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Summit Black Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Black AleSummit Black Ale

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

150 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 16
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Summit Black Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of frosted33
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

frosted33, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of smogfood
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

smogfood, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of falloutsnow
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

falloutsnow, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of Mick-e-d
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Mick-e-d, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Kunstman
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Kunstman, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of trstar87
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

trstar87, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of nheinzie57
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

nheinzie57, May 30, 2012
Photo of bmike86
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 6 pack from M&M Wine & Spirits in Maple Plain.

Appearance --- a dark, dark brown, potentially black in color… with about 1 finger worth of a light golden brown head, with a very minimal amount of suds left lacing the glass while drinking.

Smell --- can notice the aroma of hops & roasted malts, a bit of citrus, and some sort of earthy herbal

Taste --- more complex than aroma would lead… a bit of the citrus & earthy herbal… although I could not smell it, had a taste of some sort of caramel, chocolate and/or coffee roasted blend.

Mouth feel --- medium bodied… surprisingly less hoppy taste than the aroma, which I do not mind. Not very bitter, definitely smooth & crisp with a clean finish

Overall --- I was fortunate enough to find a 6 pack of this stored in their coolers, so thankfully it hasn’t aged as much as it would have if it were to have been stored on a store shelf. This is one of my more favorite Summit’s… I would clearly rate the Summit’s Oatmeal Stout higher than this offering from them. I would recommend keeping this one around, but I would not know how it would fit in with the new Saga IPA being released, and this style does not quite strike me as a seasonal. It will likely be the end, but it was a pleasure to try… and would be open to trying similar black ales in the future.

bmike86, May 20, 2012
Photo of momoagogo14
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost black. Thick, creamy tan head that lasts. Strong retention

Smell: Dark, roasted malts; piney; some faint hop aromas, not as smell-icious as I was hoping

Taste: More dark malts; herbal with distinct pine, maybe even mint...tastes foresty. Hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thick with some carbonation and a dry mouthfeel. It might have had more carbonation if I had drank it sooner. I have a feeling this is past its prime since it’s off most liquor store shelves and Summit’s next Unchained Series beer has been available for a long time.

Overall: I would have loved to have tried this back at its peak freshness, though it’s still a very good beer. Good balance of malt and hops and a fun, herbal taste.

momoagogo14, May 20, 2012
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big ups to andrenaline for including this in our last trade
A - a dark yet clear black/brown, tower of tan head retained endlessly leaving lots of sticky lacing
S - big malty aromas up front of roasty and chocolate, resiny and piney hops come through later
T - much like the nose with roasty, chocolate, and smoky malts, backed up with resin and grapefruit rind hoppiness, with malty flavours lasting stronger through finish
M - more than medium body, slightly creamy start moving to a balanced hop dryness
O - a very solid brew all around that adds up to something great, hoping this style continues to gain favour with brewers everywhere

joemcgrath27, May 09, 2012
Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

maximum12, May 01, 2012
Photo of dmadsen
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

dmadsen, May 01, 2012
Photo of AgingWarrior
4/5  rDev +1.5%

AgingWarrior, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of motorhed
4/5  rDev +1.5%

motorhed, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of jimmah120
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, enjoy by 3/18/12 printed on side

Pours an almost black, dark mahogany color with a 2cm mocha head. Smell is toasty malt, grain, wet resinous hops, and a slight chocolate or caramel scent. Taste is bitter hops, dry cocoa powder, stale bread, caramel malt, with a toasted burnt feeling. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, but with a slightly unpleasant lingering bitterness.

Really enjoy what's going on with this black ale. It's dark and roasted, yet piney and tangy. Deep flavor, great brew.

jimmah120, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of mtlasley
4/5  rDev +1.5%

mtlasley, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of reyolb
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

reyolb, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of cjgator3
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

cjgator3, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

feloniousmonk, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of
3/5  rDev -23.9%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
3/5  rDev -23.9%

jaidenjb, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of RConnealy
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

RConnealy, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of Herky21
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Herky21, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Jason, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of andrenaline
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark ruby red colour, crystal clear, finger of soapy tan head, solid retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Leafy citrus, earthy cedar and pine notes, hints of burnt cocoa and chocolate malts.

T - Nice hop presence, though somewhat subdued. The flavourful roasted malt follows with burnt caramel, chocolate and hints of espresso. The earthy hops bring in a nice bitterness that nicely complements the malts.

M - Medium bodied, though a tad prickly going down and a lip smacking dryness.

O - Quite tasty and nicely balanced, though could easily amp up the hop flavours. Definitely drinkable and at 6.5% you could make a good night out of a 6-er.

andrenaline, Mar 15, 2012
Summit Black Ale from Summit Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.