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Black Top - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black TopBlack Top

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

879 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 879
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 61
Gots: 61 | FT: 2
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: 879 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pauly2X


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark brown, as I can just barely see through it when held to a light. Nice half finger beige head as well.

S- Citrusy, piney and grassy hop aromas domminate. A light roasted malt character is noticeable in the background as well.

T- The roasty malt character gains strength from being weak in the nose before. The hops don't go down without a fight resulting in a great balance throughout. The finish leans a little hoppy but is still well balanced overall.

M- Nice smooth medium body with good carbonation.

O- A great "sessionable" CDA. If you have the means, I highly recomend picking some up.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 21:31:23 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of homebrew311


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark brown with clarity around the edges, nice frothy 2 finger head, good retention, nice lace

S: fresh hops, notes of citrus and pine, some tropical fruits as well, maltiness in the background

T: pine and grapefruit dominate the front, roasted malts are present in the middle, slightly bitter finish, nice balance, alcohol is incredibly deceptive

MF: mellow carbonation, smooth body

O: this is a really nice example of this "new" style, easy drinker, well balanced, good flavor

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 05:29:15 | More by homebrew311
Photo of sweemzander


4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a deep and dark burnt sienna; near black color. Produced a nice cap of tan froth. Decent retention with some lace.

(S)- A nice "green" piney citrus (lime & lemon) in front of extremely subtle chalky roasted bits.

(T)- Despite how hop forward the smell was, the taste is exactly how I have always imagined a black IPA should be like. A great balance of nutty, roasty bread and finishes in an almost creamy; piney citrus. Fantastic!

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. The perfect balance of roasty malts and classic IPA citrus and pine.

(D)- A new style, but New Glarus simply nailed it with this new offering of theirs. A near perfect balance of what I have always looked for in this style but never found. A solid roasty backbone with a finish of citrus hops. Well done as always New Glarus. I am by no means an expert in this style, but I really think this is the shining example I have been looking for.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 16:58:32 | More by sweemzander
Photo of BeerBuckeye


3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours sort of an amberish red that becomes a dark mahogany with 1 finger head.

S - Quite a bit of citrus hops, bit of dark, caramel and molasses malt, a touch of white chocolate. Finishes with a bit of licorice and pine.

T - A lot of grapefruit in the mouth, a bit of light chocolate, some orange peel.

M - Smooth, not remarkable.

Overall - Good beer, good balance. But it does a good job of creating a good black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 02:41:13 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of richkrull


4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black color with some big fluffy beige head on it.

Smell is sweet, malty with some spice in the finish.

Taste is malty. Maybe a little smokey with some bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium. Good body went down smooth.

Overall a really good beer. It's a very good change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 02:35:41 | More by richkrull
Photo of Erish


3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. No freshness date.

A: clear dark mahogany color, an aggressive pour produced a thick dark tan head that slowly fell into a thick cap with good lacing.

S: ruby-red grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, key lime, pine, and a back note of espresso. Smells pretty freaking awesome!

T: the roasted notes come through strongly on the palate wherein they seem restrained in the nose, also the depth and saturation of the wonderful citrus aromas that are evident in the nose seem faded upon tasting this beer. The finish is muted and grassy. I really, really wanted to love the taste of the beer based on how wonderful it smells, but I was reminded that smell and taste, while connected, are not the same thing. Not that I hated the taste of this beer, it just failed to live up to its billing that was advertised to my nose!

M: light to medium-bodied, lightly silky to somewhat oily texture, moderate to plentiful carbonation, and the finish is only moderately bitter.

O: I like this beer, and love the smell of this beer, but it fails to live up to the standards of what I consider a "great" go-to beer. Still, I would get this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 02:14:24 | More by Erish
Photo of vette2006c5r

South Dakota

4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black top pours a black color, with a nice tan head, that lasted with the beer. There is a nice dark hoppy smell, I would imange heaven smells like this. The taste has a realllly nice hoppy tone to it, but doenst over power; a dark sorrta flavor. Very nicely carbonated, not overpowering but not weak either, fantastic balance. Overall this is a fantastic beer, loved it, would easily get more.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 03:06:47 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of kawilliams81


3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

A- Near black with 2 finger creamy tan head and some blotches of lacing.

S- Roasted malts, pine and some citrus hops.

T- Chocolate and roasted malts. Pine and citrus hop bitterness comes in in the middle and finish.

M- Light body but not too thin. Medium carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

O- Good black ipa. Have had better bigger black ipa's, but this beer is easy to drink and has nice roasted malt and hop bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 01:49:05 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of scones


4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, with a good head of white foam. The foam lingers, and the lacing is good. Just a good looking black IPA.

S: Grapefruit, oranges, a bit of pine. Smells like a good IPA, not much malt.

T: Hoppy, citrusy with grapefruit, but a bit malty. Dry throughout, but keeps the fruitiness. Very delicious. Me likey.

M: Not too thin, but not full bodied. A bit biting with the carbonation and the hops.

O: I really like this beer. It's like a sweet IPA. Definitely picking up a few more packs of this bad boy.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 03:22:14 | More by scones
Photo of beagle75


3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark brown color with over one finger of persistent mocha-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Carbon dioxide is noted immediately, acting as a barrier that seems to hold back other aromas. Weak piney hops are detectable, though little else stands out.

T: Begins off-dry, with mild piney hop aromatics from the nose alongside versatile and appealing stone fruit that stays away from becoming too dark. Acidity is overly carbonic for a beer whose other qualities are quite understated. Fruit carries through to the middle where dark roast emerges, becoming influential. A subtle minty quality heralds the arrival of the very mild finish, which shows only a slight trace of bitterness.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer's strength lies in its balance, which isn't necessarily the most likely feature to be expressed in a black IPA. Unfortunately it is also boring, unable to deliver that one-two punch of unlikely flavor combination that has made the roasty and hoppy style so suddenly popular. Perhaps when the dust settles and the style moves beyond the tumultuous throes of speciation, it will be the New Glarus Black Tops and Drakes Batch 3000s of the black IPA world that ultimately endure.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 02:06:40 | More by beagle75
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
2301 printed on the neck, no info.

A - Deep mahogany brown, almost jet black in color with a clarity that shows through in the highlights. A tan head is perched on top for what seems to be endlessly. Wispy lace clings to the glass like patch marks on the long, straight road.

S - Roasted black patent malts are overthrown by abounding American citrusy hops. A plethora of mango and pineapple underlines the earthy dry grass and leaf pile. Very well balanced.

T - Once again, the roasted black malts find themselves tailgating the American hops, happy to provide a good base for their flamboyancy; a bit more citrusy than the aroma and still plenty earthy.

M - Medium-bodied and decidedly bitter, it's balanced between roasty acrid and hoppy, citrusy bitterness. Faintly dry through the finish, the roast closes it out as it fades into the sunset.

O - Hops and malt work like a team throughout the whole stretch of the way, cruisin' for a wonderful finish of balanced beauty. Abundantly flavorful and good to the last drop, New Glarus' Black Top is one fantastic Black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 03:07:44 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a New Glarus Glass Stien.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a redish hue when held up to light. 3 fingers worth of head that slowly drops down to a decent cap on the beer. Head is chunky and got some staying power. Nice heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of citrus hops most grapefruit and oranges, a little pine and grass in the mix as well. Very minor roasty note from the dark malts.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness that is got a nice complexity to it. You get the citrus right away the grapefruit is prominent. Pine notes are all over the place too. The malts are mildly noticed in this beer with light coffee roastiness, some molasses sweetness and black licorice. No bitterness in the finish and I feel this is very notable! Makes you want to take another drink right away.

Mouthfeel: This is what takes this beer from great to awesome! Great flavor and the mouthfeel puts it over the top! Creamy and yet super drinkable. Very smooth beer! A low end of medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The carbonation also tends to be a bit prickly, but I like it!

Overall: If you get the chance drink this Black IPA! I am new to this style, but I love this beer! Great first attempt at this style New Glarus Brewing CO! This beer really surprised me, I will be returning to Wisconsin for another 6 pack! If you see it try it!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 00:52:58 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of bashiba


3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cola brown color with a thin coating of white head. More light a brown IPA.

The smell is very faint chocolate malt with a light bit of pine.

The flavors are very mild with a nice light roasted black malt backbone with just a hint of light piney and earthy hops.

The mouthfeel is very dry and light a bit thin.

This beer drinks more like a nicely hopped English Porter, or maybe its time for Black English IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 21:37:54 | More by bashiba
Photo of Klym


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my favorite trader Klikger for this surprising bottle. Poured into a surly pint glass.

This pours a very dark brown with some purplish hues. Leaves nice splatters of tan lacing on the glass. A really nice roasted malt/hop blend in the nose with a touch of dark fruit and caramel-- reminiscent of Alpine's ugly in the nose for me. Medium-heavy mouthfeel pairs well with the slightly smokey, dark fruit, hop, roasty blend. A nice combination of RIS-esque characteristics and a classic, well developed hoppy black ale.

A very sessionable drink, and a perfect afternoon beer for me. New glarus continues to impress!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 20:45:50 | More by Klym
Photo of manitouman84


4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With a good pour I get a foamy and pillowy 3 finger tan head. Appears fairly clear, and as a deep brown copper/amber. Lots of interesting aromas here. Bright, almost candy like fruit, grapefruit and even strawberry comes at me. Milder pine and citrus hops round out the overall bouquet. Nice hop bite up front with citrus character, perfectly rounded by a mellow roasted malt base, caramel, toasty, chocolate all present but not overpowering, especially given the color. There is a slight smokiness to the finish. Body firmly in the middle on this one, nice hop resin feel, creamy, overall very good, highly drinkable. Excellent

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 14:35:43 | More by manitouman84
Photo of pigc


3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours jet black with light brown sugar colored head.

S - Fresh pine, citrus, floral hops.

T - Piney hops followed by just a light malty backbone.

M - Very thin and almost watery.

O - Nice representation for the style. Very light on the malt backbone and mouthfeel could be somewhat thicker.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 00:29:07 | More by pigc
Photo of vespahulb


4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was looking forward to picking this up after doing the Tyranena Oktoberfest ride.

Upon first whiff, I was taken. A blast of citra hops...ripe peach and apricot, citrus, dank pine, followed by a heady roasty-coffee and chocolate aroma. I could smell this all day.

In the mouth, I immediately realized that this is textbook for what a Black IPA should be. Looking dark and heavy, yet transparent, it has the definite lightness of an IPA but a roastiness of porter. The mouthfeel is creamy and light. Lot's of acidic citrus, grapefruit and pineapple on the front, with a bitter coffee and burnt chocolate finish.

I gotta say, this is a stellar example of a Black IPA, easy, smooth with definite drinkability. New Glarus nailed this one in a big way.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 22:14:34 | More by vespahulb
Photo of jlindros


4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to paco1029384756 for this one.

Pours a big fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly with hints of lacing, over very dark brown color, slight hint of ruby light sneaking through the edges.

Nose wafts tons of hops, I could smell it on the pour. Lots of citrus, tangerine and orange zest, some pine, bit of grapefruit, and hint of musty resins. Also there is a bit of darker creamy porter like malts, hint of caramel and black malts.

Taste brings hops as well, more of the bright fresh hop flavors, more pine as well, hints of tangerine and citrus, bit of earthy and chewy hops as well. Then come the malts, bit of caramel and dark malt flavors, hint creamy, slight hint of molasses and honey like sweet malt flavors, and even slightly chewy. Finishes semi bitter but never gets overly bitter, with some lingering pine and earthy hops as well as chewy darker malt flavors.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, nice hop profile that really explodes, some nice malts to back it up, nothing goes over the top or out of place, drinkable and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 22:03:14 | More by jlindros
Photo of Dohdaman


4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a Pilsner Glass.

Pours almost black, clear with a thin off-white head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Smells of hops upfront with some malts and some citrus

The taste is not as hoppy as the upfront smell would suggest. Some pine and slight roasted chocolate flavor. No bitter hop at the finish

Creamy mouthfeel, rather enjoyable.

Overall, another good New Glarus beer. Could drink more than one in a sitting and the higher abv kinda sneaks up on you.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 17:23:44 | More by Dohdaman
Photo of weatherdog


3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a pretty deep black with a nice tight dense cream colored head. A medium amount of lacing coats the sides.

Aroma of mild chocolate and dank grassy hops, a little bit of orange citrus on the backend.

Flavor is a bit of roasted barley flavor, assertive bitterness with some grassy hop flavors at the end.

The mouthfeel is the best thing about this beer. Its pretty creamy which balances out the bitterness and doesn't keep the roasted grain flavors from sticking around too long in the aftertaste.

Overall its a just a good black IPA, nothing to special but not bad either.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 03:13:10 | More by weatherdog
Photo of birchstick


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a really nice creamy white head around the rim

S - loads of nice smelling hops assault the nose with a really nice burnt malt base underneath

T - starts off with sweet cocoa and caramel malts are up front and start it off right. These segue into a nice fruity, citrus hop flavor. Really nice flavor profile and balance for a black IPA.

M - full an creamy - nice body.

D - pretty solid brew by New Glarus. Really nicely balanced and chock full of flavor on both sides. Highly recommended as this is a side of NG I haven't seen before.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 01:58:13 | More by birchstick
Photo of bound4er


3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark brown with ruby highlights. Tan head that leaves an average amount of lacing.

S. This smells awesome. Reminds me somewhat of Founders Harvest Ale. There's a citrus sweetness and grassy funkiness at the same time here.

T. Taste is solid but still a let down compared to the aroma. I guess I was expecting more oomph. Good balance with bready malt starting things off followed with a zingy, piny, slightly bitter hop infused finish.

M. Medium-light in body. Good overall mouthfeel and carbonation.

O. This is a solid, easy-to-drink offering from New Glarus. Tossing back a few in one evening wouldn't be a problem.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 00:09:24 | More by bound4er
Photo of crewfan16


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass with an aggressive pour. bottle marked 2301 12:25 whatever that means. they have only been distributing this stuff about a month, so it cant be too old

a-poured what initially looked pure black, but when held up to some light, actually a very deep brown. thick creamy white head billows up about an inch and a half and falls leaving great lacing on the glass.

s- huge hop presence. im getting lots of bitter pine needles and some tropical fruit sweetness. just a slight hint of roasted malt, but not much dark roasted presence

t- flavors follow the nose, lots of piney hops as well as some pineapple and grapefruit citrus. the malt is there nicely, but is not really the roasted, dark flavoring that i anticipated. the only "blackness" that i get is in the lingering finish where you get a slight roasted coffee flavor along with the pine hops. very delicious, just not what i would call a "black" IPA.

m- mouthfeel has a nice creaminess to it, not unlike a normal IPA. carbonation is good and it is very drinkable.

overall, i find this a delicious beer, but isnt exactly within the style. I think I honestly prefer the moon man IPA offering from new glarus, but this is a nice change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 00:13:31 | More by crewfan16
Photo of Duff27


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Two inch tan head on a dark brown/borderline black beer. EXCELLENT head retention and well above average lacing.

S- Big whiffs of citrus in the nose...grapefruity citrus.

T- Taste reveals not as much roastiness as apparent in other black IPAs, but there are some chocolate notes...more as it warms a bit. Hops deliver but are not overpowering by any means. Well hidden alcohol.

M- Good medium mouthfeel, creamy. Medium to medium-low on the carbonation.

D/O- If I were blindfolded the thought of this IPA being black would never have crossed my mind. Cheers to Dan and Co. for tackling a newer American beer style even if they're the (domestic) masters of classic German styles. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 02:23:02 | More by Duff27
Photo of Jules11788


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dark mahogany-red; no head, no lacing

S: Sweet candied fruit and piney, resinous hops; this beer smells fantastic

T: Nothing like the nose -- earthy, light, slightly bitter hops; very refreshing, but nothing too spectacular

M: Light and airy, this beer opens up a lot as it moves down the tongue; nice tingly carbonation keeps it refreshing

O: This is a good Black IPA (even though it's brown), though the nose is much more enticing than the taste that follows. Worth a try for all you hop-heads out there

NOTE: Even though the review score averages out to an A-, this is a B+ beer in my opinion

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 17:43:02 | More by Jules11788
Black Top from New Glarus Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 879 ratings.