1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

El Hopadillo Negro - Karbach Brewing Co.

El Hopadillo NegroEl Hopadillo Negro

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 11.53%


Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: champ103 on 12-30-2011)
View: Beers (29) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 16 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
ExaltedNecrosis

Texas

4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Freetail in San Antonio, TX.

Pours black with one finger of tan/light brown head. The head is very fine and creamy. Aroma is citrusy hops (mainly grapefruit), roasted malt, and caramel. Taste follows the nose, and the grapefruit really comes to the forefront. It is solidly backed in the middle by roasted malt and caramel sweetness, which offsets the bitterness. A very well balanced beer by Karbach. Body and carbonation are moderate all around. It's exceptionally smooth and creamy. Leaves a sticky bitter sweetness in the mouth. This has a good amount of complexity for a black IPA, and Karbach really knows how to balance this beer out. No flavor is overwhelming and they all complement each other.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2013 22:09:01 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Real nice looking, big head and lots of lace, black as expected.

A very nice blend of hops and roasty malts, some earthy woods, crisp tangy hops, overall enjoyable and in the range of expectations for Karbach.

Body was medium with pretty good carbonation and a nice crisp hoppy finish. Karbach continues to impress me, so I keep buying their beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 22:34:07 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black glass shows thick ruby edges that extend to the core of the glass. Holds a dark foam cover that laces the glass in thick tide marks.

Smell: A bit grassy, a lot of dark roasted grain that goes a bit coffee, a bit earthy and leafy.

Taste: Hops come through the dark roasted background, again a bit grassy but some west coast citric hop notes as well. The hops aren't really up to an IPA level, and the black base is a bit light, but it makes for an easy drinking example of the style.

Mouthfeel: Goes a bit soapy in the mouth, frothy, a light medium body, lingering oily finish.

Overall: Not the monster portrayed on the label, more of a gentle, misunderstood woodland creature. A fine beer, nothing wrong (save maybe the soapy mouthfeel) and an enjoyable sipper.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 23:51:14 | More by HardTarget
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the more tropical and citrus forward black india pale ales around. medium bodied dark brown liquid with a ton of black barley and a short lived whitish frothy head. the nose on this is all hops, it overcomes faint barley bitterness to bring this beer to life with intense fruity oily hop waves that make this seem a lot lighter than it is. the flavor too is equally hop forward. the black malt gives just a cutting bitterness and an earthy base to what otherwise is a straight up hop bomb. not sure the hop varietals here, but its high alpha stuff putting grapefruit and tangerine and lemon all through this, which is a cool combination with the dark grain. long fruity finish before it switches to bitter and dry. well carbonated and not super full bodied for what it is. a bomber would be a perfect dose, more than that might get a little fuzzy, but a very well made brew, and a cool version of the style that displays the more interesting side of hops in a sturdy dark beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 18:31:43 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Hops4Pops
Hops4Pops

Texas

4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: 22 oz bomber fresh in Houston
Glassware: Pint Glass
A: Vigorous center pour with a slight glug, glug into pint glass. Three fingers of light tan head colored head. Bubble sizes ranging from foam to 1/4 inch. Slowly receding head consolidates centerward leaving almost no lacing on glass. What is left is sticky. As the glass goes by it leaves a lot of sticky lacing on the glass. As the head recedes, it is forming a beautiful pillowy cloud in the center of the glass. Reflective light reveals a very dark chocolate brown color. Light passing through the beer reveals a dark red color with some lighter maple syrup coloring. Its a beautiful beer.
S: Citrus grapefruit, pine, hops, sweet malts, caramel and coffee as it warms up. Very hoppy smelling with a malt profile that balances it out a little.
T: Roasted malt. Caramel. Pine. Grapefruit. Coffee. Bitter chocolate. Great hop profile. Finishes crisp, bitter and dry. Aftertaste eventually goes slightly sweet and invites you to take another quaff.
M: Starts creamy and smooth. Medium body. Moves quickly to crisp, dry and tingly. Enough malt to balance it very well and leaving strong hop bitterness remaining. Perfect for style.
O: Very well constructed beer. If you like this style, this beer is a must try. It is a good example and it works best if you let it warm up to get all of its character. This is a very good American Black Ale/Black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 03:32:36 | More by Hops4Pops
Photo of StoneTSR
StoneTSR

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11/08/13

APPEARANCE: Very dark, but when held up to the light a touch of light brown shines through. The head is off-white and about a half-inch thick with solid retention. The lacing is very good, with about 70% of the backside of the glass covered.

SMELL: It almost smells like Wookey Jack, but as far as I know there is not any rye. The citrus, however, is big and crisp, right on par with the Wookey.

TASTE: Again, gonna compare this one to Wookey. It tastes very similar, but without the spicy bite of the rye. The Simcoe and Citra stand out big time with the latter providing an excellent does of citrusy bitterness.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to light in body, the mouthfeel is bright and lively with a touch of sparkle. While a decent amount of malt balances this out, it remains wonderfully dry throughout.

OVERALL: All its missing for me is rye, but for those of you who are fans of black IPAs, but not so much rye, this has got to be on your list of beers to try. Really well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 02:45:39 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of AtrumAnimus
AtrumAnimus

Texas

4.46/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a midnight black with an incredibly thick and rich tan head that almost has a permanent structure as it would never settle down. As for lacing, well, that is there so thick I can’t see through the glass. The head on this begins to eventually settle and the illusion of no lacing is actually the result of the head and the lacing being so thick it pulls itself down the glass and is clear where it settles eventually leaving a ring of impenetrable “lacing” that is more reminiscent of blanketing. The beer settles down to about a ½ inch head that I am too impatient to wait to see if it goes away, 10 minutes is too long!

As for the nose it is very definitely dominated by sweet malt and I definitely get the fructose and citrus with a hint of pine as well as some subtle caramel, coffee and cardamom; I would almost say I can smell what reminds me a tiny bit of Turkish coffee.

The mouthfeel is a bit watery compared to all the other complexities of this beer. I was expecting more richness and thicker mouthfeel. Overall pretty good, but the appearance, the thickness of the head and the lacing lead me to think this would closer to a porter or even a stout in mouthfeel.

The flavor is excellent, extremely hopped and bitter and very well balanced to the malt. There are strong coffee and very dark unsweetened chocolate flavors, hints of butter and bread, with an overwhelming hopped flavor that has a surprisingly fresh and non-lingering finish. Overall, exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 00:42:12 | More by AtrumAnimus
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.58/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed as a Black IPA because it identifies as such as on the label. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with pretty standard label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at the Growler Room for $8.00 USD and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; this is a hard style to pull off and because it's so new, many breweries are not able to execute good examples.

As of 09.22/13: 7.20% ABV according to Karbach's website. IBU: 80. O.G.: 16 plato;. Malts: 2 row pale, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate, Black. Hops: Amarillo, Magnum, Citra, Simcoe, Zythos.

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

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a three finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Retention is pretty good for the ABV - about 7 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Somewhat frothy. Complexion is kind of soft.

Body colour is a very dark brown-black. By no means a true or jet black. Opaque (nontransparent/nontranslucent). No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's very standard fare for the style. Not unique or special, but no overt flaws are obvious.

Quite average.

Sm: Dark malts, chocolate malt, pale malts. Caramel. A hint of marshmallow. No real roasted barley. Some cream. Floral hop character. A buried hint of pine, I guess. Not getting any citrus, at least none that's evocative. Lightly tropical; it's quite vague. The notes in the aroma don't ring all that distinct. An inoffensive aroma of mild strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

As it warms, the cocoa and chocolate emerge more - which is pleasant.

T: Like most subpar beers in the style, the flavours clash and there is little balance. Marshamallow, caramel, dark malts, and chocolate malt occupy one end of the ring. Floral hops, pale malts, and vague citrus occupy the other. The battle between the two is not rewarding for the drinker. This is not a gestalt or cohesive brew. It does have some nice pine resin, but the caramel cuts it short. Has some zest. Some of the hop character veers towards soap territory, suggesting this spent a hair too long in primary fermentation. Plenty of hop bitterness goes unremedied about the climax.

Lacks complexity and subtlety. Little depth of flavour here. Duration and intensity of flavour are average for the style.

No yeast character comes through. I do get some alcohol presence, unfortunately.

It's quite rough around the edges, and frankly I don't really like it. It's not uninspired; it just falls short of what it should be.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Nicely creamy. Unrefreshing. Somewhat oily. Too thick. Has an overbearing presence on the palate. The body is full but off. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well. Overcarbonated. Even a biteen biting. It does have a decent softness to it.

Dr: Poorly priced. I definitely wouldn't get this beer again, nor would I recommend it to friends. It's another subpar beer in a style plagued by subpar beers. A disappointment from Karbach. The subpar quality limits its drinkability, as does its detectable ABV. Not Karbach's best, to be sure.

Low C-

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 01:46:40 | More by kojevergas
Photo of brurevu
brurevu

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

El Hopadillo Negro poured an opaque black with a significant tan head that exuded heavy hops and a hint of roasted malt in the aroma. The taste has a strong citrus hop start that faded into a sweet roasted malt bitterness. The Negro was very similar to their Hopadillo but a bit sweeter and with a deeper richer profile. Given the dark appearance the brew was light and flavorful and left a roasty bitterness on my palate. It was a really enjoyable beer from Karbach.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 17:52:14 | More by brurevu
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with icetrauma. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours clear almost pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with incredible retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, roasted malt, light char, cocoa, floral, pine, grass, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, pine resin, lemon zest, floral, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, grass, and floral earthiness. Good amount of pine resin bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus rind, pine resin, floral, roasted malt, light char, toast, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of citrus hops and roasted malt flavors; with hop over malt flavor balance; and minimal cloying bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick and very sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice black IPA. Good balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 04:10:13 | More by superspak
Photo of Premo88
Premo88

Texas

4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into tulip

L: so black with such a fantastic tan head that laces like a Sierra Nevada brew. the foam is thick on this 2-inch head, an explosion of carbonation that tops an all-but black-as-night brew. hold it up to the Texas sun and you see super dark chocolate brown with deep amber. otherwise it shows only the brown at the edges against house lighting.

S: so many hops. light underneath malt that hides ... my nose isn't discerning enough to find it consistently. but it's there lurking, a hint of sweetness.

T: great smooth hop bite that has some burnt/roasted notes to it -- not burnt/roasted malt, that is, but burnt/roasted HOPS ... really cool. dry finish. not as much malt showing up early into this bomber, even less than that in the nose. the burnt-tongue finish has a toasted barley note.

F: huge head hasn't kept this brew from staying fully carbonated -- and a solid midweight. fantastic.

O: really good American IPA that doesn't feel all that "black" until it warms up. but it does get some malt going about 1/2 or 3/5 into it, a little biscuit and even some dark chocolate. and the brew's construction is incredible -- it's like a great Belgian beer, the weight and feel, look ... i mean, you look at a glass of El Hopadillo Negro and see nothing but supreme craftsmanship.

but it's lack of definitive "blackness" forces me to say it does not fully distinguish itself as different. i'm still going to score the hell out of it because it is soooo good, but true black IPA lovers might look elsewhere for true blackness -- if you just want another little tweak on an IPA and love good American IPAs, you'll love this.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2013 07:17:44 | More by Premo88
Photo of Bluestar
Bluestar

Texas

3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into s dogfishead signature glass

A - A single finger thick, nicely coloured tan head presists from start to finish. liquid is a deep brown colour when held to the light. very nice lacing clings to the glass throughout the entire bottle.

S -hop resins dominate. Not entirely sure which hops. Background smell of dark chocolate and off in the distance I detect a faint coffee note...

T- bitter, hop forward beer. Here I get a little more coffee background, followed by some roasty notes. For some reason it just doesn't mesh together well...but I think that's indicative of the style and not any fault in the beer itself.

M - medium carbonation, just shy of being prickly on the tongue. Alcohol is not noticeable to any great extent.

O - Similar to other black IPA's on the market - well priced at $6 + tax a bottle. I would drink again, but not going to go out of my way looking for it. A hop-forward beer that is a little lacking in malt counterbalance .

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 03:51:50 | More by Bluestar
Photo of hoody711
hoody711

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let's see if Texas can actually produce a good beer. Clearly that is too harsh, but thus far the Lone Star state hasn't impressed me. Multiple solid beers - nothing out of this world.

A - bomber to tulip. Dark toffee color. Nice two finger head with good retention and excellent lacing. A very pretty beer.

S - mostly IPA here, and it's nice. Mostly citrus to me, with some grassiness. There's a hint of sweetness at the beginning. Seems to fade a little bit and flatten out pretty quickly. Not much of the blackness of this black IPA here - maybe a little roast at the very end. Good, nothing overwhelming.

T - huh. It's interesting. Taste seems to belie its nose for sure. There is definitely some hoppiness at the end, but I get mostly a one-note sweetness to begin. Sharp chocolate bitterness in the middle, then some piney hops at the end. It's okay, nothing spectacular, and I'd like a little more complexity.

M - well the bitterness from the end of your sip really just lingers there. Otherwise it's a bit dry. Carbonation is low.

O - unfortunately follows its Texas brethren into the realm of tastiness, but falls short of excellence. The appearance is amazing, the nose has the right idea but is just a little soft, and the taste just isn't really that complex. It's good though - I'm not drain-pouring. Worth the $5 bomber for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 01:15:46 | More by hoody711
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours out pretty much black (at least with this lighting). Nice khaki head. Smell isn't all that strong. I get some US hops and some sweet malts. Not very roasty/toasty in the nose, as I'd expected. Flavor has some sweet, caramelly malts with a bit of a piney/citrussy punch at the end. Not a whole lot going on. I expect a little more complexity out of a black IPA with some darker malt flavors. This really just tastes like a typical IPA that has been merely colored with some specialty malt rather than flavored. I like the mouthfeel on this. Pretty soft and fluffy. Is there wheat in this? Overall, I don't know how I feel about this. I can think of better black IPA options, for sure. Will I buy this again? Probably not (MAYBE if they sold this in 6 packs of cans).

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 02:52:36 | More by goochpunch
Photo of BryanCarey
BryanCarey

Texas

4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown in color, El Hopadillo Negro Black IPA has an appealing appearance that grabs your attention. It pours out of a bottle to form a large and lasting head of foam that takes time to subside and leaves generous lacing. The nose on this ale is hoppy all the way, with some grassy notes hiding behind some pine.

Taste- wise, this beer pretty much follows its nose. The flavors of pine and citrus hops are obvious, as are the flavors of roasted malt. There is also a tropical fruit component to the flavor as well and it is equally obvious, although it catches you a little off guard because it isn’t the type of flavor you expect in a dark beer. The ale finishes bitter and dry.

This ale is an interesting one, to say the least, and it should appeal strongly to those who love a great craft beer made with a flavor all its own. As I said above, the tropical fruit taste takes you by surprise, but in a most pleasant way. The sense of intrigue and the full- bodied, plenty- of- frills flavor will keep craft beer freaks like myself occupied with each passing sip.

El Hopadillo Negro Black IPA is yet another winning brew from Karbach and one that earns an easy stamp of approval. Try it if you get the chance and wax philosophical about El Hopadillo Negro and its multi- faceted, take- you- by- surprise personality.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 03:05:56 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was from a gravity cask at the Flying Saucer in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Ruby red around the edges. A small, bubbly beige head forms and recedes to nothing in a second. No lace to speak of.
S: Soapy hops up front. Some bitter sweet chocolate malts. That is about it.
T: Follows the nose. Soapy hops at first followed by a malty sweetness. Chocolate is dominate. Finishes to bitter for my tastes, that lingers on and on. Not a big fan of how the malt and hops compliment each other.
M/D: A medium body and very low carbonation. Almost under carbonated. Easy enough to drink. I can finish the pint without a problem.

Not bad, but like most beers of this style the hops and malt do not mesh well for me. Worth a try for sure, but far from their best offering.

Serving type: cask

12-30-2011 01:37:41 | More by champ103
El Hopadillo Negro from Karbach Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.