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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: 332
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 84 | Hads: 332
Photo of StoutHunter
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of alexgash
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Silky black coloring yields a relatively substantial head the wicked away quickly and left no lacing.

Very interesting scent as its advertised an IPA but has a nice creamy milk stout quality. Subtle malt aroma ends the nose.

Lots of roasted coffee taste with chocolate malt and roasted grain flavor. It distinguishes itself more for what it is not than what it is; No IPA character, as the label suggests, but nice black ale character in taste, scent and feel.

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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 buschbeer
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with hints of red and a nice tan head with good lacing

S-dark malt, citrus, pine, slightly herbal

T-citrus, dark malt, earthy, pine, slight sweetness, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a solid black IPA, good flavor and body

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Photo of elNopalero
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a warming dark cola-black with cocoa foam. I get an upfront roasty malt profile with a pronounced roast on the palate cut by some bitterness and a touch of piney grapefruit hops. It’s malty and more sweet than dry, with enough going on to place it in my mind as more ‘hoppy porter’ than ‘black IPA.’ Tasty and enjoyable even as it warms.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a short ,tan head of foam.
Aroma-Dank, resinious hops
Taste-Roasty,mocha coffee, then onrush of those dank, resin hops that throw off the balance of flavor in my opinion. Finishes dry and unsettled.
not terrible, but I was hoping for better.

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Photo of david131
4.25/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty black with a one finger head and not bad thin spots of fine lace.

Astringent smell with piney notes, lots of hops, burnt malts, some alcohol.

Taste is very piney, lots of hops again, chocolate, roasted and burnt malts, a little dark fruit.

Body is kind of slick, low on carbonation, a little syrupy, alcohol is quite notable going down with plenty of warming.

Overall it's pretty tasty but won't be one of my favorites from Arcadia.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty well impenetrable black, with a hint of ruby highlights. Thick head of tan foam, but distinct lack of any lacing on my pint glass.

Aroma: Sticky citrus hops, big roasty malts, some fruit. Seems like a balance, though.

Taste: Very strong — lots of sweetness from the malts melding with a bitter citrus hops presence. In fact, it’s so cloying it’s actually boozy. There are also detectable notes of dark fruit and leather, even some peat, which goes way against this one being a “black IPA”. But that’s splitting hairs. This is a bold and boozy brew (at 8.5%) and not one I’d care to revisit.

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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 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 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 jwinship83
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the bavarian lodge. served in a snifter.

A- this one comes to me looking very dark brown with a small khaki colored head. the head quickly becomes no more than a crown and doesnt leave behind much if any lacing.

S- roasted malts and a little bit of chocolate are the first things i pick up in the nose. after that i get some dark fruits and a bit of coffee. floral and herbal hops at the end.

T- the taste starts out with lightly roasted malts and a little bit of sweet milk chocolate. after that i pick up faint raisin notes with some figs also. then comes some coffee. floral and herbal hops at the end.

M- medium body with ample carbonation. very smooth. nicely bitter.

D- this was easy enough to finish. id try this one again if i could find it in a bottle. one of the better arcadia beers ive had in a while.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, near-black with red at the edges of the glass when held up to light. Decent cappuccino coloured head and lacing.

Stunning aroma of roasted malts with a pine backbone. Roasted dark malts also feature in the taste, as expected, but this beer also has delightful tropical fruits and citrus elements. The high 8.5% ABV is terrifyingly well hidden, with only a hint of an alcohol burn in the finish.

A well balanced "cascadian" or "black" IPA that's a real pleasure to drink. Would highly recommend.

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Photo of bnes09
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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

12 oz bottle. no bottled on date.

A: dark brown body. slightly off white head. good retention and lacing.

S: hoppy. piney and resinous. roasted grain is there but cant overcome the hops. this thing is definitely a black ipa.

T: a little of vanilla on the body. the bitterness is backed immediately by the sweetness of the grain. linger is milk chocolate combined with bittersweet chocolate. the body is mostly bitter and hoppy, but there is some dark grain that reminds you of the style that it represents.

M: moderate to sub-moderate amount of carb.

D: pretty tasty black ipa. wouldnt hate for a little more body or lingering sweetness to fill up the body. otherwise really solid.

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Photo of BB1313
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A-very dark brown, almost black with a nice tan head

S-an odd mix of coffee and citrus, also a bit of oreo crumbs, which i find nice. good strength

T-comes in more or less how it smells. Upfront it's mostly oreo crumbs and coffee beans with an underlying citrusy hops flavor. lack of bitterness. the after-taste is mostly of espresso beans. it's a good flavor, just really not all that much to it.

M-medium dry carbonation with a dry finish

O-it's really an okay beer. it's even okay as a black ale. i could see this being mistaken as a citrusy porter. the abv isn't apparent at all. i think most black ale fans might not like this, a bit light on hops possibly. as easy as this is to drink, i don't recommend it or think i'll get it again in any situation.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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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 jtierney89
1.65/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep hazelnut color with light mocha sticky head. Can tell right off the bat that this is gonna be a big beer based on the nose alone.

Lots of earthy and citric hop resin on the nose. Touch of licorice and pine-sol, some phenolics, soapiness, throat lozenges. Dark fruit some rubbing alcohol.

Taste is strange. Big body, good carbonation. Layered in a strange way hits ya from back to front. Chocolate, burnt malts, some plastic like taste with some citrus hop profile. Drinkable but I feel like it wasn't thought out enough. comes at you in weird layers with flavors that dont exactly pair up perfectly.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. The pour is very dark and nearly black with just a hint of brown where some light escapes through. It has a very thin head that evaporates quickly. The nose is pretty pronounced and impressive. Lots of roasty notes, some licorice, and a really interesting phenomenon. The sweet malty notes and citrusy hops contribute a note to the aroma that can best be described as lemonheads candy. Surprisingly, this is the first time I have noticed this particularly redolent aroma on a beer.

Medium body and nice balanced flavor. There are just enough roasty coffee-like there to cut through the hops and identify this as a black IPA. The hops still come through on the back of the palate as a nice lemony complement to the roastiness, which lingers a bit on the finish. Very drinkable. This beer would go really well with a grilled steak.

I had this beer at a beer tasting some time ago and decided to pick up a single for a detailed review. As the roastiness is somewhat subdued, this beer would be a good introduction to someone new to black IPAs before they try something with more intense roastiness like Stone's SSRA. On a side note, I never would have thought that coffee and lemon complement each other, yet both flavors can be found here and the combination is intriguing.

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