El Hopadillo Negro - Karbach Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
4.46/5 rDev +18.6%
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.
10-11-2013 00:42:12 | More by AtrumAnimus
2.58/5 rDev -31.4%
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.
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.
09-23-2013 01:46:40 | More by kojevergas
4.3/5 rDev +14.4%
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.
08-31-2013 22:09:01 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
El Hopadillo Negro from Karbach Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.