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Wachusett Imperial Black IPA - Wachusett Brewing Company

Wachusett Imperial Black IPAWachusett Imperial Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

31 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 31
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 17.13%


Brewed by:
Wachusett Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: silentjay on 02-10-2012)
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by NEhophead:
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle served in a tumbler.

Near opaque maple in color beneath a foamy, inch high, coffee colored head that is very slow to budge. Condensed lacing with good strength.

The aroma is filled with a spicy, spruce hop resin. The rye provides a balance to the competing hop profile. Faint hints of peat along with coffee, hazelnut, and bitter chocolate. A lingering musty quality encompasses the nose.

Floral and pine hops up front that are somewhat tempered by the spicy rye character. A touch of bland chocolate gives the spicy hops a bit of a break; however, the flavor itself isn't quite flattering. The middle is a pretty aggressive bitterness with a full earthen flavor. The finish is dry with burnt hops and rye filling the aftertaste.

Medium bodied. The texture of this ale is really all over the place and is unable to provide a backbone for the various flavor components.

For whatever reason, this style is just really tough to get right: flavor, balance, drinkability, etc. Unfortunately, this offering fell short as well.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 21:03:35 | More by NEhophead
More User Reviews:
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured very dark with a faint brown hue around the edges. The 1" tan/brown cap was composed of both large and small bubbles, showed great head retention, and produced lots of sticky lacing. The aroma had a citrus bite, lots of grapefruit flesh and pith, with chocolate, cocoa, and caramel in the background. Moderate bitterness with malts (mostly chocolate and cocoa) more dominant over the citrusy grapefruit character. A bit of alcohol was present too. Medium bodied, but it felt a bit light or thin for the malt character, some warmth, moderate carbonation, a bit dry. Decent overall, but less hoppy than I would have liked.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 13:15:27 | More by DrJay
Photo of Kruja5
Kruja5

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

11-02-2013 11:34:17 | More by Kruja5
Photo of oldthumpah
oldthumpah

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

07-05-2013 12:43:02 | More by oldthumpah
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy and nearly black in color from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. An inch of creamy mocha foam sits atop the pour, showing average retention and nice sticky lace.

Piney hop aroma dominates initially with some malt notes playing a secondary role. Warming enhances the resinous pine and adds a bit of garlic/shallot to the mix.

The darkness reveals its roots more so in the taste department than the aroma. Spritzy chocolate malt on the initial sip, and cocoa and some hop spice soon to follow. Shows increasing depth and coarseness with warming.

Finish is creamy with a bit of dark cherry and chocolate notes. Rather light and subtle in that regard however, making for an easy drinking beer of this style. Finish is a bit lacking in bitterness and bite however and the alcohol is well masked. But then, at 7.3% this is likely the smallest 'Imperial' anything that I've stumbled upon and was unaware of the ABV at tasting time.

Overall I like the idea of not going too large on the bittering end of things while offering up a good hop aroma as it works fairly well for this style.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 04:45:20 | More by HalfFull
Photo of PatGreer
PatGreer

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +12.4%

01-03-2013 01:10:57 | More by PatGreer
Photo of dgeebs07
dgeebs07

New York

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

12-11-2012 01:17:55 | More by dgeebs07
Photo of scsurfer27
scsurfer27


1/5  rDev -71.9%

11-16-2012 17:17:29 | More by scsurfer27
Photo of WreckingBrew
WreckingBrew

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

10-06-2012 22:52:26 | More by WreckingBrew
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured thsi one into a perfect pint glass. It has a dark as night body with a nice 1"tan head that is holding its own for a while now. The smell is very mellow of piney hops with just a hint of roasted malt. The taste is a very nice but not strong, up front assult of pine flavor, then towards the end i get some nice roasted characters going on.. The mouth feel is very nice, leaves a nice pine aftertate on the back of the tonuge. Overall i think this is a above average black ipa.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 16:01:08 | More by chefhatt
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by cmrillo during BRoss242’s send-off party before he moves! Will miss you man! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured black with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, fruit hop, and floral. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, bread, dark chocolate, and fruit hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The Black IPA is starting to become a more and more common thing among brewers out there. There have been a few good ones, but this one fell a little short of some of those. The fruit aspect going on here were quite nice, but I was wondering where some of the roastiness that one would expect from the style was. If it was there the fruitiness would definitely need to be upped as well. Worth trying at least once if you get the opportunity, but that is about it.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2012 11:31:13 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Massbmx
Massbmx

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -15.7%

08-27-2012 22:15:26 | More by Massbmx
Photo of Jayschool
Jayschool

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

08-23-2012 22:53:33 | More by Jayschool
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black with 2 fingers of rich light mocha head. This retains with a thick near finger of foam which slathers the sides of the glass with sticky swathes of lacing. The aroma smells leafy and green with a touch of herbal spiciness. This gives way to a push of coco and coffee underneath but overall I’d say that the hops still sit at the forefront of this.

The taste is roasted coffee and green bitter citrus up front, with some thick notes of chocolate and tangier toffee coming in behind that. The finish is dry and bitter on the tongue, with hops, roast and alcohol lingering behind with some bite. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied; with a nice oily creaminess to the carbonation upon first sip that then blows up and becomes crisper as it bounces off the roof of the mouth. This has a little alcohol going on with it but it overall adds to the experience here.

This was a good stab at a Black IPA from Wachusett that nicely showcased some more aggressive flavors while still staying pretty approachable as well. I would have liked to have gotten to this one a little fresher but this was still a pretty solid take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 19:09:42 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my Wachusett nonic. Best by 08.12.12 indicated on the bottle. Pours slightly darker than cola with a fizzy, khaki-colored head that sizzles and pops as it gradually recedes into a soapy slick. Only a few stray strands of lacing present during the tasting. Nose reveals chocolate and earthy hops. Taste consistent with nose; however, earthy/herbal hops characters is a bit more dominant and there is also slight acidic tang, co-mingled with a medicinal bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a coarse, prickly carbonation and some acidity that excites the salivary glands. There is also a slight, residual burn at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall, this isn't really a go to style for me. However, I've had some very good ones and think this is a fairly solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 21:23:27 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Peller80
Peller80


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

07-25-2012 01:35:13 | More by Peller80
Photo of Hopdaemon39
Hopdaemon39

New York

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip- pours a charcoal black color with three fingers of tan/cola head, decent retention and nice lacing.

Smells like resiny pine hops, though not really in your face, and roasted malts. Standard fare.

The way it tastes is much the same malt sweetness up front, followed by the roasted malt notes (bitter-sweet chocolate), then the piney hops (maybe galaxy), with mild to moderate bitterness. Finishes slightly dry.

Mouthfeel is pretty good- medium body, light soft carbonation. Just fine- nothing mind blowing but for 3 bucks it's a pretty good deal.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2012 22:32:20 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial Black India Pale Ale. A bit too much to say at once. Still, this slight variation on the IPA is here, like it or not.

Pours a pitch black with a thick brown head into my glass. It's certainly not a stout because it's not as thick.

Grassy/piney hops greet the nose with a touch of mint. Perhaps a bit of chocolate malt somewhere?

Ditto on the taste except that there's some grapefruit too from the hops. This is definitely hops-ville and not much else.

Lingering hops and malt at the back of the throat. Not much else to note.

Solid example of the style. Not quite an imperial but that's the least of its' problems.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 03:47:47 | More by Brad007
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the Grill Next Door in Haverhill, MA, and this stuff is mud brown-black with a decent light tan head that breaks up a bit and leaves a similarly decent lace behind. I can smell perfumey pine hops and deep earthy mulch-like peat. Very nice. The flavor includes grassy pine hops with a brown bread malt that is not too sweet so as to go down smoothly with a medium plus body but fairly crisp feel. Not a home run but a good black IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2012 04:46:34 | More by Durge
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

3/5  rDev -15.7%

04-21-2012 04:10:11 | More by rab53
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/14/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large dense beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, some chocolate and some floral hops.

T: The taste starts out with a good burst of floral hops. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in along with background flavors of chocolate and citrus. The balance is decent for the style. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid “Black IPA” to drink for a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2012 02:34:12 | More by TheManiacalOne
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MAUEX_MFA

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +12.4%

03-28-2012 02:03:42 | More by MAUEX_MFA
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from WineNation, Millbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" tan head over the barely translucent dark brown brew. Head lasts well, with sticky lace. Aroma is lightly of pine.

Taste starts with a peek of sweet dark malt, quickly giving way to citrus in the middle, and coasts into ample pine hoppiness. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, and drinkability is very nice. Another good offering from their 22oz line.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 00:13:28 | More by ppoitras
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is jet black with ruby highlights and a low profile, foamy, dense, chunky, light tan head. Aromas are subtle, with a roasty, woody, and dry hopped blend on the nose. Very inviting smells. Flavors are rich and resiny, with a blast of wet hops all over the mouth. Hop forward is followed up by dark, bitter chocolate malt and an overall roasted feel. The aftertaste is blended very well, with a hoppy kick at the end of a rich, roasted, and darkly sweet flavor that lingers slightly. Great cling on the glass, and the beer is rich and smooth. Fairly clean, slightly bitter finish. Good brew.

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2012 17:02:00 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

huge fluffy slightly darker colored 3 finger head, fades... wait it doesn't even fades just sits there, although leaves a nice lacing when it eventually does, super dark molasses brown color with a light ruby light sneaking through.

Nose brings plenty of spicy hops, earthy and a light citrus kick, some pine and a nice earthy almost grassy spicy hop brings what seems like would be a decent hop kick, then a hint of a dark malt base with touch of caramel.

Taste starts with more bittering spicy hops, earthy and plenty of pine, a bit almost resinous hop kick brings a strong bitterness, herbal and earthy, its quite bitter and almost briny. the malts bring a slight dark malt but barely, hint of caramel and brown toasty malts, but way overpowered by the spicy earthy hops. A bit fluffy as well. Finish is still fairly bitter, spicy and earthy piney hops linger for quite a while, almost astringent but not quite, a slight orange peel citrus as well but not much of the orange flavor.

Mouth is med bodied, fluffy, good carb, hint of booze.

Overall meh, hops come on way too strong, too bitter, almost astringent, piney, etc, and barely any malt. This is like a big DIPA without the malt base to back it up, and supposedly a black IPA version is should have some nice malt profile that doesn't seem to exist in this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 22:07:31 | More by jlindros
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Wachusett Imperial Black IPA from Wachusett Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.