Squid Ink - Pacific Brewing Laboratories
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +3.1%
On draft at Toronado, San Francisco.
Jet with white sheets.
Big leaf nose with some ash.
Deep chocolate truffle then squeaky lemon candy hops.
Powdery Lemsip finish and lean linger.
Medium, oily, chewy.
Splits the difference between a black-in-color-only IPA and a hoppy porter. Lots of lemon rind. Serious stuff.
05-13-2014 04:57:47 | More by StJamesGate
3.74/5 rDev -3.6%
I had not heard of this brewery beforehand, but I consumed this out of their tap at the Academy of Sciences during one of their late night expositions - that's SF for you! Poured into a 12oz plastic pint out of their tap system, but it was over-sudsing so badly by the time I got there that they gave me two 2/3rd pints for the price of one. Sweet.
Pours a dark, near opaque color with an off-brown head that was about 3 fingers high. When I escaped the brutal crowds gathered around the stands and displays showcasing elephant taxidermy, I was able to finally see brownish tinged hue to this. I honestly do not have too many complaints other than the over-foaming factor plaguing this beer. It turned out to be pretty viscous and thickened for a 7% black IPA, and deserves every bit of credit for that.
At the nose I get classic West Coast aromas, ranging from pine, orange peel, lemon, and a bit of grapefruit, and then all kinds of other herbal flavors that I haven't quite encountered before in the style, ranging from mint, clove, roses, and rosemary. The malts provide, on the other hand, a roasted cocoa character that is subtle yet firm, as well as notes of light licorice, espresso, caramel, and roasted biscuits. Not as complex as I like it, but very pungent and aromatic at every first whiff... Definitely smells very fresh, floral, and earthy overall. I enjoy it for what it is.
This is definitely a middle of the road black IPA, but at least in touches on flavors that I tend to enjoy in the style. Very astringent at the front, with notes of pine, grapefruit, earthy honey, and orange, and then right at the middle the bitterness dies down and is replaced by the roasted flavors, which are sadly a little bit more muted this time around. Light caramel, some anise, roasted dry barley, but barely enough of a backbone to make way for the initial bittered flavors. Slightly watery at the finish, rather than resinous or thickened, which makes it relatively quaffable, in spite of the strong, ascending bitterness that envelops as this warms up. Carbonation is quite good, and the long lasting foam makes this creamy. I do wish this beer knew what it wanted to do, though. There's a lot of potential at both aspects, but neither fully comes through.
Not a bad SF black IPA - definitely miles ahead of Back in Black - and this is one that could grow on me. I tried their IPA offering at their booth as well, and it was quite floral and good. If everything goes right, these guys could become the leading hoppy aromatic brewery in SF (to mirror Drake's in the East Bay). A solid offering that falls a bit short on the malts, but the hops are lovely indeed. Can't wait to see more.
07-27-2013 06:41:21 | More by magictacosinus
3.56/5 rDev -8.2%
Imbibed at 31st Union on 6/16/13.
Pours a murky black, rusty brown on the edges against the light. The head is tan and billowy and dissipates quick to a thin, patchy layer over the top. Lots of roasted malts in the nose, coffee, and chocolate with a creamy lactic facet to it. The cream starts the taste buds off, moving to chocolate and bitter coffee, then to vinous hop bitterness. Feel is slightly thick with a clean, dry finish.
This isn't much of an IPA in the nose or flavor, but then again my nose is a bit congested. A damn good beer though, if thought of as a porter.
06-17-2013 15:33:00 | More by Philousa
3.76/5 rDev -3.1%
Had on tap at Eliots in Seattle. Much darker than I was expecting, with a big head that stayed as I drank. Matly coffee smell, and one taste had a big malt blast. A touch of hops...just a touch. Kind of a mild mild hoppy stout. Has a nice aftertaste, with decent carbonation. A different beer for me, and not one I found overly interesting, but I enjoyed it enough.
03-05-2013 23:22:44 | More by BradMacMullin
4.19/5 rDev +8%
This pours a rich black with a nice creamy head to it. Malty sweet notes dominate the aroma, followed by a light roast and some hop presence. The flavor is hoppy enough to scratch an itch but its definitely more on the malty side of things. Almost like a hoppy amber/porter with an orange preserves flavored character.
02-23-2013 21:43:56 | More by elNopalero
3.23/5 rDev -16.8%
Black IPA? This doesn't seem very hoppy, though brewer says this is 54 IBUs. Nearly black and lives up to its name in appearance, at least.
Tastes just like a big stout with just a scratch of hops. Winey finish with a hint of sweet vermouth. Pleasant nutty flavor with a touch of pecans and a little brown sugar. Finally it goes out with a hoppy bitterness, but it's quite earthy and grimy. A pleasant maltiness but overall it's not very interesting.
On tap at Pizza Inferno on Fillmore St.
02-19-2013 04:26:59 | More by mactrail
4.13/5 rDev +6.4%
Served in a footed tasting glass at City Beer Store.
A: Pitch black. Not much head. Impressive.
S: Dark sweet roasted malt. Grapes? Pleasant piny hops. More like a RIS or Alice Porter than an IPA.
T: Finished in Napa Cabarnet barrels. It shows. Interesting and excellent. Dark, malty, but well balanced. Dark fruit, slightly tart, with a dry hopped finish.
M: Smooth and viscous.
O: Highly recommended! Would have again. Too bad it's so hard to find. Feels like a wine barrel aged stout, with a big dose of hops.
08-01-2012 20:39:04 | More by AgentMunky
4.25/5 rDev +9.5%
The first time I had a dark ale from Pac Brew Lab was back when they were still doing tasting sessions out of their garage, so was excited to finally get around to having Squid Ink on tap. The dark ipa category is an odd one though, something like a thick ipa or a hoppy stout, kind of combining the characteristics of both.
The appearance nails the squid ink name, dark and murky looking. Scent had distinct pine in it, and taste was smooth and roasted-chocolatey, and fairly bitter toward the end, but not overly so. Really enjoyed the flavor of this beer and worth having a few rounds.
07-05-2012 21:10:54 | More by dkasper
4.33/5 rDev +11.6%
Clean head gradually gave way to intimidatingly black brew.
Smelled and appeared heavier and more malt-forward than it proved to be... a good thing if you came looking for an ale, like I did.
I wish I could go back and taste this blind, because I suspect visual + olfactory-based expectations may have biased my impression of flavor! I do my best to dissociate these biases in the description below.
Squid Ink strikes a healthy balance between malt and hops. True to its color, it has substantial malty character; hearty, but not overbearing. Hops shine through after it first hits the palate, and the finish is crisp enough to remind you that (contrary to outward appearances) you are, in fact, drinking an ale, and yes, you would like another round.
06-13-2012 01:42:18 | More by McJibJab
4.23/5 rDev +9%
A - Served a dark black with a thick frothy finger of chocolate head. Head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some good lace.
S- Aroma is a mix of roasted and burnt chocolate and caramel malt with some earthy hops.
T - Starts off with some slightly burnt sweet caramel malt with some pine and earthy hops. Through the middle, more burnt malts comes through with some chocolate, bitterness, and just a touch of dark fruit. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate malt with some bitterness and a touch of yeast.
M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a roasty and dry finish.
D - Very drinkable. Nice malt and hop balance with some good roasted malt flavor. Could have used just a touch more body.
05-24-2012 20:59:04 | More by ngeunit1
Squid Ink from Pacific Brewing Laboratories
86 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.