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Black Top - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black TopBlack Top

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

900 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 900
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 66
Gots: 68 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cdkrenz on 08-27-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 900 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kevanb
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

New Glarus’ take on a black IPA. This pours a really deep brown nearly black color, hints of caramel and garnet come though the light. A nice single finger of really fizzy head sits atop but dissipates quickly leaving behind a nice layer of film atop the beer, minimal spotted lacing. Lots of bubbles stick to the glass suggesting high levels of carbonation. It smells wonderful, big hop aromas show off resinous pine and other coniferous aromas while still showcasing some citrusy notes with a really nice bitter coffee layer and some strong chocolate malt undertones. The flavors follow the nose really nicely, strong piney hops with a nice splash of grapefruit citrus burst onto the tongue, a nice layer of roasted coffee comes through at the finish supported by the chocolate malt backbone, really nicely balanced and a great progression. Very bubbly feel, very crisp but a little too many bubbles as it goes down.

Verdict: A really nice black IPA from one of the finest breweries in America. New Glarus never lets me down and this is no exception, great hoppy flavors, great malty flavors, a job well done.

kevanb, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of CummingsK21
5/5  rDev +22.5%

CummingsK21, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of davidthebruce
5/5  rDev +22.5%

davidthebruce, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
2.48/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chocolate almost black color with a solid 3 finger tan head. Excellent sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells of roasted chocolate malts with just a little earthy hop presence.

Not as much hop presence as I'd expect. Just a slight citrus flavor on the front end. Some dark roasted malts are present, but really the flavor on this one is lacking.

A bit thin and carbonation on the lower side.

Very disappointed by this one as I've loved almost everything I've had from NG before. It just kind of tastes liked a watered down porter.

jmarsh123, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of zachary80
4/5  rDev -2%

zachary80, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of schomber
5/5  rDev +22.5%

schomber, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of gbbass16
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first ever New Glarus beer. Had a friend grab some when he went home for Thanksgiving. Pours a dark brown with a quickly dispersing head. The smell is mildly hoppy with some nutiness. Has a good mouthfeel, not to thick or thin. Taste was bitter, then citrus, then hops, and finished with a dark wood/nut tone. I havent had many dark ipa's but this is one that I will for sure seek out again. Food pairings would be fun with this beer.

gbbass16, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Montrose79
4/5  rDev -2%

Montrose79, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of DruD
5/5  rDev +22.5%

DruD, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of iabeerbaron
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this sixer up in Platteville, WI at the Piggly Wiggly. Smell of citrus hops, maybe some pine and roasted malts. Brownish black pour with white head. A little sweetness to it and then the hops come in. Wow, is this a great beer! Toasted malts and hops mix well; New Glarus really hit a home run with this brew.

iabeerbaron, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of plasma
5/5  rDev +22.5%

plasma, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of StoutFest
5/5  rDev +22.5%

StoutFest, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of mrand01
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Weyerbacher tulip. Received this from richkrull in one of the n00b BIFs. Thanks man!

A: A very dark, opaque, brown. About 1/4" of off-white head on the pour that dissipates fairly quickly. Little amount of lacing.

S: Citrus hops with some dark roasted malt.

T: Definitely a malt forward example of this style. That or my bottle is a bit old. That said, it's still relatively hoppy with nice dark malt character (coffee, chocolate, you know the drill).

M: Medium bodied, sticky, with nice carbonation.

O: A pretty good black IPA. I feel like Stone's 15th anniversary brew is the mark to hit for this style right now...that beer is just too good. That said, this may be more available than that is...

mrand01, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of MaxSpang
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Duff27 for throwing this in at FFF XV.
Served in a tulip.


The beer pours a very dark brown, and appears black whilst in the glass. There's a shimmer of reddish-brown light that poked through in the glass. The head was about 2 fingers and was just slightly off white. It dissipated to a sliver quickly, and left moderate lacing. Lovely looking brew.


The beer has a big hop aroma - tons of grapefruit, lots of pine, some peach, and a little pineapple. I also get some dark malt character. There's a bit of coffee, some bittersweet chocolate, and a little roasted malt. There's a smidge of some alcohol in the nose, but it works well with the other aromas. This beer is an awesome smelling beer!


A little milder than the nose would suggest, this beer still has some wonderful complexity. The front of the tongue is greeted with some tropical fruits, citrus notes, and melon. The middle of the tongue has some nice coffee and a little chalky bittersweet chocolate. There's some slight bready character, and overall the beer is more balanced than it is bitter. This beer isn't sweet, but has somewhat of a roasty fruit flavor which is very pleasant. It's more like an IPA than it is like a porter or stout, but the dark malt adds a little layer of complexity to add to the beer's hoppy notes.


Black Top is very easy-drinking. It starts off with a bit of body, then finishes wonderfully dry and crisp. The carbonation is somewhat low, which works in this beer.


This is a really nice "Black IPA". The beer is complex, yet not fussy on the tongue. Everything is extremely balanced. This beer is incredibly well made, and would be a beer that one could enjoy several of throughout the evening.


MaxSpang, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of WJVII
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BA bud CDKrenz. Been too long since my last review.

Poured into a pint glass this brew was a nice oil black color with a decent finger milk chocolate head. The aroma is bold and full of hops. Spice, pine, and strong citrus are all present in the nose. The taste is very crisp with a decent malt up front with hints of caramel and burnt grains. The finish is all hop. Most notably citrus almost to the point of over powering all the other flavors. Despite this the medium to light body and good carbonation round out this beer. A newer style with lose parameters this brew fits the bill and is a good example.

WJVII, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of willseph
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, but not black as the name might imply. Poured into a pint glass, little head, no lacing. Fresh floral and citrus nose, the smell is fantastic in fact. First taste was a complex arrangement for me, but subsequent sips made it easy to tell the sweet molasses, malt, and tart hops apart. Nice mix of both earthy and citrusy hops with chocolate undertones.

Overall, one of if not the best black IPA I've had. Well balanced, not too rich, definitely a go-to for me.

willseph, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of rayj212
5/5  rDev +22.5%

rayj212, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of PlinytheFarter
5/5  rDev +22.5%

PlinytheFarter, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Nachojon
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- More of a deep, dark red than black. 1 finger head quickly dissipates. No lacing.

S- Hoppy aroma with just the slightest bit of chocolate in the background.

T- Very complex. Love the crisp hops combined with chocolate malt backbone. Usually a beer like this would end up too malty for me, but somehow Dan has found a way to let these flavors hit you one at a time. Nice coffee, dark chocolate flavors here.

M- Crisp and clean. Almost feels too thin at first but as it warms up it really gets a nice body that fits its flavor profile. Nice carbonation.

O- New Glarus is solid and this is another good one from them. Happy to get a chance to try this one, will try again.

Nachojon, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black pour with a big head of tan lacing; a near perfect balance of rich roasted malts, smoked notes, dark earthy, and piney hops. warming only brings the hops to the front even more and allows them to steal the show. quick hitting and bitter as the first sip hits your palate it was amazing how smooth

mikesgroove, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of RievyRW
5/5  rDev +22.5%

RievyRW, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of wiscokid920
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

wiscokid920, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of bergie331
5/5  rDev +22.5%

bergie331, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of TTGBrewing
4/5  rDev -2%

TTGBrewing, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of azdback
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my custom etched "dead man's hand" pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, but held up to a light it is pretty see through. I can see millions of tiny carbonation bubbles leading to a small one finger head that is creamy in appearance and tan colored. Lace is not to sticky at first and doesn't improve with time.

Smell is quite hop forward and mint pine heavy. It smells a lot like a great IPA. I am just getting a bit of roasted flavors. Mild roasted coffee and a bit of chocolate sweet.

Taste at first is a let down. It has the great fresh hop resin that I love in an IPA but initially the dark roasted flavors don't meld well with it. This one does improve as it warms and as the swallow gets farther down my throat. This is a very mild, but good, interpretation of the style.

Mouth is silky or velvety with creamy carbonation. Body is balanced and finish is average and wet.

Overall it took me a while to get into this one but after it warmed I really liked it. I am still looking for a Black Ale/IPA to knock off Stone 15th Anniversary as the best in the category. This one is a must try if you are exploring the style.

azdback, Nov 30, 2011
Black Top from New Glarus Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 900 ratings.