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Phillips / GLB Puzzler Belgian Black IPA - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Phillips / GLB Puzzler Belgian Black IPAPhillips / GLB Puzzler Belgian Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: canucklehead on 11-01-2012)
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

multi servings at GL WVRST takeover. Black with virtually no head. Wonderful aroams, the cascade and the roast in perfect harmony. Fuller mouthfeel, smooth. Hops, roast, in a great ale. Very good drinkability. The roast is perfect. Great collaboration.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a rather large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with huge resin and green citrus hoppy notes. Taste is also a good mix between some dry and bitter roasted malt with a side of black chocolate and some aggressive green citrus hops notes with some resinous notes at the end. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed for the style and something I could see myself having again in the future.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. Another nice cross-Canada collaboration from Phillips, released concurrently with a fresh hop offering - nice!

This beer pours a clear, I think, very dark chestnut brown, with mahagony highlights, and two fingers of tightly foamy mocha head, which leaves a low rocky shoreline of lace around the glass as it genially ebbs away.

It smells of bitter grapefruit rind, roasted, somewhat meaty caramel malt, a bit of fleshy stone pit fruitiness, some earthy Belgian yeast, and floral, leafy hops. The taste is big bitter citrus and pine needles, toasted bread and caramel malt, a waning Belgo-yeast character, muted fallen orchard fruit, and a trailing leafy hoppiness. Little, if any warming from the hefty ABV.

The carbonation is on the reserved side, though hardly inert, the body a tremulous medium weight, and really quite smooth, none of the heavy hitters messing with this metric, which is rather nice to see. It finishes pretty dry, the roasted notes from the malt kind of dominating a depleted field of competition.

A tasty Cascadian Black Ale, with a subtle Belgian twist, which fades soon enough, leaving us with the hoppy, toasted goodness of the style, unencumbered, (or enhanced, depending on your outlook) by the still AWOL, and very well integrated, elevated booze.

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at WVRST, Great Lakes Project X Movember. Into a sampler glass several times over.

Dark brown with burgundy hues, light retention and a good bit of lace. Nose has big citrus notes, grapefruit, clementine, tangerine and pine. Light roast and chocolate in the back. Taste has bitter citrus rind up front, bitter chocolate and a big chunk of roasty flavours tailing right behind. Long bitter, mildly herbal hoops in the finshs. Medium full feel, medium carbonation. An excellent black IPA with a brilliant nose, great stuff. Glad to have some extra bottles of this.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from the brewery poured in to tulip glass. Stated IBU of 100.

A - Black with half a finger of light brown head

S - Bitter hop aroma up front with grapefruit, peach and pine notes. The malt bill adds roast, chocolate and some sweet molasses aromas.

T - A big bitterness up front with pine, grapefruit, orange peel and peach flavours. A fairly prominent malt backbone adds roast, chocolate, and sweet molasses flavours. There is a good bitterness but it doesn't appear to be anywhere near the stated IBU of 100. Good overall balance. Not getting much of a "Belgian" profile here at all.

M -Medium body; creamy. Light carbonation.

Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip 10/11/12

A nearly black with a deep cola edge, a large well retained mocha head stick around to the bottom of the glass leaving several rings of lace deep down the glass, were off to a great start

S Big nose on this one with lots of tropical notes, tangerine, pineapple, and grapefruit, hard to believe the hops shine through a beer this dark. Loads of pine, some coco powder and more hops, the Belgian influence is minor but adds a nice touch, the booze is nowhere to be found and just a little licorice as it warms, smells perfect

T more yeast then the smell with a earthy, woody aspect I didn’t find on the nose, just a little nutty flavor with some smoke and char, the hops are still there but the dark malts take over in the mouth. Taste is good but the nose was wonderful

M medium bodied, almost foamy but not quite, a nice bitter bite and no heat at all, long rind and char finish

O such a sexy beer from start to finish, smells divine and zero booze at any point, great hop kick and a solid dark malty backbone, I’m loving this one

I’ll have another please, and for 7$ I’ll be enjoying a few of these before their gone from the shelves

Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Following the collab between Garrison and Phillips in the Spring this is a new Black Belgian IPA from Great Lakes Brewery out of Ontario and of course the great beer mind of Matt Philips. Considering this beer came out at the same time as the great fresh hop IPA Green Reaper makes Phillips a continued challenger for best BC brewery.

This is indeed a puzzle as the name of the beer suggests. Black as ink with a very interesting nose ( hops mixed with a strong black malt smell underlined with Belgian yeast). Given that this beer is over 9% ABV you find yourself almost stopped in your tasting tracks by the bigness of flavours and the complexity that opens up as the beer warms. There are lots of hops but what really catches the attention is the dryness and bitterness that come out in the midbody and continue through the finish. This is not a criticism as this works for the beer but it takes awhile to reconcile the Belgian notes with this huge dark roasted flavours while at the same time realizing the hops are also out in force. Not since Belgian Black from Lighthouse last year have I had such a interesting take on the Cascadian style. While Lighthouse went for a more luscious Dubbel take on the DIBPA , Phillips and GLB use dryness and the bitterness of the hops to grab the drinkers attention. All in all a unique beer that shows the unrestrained creativity in Canadian craft brewing.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Alibi Room, Vancouver.

Pours like an Irish Stout: ruby black with a tan collar than rings.
Roast and smoke on the nose.
Black rye bread, a whack of phenols, then orange oil hops.
Red berry finish and clovey linger.
Medium, chewy, smooth.

More stout than anything else. Way too phenolic. But it does hit all 3 notes named on the label.

Photo of andrenaline
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another treat courtesy of joemcgrath27, looking forward trying this mystery style out.

A - Pours a dark ruby red, thumb of off-white head, solid retention and some nice sporadic lacing.

S - Loads of citrus and earthy pine hops, hints of cedar, grapefruit and subtle burnt malts.

T - Again, the citrus and pine notes dominate with a bitter citrus rind lingering, toasted grains, burnt cocoa and chocolate notes linger. The higher ABV is insanely well hidden, and goes completely undetected and the Belgian yeast notes seem to be almost as hidden.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty brew indeed, the Belgian aspect is overpowered by the hops, so it reveals little in terms of traditional fruity yeast esthers. That being said, as a black IPA, it is absolutely delicious. Loads of flavour and an ABV that will certainy sneak up on you if you're not careful.

Photo of jrenihan
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from GLB. No date but probably 2-3 weeks old.

Beer is black. Almost no head results from the pour, just a thin tan fizz that dissipates quickly.

Smell is good. Citrus fruit (orange sticks out), chocolate, a bit of anise. Nothing very Belgian sticks out for me. I can perhaps get a bit of Belgian yeast but that may be the power of suggestion.

Given how prominent citrus was in the nose, the taste is initially a surprise as roast malt and dark chocolate are the immediate flavours. The citrus is there but is not as strong as in the nose. Taste reminds me of blood orange. The Belgian element is more noticeable, with a yeasty flavour, but still pretty minimal for a Belgian IPA.

Pretty heavy for an IPA (of any stripe), but it is a strong beer. Moderate to low carbonation. Pretty smooth, somewhat oily.

Overall, quite good. I tried a small glass of this on tap at a GLB event recently and was not impressed by it at that time. Not sure if that was a function of it mixing poorly with other beers, but I am liking it now.

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Howlader
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of DaPan
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of peensteen
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish-black colour, whisp of tan head, light lace. Smell is lots of citrus, tangerine, orange, lots of citrusy hops, cocoa, roast malt along with some belgian yeast and its all very well intergrated and comes together quite nicely. Taste is chocolatey and yeast with tons of dry fruity hops, more tangerine/clementine/orange flavours, citrusy with quite a good deal of roast as well, a bit spicy and belgian in the finish. Light-medium carbonation, pretty full mouthfeel, oily and slick, creamy feeling points. This was a delicious beer, certainly something I would love to see all year long, I hope this gets made again.

Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very dark cherry cola look, tall mocha head retained very well, plenty of random sticky lacing
S - nutty and earthy, mild fruity belgian funk, certainly a head scratcher at this point
T - roasty, earhty, leafy, nutty, not much Belgianishness other than a bit of funky strangeness, I must admit I am puzzled
M - full malty feel, touch of hop dryness and alcohol heat thin it slightly
O - don't know what to say other than I am puzzled, which I guess is a good thing ...?

Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of kjyost
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ZachT
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed a bomber obtained from Co-op liquor store in Calgary, poured into a Belgian-style goblet. I probably should have used an IPA glass. A nearly pitch black brew with ample brown head and a rather unique aroma/taste profile. There's some Belgian influence in the form of yeast-derived (presumably) spice notes and a burlap sack-like dryness but this is not what grips the taste buds. Smells and tastes like pot resin, brown rye bread with caraway seed, pipe tobacco, burnt banana, weak clove oil, a hint of orchard fruit. Others taste citrus in this and I suppose I do as well, a generic citric rind somewhere in the mix, but truth be told I get more marijuana dankness and pine. These differences in palate add to the fun of beer tasting I suppose. Dry, woody, resinous, and spicy, with some ash helping to dry out the earthy bitter finish. A big ol' resin bomb with some dark malt character that is hard to locate amidst the hop assault. Middle of the road carbonation. This one will likely stand out in my memory for quite some time. Captures the aggressive resinous hopping that Phillips does so well, with some added spicy special effects. Did I mention its hoppy?

Photo of beerhunter13
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. I missed out on last years batch but Phillips has brought it back. The ABV is 7.3% as opposed to the 9.1% of last year's collaboration batch.

Appearance- Pours a dark brown with two fingers of foamy mocha head.

Smell - Belgian yeast, roasted malts, piney hops, citrus.

Taste - A nice mix of the roasted malts, Belgian yeast, hops and citrus flavours. Good roasted flavours and bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - For my first go at a Belgian Black IPA, Phillips delivers a flavourful brew that has a nice mix of Belgian and North American ingredients. Perfect for the time of year in Calgary when the weather is changing.

Photo of DamageCase76
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of cbnz
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Beervana
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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Phillips / GLB Puzzler Belgian Black IPA from Phillips Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.