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Imperial Black - Buxton Brewery

Imperial Black
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very good

35 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.02%

Brewed by:
Buxton Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CwrwAmByth on 04-06-2013)
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 13 | Show All Ratings:


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle. ½ pt glass. Enjoyed @ L´Espumossa (Barcelona). Pure black color & very dark amber tints to the light. Beige foam, nice, copious & lasting crown. Intense chocolate aroma, hoppy notes, citrics & slight fruity to the nose. Enters creamy & roasted then floral bitterness is felt. Medium to full body. Moderate to soft carbonation. Viscous texture. Velvet & spicy palate. Touches of coffee & resins in the middle linger into a long bitter finish. Dark fruits on the aftertaste. One of the best American Black I´ve ever tasted!!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 08:22:10 | More by GONZALOYANNA
Photo of DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the LCBO for around $5.80 or so for a 500mml bottle Served at 8deg C in a tulip.

A- Nice dark brown. Super carbonated. Good

S- WOW This is good. Malt galore. WOW malt.

M- Creamy good. Super nice tongue.

O- Going to buy a couple more for sure

Food Pairing

This girl went well with curried goat.


Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 01:39:31 | More by DaveBar
Photo of beholder_pl


4.79/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: pitch black with a huge tan head that just won't drop. Great lacing.

Aroma: fresh, citrusy and hoppy. Exactly how a Black IPA should smell. Even though it's black, there's no roastiness, no coffee, no chocolate in the aroma. Only fresh hops.

Taste: pretty much the same as the aroma: hoppy, citrusy, however there are some roasty notes in the background, very subtle though. Medium bitterness, perfect for this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, soft to medium carbonation.

Overall: a perfect example of how a black IPA should look, smell and taste like. This one is one of my all time favourite beers and I enjoy drinking it every once in a while. Highly recommended.

Enjoyed from a teku glass.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 19:48:45 | More by beholder_pl
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Buxton Imperial Black is unfiltered and its milky-looking natural sediment sits at the bottom of my glass like distant stars suspended in the infinite wonders and darkness of outer space - it's the kind of beer Alfonso Cuarón would brew. The surface looks pretty milky too - chocolate milk that is.

The aroma is as rousing to the senses as the spring air and smells vividly of freshly-tapped tree sap. It has the fresh aura of a budding vegetable garden and blossoming flowers. It has a kind of mintiness, a cinnamon-like spice, and the vivid expression of fresh herbs. And just smelling it can emulate the sensation of actually eating a juicy pink grapefruit.

Black IPAs offer about as diverse and expansive a flavour profile as any style of beer. Their hoppiness can be earthy (pine needles, spruce tips), herbal (grasses, minty), fruity (tropical, citrus), and/or floral or spicy. The maltiness might be roasty (coffee, dark chocolate), smoky (burnt grain, charred wood), sweet (custard, caramel), or grainy (biscuits, wafers).

It would be a complete cop out to say that Buxton's Imperial Black has elements of all the above, but it wouldn't be untrue. The flavour, like the aroma, has super pulpy citrus fruit and fresh mint flavours, except on the palate it tastes as though brown sugar was melted and caramelized over top the grapefruit. There's also minor hints of tiramisu and crème brûlée.

While this style (sometimes referred to as 'Cascadian Dark Ale') originates and is still arguably best represented in the American North Pacific, the Brits have evidently caught on. This is a thorough beer if ever I tasted one; whether we're talking malts or hops, Buxton Imperial Black leaves hardly a stone unturned. And I plan to leave no shelf unturned in my search for more.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 06:56:28 | More by biegaman
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with brown around the edges, 1.5 fingers off white head, nice lacing as well. Smell is full of pine and citrus, citrus notes become more dominant, orange and grapefruit are more pronounced, a little roasty, dark chocolate and a bit of cold coffee but still very hoppy for a bottle about 6 months old. Taste is fairly hoppy, fruity citrus with a big bitterness, hop flavours have fadded over time so the citrus flavours are a bit muddy but still there, medium roast with more dark chocolate, as it warms there is a bit of a lingering sweetness and touches of butter, fruity aftertaste. Medium cabonation, dry prickly feel, medium full body. Suprisingly very good for 6 months old, i'm sure this is only better fresh too, would revist a fresher bottle of this gladly.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 12:55:22 | More by peensteen
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $5.50CDN. Looked interesting and price point wasn't unforgiving enough to try something new.

Served chilled into a pint glass.

Appearance - Very black, some sediment accumulates in the botttom of the glass. Impressive 3 finger ivory head is poured and leaves sticky rings of lacing as it slowly (ever so slowly) recedes. The head is light looking, tan, dense and fluffy.

Smell- Wonderful hoppy citrus aroma, perhaps some passionfruit. Not a really big nose on this but definitely sufficient.

Taste - More tropical flavors, namely melon and passionfruit with a slight lemon mix. This is rather IPA -like with such a tropical presence but the hop bitterness is signifcantly muted. Sweet without being cumbersome. The more and more I had of this, the more I enjoyed it. A real treat.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, low carbonation, and a full bodied feel, and while sweet it doesn't reach that sticky sensation that would not be good for this beer.

Overall - Really pleasantly surprised, as I picked it up without looking too much at the details since it was new. A really delicious black ale, that toes the line in becoming big and bold and something that is also somewhat sessionable since it doesn't fatigue the tastebuds the way "big" beers sometimes do.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 03:42:05 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Black pour with a two finger fluffy beige head. Good lace and really good finger of retention.

S - A nice aroma. Filled with dark fruit, ripe grassy and citrussy hops, not really roasty.

T - Roast comes out more, dark fruit and less hops, but they're still quite present. Lot's of dark fruit and hops, but not serious citrus hops, more a grassy and earthy character. Roast is pretty full one but combines well with the dark fruit and hops. A pretty cool flavour combo.

M - Good carbonation, medium creamy body and a decent bitterness.

O/D - This is a pretty good example of the style. Easy to drink and really flavourful. All the elements really blend together well. I enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 23:10:59 | More by tbeckett
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 500 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: pours a lovely dark brown nearly black with a heavy three finger head that is off white in color. The head lasts for a while before breaking and leaving copious lacing along with an interesting island of foam.

S: hops is prominent. Malts and a touch of roast also appear.

T: hops again dominates. Lovely citrus and pine. A bit sweet at the end with some malts.

M: creamy with fairly strong carbonation.

O: Well color me surprised at this one. I really didn't know what to expect and I got a bit of a surprise. I didn't expect it to be as hoppy as it was, but I liked it. For some reason I was expecting it to be maltier...I guess I forgot I was drinking a black ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 22:52:50 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $5.50

Appearance - Dark brown/black colour with a large size frothy light beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, chocolate, coffee, grapefruit/oranges

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of hops mixed with some citrus notes and some chocolate and coffee. There is also some malts and just a touch of anise. It ends with a hoppy malty aftertaste.

Overall - Surprisingly solid. I'd never heard of this brewery but this is one of my favorite styles of beer and they've done it justice. Needs a little refining, but there is a nice mix of fruity/malty/hoppy notes.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 01:43:08 | More by spinrsx
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BB Aug 2014

Beer is black in colour, with a large tan head. Good retention. A nice-looking beer.

Nose contains some citrus fruit - orange primarily. Some roast malt and a bit of chocolate.

Taste is a nice mix of citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit) and chocolatey, roasted malt. An anise flavour as well. Pretty balanced between the two aspects of this style. Moderately bitter.

Full bodied, highly carbonated. Oily.

Overall, pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 00:55:19 | More by jrenihan
Photo of danieelol


3.29/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark black (slightly brown) with good head/lacing.

Smell is an orangey citrus hop ahead of a chocolatey grain.

Taste is an acidic citrus- more orangey, mandarin, tangello-type of flavours. Almost a bit of sourness to this.

Mouthfeel is sour and tomato-y.

Probably have held on to this for too long but underwhelming and nondescript in its current form.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 10:31:16 | More by danieelol
Photo of rudzud


4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a nice dark brown nearly black hue with a good, solid one finger mocha head that fades to leave nice lacing.

S - Aromas of faint citrus, roasted malts, chocolate. All semi faint.

T - Taste is MUCH better, hops come to play front and center with very nice grapefruit and pine. Lends to roasted malts and light chocolate only to back with a strong bitter pine resin finish.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with sold carbonation. A touch on the heavy side.

O - Overall, a damn solid black ale, from England of all places!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 17:33:05 | More by rudzud
Photo of CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a dimpled pint mug. Bottled Feb '13.

Pours a thick dark brown/black colour with a thick tan head.

Smells hoppy, of dark malts as well, but very held back.

Tastes like sex in a glass. Balanced but strong hops - fruity, citrusy, with roasted bitter malts, and a sweet smoked taste following. Those hops kick up again on the finish, quite piney and strong, and lip-smackingly bitter. Heavy thick mouthfeel.

Overall a really nice beer, I'd love to get this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 15:49:39 | More by CwrwAmByth
Imperial Black from Buxton Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.