Butchertown Black Ale | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
66 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
193
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
19.74%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
Butchertown Black AleButchertown Black Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Butchertown Black Ale celebrates the long forgotten neighborhood of San Francisco, Butchertown, where our brewery stands today. The nearby creek was once the home to over 16 slaughterhouses and was a thriving neighborhood till shipbuilding took over the waterfront in the 1930s run up to WWII.

This beer is a play on the senses: black as night, but with a deceivingly light body and a bold dry-hopping regiment more akin to an IPA. Butchertown pours black/brown with a thick, lasting toasted marshmallow head. It has aromas of pine, orange, tangerine, pink grapefruit, & light coffee. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, currants, and red wine come through before overturning to a malt depth intricacy of dark toasted bread, pumpernickel, subtle notes of dark fruits and hints of dark chocolate, tobacco and leather.

Added by capra12 on 09-04-2009

User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 193
Reviews by tempest:
Photo of tempest
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a glass at Oliver's in Astoria. My big complaint with black ale is that they're usually just hoppy porters—thick and roasted with vague hops buried under the malts. No so here. In fact, I'd call this my favorite Speakeasy beer. There are a clean, clear dark chocolate and roasted grain flavor next to, and complementing, the big citrus hop character. The body is no thicker than a pale ale, making this a little dangerous, but very tasting and pleasing. Give it a shot.

 475 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of hotglassmama
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Jason
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Towering head drops a near perfect lacing on the glass, black nearly all the way. Pungent hops, piney, minty, faint tobacco, dark berries, burnt toast, resiny, slightly dank and floral alcohol in the nose. Smooth, deep creaminess, semi-thick body. Very pungent hoppiness, bitterness is less assertive in comparison but still tackles the palate. Growing warmth, mildly boozy, grapefruit rind, hemp seeds, peppery, floral, roasted bite, currants. Semi-dry hoppy finish.

There is a whole lot going on here, a lovely mashup of flavors which in the end all seem to work together. When I think of bigger American Black Ales this is what I am looking for ... Speakeasy should re-think the limited release on this one.

 754 characters

Photo of richkrull
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of samtrillo
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of biboergosum
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, @8.2% ABV, with an ambiguously creepy American gangster backstory for this one's name depicted on the label text. How very Christmasy!

This beer pours a clear, dark brown colour, with prominent orange cola highlights, and three fat-ass fingers of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves some splotchy and chunky streaked lace around the glass as it very slowly sinks away.

It smells of musty roasted caramel malt, acrid coffee (the sort with stale cigarettes sitting in it), inexpensive bittersweet chocolate, untethered phenolic yeast, some muddled citrus and pome fruitiness, a further free-range campfire ashiness, and more leafy, weedy, and faintly piney hop bitters. The taste is gritty, rather grainy and toasted caramel malt, dusty dime-store chocolate wafers, a bit of edgy umami, generic coffee, and more hard to really get a gauge on leafy, piney, and herbal green hoppiness.

The bubbles are adequate in their supportive and tacitly engaging frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and more or less smooth (ok, emphasis on the latter), with an oh so subtle airy creaminess arising from someone's latent Yuletide wishes. It finishes off-dry, the coffee and cocoa-flecked roasted malt still duly offset by the well lingering, if still indistinct leafy, piney, and dry citrusy bitterness.

For the style, this is generally all right, the juxtaposition between the two conflicting beer endpoints providing a so-called balance that lovers of such things use to justify its otherwise ill-conceived existence. So, bully for them, I'm done here, and so looking forward to that order of best of local breed Chinese food waiting for me upstairs. Happy Holidays, all!

 1,708 characters

Photo of BrewMaven
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm fairly new to this style, but if this beer is a representative example, I'm hooked! Great head, smells and tastes like MORE and only $6 for a bomber? Sign me up!

 165 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Final Gravity Taproom in Roseville, CA.

Appearance - Pours near black that shines a dark ruby brown when held to any light source. The head is light tan, about a finger thick and with fair retention. The lacing is spotty with decent stick.

Smell - Musty aroma, hitting on mostly faint notes of pine. Earthy. Not much else.

Taste - Hits on pine hop bitterness to start. Earthy notes. leaf. Grassy bitterness toward the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Soft, bubbly carbonation. Finishes fairly dry.

Overall - Decent brew. Not a great CDA. Flavors are a bit muddled. Not much in the way of dark roasted malt character. Kinda weak.

 656 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Cannery. Its the way they make the style, a very good aroma of hops and roast .Black with a big head and lots of lace. The taste does not deliver, its muted,herbal but it is a smooth mouthfeel. Chocolate malt. Not the bold taste I have come to expect in the style.

 278 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood - served in a goblet.

Dark dark auburn body with faint crimson highlights. Puffy desert sand stand of foam leaves behind pasty lacing; good retention.

Light roast barley, weak coffee, and herbal hops in the nose.

Rich malt, toasty and dark with a woody note. Herbaceous citrus-kissed hops add lots of flavor and a moderate bitterness. Dry hopping works so well for this style. Finishes dry and toasty with hints of black bread, pine, and earth.

Medium-light bodied, well carbonated with mild astringency and a nice alcohol kick.

A very satisfying example of the style and a fitting re-incarnation of their anniversary ale (which was an "Indian Black Ale" last year as well).

 736 characters

Photo of socon67
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fatehunter
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a finger and half of tan head on a black body. Looks great.
The aroma is pine, spruce and some caramel candy. Enjoyable.
The taste has nice roasted malt with a big dose of pine bitterness. I like it.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's the best of roast malt and bitter.

 294 characters

Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle at Healthy Spirits today. Poured into a tulip.

Beer forms a surprisingly light tan head that forms quite strongly and is dissipating fast. The beer is clear, but is so dark brown that you almost can't see through it.

Smells fist and foremost of piney and citrusy hops. Can't smell much more than the hops.

The hop flavor is actually subdued compared to the smell. Or maybe it's just an overall subdued flavor? The hops are the foremost flavor with a sort of stale coffee finish with the bitterness of the hops lingering.

Light carbonation, plain mouthfeel. It leaves an odd feeling in the back of my throat.

I was quite excited about this as I'm always looking forward to a new Black Ale, but this beer is perhaps a bit too dull. I could very easily drink large quantities of this if I were looking for an easy drinking beer, but this doesn't seem much like a "special" beer.

 898 characters

Photo of Ralphs66
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mfrogs
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of flayedandskinned
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of falconxman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Nage37
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Kmlund
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Elicoleman
3/5  rDev -21.1%

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Butchertown Black Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
85 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.