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Close Encounter - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Close EncounterClose Encounter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

54 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 318
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 21.11%
Wants: 22
Gots: 56 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 03-14-2012

Close Encounter is a bold venture into depths unknown. The best of both worlds co-exist between a rich roasted malt er’n character and an aggressive hop presence that will probe your taste buds like +thing you have experienced before. Don’t fear the unknown, embrace it! You never know who or what you may encounter…
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 318
Photo of kawilliams81
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a nice black/brown with a 2" dark mocha, almost cola colored head. Head takes awhile to reside and leaves behind lots of waves and swirly lacing.

S- big coffee and pine aroma is noticeable right away. Some roasted malts and ash in there as well.

T- some sweet chocolate followed quickly by big roasted malts, coffee and big pine bitterness. Leaves a slight ashy finish as well.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable and maybe just a little thin, but not in a bad way.

O- Pipeworks just keeps impressing me. Every beer so far is been solid. I wouldn't call this a imperial cascade Ike stone 15th or Hop Juice Black but more of a hopped up stout like the description says.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber from Rogers Park Fine Wine and Spirits. My friendly neighborhood purveyor of craft beer. Served in a 70's vintage Goblet.

Appearance is black as night with mocha foam that reduces to a ring with thin foam across the surface. Low to moderate lacing.

My sensors pick up roast and piney hops but not real intense. A bit of citrus hops too. Like the other reviewers noted it smells more like a black DIPA. Similar to Odell Mountain Standard without the grapefruit aroma.

Taste consists of nice roasted malt (black patent?) and hoppy pine resin. Dry and well attenuated. No sweetness that I expected just focused on the hop profile with roast in the background. A nice roasted flavor that is not overshadowed by the hops. They are fighting for dominance but hops win by a nose. I really like this one. Not at all like Dubhe but very much similar to Odell Mountain Standard which is my current favorite of the black DIPA style (with Two Brother's Black Hop Juice right up there at the top of the list). This will be my local (Central Standard) substitute!

Mouthfeel is medium and nicely carbonated with a dryness that is pleasant.

The hype and anticipation was high but this first taste of Pipeworks did not let me down. I first read their blog two years ago and finally the fruits of their labor hit the Chicago market. I am excited that their new facility is located only blocks from my workplace. I see frequent growler fills (beginning at the end of summer) in my future when the taproom is pegged to open. Can't wait to share with my brother as he is pumped to sample their wares. Next up is Ninja vs Unicorn chillin in the fridge...yes!

A loud shout out to Pipeworks Brewing for a great intro!

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bells tulip glass, it's jet black with a layer of creamy mocha foam on the surface. Long lasting foam and rings of tan lace all over the glass.

Grassy, with notes of turned earth and deep roast at first. Smooth and creamy, plenty of coffee, dark chocolate, blackened malt, and a lingering grassy pine bitterness. Starts out dry and barely sweet, also finishing dry with the hoppy aftertaste remaining for quite awhile. Comes across almost like an imperial black ipa of sorts. Uinta Dubhe comes to mind, one of few I enjoy for the style.

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Photo of Agold
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the (disappointing) Chicag Beer Fest. I will say that pipeworks was the only brewery that really brought out some awesome stuff (aside from GI bringing BCS '10 and Marisol which was pretty nice). Everyone else brought regulars, mostly stuff I could find off the shelf but the standout star of the night was pipeworks.

Poured much like a stout with very dark body and khaki head which receded to a ring around the glass. Aroma struck me much more like an IPA than a stout. Very similar to Ninja vs. Unicorn with regards to the hop profile. Very nice piney citrus aroma complemented by a nice amount of roast. Flavor had a similar IPA character with a bit more roast and cocoa than the aroma. There is a lot of piney flavors along with a bit of mild roast and cocoa. the mouthfeel is a bit light, but this plays more into the idea of a dark IIPA than the idea of a hoppy impy stout for me, which is probably how I would rather think of this beer.

I am not a huge fan of the black IPA movement, but I will say that despite the BA (and pipeworks) classification as an impy stout, this beer is by far the best cascadian ale I have come across. The darkness is not just a color, but a flavor which (to me) oddly complements the piney, resiney, mildly citrus hop character. Though they bill it as a hopped up Impy stout, it would be much better thought of as a dark IIPA.

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Close Encounter from Pipeworks Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.