Furry Black India Pale Ale - North Peak Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Furry Black India Pale AleFurry Black India Pale Ale

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very good

143 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 18
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: alexgash on 12-31-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 54
Reviews by hWordsmythe:
Photo of hWordsmythe
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first black IPA. Shared an 11.5 oz. bottle with two buddies, so I only had a 3rd of a bottle to base this review on.

Appearance: Looks like a lighter porter. A bit opaque, but still quite dark.

Smell: Smells just like I thought it woud. Roasted malts and hops galore. Floral and toasty at the same time, and although I could not imagine how these two could go together, it works great on both the nose and the...

Taste: Wow. Crazy. A porter is a porter and an IPA is an IPA and never the twain shall meet? But here they do, and in grand style. A complete success. Great balance between the citrus hop bite and the completely different sort of bitterness you get from burnt malts. The only improvement I could suggest would be a touch more malt to emphasize the "black" in BIPA. Just a smidgeon, though. This is close to perfectly balanced. A great drink.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as your average porter. Pretty much par for the course with other IPAs. I could stand a little more heaviness, personally. But I like a thick brew.

Drinkability: I could put away a 6-pack in a night, no problem, no complaint. But, to be honest, there's very little that overwhelms me. If it's good enough to have one, it should be good enough to have another, right?

This beer completely changes my idea of what's possible and what's "right". Awesome.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Dark, yes. Tiny-bubbled lacing does not waiver—this beer looks appetizing all around. Aromas of burnt sugar, resin hop and alcohol that resembles ripe cherries and blackberries. Leans dry; smoothness runs deep. Mild roasted flavor and yeast tone are both in the raw. Maltiness sets in, but the hops cover it quickly with a stodgy herbal and spicy flavor. Alcohol does warm a little; undertones of fruit. Lots of balance here, pretty quaffable for the size. A great drink and certainly helps to define this new style for American brewers.

Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black is this IPA, dense with a brown hue shining at the edges in direct light. A creamy tan head sits between 1 and 2 fingers tall and develops a rocky denseness before settling. The head that remains drops lacing in thick rings before going patchy. On first appearance, this will be a good one.
The nose is simultaneously roasty and piny. There's an earthy note there too. At the very end is a whiff of alcohol.
Pine smacks the palate and co-mingles woth the roast rather than dominating it. There's a note of toffee sweetness underneath and coffee grounds come out as well. Hops bitterness also goes a bit floral.
A good medium body, neither too heavy or too light, supports a smoothness that's creamy rolling off a constant crispness. It goes quite dry in the finish without being chalky.
Furry may be a new standard-bearer for the style. These guys are good.

Photo of KYGunner
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick cap of dense and coagulated brown foam sat atop a body of thinly dark blackness.

The nose is entirely too weak but it does reveal a dry cocoa and smoky coffee. Light pine and bitterness sit just underneath.

The flavor is strong enough with an evident dry chocolate malt, Graham cracker and a mid palate of marshmallow sweetness. Some smoke and coffee lingers throughout, this finishes rather piney and bitter.

The feel is dry yet crisp, easily drinkable without any astringency.

More chocolate malt than I normally expect in a black IPA this has a lot of porter like qualities, which makes it well suited for my taste.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second beer of the night (with many more on the way) thanks to Kevin (kzoobrew). A damn good BA and guy. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours an almost opaque black color, with just slight hints of dark mahogany color coming through around the edges. About a half finger of quickly dissipated head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell - Bittersweet cocoa and run of the mill hops are quite prevalent in the nose. Not much else.

Taste - As the nose would suggest, an initial cocoa flavor is tasted first, that in my opinion becomes more predominate as the beer warms. There is a great hop profile here too that picks up in the middle, and ends with a nice roasted malt, yet not overly sweet, malty backbone.

Mouthfeel - Medium to lighter bodied, finishes a hint dry.

Drinkability - Not bad. A good beer to try but probably not something I'd buy a sixer of. Still, pretty tasty!

Photo of Erish
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the 8th Street Grill in Holland, Michigan.

A: dark mahogany color, espresso colored head, good cap & lacing.

S: coffee, citrus, chocolate, toasted malt, grass.

T: strong coffee flavor throughout, then loads of citrus and rich caramel malt, the hops range from grassy to floral to citrus, with an emphasis on orange, the finish is long, smoky, piny, citrusy, and slightly chalky. For such a strongly flavored beer, it exhibits a very nice balance.

M: medium-bodied, silky, moderate carbonation.

D: I love the first half of Cascadian ales, by the second half my palate feels overworked. I would have been happy with a 5 oz. pour for $1.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

decided to open this one up as i put the new grill together this afternoon. serve cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was enjoyed on 4/30/2011

a nice dark black pour with a big head of tan lacing that rose up and over the top of the glass quite quickly, settling down into a smooth layer of lacing that covered the entire sides of the glass.

near perfect balance of rich roasted malts, smoked notes, dark earthy, and piney hops. warming only brings the hops to the front even more and allows them to steal the show. quick hitting and bitter as the first sip hits your palate it was amazing how smooth and easy this one went down. nice long finish initially was wrapped in hoppy dryness and twang but melted into molasses and rich caramel malts that left a light sweet flavor that made you have to go back for more.

overall so solid and well done. i was extremely impressed with this one. this is quickly becoming my new favorite style.

Photo of srv33
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark pour, inch light brown head, good lacing. Scents of Juniper are prominent, with copper, and a hint of coffee. Taste has notes of coffee, bitter toffee, and a heavy iron/copper/mineral taste, very full american black ale. I thought I detected a little grapefruit, bites quite a bit on first sip though mellows out on the tongue. This brew did not do it for me, I am receptive to the style but I felt this brew had too heavy of a mineral taste that I felt overpowered whatever subleties existed.

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

I picked up a single of this at the store yesterday. I haven't had anything from North Peak before and I haven't tried a black IPA either. So its time to explore some new territory and see what this brew is all about. Poured from a brown 11.5oz stubby bottle into a pint glass.

A- I like the packaging of this beer, the small stubby bottle and vintage looking label makes it pretty fitting for a brewery from Northern Michigan. This beer poured a nice black color with two fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thick layer stayed the rest of the time and left some nice lacing.

S- I get some bitter chocolate with large amounts of floral and citrus hops. Smells a little lemony.

T- Wow, this is a nice change from your average IPA. The roasted malts impart a nice bitter chocolate taste that goes nicely with all the citrus and floral hops in this brew. This brew has great balance and is not overly bitter. Slightly smokey on the finish.

M- Smooth and medium bodied with great carbonation.

D- I found this beer to have good drinkablity. I couldn't make a night of this beer but two or three would hit the spot. The balance of this beer makes it easy to drink.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good brew. This was my first Black IPA so I don't have much to go by but overall I liked it and am interested in trying more of this style. North Peak made a pretty good first impression, I will be on a look out for more of their beers.

Photo of zoso1967
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Furry pours a very dark brown that shows some nice garnet highlights when held up to a bright light. A fairly serious poor yields a nice ecru head that has good staying power and deposits a good amount of lace on the glass.

The aroma is not as potent as I had expected, but it does have a nice mix of citrusy/floral hops and roasted malts. Grapefruit, floral and pine hoppiness carry the brunt of the aroma, but there is also a significant astringent roasted presence.

The flavor is almost a mirror image of the aroma as the roasted malts take the driver's seat. Coffee, a little bit of chocolate and a nice dark malt sweetness come on strong. There is definitely some grapfruity hop character as well, but the flavor is much more like a hoppy stout than a highly hopped ale with some roasted barley mixed in. This beer is perhaps a bit sweet and there is a slight off sort of taste in the finish, but this is surely the best North Peak beer I have tasted.

The mouthfeel is medium and this beer has a subdued carbonation level that lends to a nice smoothness. The finish is fairly dry and interestingly tart, perhaps the result of the roasted malts and the hop bitterness. Coffee dominates the aftertaste.

This is a pretty drinkable dark India ale that is not as challenging as some. It is not without its flaws, but I think that they did a pretty good job of taking on a style that is still in its infancy.

Photo of BradDurbin89
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bartender poured into a standard pint.

Standard pour into pint glass produced nice 2 finger head creamy oatmeal in color. Good head retention and nice lacing.

Nice hop nose with citrus and a hint of malty chocolate. The aroma is wonderful. Bitter chocolate too.

Strong hop flavor with hints of pine and grapefruit. There is a very subtle malty feel, but this is truly an IPA. Perfect balance.

Medium body and nice moderate carbonation. Great subtle chocolate malt finish.

This is by far the best beer I've had in a long time, and my favorite from this brewery. It is very drinkable. I had more than one. This is outstanding!

Photo of BB1313
2.39/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled on Jan. 18, 2012. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with subtle brown hues, slightly off white head and nice lacing and retention. Smells like anise/black licorice. That's something I don't anticipate when drinking a Black IPA. The hops are present, but really take a backseat. The flavors are bitter, and not in a good way. It also tastes very metallic. Malty as well. There's really no fruit, pine, citrus, etc going on with this one. Mouthfeel is alright, kind of thin, nice carbonation though. I found myself nursing this one..

I had high expectations for this one for whatever reason, but I feel pretty let down. I love Black IPAs, but this one wasn't really enjoyable and doesn't stand out at all for me. It's just not what I was personally looking for.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Deep black body with a thick, creamy head of beige – imagine the dense foam you get on top of a nitro stout. The foam stays for minutes, leaving lacing as it slowly goes.

S: Dark and earthy-sweet: black strap molasses, fig, toasted marshmallow, sugar cookie, cocoa nib. Not much hop presence here, just some herbal juniper dryness. Little campfire smoke to it, as well, coming out more as it warms.

T&M: This is what a black IPA is all about; wow. Lots of dense chocolate without that chalky, aspirin-like taste you can get sometimes from this style. Frothy carbonation complements a creamy body to give this a soft, weightless texture; it’s a perfect match for the palate, a profile based around a warm brown sugar and cocoa taste. Has a baked good character to it. Herbal spice tones dry it out slowly and subtly: tastes of anise, juniper, apple skin, and zesty hop. Ends up being just mildly dry, keeping it nice and balanced. Finish is all malt, a nutty bread note that drops off quick enough to leave you craving that next sip.

O: An excellent Black IPA; so far, I’ve been more than impressed with North Peak’s offerings. These guys just get it. Makes sense – apparently one of the brewers got his start at Jolly Pumpkin, and if you know how to brew those difficult French and Belgian styles, coming up with a fantastic black IPA would seem easy. Cheers!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of yourefragile at last Thursday's tasting. Served in a HopCat tulip. Notes from my in-progress tasting sheet.

Pours nearly black with a small off-white head and some sparse lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings some roast and a bit of earthy and floral hops. The flavor hits some heavy roast notes with a weird earthy presence from the hops. Nothing really gels and the roasted character and bitterness just don't fit together in this one. This is an example of the style gone wrong, in my opinion. Moderate bitterness and a medium body. Off in general, though not terrible.

Photo of weizenbob
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5 ounce stubby bottle (stamped 12/16/10) poured into an oversized wine glass. Sure the bottle looks cool, but it sure is petty to skimp on half an ounce of beer. An aggressive pour gives me almost two fingers of tan head that almost resembles nitro-head in its foaminess and retention. Thick sticky lacing lines the glass all the way down. The beer is a very dark shade of brown and somewhat hazy. Points for the attractive head; meh for the overall visual.

Citrus hits the nose initially: orange, pineapple and mild grapefruit. There is a yeasty character followed by some roasted malt and alcohol. The whole affair is drenched in jack pine, like a guy wearing way too much cologne. Regardless, the aroma is pleasant for the style.

Flavor-wise this is one of the more balanced black IPAs I've encountered, and also one of the least overpowering. Roasted malts have the slight edge. There's a toasted coconut effect as the malts melt into the hops, which have a strong citrus character. The whole thing bleeds into the alcohol which doesn't last long on the tongue. It has hints of the cooked veggie flavors that I've noted in nearly every hopped up brown ale and black ipa that I've sampled; but here those flavors are minimal. This is one case where North Peak's tendency to underperform in the flavor category actually works their favor. It's just right.

The beer is medium bodied in the mouth. Carbonation is mild, giving Furry a little extra weight in the right places. It hints at being syrupy without crossing the line. Black IPA (or black ale as it is now known) is possibly my least favorite beer style so I'm surprised by how drinkable I'm finding this. It is inoffensive in the nose, the mouth and on the tongue. The alcohol is noticed in the flavor, but still well hidden for 7.2% ABV. I exhibit this beer as an excellent example of less being more. Not only is this the best beer North Peak is bottling at the moment, but it is also currently my favorite black (India pale) ale.


The Two-Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
Regardless of the fact that it's my new favorite black ale, I still don't give a Schlitz about North Peak Furry. It's a great example of the style, but black ale is just not my bag baby.

Photo of SupaCelt
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is nearly black indeed. A cocoa coloured head rises and falls off the pour and leaves lace clinging on down, down, down as we go. The nose is surprisingly floral and showcases a lemony twinge atop some chocolatey malt. Cake springs to mind. The taste has the aforementioned lemon, or less specifically citrus, and a dull sweetness of chocolate cake. The finish is dry as a result of the generous hop additions and the dry roasted character of the malt likely contributes to this feeling as well. The mouthfeel is a hardy medium with a slight creaminess that is blotted out by the dry finish. The drinkability is decent. This brew is quite rich and complex. This coupled with the substantial dryness at the tail end could possibly become a bit arduous to endure over a session.

Photo of dorianmarley
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is black with brown tints. It has a big, gunky head and very sticky lacing.

Nose is roasted malt with some brown sugar, grain, and some hops; very similar to a Porter.

Tastes is heavily roasted malt with steady hop character. It is also buttery, with some dark chocolate and black pepper.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and refreshing with medium carbonation; great drinkability.

Overall, this is a roasted delight.

Photo of dfillius
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/4 finger tan head with fair retention. Clear dark brown liquid.

S: Nice level of citrus and pine hops; mild coffee and chocolate. Some dark fruit.

T: Lots of roast. Too much for style. Tastes like a porter with a slight jolt in the hops department. I taste slight parsley or cilantro. Good but not as hoppy as an IPA.

M: Bitter, full, a tad warm.

D: Good. I'd order another, but probably won't buy again. This is the best I've had from North Peak yet. The only one that hasn't been a gusher or brett flavored.

Photo of GRPunk
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stubby bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A- A normal pour left a 1-1/2 finger brown head that had nice retention around the 1/2 finger mark and left great, sticky rings. The body was a dark brown, just a step or two away from black.

S- Very "IPA." There were a bunch of woodsy/earthy hops at first that came off as grassy and tobacco-like. It all seemed really fresh and crisp. Chocolate undertones were stronger and brought things into more of a balance with some warmth.

T- While a little hop-centric (it is an IPA after all), there's a good, malty backbone that's roasty and chocolatey. Hops are a little citrus-like mixed with herbal and grassy flavors. Finish was a little longer than expected considering the hop presence.

M- Just a touch thin initially, though a slight grainy quality develops. Light-medium carbonation. Hopping provides a bite and bone-dry, clean finish as mouthfeel is concerned Tiny warm alcohol feel is really well hidden.

D- Surprisingly and dangerously drinkable. At 7.2%, there's very little trace of alcohol. I purchased it as a single and could well be back for a full sixer.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As the layers of IPA glide across the soul of robust porter, there's the character of scorched earth that bleeds into the malt and hops to give this schizophrenic ale as much of a firey flare as its does of furry.

But Furry has no sign of IPA upon the pour. Deeply darken brown and heady with mocha froth, its porter character is well established to the eye. But one whiff brings about the sharpness of citrus peels and pine cones- yep, all of the singed variety.

Its lavish burnt toffee sweetness starts the taste, with the backdrop of dark roast coffee, smoky chocolate and campfire. Roasted walnuts carry across the middle as the sweetness drifts and the hop bitterness moves in, carrying with it a toasted citrus taste and waves of burning cannabis.

Deeply resinous as the finish ensues, burnt pine needles, citrus bitterness and herbal grassiness assists a coffee-like bitterness to amplify both earthy tones. Malty-dry as the beer closes, it lingers deeply with pine and cocoa.

Photo of Suds
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Dark, almost black and hoppy. The aromas are of charcoal, piney hops, and a little booze. The beer is sweeter than expected, with a little fruit and some plastic notes. Roasted malt and warm alcohol. Full in body. Not as good as it could have been.

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip, bottled on 2/11/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, citrus rind, dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, light char, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, citrus rind, cocoa, dark chocolate, roast, light char, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roast earthiness. Fair amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, citrus rind, cocoa, roast, light char, pine, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice black IPA. All around good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a beautiful dark brown with a creamy tan head.

S. Dark roasted malt with nice piney hop aroma.

T. Great mixture of hops and roasted malt - similar to a well balanced black and tan.

M. Creamy mouthfeel with thin to medium body.

D. Very good. I'm really starting to appreciate this style.

Photo of Lillenk
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a very dark brown almost black color with a very nice cream white head.

Smell was huge. Tons of hops and citrus, but also some very nice sweet, malty smells.

Taste was very good. Kicked you in the mouth with hops then quickly mellowed out with some sweet malty notes. A near perfect balance for my taste.

Mouthfeel was nice. Lots of changing flavors throughout. Very complex, very nice beer. I would definately drink more than one or two.

Photo of breakingbland
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery on Mission Peninsula.

Strong on hops as expected, but there is a nice malty flavor component.

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Furry Black India Pale Ale from North Peak Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.