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Bitter Neighbor - Third Street Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Bitter NeighborBitter Neighbor

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 188
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 25.52%
Wants: 5
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Third Street Brewhouse visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: morimech on 07-10-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 35 | Hads: 188
Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the Bitter Neighbor! This beer pours an almost opaque black with thin ecru head that is lacing. The scent reminds me of a nice porter, toffee and espresso tones. The taste is subtlely bitter throughout, but there are fresh hops, caramel and espresso dancing in my mouth. The mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a good black IPA and I would have it again...the lower ABV gives this a session possibility.

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

POURS: Opaque black/brown with red amber edge,
HEAD: Thick one finger mocha tan; root beerish
AROMA: Coffee
FLAVOR: Espresso

This is my second offering from the Third Street Brewhouse and I pleased with it as a beer offering. Bitter Neighbor Black IPA is well made and creatively named! This is in my favorite consuming category (IPA); I would place it below my crowded top shelf. I would describe Black IPA's to newbies as "highly hopped stouts or porters" and the difference between those two is mouth-feel and head retention. I expect a "black IPA" to have an aggressive hop hit either in aroma or aftertaste or both; this offering had neither. That said, I felt it more at the Porter style of the taste equation. Drinkable, enjoyable and I would welcome another.

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Photo of budgood1
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a nearly opaque dark brown....almost black with the slightest of scarlet edges. large frothy light tan head. the head sticks well leaving some chunky lace. dark roasted malt aroma with definite herbal and piney hop notes. the flavour profile is heavy on the dark roasted, bittered malts. some java, yeast, and hints of ripe red fruit can be detected, also. very tasty hop notes of pine resin and herbal leafiness add depths of flavour. a good deal of bitterness provides a nice touch on the tongue. i pick up on a porterish characteristic here...it's all very tasty if you are into the cascadian/dark pale ales. the overall body is quite ample, with a mouthfeel that seems smoother than i would expect for a yeasty, burnt malt/ highly hopped ale. the drinkability is very good...this really is a quite tasty brew.

overall i'm quite impressed again by this brewery from Cold Spring. and dare i say that this could be a cellerable type of ale with it's unfiltered nature and hefty hop bitterness??

recommended. a perfect cold weather quaffer!

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine and roasted malt.

T - It tasted of strong roasted malt with lots of piney bitterness. There was a touch of citrus, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a good Black IPA. The first of two beers I tried from Third Street Brewhouse.

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Photo of TCMike
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a just barely translucent, black color. Produced a 1 finger tan head.

The aroma is of roasted malts, hops, and slight caramel sweetness.

The taste is similar. Nice hoppiness, without too much bitterness. medium mouth-feel, and carbonation.

Nice beer.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours very dark brown and nearly opaque. Small tan head with average retention and lace. Aroma leads with chocolate followed by roasted malt and citrus and pine hops. The flavor follows closely. More assertively bitter than expected, plenty of grapefruit and pine with lesser grass notes, but the flavors seem a little muddled and indistinct. Very roasty and nearly charred tasting. Medium body and carbonation, seemingly right on target for the style.

This wasn't bad but it also wasn't particularly distinctive for the style and the high bitterness and charred character made for a moderately unappealing flavor profile.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with a ruby red hue in the edges, finger of head with solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - The nose is dominated by malts, heavy caramel, burnt toast, and a leafy green finish.

T - The hop flavours come through stronger on the palette offering up a nice earthy hop flavour alongside some mild espresso, burnt biscuit and a bitter dark cocoa finish.

M -Medium bodied, smooth and surprisingly wet.

O - Overall a tasty black IPA, more dominated by the sugary malts, but a decent hop profile that makes for a pleasantly balanced brew. Easily sessionable and well worth a try.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - deep and almost impenetrable dark brown, thumb of tan head retained well
S - roasty and some dark fruit, light leafs
T - cola and nutty up front, mild pine hops, roasty finish, tasty but a little lacking in hop flavours
M - medium body with a solid and lasting hop bitterness
O - tasty and leaning to the malty side, it doesn't bring the hops to the forefront like an ipa should, black or otherwise, but its a tasty brew none the less

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice appearance, makes a big head that fades to normal fast. Black as night.

Strong hoppiness, mostly grapefruit, but some roasted malt as well, a nice balance without being overpowering.

Taste is a little t astringent, but not awful. The bitterness of the malt begins to surpass the bitterness of the hops.

Wonderful, refreshing mouth.

Drinkable. A great beer in the stepping stone path to broader beer appreciation.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pesto has been returned to its rightful place. Thanks to the never ending endeavors of NJGDBK throughout the mountainous regions of our country.

Nice black and brownie color to this brew. Not to mention the two finger khaki head after the pour. Good retention, nice film o' foam for all twelve ounces.

Almost burnt piney, earthy hop aroma. Some coffee grounds and bitter chocolate in the nose mix pretty well for this hoppy dark ale.

Coffee and earthy, piney, sometime citrusy, hop bitterness combine into an interesting, yet sessionable melange of flavor. Roasty, bitter, earthy.

Roasty and oily palate. Pretty good stuff from MN. I'm very happy I was able to try this otherwise unavailable brew.

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Photo of jera1350
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown/black with a foamy top that is dark khaki in color and leaves loads of lacing on the glass.

Chocolatey malt with a hoppy backing. The overall nose is just a bit light though, otherwise nice.

Lightly roasty with solid doses of chocolate and cocoa powder to go along with some bittering hops and a light citrus hop taste. Quite flavorful and has some nice depth to it.

Smooth body that is about medium. The carbonation is very soft and the palate is dried out on the finish.

This is a really nice example of the style. Very enjoyable and drinks quite easily. Solid beer.

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Photo of sonata2008
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very deep brown in color, almost black, with about 5//8" of tan-colored foam, and quite a bit of lacing.
Smell: Definitely a roasted aroma, especially coffee, and some chocolate. I didn't detect any hops in the aroma.
Taste: A strong roasted coffee taste was at the front end, but it was followed by some nice hoppy bitterness. Also some dark chocolate notes in the background along with some nuts, maybe hazel nuts and maybe acorns (but I'm not a squirrel so I'm not certain about the acorns).
Mouthfeel: A light tingly mouthfeel.
Overall: I like it! A great cool weather beer. Nice balance between the dark roasted flavors and the light mouthfeel. The coffee taste makes me think of breakfast. I think Bitter Neighbor would go really well with apple coffee cake or apple turnovers.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours cola brown. Head in two fingers of tan foam before falling down to a half finger. Lots of lacing.
S- The aroma is piney hops. there is a touch of citrus as well. Very light touch of chocolate.
T- Opening is heavy on the hops. More balanced between citrus and pine here, with pine narrowly winning out. Finish brings a bit more malt than the nose with light chocolate and tobacco-like flavors.
M- Nice medium-full body with smooth carbonation. Just a faint oily feel at times.
O- A decent example of the style, but the IPA side is just too overwhelming for the "black" part of the beer.

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Photo of Beerlover
2.48/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have to say I have NEVER spoken badly of "Cold Spring" brewery, in fact go check out the "Honey almond Wiess" and click on "high" for ratings, i have the highest one, I love that beer! I was and continue to be a fan of cold spring and now 3rd street brewing. I loved their beers before I knew what good beer was and after having tried 3 outta 4 of there older style samplings (havent found "Ebony Wheat" anywhere) im still convinced they are a good brewery,(not world class or awesome, but good) despite my palate becoming more "refined"
With that being said, i eagerly looked forward to trying the new 3rd street, (the "lost trout" is a SOLID brown ale to say the least, and the cream ale is good.) but i was saving "the best" style for last, im a fan of the "black ipa" style, theres not too many out there, my favs being "Odell's Mountain Standard" & "21st amendment's back in black"
This however, smelled like a porter from the get go, and tasted like a porter with a hint of hoppiness... now im NOT sayin this is a bad beer, just not labeled as the right style. idk if the brewery thought that no one would take them seriously if they didn't have an "ipa" because that is the "in style", the "bees knees" so to speak. Perhaps they wanted to jump on the band wagon... but call this what it is!? a porter! i LOVE porters! Porters are in my top 3 fav styles. This is in no way an "ipa", the hop aromas and flavors are too lacking to be an "ipa" or even a black "pale ale" for that matter (which would be cool to see!) any way thats that! cold spring/3rd street, I still like you lots and hope to do a brewery tour soon! but please don't try another stunt like this in the future! call it what it is!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Fully black, no light escapes, unless you really, really try, nice cocoa/tan head, tight 1/4" , lasting long.

Aroma: cocoa and cream, and a faint whiff of grassy hops. Smooth and balanced.

Taste: No real threat from hops at the start, fairly mild, but there. Pleasant on the palate, then the malt comes in, again, very well-mannered, not brash or brusque and rude in any fashion, just knocking on the door and taking it's shoes off. Well comported body, medium, with a lightly hoppy, chocolatey finish. Toasty, just-a-little-bit-bitter malty flavor.

Taking a break now to read the label. "The Story. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. You can pick where you live, but you can't pick your neighbors. That is, until now. When you pick up a glass filled with frothy, dark-colored bitter neighbor black IPA, it won't leave a bad taste in your mouth. In fact, it's quite good. (Sorry, we can't help you with the family part.)
Malts: Pale, caramel, Munich, Roasted Black. Hops: German & US (Magnum, Hersbrucker, Amarillo, Cascade.)

(Quick note about that copy. Breweries should never describe their beers as "nice" or "good." Just tell us how you made it and what flavors we might find, let us make the judgement about how nice and good it is.)

I've downed a few of these already, without taking notes, just drinking. And it drinks well. But considering what they expect that we get from this, and comparing this against others in this loosely collected category, I find Bitter Neighbor lacking. For one, not bitter enough. Hardly enough hops or bitterness to warrant calling it any kind of an IPA. Black it is, though, and actually quite tasty, and consumable, indeed.

If we just want to rave about beers that aren't bad coming out of a brewery known for awful crap, then we can do that. If we want to talk about something memorable, we can't do it here.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Fisher's Club, Avon, MN

A: solid black; thin but creamy head; good lacing
S: very nice hop aroma, with carmelized malt; smells very complex
T: Something like a cross between an IPA and a stout -- sharp hop flavor follows an initial burst of stout (the roasted malt is very strong), creating a very interesting effect, similar to other crossover beers well executed (e.g., Belgian IPA)

A very nice way to close a session--seems higher ABV than it is.

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Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6-pack from Princeton Liquors. It's interesting to see this style evolve. I've found many black ales too thick, essentially hopped up porters. But this beer takes a lighter body to the hops and it works well. I can see some folks calling it too thin, but it's pretty close to where it should be. Still the hops get a little lost in the dark grains at times, which while common for the style, isn't ideal. The barley offers a bitter, cocoa roast with burnt toast with very little sweet caramel. The hops some off like standard American citrus hits (standard, but certainly not a bad thing) that blend in and out of the barley. Overall, a fine example of the style and a great beer to match any food from the grill, find some.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours cola brown with a thinnish khaki head that fades quickly. Very minimal lacing.

Smells toffee-chocolatey with hints of juicy orange and citric pith.

Taste takes on a more roasty-chocolate, subtle bitter coffee, caramel, oranges, citric pith, hop bitterness, all in all pretty tasty. Bitterness lingers into a clean and refreshing finish.

Mouthfeel feels too thin. Its medium, but a bit on the light side, I'd like it a little more creamy and chewy to support all the flavor.

Overall, enjoyable. There's a lot of flavor here that's easy to drink. I'd look forward to more of these.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark blackish brown with a little hint of amber at the bottom. Lots of bubbles and a big five finger light beige head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing around the glass.

Smell: Very roasty and earthy aroma. Dark roasted malts with big hints of chocolate, burnt caramel, toffee, toast, and cracker. A little bit of molasses. Big hints of grassy and earthy hops. Some spicy pine resin. Subtle hints of citrus orange and grapefruit. Smells deep and well balanced.

Taste: Like the smell, a good balance of dark malts and spicy hops. Dark roasted malts with a big taste of chocolate. Dark bread, burnt caramel, toffee, and cracker. A good dose of molasses. A good mix of spicy and mildly bitter hops. Earthy hops, pine resin, and some light citrus with subtle notes of orange and grapefruit. Kind of tastes like an imperial stout with a bigger hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy somewhat slick. Starts sweet and finishes pretty dry.

Overall: A pretty good dark ale. Veers more towards a hopped up porter or stout although it is a nice change of pace from the more hop forward black IPAs.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a khaki head. Not a bad nose. Some citrus and pine hop aromas with a touch of floral hop character, too. Definitely some chocolate to go along with the roast. Semi-sweet chocolate flavors along with roast. Citrus peel and pine hop notes give the beer (along with the roast) a moderate bitterness. A light grassy quality, too.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass, and consumed after having my palate seared by delicious hot sauce.

A: Very dark brown color, with small amounts of carbonation.

S: Strong malty, cereal notes coming off the top.

T: same notes come through from the smell; strong chocolate and woody notes at the front, with a more citrusy and bitter finish.

M: thick beer; even on CO2, it reminds me more of a porter or a stout rather than an ABA.

O: Not bad - it's a nice sipping beer, but doesn't have any really strong flavor profiles that make it distinctive.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque dark, dark brown color. The head is half an inch of off white foam that recedes quickly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is of graham cracker, roasted malt, and hints of grapefruit and pine. The taste is taste is similar to the aroma with both leaning more towards the stout side of the spectrum than the IPA side. While I love both of those kinds of beers I prefer black IPAs to be more stout the IPA so this beer is right up my alley. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, I really like this beer, and can see it becoming part of my regular rotation.

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Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Almost pitch black, with nice root beer float head and minor lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses and citrus. Yum.

Taste: More Black than IPA. Definite chocolate, molasses and coffee from the roasted malts. Fairly bitter finish, but I am getting more of a burnt, roasted bitterness than an IPA one. However, there is some light pine and citrus.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium to full body that is fairly smooth. Very dry finish.

Overall: Tastes more like a hoppy Porter, even if the smell has more obvious IPA notes. I am okay with that though, as it is much better than the IPAs that just seem to have black food coloring added. This is actually a damn fine beer.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised that the aroma is more malt forward than hops, which definitely play a background role here. Smooth roast coffee aroma that's kinda' porter like. Soft hop background, subtle and indistinct.
Black with red highlights. Dense tan head that settles at a moderate pace.
At first the feel seemed kinda' big, but it settled down and ended up being a moderate body. Moderate carbonation that adds a little heft
Hops most noted with a long pleasantly bitter and hop flavored finish. Definite roast flavor start, middle and end.
This seems more like a heavily hopped porter (Am. porter) than a Black IPA (which is more an IPA with some roast character) - not that there is anything wrong with that. An enjoyable beer, that drinks very nicely, but be prepared for a roasty drink.

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Photo of morimech
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with almost two fingers of head that had very good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma is by far the weakest aspect of this beer. It is not giving away much through the nose. A little roast and some peppery hops.

Nice black ale flavor. Not a crazy amount of hop bitterness or flavor, but satisying. I like it because you can also taste the "black" which is often forgotten in this style of ale. Nice roasted and chocolate notes that compliments the caramel and bready malt. Hops give some piney and earthy notes.

Solid body and carbonation. Good texture but it falls off a little quick in the finish so it feels thin.

Impressive for an inexpensive beer. Nice that the "black" can be tasted instead of just for color. Will not win many accolades but I will buy it again.

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Bitter Neighbor from Third Street Brewhouse
86 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.