Bitter Neighbor - Third Street Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Bitter NeighborBitter Neighbor

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 4
Gots: 30 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 37
Photo of Beerlover
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
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!

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of JackieTH
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of MattyG85
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of irrgalaxy
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of morimech
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
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
85 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.