Black Betty - Beavertown Brewery

Not Rated.
Black BettyBlack Betty

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very good

115 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4
pDev: 8.5%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Beavertown Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 02-18-2013

Malt: Pale, Caragold, Caramalt, Wheat, Carafa II, Carafa III
Hops: Magnum, Columbus, Chinook, Citra
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Hopped with Magnum, Columbus, Chinook and Citra, it clocks in at 60 IBU’s, but it’s black in color. For that reason, Beavertown calls this “a big fat contradiction,” which it is, and even more so coming from a British brewer. Regardless, this is a damn fine Black IPA that drinks well due its overall dryness and bitter hop profile.

STYLE: American Black Ale
ABV: 7.4%

LOOK: Opaque black, super tight and creamy off-white head

SMELL: Apple skin, dark bready malts, clean

TASTE: Smooth, semi-viscous, bitter, citric, apple, acrid, roasty, raisin, chocolate cake, leafy, yeasty, ashy, bone-dry

More User Reviews:
Photo of NilocRellim
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%

Clear very dark brown colour, sweet malt and strong floral hop nose. Tastes like it smells; strong floral hops, slightly sweet, smokey, with a clean finish.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably.

Photo of BGDrock
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: muddy brown, possibly unfiltered, with a very fine sand-coloured head that burns out in a couple minutes

Aroma: beautiful, bright citrus hops - orange, grapefruit - touch of herbs and floral; addictive and fresh

Taste & Mouthfeel: an interesting start, with the hop flavours duking it out against the chocolate malt - it's not a perfect union - but the finish kicks in with the pithy bitter side of the hops; finely effervescent, and with the chocolate flavour, has a pleasant creaminess and mellow mouthfeel; the initial shocking juxtaposition of flavours wears off and now are marrying well, the pithiness mostly gone and hop notes tamed - now left with a good balance of chocolate and fresh, bitter hops.

Overall: sceptical at first, but the flavours came together and the hop notes are great, pairing well with distinctly chocolatey malt; great if you're in the mood for something unusual, and a nice change from the glut of stouts/strong beers consumed over winter

Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a cask at the 2015 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting.

This is basically an American Black IPA made in the U.K. It has a robust contribution from a mix of Western (USA) hops. Better balanced than most ales of this style, the hops and dark malts blend more than clash.

Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for around $3.70 or so for a 330ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a nice high whitish head that lasts for a while. Very dark brown.

S- Traditional IPA with lots of hops and malt.

T- Typical bitterness that you get from a black IPA. That caramel is wonderful but at a price as black IPA's are burnt and bitter compared to regular IPA's. This beer is pretty low on that burnt scale which is nice

M- Dry and bitter as expected. Great for a black IPA.

O- As far as a black IPA goes this one is nice. Rating shows true reflection of this beer's true score. I may not like black IPA's very much but this is a good one. Worth trying if you see it

Food Pairing

This wonderful as far as a black IPA goes beer went well with..... Greek marinated chicken hearts.


Photo of CrazyDavros
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with an off-white head.
Hoppy aroma of pine, fruit confectionery, soft roasted malt and caramel.
Roasty flavours with a fair bit of pine and grapefruit too leading to an aggressive bitter finish.
Nice moderate carbonation.
Very enjoyable.

3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap. Nonic glass. Enjoyed @ Cerveceria Freiburg (Barcelona). Pours very dark amber in color showing reddish brown lights. Tan head & some lacing on sides are made of creamy & lasting foam. Roasted aroma, hints of licorice & resins, delicate citric & cumin notes as well as subtle caramel on the back side. Sweet roasted & caramelish flavors at first sip then rising citric, earthy & resinous hoppiness flood all over. Medium body. Soft carbonation. Oily texture. Wet unleavened bread in the middle. Flavorful bitter finish on a solid toasted malty bed. Citric & resiny aftertaste. Refreshing & easy drinkable.

Photo of FRANKIE65
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first (I think) black IPA. A decent hop presence, but, not a beer that I would go out of my way to purchase.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before Sept 15 2015 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a pitch black colour, producing about two fingers' worth of resilient, fluffy, light beige-coloured head at the surface. It wilts very slowly, resulting in a lumpy cap and generous collar, as well as plenty of lace - this black IPA certainly looks the part. Very inviting nose; lots of citrusy grapefruit pith, pine sap and earthy hop notes, along with caramel and roasted malts. There are also some light hints of baker's chocolate and peaches.

This is a beautifully rich-tasting beer. Caramel, molasses and roasted malts start things off, with notes of pine resin, grapefruit and pineapple following in hot pursuit. Rich, bitter baker's chocolate and coffee grounds come forward in the finish, along with an earthy, almost herbal bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste, accompanied by some chocolate and prune sweetness. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and an exceptionally silky-smooth, almost oily feel on the palate.

Final Grade: 4.38, an awesome A grade. Black Betty is easily one of the best black IPAs that I've had the opportunity to enjoy. This is an exquisitely-crafted, rich-tasting black ale with no real flaws - it could easily stand toe-to-toe with many North American examples of the style. The only problem is that I neglected to pick up more than one bottle! A must-try, in my humble opinion - Ontario hopheads should grab as many of these as they can while it's still in stock.

Photo of kindacold
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From the can it puts a nice dark with a decent head. Smells malty and heavy. Tastes sweet and heavy. Chocolate, charcoal, grains, and a dry bitterness. Mills bitterness lingers.

Photo of mdagnew
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

300ml bottle bought from Ales By Mail...

Poured a deep black colour. Light tan head poured big, thick and foamy and faded slowly to good thickish covering... lots of sticky lacing most of the way down the glass...

Aroma - Juicy fruits (orange zest, pears, lemons) followed by lots of sweet and roasted malts, chocolate and coffee notes, faint brown sugar traces, strong piney resin and citrus hopiness, raw nuts - pistachio, some rubberiness, honey, cut wet grass / hay...

Taste - Piney, grassy and citrus hop bitterness mixed with lots of toasted chocolate malts.. some tart fruits (grapefruits and ), coffee, nice caramel malts and notes of floral honey, some brown sugar hints, quite herbal, some liquorice, light roastiness...

M&D - Fairly smooth with a little oiliness in the background then some sharpness comes through... full bodied... incredibly drinkable considering it is 7.4 percent

Overall - An excellent black IPA and one of the best beers i've had in a while... highly recommended..

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle served fairly cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $3.70 CDN.

Appearance - very dark brown nearly black in color. Three fingers of tan head are poured that won't quite, excellent retention. Hazy beer with a fluffy head, this is a great looking beer that leaves swaths of lacing behind on the glass.

Smell - big hoppy aroma plenty of citrus with a notable appearance from grapefruit and passion fruit. Kind of a caramel base lingering way in the background and even a bit of a bready and cracker like aromatic.

Taste - starts mild with a caramel malt before a dry citrus flavor hits, not quite as tropical as the aroma. Then finishes roasty with a near coffee like kick and a touch of leather. Interesting, but the cohesion just doesn't quite work for me.

Mouthfeel - well carbonated spritzy feel. Moderately heavy body and bone dry finish.

Overall - definitely a well crafted black ale, with lots of interesting flavours, but the cohesion for me isn't quite there. Certainly worth a try and a definite must try for those who like a big citrus aroma in their black ales.

Photo of jrenihan
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On cask during Cask Days 2013.

Beer is black with brown tinges. Small frothy tan head.

Citrus fruit in the nose, orange mainly. Some anise and caramel.

Flavour contains anise, sticky caramel and citrus fruit. Moderately bitter. Nice mix of 'black' and IPA.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation level. Oily.

Overall, quite good.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with chestnut highlights and creamy, lacey, steady cappuccino head. 4
Big, resiny, fresh hop nose that opens to reveal a touch of ash. 4.25
Black currant with a touch of cocoa and cola then sugared grapefruit and light pine hops. 4
Roast and spice finish and spearmint linger.
Round, smooth, almost medium. 4

Columbus, Chinook, Citra

Surprisingly sweet and aromatic hop profile - not big IBUs or bitterness. No hint of the strength. Not the hop monster I might expect from Beavertown. But integrated and way drinkable ABA without too much roastiness or general aggression. 2nd tasting is not as sugary - a lot of licorice-herbal cough drop - but still dark and dank with no real citrus. 4

*from notes

Photo of GJ40
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with no apparent bottled on or best by date.

Black with some light around the edges and a moderate tan head. Aroma is floral and fruity hops, dark fruits and toasted malt. Flavor starts with hop flavor and ends in chocolaty, almost roasted malts combined with a hint of dark fruits; maybe a little too fruity. The hops play a distinct role but the malts set the tone. Smooth texture with a nice low carbonation.

Nice beer!

Photo of interzen
4.74/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330ml can poured into a tulip glass

Look: Think espresso. Think stout. Think dark. It's all of those, with a big, tight foamy tan head to match - a couple of fingers-width, easily. Drops back leaving some icky-sticky lacing.

Smell: Lots going on here - plenty of hops, with the juicy smell of Citra predominating, with some roasted malt underneath and a healthy dose of peppery spice. It's neck and neck between the hops and the spice, though.

Taste: Like the smell, there's a lot going on here and then some - citrus fruits, pine resin, dark chocolate and coffee, and that's just for starters. There's a definite medicinal vibe to the aftertaste with the peppery spices coming through along with a hint of hops.

Feel: Deliciously smooth, almost oily - slips down dangerously well for a (well disguised) 7.4% brew.

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a nice, dark IPA, although it is a bit too bitter for my taste. Still, you can taste the craft.

Photo of kevinlater
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into nonic pint. "BB15SEP15". consumed on january 5, 2015

a: a very careless pour yielded nearly 4 fingers of tan head that climbed out of the glass. oops. the body is a very opaque but somehow glowing hue of dark brown, chestnut, etc. i think this is what a blend of an IPA and a porter/stout would look like. cool

s: tropical-citrusy-fruity hops, strong dank pine, roasty character, some coffee scents, and maybe a bit of chocolate. the hops are certainly dominant

t: up front is the unforgiving hop presence, full of ultra dank pine, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, orange, and grapefruit. the roasted coffee, roasted malt, and chocolatey flavours emerge quickly, with the hop characteristics still being quite dominant. finishes with a lingering black-coffee-like, earthy bitterness

m: medium-ish carbonation, slightly less than medium-bodied

o: never thought i'd like these super-hopped dark ales, and it turns out i really don't. i like to keep my dark beers separate from my IPAs, thanks. but, this is still an interesting and massively-flavoured brew that is worth a try

Photo of biegaman
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black Betty looks more brown to me. Just a little. Still opaque, but there's definitely some tone to be appreciated (however dark it may be). Regardless of her colour, Betty has one hell of a hairdo; the foam piles up like a beehive and, suitably enough, proves ultra sticky.

I challenge the food technicians of the world to try to replicate the aroma found here. It is as intricate as it is intense and is among the most beguiling in recent (and not-so-recent) memory. Pine serum and damp, black earth are sprinkled with candied grapefruit chunks. It's got attitude!

The palate is where all those citric and herbals notes are pitted face-to-face with flavours of cinnamon-laced mocha and tiramisu. In the spirit of the Beatles, things 'come together'. Imagine using pine or spruce resin in your coffee as your sweetener and you get the gist.

If you're of the view that it's a waste pairing citrusy, piny hops with dark malts, or that rich dark chocolate and black coffee notes shouldn't have to compete with bitter hoppiness, then you ought to try this. It'll convince both camps that cake can be had and eaten too.

Truth be told, most British Black IPAs I've tried to date have been underwhelming. Beavertown Black Betty, however, transports me squarely to the American Pacific Northwest. It is a vivid, characterful account of what makes this style so dynamic and desirable. BAM-BA-LAM indeed!

Photo of tbeckett
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nicely balanced and drinkable. Well crafted, but doesn't do anything new. Decent.

Photo of FLima
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank at its original brewery home.
Dark brown color with a thin beige head with low retention.
Light predominant orange citrusy aroma with hints of pine.
Hoppy flavor with strong citrus notes with roasted and smoked malts. Hints of sweet coffee, flowers, pine resin and grapefruit. Astringent and bitter aftertaste with lingering citrus and roasted notes.
Full body with low carbonation. Slightly sticky. Alcohol of 7.4% abv does not even give a clue of its existence.
Interesting beer, Betty is a girl that changes its humor quite frequently and is hard to read it as a whole.

Photo of flyingpig
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.20):
Black with a tall head that is a medium brown and creamy looking with great retention and very little in the way of reduction initially.

Hoppy & bitter with tropical fruits aroma that consists of some peach, lemon and mild grapefruit with plenty of juices coming through too. There is some darker notes as well with a hint of chocolate and some roasted, sweet malts making an appearance too, as well as some sugar, liquorice and floral notes.

Mild bitterness with some grapefruit to kick things off with. There is some tropical fruits coming through too and definite caramel malts that give the beer some sweetness. Again more liquorice and hops with a further bitter kick plus sugar, citrus and strong fruits.

Medium bodied and quite bitter with a very juicy and fruity feel to the drink. There is moderate carbonation and the beer has a solid citrus tang to it throughout.

A pleasant taste with plenty of fruit and juices coupled with some darker flavours that made for a nice twist on the usual but it felt slightly over done with in some areas. Nice but probably not one I'll drink regularly.

Photo of JavierGC
4.79/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

De color negro suave coronada por una espuma color café con bastante retención y que va manchando el vaso a la medida que la vas bebiendo. Aromas a pino y algo de café, muy fresca y aromática. Cuerpo medio. En boca entra amarga, un amargor cítrico, acompañada por el torrefacto de las maltas. Suave y ligera, sin presencia del alcohol. El amargor se prolonga tras cada trago. Espectacular,

Photo of Sludgeman
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Rustico Arlington.

Poured into a snifter

A nice beer from across the pond. How good would this beer be if I was in the UK? - 4

A - Head typical of a cask beer (love it), black - 3.75
S - Spice, fruity hops, peach and mango, roasty malt - 4.25
T - Spice over slight sweetness malt, ABV well hidden. - 4
MF - An almost oatmeal like smoothness - 4.5

Photo of soulgrowl
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Not really black, more of a sherry brown. Great big poofy beige head though. Very fruity-floral hoppy aroma, honeysuckle and rose and apricot and orange, mostly. Aroma and flavor alike lack a 'black' presence; there's a good whack of caramel but not much beyond that, but no matter. It's still delicious. Bitter, juicy delicious. Campari, lavender, Seville orange marmalade. Frothy and mouthwatering. Good stuff but it's more just a normal American IPA in the vein of Bell's Two Hearted or DFH 60 Minute than anything that should be called black. Possible food pairings: blue cheese, hot dogs, foie gras/liver, fried rice, pierogi, Cantonese food.

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Black Betty from Beavertown Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.