Heavy Machinery Black IPA - Austin Beerworks

Not Rated.
Heavy Machinery Black IPAHeavy Machinery Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

71 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 8.27%
Wants: 2
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Austin Beerworks visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bundy462 on 05-05-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 11
Reviews by barbellsNbeers:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffreyeye
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Piney with a hint of sage or cardamom. Swxy pour with felt-like head. Let it slip past the sides of your tongue, then over top dead center. Mangia. Disfrute.

Photo of brurevu
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my all time favorite Black IPAs and as the packaging says, this is just an IPA that happens to be black. It poured a deep black with a good tan head which was as expected. The aroma was tropical fruits and citrus hops with a slight hint of pine, and it was all IPA. The taste was as exceptional. This Black IPA was a monstrous mouthful of juicy citrus and tropical fruit hops that belittled its foreboding appearance. The finish held a lingering pine bitterness and a slight roast that was the only hint of it’s ebony appearance. The Black IPA was a fitting bookend to the fantastic Heavy Machinery IPA series and I hope they continue to release and re-brew these incredible IPAs.

Photo of d5001986
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pint can poured into tulip.

A : Deep black with medium foamy tan head.

S: Grapefruit and sweet chocolate.

T: Citrus hops and smokey chocolate malt. Good balance with almost no bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy. About as smooth as it gets.

O: I found this to be an excellent Black IPA. Heavier bodied than others I've had and very good flavor. Would absolutely drink this again and recommend to others.

Photo of imstimpy
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a lover of IPAs. Black IPAs, though, always have more of an ale spin on them. Mellow, a bit roasty, but nothing super hoppy or super malty. I didn't care for it much.

Photo of champ103
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at several places around Austin, most notably at the brewery, Craft Pride, and Cottonwood in Houston.

A: Pours a dark brown, ruby red color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: Clean grassy, floral hops up front. Then some toasted malts, lightly bitter coffee, then finishes with bitter grapefruit. Two different bittering aromas that I am not a huge fan of.
T: Follows the nose up front. At first clean grassy, floral hops. That quickly fades to a more resinous and thick character. This becomes more viscous with some chocolate and molasses flavors. Toasted malt, bitter coffee, and again finishes with more bitter grapefruit.
M/D: This starts of with a medium body, but progresses more towards a full and viscous body. If that makes sense. Again, at first there is a crisp, clean palate here. Though that merges to a thicker viscous and syrupy character. I have had several without a problem. Though to many things at odds with each other for this to be a regular go to of mine.

I love ABW. Though this falls to much into the trap of the dreaded "Black IPA." No definition of style or substance. Really, one of the better version I have had. If that makes any difference. Worth a try, but I am just not a fan of the style.

Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

16 fl oz silver aluminum can acquired as part of a 4 pack at my local H-E-B grocery and served into a Pinthouse Pizza conical pint glass in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are pretty high as this beer's predecessor was on the Top 50 Southwest list. Reviewed as a Black IPA because the label identifies it as an IPA and it's clearly dark when pouring.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of decent khaki colour. Frothy and nicely creamy. Has good thickness and flocculation. Consistency is smooth, even, and gorgeously silky. Could have a better complexion. Lacing as the head recedes is inconsistent and uneven, but nevertheless appealing. Head retention is very good for the high ABV - about 7-8 minutes.

Body colour is a very dark brown-black reminiscent of cola. Opaque. Lacks vibrance, but then it's quite dark. No floating yeast particles or sediment is visible.

It's looking pretty standard for a Black IPA. Not unique or special.

Sm: I pick up dark malts, cocoa, floral hops, fruity hop character (tangerine, grapefruit), cream, and some oily hop character with plenty of resins. Caramalt comes through as well. Like most Black IPAs, the malts and hops seem to clash. I do like the hop character in general, and I'm hoping this is one of those rare Black IPAs that actually gets the balance right.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable. I don't find any off-notes. It's a clean pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

T: I'm surprised to find some sort of mint family plant in the taste; I didn't expect it to be as herbal as it is. Unfortunately, the resinous and oily hops take a major backseat to the generic floral hop character, which itself clashes with the dark malts and caramalt-induced sweetness. I'm glad there's no unchecked hop bitterness, but it's ultimately a fundamentally imbalanced build. There's almost a juniper character here.

No yeast character comes through. It does have some alcohol warmth, to its detriment. There aren't any off-flavours.

The beer has a general cohesion, but is far from gestalt. Average duration, depth, and intenisty of flavour. Not a real complex Black IPA. It isn't subtle or intricate, but the juniper/mint notes do lend it some needed nuance. I don't doubt that this was an inspired effort - they clearly tried - but the execution just falls flat in practice. I'm not a big fan.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and nicely creamy. Coating. It's fairly filling - too much so for a hoppy beer. Medium to full-bodied. Has a bit too much weight on the palate. The texture suits the taste well in a general sense, but the mouthfeel does suffer from a minor bite due to its overcarbonation. The boozy warmth isn't doing it any favors either.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: A downable but ultimately forgettable Black IPA. It's rare that a brewery really nails this style given the careful balance of ingredients required, and Austin Beerworks doesn't have what it takes. This joins the large and growing list of failed attempts at the style. Maybe we should just leave this style to foreign brewers (especially Mikkel) and the Pacific Northwest. I'd caution friends against picking up a 4 pack of this. While I'm sure local reviewers will award this high marks, I'd caution out-of-staters against trading for it. It's fundamentally flawed.

Finally, on a packaging note - what the hell? Let's put our seasonal IPAs in cans that have at least some differentiating characteristic on the label. For all their fuckabout delaying, TABC somehow approved this labeling scheme?


Photo of MLDucky
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

More roast than I recall last in last years version. Pour is dark, dark, dark, very nice looking. Smell is a faint hop and pine, again, I felt last year had more of the hop forward aroma. Taste, roast, small hop bite, bitterness but not in a bad way. Either my palette changed quite a bit or this changed from last year.

Photo of Stevedore
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz tallboy can, no canning date but I know its at least 2 weeks old since the shipment was delayed for 2 weeks due to the weather. Poured into an unlabled snifter today, 2/20/2014. Thanks Mikey!

App- Dark black body, befitting the style, with a nice 2 finger tan head that retains quite well, leaves some lacing. It looks like an above average porter in terms of app.

Smell- Soapy, resin, bread, some citrus and a bit of pine. Overall very faint nose and not that interesting but nothing off-putting at all.

Flavour- Very hop-forward. Citrus, pine and floral notes dance on the palate, also a fair amount of resinous bitterness but not overly so. No roast, faint chocolate malts despite the dark appearance of the beer, that complement the hops just right. Very interesting and certainly nice to drink.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, somewhat resinous. Finishes quite dry for an IPA. Good carbonation, a bit silky like a good porter.

Overall- I like how this is a Black IPA that doesn't taste very "black" per se. The hops are there in force on the palate, its decently bitter but not overly so, refreshing and dry. The chocolate/coffee notes are faint but actually complement the hops rather than clashing with it. This beer is not even close to mindblowing, but it does execute what I expect from a Black IPA- aka showcases the hops- and is one of the very few that I've had that does this. I'd drink this anytime, but don't mistake me on this- the packaging is useless (seems that they are using the same "Heavy Machinery" can for all of their beers in the series, and there is no indicator that this is a Black IPA) and it's more one-dimensional due to the hop-forward nature and lack of dark malt presence.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance, nearing black. Beige head, nearly an inch in height. Pine and roast in the aroma. mild chocolate character. A well balanced version of a black IPA. Definitely a nice hop presence, but not too assertive. A touch of bitterness in the back. Pretty easy drinking. Solid.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black IPA, 16oz winter 13/14

A: Pours a deep dark brown. Not quite black. No light, until you hold up to light. Layer of tight bubbled light to medium tan head. Lacing is there. Nice carbonation.

S: Smell is nice. Piney earthy hops mixing with some grapefruit. Then you get some roast and chocolate. Nice nose for BIPA.

T: Nice bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Again, earthy pine and some grapefruit rind. Just the BIPA I like: almost tastes like an IPA with food coloring. Really don't get a ton of roast or chocolate. Maybe light roast. Finish is dry and some lingering bitterness. Pine flavors.

M: Medium bodied.

Photo of popery
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours coffee black. Opaque. The head is tan and foamy, medium to medium-small in size. Bubbles stick around for some time. Maybe, it's just selection bias, but I get the sense that cans do good things for a beer's head. The aroma is fresh and bright with hops. It's a pleasant mix of floral, spice and grass hoppiness. Sweet caramel malt in the background. Little to no aroma of darker grains. The beer has a very pleasant mix of caramel sweetness and that same bright hoppiness. There's a little more grapefruit rind to the hop character in the taste, but there's still plenty of grass and pepper. Again, little to no roasted malt presence - perhaps, just a touch in the finish. I would guess that Sinamar or a similar product was used in this beer, and I highly approve of that for this style (of course, I'm not a big ABA/BIPA/CDA fan). Mouthfeel is smooth with some light hop oiliness. Tasty beer. It's not exactly blowing me away, but it's pleasant and appealing and has little roast flavor.

Heavy Machinery Black IPA from Austin Beerworks
87 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.