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

Not Rated.
Black RajahBlack Rajah

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

288 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 53 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 288 | Reviews: 44
Photo of MarkSansone
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really liked this one. Need to figure out how to get more.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some roasted malt and slight coffee. Earthy, pine, dirt notes come through with the bitterness at a nice level.

Photo of JohnnyMc
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of the best Black IPAs on the market!

Photo of OleGee
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was very tasty with a nice smell and good mouth feel - very enjoyable

Photo of markgugs
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of apasternak
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Solid black IPA. Hoppy and roasty

Photo of KevinmusPrime
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best black IPA I've ever had

Photo of STBbrewing
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Over all a solid black ipa good and hoppy with a light roasty finish.

Photo of schoolboy
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of dvmin98
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of the better BIPAs out there

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.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of Hugony
4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional Black IPA. Smooth and well balanced.

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

Photo of Beef_Curtains
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of Chuck_IPA_Mathus
3.09/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

not one of the better cascadian blacks Ive had. look was perfect smell was a little lacking in the hop but the malts were a nice yeasty bitterness.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of Roguer
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful, solidly black brew, topped by a dark tan head. Excellent retention and tons of lacing.

Roasty, spicy note at first; closer inspection brings the hops cleanly to the front. Ruby red grapefruit, a hint of pine, tangerine, some floral; perfect balance to the roasty malt lingering in the background. Exactly where I want a Cascadian Dark Ale to fall.

Flavor hits all the right notes, as well. Juicy, sweet, and hoppy up front; milky and pale malt backbone along for the ride; then a bitter, roasty finish.

Hop flavors follow the nose, although far less juicy overall. More pine and leafy green hops, more citrus peel.

Nice dry finish, cleansing the palate for the next sip. Silky but medium-light body; very drinkable.

This is as good a Black IPA as I've had. It's smoother and more accessible than most. I could quibble with the hop flavor (I'd like it juicier) or the roast quality (almost too subdued), but those are minor deviations from my own preferences rather than flaws.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, chocolate, cocoa, toast, light char, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with bright citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate roasted malt balance; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, chocolate, cocoa, toast, light char, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, lemon/orange zest, pine, chocolate, cocoa, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt balance; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, moderately sticky, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome black IPA. All around great complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color. The head is a finger high, and mocha in shade. It doesn't seem to have very good retention, though. Only a small amount of lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: I tell you, this is the most surprising thing ever...but this smells just like White Rajah. It features the grapefruit, the melon, the subtle tropical fruits, and the pine. The malt seems to even have more in the way of caramel/toffee than chocolate/roast. Still, this beer seems to understand the secret of the best Black IPAs: very little black, and a whole lot of IPA. (4)

Taste: Indeed, the dominant notes are the hops. Citra, in particular, is shown off well. Malts perk up on the finish - and again, there are only mild hints of roast and chocolate. I'm getting more caramel I would normally pick out in a typical IPA. There's almost no clash between the dark malts and the hops here. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: The initial feel is light and fizzy, only beefing up slightly right before the swallow. If anything, it might be over-carbonated, clashing with the medium body and wet finish. Still, it does go down fairly easily. (3.5)

Overall: This drinks much like a standard IPA instead of a 'black' one. Even still, it isn't "quite" as good as White Rajah. Of course, that's all relative - 90% of all other breweries out there would kill to have a black IPA this damn good. Yet another beer I wish was available in MD. (3.75)

3.75/5: Yummy black IPA that doesn't seem very 'black'

Photo of barczar
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%

Side by side comparison with white rajah. Aroma is skunky and citrusy with tropical notes even in the bottle. Resin, grapefruit, mango, mango, and pineapple are contrasted by roasty chocolatey malt. The hop aroma profile is damn near dead-on between the two. Flavor reveals similar citrus notes, along with biting resin and an underlying malt sweetness, with a slightly more bitter finish, due to lingering roast malt. I like the perception of sweetness the chocolate notes in the malt provide, but the char pushes the bitterness too far out for me. Think I'll stick with the original, but still a great beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Dark pitch black body, but when held toward the light it has ruby highlights and forms at least 3 fingers worth of light beige head labeled as an India Black Ale the description reports this is Simcoe and Citra hopped.

Aroma has dark herbal tea dank qualities and citrus pith to me the complement of the dark roasts gives it a mint/herbal tea note that really is characteristic of this style for me. Dark roasted malts give enough dry dark chocolate notes but there's no chocolate or sweetness really. After it warms a bit and give the glass some swirling I can get a bit of the tropical fruit maybe pineapple or passionfruit.

Flavor very well constructed dark hopped beer with character, the best Black IPA I've had thus far very easy to drink. Dark dry chocolate still lets the herbal mint notes come through in addition there's a keen dankness to the hops here, along with faint tropical fruit notes. Dry finish from both hop additions and darker roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is juicy in the middle dry in the finish evenly carbonated resinous with hop oils everything is in cohesion this beer is firing on all cylinders.

Overall impressions for me are that I'm really getting into this beer for sure, I'm glad I picked up a six...White Rajah is the most drinkable go to IPA I have access...I'm hoping they bottle this one year round as well. Those guys know their hops up there in Strongsville, OH!

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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
92 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.