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Ugly - Alpine Beer Company

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38 Reviews
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Reviews: 38
Hads: 99
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 11.74%
Wants: 28
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ZX6Chris on 11-25-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 99
Photo of DblDiamond
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is crazy. I expected more roast on the aroma but get citrus like a normal IPA. I'm not complaining but this is like a great regular Alpine IPA. More citrusy than roasty. Still a tasty brew!

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the source.

A: Pours black with a half-inch tan head which leaves stringers of spotty lace.

N: Floral and citrus hops with some roasted malts.

T: Well balanced citrus and roast.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Finishes clean with some dry and bitter roast.

O: Easy drinking and enjoyed.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hot dang. Raul got up in this one like a cheerleader was offering, so why not? Black Ales usually ain't Raul's thang, but like Vana White turning a letter, Raul was feeling it well good.

Ugly like Susan Boyle, but tasty like a Nina Agdal sunset. Yep!

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Photo of arizcards
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the brewery today for $12.96.

Beer poured black as night with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is a blast of citrusy hops with a hint of roastiness.

Taste is big on grapefruit and pine up front, cocoa, and some roastiness try to balance out the hops but those wonderful hops win.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low on carbonation, but big on smoothness.

Overall this is one of the best black ipa's i have had to date. It is the prototype of what i am looking for in this style. Definitely recommend this brew if you have the opportunity to visit this kick ass brewery!

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Photo of rand
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From tap to pint glass...reviewed this at the brew pub 05/07/2011

Jet black in color, coffee-tan head, ugly pours like your favorite porter. The comparisons stop there, though, as the nose is full of fresh hops. Fresh wafts of hoppy pine and citrus flow from the glass in West Coast fashion. Upon the sip, bitter, citrusy hops jump off the palate up front, as expected, but the sweet malt-backbone carries a chocolate richness, reminding of squah bread. Light and bubbly, this ale is full of flavor but refreshing on each sip. Nothing ugly here but the title.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's during 2012 CBC/WBC week. Pint glass.

A: Pours black, brown around the edges, with a few cm. of off-white head, some lacing and so-so retention.

S: Roasty malt and a little piney hops. Melds well, though the aroma is faint.

T: Mostly pine and bitter hops, some roasted, coffee, and chocolate malt but it takes a back seat.

M: Medium body and medium-light carbonation, too light for any crispness.

O: Decent version of a style, one I'm not that enthusiastic about. I would have expected more malt character.

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Photo of xraided81
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip glass.

A: long lasting beautiful 2 inch off white creamy persisten head, with lacing on the side of the tulip as the head dissipates. transluscent black with ruby highlight highlights shining through.

S: trademark alpine hops is the first impression of this beer. the dank like resiney hops shine through in this beer. tropitcal - dank hops dominate the aroma of this beer, with a hint or roasted/chocolate malts coming through in the background.

T: Smooth, medium body, more of the chocolatey/roasted malts come through in the taste. hop bitterness works with the bitter of the roasted malts in this beer.

M: medium to light body makes this a rather easy drinking beer, not so sure if this is sessional considering the abv.

O: one of the best black ipa's ive had. this one retains more of the crisp/light/ pale ale qualities rather than stout like chewy roasty qualities. excellent beer from an excellent brewery.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black and totally opaque with a brown strip around the bottom a 1 inch head and great retention

Smell: Chocolate malt mixed with citrus hops

Taste: Great chocolate and coffee notes upfront with just a hint of citrus hops which makes this a great black IPA just wonderful balance

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly full body and medium carbonation

Overall: Great black IPA on of the best around Period

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Photo of Klym
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a surly darkness snifter from a growler. Massive thanks to my brother for sending me this very generous growler-- wish we could drink it together!

A: Not so ugly as the name would suggest. Pours a very black ale.. well, black. I was worried about carbonation at first but then a smooth off-white head sprang up and left splatters of lacing around the glass.

S: Really beautiful hop character-- very reminiscent of PtE for me, actually. A light bitterness balanced by spicy pine and tied together by tropical fruit sweetness. Behind it all is a deeper, more licorice and chocolate richer and heavier character as you would expect from a black ale. The smell on this is really superior.

T: I tried not to get my hopes up from the smell but the taste actually managed even to outperform it. Licorice on the front of the taste gets swept away by big, beautifully juicy, spicy, balanced hops that dance and part ways leaving a slight linger of chocolate and caramel. God, this beer is good.

M: Body is medium with prickly carbonation that doesn't do it wrong. The viscosity on this is great and I don't think I'd tweak the body one bit.

O: I originally planned to share this growler but now I feel a good sense of selfish joy that I have it all to myself. Maybe that's what it's all about, it's so good that it will bring out the ugly side of you. If you get a chance to try this, definitely dont pass it up.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens Pub

A: My pint arrived looking black as night upon first glance. A closer study reveals a thinning root-beer brown rim to it. A tiny beige head settled out rather quickly leaving spots of lace about the glass.

S: Smells just scrum-diddley-umptous with resiney pine and citrus hops. All hops - no roast. A literal Black IPA.

T: The sticky resinous pine and grapefruit flavs really assert themselves here. Has me searching for the malts. Just a slight suggestion of a toasted caramel char to it. Nice high bitter levels that peak on the finish drying things out leaving them light and crispy. Hops linger fo' sure. Very tasty. One of the better Black IPA's I have come across yet.

M: Lighter body that is almost watery at times. Slight creaminess on the other side of the spectrum. Solid carb. Puckering hop bitterness that dries out the palate.

D: Close your eyes and this is another great tasting IPA from Alpine...but man is she Ugly. Pair with a paperbag or drink from behind!

U-G-L-Y Yo mamma ain't got no alibi. You UGLY!

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Pub again.
Pours a hazy dark brown almost black, lighter on the edges. Builds a finger of tan head that fades very slowly leaving some lacing. The nose is very hop forward with pine, grass and citrus. The taste is hops up front, grapefruit and pine, with a very faint roastiness. This brew has a medium body with good carbonation and leaves a sticky resin feel. Another killer hop forward beer by ABC.

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Photo of Tolann
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought a growler back after visiting San Diego for Stone's 15th Anniversary. This really was the way to start our California vacation! Poured in to a globe glass.

A - Dark pour with a white head that foamed about 1 finger then settled to a thin lace with a ring that clings to the glass. Nearly opaque with a little ruby color on the edges.

S - First off is the roast, but it's coming alive with lots of hops as it shrugs off the cold. With a bit more warmth hops take over the roast.

T - Hops! Not real assertive but more bitter than what you pick up in the nose. Piney hops with a roast behind that you'd expect from a black beer. There's a slight feel of coffee and chocolate roast at the end. Total hops up front!

M - Not too carbonated. Finishes very slightly dry. Somewhat thin.

OA - Love it! So glad I brought this one home! This Black India Ale is definitely tops and I'm a huge fan of this style!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Dark brown and nearly black with ruby red edges and a thick and creamy espresso head. Tons of lacing down the glass. Ugly? No.

The aroma is incredibly hop (pine) forward. This is what I hoped Sierra Nevada's Hop Smack would smell like. It's like walking through a dense pine forest. Behind the pine is a bit of roast and chocolate, but the pine hop aromas are front and center.

The pine aromas don't translate quite as thorougly to the flavor of the beer, though they certainly make their presence known. A moderate bitterness and more roast and chocolate than expected round out this beer's flavor.

Medium, though creamy, body.

One of my favorite black IPAs, and excellent on cask (though it was served far, far too cold; what gives, O'Brien's?).

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer pours a dark brown color with some reddish notes and an off-white head.

S: As expected, plenty of hops on the nose. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit notes (pineapple and grapefruit, mostly) with a good dose of pine and a light grass aroma. There's a decent amount of roast and a hint of chocolate.

T: The flavor has a touch less roast and chocolate which makes it just that little bit better. It also allows the hops to really shine, providing the beer with a clean citrus hop flavor and lots of pine bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with carbonation perhaps a touch lower than medium, but I'll attribute that to the conditions/growler.

O: Not surprisingly, a good hoppy beer from Alpine. Solid Black IPA.

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Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to largadeer.

Very dark brown in color with a one finger beige head and good lacing.

The aroma is excellent, extremely piney with coffee and roast playing a big role.

The flavor starts with piney hops, goes to coffee, charcoal, and dark chocolate, then back to hops in a big way.

Extremely resinous on the palate with medium-plus body and average carbonation. Just a tad heavier than I’d like on the mouthfeel. Hoppy as hell.

Really solid beer from the ’pine...as usual.

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Photo of Cavery
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap yesterday at Alpine. It's always nice to walk into the brewpub and see something you haven't had on the board. Cheers to that!

A: Light watery coffee with a deceptively dark stained wood core. Light foaming around the edge of the glass. More dark brown than black. Tons of dark wood stains show up all over the coloring of the body. Some high water mark lacing with waterfalls of lesser lacing.

S: Floral character that comes through like a hopped rye beer. Some connective tissues of grapefruit. Light watery coffee, almost more espresso like. Mild carob bitterness in the back. A nice helping of dried wood chips.

T: Up front there's tons of minerally dried leaves that crack towards espresso beans. Coffee grinds show up with a bitterness and reserved sweetness. Touch of watercress and parsley. Perhaps even a latent basil spice deep in there. Black pepper crunches throughout.

M: Light medium mouth with a soft low carbonation. Not flat at all, and quite fitting for the style. This drinks very smoothly, with a silk blanket of ruffling textures. The light bubbles are more satin like than velvet.

O: I think this beer is actually a great contribution to the style. This is a great middle-ground between dark coffee malts and hoppy florals. I thought the drinkability was outstanding. Reserved bitterness and sweetness that isn't exactly mild; it's just subtle. The flavor visits both ends of the stylistic spectrum in a way that you get a sequential experience of a darker beer and then of a Pale Ale. This is a subtle beer in style, while I think others try very hard to be over the top in trying to assert their beer's place. A beer like this doesn't have to be a blitz of conflicting flavors, instead it can make temporary visits to both ends of the spectrum. I'd like to see more in style go this direction.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler on 8/16/2011 from the brewery. Poured into tulip glass and reviewed on 8/17.

A: Opaque dark brown--has an appearance similar to coffee--with a nice cream colored head. At first glance, this looks like a simple stout.

N: Coffee scents quickly give way to a nose of grapefruit & apricot/peach; i.e., the smell from the grains is quickly overpowered by a wonderful hop presence.

T/M: Incredible complexity of bitter coffee and bitter peach. The taste follows the nose quite well, as the hops actually bring out the roasted notes. Clean fruity finish with an incredibly light body that belies the color and alcohol content. This is a very easy to drink beer!

Overall, I was a huge fan of this beer. It exemplifies what I (emphasis on the word "I") expect from a beer that is called a Black IPA--it is an highly hopped India Pale Ale with a black body and slight contribution from a roasted malt. I am big fan of this take on the style and especially appreciate the clean hop presence (typified by Alpine Beers), the touch of roasted flavors/scents, and the light body. Cheers to Alpine! This beer is anything but Ugly!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into multiple pints. Thanks to HeatherAnn, Jay, Wil, and Chris for the assist. Extra special thanks to errantnight for this latest installment in our never ending trade!

A: Pours pitch black with slight hints of chestnut at the edges. A pillowy, dark tan head reaches about two fingers this and acts like it's going to hand around for the duration. Slowly but surely though, it settles into a finely bubbled collar that left just a little lace.

S: Initial blast of citrus (grapefruit and tangerine) leads into fresh pressed pine sap and then finally hints of smoke, bakers chocolate, and maybe espresso?

T: Exactly as above with an ever growing influence of smoke. The warmer it got the more prevalent the smoke and pine flavors became.

M: An under layer of sweet smoothness with a huge amount of bitter oilyness running roughshod on top of it. Killer finish of hoppy astringency and peppery smoke.

O: This could be the standard bearer for the style. Reminded me a lot of Half Acre's Sticky Fat.

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Photo of errantnight
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite a tasty brew, as always from the Alpine boys (when it's not a diacetyl bomb).

Pours a Rick black with a creamy, lasting head with excellent lacing.

Big citrus notes with a touch of pine on the nose. Really nice to sniff.

On the palate this is just a touch clean for my tastes. Hop bitterness is assertive but one note, body is medium but thin through the finish. Dry, and roast is mild if present at all, but no sweetness or grain character mid palate leaves this easy, but unengaging (that is, lacking in complexity) on the tongue.

It's actually quite a nice beer but could use more depth. Some of Nelson's rough edges would be welcome, here.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jet black, even darker than some stouts, tan head, kicks it forever back on the patio of Alpine, lace holds very well, really, as perfect as a beer can look in this style. Aroma was of bitter, rather than fruity hops. Cascade, Chinook I'd guess, would have liked more dry hop aroma out of this, which isn't to say that it wasn't good, but its Alpine, I'm expecting close to all 5's for an ipa. Yes, they spoil us.

Taste, plenty bitter again, made me think if there were Nugget hops in it. Didn't taste roastiness from the malt (dehusked prolly), I think many reviewers simply see black color and figure it must be roasty/charred/smoky. It was a pretty light in terms of malt configuration, as opposed to appearance.

Was a little slow drinking, I dunno if it was because it was 11am when I had it, the peaceful setting outside, or the alcohol/bitterness was higher than expected in the mouthfeel. Either way, I still recommend this beer, but drink some Nelson, Duet, Pure or Exponential first if its available.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

523rd review on BA
Draft to Pint
@ Alpine Beer Pub

App- This was a dark brown with some good cling and a thin line of head. Wasn't the best looking beer I've seen.

Smell- Very dark scents, a little bit boozy and a little bit of burnt/roast malts.

Taste- This followed the nose, it was okay. I just don't think I am becoming a Black Ale or IPA fan. The flavors don't really work for me. The malts vs hops seem a bit unbalanced.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little roasty note on the back

Drink- It was okay. A little bit above average overall. It doesnt mesh well with all thats going on in glass.

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Photo of dmsohyea
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at O'brien's, served in a pint glass.

A: Dark brown with a solid finger khaki head with large bubbles. Head retention is solid down to the end and lacing is good down the glass.

S: Smells like a little brown sugar with a hop flower sticking out of it. Some burnt scents, and some flowery hoppyness.

T: Very well balanced. Bitter upfront with a smoothing dark malty sweetness in the mid palate, then finishes decidedly bitter. A bit of stinging bitterness hits right in the middle of your tongue as with most other Alpine IPA's. It's actually very similar to Duet, but with an added complexity of the darker malt.

M: Some harsh, stinging needles turned me off a bit, but the medium carbonation and medium body were both right on target for the style.

O: I liked it. I would highly recommend this for a black IPA. Quite tasty, I prefer it to Stone SSR.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is dark brown and appears nearly transparent, in spite of the dark color. The head is about 1/2" thick, and leaves some decent lacing behind. The aroma is primarily of citric hops, with mild roast. The flavor follows suit, and marries the roast with hops nicely. Flavorful and well balanced. A good brew, but nowhere near the quality of their regular IPA lineup.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing a growler of this one.

a - Pours a pitch black color with less than an inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pine hops, citrus hops, fruit, and light roasted malts. Not as much roasted characters as some other Black IPA's, and more hops in there, which I enjoyed.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, roasted malts, tropical fruits, pine, and fruity malts. More roasted malts than the nose, but the hops are there too.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall a really nice Black IPA from Alpine. Would love to have again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to sleepyhead for getting this growler out to me. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Pours a nice dark brown color with an average creamy tan head that leaves behind some spotty lacing. The nose brings some nice roast along with a heavy presence of piney, resinous, and earthy hops. The flavor really nails down the balance between the hops and roast as well, with the pine combining quite well with the earthy and roasty characteristics. Mouthfeel hits fairly-hard on the bitterness. Medium body and average carbonation with a bitter, dry finish. Very solid brew.

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Ugly from Alpine Beer Company
92 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.