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Black IPA - Garrison Brewing Company

Black IPABlack IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

60 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Holy hybrid, this legendary hop-forward style goes dark and deep with the addition of a big, roasted malt base. Dry-hopped and Unfiltered, don’t overthink this beast, just enjoy.

52 IBU

(Beer added by: bobsy on 01-25-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 41 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of womencantsail


3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seems to be more brown than black. Some off-white head sitting on top. A decent enough hop aroma. Good herbal and pine qualities. As usual, lots of roasted malt notes, too. The flavor is quite dry with a lot of roasted malt. Good herbal and pine hop flavors with some mild citrus peel. A nice bitterness to the flavor, too. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 15:43:23 | More by womencantsail
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big ups to andrenaline by way of peensteen for hooking this up in our latest trade
A - matte black finish on this hot rod, thumb of tan head receded slowly leaving random blobs on the glass
S - butterscotch and light roastiness, subtle grassy and perfume hop hints, and milk chocolate
T - bitter bakers chocolate mixed with pine and perfume hops, light toffee and just a touch of smoke, this is a unique bitter sweet treat
M - biggish body, smooth, bitter sweet with the bitter lasting strong through finish
O - a fine and unique version of this style from a brewer that I have been generally pleased with, keep em coming

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 03:24:22 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown body. Pale tan head is tight, retentive, and quite lacy. Bright citrus aroma with leafy and floral notes. Hop forward with a pleasant grapefruit flavour and lesser notes of brown sugar and dark chocolate. Theres some light char in here as well. Finishes with a lingering bitterness of medium intensity. Medium-bodied with low carbonation and a slick, oily mouthfeel. This is some pretty tasty beer, but I think it would do better without that burnt note. It just isn't pleasant in concert with the bitterness of the hops. That said, it isn't off-putting enough to ruin my enjoyment of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 21:02:45 | More by mintjellie
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the color of cola with extra reddish glints. The pillowy tan head lasts the whole glass and coats it in lace. Chocolatey roastyness and citrusy hops fill the nose. The first sip does not betray the nose, lots of hops, now with more pine notes mingle with a solid, roasty malt profile. The mouthfeel is thick and full with a somewhat languid carbonation. Lots of mouthcoating bitterness lingers in the finish, as does a pleasant dark chocolate character.

This beer covers the ground of both a stout and an IPA well. It reminds me of one of the first beers I brewed, an extra hoppy Imperial Stout I made at a BOP. Seek this out, delicious stuff from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 02:41:55 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a pint glass.

Dark brown body, with some dark purple around the edges. Light lacing and moderate retention. Leafy hop notes on the nose, some pine, sharp citrus. Some chocolate and mild char. Big toasty, biscuity notes. Taste is blegh, burnt and charred malts, some metal and only a vague sense of hops. Lingering acrid bitterness, with a thin body. Flavour is weird, and does absolutely nothing for me. Didn't believe the dating on this initially, but the LCBO needs to do better at bringing beers in that aren't far beyond their prime. Offputting at best.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 17:49:15 | More by liamt07
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to peensteen for the hook up! Super pumped to dip into the Garrison features that didn't make it to T Bay.

A - Pours a nice copper brown, reminiscent of tall glass of root beer, solid thumb of head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Surprisingly sweet with citrus hop notes dominating, a sugary caramel malt backbone, hints of cotton candy and apple, and an earthy cedar finish.

T - Surprisingly the malts come off the top with a nice dark cocoa and espresso malt, followed by a citrus bitterness which calms to a sweet cotton candy hop finish. What a transition from bitter to sweet, superbly balanced with an incredible citrus hop finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth with sneaky dry finish that creeps up.

O - A very tasty Black IPA and certainly one of the more flavourful that I've tried to date. A unique bittersweet flavour that I have yet to experience, and an excellent example of the style. Loads of flavour, easy drinking and I'm super pumped to have had the opportunity to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 05:01:12 | More by andrenaline
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice thick beige head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrus, pine and grapefruit with some dark roasted malts and a slight chocolate and caramel note.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice hop character giving out citrus, pine and grapefruit with a nice balance of roasted malts and a sweet caramelly note.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel. Nice lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good strong flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 19:19:59 | More by SebD
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the lcbo

Appearance - Black/brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Faint chocolate, malts, hops, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste faint chocolate, coffee, and some light roasted notes. There is also some grapefruit and fairly bitter hops. It ends with a chocolatey and malty aftertaste with a good amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – This is one of my favouritre styles of beer, and while this particular one isn't spectacular, it's very drinkable and has a decent flavour. It needs a touch more from the IPA department but it still has a nice hoppiness and good malt background. The price would prevent me from returning to it often though.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 20:43:35 | More by spinrsx
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black IPA might be just that if not for one thing: the light. Even brief inspection up to the window reveals cedar-colored highlights and large patches of clarity. (No worries, it's the accuracy of the "IPA" part of the name that I'm more concerned about.) The way the blotches of its head contrast the dark liquid it looks like some kind of naval map.

The bouquet takes your nose on a walk through the woods. Woodsy, floral, herbal, and earthy elements all contribute to a hoppy aroma that, while not overwhelming, still distracts from the sweetish and lightly roasted malts. The two parts blend well enough that eyes closed any beer geek should have no problem identifying this by name ('Black IPA').

What I love most about these so called 'black ales' is how the roast and cola-like sweetness of the crystal and toasted malts is enlivened by tropical flavors of grapefruit and papaya. There is a slight impression of milk chocolate or roasted coffee beans but it's quickly mowed down (no pun intended) by the grassy taste of freshly-harvested hops.

The lingering flavour of pine serum makes the mouthfeel most satisfying. It has a very oily personae, showcasing the peppermint-like notes of an herbal tea, albeit with the roasty astringency of coffee. Mind you, the chocolate and nutty flavors are subtle in comparison to others in the style, although some cocoa characteristics are appreciated.

Black IPA is an unfiltered, dry-hopped hybrid mix of Garrison’s Martello Stout and their Imperial IPA but it makes a wholly respectable beer in its own right. Anyone wondering if the sum is greater than its parts ought to buy a bottle or two (spoiler alert: it very well may be). Bottom line is that Garrison doesn't make bad beers - blends included.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 23:42:38 | More by biegaman
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

2.6/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Three fingers of tan head. Foamy good retention. Nose is sweet roasted caramel malts, vanilla. Taste is bitter coffee grinds, mollasses, malts. Medium bodied ale.
Overal, not to style - not hoppy, not well balanced with roasted malts. I believe this is a blend of two beers rather than a black ipa.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 21:08:12 | More by heebes
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from the LCBO, as part of Garrison's winter release. Poured into a nonic.

Dark brown/black, nice billowing head, excellent retention, boatloads of lace.

Mild roast, a bit of woodiness, some citrussy hops.

Not sure about this one. Sweet and caramel at first, then a tart citric hop finish. Not much depth to this - it just feels like a dark IPA, and not the best one at that. Thin bodied, a bit inky.

Not a bad variation on the style, but it doesn't deliver the right roastiness and body of a Black IPA to really be worthwhile. My least favorite of the Garrison release thus far.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 16:23:09 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 12/09/2010???? Must be a mistake as I doubt this bottle was over a year old.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with one finger of thick light brown head.

S - A big bitterness up front with citrus, pine and herbal aromas. Slight roasted malt aroma in the background but the hops definitely dominate the nose.

T - A sharp bitterness up front with pine and citrus flavours. A very slight roasted malt backbone is evident but is definitely overshadowed by the hop bitterness. Not enough roast in this one for me.

M - Light to medium body; moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 15:29:45 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on December 9, 2011, served at 45 in an oversized wine glass.

Poured an opaque black, with a rusty brown tone and specks of white sediment. The head wad medium-sized, off-white and very frothy. it was retained as a thick film and left some spotty lacing. Very appealing if you're into dark ales.

Smells of coffee, chocolate, floral hops and dark toffee. I also get a deep fruit or berry note and one of musty wood.

The taste follows the aroma, though I find the berry/fruit character more forward than I expected. The body is mainly a chocolate and coffee blend with a nice toasted quality about it. The finish has a solid bitterness.

Surprisingly thin-bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very creamy on the tongue. The aftertaste is quite fruity, with all the toasty, chocolate and coffee flavours lingering on the back of the tongue.

Pleasant beer that I was expecting to be quite different. More of a sipper for me with characteristics of my favourite imperial stouts. The fruit and wood tones really made this beer enjoyable. Will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 23:14:38 | More by bryehn
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black pour with a two finger light beige head that won't go away. Lacing is sticky and chunky.

S- Roasted coffee, bitter chocolate. Floral his and citrus.

T- Bitter coffee, bakers chocolate with floral hops.

M- Medium bodied, chewey with a dry lingering aftertaste.

O- Good, not great.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 02:23:25 | More by korguy123
Photo of Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with chestnut highlights. 3 finger head with great retention melting to a nice thick collar, beige head with an impenetrable body,thick lacing slides down the glass.

Big hop scent, citrus, some pine and grapefruit, and some malt sneaking through.

Taste is initially hops, earthy yet with grapefuit and mango, with the malt coming to the forefront as it warmed, giving way to burnt malt, dark fruit, with a chocolate note.

Medium to full bodied with plenty of carbonation, this one is nicely bitter throughout yet relatively smooth,a little boozy.

Overall, an excellent brew that is complex and pulls off a difficult balancing act.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 20:13:25 | More by Stocean1
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours very deep amber. Bright. Lot's of carbonation coming up. Two fingers of fluffy light brown head on top look like they wanna stick around. A few thick rings and chunks of lace are left with a full finger of retention.

S - Lot's of great roasty notes with a huge hop nose as well. Licorice covered hops perhaps. Aroma reminds me of chocolate, a slight coffee note, and some citrus fruits with orange quite present. The hops are really strong, mixing well with the great malt body.

T - Sweet chocolate and dark malt with huge citrus mixing in as well. A great hop/malt blend with both elements really blending aggressively, yet well. A stout like sweetness with lot's of roastiness and sweet chocolately malt up front with a great resinous hop mix afterwards.

M - A good bitterness in the finish follows good carbonation and a medium-full body.

O/D - A fairly tasty Black IPA. I liked it alot but the beer seems like it wants to be more of a hoppy stout than a black IPA. It's good stuff though and very drinkable while being nice and complex. A good offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 22:45:13 | More by tbeckett
Photo of MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on December 9, 2010... hoping that this is a typo or the LCBO received year old beer for their feature.

Pours a deep chestnut/ruby colour that you can barely see through with two fingers of fluffy light tan head that laces well.

Aroma is a contrasting mix of sweet, roasty malt and herbal, citrusy hops. The hops and malt tend to take turns at the forefront with each whiff.

Lots of citrus flavour and citrus rind bitterness, with an underlying faint caramel sweetness. The roasted malt flavours play a background role throughout. Finishes dry and slightly astringent.

Medium bodied and slightly creamy carbonation.

A pleasant black IPA that is more hop-forward in flavour than the few others I've tried, but not overly bitter and still very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 21:29:32 | More by MattyV
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on December 9, 2010. I hope that is an error- this beer literally arrived at the LCBO in the last few days. I hope it is a 1.5 months old rather than 13.5!

Dark brown in colour (light black?), a large beige head, thick and foamy. Head has great retention and leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smell is roasted malt, citrus scents (orange, a bit of grapefruit), a bit of cocoa. Nice.

Taste is similar to the nose. Bitter chocolate, citrus fruits (primarily orange), roasted malt. Quite bitter. Pretty good.

Moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied. A bit chewy.

Pretty nice black IPA. Good stuff. Overall rating reflects that I was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 for the taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 18:37:51 | More by jrenihan
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black with some ruby highlights, one finger of tan head, fair bit of lacing on the glass. Smell is of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate, orange, citrus and pine, fairly hoppy stuff, some nice coffee and milk chocolate show up behind the huge roast and hop bill. Taste is initially roasty and chocolatey, espresso flavours come through, hops make their way in towards the middle, lots of citrus and pine with a moderate bitterness, bittersweet and roasty flavours in finish with a long dry aftertaste. Medium carbonation, dry, medium to full body, medium weight. Pleasantly drinkable and would have this again, one of the roastier black ipa's I have come across so far, fairly solid stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 20:21:35 | More by peensteen
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wasn't a huge fan of this release in 2010, but picked some up at the brewery in 2011 and IMO it is fantastic! A proverbial "hop bomb", there's no mistaking this for a standard dark ale.

Cloudy dark brown colour is opaque except at the edges of the glass. Decent coffee-coloured head and lacing. Aroma is pure "c" hop, I would have guessed this as a "west-coast" brew if I hadn't seen the brewery in Halifax.

The taste has elements of roasted malt sweetness with some caramel tones, but the predominant flavours are definitely citrus & pine hop notes. The finish has a nice alsohol warmth and a brilliant level of bitterness that lingers impressively.

An excellent example of the American Black IPA style. Didn't buy enough, so will be looking forward to its impending arrival at the LCBO...

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 02:16:55 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of Jeffo


3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one from phirleh in the summer. Thanks for the trade, and thanks for coming to hang out!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A brown pour produces a one finger, medium-thin, tan head with good retention. Head eventually fades to a good foam cap. Bistre brown in color with medium-higher levels of carbonation. A thick ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Some roasted and smoky malt, caramel malt, and a light touch of cocoa powder. Some floral hop notes there as well, but this one is actually quite stout-like for the style. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Follows the nose with some roasted and smoky malt and plenty of floral hops through the middle. Caramel malts accompany the floral notes and lead into a big, lingering aftertaste of bitter piney hops and a slight hint of cocoa. The bitter piney hop finish came out of nowhere a bit and was quite tough.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: A decent beer, but the finish was a little too bitter a closing act. Seems like it was bitter for the sake of being bitter, but it didn’t really follow from what had come before, which had been more stout-like and floral. A brew I’d have again, but wouldn’t necessarily seek out. Give it a go if you have the chance. Thanks again for the trade phirleh.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 12:18:36 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A mediocre black IPA. The bitterness is fine,citrus, but it is very stouty, expresso style roasty. Blackish body with a good amount of lace. Roasty aromas. Coffee in here. Drying finish. Tingling mouthfeel. Not very drinkable. Odd ideas and avoidable.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 01:59:33 | More by Sammy
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is a blend of their Martello Stout and Imperial IPA, with some dry hopping.

Pours a very, very dark brown with a couple fingers of long-lasting tan head that leaves sheets of lace as it slowly dies. Epically beautiful. Chocolate nose, with hint of dusty malt and grapefruit. The flavour doesn't have the aggressive bitterness of many black IPAs, but does exhibit a nice blance, with big chocolate and coffee malts balncing out citrusy hops. Light tobacco and cereal on the back of the palate. Medium body is par for the style, though the carbonation does a fine job of bulking the beer up in the mouth.

I had this last Spring and didn't particularly enjoy it, but this tasting has confirmed that there was something wrong with the two bottles I had back then. This is a fine beer - nothing too out there or whacky, but eminently sessionable. A grand offering from a brewery that knows its stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 02:03:41 | More by bobsy
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a part of a mixed pack in a private order to Ontario. Pours a dark brown colour with incredibly thick white head. The head dissipates to a nice ring on top of the beer. Lots of lacing on the glass. Smells of citrus hops with lots of roasted malt. Really balanced flavour, nice mix between the roast and the bitterness. Nice carbonation level. This is one of my favourite styles and this beer is very well done.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 03:39:59 | More by kwjd
Photo of robnews

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Leffe Chalice from an Ice cold bottle.

Nice 2 finger head off white in appearance. Extremely dark beer,
slight red color if you look into the light.

Great smell, similar to Imperial IPA from Garrison, bready orange peel with intense hops. Slight molasses notes accompany the freshness.

Taste is hoppy bitter light stout. I enjoy the toned down taste of this one compared to the IPA.

Sort of a strange style but I find it very refreshing. Great for a session and should be shared. Another fine offering from Garrison.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 00:36:57 | More by robnews
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Black IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.