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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 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 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 kzoobrew
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Shakespeare's, served in a pint glass.

The body is black at first glance though when held to the light a deep brown with cherry red hues appear. By the time the glass arrived at the tables there was zero head but a scant amount of white lacing was left clinging to the very top of the glass.

The aroma was quite balanced. A healthy amount of roasted malt pairs with an equally impressive hop bouquet. The hop aroma ranges from piny, to citrus and reaches into a bit of floral aromas. There is not one particular aroma which stands out, it is the balance that earns a high score.

The aroma perfectly sets up the palate for what's to come. A moderate roasted malt flavor emerges from the glass. The hops appear more towards the midpalate. A bit of a piny bite up front leads into a citric sweetness. What really surprised my with B. Craft is the combination of the dark malt and citric hop flavors blended leaving a bit of a dark fruit taste. Black berry with hints of cherry meld into the deep malt and bright hops.

B. Craft is on the heavier side of medium bodied. The carbonation is lively and the texture smooth. The finish is on the drier side though a bit of the roastiness lingers.

It is a crying shame that Arcadia does not bottle this one. I do enjoy many of the offerings from Arcadia but can honestly say this is my favorite. Went down very easily and could see have a couple in a sitting. While many may not have the opportunity to enjoy this one, jump on it if you see it.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown with a half finger worth of head. Leaves decent lacing.

S - Smells like a strong hit of pine, burnt malt, and some weak vanilla. It's like an IPA met a Porter.

T - A strong burnt malt upfront, Met in the middle by an odd tropical grape flavor. More grape follows through in the finish and it sweetens as it goes down. The taste also gains a heavy vegetable-like quality as you get closer to the bottom of the glass.

M- The mouthfeel unlocks even more burnt malt and weak toffee. The longer it sits, The more obvious it becomes that it is an 8.5% beer.

O - Overall, This was a solid beer, with an interesting flavor, but once again, Arcadia has not astounded me.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours pretty much opaque. Amazing dark chocolate pine aroma. Very piney. Almost like Pine-Sol. Tastes piney hoppy with some dark chocolate, but also a touch watery towards the finish, which is piney, a bit boozy and pretty bitter. A little to prickly in the mouthfeel with the carbonation. Maybe a little bit of black pepper before the finish. Overall, it's pretty delicious.

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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 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 AwYeh
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into nonic pint. Reviewed to a 3 average, with style heavily in mind concerning ASTM.

A: Pours a nearly opaque black color, with reddish fringes around the edges. There's just a thin coating of tan head on this glass, but some spotty lacing still manages to remain.

S: This beer has a pretty complex smell, anchored by roasted malts and black licorice. Particular aromas include an initial burst of grapefruit, strong pine hops, black licorice, earthy hops, and alcohol.

T: Fairly earthy, with big bursts of licorice and alcohol on the finish, along with piny and citrus hops. Oddly, the taste is quite weak before the finish; as I hold the beer in my mouth, its flavor is quite faint, with just a bit of roasted chocolate malts, mint, and pine hops showing up. Once the flavor does get bigger on the finish, I don't know that I'm the biggest fan of how its components mesh. There's a lot going on, but the more abrasive (alcohol, licorice) flavors seem to stand out and detract from the others. A light soapy flavor as the beer warms doesn't lend it any favors.

M: Fairly thin-bodied, but well-carbonated which lends a considerable creaminess. Rather smooth, with a lightly dry finish.

O: This seems like a pretty standard Black IPA. I enjoyed my glass, but its piny hops coupled with roasted malt, black licorice, and alcohol flavors didn't make the beer stand out for me. I am not the biggest licorice fan (but have grown to appreciate it in other beers), so this still may be one for you to seek out. Despite the slightly below average rating in taste (made with style heavily in mind), I think this is a slightly above average beer overall. Reviewing seems to have drawn me to my least favorite characteristics of it, whereas I enjoyed it a bit more after the review finished and I was simply drinking it for the enjoyment that beer inherently brings.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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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 patpbr
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours black but with almost no head
S- First smell was hops then malt.
T- Pine hops, citrus and chocolate. bitter. The roast malt balances it out.
M- Medium body the alcohol is present on the finish.
O- unique and worth a try. I don't think I would drink more then one in a sitting.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired during 7AM happy hour at Logan's Alley, this brew filled a pint glass with a magnificent, rich brown capped by a tan head. The nose was ripe with hop character and roasted darkness. The great malt character of this beer, with its mild roasted tones and subdued sweetness, mingled well with the hopping to produce a smooth and utterly drinkable brew while still boasting a large profile.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of jale
3.17/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on cask at the brewery. They added ghost chilis to the mix.

A:Pours a clear brown with little head.

S: Very hoppy with slight hops.

T: Hop forward as it should be. Light sweet malt. Heat from the ghost chili continues to build in the finish along with a nice hop bitterness.

M: Thin and lacking carbonation.

D: One is enough

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Photo of BellsFan
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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?

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Photo of Trent
4.81/5  rDev +23.3%
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.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is rich black, with hints of brown. It has a very fluffy head with great lacing.

Nose is dense, with cigar smoke, roasted malt, and tight hops.

Taste is malty, with very dark chocolate, rich cigar smoke, candied nuts, with a spiced finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and easygoing; great balance to the heavy, dense flavors.

Overall, this is a great Black Ale: smoky, dense, but never overwhelming. And all the flavors compliment each other.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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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 tito42
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of b3shine
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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 :(

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Photo of kdmcguire10
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

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