Blakkr - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
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Ratings: 348 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
The hallmark of "black IPA" is that of hop-dominance that allows the bitterness of perhaps cocoa, toast and coffee to accelerate the overall perception of the beer. But then when we have "imperial IPA" we have a sweeter balance to hops that brewers attempt to overcome with hop aroma and flavor. So, can the collaborative efforts of Three Floyds, Surly and Real Ale brewing companies pull off an Imperial Black IPA?
Its rich and mocha-stained appearance is nothing like IPA. It's not pale at all- its murky, dark and despite. As the ale's light cascade settles, a creamy off-white froth amounts on top. Long in its blanketed retention, the ale laces with broken rings, defining each sip.
The bouquet of citrus and tropical fruit caress the nose with blood orange, passion fruit, red grapefruit, nectarine and pineapple. Its amazing scent in in strict juxtaposition to the beer's ominously dark appearance. A deeper dive in reveals coffee, chocolate and dry toast.
Its flavor acts somewhat in reverse as the beer's short and over-cooked caramel sweetness eases in- leading to nutty coffee, bitter cocoa, charred toast; yet little of the sweetness that's expected from accompanying malt. Instead, the middle opens with the pithy and pulpy taste from vibrant red grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon and passion fruit. As the hops turn from plump to dry, its leafy, chivy and cannabis taste links up with the char of grain for an elevated bitterness that neither hops nor roast can achieve on their own.
Creamy to start, its malty-dry start slowly sheds its sweetness and trends drier, toastier and deeply resinous as sticky hops cling to the tongue like pine sap- leading to a toasty-dry finish with lingering cocoa bittering. The effect of 10% alcohol is seldom felt or tasted- a deceptive little brew.
Its really hard to create an IPA to outlast the flavor of dark grain in the same way that standard American IPA does with their more tame malt profiles. But the resilient nature of Three Floyds, Surly and Real Ale has done just that- creating a dark flavored beer that still dominates with hop brilliance!
Serving type: on-tap
04-04-2014 20:33:00 | More by BEERchitect
4/5 rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Bottle from Whole Foods. Served in my Alchemist glass.
A - Dark tan foam settles to a thick cap and sheets of lace. This is a legitimately 'black IPA' - the color is just a shade off-black, and it's opaque.
S - Hoppy, with some roast and cocoa, and light notes of smoke and anise. Hops are a mix of citrus, tropical, and perhaps a hint of floral character as well. Pretty nice mix of hops and darker malt flavors, without being harsh
T - Taste is pretty similar, with a bit more char and smoke than I tend to like from this style. A hint of nutty astringency, but fairly restrained hop bitterness, although it grows over time. Alcohol is really well-hidden; never would have guessed 10%.
M - Medium body, slightly roasty texture, some residual hop oils, perhaps a hit of warming alcohol. Pleasant carbonation; soft and creamy.
D - The flavor is a bit fatiguing with the bitterness, astringency, and charry flavors growing over the course of the bomber. Still - I had no problem putting down 22oz over the course of a few hours. I'm very wary of this style, but this is a good one.
Serving type: bottle
03-25-2014 00:55:11 | More by MasterSki
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
22 ounce bottle into signature teku glass, bottled on 2/14/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, cocoa, roast, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately sticky, and fairly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome imperial black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
Serving type: bottle
04-29-2014 01:39:38 | More by superspak
3.59/5 rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Bottle opened on 3.19.14
A - Pours a very dark brown with a creamy dark tan head with good retention.
S - Lots of hoppy pine and citrus.
T - Hoppy up front, then roasted chocolate malt, thena beef jerky - smoke finish.
D - Good carbonation with a medium body.
O - Nice hops. I didn't love the fake smoke finish.
Serving type: bottle
05-19-2014 05:02:28 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
A nice, big, creamy solid brown head settles and holds at one finger's height without moving. It rests there on top of a brew that's black as the darkest night. Little to no highlights show when held up directly to the light. The lacing clings strongly, the tattered sheet breaking after reaching the glass's halfway point, from which it continues with pretty strong patching and thick spotting down to the bottom.
Give the aroma some time to develop its complexities or it'll be a pretty one-dimensional balance of roast and pine, but instantly it hits the nostrils hard; the strength of this beer could be intimidating. There's citrus there as well, maybe some smoky cocoa in with the malts.
It really develops on the tongue, and the flavor just about explodes. It has the same combination of huge roast and massive hops but with a sweetness just getting in and easing the onslaught of hops bitterness. Cocoa, maybe a bit of tropical fruits, and something just a little creamy offer superb balance for such a hoppy beast. The roast gives up notes of charcoal briquettes on the finish.
Crispness nips on the tongue, but softly. The medium body finds the right median for the style. A drying aspect to the roast comes into the middle and finishes out. Overall, it's pretty smooth as well.
Serving type: on-tap
05-21-2014 18:52:26 | More by Brenden
Blakkr from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
92 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.