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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
91
outstanding

43 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 340
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 6.55%
Wants: 16
Gots: 58 | 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: 43 | Hads: 340
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. (463 characters)

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. (399 characters)

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. (846 characters)

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. (213 characters)

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. (408 characters)

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 (834 characters)

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! (444 characters)

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. (891 characters)

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. (1,153 characters)

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. (270 characters)

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. (408 characters)

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. (731 characters)

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. (346 characters)

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. (873 characters)

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. (686 characters)

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. (541 characters)

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. (1,227 characters)

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! (574 characters)

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. (397 characters)

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. (658 characters)

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. (992 characters)

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. (1,525 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
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' (1,519 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%

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. (609 characters)

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! (1,413 characters)

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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.