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Epitome - Carton Brewing Company

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51 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 5
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
We don't have many rules at Carton Brewing and those we have we made up for ourselves. In general though, we strive for drinkability through balance and harmonization of flavors. But even self-imposed rules are meant to be broken. With Epitome we decided to embrace the teenage metalhead in each of us and get discordant with a seriously hoppy, high gravity, black ale. The only notions accepted were to make it bigger, bolder, hotter & faster. A Beast. The ABV had to push past 10, the black had to be "none more," and the hops had to be American and piled on like a double bass drum kicking faster and harder. Drink Epitome because things worth doing are worth over doing.

(Beer added by: Chas58 on 12-29-2012)
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 5 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives with a fudge brown colored liquid capped by an inch or so of foam; a fairly nice amount of lacing lined the glass as the beer was consumed

Smell: Piney with some roast and chocolate tones

Taste: Dark chocolate and roasted malt tones form the backbone with piney hops building into the middle; just a hint of citrus but both the hops and malt flavors are well-balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very impressive ABA; so many of them are unbalanced but this one showcased both the malt and hops very nicely

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2014 23:01:47 | More by brentk56
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 11/29/13 notes. 16 oz. pour in a pint glass at Top Hops in NYC at their Black Friday Goose Island event.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black, color with two inches of light tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dank pine hops, roasted malts, dark chocolate, citrus hops, oranges, toasted malts, and earthy notes. Nice nose; tons of pine hops up front which I love. Smells super fresh and hoppy.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, citrus hops, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, toasted malts, and burnt malts. Not quite as hoppy as the nose but still a great mix of pine, citrus, and roasted notes.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. No bitterness at all and very easy to drink for the ABV. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a great beer; one of Carton's better beers and one of the better BLack IPAs I've had. Tons of pine hops in the nose and the taste is a little more balanced between pine and citrus hops and roasted malts. Easy to drink which is scary, and no bitterness which I love, wroth checking out if you like the style. Would love to have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2013 20:47:25 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Rifugium


3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Carton

I decided to finish off my session at Carton with Epitome, or as the next sitting next to me called it "EPP-ih-tohm." Dark brown-black pour, with a solid cap of off-white head that receded to a thick ringlet, lacing the glass nicely. Typical of the style, the nose was full of piney hops, with a good dose of dark chocolaty malts, but it was the hop profile that came through the most. Good balance in the taste of piney hops and dark roasty malts, with neither really fully taking charge; solid yet controlled bitter finish. Mouthfeel was chewy and bold, body was medium. I have to give extra points for the feel, because this did not at all seem like a 10+%ABV beer. I'd have thought maybe 8 at the most, but nope. Good brew overall.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2013 11:40:42 | More by Rifugium
Photo of pressedmeat

New Jersey

4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sample of this beer, and decided to purchase a growler immediately.

A: Dark chocolate color with maybe 1/2 to a finger of head

S: some hops, and I think I actually smell some hints of chocolate

T: Get some alcohol, coffee, and chocolate

M: Lightly carbonated, velvety, and smooth

O: If, and I mean if, you can get this beer, worth the trip.

Serving type: growler

02-08-2013 22:11:31 | More by pressedmeat
Photo of Chas58

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler from Joe Canal's Iselin into my Firestone Walker Nonic Pint Glass

Appearance: pours an inky black with a progressively growing active brownish head. Very much the consistency and appearance of an imperial stout. The head remains and leaves clingy lacing and a persistent head throughout.

Smell: this is the first place where your senses play tricks. I immediately smell the aroma of Carton 077XX Imperial IPA but this is jet black, not the golden orange of the 077XX. The hop aromas come through very strong and you clearly think you have a strong DIPA. It has a slight citrusy scent with a piney back

Taste: This is the best part, where the strong hop forward, and the heavy maltiness combine into a really great balanced beer. This has characteristics of a hoppy stout;but more, a heavy porter; but more, and if you close your eyes, you could imagine a DIPA, like 077XX, but with a malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A very nice tight carbonation with minimal resiny residue, the malt that makes this inky black in color helps to balance the hop forwardness.

Overall: for anyone that can find this, try it. This is a magnificent Imperial Black Ale with a maltiness that screams stout. I can not even guess that this would be a 10% beer, the alcohol is well disguised and makes this so drinkable, caution it is a 10% beer. I am not sure if this is just a Carton experiment, but this is World Class. For those of us in New Jersey lucky enough to taste this brewery expanding and experimenting like this, boy are we lucky.

Serving type: growler

12-29-2012 15:58:24 | More by Chas58
Epitome from Carton Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.