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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia B-Craft Black IPAArcadia B-Craft Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 328
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 24.1%
Wants: 9
Gots: 30 | 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: 328
Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Great retention & lacing

S: Woody hops, dark fruit

T: Follows the nose, much dryness & a bit of boooze bite up front. Some pineyness & figs as this warms, more dryness, some leafy hops too, a touch of raisin. Finishes dry, fruitty & with woody hops, just a bit of orange peel

MF: Fairly thick, low carbonation, okay balance

Seems more like an English Barleywine to me, not bad, just not hop-centric enough to please me

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Photo of krustster
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

I poured just a tiny bit into my glass and immediately had to stop because the head reached the top of the glass and threatened to spill over. UUuuuaauuuhhh god man. It looks fluffy and inviting, but a little too ridiculous since it's taken me over 5 minutes to pour the whole bottle into my glass. The beer itself is very dark brown, not black and more transparent than a stout, but certainly qualifies as a black ale. It's been almost 10 minutes and I still haven't finished pouring the bottle; the head is absolutely ridiculous. It looks like a root beer float and isn't going away any time soon. Still going strong at two "fingers". This isn't necessarily a bad thing but kind of inconvenient and possibly over carbonated.

Things pick up a bit once you start sniffing. Sweet citrus, "roasted malts" and "dark fruits", making this one smell like a cross between a lighter stout and a regular DIPA. Seems pretty interesting.

Taste is, once again, somewhere between a lighter stout and a DIPA. The roasted malts and sweetness/coffee flavors are battling to the death with the citrus hops inside of my mouth. On one hand, there's next to no balance between the flavors. On the other hand, I like them both, so it's okay. Bitterness is present throughout the entire profile rather than just on the finish. I like it, but it's confusing and lacking in complexity because everything sort of jumbles together.

Mouth feel is fairly thin and very high in carbonation. The CO2 itself seems to contribute to the bitter/metallic fruit taste. I think this was the main downfall of the beer for me: way too much carbonation. The huge globs of soap suds from the beginnning of my review are still there, nearly half an hour later.

In closing, I'm glad I tried this one; it's rather different and fun to drink, but the flavors are very disjointed and the carbonation is way too high. When all is said and done, this comes across as more of a lighter stout--high in coffee flavors, low in body, high in carbonation--than anything like a DIPA. I don't worry too much about styles but when drinking this one, it's obvious that they were going for something that didn't quite happen. Still a tasty beverage that just falls short a bit.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich chocolate pour is dense black in the vessel. A mocha tinted head has a beautiful coloring, sadly is weak and washy, refusing to hold to give you a lasting visual even after constant agitation. Minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate coffee-roast and pine is most evident on the nose. A touch of dark licorice, burnt citrus bitterness with a strength a bit under par for a advertised.

T: Roasty pine bitterness, citrus and dark licorice first meets the taste buds. Rich coffee, vanilla with a dark roasty bitterness that was fresh and very smooth and polished. Hop bitterness level was good, some roasted barley, burnt flowery bitterness and coffee on the finish.

M: light to medium body, oily slickness texture with a quiet carbonation factor. Huge roasted bitterness on the swallow with signs of black licorice (sambuca type alcohol) coming upon warming and stay.

O: Overall while the nose could of used a bit more ummph the flavor was generally good and easy consuming material for casual affairs.

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Photo of carlborch
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a 2-inch tan head. The initial nose suggests toasted grain, smokiness, and density. Medium full body with rich, smoky notes on the palate. Nice bitter lingering. Belgian lace. The ABV is not noticeable. Modest carbonation. Delicious. Would be excellent with grilled and smoked food. Will seek again.

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Photo of Omnium
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Sensory Pilsner Glass

A - Pours dark ruby brown, very very thin head, medium lacing.
S - Lots of roasted malt, toasted grains, some earthy hops, and a little chocolate, even a little honeydew.
T - Sweetness of the malt stands out, and then comes in dry earthy and piney hops. A minor chocolate taste and more of the roasts are at the end.
M - Thicker and chewy, definitely some warmth from the alcohol as it goes down.
O - I dont think the full potential of this brew were brought out. The hops are a little subdued and more of the roasted malt takes over, and the ABV accompanied with the burn lend this more to a hopped porter.

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Photo of lochef81
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This ale pours a dark brown almost black hue with a large and lasting light tan head. The aroma is malty with some notes of coffee and chocolate. This one sips light and smooth for an ale with its abv. The flavor is almost reminiscent of root beer with a sweet roasty maltiness accented by notes of vanilla, coffee, and creme soda. This is by no means a bad black ipa but given some of the other offerings out there, it makes one wonder why you would try this witb so many much better offerings out there.

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Photo of emerge077
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Odd single in the cooler at Warehouse, hadn't seen before, hopefully fresh.
Code on the bottom reads "153 12 BIE 0351", if the date is the first part: May or June 2012... 4 months old.

Pours black into a mug, a sticky collar of light tan lacing adheres inside the glass, leaving behind a delicate web of lacing. Pretty good head retention as well.

Aroma is fairly subdued, mildly roasty, light herbal hops.

Flavor carries a slight citrus sweetness,medium bodied with a fair amount of roasted malt comprising the main flavor accent. Moderately bitter with a drying finish that is somewhat chalky in feel. A textbook IBA, nothing too wild but it's drinkable with a good hop character to it.

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Photo of mfavoino
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled poured into a pint glass on 9/1/12.

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black with minimal head that is off white in color.

Smell: Pretty bold dark roasted malts and a touch of vanilla. Can't get a hold on the hops.

Taste: Dark roasted malts, burnt brown sugar, and a moderately earth hop bit and booze heat as it finishes.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to full-body, low carbonation and noticeable alcohol warmth.

Overall: Fairly straightforward, not overly hoppy black IPA.

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Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep brown color. The head is a tan, thick foam. Some brownish-ruby highlights when held to the light. Murky. The smell is great...roasts malt, earth, smoke and charcoal...nice hop scents...resin and spice. It has a sugary, malt flavor, and a very sharp hop bitterness. Hoppy and flavorful. The mouthfeel is full and thick. This beer was enjoyable and worth having again.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks elliot

Pours an opaque blackness with a finger-high toasted head resting on top. Slowly fades into a bubbly collar of retention with some cloudy film retaining. Spotty lacing dots the glass while drinking.

Pleasant dose of pine and citrus hops in the nose, nice bitterness with underlying boozy warmth. Roasted dark malts and light chocolately sweetness.

Biting, resiny pine hops right up front. Sticky on the teeth with a touch of grapefruit rind and pith. Roasted dark malts with cocoa and nuttiness. The backbone is formidable, but still struggles to burst through the slightly abrasive hop profile. Light caramel and cocoa powder sweetness. Finishes bitter, dry and long with a boozy punch.

Medium body, nice carbonation, sticky and a bit rough on the tongue. This is a pretty solid black DIPA, although the alcohol and strong pine hops can combine to become somewhat of an overwhelming force at times.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Completely black in apperance with a nice tan ring around the top, very minimal head, left a tiny bit of lacing around the glass as you drank it.

S: Smokeyness up front, some hints of chocolate, pronounced malt notes all around, subtle nose on this brew.

T: Not to sweet on the tongue, lots of malt characters coming through, as well as pine and some chocolate on the tailend.

M: Easy drinker, not a great amount of carbonation, slight stickyness as well, medium to light mouthfeel.

O: Definitely a good Black IPA, I enjoyed this one, good subtle flavors and not to boozie like others that I have like this beer.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pitch black with some mocha head and some spotty lacing.

S - Fruity, malty, faint hops, cherries.

T - Malt forward, chocolate, warming alcohol, raisins, cherries, finishes with a snap of hops. Dry aftertaste.

O - Heavy hitting Black IPA - a nice offering from Arcadia.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark with some prune-brown tones. Small lip of foam became a ring pretty quickly.

Mellow earthy nose with a languid hoppiness and smooth maltiness in the balance. Lightly fruity. Not particularly roasty.

Spicy pine and woodiness, blanched by stewy roast malts and notes of unsweetened chocolate. Bit of a boozy sting. Almost rosy. Finishing bitterness gets a little intense. Dominated by grain and earth. Not dirty, but a little woody. Hints of dark fruits or berries. Almost port-like in the finish, only super-dry.

Smooth and a little oily. Biting carbonation toward the end punctuated by the bitterness. Alcohol turns out to be a whole lot sneakier.

Pretty good black ale. A DIPA is a bit of a stretch. Still enjoyable.

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Photo of biegaman
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia misguidedly labels this beer a Double IPA despite that it uses enough dark malts to virtually turn it opaque. Though relatively light for an American Black Ales, it's black nonetheless. Heck, even its head isn't entirely white; the surface is encircled by a dirt brown foam.

The aroma has the desired coffee-and-cream sweetness and is blended with leaves and herbals, but it's all a bit sapless (pun intended) by my tastes - there isn't the resinous pine notes that I (and most hopheads) fiend for. I've come to expect my Black IPAs to smell like a tree that's been dissected into two... whereas this merely smells like I'm in a treehouse.

The taste, fortunate for me, offers a more vivid glimpse of the hops; spruce and pine grow in stature but not as much as the citrus notes; the flavour is like a strongly-steeped black tea blended with lemon myrtle. It is earthy, bitter, herbaceous and lightly, faintly tropical. There's also a flash of coffee on the finish that provides a juxtaposing kind of flavour...

And texture! This modest and subdued beer proves to have a fairly roasty aftertaste, however short-lived; the impression of burnt grain comes built-in to the finish but, for all its pent-up bitterness and roast, little interferes with drinkability. Ditto the 8.5% alcohol. At 85 IBUs this has a kind of profile that could appease both hop-heads and stout or porter fans.

For a well-hopped beer that is almost 9% and contains a good amount dark malts, B-Craft Black is surprisingly approachable to just about anyone. Sure, some will react by spitting and running as far as possible from this considerably bitter, comparatively bold offering but, on the whole, it's an ale that marries dark malt and bright hoppy flavours in a mild and engaging fashion. Good stuff.

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Photo of Ego
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

audible head starts with loud fizzle and then settles down, off white head hovers around that for some time (ie good retention), lacing is good, black in appearance but not a pit of unearthly blackness, upon close inspection you can catch the streams of suds rising up to the surface, pretty nice looking

on first pop the hops dominate, but after this settles for a minute you get some nice roasted malt tones, not a dark roast, somewhere residing in the medium range with whisps of faint smoke, some of the juicy nature of the hops is always lurking in the background, a nice balance

taste etc...
immediate bitterness that melds into some sweetness and then lingers in roast tones, all are sort of mid range and not strong or competing, medium in the mouth with sort of underwhelming carbonation, the further you go on in the glass the roast tones become slightly more pronounced, the ABV taps you on the shoulder but is pretty well in the back for the most part (kudos), in the medium zone weight wise (just right)

a tasty version with some kick, better executed than many black IPAs but lacks the deep roast or top hops of the best, a very good beer though. definitely grab one if you see it, well rounded!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown, not quite black body with only a touch of a head. The faintest of collars around a translucent edge at the surface.

Smell - Some musty pine hops, but it isn't hop dominant. The hops are well balanced by a chocolate and caramel malt.

Taste - Pine hops throughout, which is nice. The chocolate is consistent with just a hint of sweetness shining through. It gets more bitter throughout without ever getting heavy on the malts.

Mouthfeel - Like a light, overhopped RIS. Never too sweet. Never too bitter. Nicely balanced without being a hop bomb of a black IPA.

Overall - I usually like hoppier black IPAs, but this is quite nice. There is a strange aftertaste that is there and gone in an instant. So brief I can't really identify it, so I won't peg it back for it.

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Photo of Tone
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hop oils, slight floral hops, pine, slight roasted malt, and a hint of sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight roasted malt, hint of floral hops, hop oils, citrus hops, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and body. The blend and complexity are a little lacking.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa since I hadn't given this a go and I wanted something darker to go with the cooler nights that are finally starting to set in. Because this beer was so accessible and easy to enjoy, this was a good choice and a solid example of the style. The alcohol was quite high but thankfully, not too pronounced when it came to the flavor and mouthfeel.

This had a dark pour to it, as to be expected, with a fair amount of head and just a bit of garnet around the edges. Not a lot of lacing to be seen either and the aroma wasn't that strong. What I could detect in the nose was a strong amount of peat moss, as if this were a Scotch Ale. The mouthfeel was not sticky and there was a good amount of roasted malt and burnt sugar in the taste. Not a lot of hops to be felt and with the carbonation being low, this almost reminded me of a Schwarzbier. The bitterness kicked up in the aftertaste with some earthiness and metallic notes to this but everything worked well together and the slight burn lasted for a while, long after I finished off each sip.

To be certain, this was strong and took a little while to fully savor. I didn't taste the booze and it didn't detract from the dark flavors but by the time I got to the end of the bottle, it had already sneaked up on me and caught me off-guard. Once I was past that, there wasn't much not to like here and this was a good example of what a black IPA should be. With more and more beers of this style hitting store shelves every year, better versions can be easily found but fans of Arcadia or beers that are strong and heavy will find enough to like here.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A heavy pour delivered a finger of tan head over a deep brown body. Lacing can't quite hold on to the sides.

Mmm-mmm, this smells good. Grapefruit and pine start off the aroma, and its quickly followed up with brown sugar and passionfruit.

The hops on the flavor here are very mixed. I get grassy, orangey, grapefruit and pine. Conglomeration actually doesn't seem to go as well as I would expect, but it's still good. Brown sugar, light crackers and caramel finish off the end with just a hint of bakers chocolate and passionfruit.

Good carbonation bite, medium body. A little sticky on the back of the tongue, definitely dry.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Arcadia.

A- Pours a dark brown lightly blackened color. One finger mocha colored head shows good retention. Good streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Malts on the nose give way to light roasted front. Piney hops on the backing of this with some light citrus hints here and there. There is a light bitterness in the aroma overall. A muted black IPA overall though in the aroma.

T- Nice roasted malts upfront with a light floral hop flavor. Chocolate notes in the middle of the beer itself with a light soapy taste. Slight bitterness in the ending of the beer with a return of the roasted flavors.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light for a IPA but I think it does the beer justice. Clean flavors with a light overall soapy flavor. Roasted malts left on the palate with some light hops in the aftertaste.

D- This was good flavored black IPA I thought. Arcadia seems to be on the ball and coming up with newer more flavorful beers. Do yourself a favor and try this beer out.

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Photo of srv33
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near-black into my wine glass, a thin and beautiful light brown head with very fine lacing. Scents of chocolately malt are balanced with a more delicate smelling hop profile. Taste is of dark, thick, almost lactic malts very well balanced with a lighter hop component - very un-IPA like. But I love it for that, its quite well balanced. Mouthfeel is where it really shines though, very smooth, thick and creamy like that of a milk stout. Well recommended, a surprising brew and very well put together, likely my favorite from Arcadia yet.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a tannish head. In the aroma, big citrus hops and a small caramel like malt. In the taste, dryer orange citrus hops, somewhat minty even. A small hop bite, but mainly smooth and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dryer orange citrus and small maltiness in the aftertaste. Nice big hops, and a nice balance of flavor between orange citrus and caramel malt.

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sycamore.

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a two-finger, light brown head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine with a touch of citrus. Nice roasted malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted strongly of pine with a burnt toast maltiness. Nice chocolate and caramel flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - Very cool to get a tap only offering here in Columbia. Thanks, Sanford. Very nice brew!

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with clear amber highlights and a dense one inch khaki head that lingers.

Aroma begins strangely, with a fruity, strawberry note, accompanied by roasted malt and a touch of chocolate. As it warms, the strawberry scent becomes more citrusy, breaking down as grapefruit and a bit of catty hops.

Flavor is initially roast malt, somewhat sweet, which forms a solid backbone to complement the citrus hop background. Notes of chocolate and coffee add complexity, while grapefruit, tropical fruit, and earthy hops lead into a slightly bitter, resiny finish.

Body is fairly thick, oily, with low carbonation, finishing slightly astringent, with significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, a very interesting beer. Alcohol is a bit hot, but the hop profile is complex, and the malt flavors support the hop character without dominating. A little on the sweet side, but worth a try!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I remember really enjoying this stuff during my birthday's visit to a trade show last year, so expectations are high to begin with this time. Full disclosure, I guess. This stuff pours a deep, dark sienna topped by a finger of tan-cream foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light blackened pretzel, dry pine resin, and a touch of straight booze tossed in for good measure. The taste brings in more of the same, softening the resin, getting rid of the booze entirely, and adding a faint hint of hickory smoke. Nice. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a very nice black IPA, one that lived up to my pleasant memories in every way save the smell (which, to be fair, was probably getting pretty weak by the time I got to this one last year...).

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