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Libertine Black Ale - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Libertine Black AleLibertine Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 367
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 24.87%
Wants: 14
Gots: 85 | 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 (104) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 367
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

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
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

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me preface this review by saying this is one of those beers not for everyone. If you don't like hops, or at least these "Black IPAs" real hoppy and prefer a more balanced, malty beer, then skip this. Pour a black body with one finger almost tan head that died down leaving some lace. The hops are the star in the aroma as I get earthy, piney hops and just touches of any type of malt (mostly sweet). The beer is smooth, light to medium bodied, taste is mostly fresh, earthy hops but the beer is a little bigger/thicker than average IPA and the malts do come out as there is a residual sweetness that hits me on the backend. To poorly summarize this beer, it's an IPA with a larger chunk of bready and sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would welcome more sweet Black IPAs like it.

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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...

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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

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
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).

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Photo of bark
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
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

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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.

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Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.53/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Gusmotel
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle received in trade with Phyl21ca - thanks!

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, grapefruit, hops, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and hops. There is also some light coffee, ginger, and some grapefruit/lemon. It ends with a malty yet hoppy and fruity aftertaste.

Overall - Another winner from this brewer. This would be one of my go to beers if it was available locally. Worth buying for sure.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Libertine Black Ale from BrewDog
87 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.