Kentucky Black Mountain IPA - Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
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Ratings: 8 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
3.78/5 rDev -4.8%
As the latest in installment in the long lineage of Alltech's Great American Beer Festival's Pro-Am selectees, this Black IPA kicks off with the dry and hoppy edge that Hop Head's love about those lupulin-infused flowers. But, the beer has an extra kick of charred bitterness that both exacerbates and complicates the IPA style.
As the ale pours, nothing of the IPA comes to mind. Instead, the beer looks like dark porter or roasty stouts with its dark brown (perhaps black) depth of color. A billowing dense blanket of foam tops the beer like creamy meringue. Its moussy appearance is nothing shy of fantastic. As the ale settles in, its laces the glass with clinging collars with every sip taken- right down to the last sip.
Sharp but supported aromas of burnt hops stand out immediately. Where the sure-fire scents of citrus, pine and its floral bouquet all command the nose, they do so with a burnt tinge- burnt citrus peels, burnt pine cones, burnt flower pedals all lead to an incredibly complex IPA with coffee, cocoa and campfire notions. Even its burnt malt character is of overcooked caramel a singed molasses to add an arid starch scent heading into taste.
Its malty-dry taste is largely reliant upon the carbonized char of grain and malted bitter chocolate flavor to start. Underlying burnt sweetness is overtaken by the char of coffee and cocoa. But as the hops settle into the middle palate, its starchy sweetness gives way and allows the grilled citrus, burnt grass and ashy herbs to come into play. Its late flavor certainly favors the bitterness- but not just from hop bitterness but also from the char of malt to allow its pine resinous finish to seem burnt as well.
Medium-bodied but seeming lighter than that, the beer's bold carbonation seems to lift the malts and give an arid creaminess that floats somewhat effortless across the tongue. Its middle seems to shed any early residual sweetness and allows the hop dryness and alcohol warmth to dictate thereafter. Finishing with strong roast and hop-derived astringency, the ale is biting, bitter, dry and with peps of campfire and ash- but perhaps in the best way possible.
I am a big fan of "Black IPA" as long as they keep the hops first and foremost and don't simply become a hoppy porter. Black Mountain is right on that line- is it an IPA that uses char to elevate bitterness? Or is it simply a hoppy porter with all the sweetness and chocolate to confuse the taste buds? But as one of those ales that sits in the middle of it all simply creates the intrigue and debate that's spurred by obvious complexities. Still, this in one of my favorite beers ever made by the brewery!
11-18-2013 06:45:55 | More by BEERchitect
Kentucky Black Mountain IPA from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
- out of 100 based on 8 ratings.