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Black Lightning - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black LightningBlack Lightning

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oline73 on 03-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MikeB20:
Photo of MikeB20
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%

P: 12oz bottle poured into a perfect pint glass.

A: Nearly completely black with dark brown highlights and a two finger brown head. Head retention is okay but lacing is fantastic.

S: Slightly sweet but assertive roasted malt with a hint of toastiness and caramel.

T: Mildly astringent intensely roasted malt. A good bit of bitterness, probably as much from the malt as the hops with the slightest citrus hop finish. Some charred flavors as well that I believe add to the astringent flavor. The bitterness lingers.

M: A little heavy on the tongue with moderately high carbonation.

O: I like the intensity of the roasted malt flavor but I think the malt has added a bitterness that isn't all that pleasing. A decent beer but not the greatest black ale I've had to date.

MikeB20, Nov 06, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of ryser2k
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

ryser2k, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of jamisonspitzer
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

jamisonspitzer, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

SPRichard, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Zonian1
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Zonian1, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of Jeffreysan
3.75/5  rDev +3%

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black, with one/one and a half fingers of oatmeal colored head, that stayed around for a very long time, leaving rings on the glass as drunk, noting where previous levels of beer was located. Gorgeous.

Aroma: Very interesting and pleasing. Floral, yet also a lot of roasted barley; dark bread like pumpernickel, and some rye notes, caraway seeds. Faint hints of chocolate.

Taste: Very hoppy up front, which at first made me think that I wouldn’t like it, as I’m not a hops fan, but then the hops gives way quickly to TONS of BIG roasted malt and slight hints of coffee, but mostly roasted malt, that lasts forever. VERY long finish on this beer.

Mouthfeel: There’s quite a bit of carbonation in this beer, which gives off something of a cola mouthfeel, very effervescent, but not at all unappealing. Not smooth, but not cloying. Refreshing.

Overall: I liked this beer quite a lot. Like I said earlier, the hops forward flavor threw me for a second but I really, really liked the long roasty, malty finish that this beer has. Another winner from DuClaw, which is fastly becoming one of my favorite local breweries.

Jeffreysan, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of drinking12many
3.75/5  rDev +3%

drinking12many, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +3%

cliff1066, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

On tap @ the Arundel Mills location on 11/10/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black (although some ruby does come out along the bottom), with a ½ finger of mocha head. This has a bit of a lightly burnt look to it. Retention is decent here, with some rich edges and more of a wispier look across the center, leaving back a foamy cascade of light spotty froth. The aroma has a sticky blend of chocolate and caramel up front, which is followed by a dark and bitter smelling mix of roast and green citrus. A touch of leafy and herbal tones work their way in here as well.

The taste pretty much mirrors the aroma, with a sharp and green feeling citric bitterness (along with some intertwining herbal character) that is balanced by a thickish feeling blend of chocolate, toffee, and dark crunchy roast that flows across the back. The hops, roast, and sweetness all even out nicely here as this warm, as this finishes dry and bitter with some notes of lingering roast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and firm feeling up front before giving way to more of a smooth crispness as this moves out. Alcohol is nicely hid.

After a terrible experience with this beer in the bottle, this was a much MUCH more enjoyable experience this time around. I found this to be quite flavorful but it did lean a little too much to the Porterish sides of things. This was still mighty tasty though and I’m glad to see a new staple beer of this quality on the taps @ DuClaw.

Kegatron, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of gunther1205
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

gunther1205, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of PumaSaysRawrr
2/5  rDev -45.1%

PumaSaysRawrr, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Swift989
2.61/5  rDev -28.3%

this beer tastes like watered down coffee. the smell is syrupy and strong. the mouthfeel is watery and slightly dry upon swallowing. taste is too close to a stout and they have little business calling it an american black ale when its not really in that category from my drinking experience. This beer maintains no head and doesn't even lace the glass further showing how watered down it is. DuClaw also should reassess its naming. Black Lighting is just a bad name and I would never have bought this beer if my work hadn't broken up all the 6 packs (which weren't selling for 2 months) and sold as individuals at 1.50 a pop. Love maryland and their brewing renaissance, but steer clear of this one.

Swift989, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of tugdriver7
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%

DuClaw is bottling now. They'd done large bottles, but they've got 3 varieties in 6 packs now. Black coated, lightweight screwtops that really keep things fresh.

Still getting used to the "black IPA" craze, but this one was definitely the best so far. Deep, rich black with mahogany highlights from the bottle. Tan leather-colored creamy head that laced the glass nicely. Rich smoky malt in the nose with a stout-like smokiness and a roasted sweet malt flavor in the first sip, balanced nicely with a bitter hops bite that stops short of "spicy" or "fruity." Very nicely balanced, making it easy drinking.

tugdriver7, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%

DuClaw Black Lightning is a delicious black IPA with hop and coffee characteristics.

A: Black colour and a 5 mm head that fades pretty quickly. 4

S: Roasty, earthy malt with some pleasant hop characteristics. 4.5

T: Roasty malt and sharp hops into an earthy coffee finish. The finish is dry and very slightly bitter. Delicious. 4.5

M: Silky. 4.5

O: 4

vandemonian, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of mattsmith413
3.75/5  rDev +3%

mattsmith413, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of tln13
3/5  rDev -17.6%

tln13, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured from tap into pint glass at duclaw in Bowie pours a deep brown with an amber hue with some off whit head. Not much black here. Smells of dark roast but is crisp and very mild. Taste of slightly roasted malts and crisp water and hop. Its all very subtle but enjoyable. Its a bit too mild for me but has some nice drinkability. Solid brew but not mind blowing.

DrinkSlurm, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

I had this on-tap at the brewpub during the release event.

Appearance: Pours with a 1.5 finger tan head with very large bubbles. A layer remains throughout the pour. The color is almost black with a very little bit of light coming through at the edges.

Smell: Definitely the best part of this beer. Mildly sweet citrus hops dominate, but the roast is there. Overall the really nice smelling hops come through.

Taste: Again, the hops win here as well. Very bitter citrus peel hops coat the tongue, the roast is dominated and seems to fight with the bitterness a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of small bubbles. I would call the finish uber dry.

Drinkability: Overall, I think this is a good beer. It would be nice if there was a little bit more roast, but I'd definitely have more.

oline73, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

A - A fairly dark pour some brown around the base of the glass. Head is minimal with just a 1/4 inch pulling back to a sticky lace ring.
S - Mild roast coffee, some chocolate malts hints and a touch of oatmeal.
T - Pretty smooth the flavors are not too roasty from the coffee, it has a mild hoppy bite mid palate, and the finish is rather sweet with soft hints of chocolate flavor. It would be perfect but the finish also houses a acidic note which is somewhat easy to ignore.
M - Light to medium, silky body, somewhat creamy.

Overall its not a bad black ale but I prefer Dark Horses version better. Easy to quaff back though!

DrDemento456, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of bubseymour
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

bubseymour, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of JerseyKirk
3.75/5  rDev +3%

A: Ruby red edges with a pitch black body. Nice white creamy head.

S: Chocolate, cream and some citrus.

T: Chocolate, cream, citrus and herbal notes.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: Nice however the mix of chocolate and citrus seem to clash a little bit. Doesn't mix easily.

JerseyKirk, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of JamieDuncan
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

JamieDuncan, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -17.6%

ygtbsm94, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of KeyWestGator
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

KeyWestGator, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of dcbdc1
4/5  rDev +9.9%

dcbdc1, Oct 25, 2012
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Black Lightning from DuClaw Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.