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Covert Hops - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Covert HopsCovert Hops

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

45 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 8
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co. visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Covert Hops is a crafty ale. Its stealthy dark appearance belies a light body and beguiling hop aroma from the loads of herbal, piney hops (4+ lbs per barrel to be exact) that melds exceedingly well with its deliciously devious roasty flavor.

45 IBU

(Beer added by: avalon07 on 03-31-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%

Appearance: A foamy explosion, with the initial pour being all foam; settles into a murky obsidian with a nice head, excellent retention (no suprise) and good lacing

Smell: Burnt embers dominate with the piney hops underneath

Taste: Starts out with a lot of roasty char and, while the hops arrive in the middle to add a bitter and piney dimension, the char winds up overwhelming the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but overcarbonated

Overall: Balancing the flavors in an American Black is a tricky thing and, in addition to the carbonation issues, this beer doesn't handle the balance as deftly as some others I have tried; Westbrook needs to cut back on the char so that the hops be more prominent in this beer

brentk56, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of Mattybz28
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Mattybz28, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of wcudwight
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

Wow! Was this thing brewed with Belgian yeast. Explosive when the cap pops off. Pours mostly head even with the most careful of pours. Hugely carbonated. With all that being said it's a very good beer. Coffee and Hops my two favorite things in both the aroma and flavor. Yum Yum. Balanced with strong flavors of both and they work very well together. I'll definately seek this one again, but next time I'm aware of the carbonation. Whew!

wcudwight, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of analienacorn
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

analienacorn, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of jpro
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

64oz growler brought to our Memorial Day cookout. Poured into a shaker pint glass...

A: Black; quarter-finger of mocha head; leaves some blobs of lace.

S: Sweet malts; ground coffee; hempy hops.

T: Starts with a blast of hops - citrusy and pine resin, followed by sweet roasted malts and chocolate; very roasty on the finish.

M: Full-bodied; moderate carbonation; a little too full for the style, perhaps - but I guess it is a pretty wide open style; sticky.

O: A nice American Black Ale... Hoppiness is good, but just a smidge more mouthfeel and roastiness than I’d expect for the style. A nice brew, though -

*from notes (5-29-12)

jpro, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of SLeffler27
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

Covert Hops is black, passing no light. A huge, dense, creamy chestnut head fills the glass and builds well above the rim. The head retention is impressive and leaves a coating of fine lace as it drops at a glacial speed turning rocky in places and dense-creamy in others. A fine mist of carbonation clings to the wall of the glass.

Once the head permits the nose, one can clearly detect rich pine sap with chocolate and coffee. A fresh, citrus background of orange rounds it out. There are also some notes of cigar smoke, but the chocolate returns with warmth.

Bitterness is well controlled, especially given anticipation from the aroma. Toasted character is equally prominent with black coffee, some chocolate and vanilla. Warmth brings out the sweetness.

A light body with soft carbonation, a silky texture, some residue on the lips, and alcohol more prominent than expected. Given the relatively low alcohol content it is quite impressive how much flavor Westbrook was able to develop.

This is clearly one of the better examples of this style. It adroitly brings out the hops one expects from an IPA as well as the roasted malts one expects from a stout. This one was enjoyed on its own, but could easily accompany a juicy burger.

SLeffler27, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of freduardo
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

freduardo, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of elgiacomo
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%

22oz bottled March 3, 2012. Served at around 40F.

Pours black with a huge brown head even with a very careful pour. Looks infected, but it’s not, just over-carbonated. When it does finally settle down, it holds a small cap and leaves some lacing behind.

Aroma is pine and citrus hops, a lot of dark roasted, if not burnt malts, chocolate, coffee, a little dark fruit and anise. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is similar, piney hops, some citrus, chocolate, dark roasted malts, toffee, coffee, dark fruits. Minimal sweetness, mild bitterness, little to no alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and starts with extremely prickly carbonation that distracts from being able to taste the beer. Subsequent pours from the bomber have settled the carbonation down and is much smoother and more enjoyable.

Very good Black IPA, but carbonation issues hurt the appearance and mouthfeel. If they sort those out, they’ve got a good one on their hands.

elgiacomo, May 22, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

iL0VEbeer, May 19, 2012
Photo of CSQ1111
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

CSQ1111, May 17, 2012
Photo of CarolinaKev
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

CarolinaKev, May 17, 2012
Photo of whitekiboko
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

whitekiboko, May 17, 2012
Photo of craytonic
2.55/5  rDev -30.7%

Thanks Dan!

Appearance: Big tan head, takes up most of the glass
Smell: very herbal, too much roast and tar
Taste: Roast and dark malt dominate, not much else going on. Bitter like old burnt coffee
Mouthfeel: medium body and mouthfeel
Overall: Dumped this sucker very quickly, just not enjoyable at all due to the burnt flavors.

craytonic, May 15, 2012
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L - Black color with ruby-tinged edges and a massive 5-finger bubbly, pillowy tan head. Great retention and great lacing. Perfect.

S - Blast of piney hops as soon as I cracked the bottle and started pouring. After taking a closer look, there’s a tremendous piney and floral hop aroma with a very subtle undercurrent of roasted barley and coffee. I can’t wait to taste this.

T - Wow this is an interesting beer. Starts off floral and fruity sweet and quickly develops into a bitter whirlpool of roasted barley, coffee, and piney hops. As soon as the roasted flavors come through, the hops appear, and just when you’re trying to pay attention to the hops, the roastiness comes back. Truly unique.

F - Medium-to-full-bodied, a little bit of carbonation, mouth-coating feel, and a nice dry and bitter finish. Both the malty sweetness and hop bitterness linger for a nice amount of time.

O - I loved this beer. This is the first black ale that I’ve had, so I’m not sure how it relates to others, but it’s exactly what I hoped it would be and more. The hops are far more apparent than I thought they would be, and that makes me very happy. At the same time, all the sweet malty and bitter roasted flavors are there in full force. Westbrook continues to impress me their beers, and it makes me very happy that I live 10 minutes away from the brewery.

BlackBelt5112203, May 12, 2012
Photo of PDXHops
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%

Bomber poured into an oversized snifter, an appropriate vessel to contain the explosive tan head. It slowly settles into a clumpy foam island, and even a half hour is still a thick skim. Pretty impressive lacing, too.

The bottle's about 2 months old, and I'm left to wonder whether the nose may have been a bit more potent a few weeks back. Herbal hops are more prominent than pine, with cocoa and leathery roast all around.

The strong herbal/leathery combo takes a bit of getting used to, but in the end it works pretty well, and a hearty dose of IBUs is always appreciated in a CDA. Dryish finish that showcases a pungent edge to the hop profile. Pretty solid effort here from Westbrook.

PDXHops, May 11, 2012
Photo of jsanford
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

A - Pours dark black with reddish-brown edges and a creamy khaki head that settles to a dense, 1-inch head that refuses to dissipate.
S - Big, resinous hops backed up nicely by dark roasted malt, coffee grounds, and bitter chocolate. Hops are fresh and pungent, with lots of citrus and pine.
T - Wow, tons of deep, earthy roasted malt character with more resinous citrus hops. Bitter coffee, chocolate, brownies, and burnt toast followed by a long-lasting hop bitterness. Bold, but still fairly balanced and drinkable.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a touch over medium-bodied and good carbonation.
O - Such a tasty Black Ale, it's nice to see the malt take more of the center stage, instead of just providing an ample base for loads of hops. Another fine Westbrook brew.

jsanford, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

UltimateLivewire, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of jrohrbacher
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

jrohrbacher, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Served from growler into a New Belgium globe. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger light khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, earth, citrus, citrus hop, and subtle dark chocolate. The flavor was of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, citrus, citrus hop, and earth. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I really wasn't expecting to get coffee on this one based on the aroma alone. However I found it to be quite enjoyable and added a nice level of complexity to the hop presence in this one. A really well done brew that I'm glad I got the opportunity to try, I suggest you do the same.

thagr81us, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick, impenetrable consistency. There was an inch and a half of creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: As expected, a lot of hops in the aroma, along with a good shot of coffee as well.

T: Like the aroma, the flavor had a good deal of hops and coffee, and also some malt in the finish. At first, this beer seemed to be out of balance, with the coffee taking center stage, but it balanced out as it went along.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is a solid example of an ABA. Not spectacular, but definitely drinkable.

avalon07, Mar 31, 2012
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Covert Hops from Westbrook Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.