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Black Moon IPA - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Moon IPABlack Moon IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

128 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.25%
Wants: 36
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AlexJ on 10-03-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of musicforairports
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Schuffer Steak and Ale House in Burlington.

Definitely black, small, off-white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and some pine. Pretty sticky and a bit sweet.

Taste is robust, with a lot of roasted chocolate flavors. Hops take the form of a resin-y pine flavor with some citrus, but they aren't too strong. In some ways, this is like drinking a hoppy Imperial Stout. Alcohol is noticeable but less so than it could be for the ABV.

A bit syrupy on the mouth, appropriate level of carbonation.

This one is less hoppy than some I've had of the style and is definitely the most robust. It's a sipper and a decent beer overall.

musicforairports, May 02, 2011
Photo of CrookedStill
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black/deep mahogany in color with a thin tan head that quickly falls.

Pine aroma dominates with a slight sweetness behind it.

Taste really follows the nose. Big hop presence upfront and balanced by a equally large malt backbone. Pretty standard for a IIPA but much better balanced than many I've had. There's hints of the roasted malt but it isn't overpowering and really compliments the hops. Finishes on a mildly sweet note. The alcohol, to be 10%, is well hidden and is only slightly present.

Fairly full body, just short of "syrupy," with a nice amount of carbonation and again not unlike other IIPAs I've tried.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. The nice thing, at least to me, about this one is that the roasted flavor is kept to a minimum and, in that respect, doesn't depart too far from a traditional IIPA. The most enjoyable thing about it is that the body is thicker while being better balanced than many other beers I've had from this style. It's a shame this was only brewed once.

CrookedStill, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in the Regional Growler BIF. Thanks baconsausage

Pours a deep black. Nice thick tan head like an oatmeal stout. Nice lacing.

Aroma is nice and hoppy. But with a nice caramel and roast. Smells great.

Taste is awesome. Not too IPA-ish. Was expecting something like night stalker but is almost like a smooth drinkin stout. Nice hop flavor though. Slight bitterness with the roastyness and caramel. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Great carb.

Man glad I got one of these to try. Awesome beer. Grab one if you can.

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of imagineiii. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours near black with an off-white head and some spotty lacing as it goes down. The nose is a bit plain with some woody characteristics and a bit of dryness. There is a bit of a perfume-like character there as well, perhaps from some floral-forward hops. The flavor has a lot of roast plus some pine and more of the perfume notes. Feel is brought down by this, as it almost seems like someone sprayed perfume way too close to my face right before I inhaled. Overall, this was pretty good, though nothing out of the ordinary.

Thorpe429, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night nice medium brown head with nice lacing.

Aroma is very hoppy, resiny, piny, rusted malts and chocolate.

Taste is pretty similar...actually spot on but more chocolatey and roasted notes.

Feel is medium, creamy and slick.

Drink is pretty good. Nice and intense!

EgadBananas, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of koopa
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle brought back from VT by grassblue thanks!

Appearance: Pours an opaque deep dark brown with a 2.5 finger off white (grey to khaki) crown that shows moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Strong pine and sandalwood hop notes over dark roast malt.

Taste: Same as nose with dark malt and a hint of fruit up front. The malt really takes a back seat and seems one dimensional but the hops are delicious.

Mouthfeel: A bit undercarbonated and flubbery (making up words again I know)

Drinkability: Fairly good despite the one dimensional malt and flubbery mouthfeel :)

koopa, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A reward for a trip across the border today.

A: It is black. I get it. A touch of cola colored when held up to the light. A half finger of brownish head with some impressive lacing.

S: I have been having quite a few examples of this style lately and I think this might be the best nose I have ever had for it. The black and the black and the IPA have never been more integrated in the nose for me. You get the hops which come across with a nice citrus not then the malt which has a touch of chocolate with only a hint of roast.

T: Just like the nose. I think the roast really can get in the way of this emerging style and it is just not there. A touch of chocolate combined with citrus nature of the hops is a real winner. The finish is nice with a touch of chocolate and a nice pleasant lingering hop taste.

M: Feels like a normal IPA. It was never overwhelming. Well carbonated.

D: This is one of the best examples of the style that I have had hands down. The more of these beers I have the more I realize that the roasted flavors really need to be cut back.

aerozeppl, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of vtblackdog
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black as night and no light passes through! Not a lot of head but what forms stays around.

S - Awesome on my nose well hopped. One of the best.

T - Catching some bitterness from the heavy hops which were present in the aroma. The alcohol is present for me.

M - Soft to the mouth.

D - The offering is a good black IPA however I'd preer a bit more balance on the hops to malt.

vtblackdog, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the hobo tasting at RJ Rockers last night, we went with some damn good DIPA's that I will be the first to admit knocked me for a bit of a loop after a long break. But got a love good beer, good company, and being surrounded by fermenters, still does not beat a chucky cheese. Poured into a pint glass and enjoyed on 02/17/2011.

The last of the tasting I had acquired this gem from Rock art and clocking in at 10% here we go. Dark black pour with a inch and a half of tan that leaps off the top of the beer. Settling down it coats the sides of the glass with a deep layer of lacing and a firm staying power. Hops are much more upfront here than in the previous two. Deep citrus comes through the air followed by a nice roasted malt, brown sugar, earthy and a touch of light peat. Follow through in the flavor was gorgeous with a sustained hop bite that melted away into a smooth sweet malt finish that had just enough left to dry the palate. 10% abv, where???

Overall the winner of the day for me, until I got home, but really very well done and probably my favorite thing I have had from Rock Art.

mikesgroove, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed during Hobo Tasting #4 with mikesgroove (as always) at RJ Rockers Brewery during a Thursday Taste & Tour session. Massive thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this bottle! Served from bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature snifter. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a one and a half finger very light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, and caramel hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, and roasted sweet hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The flavors in this one were very well balanced. This was honestly the first time I had tasted a brew with a roasted sweet hop flavor in it (at least that is how I describe it). 10%!? I never would have known if me and Mike were not checking the bottles we were trying... The aroma given off by this one was quite nice as well. Not really a lot missing on this one to say the least. This is an absolute must try for anyone who is a fan of the style (whatever they decide to call it) or some one just curious.

thagr81us, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours incredibly dark with solid head. Its a great look for a beer. Smells of citrus and hops. something else is coming through on the nose as well that I can't quite identify. Bitter hops and tons of malt on the tongue. Fairly well balanced but too bitter. Tastes strong... like it is. Overall a very interesting beer

Urbancaver, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours one shade shy of black with a half inch, creamy, tan-colored head embedded with ringlets and interspersed with clusters of bubbles. Head was refreshed with a gentle swirl of the glass. The overall appearance is very much reminiscent of an RIS. Creamy spots and slashes of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses an earthy char, coffee notes, cocoa and a trace of earthy hops. Taste reveals dark chocolate, a creamy quality, an earthy character and only a trace of bittering hops. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied with an assertive, palate cleansing carbonation. I have to say that I wasn't sure what to anticipate from this brew. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity, well-hidden alcohol and the chocolatey/malty flavors so prevalent in the flavor profile. Well worth your time if you have the opportunity to try this one.

Jwale73, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of ThirstyBird
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours super dark brown - nearly opaque with a deep tan head that falls slowly to a fairly thick blanket. Nice lacing. Smells of piney hops, roasty malt, some chocolate. The taste is much more assertive than the nose. Hope hit first with some impact but the flavor of the hops in in a tangle with the roast of the malt. It's actually a pretty good balance. I get some bitterness for the hops but some of the pine notes are intertwined with the malt so as they don't stand out on their own.

The body is medium and th4e carbonation is fairly active but the beer is quite smooth. Overall an enjoyable brew of a unique kind. Oh damn - I didn't realize that it's 10% - I guess it also hides it alcohol very well!

ThirstyBird, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Review from notes 12/28.

A: Dark black with a two finger tan head. Good retention, slowly settled to a thin layer of foam. Nice lacing down the sides, not sheets, but a good amount left behind.

S: Hit right away with some nice floral hops, a little bit of pine. There is a grassy smell as well. This is followed up some roasted malts and chocolate.

T: Some very nice hops upfront, a nice combination of citrus and a little pine. It blends very nicely with the malty backbone as well as the chocolate and caramel that come through as well.

M/D: Medium bodied and very smooth. The alcohol is extremely well hidden. I was very happy to have had this beer, it tasted great right off the tap, I only wish I could get some more.

mdaschaf, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant - much obliged!

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth, lightly roasted malts with large amounts of pine hops. Also present are slight amounts of dark chocolate and slighter still amounts of anise.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the complexity of the malts is not quite on par with that in the nose. Robust roasted malt flavors - more robust than almost all other CDAs I've had - kick things off and are joined almost immediately by large amounts of sticky pine hops. Midway through the sip hints of semi-sweet chocolate and roasted coffee work their way into things, fading out into a solidly bitter ending. There's a good deal of warming on the way down, indicating the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I was impressed with this beer after giving it a sniff but slightly less so after my first sip. Somewhere between a CDA and a hoppy American Double Stout, this beer is tasty and worth a shot.

glid02, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. Thanks again to KristinCooks for this one as an extra in a trade. It could really be the main bottle in a trade, because it's fantastic. Enjoyed with my buddy Dan and his wife Leigh on New Year's Eve. Breaking out the nice IPA's for this one!

Goddamn! This f*cker smells exceptional! It's hoppy, it's malty, it's... like a campfire in the forest and a toe-tingling wave on a hot summer day. Appearance is dark brown, with a tan head that maintains. Smell is a mix of roastiness and hop bitters. Grapefruit predominates in my mind. Black Moon's taste far exceeds Black Moon's music (for the underground rap fans...) and it leads with hops, features roasted sweet malts in the middle that give it its darkness, and finishes with a grapefruit tinge that lingers in the back of your palate.

I'm floored. A f*cking co-op grocery store made this. Official WTF. Too bad I won't see another bottle of this anytime soon, because I'd enjoy it "in a moment of solitude" as the beer label suggests. The one knock is drinkability. While its really smooth, its deceptively alcoholic. But that shouldn't stop you.

Plus, if my review hasn't sold you, Dan says it has a fun finish. So there's that too.

afksports, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nkersten for picking this up in Vermont. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pours with two fingers of tan foam that settles to a solid thin cap, and leaves behind attractive splotchy lacing. The body is near-black, but reveals some reddish transparency when held to the light.

S - Lots of baker's chocolate, and some light pine, floral, and herbaceous hops. That being said, the malt backbone has enough complexity to keep things interesting, and there is thankfully none of that cheesy faded hop aroma.

T - Sweet baker's chocolate, light caramel, and some light citrus character as well. Nice hop bitterness that is present but initially well-attenuated. As I worked through 10oz or so the bitterness mounted to a fairly intense level by the end.

M - Smooth medium-full body, soft carbonation, well-hidden alcohol, and a pleasant roasty dry finish.

D - I'm guessing this was terrific fresh, but at this stage it's merely "pretty good". I had no problem sharing a bomber, and would seek this out if I heard of a new batch in the works.

Edit - imagineiii has kindly pointed out that there were two batches - one from late September, and one from mid-November. Based on purchase location, I'm inclined to think I had the latter.

MasterSki, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got as an extra in a trade with TCassel1. Thanks Todd!

A: Dark, dark brown with nice lacing and good rim of tannish head.

S: Nice black ipa smell: Wild pungent hops flirt nicely with toasty malts. clean water is present in the smell, a nice aroma that i hope leads into the flavor.

T: Malt up front with pungent hop esters. A good amount of alcohol sweetenss and great bitterness. A little bit of flowers come through, but it's shrouded in darkness. I think a little more hops would make this a touch better.

M: Smooth and great.

D: It's a easy to drink beer. Nice.

Dreadnaught33, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle courtesy of a generous NE trader.

Pours dark, dark brown, almost completely black in the glass with a thick beige head that recedes to small cap and leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is a combination of dark chocolate malts, cocoa powder and juicy citrus hops.

The taste is a bit more astringent with some grapefruit and roasted chocolate malts, which take on a slightly bitter character. The finish is more piny and resinous than anything the aroma suggested.

The mouthfeel is excellent, medium to full bodied and very creamy but with strong carbonation.

This is one of the better dark IPAs I've had and the most impressive aspect is the exceptional drinkability for the 10% ABV. Tastes like chocolate covered oranges.

gford217, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Piraat tulip.

Pours a very dark black with a very thin dark brown head with a crisp hoppy nose that's a but malty and smoky it's nice.

Taste is burnt, bitter and really hoppy. It's tasty and hoppy, quite bitter bit also fruity and sweet. Really tasty and drinkable.

kingcrowing, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of snowranger05
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious, a Lucious dark ale that satisfies the hophead in me. Bought by my fiancé on a trip to VT, I knew nothing about the brew and had no expectations. In fact, when it was poured a saw the deep rich brown/black, catching me off gaurs because I didn't even look at the label--I expected a standard IPA!

The hop character comes through strongly in both the aroma and flavor. Heavy on the citrus, much to my pleasure. According to the Coop flyer it's got Magnum, Columbus, Cascade, and Centennial hops.

malt isn't really detectable in the nose, but in the flavor it comes across with notes of chocolate and even dark maple syrup. The merging of malt and hop flavor is wonderful; never before have I been so tempted to chug a 10% brew.

They nailed the body, too. About what you would expect from a DIPA.

Overall this beer is excellent. I'm going to call my friends in Montpellier and have them pick up several more for the cellar:)

snowranger05, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Brad007
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A new Rock Art ale? Rejoice! In fact, it's a style that is quickly gaining in popularity among hop-heads (American Black IPA aka cascadian dark ale).

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown head into my tulip glass. Very appropiate color-wise.

Aroma is chock full of floral, grassy hops with just a hint of roasted malt character (its not overdone).

Hops greet the tongue with a character that compliments the malt. I want to say that they have a prominent taste that is grassy in nature witrh a tiny hint of citrus. They do not overload the palate like a few other examples. Other flavors I detect err among the lines of chocolate/coffee in the malt.

Mouthfeel is muted for good effect, allowing the drinker to enjoy the fine characteristics of the malt. Alcohol is barely noticed until about half-way through the glass. Deceptive.

This is a fine example of the style and honestly, it is far more drinkable fresh than Rock Art's other hoppy examples. Not to take anything away, but I would love to age a bottle of this to see how the flavors mellow throughout time. I would recommend this to fans of the style.

Brad007, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared thanks to Arbitrator.

Pours dark brown in color with slight reddish hues and a well-formed tan head with good lacing that clings to the ticking glass.

The aroma is big awesome citrus, orange especially. Almost like an IPA with just the slightest hint of roast.

The roast and chocolate come out much bigger on the flavor. Dry and charcoaly with a big citrus hop presence and slight caramel malt.

Very nice dry mouthfeel - almost gives you cottonmouth. Medium-bodied.

Really solid Black IPA overall. Surprisingly good and easy to drink for the ABV.

nickd717, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. Thanks Kristin!

A: Pours a dark brown body, appearing nearly opaque in the glass except for some edge translucence. The head is a creamy, light mocha cap that retains well and leaves beautiful, broken, big-bubbled film on top of the beer. Nice collar and lace. It actually reminds me of a well-poured nitro stout; just a great appearance.

S: Mmm. Dark chocolate and oranges. I used to feel that those flavors clash, but well-done black IPAs have convinced me otherwise. This is no exception; it has a masterful balance of citrus and dark malts, with secondary hop notes of pine and a slight herbal nose.

T: Chocolate-forward, with a touch of roast. When cold, it tastes like a hoppy stout, but as it warms and the pine flavors emerge, it captures that middle ground that I expect from a black IPA. A nice melange of chocolate, citrus, pine hops. A small presence of anise teases it toward the traditional stout side, but there's an herbal counterbalance that tugs it right back. It really straddles the fence nicely, this one.

M: Medium-full bodied, with a well-disguised alcohol content. Lots of flavor, a malty finish that leaves just the smallest warming presence on its way down. It has some lingering bitterness that would normally be a flaw, but it brings with it some malt to produce a dark chocolate effect.

D: I had no expectations from this beer, and I came away massively impressed. Recommended. It goes down with a surprising ease that belies its massive alcohol content and (damn it) bomber packaging. Why do 10% beers need to come in 22oz formats?

Anyway, sorry, Cascade region: you've been served.

Arbitrator, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of VTbeerbroad
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer the first day it was available at the Co-Op. I have not been a big fan of Rock Art in the past, but I must say that this was delicious.

It pours pretty much like oil. Thick and black, with a big hearty head and plenty of lacing. It smells like s'mores cooking over a bonfire in the woods in October. Chocolatey, piney, malty, hoppy goodness with a lingering kind of fruity finish.

I wish I could afford to drink this every day, because I know it's gonna be a long cold winter.
Good work, people.

VTbeerbroad, Oct 14, 2010
Black Moon IPA from Rock Art Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.