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Black IPA - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black IPABlack IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

33 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 33
Hads: 179
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 24.06%
Wants: 6
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 12-04-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 179
Photo of Beaver13
2.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can. Pours dark brown with a medium fluffy light tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet roasted grainy malts and some floral perfume.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malts with piney hops and a lot of bitter roast in the finish and some floral, almost soapy notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it's OK - kind of a weird balance of sweet and roast with some off notes.

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Photo of sevopie
2.99/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this one up to give it a try based on the quality of Happy Camper, and as someone mentioned - these cans stand out sitting on the shelf.

First impressions are mixed, the head looks full with good lacing, but this beer is clearly not black, its the first Black IPA (why are we still calling them this?) that I can see through. Hints of roasted cereal and a touch of pine cones.

The taste is where this beer begins to fully unravel for me. The flavor has no real direction to it, I get blasts of burnt malt, lemon, pine, and it finishes with a mildly sour/tangy flavor that does not mesh with the roasted (burnt) malt flavors at all.

One of the more redeeming aspects of this beer is the mouthfeel, it is very creamy and full bodied, with a pleasing amount of carbonation. If only the flavors it emphasized lived up to the body, they might be on to something.

Overall this is not a beer I could recommend to friends based on this example. Its not a terrible beer, but the lack of cohesion between the flavors leave me wanting more.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours dark brown, almost black with a 2 finger khaki head that has very good staying power. Decent lacing patterns.

S - Roasted hops, grain, toasted pine needles, lots of coffee.

T - Roasted grains, green pine hops, cola sweetness, some cocoa and coffee flavors, Santa Fe yeast, bitterness is tame but carries into the finish.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, wet with a bitter finish.

Nothing wrong here but nothing outstanding either. A safe and simple American black ale that I had no problem drinking. I kind of liked the coffee which is not something you find in most American black ales.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can $8.99 per sixer. Pretty standard appearance for the style, black. Huge head, good lacing. Aroma is roasted malts and pine, pretty typical black IPA smell actually. Thick roast flavor, pine, maybe a hint of citrus on the finish. This really exemplifies why I think most black IPA's fail, the flavors clash horribly. They are not bad flavors on their own but they really just seem to fight each other. Wish I had bought a single can instead of a sixer, bummer.

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Photo of ajd413
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Great deep black color and pleasant hop aroma. First sip, it's a bit thin and not as hoppy as I had hoped. It's balanced but short of the mark for the style. More of a black pale rather than IPA. The roast malt is definitely more prominent than the hops but not in a bad way. The mild sweetness pairs well with the gentle bitterness of the hops and overall, it's a fine beer but nothing spectacular

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good looking pour gives us a dark brown body with light brown head, which is somewhat thick and rich. Lacing is slick

Roasted malt aroma with a nice flare of pine and citrus rind hops. A touch of coffee and baked caramel. Hint of licorice.

Flavor is simple. The hops provide just a bit of pine. The coffee in the aroma seems to thin out the flavor and body. With the roasted malt backing things up, this beer seems like an old style porter, but it does have a bite.

Still, the thinness of this beer makes it drinkable, yet seems to betray the rest of the brew. Maybe it's flat? The head could come from the hops and not carbonation.

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Photo of rodlavers
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at The Shed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while we waited to be seated (about 90 minutes), and sat outside in the courtyard drenched in warming sunlight.

Pours black with about a finger of tan fluffy head. Great lacing, decent retention. Some bubbles.

Smell is a bit above average: mostly organic, roasted malt and light coffee aromas, but all very subdued.

Taste is similar to nose, but more forward/enjoyable. One of the most prominent flavors is of natural hay, with moderate hops in the background. Little bit of coffee, malt-flavor. Nice balance between hops and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is good, too. Nicely balanced with some bitterness and medium carbonation.

Overall, a decent representation of a black IPA, but I've had better. Worth a try if you are in the area. Cheers.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Awesome blackened tan foamy head rises from the top of the delicious looking black brew. Lacing is nice too. Clarity is nice, nothing too heavy..

Mild sewer aroma... Lightly smoked, roasty, dark, chocolate, caramel, very mild pineapple hops.

Thin, medium-high carbonation, not much bitterness, sweetness is detectable, chalky, very roasty, wet, not overly crisp, lingering bitterness... Give me less roast and more HOP!!!

A good brew, but not the best Black IPA I've had. I've also seen Santa Fe Brewing do better work..it's not up to the high standard of their other canned offerings. Recommended, expect high drinkability, sessionability, ABV, and an equal kick in the pants.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can pours a pretty solid black color with a fine-bubbled brown head. Nice retention and lacing...so far, so good.

Nose has tons of bright pine and citrus hops with a hefty dose of roast, licorice and dark chocolate. The parts sound like they would add up to greatness, but the various parts clash a bit, for me anyway.

This one has about equal parts hops and malt. The hop flavors and bitterness are both bold. The malts lean a bit more roasty than chocolate which kinds of piles on top of the hop bitterness. I really enjoyed the Happy Camper IPA from SFBC, but this one is not quite as tasty. I tend to like my Black IPAs a little more chocolate leaning with more emphasis on hop flavoring than the bitterness. Its not bad though, Santa Fe has put out some pretty tasty stuff in the fast 3 or 4 years.

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Photo of TheBeerDog
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass, ordered at Alamo Draft House in San Antonio. I tried ordering the Happy Camper, which had for the first time and enjoyed several weeks ago. Since they were out of Happy Camper, the waitress recommended the Black IPA. This was a enjoyable beer, and goes down very smooth for a beer with an ABV of 7.1%.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium to slightly bigger tan head recedes super slowly above a clear darker brown with a hint of deep red colored beer.

Pine and citrus hops aroma with some darker roasted grain malts coming through as well.

Dark roasted malts with both chocolate and coffee aspects seem to be sharing the spotlight or even trying to steal it from the pine and citrusy hops tastes.

A dryish aftertaste with some of the hops bitterness coming through on this medium bodied beer.

Like most dark IPA's I have tried a get a mixture of dark malts and citrus hops and I think I would rather drink a IPA or a brown/porter/stout/oktoberfest/amber and not both at the same time.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%

Can as a trade extra. Thanks! Pours black with a big fluffy off white to khaki colored head. Nice aroma of pine, roast, grass, very pleasant. Flavor is roasty and porter like with some chocolate notes, a bit of spicy influence, and some balancing grassy and somewhat citrusy hops. Medium light bodied, medium plus carbonation. Pretty easy drinker, but not particularly distinguishable from the trove of the style out there that tend to not be super exciting. Worth drinking, not really worth seeking out unless this is your style.

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Photo of marzenfannm
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Impressive head with staying power. Deep black color. Not a strong aroma ... Neutral. Well balanced flavor. No strong aftertaste. I'd buy again.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a scarlet tinged mahogany with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Roastyness, some fig, leafy hops & a whisper of brown bread

T: Roastyness, a bit of carob, woody hops, & a little grapefruit up front, plus some coffee. Roastyness continues as this warms, faint figgyness plus herbal & woody hops, then a smidge of cocoa. Finishes roasty, somewhat dry, woody with some dark fruittyness & grapefruit coming through

MF: Medium body with firm carbonation, skews slightly malty

Very easy to drink, not the best Black Ale out there, but this would do in a pinch. I wish it was as good & hop forward as their IPA

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Photo of lordofstarside
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can to a pint glass, don't see any dates

I swear each one of these has exploded all over my hands each time I've opened one. Pours black with red hues and a pretty high transparency, moderate carbonation, and two fingers of head that aren't going anywhere. Lacing is good, if only it were darker

Smells of grapefruit, pine, and lemon upfront for the hops. Really strong chocolate and coffee notes with caramel notes. Finishes with a light scent of alcohol, definitely a black ipa

Taste falls short of the aroma. The hops aren't as strong but still exhibit the citrus character in the smell. The malts are a lot more powerful but don't meld as well, heavy chocolate and coffee none the less. Finishes with just a bit of alcohol

Feel is a moderate/thick body with a dry finish. Moderately bitter, pretty drinkable

Overall this stuff is okay, unless I was looking for a black ipa to take on trips outdoors I don't think pay another $10 for a sixer though

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Photo of mastodonj
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cool looking black can with silver graphics.
Massive tan head and opaque black
Not much nose or any aromas but the taste makes up for it.
Complex toasted maltiness, hoppy
Great bitter aftertaste.
Excellent mouthfeel, full smooth
Altogether, this is a really excellent ale that I'll buy again.
With the Camper IPA, the Java Stout and this one, Santa Fe is 3 for 3

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gotta say - I do like these cans. They stand out and are easy to find on the shelf, making an impressive entrance into a new market.

Creamy tan head stands a finger thick. Depending on the light in the room, you might mistake this for black. But it's closer to a dark brown, as there are hints of red near the bottom of the glass and it comes across a tick less imposing than a deep black would. Layer on layer on layer of lace all the way down the glass.

Vegetation and spice in the hops comes through to the nose, with a faint backdrop of maltiness. Not as much as I'd expect, but enough to let you know it exists.

Heavily hopped - lots of greenery, coupled with copious amounts of spice.

Big, round in the mouth, smooth and delivering the full wave of hops in its breadth. Slaps the tongue a bit, with somewhat heavy-handed and one-leveled hops.

Good, not great. Ripe with hops if that's the only thing you're after.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have had this several times before, but this review is for a pint at the brewery yesterday (11/15/13).

The beer is jet black with three fingers of khaki-colored head. There is abundant lacing.

The smell is piney and hoppy, resinous and floral.

The tastes I detect are burnt coffee, chocolate, piney hops, caramel and toffee.

The beer has a big body, a powerful hop profile and a heavy mouthfeel that requires that one drink slowly. Despite the bitter dryness, the chocolate and coffee notes smooth out the finish. Overall, good but not great.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I scored this as a free sample from the store I usually stop at. When you spend a lot of money in a particular store, they hold things behind the counter for you. They had one six pack of this, so I got one for free. Awfully nice of them. Side poured with standard vigor from the can into the Sam Adams glass.

Appearance - First, I love the packaging. The silver and black are classically cool, with the New Mexico state emblem on the front making it even cooler. I am impressed by that. Furthermore, it pours a nice black color with a two finger that, while quickly dissipating, leaves some filthy lacing that lasts throughout the beer. I like it.

Smell - Smells like your standard IPA fare, although it is classified as a black ale. As would be expected the hops are the biggest presence, although unlike most IPA's there is a good smattering of caramel, roastiness, and a bit of chocolate in the background. Its almost like they hopped a thin porter.

Taste - Well balanced, with the hops washing the palate but being balanced out by the roastiness and caramel flavoring. Nothing amazing, but it is a good drink.

Mouthfeel - Finishes with a sweetness, a bit of caramel at the back of the drink that is a bit of surprise. Pretty thin, finishes smooth and clean. No hint of the alcohol content.

Overall - This is a decent beer. I cannot decide if it tastes like a thin, hopped porter or an IPA turned black with a bit of caramel and roastiness. There is nothing that stands out about this beer, but it is good, worth a try.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tumbler from a 12 oz can.

Color is dark brown/black with a thick frothy tan head. Retention is decent, lacing is word-class. Every sip is outlined. Smell is a lot of citrus hops along with some roasted malt, some chocolate and maybe even some coffee. Taste is similar - very rich tasting with a lot of hop presence, but significant roasted flavors as well. I really like this style. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a well made beer that I would be happy to drink again.

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Photo of katan
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint

A - Pours brown/black color. Amber highlights. Not totally opaque. Head formation is strong, mocha colored.

S - An interesting scent - mostly a roasted, perhaps in a little bit burn note. Matched with a earthy hop profile.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, deep malts - chocolate perhaps. In the middle gets a little more roasted, even a little bit nutty. Finishes with a little more bitterness. Aftertaste contains a decent amount of burnt flavors.

M - Fuller bodied, moderate to lighter carbonation. Cloying and sticky - thick and sugary at times. Alcohol can be detected in the finish.

O/D - A good workable black IPA - less IPA and more in the stout arena since the hopping doesn't quite come through that strongly. Not overly filling. ABV is up there but won't take you out.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i liked this a lot, although perhaps not as hoppy as some other black india pale ales. this one pours midnight black in color with an inch of off white head. the nose is coffee with cream and sugar, as well as bitter dark barley malt and citrusy grapefruity hops. the flavor is a lot like the nose, but with a much less intense fruit component on the hops. bitter still though from the dark malt, and the coffee doesnt convey any sweetness at all. there is an interesting sugar present, but i cant quite place it. something along the lines of molassas without the heaviness or spice factor. sort of a unique feel to this one too. creamy and gently carbonated but with a clean finish. its different from a lot of black ipas, but its a nice beer, plenty drinkable even with its higher abv. santa fe has really stepped their game up in the last year or so, and everything ive had from them in that time has been excellent. try this one for a slightly different twist on the classic black ipa.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Pitch black with a cream colored head. Sheets of lacing after head recedes to a light film.

Aroma: Pine, spicy hops, and apricot (??).

Taste: Piny, spicy, hoppy then very rich and dark roasted malts -- coffee, dark chocolate. Spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, dry.

Overall: Such a spicy, roasted beer. Really good. Complex. 7.1% ABV hidden well.

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Photo of arizcards
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late December for $1.79. No canned date but the TW sticker indicates a 11/26/14 received date. Been in my beer fridge since the purchase.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is citrus hops and mild roasted malts as this brew warms up.

Taste is pine and citrus hops over a roasted malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and petty smooth.

Overall this is nice black IPA, definitely a good representation of the style!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa Fe Black IPA has a thick, soapy, beige head, a dark, red-brown appearance, and heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is very noticeably citrusy, with some background bread crust and malt. Taste is of roasted grain, citrus, hop resin, chocolate, some bitterness, and sugar. Mouthfeel is medium, and Santa Fe Black IPA finishes mostly dry, easy drinking, and not the least bit alchohilic. Overall, I like it and recommend it!


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Black IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.