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

Not Rated.
Black RajahBlack Rajah

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 355
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 23.06%
Wants: 20
Gots: 68 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mjw1200 on 10-16-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 48 | Hads: 355
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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 -3.4%
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 +1.5%
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 -2.2%
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 -0.2%
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 -3.6%
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 -5.3%
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 -22.1%
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 +3.9%
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 -5.8%
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 -4.9%
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 +5.6%
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 +0.7%
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 -2.2%
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%
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 +9.5%
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 +1.2%
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 +4.1%
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 -8.5%
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 +0.5%
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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Photo of SomethingClever
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: Nice black in the glass with a tight whitish head

S: All peaches apricots and mangoes

T: not as fruity as the nose but it has the roasted malt taste in spades it's pretty balanced

M: medium to full carbonation it fills the mouth but is a little watery

O: This nose goes on for days but the taste backs it off a tad I would say for a black IPA this is pretty good but it's not a style I see anyone in. I'd rather ave the sweet clinging finish then the bitter harshness and roast from the end of this.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. I could smell this beer the moment I started pouring it. Big citrusy notes practically filled the room. Kind of surprised I didn't get any roasty notes on the nose, but the hops are so prevalent perhaps I shouldn't be. Appearance is extremely dark reddish-brown with ruby highlights (practically black) and it sports a really impressive foamy head.

Medium body with a firm feel and a nice citrusy flavor. I get some mild burnt toast flavors up front, then the hops just wash away the roastiness and provide their delightful bitterness. For me, many black ales feature roasty bitterness with just a touch of hops and remind me of espresso and lemon. This one is quite different. The citrusy hops are front and center and the roastiness plays a secondary road (like lemon juice with espresso???). The finish is all grapefruit and lemon with a hint of coffee. Very enjoyable.

I'm not sure if this beer uses the same hop blend as White Rajah, but I certainly enjoyed it just as much. Easily the most IPA-like Black Ale I've had. It lacks the complexity that Stone's SSRA has, but it is highly enjoyable. Kind of strikes me as a non-imperial version of Blakkr with less roastiness.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle from 6-pack purchased for $11.99.

One-finger light tan head sits a top a dark ruby-caramel colored elixir, thick lacing.

Wonderful citrus hops mingle with spice and subtle char.

Hop bitterness throughout with a nice pine, spice combo playing off the char. The hops really set the tone here and the roasted malts provide a nice background.

Medium body, smooth.

Not a huge fan of Black Ales or Black IPAs, but this one sets the bar high. Brew Kettle makes it look easy by using their fantastic IPA as the base then crafting this tasty brew. Congrats!

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Photo of Beef_Curtains
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is black with a nice light tan head and beautiful lacing. It looks like a great stout but its full of delicious cutrusy hops. As soon as you take a wiff there is no doubt it's an ipa. The taste is predominantly grapefruit with a little orange backing it up and the bitterness is mild to moderate. It's probably the best dark ipa I've had. I certainly can't remember any that were better.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a slightly off white head and plenty of lacing. Free from sediment and pretty much opaque looking. The aroma is piney, almost spicy, herbal, and perhaps a faint citrus.

In the taste, piney, fresh tasting hops and a firm roasted malt backing. The hops are heavier on the palate then the malt, lending this beer to be known truly as a Black IPA or American Black Ale and not a stout. The bitterness is solid and this reminds me of an IPA, only dark,

Overall, the black rajah is just as impressive as the White Rajah, which I truly love as well. The Brew Kettle kicks out some damn tasty beers. This is a very good beer.

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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
91 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.