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There Will Be Black (Brewmaster's Reserve Winter 2012) - Brooklyn Brewery

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There Will Be Black (Brewmaster's Reserve Winter 2012)
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BA SCORE
86
very good

135 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 135
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: nitro0292 on 11-25-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 135 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by MentalZombie:
More User Reviews:
Photo of far333
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown and opaque with an inch high frothy head that settles out slowly. Low aroma of dark malt. Rich flavors of dark malt, cocoa, and subtle smoke. Interesting balance of citrusy hops, the hops are strong enough to make themselves known, but not overpower. Perfect balance, Garrett. Mouthfeel just a bit thin. Overall a very nice beer.

Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a durable tan head.
Smells quite hoppy. with a dark malt base.
Tastes less hoppy with dark malt in the background; basically as expected but rather simple. Pine and citrus from the hops seem to clash more than mix with the nutty and chocolate notes from the roast malt backbone. Slight burnt note in the moderately bitter finish.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O: With somewhat low hop flavor, this tastes more like a Black PA than Black IPA. Not a problem, especially given the hoppy aroma, but the failure of the dark malts to blend nicely with the hop load is a detriment.

Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pint at Accent Lounge in suddenly temperate Edmonchuk.

This beer appears a clear, very, very dark bronzed amber hue, with one finger of creamy, dense, meringue analogue beige head, which takes a coon's age to settle, and never really does, leaving a quarter-inch of latent foam before I tuck into this slow learner. After the fact, a singular column of Mayan ruin lace presents itself around the glass.

It smells of mildly bitter grapefruit and orange hops, semi-sweet milk chocolate notes, softly charred caramel malt, and a further twinge of earthy floral hop essence. The taste is bitter citrus rind, pithy pine resin, a clammy lactic sweetness, some faintly singed bready caramel malt, and a herbaceous earthy addendum.

The bubbles are a bit sassy, but generally on the level, the body a middling medium weight, and a little too tacky to be considered all that smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the lightly charred malt and lingering citrus/pine hop amalgam both fading to a seemingly watery grave.

Wow. Beyond the crazy-ass and thorough retention, and very west coast IPA predilections, this eventually settles to a semi-sweet, somewhat singed hoppy morass, as confusing as it was for the first quarter hour of head appreciation (and concurrent pub atmosphere acknowledgement) for such a cross continent, confounding newbie of an offering. In the end, a rather impetuous and more importantly far-flung rendition of the style.

Photo of RoyAlan
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap @ Two Stone Pub, Wilmington DE
Black as it name implies. Smell of coffee and hops.
Nice lacing from a creamy tan head that dissipates quickly.
Tastes good. Smokey with hops on the back.
Not an especially noteworthy black IPA. More subtle. Almost a Lite Porter.

Photo of scootny
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Solidly dark but not quite black. Thick light brown head with a feathery top that slowly fades and leaves a good amount of lacing. When held to the light it reveal a clear super dark cola color. Smell is proper with layers of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. A zippy hop spiciness that is almost Saaz like but more herbal and minty. The New Zealand hops do bring some nice citrus and healthy pine. An English style fruitiness recalls a old time brewpub like yeast signature. Taste is full bodied and balanced with a dry hoppy finish that leaves equal amounts of earth and grapefruit. Chocolate malt is the big one here with a good amount of fllor malting evident. The NZ hops meld wonderfully on top, subsuming themselves in the body while rising in the finish. Feel is velvety with a silken swallow and a creamy carbonation that make this one one of the most drinkable BIPAs I've had. Just a super take and I am holding out for a bottling of this one. In the meantime I'll have get a 64 oz growler for the superbowl.

Photo of KTCamm
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Ginger Man, South Norwalk. Tasting glass, but enough to get a good feel for the beer.

Pours pitch black with white foam. Laces all over. Light pine oil aroma, and malty too. Pleasant. Smooth mellow blended bitter, buried in a late malty chocolate taste. Smooth. Chewy. No lingering bitter aftertaste. Great black IPA, very balanced.

Photo of KYGunner
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amongst the thickest, strongest heads I've ever seen you could bounce a quarter on this thick beauty. Dark, opaque and just plain black the brown head christens a gorgeous brew.

The scent is of dry graham cracker and even drier chocolate.

The taste is chocolatey but a dry malty breadiness stands out. Not so diverse as to be confusing this black ale is exactly as billed....it's a black ale. Very dry in taste and feel, it's delicious with strong chocolate and even stronger bready crackery maltiness.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tap @ Chimes Covington

Pours a nice dark brown, near black colour with a frothy brown head. Aroma had some herbal, piny hops, chocolate and roast notes with tinges of coffee. Not too bitter tasting, pretty roasty, with notes of chocolate and pine hoppiness. Nice creamy texture, low carbonation, medium body, nice overall.

Not a really hoppy ABA, but it's got plenty of character and flavour.

Photo of Amalak
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got it at the Beer Boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

A. It is completely black, with a huge tan, foamy head that leaves a good deal of lacing.

S. It has a lovely hoppy scent and some smoke.

T. The hoppy scent really comes through in the taste. It's complex. It is smokey and burnt. There's a hint of chocolate. But the hop dominates, in a good way. A bit of peppermint?

M. Full bodied and carbonated.

O. It has a really complex flavor. Quite enjoyable.

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brass Rail, Hoboken, NJ

A: The beer is near black in color. It poured with a finger and a half high tan head that slowly died down but never completely faded away and left lots of lacing on the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of chocolate and dark roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has some flavors of roasted malts and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is well balanced between the malts and hops and is very easy to drink bit makes for a good accompaniment to food.

Photo of plaid75
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Tap and Barrel, Hauppague, NY.

Poured a deep black hue with a two finger frothy tan head. There was very good retention and thick sticky lacing.

The smell featured a light herbal hop atop a slightly sweet chocolate malt.

The taste was well balanced with the herbal hop checking the soft chocolate and lactose.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty well balanced black ale.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Fluffy, off-white head, high retention on a black body. Soapy, suddsy, sticky lacing. Aroma is a nice blast of resinous piney hops with some roasted malt in the background. Very nice. Taste is biting and bitter, grapefruit like, again with roasted malt in the background. Interesting mix of flavors. What I like most about this one is that the hops are the dominant flavor and they don't have to fight it out with the dark malts. It truly is a black IPA. Nothing muted about the bitterness. Overall, excellent.

Photo of rfgetz
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark charcoal grey tinted brown, moderate cap of brown froth and some sticky lacing. Scent brings a touch of charred and roasted grain, medium grassy and herbal hop notes with a touch of citrus and tropical. More of the same from the taste. Medium bodied, thinner than expected, dry. Expected more, but still okay - tend to prefer black IPAs with little to no roast.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at New York Pizza. Pours a pitch black color with a 1/4inch of tan head. Tons of lacing. Aroma is chocolatey with citrus hops and roasted malts. The taste is smokey malts upfront followed by some dark chocolate and bitter orange peel. Juicy fruit finish. Insanely drinkable. Well balanced brew. Not very hoppy, but there is a nice hop presence. Just like Brooklyn Blast I am hoping this one gets bottled eventually. Overall, real good Black IPA that I hope I get to try again.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler at Haymarket.

Something about Daniel Day-Lewis in blackface comes to mind... Anyway, this stuff pours a dark, garnet-tinged black-brown topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises licorice, roasted malts, light vinyl, and light greens. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some toasted sourdough. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a nice little black IPA, nothing earth-shattering (and definitely nothing DDL-worthy), but something easily drinkable and generally enjoyable.

Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass. Very dark appearance, like a stout. Good head for a bar-pour. Dark, dark brown where no light shines through. Good ring lace after each sip.

Surprisingly mild smell. The usual culprits show up: toasted, near burnt malts along with

Dark malt and high hop bitterness is how I'd describe this brew.

Photo of nitro0292
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this while picking up some Yakima Glory. Pours a pitch black, with an ample 3 finger creamy, tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving plenty of lacing.

Smell is minty hops (a NZ variety according to the website) with definite chocolate, coffee and roast notes from dark malts.

Taste is bitter hops on the tip of the tongue, mixed with astringent notes and balanced by subtle caramel. Very well balanced blend of hop and malt characteristics, which seems to be something difficult for brewers crafting beers of this style. Dry finish with a slightly astringent-bitter aftertaste that adds to overall enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is medium and reflective of the dry finish - good attenuation is present.

Overall this is a solid entry to the style and a delightful find. I've had better BIPAs, but I've also had much worse. Certainly worth trying, and even having again. This beer is a good example of how the style should be approached, with a balance of all chief characteristics. I would have preferred american hops to a NZ variety, but the use of the NZ strain is a unique twist.

Photo of ranger7
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap in a pint glass from The Londoner in Allen.
Served with their fish and chips (which are good, btw).

A - Dark with a nice thick head of tan foam.

S - Some hops and a slight roasted aroma.

T - Pretty nice. It has some bitterness to it, but it is balanced fairly well with malt. Overall, I'd say it tastes almost sweet. It's pretty flavorful.

M - It has a nice smoothness to it, not much carbonation. Almost no aftertaste.

Summary - I haven't had many beers in this style, mostly because the hops scare me off. After our server recommended this by saying it wasn't too "hoppy", I thought I'd try it and I'm glad I did. The prominent flavor is hops, but it isn't overpowering and has a nice sweet flavor in the end.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As the playground for Brooklyn's brewery dive deeper and deeper into the exploratory trends and follies of flavor fantasy, they embark upon the cascadian taste of American "black" IPA. Expecting greatness, here we go...

And if they say, "There Will Be Black", then surely the beer will turn out black. The ale does this with a very schwarzbier-like attitude. Lightly brown about the edges, but the body of the beer is the darkest of browns and hinges on black oil hues. A light creamy head builds upon the beer and holds firm, as is expected from IPAs. Speckled lace and broken rings continue to reinforce the notion of the beer's high quality.

Moderate aromas of burnt toast, cocoa, roasted nuts, fresh ground coffee, and ...oh yea, hops all align to the sense of smell. First the toasty, roasty malts but then the real show starts as the scent of sharp spruce, citrus peel, and fresh cut grass fills the nose and reminds me that this is first and foremost an IPA.

Similar in taste, the flavors of burnt toffee provides the underpinnings, especially as the charred taste of grain, wood, and bread lay upon the early palate. But then the hops begin to build- first with citrusy grapefruit and orange peel, and then of sharper and spicier grass notes before concluding with a crisp woody bitterness that's reminiscent of spruce and pine resin. Although the malt character is somewhat reserved, the hops don't dominate in the way that they should; this leaves the beer lacking a bit of punch and depth that this type of beer deserves.

Medium-light in body, the ample carbonation isn't enough to bolster a creamier upstart. The dry malts release the carbonation very early on and leaves the bulk of middle palate unsupported and falling into the hands of thinness and lightness. Finishing toasty-dry and lightly ashy, the beer complements its roasty dryness with hop dryness and moderate alcohol warmth for a short-lived linger of citrus and toast.

Brooklyn's black ale is a highly drinkable beer, yet is doesn't give the strong sense of satisfaction as does many others of the trend. Unlike Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, this version is simplified and lightly thinned out.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ The Brass Rail in Hoboken, NJ.

Pours black with deep brown around the edges and a one-finger off-white creamy head. Light lacing on the glass. Good amount of roasted malt in the aroma with piney hops. Slight coffee flavor with a bitter finish. Lively carbonation, almost a little fizzy. Not a bad beer, but the body just felt a little too light and could benefit from being beefed up a bit. The hops also don't seem to match up well with the malt.

Photo of homebrew311
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is black/ dark brown wih tan creamy head and heavy lacing. Nose is straight pine tips and roasted malt. Taste is heavily hopped with bitterness from both the hops and the roasted malts. Makes the taste somewhat one dimensional. Mouthfeel leans towards the thin side and highly carbonated. Overall, a drinkable one dimensional black ale that is a little thin.

Photo of Durge
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this one at The Grille Next Door in Haverhill, MA. It's a dark, rosy black with a decent light oatmeal colored head and decent lacing. I can smell solid malt with a tasteful quotient of evergreen hops and a nice chocolate element. The flavor surprises with a harsher grass-pine hop that bites the tongue right out of the gate while the malt follows in reasonable fashion. This is fairly thin bodied, medium-light, with light, sprite carbonation and an aqueous feel. I have to say that this is a bit disappointing for a Brooklyn brew, especially for one of my favorite styles. But it's certainly not bad. There's some charcoal in the finish, especially when I burp. I won't revisit but it's worth a try for those who want a lighter IPA experience.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a pint glass

Ink black body through the core with some chestnut brown edges. The cap sat at about a finger and faded quickly. A tan head left some clingy lace along the edges and some spider web lacing.

The nose is clean. Roast and bittersweet chocolate with some pine resin and minty hops mixed in. Well-balanced.

Some bitter pine notes jump onto the palate first with bakers chocolate and mild roast mid-palate. A little bit of dark fruit and toffee emerge as the beer warms. The finish is bitter pine and grassy hops with a touch of mint and an underlying mild roast.

Medium body with low carbonation. A tad on the creamy side.

A nice, clean black ale with a pleasant hoppyness.

Photo of JGam115
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of roasted dark Choc. Completely black. Tasting of charred hops, creamy mouth feel. Unlike any other black IPA.

Photo of Kendo
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the growler ($6.50 for the half-growler at Westmere) into a pint glass. Body appears black until backlit - then it's dark brown with mahogany hues on the edges. A solid 1-finger tan/khaki head settles on top, leaving good amounts of foamy lacing on the glass.

S: Not terribly strong in the nose - burnt bread, char and a touch of chocolate malt. Also some piney hops, but I've gotta bury my nose in the glass to really get the olfactory sense stimulated.

T: First impression: it's like a hoppy porter. Char/charcoal and a woodsy bitternesss over a base of roasted barley malt. Some sweet malt tastes are evident too: molasses, chocolate and toffee even makes an appearance after my palate adjusts to the burnt/char and hoppy flavors. Hop bitterness is pretty strong on the finish and into the aftertaste - piney or even sprucey.

M: Surprisingly a little slick in the feel; also a bit thinner than expected.

O: Good, but not great.

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There Will Be Black (Brewmaster's Reserve Winter 2012) from Brooklyn Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.