Libertine Black Ale - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Libertine Black AleLibertine Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

57 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 353
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.66%
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
View: Beers (110) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 57 | Hads: 353
Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Leviathan5
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
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 LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (890 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (2,106 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
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). (1,087 characters)

Photo of bark
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
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 oberon
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
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 RandomExile
3.22/5  rDev -18.3%
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 Tony_Sarracino
4.76/5  rDev +20.8%
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 stcules
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (347 characters)

Photo of MarkoNm
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
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 corby112
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
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 djura
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
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)

Photo of Gusmotel
3.35/5  rDev -15%
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 ThisWangsChung
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
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 hansavijaticar
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%
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 spinrsx
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (675 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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 endovelico
4.53/5  rDev +15%
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 wl0307
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
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 laituegonflable
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
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 StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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 jazzyjeff13
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
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 mick303
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
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 danieelol
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
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)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Libertine Black Ale from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.