distraction. Perhaps the carbonation was all used up in the nice foam? Interesting but not going to be my go-to black ale. (890 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a decent amount of head which appears to have pretty good retention. The head is a light and creamy beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Very good lacing which is mostly sheeting.

Nose- Starts off with a brief mix of hops: some citrus (some orange, a little bit of mustiness, maybe grapefruit), pine, and resin. This is followed by a light amount of coffee which mixes with the hop notes and some of the spice from them to give a little bit of licorice to the finish. Swirling shows a brief hint of coffee that moves into a good whiff of licorice and some nice mint. Looks like these spice flavors might not be a suggestion but a strong component of this beer. We shall see.

Taste- Shows a brief amount of citrus then moves into coffee and roasted malts with undertones of a juicy caramel. This all quickly gets swept aside by licorice and then a pretty conspicuous finish of mint which suggests even menthol and eucalyptus. Sort of like a cough drop but in a good way. These flavors tend to recede into the background pretty quickly and leave the interplay of caramel and coffee on the front which moves into a slight woodiness and hop bitterness on the finish. The mint and licorice now seem to hang on the edges and on the linger. My guess is that this is about six months old and the hops have faded quite a bit but I still like the beer that has been left behind. It's not incredibly complex but is interesting and has very good balance and integration. Could use a little bit more presence but is pretty much a good beer with a slight tendency toward being really good.

Mouthfeel- Nears medium bodied and has a good amount of carbonation that works well.

Drinkability- Fairly easygoing. Subtle enough to be sessionable but interesting enough that the palate does not become bored. 3 dollars is fairly reasonable and it's something I might buy again.

Overall- Between a good beer and a pretty good beer. Nothing amazing but different enough to warrant attention. I would definitely give this a try and I will be on the lookout for more BrewDog beers. (2,106 characters)

Photo of jbsteiny
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Brewdog Roppongi.

Drank this directly after the Brixton Porter and it's safe to say its the same malt bill. And what didn't work at all as a porter (too thin, dry, and charred) works great as the basis for this CDA or whatever the kids are calling hoppy dark ales these days.

Very dark brown with attractive dark brown highlights and some lacing. Head fades very quickly or this would be in the 4 range. Aromas of pine, skunky herb, a bit of coffee, and that stink I associate with Simcoe. Palate is top-notch, I went back and changed my rating to a 4 - very good blend of West Coast hops and roasty malt - think it ranks with Hop in the Dark. Mouthfeel is a bit dry and prickly for me, but I guess that adds to it's drinkability.

Could happily drink this all night, but then I'd be a mess. (803 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2013. Picked up a while back from Trembling Madness in York. Could this be Zeitgeist's bigger brother?

Poured into a Delirium tulip. A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears black in the glass. Yields a decent head of creamy beige foam that hangs around for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of pine resin, grapefruit and citrus, underpinned by roasted malt, faint coffee and stewed hops. Delicious.

Tastes of dark, roasted malt with a hoppy character and an intense bitter finish. Notes of roasted grain, burnt husks, mild coffee, pine resin, grapefruit, subtle citrus, earthy yeast and stewed hops. Dry, with a strident bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Pretty astringent, with an aftertaste of bitter stewed hops, pine and dark malt.

A solid black IPA with great aroma and flavour. Plenty of pine and hints of citrus, along with a large dose of dark malt. I've had this for a while so the hops may have faded a little - I suspect the fresh aroma was even more intense. My only minor complaint is that the body could be slightly thicker, but this is trivial. A tasty brew; if you like dark, hoppy beers then seek this one out. Worth sampling. (1,293 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pokal.

A - black, lots of lacing, good head

S - chocolate milk

T - bitter chocolate, coffee, not real sweet but definitely not dry

M - medium body, not creamy

O - very easy drinking, not at all hot like many Brewdog beers can be, very sessionable, very good tasting (282 characters)

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Goblet glass @Tot Begut (Sant Boí –Barcelona). Very dark brown color. Beige foam shows fairly good retention. Intense aromas of caramel malts, resins & pine. Creamy upfront & roasted malt flavor. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Viscous texture & malty dried sensation. Sharp bitterness but solid caramelized malty backbone are touched by subtle spicy & dark cocoa hues. Long bitter finish. Slight wood on the aftertaste. Refreshing & nice spot of the Style. (485 characters)

Photo of Paul_Hutchinson
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favourite black IPA by some margin. Considering this weighs in at over 7%, the flavours are surprisingly well balanced. Usually I would be limited to a single half pint for these big hitting ales, but I could easily drink a few of these. A lovely drink (255 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a large head.
Nose shows piny, resinous and slightly fruity hops. That’s pretty much it, just a bit of roast as well.
Much more roast as a flavours but also a fair bit of the pine and some of the confectionery-like fruit.
Could use a bit more carbonation. (284 characters)

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Libertine Black Ale from BrewDog
87 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.