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Summit Black Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Summit Black AleSummit Black Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

148 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.96%


Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jera1350 on 10-31-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 70 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

on tap at devils den

Pours a nearly blacked out color with some almost reddish hues. Heavy, frothy tanned head sits on top, retaining well with layers of lacing on the glass.

Soft scents of citrus hops with roasted malts. Hint of light smoke and dark chocolate. A bit sweet, fairly muted though.

Really light touch of hoppiness up front with a touch of grapefruit. Unusual metallic smokiness wrapped up in roasted dark malts. Touches of dark chocolate and caramel. Light dryness towards the finish with lingering off-putting smoke.

Lighter medium body, high carbonation, prickly and watery on the tongue. Drinks terribly. The smokiness wasn't enjoyable at all, and I struggled to detect hops in both the nose and taste. A-?? We must not be experiencing the same beer at all here.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2011 17:38:03 | More by xnicknj
Photo of wac9
wac9

Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

too bad a great looking beer that the hops sticks in the back of your thoart, i tired but cant drink it too hoppy . wife thought the reviews sounded good and i gave it a shot too bad for me pours a great black in a glass but thats it , if you like black beer and hoppy then enjoy if not move on

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 02:04:08 | More by wac9
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Finally found a 'black ale' that knocked me on my ass (in a good way), so back to the hunt. Picked up a single of this in a good Unchained series, 12 oz. bottle.

Pour is black, though a lighter black, probably nineteen minutes before midnight. Evident carbonation. Sehr schon roast & chocolate up the nose, drift-sock into porter territory.

Black Ale Unchained #8 is another gender-confused beer in the black ale vein. The hops & the roast clash like Atari 2600 graphics. Hard roasted coffee pine ash malt? Yes! Someone made this work, but here, it's just unsettling. Not bad, the sum of the parts just doesn't work.

Glad I only bought a single. Not bad, not good, just kind of a mess. Mediocre.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 03:01:06 | More by maximum12
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown with red edges and two fingers of light brown head.

Smells of orange with some cocoa and light roasted notes.

Light roasted and cocoa notes with some light hints of orange and pine.

A little thin and moderate carbonation with a drying, dark chocolate finish.

Falls with the characteristics of the style but not my thing... I'd prefer a heavier body.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 01:47:07 | More by samie85
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Poured about an ounce in the glass and the head swelled up to the top of the glass. I gave it a few minutes to simmer down a little and continued to pour slow and carefully. Pours a dark black color with a huge light tan head with lacing all over the glass.
 
S- The aroma is dark malts and some hops. The aroma seems a little diluted, I was hoping for a little more in the nose.

T- The taste is dark roasted malts with a nice amount of hops in the finish. The taste is definitely more flavorful than the weaker aroma would suggest.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, a decent brew but not something I would purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 02:42:39 | More by cjgator3
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a solid, half glass full of beige head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma is fairly complex, with chocolate, roast malt, rubber, and floral hops surfacing initially. There's a hint of hairspray.

Flavor is strange. Hairspray is again evident, perfumey, with bitter roast malt in the background, finishing fairly bitter due to hops. There's some subtle chocolate that is overpowered by the bitterness present. Grapefruit pith emerges as it warms, and more citrus and piney hops surface.

Body is moderate, with high carbonation and a fairly astringent, harsh grainy finish. Carbonation lifts the flavor right off the palate.

Originally thought this may have been a bad bottle. Took 10 minutes to pour the full beer. But it opened up as it sat for a bit. Not one I'll revisit.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 05:49:08 | More by barczar
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 18 October 2011. Enjoyed 4 Feb 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown, clear at the edges but nearly black in the center. One finger of medium tan head, decent retention and lacing.

Smell is faint. Not much hop presence - the dark roasted malts come through clearly. But I want more; more hops, more vibrancy, more something.

Taste is a step up, but still rather flat. I get bitter coffee in the back end, boosting the mild bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel is decent. Medium body, enough carbonation. Not bad, not great.

I find this beer totally drinkable, but not much more than that. I don't get much from the hops, other than a medium bitterness in the taste. I'm just lukewarm about it all around.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 03:56:29 | More by zeledonia
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a generic glass in St. Paul, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high.

A: Pours a one finger head of lovely soft cream lacing, fairly good thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Nice chocolate and roast, with some coffee and cream. Hoppy above all else, which is surprising.

T: Hoppy. Very hoppy. But delightfully creamy on the finish. Very light roast is also present. A nicely built, surprisingly balanced black ale.

Mf: Very smooth and wet, suiting the flavour generally. Wonderfully soft.

Dr: Very drinkable for how hoppy it is. As a black ale, it's a success. I'd have it again. It hides its ABV well.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2011 23:56:34 | More by kojevergas
Photo of WastingFreetime
WastingFreetime

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Pours out a very dark brown color with two fingers of tan head that lasts for about two minutes, and leaves behind medium amounts of lacing. Medium body and somewhat higher carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes of medium levels of straightforward resinous hopping, some roasted and caramel malts, and a garnish of smokiness. It could stand a bit more dryness towards the finish to be balanced closer to my personal palate preferences.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2012 20:08:53 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of SurlyTwinsFan pours a near-black color with a few reddish highlights. Head is nice and rich, creamy and dense. Great lacing.

Nose is roasty and orange-pithy with some pine and chocolate aromas in tow. Smells good.

Taste is not as bitter as I was expecting, which is nice. The hops kinda flow all the way from flavoring to a sharp middle and lingers long on the back of the tongue. Roast is the main malty component and could use a little depth and boost...maybe some chocolate or caramel flavors would be nice? The malt side of the beer is a little flabby, but not a bad brew. Solid but does not have any 'zing' factor that makes some of the other Black IPAs keep you coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 23:13:44 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Always nice to see the Unchained brews at Bliss tastings. Good man, Scott. This stuff pours a dark garnet-brown topped by a finger of dusty dark tan foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light dark chocolate, light orange zest, and a touch of vague tropical fruit (can't quite tell which one just yet...). The taste alters the program slightly: the roast and chocolate are kept static, but the hops shift from fruity to pine-y, with some decent resin and light leek notes really coming through hard. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a solid CDA, another strong effort from the Unchained series. Now why couldn't the standard brews hold up this well?

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 21:21:05 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of a build-your own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. No freshness date.

The beer poured a very dark brown color with a huge 4-finger fast rising tan head, so be careful with the pour. Frustratingly long retention with an incredible amount of lacing on the glass.

Nice roasted malt aroma with some orange citrus in the background.

Dry cocoa powder flavor along with roasted malt and lots of citrusy orange hops.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. More on the dry side than sweet.

A very hoppy and bitter black ale. Decent, but not my favorite beer of this style.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 01:56:22 | More by matjack85
Photo of mobius387
mobius387

Florida

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pint glass

appearance: pours a dark brown thats actually slightly transluscent, medium sized brown head that dissipates shortly after.

aroma: i dont get much hop scent, but a nice malty chocolate thats on the lighter side of smells

palate: you feel the hop presences as this stings your mouth, not too carbonated and the flavor is strong while its sits inside. medium-full body

taste: nice roasty flavors, slight chocolate taste, and it would be very very good except for a lignering irony after taste that kind of brings things down

overall: a solid beer thats worth a pick up it you like roasty flavors. the iron after taste keeps this from being a top beer for me, but its still a nice choice with some good dark flavors.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 01:20:06 | More by mobius387
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a huge 3" merangue like head that lasts forever. Thick lace paints the glass.

Smell: roasted malts, some grapefruit and a bit of pine are picked up by the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, prunes, a bit of licorice, soft grapefruit, a bit of pine, and some earthy bitterness are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Very crisp to start, less crisp and a bit dry late.

Overall: an easy drinking ale, and one could have a few of these in a session. Well balanced and has a nice flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 21:23:08 | More by Gavage
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL
No bottled on date, but "13011108" stamped on label
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Pours a fairly huge head, more than 4cm even with a modest pour, of very light tan bubbles. The head has excellent retention, reducing to a 2cm cap atop the beer and leaving excellent, thick lacing. The body is an impenetrable brown-black color with amber highlights. Carbonation is visible streaking along the sides of the glass.

Pleasantly hoppy aroma with pine resin and grapefruit atop a backbone of roasted, chocolate, and caramel malts.

Flavor is roasted malt upfront, with hop bitterness present in the back. At this point, hop flavors are a bit blurred, but when more fresh, I suspect they were pine and grapefruit influenced. Chocolate seeps through from mid-palate onwards, perhaps being most obvious between mid and late-palate. Closes out a bit watery, but leaves a solid aftertaste of bitterness and some acridness from roasted malt.

Beer is medium-bodied with medium to medium-high carbonation and a bit of wateriness around the edges. At first, this drinks too carbonated, but the levels calm down after a few minutes of resting. Resultant mouthfeel is: generally smooth and slightly watery. Closes out medium-bodied with a bit of wateriness, leading to a very dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 23:10:21 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Sirwootalot
Sirwootalot

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very black with an auburn hue when held up to the light, with a thick foamy three-finger head that takes its time dying down. The smell is subtle roasted malts with a subtle, sweet hop aroma.
The beer is very drinkable and modest, with an initial wave of equal parts rich, roasted malt and subtle but copious hops making its way to a rush of bitter grapefruit. The mouthfeel is very dry and sticky, with no real sweetness; this is made up for by the unique flavor of the hops, which approaches something not unlike dried apricot. One of the driest beers i've ever had; it leaves a strangely pleasant near-cottonmouth feeling, which makes you go back for more. I'd never had a black ale before this, but I'm going to have to delve into it more - I love porters and IPAs, and this seems to be a subdued blend of the best of both worlds.

Whenever I see that a new entry has come out in the Unchained series, it's guaranteed that I'm going to try it. They've ranged from really tasty to flat-out incredible, and while this isn't one of the best they've done (That would have to go to the pumpkin porter), it's still fantastically good, and I imagine that there are a good many people who'd love to see it come back next year.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 02:37:49 | More by Sirwootalot
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a very deep and dark brown colour with mahoghany highlights. rich creamy head reduces down to a sticky film and sticky lace. dark roasted malt aroma showing some java and cocoa notes with a very pronounced hop aroma of the fruity variety...sort of a peachy/apricot/mango/spicy thing going on. very unique smelling. upon tasting the first thing that hits me is the malt profile which immediately reminded me of their great northern porter. a few more sips and the subtle nuances of a layered malt profile appear...dark unsweetened chocolate, a bit of coffee and char, hints of caramel and toffee, etc. all cloaked underneath an earthy, woody hoppiness that also is a bit complex in its uniqueness. a good deal of bitterness from both the hop profile and the charred malts compliment each other quite nicely. body and mouthfeel ying and yang each other in that the body seems full and well rounded while the mouthfeel gives it a lighter feel while retaining a smoothness and drinkability reminiscent their porter. it finishes quite dry and surprisingly clean.

overall this unchained offering of the CDA/BIPA variety comes across as well balanced and understatedly complex. recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 23:01:49 | More by budgood1
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown, one shade away from black. Huge and very frothy khaki head with great retention and amazing lacing.

S: Classic black IPA smell. Some resinous pine and citrus hops mixed with dark malts, coco and a hint of something sweet; maybe toffee or almost like chocolate milk? A hint of smokiness to it, probably from the roasted malt.

T: Citrus and slight pine hops up front, then comes the toasted malt with a touch of coco and coffee. A very mild hop presence in the aftertaste.

M: Medium body, softer carbonation. Pretty nice and a bit on the smooth/creamy side.

O: Pretty easy drinking. Goes down fast. Solid, but nothing really stands out about it.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 23:07:45 | More by herman77
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by spycow.

A - A brownish black colored beer with a bit of a tan head that rose up a couple of fingers and had moderate retention. Some minor lace on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, unsweetened chocolate, some citrus and herbal notes. A little bit of smoke. Smells pretty solid for the style.

T - More hops than in the nose, with citrus and herbal being the predominant varieties. There is some good roasted malts and a tannic bite on the end.

M - Medium bodied, a little creamy, moderate carbonation. Had a bit of a dry finish.

O - Nice beer, fairly easy to drink with some good "Black Ale" flavors. Would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 20:50:08 | More by AgentZero
Photo of THEFRANCH15E
THEFRANCH15E


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer: Summit Black Ale (Unchained Series)

Serving Type: Bottle (12 oz) (poured into pint glass)

Appearance: Very dark brown body with a finger's width tan frothy head.

Smell: I was expecting a stronger smell as I was pouring it but it has a really soft, subtle aroma to it. A bit of a malty aroma.

Taste: It has a strong bitter flavor to it and lingers a bit on the tongue. There's a nice balance to the hops and malt flavor and a bit of dark roast to it. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Creamy yet dry on the tongue.

Overall: After hearing about a new Summit "Unchained Series" released this week I tried finding it and found this instead. I must say it is a very drinkable Black Ale and glad I was able to try it before it disappears.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 01:06:05 | More by THEFRANCH15E
Photo of ChopperSmith
ChopperSmith

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby 12 oz. brown bottle into a clear Summit pint glass.

Appearance: Deep opaque brown, almost black, in color. A slight deep ruby tint when held to the light. A one and a half finger brown foam head faded slowly and left some good sticky lacing.

Smell: Malty and a good grapefruit-pine hops aroma blend well to make it an inviting aroma.

Taste: A good hoppy bitterness up front with pine and grapefruit flavors, then it smooths out quickly with a good dark roasted malt flavor that brings our some dark roast coffee and licorice flavors. Finishes very well balanced. This is a good disappearing act for the blast of hops and bitterness that greets you right up front.

Mouth feel: Medium body. Very bitter to start, less bitter in the middle, and mellow to finish.

Overall: A good Black IPA that delivers with the hops and the blend of dark roasted malts. Another good entry in the Summit Unchained series.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 02:57:57 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of devinoconnor
devinoconnor

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown / black color from the keg with little to no head.

Smell is hoppy as expected, but it doesn't overpower. Grass and chocolate on the nose as well.

Taste is citrus and spice, with some chocolate once again. Rather complex brew but balanced. Enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 00:06:11 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another oddball shared by Chris (spycow). Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Tan foam quickly settles to a few wispy patches, thin collar, and tiny spots of lace. Very dark brown body with a few lighter glints here and there.

S - Plenty of sugary malts, light roast, black patent malt, and earthy and herbal hops. As it warms there's a touch of smoke and citrus as well.

T - Perhaps a tad chalky, but otherwise a solid blend of roast, black patent, and light chocolate malts. Hop flavor imparts some light citrus character, and there's surprisingly low bitterness for the style. This grew on me the more it warmed up.

M - Medium body, lower carbonation, lightly grainy texture, and a fairly clean and dry finish.

D - I was a tad disappointed with the aroma, but this is one of the better takes on this style that I've had recently. If you dig Black IPAs grab a sixer, or check this out if it shows up on draft.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 07:48:33 | More by MasterSki
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoy by 032812 on neck of bottle

A- pours a dark mahogany color that is clear with some black cherry highlights a tan 1 finger head that fades to some sticky lacing

S- is earth and malty with dirt smells ,roasted malts and toffee with citrus hops

T- starts with strong hops citrus and bold,mix in roasted malts and some herbs and spice ,toffee and toasted bread

M- smooth and brisk with hop flavor, a creamy texture

O- hoppy and malty robust malts its a porter, an ipa a black ipa you choose ,it is however tasty and i enjoyed it

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 22:27:35 | More by gatornation
Photo of Kbogac
Kbogac

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the Summit Unchained Series. Batch 08, Black Ale.

Poured into a pint glass. Nice foam that slowly settles to a nice 1/4 inch that lasts throughout. Dark brown molasses color. The smell is different than I expected. The hop aroma is sort of friuty citrus and pine. Slight malt too. The taste is dark wheat and malt with the unique hop coming through. Come chocolate and mild bitterness. Nice but the unique hop gives it a different taste. Sort of unexpected. Generally a good beer. Being a black ale with unique hops make it difficult to compare. I liked it will probably get more.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 21:32:57 | More by Kbogac
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Summit Black Ale from Summit Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.