Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA - Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPAArcadia B-Craft Black IPA

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BA SCORE
88
very good

84 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 84
Hads: 323
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 9
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: alleykatking on 07-27-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 323
Photo of Gfhislop
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Searched for a while for this one. Many new beers take a while to get to my corner of the thumb.

A- Pours black with a light tan head, barely 1 finger thick. Webbing hangs on for quite some time

S- While you should expect a little roasty malt from this style, the hops really steal the show both here and in flavor. Very pine-forward aroma.

T- Almost instant hop eruption. Definite pine and citrus presence, possibly a mild earthiness. After it warms some, the roasty aspects come out of their shells and bring the whole thing together.

M- Appropriate for the style.

O- Definitely plays more like a DIPA than a regular black IPA. I'd say definitely worth a pick up (669 characters)

Photo of Trent
4.81/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased 4-pack from local stop for $11. Hadn't tried or heard much chatter on this brew prior, though I am a big fan of their Loch Down offering.

A: Dark brown with tan foam around the perimeter. Much darker than expected for a bottle

S: Decadence. Malts, hops, deep rich fruits.

T: Sweetness from the malts, chocolate, and fruit. Tons of flavor all around. None of the hoppy bite that one expects from an IPA. More reminiscent of a scotch ale.

M: Smooth, silky. Some mild carbonation which adds to the character.

O: Love it. It claims to be a double IPA, but profiles better as a black ale.
As someone who truly enjoys malty scotch ales, this is the perfect double/black IPA. (685 characters)

Photo of stevedem
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately I didn't have any idea I'd be having this so I didn't take any notes or anything.

Look: It's black with a off white head that hung around for a while.

Smell: floral

Taste: Pleasantly bitter and floral/fruity.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth

Drinkablity: If it wasn't as strong as it is I could drink it all night. I'd get it again in an instant.

Got it on-tap at Hopcat in Grand Rapids, MI (400 characters)

Photo of b3shine
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft to tulip (at Hop Cat in Grand Rapids, MI, which is a PHENOMENAL beer bar. Everything about this beer is GREAT! The best black IPA I've ever had. Black as midnight with a great bouquet of hops and malts. The taste has great balance. And by balance, I mean the hops and malt are equally over-the-top and complement each other nicely. And the mouthfeel is great too. Surprisingly refreshing for its genre. I'd drink it again and again - if it was made with any regularity :( (477 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Arcadia's B-Craft Black IPA the other day for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. I have heard this was a good beer so when I saw it at the store I knew I should pick up a bottle, I think this is the first time this beer has been bottled, lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, Spring 2012 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label, it has a well done picture of a white owl flying at night with a crescent moon shining in the background, looks good to me. It poured a nice dark black color that took on some dark ruby highlights when held to the light. It had two and a half fingers worth of smooth dark tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a nice amount of lacing. This is a good looking American Black Ale, it's on par for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a good amount of hops that are mainly citrus with some grapefruit, mango, blood orange, and pineapple sticking out the most, there was also some piney and floral hops aromas but it was the citrus that stuck out the most. Next after that comes the malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart a medium amount of roasted malts, brown sugar, and chocolate aromas. This is a great smelling beer, it had great balance and the aromas worked very well together.

T- The taste of this beer is very similar to the aroma, it starts off with lots of hops, I find that the citrus hops stick out the most imparting all those great citrus fruit aspects that I got in the aroma, it has a really well done hop profile. Next comes the malts which have a medium amount of roast to them and a medium amount of sweetness, they impart some nice, roasted, milk chocolate and dark chocolate flavors. It had a pretty low amount of bitterness with a roasty, hoppy, and a little citrusy aftertaste. This was a very good tasting American Black Ale, the flavors were bold, but there was also lots of balance and complexity.

M- Very smooth, creamy, rich, on the thick side of being medium bodied, with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very nice, it was very smooth and the added creaminess was nice.

Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed this beer and I thought that this was a great example of an American Black Ale, the hop profile mixed very well with the malt base which made for a very complex and great tasting beer. This beer had great drinkability it was very smooth and hardly had any bitterness which I wasn't expecting, this beer went down way faster and if I had another one I would for sure drink it, the alcohol was hidden very well also, there's no doubt that a couple of these would for sure hit the spot. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much everything, I can't think of anything I would want to change, it's great just the way it is. What I liked least about this beer was nothing, I wish it was just a little cheaper, but with a limited release I can't really complain. I would for sure buy this beer again, in fact I will be getting more in day or two and I highly recommend this beer to just about anyone, it's just that damn good. Arcadia did an awesome job with this beer, I have found that they can be hit or miss sometimes, but in this case it was a huge hit, I am now a big fan of this beer, and I think it's pretty safe to say that this is now my favorite American Black Ale, and one of my favorite beers from Arcadia, North Peak's Furry used to be my favorite but this beer is better in almost every aspect, I am glad they bottled this beer, I can see a lot more of this beer in my future. (3,603 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is a powerful ale. It has a ton of aromatics going on. Hops, roasty. Wow. Niceand unique smell.

The taste is similarly hoppy. A piney hoppiness is in this. It also has a lot of burnt (not really roast) flavor.

I would buy this again looking for a unique stron ale, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes hoppy stuff. (334 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 4/24/2012. Pours almost pitch black dark brown color with a nice 2 finger tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of big pine, grapefruit, orange rind, toast, roasted malt, herbal, earth, and light chocolate. Great aromas with big fresh hoppiness; and nice balance. Taste of big grapefruit, orange rind, pine, chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, herbal, and earthy hops. Moderate citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange rind, pine, chocolate, roasted malt, and herbal on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of hop flavors with the roasted malt. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a fantastic black IPA! Great hop and roasted malt flavor balance, and very smooth for 8.5%. Amazing stuff! (1,025 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with ruby hues when held to light. Just shy of opaque. Light tan head with exceptional retention and great lacing especially for the strength.

Mildly roasted, smoky aromas. Powerful floral and pine scent.

Solid malt backbone of wheat toast and rye. Aggressive pine and grapefruit hop bitterness. Ground pepper. Alcohol is there but out-shined by the hops. Great balance for such strong flavors.

Sturdy medium to full bodied, right between a stout and a double stout and just a hair thicker than your standard DIPA. Exceptional, sharp, snappy carbonation which adds to the hop flavor.

Great black DIPA. First example of the style I had tried. Glad someone thought of this style. It was a great idea and well executed. (731 characters)

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque black beer with ruby highlights in a strong back light from the summer sunset for my draft on site. Thick, light brown head with extremely tight bubbles. Clean and clear singular hop in the nose with a burnt biscuit and heavy malt underneath. First taste is burnt, charcoal tasting, but, oddly, no smoke. Heavy handed on the patent malt or similar? Very nice. Hops kick in quickly and the light spice and floral of the nose turns into a clean, spicy bite on the tongue. Well balanced and fun. Roast/burnt qualities mellow as this 8.5% IPA warms and is still refreshing on a hot summer night. (605 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like I'm about to condemn myself to the dark side with this one - like sin poured from the bottle. This one happens to include a creamy head.

Big citrus, with some roastiness in the background. Inviting, but not overwhelmingly so.

Bright, grapefruit, other citrus, followed by cocoa and even some roasted coffee - exceptionally complex. Fading, mildly spicy and wholly soothing hops deliver a long, clean close.

Low carbonation, but I'm not missing it. The existing flavors provide ample presence on their own.

Really great, very enjoyable beer - way beyond expectation based on other Arcadia's I've had. Easily drinkable, with alcohol content barely noticable. (675 characters)

Photo of tito42
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Bottled 6/5/12.

A: Slight cloudy, dark, molasses in color with a creamy cocoa-colored head.

S: Grapefruit, molasses, coffee, chocolate.

T: Roasted coffee and cocoa up front with molasses and a citrusy blast of grapefruit in the middle. Nice bitter hops finish. Everything blends and transitions very well. Well done.

M: Medium- to full-bodied with a nice creaminess not often found in beers this bitter. The complexity of the taste and full body really hide the 8.5% ABV well.

O: Excellent black ale. Picked this up in a mix-n-match, which explains the bottling date being so old. I'm going to certainly pick up a 4-pack of this when fresh. (685 characters)

Photo of Shibbykaiyai
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

This is one of my first forays into black IPA's and I quite enjoyed it.

It pours very dark, almost soda-like, without the carbonation. Although I lack the nose for most of the aromas, you can definitely smell a hint of pine and other citrus fruits.

Goes down smoothly, which belies the 8 and change ABV. A very good brew. (364 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/10/12. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black, but there's light getting through making it a very dark brown. Decent head and nice lacing and retention. Ok, this has a really nice nose. Lots of fresh berries dominate, with some grass and dank lemon zest. It kind of has the onion/garlic aroma. There are subtle roasty chocolate aromas as well. The flavors are very bold. Lots of fruity bitterness from the hops, but a nice sweetness from the chocolate, making it bittersweet. Lots of pine resin going on. There's a touch of heat, but nothing overboard or unbearing. The mouthfeel is very impressive, it's extremely creamy. It's pretty slick and has a resiny feel. The carbonation is very low, but it really works in this case. This is a FUN beer to drink. Very complex.

Wow, this is a nice "Double Black IPA". This is a great beer from Arcadia.. there's something unique about it that I can't put my finger on. Well crafted.. I feel like it should have a higher score from me.. highly recommended. (1,019 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
Served in a nonic pint glass

A - It pours dark, allowing just a little light through to create some ruby highlights. A couple of inches of tan head made an appearance, leaving behind a skim of tan on top. It looks a lot like a porter.

S - The first scent I recognized was grapefruit. Then the roasted aromas come through. I get a little cocoa and a little coffee.

T - The hops are less prevalent in the taste. The coffee and dark chocolate are more pronounced. Delicious!

M - Medium

O - This is a very well balanced black ipa. It has to be one of the top two that I have tried in this style. I will probably be in the minority since the hops aren't overwhelming. I prefer this style to be more balanced rather than a hop bomb. (743 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Bottled 4/16/12.

Dark cola amber-brown body. Some light gets through. Small, light khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose is a nice mix of hops and dark malt. Lots of pine sap, cat pee, and herbal notes. Caramel and roasted malts complement.

Toasted chocolate malt up front. Caramel and roasted malt settle in. Citric, piny hop bitterness gradually comes on. Some herbal, cannabis-y funk as well. Stays pretty-well balanced until the finish. Dries out, with lingering espresso and pine hop bitterness. Faint resinous notes in the end. Medium-full body with a slightly creamy feel. Nicely done! (602 characters)

Photo of nickadams2
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Uptown Grille Commerce MI

A_ Black with a thick and creamy khaki head. Lacing covers the glass.

S_Hops,dark fruit and floral notes.

T_Hops mellowed out by dark fruits. Figs and cherry. Clove and cinnamon spice on the back end. Great balance of hops and roasted malt.

M_Thick and creamy. Very sticky.

D_Pretty damn good. (334 characters)

Photo of david131
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very deep, dark brown with some dark red highlights. A touch of haziness adds a nice aspect. The head is thin but creamy, has nice retention, and leaves nice lacing.

S- Figs, cherries, clove, mint, and cinnamon. Very unique and inviting. Surprisingly aromatic.

T- Coffee, black cherries, mint, smoke, and a touch of citrus fruit. Very unique. The alcohol is not apparent.

M- a very creamy body with enough carbonation to keep it light. A fairly clean finish.

D- The alcohol is well hidden and the flavors are robust but don't build on the palate. Very enjoyable. (577 characters)

Photo of BrianOhio
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark cola like pour that leaves a very thin head.

Aroma is extremely unique, grapefruit, orange with some dark chocolate like notes to it. A completely new beer smell for me and something I really like.

Taste starts with some citrus, and then mellows into more of a typical porter taste with coffee and chocolate. Gentle pine in the finish, and I like the that hops continue throughout the taste.

I have never been a huge fan of black IPA style, but this one sets the new highwater mark. A really good beer and one I plan to have many more of. Another winner from Arcadia. (575 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pous a very fdark brown that turns to black in the glass. Red around the edges. A one finger off white/tan head. Decent alcohol legs.

S- Smells like no other black IPA i have ever had. There is a monster amount of pine up front as well as a lot of bright citrus fruit flavors. Some roasted malts and some chocolate and a bitterness that reminds of of an unripened orange.

T- I get a big bit of bitterness up front followed by the dark aspects of this beer. There is some roastedness and some chocolate. You can definitely taste the Carafa in this one. The hop flavors are pretty nice in here. There is ton of pine which is something I look for in an IPA. There is also a bunch of citrus like orange, grapefruit and lemon.

M- This beer has a pretty big feel to it and was a slow drinking beer for me. It also has a massive bitterness to it. This is a big black IPA, not way around that.

O- This is a darn good Black IPA and it even holds a candle to sublimely self righteous. It has an excellent hop profile and a really unique overall flavor to it. A great offering from Arcadia. (1,123 characters)

Photo of kdmcguire10
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle.

Gorgeous black with a tinge of ruby when held to the light.

Dank grapefruit nose. Getting some tobacco notes. Unlike everything I've ever smelled. So intense for a Black IPA.

Taste is so unique. Hop citrus assault up front then you're slapped on the back end like a stout almost (coffee, chocolate, and the tobacco).

Really nice texture and smooth finish. You don't know the alcohol until you feel it at the end of your glass.

Home run from Arcadia. This should give them some recognition then deserve. (518 characters)

Photo of biga7346
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Asheleys in Ann Arbor.

Pours a dense, black but oily pour, very little white lacing, no head. Black licorice, plum, dark roast coffee, vanilla bean, some citrusy to grapefruit hoppy notes in the nose.

Big beer this one, ABV comes in at under 10% and it hides the alcohol well. Much more of the hop flavor comes through in the finish and lingers on the palate for quite some time. Dark roast to acrid offee, raisin bread, beet sugar, cleaning solution to rubber band phenol.

I have been told by some that Arcadia is a really under-appreciated brewery in MI having to compete with the likes of Founders and Bells (but that is a little apples to oranges IMO). This beer impressed me by its creativity and boldness from Arcadia which has lacked in "signature" beers.

I must admit this is pretty much the first Arcadia I have really liked, Hopmouth has become tiresome at this point even though I know it still sells. (929 characters)

Photo of GRPunk
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a nonic pint.

B-Craft Black Double India Pale Ale. Black Ale? Imperial IPA? Both?

A- A careful, one handed, pour created a 1/2 finger, tan head that fades to a thin foam. The body is nearly black with deep, dark brown edges. Light stick left on the glass.

S- Right as I pop the cap, there's a really fresh, organic, hoppy aroma. It's almost, how do I put this, schwag? It only opens up even more after the pour. Light hints of sweet malts give an impression of brown sugar. Maybe a hint of chocolate.

T- Initial hit of those fresh, organic hops. Medicinal, herbal even. Just as I think it's all hops, rich malts come through. Toasted and chocolate-like. Like a quality made milk chocolate or even a rich chocolate milkshake. Hops come through again at the finish to make an oddly pleasant combination of flavors. Hoppy chocolate?

M- Rich and smooth. Thick, and creamy with a moderate-light carbonation that really compliments.

O- A really nice brew. Seems pretty unique at this point, combining the newer "American Black Ale" and Imperial IPA styles. Things work really well together. It's difficult to explain. It's something of a hoppy Imperial Stout, but not really. Glad I bought it. At around $2.50 for a single, it's not an everyday beer, but certainly doesn't break the bank. I would buy it again. (1,329 characters)

Photo of BellsFan
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Deluged into a Lakefront twelve ounce glass from a bottle of the same volume. Halfway through the pour on to the side of the tilted glass there was no noticeable foaming. Because I'm a proponent of foam (I think it releases more aroma) I continued the pour directly into the beer with an eye toward generating some aromatic foam. My technique must have been flawed because I only managed to make an eighth inch of brown foam that quickly scattered into nothing.

Nose. Amazing green hops.

Taste. Bitter, tart, resonous, delicious.

Mouthfeel. Full, spicy.

Overall. Get me another! Oh wait, how much alcohol is in this? (636 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with some ruby highlights. A creamy, thin tan head stays, leaving some lacing.

The smell is strongly of pine with some tropical fruits. There is a "black" undertone - more like anise/black licorice than of smoke (which is good - doesn't clash - lets hops really shine through).

The taste is of sweet resin/pine with a touch of tropical fruits. The "black" character adds a touch of licorice, with just a hint of roast. There is a bitter, boozy bite in the finish. Chocolate comes through in the after-taste.

The body reaches close enough to full-bodied to fit. It is between creamy and slick. The carbonation is under-stated, which works well enough in this case. A touch more carbonation would probably give it a more velvety feel, but it is creamy/velvety enough not to tinker with it.

This is a potent, hoppy - mainly piney - black ale. I do have issues with the term "Double India Pale Ale" on the label - as it should just say what it is - a hoppy American Black Ale, but as for the beer - it's nice - if you like piney beers that have a boozy character with some black (licorice/chocolate) traits - and is balanced enough not to be just pine sap - give this one a shot! Well-done! (1,202 characters)

Photo of RedSpecial1
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, verging on black with about an inch of light brown head that slowly dwindles until only a thinn layer is left on the surface of the beer.

S: Roasty malt notes on the bottom with citrus and pine aromas floating above.

T: Hop bitterness up front followed by some thick roasted malt flavors that fade into some nice hop pine notes which linger.

M: Fairly light on the tongue while still having a bit of residual sweetness. The astringency from the dark malts and hops balance the sugar out so it isn't overbalanced one way or the other.

O: A solid BIPA. They combine the dark flavors with the hops in a balanced way that keeps the astringency from being too much, but while still keeping this a pretty sippable beer. Especially considering its ABV. Definitely worth a try. (796 characters)

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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA from Arcadia Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.