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

Not Rated.
Black RajahBlack Rajah

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47 Reviews
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Reviews: 47
Hads: 348
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 23.06%
Wants: 18
Gots: 62 | 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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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 348
Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%

A-Pours a very dark brown with a respectable off white head.

S- Smells very hoppy, tropical fruity hops, slight malty sweetness on the end.

T- The taste mirrors the smell pretty well, although the malt is stronger and provides a nice roasty taste to compliment the hops.

M- Nice medium body, not too much carbonation there's just the right amount to go with the maltiness.

O- Great black IPA, very hop-forward with a strong roasty back-end. Very well-done.

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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 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 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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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 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 Roguer
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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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 Tsar_Riga
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pretty solidly black, opaque, with a light off-white colored head, and some lacing.

S - Strong hop notes, grass and citrus, a bit of dankness, and a slight hint of roast.

T - The taste is primarily hop notes, grapefruit citrus notes of pith and flesh, with a bit of floral undercurrents. The middle is the only hint of roasted notes, a slight malt backbone of dark bread and toast. The close is a sharp turn toward bitterness, which fades quickly.

M - Quite drinkable, but with a subtle build of hop oil, but nothing that burdens the palate too badly.

O - This is a black IPA that hits hard on the IPA elements, hops and more hops. The roasted malts that give it the look and color only raises the slightest hit of molasses and bread. Great flavors, and a solid beer overall.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from a $11 6 pack

A - Dark pour. Looks like a thin porter, but the foaminess of the tan head gives it away.

S - When cold, very hoppy, with faint roasted malts. Citrus hops. Grapefruit/pineapple. As it warms, the balance becomes much more evident.

T - Same as the aroma for the most part. On the colder side, it is much more ipa like (White Rajah). However, as it warms a bit, it is perfectly balanced. The hops and bitterness are up front, with a nice roasted, slightly charred taste on the back courtesy of some coffee.

F - Nice body. Medium to light. A tad too carbonated possibly. It has a bit of a fizzy cola feel early on.

O - Easily one of the best black ipas I have had. A near perfect balance. It is like an easy drinking, hoppy porter.

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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 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 WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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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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 drdiesel9483
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - black with a great tannish head and the beer is moving
Smell - toasty but lots of citrus hops
Taste - more toasty then the smell and less citrus but still lots of bitter hops
Feel - medium body with medium carbs. Slightly creamy.
Overall - fantastic black ipa.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%

Served on tap into a shaker glass.

A- Poured a very dark brown ale with off-white frothy head that left glass-coating lace.

S- Huge peach, pungent grapefruit, some pineapple, and other big tropical hop notes.

T- Lots of peach, tropical fruit, and pungent grapefruit hops with a light roasted malt backbone and bready notes.

M- Prickly carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish, and moderate warming.

O- The hop character on this beer is huge and very reminiscent of White Rajah. The dark malt bill doesn't add a lot of other character to differentiate it from White Rajah, but this is still another great hoppy beer from the Brew Kettle.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of Radome
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle bought in Strongsville, OH.

A - Color is a deep, deep brown, almost black. No light comes through when it's held up to a light source. The head starts several inches high, thick, fluffy and creamy. It is a beige color. It slowly fades to a sustained thick sheet and lots of lacing.

S - The hops aromas dominate. They are a mix of tropical fruit, pine and low but sharp cat-pee. In the background is a small amount of malt aroma, with a hint of roast.

T - The hops hit the tastebuds first, with a strong bitterness and tropical fruit and citrusy flavors. Late in the palate there is some light malt--bread, a bit of chocolate and some distant roastiness. Very clean flavors.

M - Medium body. Low, creamy carbonation. Light alcohol presence. Strong hops burn.

O - This beer is clean, well made and tasty. It differs from an IPA in the color (obviously) and the darker tasting malt flavors in the finish. I haven't found too many Black IPAs that I enjoyed, but this one is interesting and worth seeking out.

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Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio

Pours black with some auburn hues; one finger off-white head that leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are awesome. Lots of sticky grapefruit with hints of pineapple. Subtle garlic notes, which are enjoyable. Decent amount of cocoa malts. Flavors are very sharp and earthy. Lots of grass and pine needles. Lots of citrus. More grapefruit and hints of tangerines. Hop vine and hop leaves in the mix. Hints of dark chocolate. More bitter than sweet. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied; creamy and silky with active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed. It's fun and easy to drink.

This is an awesome Black IPA. It's been awhile since I've had it, and I was very happy to revisit it. It does a great job of doing White Rajah justice. I wouldn't mind seeing this in bottles. Great stuff. Recomended if given the opportunity.

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Photo of MikeCactusGordon
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Wink's by the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. Caught a fresh keg and was impressed with the balance of malts. Very hoppy....probably 70 IBU I'm guessing. Floral hop aroma was almost enough to knock me off my stool. Light smoke flavor.

Very enjoyable Black IPA. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great color on this one. Nice tan head. Pretty good amount of lacing. Nose is that sticky sweet hoppy thing. Flavor carries a bit of the same with that oddly woody fruity character that so many black ales possess. This is a very good example of the style and quite nice to drink. I dig it. And I highly suggest it.

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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 BrewUSA
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Brew Kettle Black Rajah

Look 8/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 36/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 88/100

Very nice and refreshing Black IPA. Has a solid taste, yet doesn't overpower. if anything it might lack body in some regards. I also have been crushing huge stouts this week. So maybe it just appears light. the tropical fruit shines through. I suppose it has more IPA than 'Black' to me. Still a very well rounded easy drinking beer~

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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 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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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
91 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.