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

136 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 136
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: 136 | Reviews: 31
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 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 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 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 mdfb79
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/28/12 notes. Had this on tap at the Waterfront Alehouse in Murray Hill NYC. Served in a 16 oz. pint glass.

a - Pours an almost black brown color with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pine hops, roasted malts, chocolate, toasted malts, resin, and bready malts. Very nice mix of pine and roasted notes; I like it.

t - Tastes of pine hops, roasted malts, resin, citrus hops, sweet chocolate, dark fruity malts, toasted malts. Little fruit here and more hops than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. No bitterness, pretty easy to drink overall.

o - Overall a very nice Black IPA. Lots of nice pine hops and roasted malts mixing together in the nose, and the same in the taste with some ffruit and citrus. Easy to drink, well worth checking out if you're a fan of the style. Would have it again.

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 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 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 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 barczar
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep brown with a frothy half inch tan head that lingers, eventually leaving a coating of foam as it dissipates.

Resin, pine, citrus, and chocolate add complexity to the roast malt backbone. Nutty notes of toasted malt are evident.

Underpinnings of grapefruit and lemon accent the roast malt. There's a hint of char at the slightly bitter finish. Resin is somewhat subtle initially. Flavor seems to be cut short, somewhat.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and a slight astringent bite. Borderline carbonic.

Lacks a bit in flavor. Citrus hop flavor is fairly banal, and roast malt is pretty much the only grain character present.

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 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 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 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.

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 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 rangerred
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap.

Appearance is pitch black with just a smallish tan head. Not very good head retention and just a little bit of lacing.

Aroma has a good deal of yeast esters witch seems a little out of place. There is pine coming through as well but not enough to keep the banana at bay.

Some light roast in the flavor along with a little bit of caramel. Piny hops shine through but that annoying yeast presence is still there. Mild bitterness with too much sweetness for the style IMO.

Overall, not a good example of an American Black Ale. If the yeast was dialed back this would score a few points higher but there are many better examples out there.

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 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 Ego
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

last growler of this @ joe canals in iselin

eyes...
one fullish finger of head, mostly microbubbles with an archipelago of larger bubbles occupying the middle of the crown (from a top down perspective), the lacing leaves nice sheets of foam mapping where the beer has been and gone, dark to black tone but not 100% opaque, a fine looking brew.

nose...
toasted dark caramel spiked with hops, almost smoky, near peat but not quite wet, deep dark chocolate simmering beneath the surface doing the mamba with alcohol twinges. enticing

taste etc...
the black always makes me expect a heavier beer, even after all these tastings.. so this drinks lighter than I imagined and also is very smooth (silky even), this drinks like it smells except that the hops are a bit more pronounced and tend to drown out the really nice dark/roasty notes, when the hops fade the dark choc late notes are present on the tongue (a nice after note), the alcohol is present but in good balance here.

verdict?
worth trying, a nice beer that is both easy to drink and has a good amount of flavor. did I love it ? no, but I wouldn't kick it out of bed...

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

On tap at Good Beer, served in a nonic pint glass.

A: jet black body with a good inch white head. Great head retention, very frothy. Sexy looking brew.

S: dark roasted barley and chocolate malts. Floral and citrus hops are on the nose too.

T: a really balanced black IPA. First I'm getting bitter chocolate and biscuity malt favors which are soon followed by the hops, bursting with citrus and pine. Finishes dry and bitter. Good stuff

M: creamy and well carbonated, this guy is easy to drink, crispy and refreshing. Medium low on fullness. Taste lingers in the mouth. Not tasting the alcohol but feeling it a bit.

O: I enjoy black IPAs, but they can be a tough style to pull off, even by the best. This hits the mark, and has all the great qualities of the style . Roasty and rich. Citrusy and bitter. They meld together nicely. I'll gladly drink more of this brew.

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.

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There Will Be Black (Brewmaster's Reserve Winter 2012) from Brooklyn Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.