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Black Ale - Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black AleBlack Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

25 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 190
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 7.02%
Wants: 6
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bent Paddle Brewing Co. visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gatornation on 06-25-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 25 | Hads: 190
Photo of pagriley
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into snifter

L - pours slightly thin and translucent black with a thick head that falls to lacing quickly
S - toasted malt dominates, with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate
T - more of the same, but lacking sweetness - could do with a touch more malt - but I am being picky, as it just needs a hint
F - lighter bodied but creamy. Good fine carb that isn't prickly.

Overall an excellent porter / black ale. straddles the border a bit as there really isn't a hop presence that is dominating, but if you put this in front of me blind I would call it a porter every time (582 characters)

Photo of leroybrown10
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and opaque but seems a bit thin. 1 finger tan colored head which dissipates to a thin layer of creamy bubbles. Nice amount of lacing around the entire glass.

Nose is medium roasted malt. Layers of chocolate and coffee. Tobacco and some earthy/herbal hops.

Taste is roasted malt and coffee. Burnt brown sugar. Herbal hops notes, cream, and dark chocolate. Licorice and dark molasses.

Medium body with a high-ish carbonation. Crisp on the tongue. Creamy and smooth. Malt and coffee flavors linger and fade into dark chocolate.

Excellent beer with well blended malt flavors. Just enough hops for good balance. Top notch mouth feel really elevates this beer. (684 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Roasty black ale described as a porter/stout hybrid.

I like that it leans heavy on the roasty, choclate notes....some coffee creamer as well....

What it does not have is a an American Stout hop level....which is just fine with me...if you're looking for a hopped up black ipa type beer this is not it...if you want a nice roasty, smooth, creamy dark ale though I would suggest this. (384 characters)

Photo of maedhros09
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours black with a nice fluffy tan head, minimal lacing
Smell: roasted malt (didn't spend too much time on this one)
Taste: A nice level of roasted malt with moderate sweetness. It seems like something is missing - maybe the hops? It is a nice malt base but not the complexity I expect of the style
Feel: Not sure if I didn't pour hard enough, but it ended up more carbonated than i like, almost soda-like.

Overall: A bit of a disappointment. The malt had a nice level of roast and sweetness, but it just seemed to lack the hops to give it the expected balance and complexity. The mouthfeel was off too, as it ended up seeming overcarbonated for the style. The overall impression was honestly kind of like root beer. Don't get me wrong - this is drinkable, and even enjoyable, but there are so many other options out there that it's hard to recommend this one unless you really dislike hops. This is the only disappointment I've had so far from Bent Paddle, which is a bummer since I really like Porter and Stout styles. (1,029 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12oz can:

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt, coffee.

Taste: Mild sweetness, then a moderate coffee flavor and semi-dry coffee finish.

Overall: Bent Paddle is a very good brewery with 12oz cans of almost everything they make. The black ale is solid, tastes like a good porter, not too hoppy or sweet, balanced flavor. (354 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Nice black body. A bit of transparency as a creamy khaki head settles. Lots of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts. Coffee and dark chocolate. When it's cold, it has a little bit of a metallic aroma. It goes away as it warms. Some hops around the edges of the aroma.

Taste - Hoppy bite right up front. A bit of grapefruit. Gives way to a rich chocolate malt flavor. Coffee and some bitterness in the back end. NIce.

Mouthfeel - Creamy body. Well carbonated. Medium body.

Overall - Someone sent me this, Cold Press Black, and BA Double Black. Impressive base beer. (622 characters)

Photo of nmann08
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a can, pours a dark mahogany brown with a full light brown head sitting on top.

The smell is very roasty, lots of toasted oats, resin hops. This smells like a dry Irish stout. The flavor is roasted barley, piney hops, bitter chocolate, clean dry finish. I really like this interpretation of the style. Not too hoppy, balanced with the roast of a porter and a creamy mouthfeel like an Irish dry stout. (410 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with a one finger dark tan head. The aroma has cocoa, roasted malt, and some earthiness.

Tastes mostly bitter. There is grapefruit peeling, dark roasted malt, and cocoa. The taste might be a little too bitter for me. Needs more sweetness for balance.

Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Not a bad beer. (370 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

No canning date. Heard some good things about this brewery and they just recently started distributing in the metro area.

Appearance: Deep shiny black body with a fluffy tan head.

Aroma: Roasted malt with some piney/earthy hops coming through.

Taste: A no frills black ale -- and that's just fine. The hops are at the forefront of the flavor with a nice earthy flavor and medium bitterness. Soon after a nice balance hits with the roasty malt character reminiscent of freshly ground coffee beans. The best flavor comes in the understated finish, a harmony of sweet cream, earthy hops and roasted malt. The aftertaste unleashes moderate bitterness onto the palate that lingers. Good amount of flavor but was looking for a little bit more up front at least, given the 6% ABV.

Mouthfeel: About medium, which is a little thinner than I would have liked for the style. A tad overzealous on the carbonation but good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: A good effort from Bent Paddle and reason to delve into their other offerings with some optimism. A good example of the style as well. Would I drink it again? Sure. (1,109 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Big roast and toast nose.
Pours opaque black with a thin head.
Complex rich malts start the palate followed by cola, faint coffee, a touch of cocoa, dark sugars finished with a penetrating citrus rind hop bitterness. The beer has more toast than roast on the palate.
Medium full body with medium light carbonation. (315 characters)

Photo of Strix
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown, good initial head that gradually fades.

Roasty notes in the nose.

Classic porter/stout notes: roasted malt, caramel, cola, chocolate, oatmeal.

Medium thick mouthfeel, goes down easy.

This was well balanced and tasty. Doesn't fit the mold of the typical hoppy black IPA but I'm very impressed with the first I've had from Bent Paddle. (350 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from can into Nonic Pint.

Appearance: Black with good sized tan head and nice lacing rings.

Smell: Heavy roasted aroma, with dark chocolate, bitter coffee and smoke. Definite oat aroma as well.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, with very dry, roasted notes of chocolate, coffee and smoke. Some bite at the end from the roasted malts as well as spicy hoppiness.

Feel: Smooth and creamy with moderately low carbonation. The body is lighter than expected. Dry finish.

Overall: The Black Ale name is a bit of a misnomer, as everyone assumes that means Black IPA. This is really an Oatmeal Stout but with a lighter body than expected for the style. This is really good stuff; I just hope people aren't disappointed that this is not a hop bomb. (760 characters)

Photo of TCMike
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Produced a one finger beige head. The beer color is an ultra deep brown, (appears black at first glance).

Smell is nice, but could be bolder. It's of roasted malts, light caramel, and peppery hops.

The taste is very similar. Not as much hop bite as most black ales i've had. It is easier drinking in that aspect. Medium mouth-feel, and carbonation.

Good stuff! (363 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Zeledonia for this can.

A: Pours black with two fingers of light tan head that fades into a thin cap with good lacing.

S: Roasted malts with semi-sweet chocolate and dry, piney hops following. The finish is a little sweeter with a touch of vanilla.

T: Roasted malts here as well with cacao nibs, slight char and smoke, and piney hops. The finish is dry and lightly bitter.

M: Body is on the thicker end of moderate with medium carbonation, this beer is nicely drinkable.

O: An enjoyable beer, overall. It has a good mixture of stout and IPA characteristics and is quite drinkable for the style. (609 characters)

Photo of shadetree67
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - As close to black as I've seen from this style. A really nice head of 3 fingers and a pillow of foam stuck around for a long time. This is a great looking beer.

Smell - Roasted malt and hints of chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malt with some bitterness on the finish. Touch of milk chocolate.

Mouth feel - medium body and Dry finish

Overall - Pretty good black ale that you could drink several of in one session and not tire of it. (444 characters)

Photo of drop6301
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark-tan head sits calmly above the dark depths of this beer. After consuming the black liquid, a nice lacing is left behind to tell the tale. Even nearing the end of the glass a nice creamy layer sits afloat.

Smell: Immediately some sweet chocolate is carried up to my nose, pulling with it a nice roast-toasty note. Caramel sits there with a subtle citrus hop aroma.

Taste: Chocolate roasty character. Caramel and nuttiness shelters the hop presences.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body with good carbonation. Smooth, very smooth.

Overall: This is a very drinkable dark beer with very nice chocolate presence hiding the deeper characters that run deeper down. For a beer with so much in common with stout, I could easily drink many in one sitting with out thinking about it. (782 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark black with a hint of brownish amber. Lots of bubbles and a huge four finger tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A sweet and very roasty stout like aroma with big hints of chocolate, oats, and caramel malt. Upfront roasted malts with big hints of chocolate, coffee, biscuit, toasted bread, oats, grains, caramel, toffee, nuts, yeast, vanilla, and cream. Sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Background presence of earthy and grassy hops along with light hints of citrus orange. A very good roasty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a very roasty and fairly sweet and creamy stout like taste with good notes of chocolate and light hops. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of chocolate, coffee, oatmeal, biscuit, toasted bread, grains, caramel, toffee, nuts, yeast, vanilla, and cream. Sweet notes of brown sugar and molasses. Solid backing presence of hops with earthy notes and some subtle citrus notes of orange. A pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, silky, and smooth. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: A pretty solid dark brew. More like a small stout than black ale. Very good notes of chocolate and oatmeal. (1,314 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Label uses each of the following “black ale, stout, and porter”, so will review with an open mind.

A: Body is black, with a pillow of tan head. Nice retention.
S: Bready and musty with some roasted malt (and lactose maybe?). Smells like an oatmeal stout.
T: Flavor is slightly sweet and strongly roasted with some chocolate flavor and a heavy black malt contribution. Finishes with bitter roasted notes.
M: Body is not thick but is full and pretty smooth. Carbonation is medium to plus, depending on style.

Nice beer. I’d like it even better if they reduced the bittering hops a tad, but this has been growing on me over a couple 6 packs and is a good option if you want to pack a canned stout. (703 characters)

Photo of MCImes
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my favorite dark beers. The can is correct in that it rides the line between aporter and stout. Its fairly dry but not overly, which I like. I find many porters and stouts either too sweet or too roasted. This is niether. Its perfectly roasty without being 'burnt' tasting. It has enough residual sugar to have some body, but its not sweet. It has a nice hoppy bitterness without being over the top. I hate black IPA's! I drink dark beet to be malty and smooth. Bent Paddle Balack Ale nails it. It deserves higher than the 88 that it has right now and is my go to dark beer. (589 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Tan head. Dark brown nearing black in color. Nice look to it.

Flavor profile is mainly stout like. Roasted malts with some coffee. Chocolate, caramel, and some vanilla. Has a bit of a hop presence.

Mouthfeel: dry and roasted. Medium bodied.

Overall, this is a nice beer with a lot of flavor. Easy to drink and a decent abv. (326 characters)

Photo of herman77
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, near black with a light tan head that sticks around for awhile. Nice lacing.

S: Semi sweet chocolate with roasted malts, oats and a bit of citrus hops coming through. A bit of carmel sweetness as well as a coffee.

T: Nice and malty with a bit of citrus hop bitterness at the end. Bittersweet chocolate, lightly roasted dark malts, a touch of coffee and carmel malts. Nice balance between malty, sweet and some mild hops at the end.

M: Medium to slightly fuller body. Fairly creamy, average carbonation.

O: Good drinkability. A really solid beer. When I think of black ale, I think of a black IPA, but this is not that. It is way more malty and not that hoppy. More of a porter than a stout in my mind. (720 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bent PAddle Black, Black Ale, Craft Brewed in Duluth, MN, 6% ABV. Some information at the bottom of the label: "Lake Superior is about 1.300 feet deep. At that depth, it is about as dark as our stout, er, porter."

Utter darkness, totally black, roasty/toasty tan head, looking good.

Aroma: roasty malts, cocoa, coffee, a hint of anise. some hops. little bit creamy.

Taste: creamy, smooth, malty. Mmmm. hops rise up and bite in the end. An interesting trip, this one, and hard to pin down. By calling this a black ale, you might think it should be hoppier, as many "black IPAs" are being called "black ales," now.
But that's not what it is, because that's not what it is, and it seems to be not quite a porter, not quite a stout. Certainly no brown ale. Black ale, but avoiding whatever style constraints would be called into issue by giving it a style.

Good and malty, great balance between bitter and sweet, swivering between both, landing on neither. But, damn, it's definitely drinkable, luscious and lovable. Easy consumption. Not too heavy, yet very substantial. Fairly constant delivery of deliciousness.

I wonder what they want to tell us on the label? "Brewed to be smooth, chocolatey, semi-roasted ale that bridges the islands of porter and stout. And if you aren't a fan of bridges, there's always the canoe."

More of that outdoorsy, North woods stuff. Guess I'd better get used to it. But, seriously, love this one. So far, too excellent initial offering from BP. Can't wait for more. (1,506 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small light tan head slowly settles into a nice lacing above all clear very dark brown to black colored beer.

Rich dark roasted grain malt aroma with a light coffee hint.

RIch and creamy taste with a lot of the dark roasted malts with a light coffee hint.

Lasting Rich roasted malts and light dryish aftertaste on this full bodied beer.

A very worthy beer. (360 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap into mason jar.
A: Pours an extremely dark black with 1/4 inch light tan head. Decent retention and lacing. (4)
S: Dark chocolate and caramel malts. Whiff of root beer and molasses. (3.5)
T: Dark dried fruit, plum, dark chocolate and caramel malts. (3.75)
M: Light-medium body but drinks heavier than the ABV would suggest. (3.75)
D: This brew has excellent sessionability. Nicely crafted especially for style. (4)

Early July 2014:
Had on nitro-tap and was even better (4.25/4/4.5/4.5/4.25). More sweet, smooth, and chocolate. Really worked well with the nitro. (576 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

8 oz pour @ Taphouse

A- pours a dark black color with a nice tan head a nice lacing
S- roasted malts semi-sweet chocolate rolled oates some citrus
T- chocolate with roasted malts wheat and oates with a small amount of hops
M- smooth with a fair amount of roasted flavors touch of chocolate and vanilla
O- tastes like a porter or an oatmeal stout but on the watery side its a little light but still ok (411 characters)

Black Ale from Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.