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Cabin Fever Imperial Black Ale - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cabin Fever Imperial Black AleCabin Fever Imperial Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

36 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 6.1%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ericj551 on 03-08-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (52) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 14
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. My wife is near full-term, so the label imagery resonates rather clearly with me right now. Bedlam in the brain stem, eh, Phillips?

This beer pours a very dark polished mahogany brown hue, with basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, shiny, rocky beige head, which leaves some broad, fuzzy swaths of patchy lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of sweet citrus, pine and perfumed floral hop esters right off the bat, followed up by oily bar nuts, biscuity chocolate malt, a slight yeastiness, dry bready caramel, and a further pithy musty vegetal character. The taste is gritty, toasted dark bready malt, singed cocoa powder, bitter citrus cream and spruce tips, and some further floral, earthy hops. Simple, but really quite effective, and no sign of the elevated ABV.

The carbonation is present, a tad frothy, and generally agreeable, the body a solid medium weight, a wee bit airy, and mostly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the roasted chocolate malt and prickly citrus/pine hops still running the table.

I'm usually nonplussed by most ABAs, mostly on account of their lack of long-haul drinkability, for whatever reason. Not so here - Phillips has rendered a smooth, blackened and semi-sweet, but still hoppy ale, all deftly balanced for our drinking pleasure, and with an extra boost of booze that you don't even see coming. Hah - c'mon kid, imma ready for ya!

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - coal black with just a little light getting through the bottom, tower of creamy tan head, held its own with plenty of consistent lacing
S - leafy and piney hops hit you, quickly followed by some nutty malt
T - more of a earthy hop dominance up front with accents of leafy greens, solid compliment of nutty malt with a touch of licorice, very nicely balanced
M - medium body with a creamy start, fairly full with a medium bitterness through the finish
O - its a big beer with a balance that makes it drink like a small beer, full of hop and malt flavours from start to finish, outstanding example of the style

Photo of DaveBar
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around $6.00 for a 650ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high beautiful head that lasts forever. Films out and has a nice dark nearly black color. WOW this head looks creamy

S- Lots of hops and malt here. Has a stout like chocolate scent to it. So impressive for a black IPA

T- This one has body and zap. I like it a lot. Chocolate overtones.

M- Dry and airy. Carbonated well.

O- Very good beer. This one is in my top list for a black IPA. The bitterness lever is just right.

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with..... Roasted chicken


Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Garrick's Head in Victoria.

A - Deep black; completely opaque with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Citrus, roast and pine.

T - Bitter up front with a big sweet roast profile providing balance. Chocolate and pine are the predominant flavours with some citrus present as well.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out an intense dark brown hue, mahogany highlights when held to direct light, with a creamy light beige head that retains to a middish cap.

Sweet dark malt on the nose, some dry roast with a solid spike of grapefruit and some leafy hops.

Roasty malt, some cocoa and coffee up front in the flavour, turning to leafy herbal hops in the middle, and a bigger grapefruit citrus kick on the finish. Mocha notes blend with the grapefruit on the finish, while a dry roastiness and grapefruit pith character linger on in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied on the fuller side of things, creamy smooth texture, with a medium amount of carbonation.

Phillips does it up right with this Cascadian, with a good balance between the malt and hops and enough character for them both to stand out in their own respect. I'll be picking up more of this while it is still available. This is one for Phillips to consider for a second brewing, for sure.

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.37/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: opaque black with hints of amber; nice "rootbeer" head
S: deep rich, toasted oats, some citrus (grapefruit rind)
T: a mish-mash of tastes: cola, dark licorice ... Noticeable bitterness in the taste and a bitter, dry finish. A big, brooding beer but I'm not sure that I like it all that much.
M: medium-fullbodied but with a line of bitterness that cuts through.
O: declaration-- American/Cascadian Black Ale is a beer style that I really don't care for (this bottle was a gift). It seems like brewers are just throwing styles together to see what sticks .. and for me, this style is much less than the sum of its parts. It's not a bad beer just not one that's very appealing.

Photo of RedAleMan
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Svingjo
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Snowcase Advent Calendar 2013 - This again poured a nice dark colour with a long retaining tan head. The nose shows a nice leafy citrus hops that is balanced with a sweet malt. You get a mocha coffee taste up front that finishes with a citrus hoppiness that offers up a lingering bitterness. I've really enjoyed both of Phillips' Cascadian offerings in this calendar. The best of both worlds with a sweet maltiness and strong hop.

Photo of polloenfuego
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of rogerdandy
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of leaddog
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark nut brown with two fingers of frothy beige head. Nice lacing.

Smell - Leafy/piney hops, malts, tropical fruits.

Taste - Leafy, piney hops along with roasted malts. A little bit of citrus/tropical fruit peel flavour. Nice bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light/moderate carbonation.

Overall - A good representation of a black ale by Phillips. If you are a fan of the style, it is a nice choice.

Photo of Wajohnst
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jaisell
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ericj551
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a bottle at the tasting tonight and had to crack it open. Cabin Fever pours an inky black that shows just a bit of brown light shining though when held up to the light. The aroma is citrusy and piney hops with dry chocolate and maybe a hint of caramel. The flavor is resinous and bitter with a big one two punch of slightly astringent dark malt and piney, earthy hops. The bitterness is intensified by the slight astringency and a distinct chocolate malt flavor lingers along with the tongue coating bitterness. The beer manages to maintain a pretty decent body despite the dryness. I think I might be turning the corner on the black IPA style, between this beer and the Puzzler.

Photo of wordemupg
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 30-3-13

A near black with a deep cola edge, large loose mocha foam has great retention and leaves a partial ring of lace

S some tropical citrus shining through the dark malt, char, coco powder, and faint coffee but the hops are in charge with the tangerine, grapefruit, taking center stage, impressive really how the hops shine in a beer this dark, some Phillips house notes as it warms

T the dark aspects much stronger in the mouth and pine I didn`t smell is quite strong, a little rind opposed to the fresh flesh I was smelling, pretty solid but the nose was great

M stops short of being foamy and not as thick as I`d guess from the color, nice bitter bite and a lingering citrus and coco finish

O pretty solid example of the style, nose is rocking and no problems elsewhere, well concealed booze helps its cause

I`ll be picking up another for sure, the price point on some of Phillips bigger brews is great and I hope they keep it up

Photo of 604growler
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Jediknight362
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of shagal
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of yancot
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of canucklehead
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cabin Fever hasn't plunged entirely into darkness; chestnut highlights survive along the base and, at the right angle, even provide by a menial amount of transparency. Enough foam formed from the pour I'm tempted scoop it out and make a milkshake out of it - heck, it already looks like one!

The nose isn't very expressive, especially for a style that on the whole tends to really be. Gooey, roasted malts or piny, citrusy hops - either is acceptable and yet neither seems to want the spotlight (usually they fight tooth and nail for that ever important first impression). This bouquet is blank.

The taste, on the other hand, is far from it. Whatever absence of flavour on the nose it's doubly made up for on the palate. A serious question for Phillips: do you add a shot of espresso to each bottle? What about dark caramel fudge? This has a most chocolaty, dessert worthy taste full of coffee- and caramel-accented roasted maltiness.

Hops factor more in the mouthfeel. The finish is dry and has leafy, woody, and resinous notes that stick to it like burrs. A little splash of lemony acidity also cleanses any borderline-burnt flavours that might otherwise linger and leaves the palate refreshed and ready for another sip.

I wouldn't rank Cabin Fever as a first tier Black IPA except insofar as its drinkability - it is a wonderfully agreeable example of the style, especially when you consider its strength (8.5%, something I didn't mention until now because, frankly, I never noticed). More enjoyable than impressive, I think Phillips is capable of more but I'm nonetheless a happy camper with the few bottles I bought.

Photo of tbeckett
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Cabin Fever Imperial Black Ale from Phillips Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.