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BIG HAPI India Black Ale - Lawson's Finest Liquids

Not Rated.
BIG HAPI India Black AleBIG HAPI India Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 202
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 25
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

This dark and devious brew reflects a resinous and sticky fusion of intense bitterness, big roasted barley flavors, and powerful dank aromas. Made with HUGE additions of five hop varieties and seven malts to create a bold flavor profile.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 202
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black IPA with a good roast aroma, black bodied with a big bubbly head. Piny hop taste-Chinook, Cluster, and Amarillo. Medium mouthfeel. Not aggressive, more like a black ale with significant hopping.My first LL, thanks to John's most excellent tracking.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at The Warren Store the morning of Night of the Funk 2010. Poured into a tulip and shared with bmanning, Amyliz4, and Heather. Batch 163, Bottle 17.

Pour is a very dark brown with an off white head. Plenty of light carbonation bubbles on top. Very nice lacing. The nose is very, very strong aromas of piney, resinous hops with a pretty good amount of roasted malt to back it up.

The taste is all about the pine and resin with a bit of darkly-roasted malt. The feel is extremely dry and bitter. Just an incredibly bitter beer. Even with that, it's still quite drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7.5%ABV.per bottle label.My second of Lawson's wares I have had today.Poured a deep dark chocolate brown with a fluffy deep near mocha colored beige head that settles into a frothy mass after two half rings of lace left behind.Resinious hops,char,earth,and bitter chocolate notes in the nose, a nice mix.Great complex flavors going on with huge resiny and citric hops that are sharp and pretty in your face,a bit of bitter chocolate and alot of raw roast to compliment the hops.Wow a great IBA it has everything going on,top notch right here.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at prohibition pig

Fluffy darker colored 1 finger creamy head fades slowly with nice lacing pitch black beer.

Nose nice piny spicy earthy hops, done darker malts, creamy malts, dark chocolate, caramel, hint if roast.

Taste starts creamy with milk chocolate and bakers choc, luscious, malty, malted milk ball, caramel, light bready malts, then hops, earthy light spicy piny hops, hint of coffee and roasted malt, chewy. Finish is creamy malty, little sticky and syrupy, fairly biter, earthy piny lingering hops and light cocoa and caramel lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb, fluffy and bit creamy.

Overall nice, great hops and malts combined, blend well, not too sweet too hoppy or boozy.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at the Farmhouse, Burlington, VT

How could I turn down a Lawson's on tap? Poured into a 6oz. stem glass, a dark, dark chocolate brown with a creamy, rocky tan head; decent retention and lacing. Typical dark ale aroma heavy with piney hops, and hints of greasy cocoa. Taste was oily, resinous up front, with a surprising infusion of delectable coffee mid-palate, finishing with more pine, grass, citrus peel, and charred wood. Quite complex in the taste, and probably the best of the style that I've had so far. Medium-bodied, quite drinkable, though perhaps one serving is enough for anyone. Very nicely done overall.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to thorpe429 for sharing this one. Served in a Chouffe tulip. Batch #163, bottle #55.

A - Pours with two fingers of off-white foam that settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and some spotty lace. Body is brown and reveals some caramel notes when held to the light.

S - Hoppy, with notes of floral and grassy notes mingling with tangerines. There's malt backbone is definitely very cocoa heavy. This is balanced and well-integrated.

T - Dear god, the bitterness. There's a faint note of pine and grapefruit and then punishing alpha acids that evoke aspirin. If I concentrate really hard I can pick out a touch of malt and cocoa, but not very much at all.

M - Smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, well-hidden alcohol, dry finish, and nice residual oily hop resins.

D - Too bitter to consume in mass quantities, and I generally enjoy bitter beers. The aroma is great, but the taste needs more flavor and balance.

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Photo of stakem
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a matching Lawsons snifter. The brew appears black in color with a dark khaki head. Some spotty and patchy lacework stick to the glass and a swirl effortlessly revives a long lasting cap.

The smell is quite vegetative. Very dank and catty that is herbacious with pine and roast. Some sulfur pokes through with a swirl but this is one dank bugger, very herbal with little hop restraint.

The taste is bitter and roasty like coffee and earth. Some vegetative quality like the aroma suggested along with a pine-like resinous feel with plenty of hop flavors of herbs catty piss, grassy and more vegetative quality. Lots of pine resin emerges as it warms with a rough acrid bite of roast and alcohol.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. Big bitterness seemingly coming from the roast of the grain as well as hops but with hops going a little overboard. I could see fans of the style really going bonkers for this but I think it was a bit rough and over the top.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Farm House Tap & Grill.

A very dark brown walnut body, but also with a large dark red color to it. Simple cream tan head fades, but always leaves a good collar while drinking, and with a decent amount of lacing.

Very muted nose, however there's much of a char ripping carbon character to this much like a good porter. Doesn't particularly feel hopy either.

Taste improves. Large carbon char action with a hop roasty bitterness on the finish. Texture and body feels a little wet but luckily doesn't detract or take away anything in the palate. Large on charing porter character, with a good hoppy finish that balances well strangely.

Overall It's a little one dimensional, but an impressive big dimension. I can see myself drinking this again and wanting another, but I know I've had better.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle to a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown. Small brown head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell - Hoppy. Citrusy with a touch of grapefruit. Just a hint of the coffee malt behind it all.

Taste - Hops up front. Lots of juicy citrus hops. Bitterness overwhelms the chocolate malt that comes next. Chocolate and coffee make a brief appearance. Loads of bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - So bitter. Delicious, but not pleasant to drink. Really detracts from the whole experience of the beer.

Overall - Good flavor, too bitter. Tough to call it really good, but the flavors are nice.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4



A: Black with an inch of frothy, bubbly light brown sea foam. Very good retention and lots of lacing left clinging to the glass.

S: Smells like the bowels of the earth with accompanying pine resin and grapefruit flesh and rind. I get some damp forest dirt with pine needles. There's an effusive and pervasive marijuana note. Chocolate blends with lightly roasted grains.

T: A nicely balanced Black IPA. There's a smooth moderate herbal, piney, and grapefruity bitterness equipoised by chocolate and roasted notes. The finish is dry and hoppy with lingering chocolate.

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, silky, and creamy.

Overall: A nice Black IPA with an expressive aroma. Not quite as good as Lawson's pale hoppy beers, but nice and definitely worth trying.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Prototypical Black IPA, Cascadian ale, whatever you want to call it. Jet black body with a nice cap of tan foam that settles slowly and leaves strong lacing. Vividly hoppy aroma, lots of grapefruit and other citrus, some piney notes, strong roasted component.

Flavor follows the nose. Breaks no new ground, just nails the style beautifully. Again there’s incredibly fresh and vivid citrusy hops reeking of grapefruit, some pine and resins; lots of roasted malt character. Almost charred. Strong but not overbearing bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Dry finish.

Medium body and carbonation, exceptionally smooth and creamy in the mouth. Well done, my favorite of this style to date. On tap at the Farmhouse in Burlington; much better than the bottled version, IMHO.

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Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Kyle for sharing.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice dark almost black hue with a nice half finger mocha head that fades to a nice thin blanket.

S - Aromas of super dank resinous hops, grapefruit, pine, chocolate. Nice.

T - Taste is incredibly hoppy, loads of wet, dank, resinous pine with some very bitter grapefruit finish. The malts assess suppressed nicely, good chocolate.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, great bitter finish.

O - Overall this beer was mighty tasty, Loads of hops.

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Photo of Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a two-finger brown head into my pint glass. Lacing is left on the glass and overall presentation is nice.

Aroma is full of roasted coffee, chocolate and floral hops! Hops are mellow but the other flavors stand through quite a bit.

Taste is full of grassy hops upfront with roasted malt dominating the mouthfeel throughout. This baby is all hops. The other flavors ensure that the hops don't get to be too much.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering grassy hops that once again dominate. It's like drinking a special blend of coffee that is full of biting bitterness from the beans themselves.

Worth a try but my only gripe is that there's so many hops, it overwhelms any potential that this beer had to be more. I would probably dial down the hops a tad bit but otherwise, if you love hops, this is right up your alley.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for the bottle Eric!

(A)- Pours just about pitch black in color. Some good tan froth and lacing formed.

(S)- A great blast of juicy citrus meets a mellow roasted malt component. Lime and orange citrus with the underlying sweet roasted malts is definitely inviting.

(T)- Tons of pine meets a subtle citrus and roasted components. TONS of pine.

(M)- Its quite bitter with all of the pine in there (was chinook used?). Otherwise its fairly well balanced. Easily the most hoppy black IPA I have had.

(O)- If the pine was toned down just a bit and the citrus opened up more, this would be just killer, but yeah, holy pine batman!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike (Thorpe429) for bringing this and others from Lawson's. This was rare batch 163, bottle 55.

Dark colored, a little reddish brown at the edges but otherwise opaque, with a tan foam. It smells very citrusy, maybe a mix of west coast citrus and European grass. Very nice, I wish the taste followed these notes but it's a different beast. Lots of roasted malts and a very bitter and dry aftertaste. Alum-like finish, very unique and defining. Possibly this is taking grapefruit to the extreme, meaning it's astringent rind. Many people might like it but it limited my enjoyment somewhat.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Michael for this rare Lawson's...Brown beer with an off white head. A small cap forms, so-so lacing...This beer is total hop forward, does makes any bones about it. Hop bomb of flowers and grass, a little citrus helps to balance this pretty nicely...The taste is all hops and nothing else, way to strong its really tough to drink. So bitter, too hop forward.

Decent start but to much hops to drink.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Black beer with an off-white head that dissipated to a ring. Great chunks and spot lacing on the sides.

S - Flooded with cascadian hops, and a great malt backbone. I'm usually not a fan of Black IPAs, but this smells a little less "black" than many.

T - Very bitter cascadian hops taste, hop forward and malt forward at the same time. The sugar manages to be not too sugary and therefore not hot. I like this beer, but it takes quite the effort to overcome the bitterness.

M - Solid, medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

D - It's good, but it's so bitter it can get hard to get down. I like this beer, surprisingly.

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

Big thanks to tobelerone for throwing this in on a trade, I was happy to be able to try a Lawson's with a friend. Dark black color, standard appearance, decent head. Aroma is piney hops. Flavor is oily hops, pine, citrus and a hint of dark malt on the end. No burnt or roast flavors really and I like that because i think sometimes they clash with the hops. This was one of teh better black IPA's I've tasted.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy/creamy light brown head. Retention is good and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Formitable roastiness with notes of molasses. Citrusy and earthy hops with emphasis on orange, grapefruit, and pineapple. Not bad, but the aromas don't flow together that well.

3.5 T: Taste is like the nose. Lots of roast, some molasses, and some caramel. Orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and earthiness fromt he hops. Lower bitterness from the hops, which I think is a must for the style, so at least they got that right. Again, decent.

3.5 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Decently creamy.

3.5 D: Not a huge fan of the style, but this one isn't bad. A little better than average for the style.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying at the Mad Taco in Vermont.
Thick, tight dull dark beige head that settles to a cap of foam and covers the entire glass with lace. Really dark brown in color with no light getting through.

Aroma is of pine and roasted malt. Nice combination. Rounded, not harsh.

Nice pop of roast and hop bitterness right up front. The dark roasted malt flavors settle a little, but the hop bitterness does not. Lots of dark pine mixed with a dark almost unsweetened chocolate.

Oily finish which has the hop bitterness cling to your tongue.

Real nice. Not sure if you want a stout or IPA.... Here's your choice.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this about 10 days ago at the Warren Store (~$9.00 or so). Popped it yesterday while enjoying the lovely summer-like weather.

Poured into an imperial nonic, it came out looking like a stout or a porter. It was a very dark chestnut, with some highlights at the edges when held up to the light. Up top was a frothy, 1" layer of mocha hued foam, which ebbed slowly and left lovely lacing. Nose was inviting, with a good amount of chocolate with some rind hidden beneath. Medium in body, it was also pretty easy-going on the tongue.

Oddly, the choco and roasty notes were light on the palate, mostly staying in the background. What was strong was the citrus action. Had plenty of grapefruit and even a little zest of lemon floating around in there. It was a bit pithey and near the finish some roasty bitterness reappeared. Overall I liked this; it was well-made and satisfying, though the price pretty much makes it a "one and done". Prosit!!

4.03/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of Sean9689
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Keith for the bottle!

A - Pours dark brown, tan head, thin collar, wisps.

S - A mix of sweet toasted malts and bitter pine hops. I'm not sure if these notes really work all that well together, and I think both are a bit too strong and clash.

T - Similar to the nose, lots of pine and citrus mixed with lots of malty roasted sweetness. Neither let off and both are pretty in-your-face. The booze is pretty evident as well, which is off-putting for 7.5%. Finish is lots of bitter pine and a touch of malts.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, oily roasted finish.

O - Not my favorite black IPA of all-time, but still decent. I think there's too much bitterness and sweetness, and neither work all that well together. I'd probably have again, if offered, but nothing crazy here.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, whartontallboy!

A stunningly gorgeous black IPA. Black throughout, with a moderately sized, persistent, brown head that leaves the glass completely messy with lines and irregular spiderwebs of lacing. Picture perfect!

Very nice, interesting, and evolving aroma. The initial and most powerful aromas were of pine and tree sap. After some warming and agitation, big notes of roast and ground coffee shine through. Complex, refined, interesting, and just damn good.

The flavor isn't quite as complex (or good) as the aroma would indicate. The pine flavors are somewhat muted, alongside very nice complementary roast and mildly bitter coffee. Good, but not great.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. An easy drinker.

A very nice, dare I say classic, black IPA. There are better examples, but I'm forever grateful that I was able to try this.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich roasted and burnt caramel malts with some coffee, citrus hops, and some light pine hops.

T - Starts off with some deep roasted caramel malts with some roasted coffee and some citrus hops and bitterness with some grapefruit. Through the middle, some burnt malts come through with some more bitter-coffee flavor and some pine hop and more bitterness. The finish is a mix of pine and citrus hop with some earthy flavors, roasted and burnt malts and coffee, and some chocolate and bitterness.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, roasty, and chocolately finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice Black IPA with a good combination of hops, coffee flavor, and deep roasted malts and chocolate. Very nicely balanced.

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BIG HAPI India Black Ale from Lawson's Finest Liquids
88 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.