Summit Black Ale - Summit Brewing Company
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +1.5%
A: even with a very ginger pour this one yielded a large 5+ finger frothy off white head on a slightly hazy deep amber brown body.
S: toffee, toasted and caramel malts, with earthy hops and light coffee notes.
T: a lot sweeter than I was expecting. Caramel, toffee, some candy sugar and milk chocolate provide the sweetness while a smokey and coffee ground flavor provides bitterness in the flavor. If you want to search out some hops they mostly provide earthy notes.
M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.
Overall: this one is pretty complex with extremes of sweetness and bitterness coming together to make a surprisingly well balanced beer.
09-06-2012 23:52:14 | More by kylehay2004
3.68/5 rDev -6.6%
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?
12-11-2011 21:21:05 | More by TMoney2591
3.9/5 rDev -1%
Single from somewhere, wish I had another now...
Poured into a pint, it's a dark mahogany in the light, glinting brown highlights in a black body. Creamy layer of lighter tan foam that leaves dripping arcs of lace inside the glass. Retention is good.
Piney aroma, light malt sweetness, some yeast, a little bit muted.
Medium bodied and plenty bitter, dark roast, charred black malt and coffee. Some piney hop notes, somewhat resiny, dry feel. It has a moderate level of hoppy bitterness that meshes well with the bitter roast malt flavors. Dark bakers chocolate. Overall a good Black Ale, fairly standard and well put together, but not quite as unique in the hop department as some others. Sublimely Self Righteous and New Glarus Black Top are still my personal favorites.
01-02-2012 02:16:30 | More by emerge077
3.98/5 rDev +1%
A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing.
S - It smelled of chocolate and roasted malts. A touch of resiny pine aromas, too.
T - It tasted of bitter piney hops with a nice chocolate and toffee backbone. Some sweet caramel, too.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.
O - This is a tasty Black Ale. I haven't been disappointed by any of the Unchained beers from Summit.
01-11-2012 05:00:19 | More by zeff80
4.28/5 rDev +8.6%
12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.
LOOK: Opaque, nearly pitch black with a great looking tan lacing
SMELL: Dank hops, hemp seed, resin, pine, faint smoke, mild char, burnt raisins, plums
TASTE: Very smooth, medium body, brown malt, toasted bread, hop resin, spice, slightly bitter, burnt sugar, minty, drying semi-charred finish
Excellent job, this one really helps define this beer style. They should brew this one up more often.
03-16-2012 02:24:16 | More by Jason
3.88/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
01-23-2012 07:48:33 | More by MasterSki
3.98/5 rDev +1%
Blackness indeed, so much so that you can't make out the Summit logo on the Unchained Series pint glass. Sizeable muddy brown head, slips down to a tidy ring with quickness.
Aroma: grassy hops on top, with chocolate malt below. An odd combination at times, but this one makes it work.
Taste: Sweet dark malt dominates the flavor at first, with hops shining bright on top. Some piney-ness along with grassy hop character, holding ground in the forefront of the palate, with the rich, dark malty flavor hanging on right behind it.
Tasty stuff here. My complaints about the India Black Ale/ Black IPA/ CDA style are swiftly fading into history, as I find more and more of them that I like. Or maybe I'm just getting used to this new mix of grassy/piney/citric hops and dark malt? In any case, this latest Unchained entry works on every level. Great consumability, excellent balance, top-notch flavor delivery.
03-28-2012 22:25:16 | More by feloniousmonk
3.75/5 rDev -4.8%
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.
12-16-2011 21:23:08 | More by Gavage
3.5/5 rDev -11.2%
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.
12-18-2011 23:56:34 | More by kojevergas
4.47/5 rDev +13.5%
Wow this is a good. A little research shows this is the same brewer that made up the very very tasty India Rye Ale last year. This beer does what many dark ales fail, or at least fail to master, the balancing the lighter upfront hoppy notes with the rich dark malts. This beer smells like fresh grapefruit and citrus fruit sitting on top of toasty cocoa barley. Yum. The flavor follows up with a bigger malt kick and hint of wheat and caramel sneaking in as the pine and orange peel build on the chocolate malt throughout the finish. This is one of the best black IPAs I've had, right up with, maybe above, Deschutes' Hop in the Dark.
11-20-2011 00:34:09 | More by tempest
4.6/5 rDev +16.8%
Dark, dark clear auburn body. Very little light transmits through, but it does shine a nice auburn hue in the light. Thin light brown head leaves patchwork, spiderweb like lace about the glass walls as I drink. Awesome aroma of rye, chocolate malt, and grundgey pungent hops. (This is the closest aroma I've smelled to the original black IPA that was so incredible that I had 6 or so years ago...Alpha Klaus). The taste follows suit with the nose....very, very nice. Perfect blend of hop bitterness, hop flavor and roasted chocolate malt notes. This is a great one. Take note, Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA lovers.
11-30-2011 05:51:08 | More by Bighuge
2.65/5 rDev -32.7%
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.
11-24-2011 17:38:03 | More by xnicknj
3.8/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
01-16-2012 20:50:08 | More by AgentZero
3.63/5 rDev -7.9%
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.
01-31-2012 23:13:44 | More by twiggamortis420
4.35/5 rDev +10.4%
A-Black with brown hues...nice tannish fluffy head..
S-Roasty....some java notes...a bit of dark cocoa...
T-Roasty again...more of a milk chocolate impression on the taste rather than the dark cocoa noticed on the aroma...hops lend a light juicy dimension...
M-Medium bodied...creamy feel..
O-Quality brew...I love the use of the new obscure hops in this but they are bit overshadowed by the dark notes....still for what this is meant to be this is great....well done..
12-05-2011 07:38:19 | More by ZAP
3.18/5 rDev -19.3%
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.
03-30-2012 02:42:39 | More by cjgator3
3/5 rDev -23.9%
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.
05-01-2012 03:01:06 | More by maximum12
4.25/5 rDev +7.9%
12 oz. bottle.
Dark cola brown body. Clear. Two fingers of thick, fluffy, light sandy brown head. Great lacing. Nose of roasted barley, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, tobacco, and some herbal hops.
Nutty, toasty malts up front. Roasted barley and coffee bitterness follow. Bitterness becomes woodier, with herbal tendencies. Singed caramel, cocoa, light molasses, and winy fruit notes provide a malty backbone to balance the bitterness. Dryish finish, with lingering herbal and coffee bitterness. Medium-bodied with a nice, creamy feel. Another very good Unchained beer from Summit!
01-04-2012 03:02:11 | More by alexgash
4.47/5 rDev +13.5%
This beer pours a clear black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a qaurter inch cap of solid foam that lingers. The aroma is of roasted malt, grapefruit, pine resin, and chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma. There is a nice balance of roasted and chocolatey malt, and citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth texture, and light carbonation. Overall, this is a really well crafted beer that I will be drinking a lot of while it is around.
11-06-2011 03:24:49 | More by KarlHungus
Summit Black Ale from Summit Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.