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Black Top - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black TopBlack Top

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,018 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,018
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11%
Wants: 79
Gots: 103 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: cdkrenz on 08-27-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,018 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Blargimus
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tulip. Bottled 8/17/2011 - I didn't realize this beer was almost 8 months old until I opened it. Too late now.

Pours a bit lighter in color than I expected for something called "black top" - it's really more of a deep brown. About one finger of light tan head. The lacing that remains is very pretty, and the beer is thick on the glass when swirled.

Smells somewhat muted, but then it IS an old IPA. Hops are definitely there, but they don't pop. I also get some honey and malt. Maybe a hint of roasted characteristics.

Definitely plenty of bitterness left, but the actual flavor of the hop is a bit wilted. A good deal of roasted flavor in the finish. Very, VERY tasty.

Carbonation is good. Finishes a bit drier than I prefer, but it's perfect for the style.

When I received it in a trade with Willseph, it was moderately fresh! I guess I'm to blame for not cracking it open sooner... it's very good as is, so I bet it's even better when it's not 8 months old.

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is #30 on the "Top Beers - American Black Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. Bottle shared by Thorpe the other day, served in a snifter.

Beer is black / dark brown with a thin off white head of small bubbles, low retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, mild roast, mostly hops, mostly pine hops.

Beer is medium in body and sweet with a nice pine hop finish and a little bitterness from the hops and the grain, a decent drinking beer, one of the better simpler black ales I've had, I would have it again.

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to BeerFMAndy for getting a box of New Glarus out to me. Served in a New Glarus taster glass.

Pours very dark brown with a nice two-finger off-white head. Good retention and some sticky lacing as it falls. The nose has some nice pine and roast, plus backing citrus. Flavor meshes the hops and the backing roasted malt quite well. This is how an ABA should be done. Body is medium with a touch of acrid roast dryness plus hop bitterness cutting through. Quite good.

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of rmalinowski4
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Founders Chalice.

Pours an opaque black with a one finger head that recedes slowly leaving a thin cap on top.

Smells of sweet orange, tangerine, and tropical fruit covered in bitter chocolate. Slightly roasty in the background, very delicate and complex.

The taste is similar to the smell. Bready chocolate malt backbone leads to orange, tangerine and other tropical flavors. Slightly bitter from the roasty chocolate flavor, yet sweet and fruity. The flavors are both strong and subtle at the same time, complexed and well balanced, everything just works together extremely well.

The mouthfeel is rich and creamy without being thick or chewy, smooth and rich with moderate carbonation to make the flavors dance on the palate. Works extremely well with the flavors and the style.

Overall this beer is fantastic. It's a fruity, chocloaty masterpiece. Highly recommend picking this up again.

Photo of RyanGustner
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is chestnut brown with a quarter inch of beige head. Nice aroma, with scents of pine, hop resin, roast. The roast character is definitely secondary to the pine and hop flavors. Easy to drink, with a lingering taste of pine and a hint of chocolate. Overall, this was one of the better examples of the style I have yet had.

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of monitorpop
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ericjubeck
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Acquired via trade

A nearly black pour, though though in actuality, it's a very dark brown with a three-finger high light brown head. This beer leaves the glass covered in sheets and irregular lines of lines. By all measurements, this is a truly gorgeous beer.

A very nice, well integrated, and balanced aroma. It's nearly perfect for the style. The hop aromas come in waves of pine and grapefruit, while there's discernible roast, earth, and coffee elements as well.. This is terrific.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, but not quite as bright and vibrant as I was expecting. There's still a good amount of pine and grapefruit presence, backed up nicely by earthy roast and a little coffee. Very nice.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

A delicious black IPA.

Photo of GripitandSipit
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Sidaot
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of Petrofessor
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of bretsky07
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of GORUM
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of KajII
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Tulip glass]

The pour was a thick murky dark brown with an average sized (1-2 finger) light beige creamy head that had decent retention and some good spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a pine hop, a roasted grain malt and a mild moldy yeast with notes of caramel, coffee, a bit of chocolate and licorice.

The taste was mildly sweet and acidic with notes of caramel and licorice at first and then became lightly bitter with a note of coffee and a piney hop finish. The flavor only stuck around for a short while with the taste fading rather quickly, leaving behind a mild piney bitterness.

Mouthfeel was just a bit under medium in body with a dry texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall a mildly hoppy Black IPA that was very easy going down, and had an enjoyable aftertaste...

Photo of thefizzo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of volta
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of groovy24
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Steggun
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Fitzmke
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Onenote81
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome bottle included in the killer WI-box sent down to me from my man, BeerFMAndy. Really excited to try this one! Popped it open and into a pint glass she went...

Pours a dark Cola-like ruddy black with light edges. Inch worth of beige head on top, of the creamy sort, leaving gobs of lace in its wake. The nose on this beer is phenomenal! Aromas of pine needles, citrus, faint whisps of roast, damp trail. I dipped my nose in, and it never wanted to leave.

Nice hefty body holds up well with the ABV and bitterness. Carbonation is moderately low, which is no complaint. This being a fall-release, I was a little worried that this beer lost too much of its character. I never had this one "off the press," but I find it hard to believe it was much better than it is now, because this was fantastic. Big hoppy flavors abound. Sharp and flavorful. Semi-sweet finish. Mild dark maltiness noted, but the hops take over. Superb beer.

Andy, I hope you enjoy this review, because I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Thanks again!

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cola brown-black with about an inch of khaki head that has quite a long life and leaves good lacing down the glass. The bouquet is great--wonderful pine and citrus hops mingling with the roasted malts. The aroma is reminiscent of their Moon Man APA. The taste strikes a great balance between the hops and malts: A rush of pine hops at the start is accompanied by a sturdy backbone of roasted malt that rides out most of the beer's life on the tongue. Only after the malt has subsided does the really nice pine and citrus peel bitterness of the hops come back. One of my favorite things about this particular style is the mouthfeel. Black Top drinks a lot like a stout, with great body and surprising creaminess. And I appreciate the fact that the lingering hop bitterness doesn't have an overt acidity or leave a syrupy residue on the tongue.

While I'm not a huge fan of the ABA style, I find Black Top to be one of the most enjoyable beers that New Glarus has put out. It has fine balance and complexity, and it's a beer that can be returned to again and again (I recommend this while ice fishing). Definitely worth trying for yourself.

Black Top from New Glarus Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,018 ratings.