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Ugly - Alpine Beer Company

Ugly
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 7.46%


Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ZX6Chris on 11-25-2010)
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Klym
Klym

California

4.7/5  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.

Serving type: growler

09-16-2011 23:26:25 | More by Klym
Photo of ZX6Chris
ZX6Chris

California

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Alpine tasting room with Johndoe8.

Dark tan to white head. almost pitch black with brown around the edges.

Extremely hoppy! Green hop bursting flavors. Citrusy. Very sharp aroma.

Piney, citrusy, grapefruity, a little roast in the middle and lots o bitterness on the finish.

Light and smooth with a hop bite in the back. Nicely carbonated.

IPA's is what Alpine does. Chalk this up as another win.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 01:55:14 | More by ZX6Chris
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado 11-28-10

Poured an almost black with a nice finger head as well as great lacing.

Smell was faint but of citrus and a slighttt burnt.

Taste was GREAT! First black IPA Ive had and I was very impressed. Ive been dying to try some Alpine Brewing company so Im glad I got the chance.

It tasted more of a citrusy IPA but it had a nice slight burnt malt backbone.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2010 01:39:28 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of rand
rand

California

4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2013 06:43:52 | More by rand
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
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

Serving type: growler

09-23-2011 01:29:13 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/26/10

Thanks to Arthur for opening this.

A: Very dark brown, bordering on black. Creamy beige head in the pint glass with good retention and thick sheets of lacing.

S: Prominent pine and grapefruit notes, the hops are potent and aromatic. Lower moderate roasted malt. Touch of chocolate. Awesome aroma. When the beer warms up quite a bit the chocolate and roast are more noticeable and very nice.

T: Low on the roast with a small chocolate presence, both of which only serve their hop masters. Pithy grapefruit with some flesh and big pine resin notes. Great hop flavor and quite delicious. Upper moderate bitterness with some evident alcohol.

M: Medium body. Sticky, creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

Overall: A delicious Black IPA, one of the best I've had.

Serving type: growler

11-27-2010 05:56:14 | More by HopHead84
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Espresso brown body, not quite opaque. Clarity is excellent when held to the light. Huge resiny pine goodness on the nose, sharp and green. There's a hint of dry roastiness beneath. Palate has a big pine kick up front, followed by coffee-like roasted malt and a little orange toward the finish that makes me think of chocolate covered oranges. Light bodied, extremely quaffable though very bitter in the finish. Quite the palate wrecker, the coffee and pine sap bitterness sticks to the tongue for ages. Alpine nails it yet again, this is my new favorite India Black Ale.

Serving type: growler

12-05-2010 00:04:08 | More by largadeer
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: growler

06-12-2011 14:11:18 | More by GbVDave
Photo of peacebone116
peacebone116

California

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Serving type: growler

08-22-2011 21:31:22 | More by peacebone116
Photo of Tolann
Tolann

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Serving type: growler

09-10-2011 00:46:36 | More by Tolann
Photo of xraided81
xraided81

California

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: growler

11-03-2011 08:25:32 | More by xraided81
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Cigar City snifter, huge thanks to Alex... the body is a super dark brown, almost black, a black ale that actually is black, gasp. A light tope head, ok cap but great lacing... The aroma is outstanding, cocoa, smoke, a hint of pine and soap, works so well together.... The taste isn't overly hoppy, hops are less than the aroma, add a nice oomph at the end of your taste. Molasses, smoke that's a touch burnt, a little soap. Balanced and easy to drink.

One of the best black ipas I've had, well worth trying.

Serving type: growler

02-21-2011 23:13:53 | More by jrallen34
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's, San Diego.

Jet black, with just perceptible amounts of light visible. Tons of lace with fair head retention. Aroma is all C-hops, big grapefruit nose. High carbonation up front. Grapefruit and pine middle which is drier than most higher ABV IPAs. A hint of licorice. Finish is long and bittersweet. Medium body.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2011 00:17:05 | More by LittleDon
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: growler

08-26-2011 16:29:22 | More by nickd717
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Hamilton's in SD. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Given in a standard pint glass. Appears damn black, with mocha colored head that dissipates somewhat slowly. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Such an odd smell from such a dark beer. Grapefruit, hops, citrus, char, cocoa, and roasted malts.

Taste - The first sip makes it seem more malty sweet but then the bitterness takes over. A definite burnt/char/roast flavor. Well hidden alcohol, slight pine. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation, slight oily feeling.

Drinkability - Pretty damn quaffable. Very happy I was able to try this while in SD. Don't like many American Black Ale's, but this one is pretty damn enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2011 02:37:42 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
BdubleEdubleRUN

California

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2011 13:39:02 | More by BdubleEdubleRUN
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Serving type: growler

07-27-2013 00:40:27 | More by arizcards
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Thorpe429 at a recent tasting. Very nice beer. I really enjoyed it.

Beer is black and has a tan head, moderate to low carbonation, some lacing not a lot.

Aroma is HOPPY. Very citrusy / tropical fruist hoppiness. With my eyes closed I would have thought it was a big IPA.

Beer is medium to light in body and overall nice. The hop flavor carries the beer through the palate and the finish is appropriately bitter, there is a mild roastiness at the back but this is one of the best balanced dark ales I've ever had. The hops and the roast play well together. I'd have it again.

Serving type: growler

05-23-2011 18:54:09 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Cavery
Cavery

California

4.33/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 19:10:48 | More by Cavery
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex by way of ArthurPendragon!

A - Pours black, light tan head, nice cap on top, some spotty lacing.

S - Hoppy, bitterness, lots of woody notes, some roast, citrus.

T - Lots of woody notes, hoppy bitterness, citrus, some roast. Some slight alcohol, but really well-hidden. A very woody/hoppy finish.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, oily finish/slightly dry.

D - Another winner from Alpine...they know how to make a hoppy beer. Right up there with the best Black IPA's I've had to date. A must-try.

Serving type: growler

02-19-2011 21:09:28 | More by Sean9689
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for this growler. Served in a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Superb looking beer. Slow-dissipating tan foam that settles to a thick cap and glass-coating lace. Near-black body that is uniform throughout.

S - Citrus hops, smoke, char, burnt toast, cocoa, and pine.

T - Some malt heft and less overt hop flavor, although there is a mounting palate-bruising bitterness that develops. There's a hint of ashy burnt malt that I don't totally dig, but it doesn't detract too much from an otherwise very enjoyable collection of flavors.

M - A little gritty and grainy. Medium carbonation and a medium body that is sufficient for the ABV, and a finish that is simultaneously dry and sticky. This might be my least favorite aspect to this brew.

D - Not as crushable as Hoppy Birthday, or my gold standard "American Dark Ale/Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale" - El Jefe. Still, it's definitely among the best for this style, and is a must-try for anyone who really digs this sort of beer.

Serving type: growler

02-21-2011 07:14:35 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: growler

05-25-2011 00:48:44 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of dmsohyea
dmsohyea

California

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2011 06:00:02 | More by dmsohyea
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask

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?).

Serving type: cask

08-30-2011 22:39:55 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler shared by Thorpe429 at his abode, thanks!

Pours nearly black with a sizable tan head into my Stone tasting glass. By just smelling this beer you would think that it is an American IPA as citrus hops dominate the aroma with no real roasted malt to speak of. Kind of tropical with hints of pine. Taste is equally a hoppy with some nice bitterness. The roasted malt shines through a bit more in the taste, but the hops really stand out. Nicely carbonated with medium mouthfeel.

Another fine beer from Alpine.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2011 01:31:24 | More by Lunch
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Ugly from Alpine Beer Company
94 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.