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Black Rajah | The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

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Black RajahBlack Rajah

Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mjw1200 on 10-16-2012

User Reviews
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 382
Photo of dar482
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a black color.

The aroma hits of peach, mango, light roasted malt, chocolate, some caramel sweetness.

The flavor follows with more of that light tropical fruit flavor with peach, mango candy, candy caramel, with some milk chocolate, medium roasted malts, medium roasted coffee, onto an earthy bitterness with touches of green pine.

The mouthfeel is medium, but creamy. The beer has a bit restrained hoppiness, which makes the beer more drinkable and balanced.

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Photo of tlema1
3.69/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: jet black, with a tan head
S: it smells warm, malty and some hops
T: some roast, some hop bitterness
F: medium body, well balanced
O: very good example of the style

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Photo of trygelski1
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass:

Look: Pours a dark brown color with a minor amount of head with lacing present.

Smell: Citrus, pine, tropical, hops, smells similar to the White Rajah.

Taste: Taste is very similar to the smell with some malt backbone added.

Feel: Medium bodied.

Overall: This is a solid black IPA. Step below Midnight Moonlight from Fat Heads. Not as good as the White Rajah from these guys which is one of the better IPAs out there in my opinion. I would definitely purchase this brew again from these guys!

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.49/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. No Date. Pokal. Graded to taste, as there is no category for this.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown that light penetrates when held to the light; some lazy effervescence; two finger khaki head. Retention is fair, lacing is great.

Smell: Smells a lot like White Rajah; citrus and fruit bomb. In the interest of full disclosure, White Rajah is probably my favorite or second favorite IPA.

Taste: Hmmm. The bitterness from the malt is restrained. Slightly sweet and fruity, hoppy arrival, moderate sweetness across mid palate; less sweet overall than the White Rajah. The bitterness form the malt picks up toward the end, and lingers on the finish. The darker malt accentuates the pine aspects of this hop profile, and perhaps it subdues the fruit a bit.

Mouthfeel: Solidly midweight. Modest carbonation. Not overly slick, but not what I'd call clean-finishing.

Overall: For my first black IPA, I'd say its decent. It is pretty much just an IPA to me, albeit one with a more roasty bitterness on the finish. What I love about White Rajah is its light refreshing fruity character. This is heavier, slicker, and piney-er.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is rich, cola black with a tan head and thick lacing.

Nose is full of pine hops, oak, lemon zest.

Taste is mild compared to the nose, hop-forward but not heavy. Fresh sourdough bread and red fruit.

Mouthfeel is full with medium carbonation and some oil slickness.

Overall, this is very refreshing, very drinkable, very ready to be opened after a long day.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with a bone white head that really brings out the aromas. Piney and tropical hops get muted by chocolate, chicory, and coffee notes. Taste is a great balance of robust roasty malts and citrusy hop zest. Feel is a bit slicker and softer that White Rajah. A great Black IPA for sure.

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Photo of mtomlins
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark copper brown with 1-2 fingers of off-white head with good retention and lacing. Big citrus nose (grapefruit and oranges), some pine; minimal black malt or roast. The taste again has big citrus again, grapefruit and some sweet mangoes and tangerines with a nice piney bitter finish…but again, no dark character. Round, lively mouthfeel with good carbonation. Overall and excellent IPA not not a great *black* IPA.

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Photo of nhindian
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - While this is more so deep brown than black, it is a nice looking beer. A light sandy head serves as a nice contrast while a thick lacing slowly glides down the glass after each sip.

Aroma - If smelled blind, i'd guess this would be a typical IPA - the malt isn't very noticeable at all and it isn't until determined searching that I find a little bit of roastiness and a touch of chocolate. Otherwise it is all hops with the tropical notes being the most pungent.

Taste - Ah, there is the malt. Almost immediately I am hit with a mild coffee taste and bitter chocolate in a big way. In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to name a black ale to conjures up the malt so robustly as Black Rajah. Afterward it is the hop show, as the Citra and Simcoe shine.

Mouthfeel - Robust, chewy mouthfeel that allows the flavors to develop on the palate. Perfect carbonation for the style.

Closing Arguments - So far the Brew Kettle is 2/2 in my eyes. I prefer White Rajah over the Black, but that could be because I'm not a huge fan of the black ale style. But even still, I really liked this beer.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours deep brown, finger white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma is terrific, citrusy hops. Mild roasty malt immediately met by hop presence, pine and citrus. Very dry finish. Relatively smooth mouthfeel but a little thin. Overall very good hoppy black ale.

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Photo of hardysf
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, not quite black. Nice foam, reminiscent of a stout. Decent aroma, hops fight the malt notes a little more than expected. Taste is extremely well balanced. good bitterness on the finish and tasty malt characteristics. Some caramel and toffee and then some piney hops. Pleasant mouthfeel dinged for slight sharpness on aftertaste.

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Photo of Omnium
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Tulip Pint
A - Semi Clear brown with a finger of fizzy off white head no lacing.
S - Lots of bright tropical notes, orange juice, very very light chocolate roast tones.
T - Follows aroma pretty well, theres not a lot of roasted black ipa type flavors here, but its more on par with a good regular ipa, or the normal rajah.
M - Kind of dry, butt pretty balanced.
O - Good as an IPA but not a real black ale by flavor by any means. so Icant rate it higher.

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Photo of Buck89
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour into a pint glass. Mahogany brown with a thick tan head with great retention and lacing. Assertive aromas of pine, citrus and toast - a funny combo, but it's a black IPA. Taste initially conjures up a WCIPA with citrus, pine and some dank but then followed by a large malt presence and malty roasty finish. Seems like a nice representation of the style but I prefer one or the other.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] Gave it an aggressive pour that yielded 1 1/2 fingers of head. The head is dense and creamy. The head is khaki colored. I get very little light penetration through the beer. It is dark brown to completely black. The bottle lists the ABV (6.8%). There are no visible date codes...

S: [3.00] Thick pine with molasses on it.

T: [3.25] Some pine and caramelized sugars. There is really late finish that imparts a slight bitter and hint of alcohol.

M: [3.00] A little thinner than I anticipated. It is not overly dry.

O: [3.25] I am a little underwhelmed. I was hoping for more with this one. The killer is no date so it could be old and I am grading an old beer. The late finish was the highlight of the beer. It is really pleasant. I think this beer improves as it warms. This is not a Black IPA I'd search out again.

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Photo of OhioLimoncello
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rating this one higher than White Rajah simply because of the malt presence. The White Rajah is all about the hops, but this Black wins by blending the citra and simcoe, without losing the roastiness of the malt.

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Photo of CaptainHate
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had a bottle of this at a local restaurant because what they had on tap wasn't particularly interesting. I'm not the biggest IPA fan but I thought I'd give this a try. As my rating shows it was certainly not bad by any stretch but I was disappointed that there wasn't more of a roasted malt presence. Still not a bad beer by any stretch and it complemented the stuffed eggplant I had for dinner very well.

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Photo of Bone53
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shout out to The Brew Review Crew for the trade!

Appearance: Brown pour with a ruby hue when put up to the glass, and a finger of light beige head

Smell: Earthy hops (dank, onion spice, piney) with very little to no roasted malt presence

Taste: Same hop profile as the nose upfront with the slightest roasted malt undertone

Mouthfeel: Heavy light to medium body and quite light for the style; Goes down smooth with a blast of bitterness in the finish that lingers

Overall: I wasnt blown away by either this or white rajah. Both have a hop profile that im not in love with; dank, oniony, and piney. I think i prefer White Rajah because it had a little more juicy hops. I also thought the mouthfeel on this was a little thin and overly bitter. I much preferred Bells Uranus which i had recently. Wont be seeking this one out again

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Call it Brown Rajah. Ivory head, medium sized. Decent lacing.

Smell - Grapefruit. Dank. Burnt malt. Chocolate.

Taste - Grapefruit up front. Bitter in the middle. Finish of a stout or porter. Bitter aftertaste.

Feel - Medium carbonation. No bomb. Creamy. Attempts to dry up but takes a while.

Overall - I am a fan of Brown Rajah. Not my favorite black IPA. I wish Brew Kettle would make their labels easier to remove for home brew!

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Photo of do_ob
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours brown and settles nearly black in the glass - reddish brown hues around the edges when held to light. A super sticky 2 finger head of vanilla-colored foam on top. Tropical fruit, citrus, roasted malt, and light chocolate on the nose. Medium weight, and quite smooth and creamy. Up front, I get sweet malty chocolate with underlying notes of grapefruit. There's a slight hop bitterness middleways. Finishes smooth and creamy, and leaves a choclatey bitterness on the aftertaste.

This is an interesting beer. It looks and tastes like a porter, but smells and drinks like an IPA. It's tough to tell if the bitterness is coming more from the chocolate or the hops - I'm inclined to think hops. If you like porters, I think you'll like this. If you like IPAs, I think you'll also like this. It's a well-balanced, mild black ale that's the best of both worlds.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle sealed with pressure cap.

poured into SP wine stem.

Appearance: black bodied beer. Off_white colored head with good head retention. Leaving heavy lacing all over the glass. Head drops down to

Smell: Hint of roast malts and this is hop forward. Tropical fruits, grapefruit, and pine. Slight dankness, but it is fairly covered up by the dark malts roasty qualities.

Taste: Moderate bitterness with slight sweetness right away. Mild roast to the malt profile as well. Pine and grapefruit flavors mostly in the hop profile. Pretty well balanced between malt and hop profiles. Bitterness remains in check. Neutral finish it is slightly malty and slightly hoppy. Light bitterness in the finish that does last too long.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation levels. Creamy carbonation with a slightly dry finish. It is a surprisingly clean beer. Nice drinkability.

Overall: Decent balance between hops and malts. Pretty solid black IPA, but it is missing that wow factor. I prefer White Rajah over this beer for sure when it comes to The Brew Kettle' s hoppy beers. I would take New Glarus Blacktop over this beer anytime.

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Photo of Yettie911
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer was exactly what I like in a black IPA. The aroma was citrusy and west coast hoppy, but carried a good toasty backbone. Tough style to nail and they did a great job and dodo not kill the IPA portion with over toasty notes. Good try for you black IPA lovers.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a thin black color with a smokey-colored head that dissipates quickly. Very dark looking, quite impressive.

Smells strongly of bitter hops. I can't help but think the aroma reminds me a lot of weed...

The hop flavor in this just jumps into your palate. Piney, resiny, super-fresh, bitter hops all across the board. This a very flavorful beer, I think Brew Kettle has hit it spot-on with this one.

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Photo of markgugs
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tall stemmed tulip

Pours a solid brown with more than a hint of reddish cola around the edges, and a voluminous tan head builds up quickly, leaving an intricate web of sticky lacing. I'm a bit of a sucker for "cascadian ales," or black IPAs, or whatever you want to call them; I find the combination of smoky roasted notes with an often citric hop bite to be wonderful. Brew Kettle nails both aspects here. Ample Citra hopping delivers a winning burst of tropical fruit and citrus, before giving way to an almost mocha-like smokiness. This is delicious. A muted nose is the only subpar part of the beer. The body and feel are on point too, creamy and just aggressive enough. Tasty, dry finish. Love this.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is going to be the best beer of the day.

It has a great head that dies quickly. There is a huge aroma that is very appealing. Pungent.

The taste rocks. Although it is hop forward, there are loads of malt tastes and a great balance. Just the right amount of roast.

The aftertaste is grassy and just a bit bitter. Great. Highly recommended.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to @WesMantooth for the chance to try this one.

Pours like dark roast coffee. Citrusy hops notes leap from the swirling tan froth, immediately followed by a subtle roasty smell.
Taste follows the same path. Starts with citrusy hops, lemony and maybe a bit tropical. But then the roasted malt comes in right away.
Finishes with the roast and the hops, but the hops take the driver’s seat.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the fuller side.
Overall, I think the Brew Kettle executes this style well. They definitely get a melding of both the hop characteristics and the roasted malt to be evident in the profile. Probably the best I’ve had of this style, although I must admit, I still find this style a little perplexing. The mix of hops and roast is still not my thing. Having said this, this one is pretty good. Fans of this style take this review with a grain of salt.

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Photo of Ri0
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Obsidian, pitch black with a thin 1 finger tan head and some spotty lacing.

S - Hello Citra hops! Resinous, grapefruit and pine hop aroma sitting on top of a roasty malts. The scent is quite pleasing.

T - Yes, Citra hops jump out right away with citrus bitterness, pine, and earthy tones. They yield to the darker roasty malts on the palette along with bitter chocolate and some sweet caramel. The bitterness and hop flavors that are noticeable in the beginning make another appearance in the finish.

M - Medium and creamy mouthfeel with very nice carbonation.

O - A very nice BIPA that is similar to a local favorite of mine, Silk Scorpion.

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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
91 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.