Berkshire Black IPA (Brewer's Series) - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
Berkshire Black IPA (Brewer's Series)Berkshire Black IPA (Brewer's Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rudzud on 05-08-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The first in our Brewer's IPA Series is a Black IPA, showing off with an impressive 70 IBUs. A special mashing technique is used to extract the dark color of the black malt without imparting any of the roasted flavors that typically come with it. The backbone for this India Black Ale is an aggressive addition of American grown "superalpha" bittering hops. Later hop additions in the boil give this beer its unique aromatic properties. Seven days of conditioning on an absurd amount of dry hops add to the powerful floral, grassy, and grapefruit mix that dances back and forth for your senses to enjoy until the very last drop makes its way from your glass.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 13
Reviews by DrJay:
Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with deep brown foam, decent head retention and just a bit of clumpy lace during the first few sips. Hops hit the nose first, a combination of grapefruit and a bit of pine resin, pithy and juicy. Malt was nestled in behind the hops, hints of roast and chocolate. The flavour was what I expect in a black IPA, with a melding of malt (roast and chocolate) and hop (citrus and grassy) character up front. Charred bitterness lingered in the finish, which was a bit astringent. Notes of grapefruit and a bit of spice showed up as it warmed. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. A serviceable black IPA.

More User Reviews:
Photo of puboflyons
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 22 oz. bomber. 2014 batch. Vintage #1. Sampled on August 10, 2014.

The pour is a deep dark brown with a tremendous off-white head.

The aroma has a kind of burnt roasted dark malt start and then the earthy hops penetrate the senses. But nothing is overbearing.

The body is smooth and well into the medium range.

The vibrant, earthy hops take center stage in the flavor after a brush with dark malt roastiness. There is a lingering quality about this that I enjoyed.

Photo of gonzo000
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a. Pitch black, cannot see through - 1 finger head. Lacing on the glass.

s. Malt, citrus, pine/hops.

t. Seems more like a porter than an IPA. Limited pine/hops at the very end. Coffee, chocolate and Malt drive the flavor profile in the front, middle and the front half of the back.

m. Thin beer.

o. This is a good beer, but I could not get over the IPA vs Porter thing. Generally I like to over look the category and make it all about the beer, but for some odd reason I cannot do that this time. Would be somewhere between a 3.75 and 3.5 overall, but going for the lower score.

Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish, prob Yankee Spirits/Sturbridge.

Poured into my 25oz Pioneer stein #42, formed a 1" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Frothy head lasts nicely, with thick coating lace. Aroma is roasted malts and piney hops.

Taste is bitter to start, smooths with roasted grains, then heads back towards piney hops on through the close. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is nice and easy. Would look for again.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Pours a blackish dark brown color with a half inch of khaki head. Almost no lacing. The aroma is chocolatey and piney with floral hops and some roasted malts. The taste is more of that chocolate and pine but some citrus hops as well. Hint of coffee. Roasted malts and some charcoal. Earthy near the end with a good deal of floral notes. Not a very noticeable alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is a bit light. Pretty easy drinking Black IPA. Overall, servicable.

Photo of jlindros
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New beer from BBC, not my fav style, but figured i'd giv ethem a shot again. Haven't had anything new from them in a while.

Pours a darker colored fizzy slight creamy 1/2 finger head that fades at a slower pace, with mild lacing, a just about pitch black beer with the faintest light sneaking through at the thin parts.

Nose touches on the parts of a black IPA I don't like, the roots of it that really turned me off from it. Mostly a dark roast and pine, some dark roasted aromas, little char and black malts, some roasted nuts, little coffee bean roast, even some peanut butter like notes. With that is a big piney hop, earthy, spicy, etc. Two opposite ends of the spectrum that really shouldn't be put together.

Taste is a bit better, but not much... that is at first then gets more bleh. Starts again with roast, roasted black malts, little char touch acrid, black malt, toasted nuts again, and even a bit creamy. No real chocolate or caramel, mostly just dark roasted malts. Then hops, some pine, a little citrus, earthy spicy and a bit dank. The hops even bring a little herbal tea and hint lemon rind. Again two ends of the spectrum that seem like they are north and south poles trying to keep apart, and the more you put them together the more they explode in your mouth. THe med bitterness remains about the same on the sticky finish, dries a little, although some earthy herbal hops coming through, bit more lemon herbal tea too.

Mouth is med bod, lots of carb, maybe a bit too much but at least not distracting.

Overall meh, very meh, not that the beer is off, it's just a terrible design for a beer, two things that shouldn't go together and are always forced together in this supposed style. There are some ends of the style that can go together, like the chocolate orange etc, but the roast and pine and herbal tea, bleh!

Photo of jujigatame
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Berkshire Brewer's Series #1 Black IPA

Best by 10/30/14. 5% Bomber into shaker pint

Very dark, no light coming through. Light tan head, almost bone. 1 finger, fades out to a ring with some little islands.

Piney, resin smell. A little mint? There's something herby in there.

Taste is not what I expected. That herbal character I caught in the smell is quite prominent in the taste. Hop bitterness seems to hit most at the back end and lingers on the tongue. Earthy nature to the flavor. I'm just not getting much out of this one. Curious as to whether it's me rather than the beer I head to BBC's website for some more information.

Their description mentions "powerful floral and citrus performance." I do find a floral character but not as I've come to expect from most American IPA styles. I'm at a loss for the citrus save perhaps for a bit of lemon. They also say the use a special technique for getting the color from black malt without any of the roasty flavors. I wonder why they chose this route, essentially making an IPA that's black in only one dimension rather than two. The end result is pretty flat to me.

This ends up as only the second beer from Berkshire that I did not like. My preference on black IPAs falls at the strong end of the scale (SSR, Dubhe, Wookey Jack) but I usually enjoy most examples of the style. Unfortunately I did not get anything I look for in a black IPA/CDA/whatever you want to call them from this beer. It held no real appeal. After half of the bottle I have no desire to drink any more.

Photo of smcolw
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decent beige head. Lasts a long time. Leaves plenty of blanket/webby lace. Pours dark brown where no shines through.

Beautiful floral hop start to the nose. The malt gives just enough sweetness to bring complexity. The "darkness" isn't what one might expect--no chocolate or mocha, just some darker molasses.

The taste is less complex. The hop seems to be more pronounced with a definitive harsh black pepper. The malt is dry with a bit of burnt toast flavor. The body leans to the thinnish side. Good carbonation.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into bulbed pint glass (from the brewery). Liquid comes out really dark brown, close to black in color. No real highlights unless the liquid gets thinner. Off white colored head, slightly better than average lacing.

I almost always love the smell of the black IPA, this one. Some pine, some earthy citrus hops and slight hints of some bitter coco with a hint of weak roasted coffee.

Taste is pretty good, just not particularly flavorful. There are flavors of roasted almost charred malts producing some almost coffee flavors. Some roasted nutty flavors and some acidic grapefruity citrus hops to polish it off at the end.

Mouthfeel is alright. Starts initially sweet and various levels of bitter. Lightly carbonated so there's no sting, a mere 5% so no bite there either, medium body to it. Slightly gritty, but has a dry earthy, bitter finish at the end; pretty drinkable.

I normally love this style of beer, the main reason I actually got into home brewing, but I was a little underwhelmed here. Good, but not great or even really good.

Photo of brianjay
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark black with light brown foam for a conservative head. Smells like an IPA, looks like a porter.
The body is light, but the flavor is strong. Very bitter hop profile mixes with the roasted malt flavor to produce an intense, dry and bitter flavor. There is a bit of acidity on the finish which lingers along with the roasted malt, which also has a hint of baker's chocolate.
Over all, this is slightly unique in the world of black IPA's which are typically strong on the hoppiness, but the rest of the flavors are lost. This one is worth taste for fans of IPAs who wish to explore the growing spinoff of Black IPAs.

Photo of SABERG
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from a bomber (shared) into a modified tulip glass
A - deep dark color, nice frothy tan foam cap, laced the entire glass and lasted to the end.
S - chicory, lightly burnt sugars, a hint of molasses and caramel. Light hop aroma, slightly floral
but hard to pull out of the roast.
T - A dark roast here, the some dried fruit and a hint of coffee, the taste is deeper that the body.
Complex but missing that hop component.
M - lite body, but well carbonated, a slick feel. Lingering notes of fresh malts and now a nice bite from
the hops.
O - The brewers are stretching their wings here, and a good offering from this effort is delivered.

Cheers all

Photo of farrago
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finger plus of deep brown foam, full mix of bubble sizes with an uneven surface, good plus retention, the lacing is thick and covers a good portion of the available space. The liquid is not especially dense but does reach opacity and full blackness, there’s a broad orange glow at the glass bottom and rims, could pass for a stout. Big time malty roast to the nose, mocha and cocoa and coffee, powerful white grapefruit presence as well, herbaceous with accents of pine sap, not a lot of fruit going on, leans heavily on the citrus. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied, the carbonation does not make it soft yet does create a steady prickly churn. Chicory, coffee, bitter dark chocolate push the white grapefruit back a notch, the herbal qualities hold off mostly until the end. Muted cherry, apricot, apple fruit. Bitter finish, however, retains most of its basic flavor profile. Ultimately, the roast doesn’t allow for much complexity.

Photo of HamdenHector
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep brown with a hint of ruby at the edges; 1 finger tan head that receded slowly to a thin ring; moderate lacing;

S: a bit of roasted malt first, then a big dose of piney hops with a bit of dark chocolate and coffee in the background;;

T: dark chocolate, coffee, and piney hops with mild bitterness through mid-palate; bitterness gets more astringent from mid-palate through the finish - like burnt coffee;

M: full bodied; moderate carbonation - a little tingly;

O: loved the aroma; the astringent nature of the finishing bitterness was a bit much for me; otherwise, this would have been outstanding;

Berkshire Black IPA (Brewer's Series) from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.