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Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA - The Fort Collins Brewery

Not Rated.
Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPAIncredible Hop Imperial Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.59%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emmasdad on 03-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by gpogo:
Photo of gpogo
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black. Tan head that dissipated.

A- Wow, quite a awesomely pungent aroma. The beer is a few feet away as I type this and I get some wonderful sweet dark fruit smells.

T- Vinous sweet malt flavor. Spicy bitterness upfront, but not as much hop flavor as I would expect for this beer.

M- Medium-full body with a thick sweet body. Sticks around into the aftertaste. Low carbonation.

D- Enjoyable beer, but not as hopppy as I would expect for an "Incredible Hop." The malt side of the equation is badass otherwise.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
2.31/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a frothy creamy brown head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is bitter, slightly charred, roasted malts with a little black licorice and chalky alcohol.

The flavor is a little sweet chocolate and heavily roasted malts with a big harsh charred bitter bang in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, too much harsh charred bitterness, with not a lot redeeming for me. This was a bit more balanced and pleasant on draft.

Photo of Heatwave33
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle to a Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

Color: A very dark and deep brown with a tan head.

Smell: Earth hops and chocolate come through first. Followed by orange, toasted malts and coffee. Then peach on the end.

Taste: Same as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, Smooth with a medium dryness on the palate.

Overall: Love black IPAs. All IPA types for that matter. This is one in it's own. Balance seems a little off but still a good brew. Cheers.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A mocha head builds quickly to a finger plus in height atop a dense black coloring. A thin film lacing is fairly generous on the coating. Hard to argue color wise here, a black ipa it is, modest head size and retention rate fairs good as well with a frothy topping that was mostly lasting.

S: fresh, young green pine cones and a fresh citrusy nature with a dash of peppery flair. Sweet whole grapefruit rounds things out with a moderate sense of strength.

T: Dark roast takes over on the flavor, hearty with a dark chocolate malting that interacts with a light pine hopping. Funny as the nose was fresh and green offering little in the way of roast, while the flavor was quite the opposite. The hops pick up a bit upon warming, while the dark chocolate malts are lush, dark and creamy with a rich roasted nature picking up as well. On the finish was the slightest touch of burnt grains.

M: Medium fullness, burnt roastiness coats the tongue with a quiet carbonation. Syrupy feel of burnt roasty coffee on the finishing take. Pretty edgy, nice level of roastiness, though the hops get overshadowed unless fairly warm.

D: Big time drink, limited in volume of consumption, a bomber can be adequately split with a friend and still leave you with satisfied.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: black and totally opaque with a red ring at the bottom. Great 1 inch plus tan head with great retention and some circle lacing as the head resides

Smell: piney hops mixed with the carafe malt creates a very unique scent that I can only compare to like a fruity pebbles cereal smell

Taste: upfront is quite a bit of alcohol followed by very sweet I'm assuming from the carafe malt in the middle and finishes off with that same fruity pebbles smell and obviously taste very unique

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation and leaves the mouth just a bit sticky and dry

Overall: Very unique black IPA. I actually enjoyed the beer quite a bit. Not my favorite of the style but definately worth a try and well worth the price at 10% alcohol

Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Near lightproof black colored beer with a small brown colored head that doesn't last.

Smells interesting more than just overpowering hops in this. Strong wheat grain with raisins with some carrot in it. Lesser smells of smoke and chocolate. Hop scent is mostly herbal like British Beer. Savory smell with one weird one, this smells of tomato!

Starts out sort of bittersweet with a little more of the bitter. Carrot and wheat husk flavor comes next. This is a little stingy on the tongue you can perceive the alcohol level. Bitter is stronger than sweet all the way through the glass. All that remains of the patent malt is an aftertaste. No strong hop flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is thick for the style.

Overall this was a very worthwhile purchase. Bittersweet beer with an emphasis on the bittersweet part. No single strong flavor, a very interesting beer.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On tap in a pint glass at King's Table on 8/13/12

Faded, hazy gold. It's a pretty color. A fluffy one finger head rises above the glass.

Soapy, herbal aroma - smells an awful lot like lemon pine-sol. Brutally sharp zesty citrus notes. Sugar cookie and biscuit dust. The taste is a wash of juicy orange, tangerine and lemon. Very herbal with lots of leafy tea. Ripe and dense. Strong hop crackle with a moderate bitterness. Some alcohol. Medium body for a DIPA. Oily slickness is balanced by sticky resin. Carbonation has a lively fervor that sets the overall tone for the hops. The carbonation is too vigorous.

Overall impression: Not my choice hop profile but it's pretty drinkable.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a weisse vase, the beer pours a dark jet black coloring with a milk-chocolate colored head that makes a pretty decent cascade as it pours and settles. The final product is a foamy, dense, thick two inch head. This beer has a great lacing effect as it settles and you drink. The beer does have some ruby highlights in it when up to light...sexy beer. The nose is resinously hoppy, with robust flavors of sappy cedar, spicy pepper, and pine needles. This smells delicious. The first flavor punch hits the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat at the same time, and it is coffee and milk chocolate. Wait, what? Lemme take another sip...oh yeah, bitter coffee and a silky, smooth milk chocolate. Shortly after the initial shock, the hops kick it up a notch on the bitterness scale, as well as spicing it up quite a bit. This beer has a great blend with all the spicy, sweet, and bitter flavors. It keeps the tastebuds guessing with feel and flavor. Delicious! All this leads to an interesting mouthfeel, with some creamy characteristics, but also an effervescent, sharp, and crips feel to it as well. The creamy milk chocolate flavor comes through the aftertaste with a bit of the peppery hops, and the finish is crisp and a bit dry, amazingly enough. What a unique and interesting brew. I look forward to "studying" this concoction further!

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Ale+Witch. It pours like a typical Black IPA, brown-black with a tan head, akin to a Porter. The nose is roasty and pungently bitter, offering general notes of pine sap and citrus pith. The flavor is more of the same; quite nice, but its also fairly run of the mill for this suddenly oft-produced style. Specifics include green grassy notes, pine tar, burnt coffee and unsweetened cocoa, with the whole package focusing on robust and bitter elements. The feel is fuller of body and softly carbonated. Overall, pretty nice, but not much different from the glut of ABAs.

Photo of Schmittymack
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Poured a pretty dark brown with a small head that lingered for a couple minutes. Aroma of malt and bitterness (I could tell it was going to be a bit bitter on the palate). Taste was a lot of sweeter malt on the front with a nice hoppy bitterness at the end that stayed with me a minute or two. Would love to try this on tap; will do this one again.

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap Monday afternoon at the Fort Collins Brewing Company in Fort Collins. Poured a midnight black color, with ruby highlights and a nice brown head on top. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate and hops. Medium bodied and smooth, with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and hops. Very good.

Photo of SamN
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black, but not as solidly black as a porter or stout. Almost seems like you can see through it if you really star hard. Dark billowy head of fine bubbles with a slightly bubbly surface. Fades quickly, doesn't last long. Aroma is odd, like a fishy hop smell. I can't really identify what I'm smelling. It's definitely hoppy, but a hop aroma like I've never smelled before. Sort of piney and raw. Taste is hops dominate, the malts don't really come through all that much, but the taste is fresh, juicy and resiny without any real palette-shredding alpha-oil madness. After sipping a bit more, I can detect a subtle coffee and roasty flavor, but it moves along with the hops pretty well, so it stays in the background mostly. Not a bad tasting beer, better than the smell. A bit too hoppy for me personally, but I can objectively say it's not a hop bomb at all. Mouth feel is bigger bodied and pretty robust, almost stiff. Smooth, but really, you can almost feel the tensile strain when sipping.

This is my first cascad...oh, wait, sorry, "American Black Ale".

Brief jag: I hate what they named this style. Of the three intial names of this new style, Cascade was the best, Black IPA second and American Black dead last. Why did we go with the most boring and unoriginal name out of the three?

End jag.

Overall, not a bad beer. Hoppier with a very subtle malt background. I'd have another, sure.

Photo of mjvos
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 650mL bottle dark black with a creamy tan-colored head. It dissipates quickly but leaves behind a lot of lacing in the glass.

The hops definitely emerge in the smell with more subtle grain and chocolate notes.

Thicker mouthfeel than I expected but is kind of refreshing combined with the malt balancing with the bitterness of the hops. Nothing totally stands out, but the taste is solid all around.

I have been on a mini-black IPA binge of late (totally means I've had 3 in the last few weeks) and overall this is a good one.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. This was actually handed to me right out of the case from the FCB Rep, which was pretty cool. Into a DFH Signature Glass.

Brewery lists this as 9.5%ABV on the website. "The Incredible Hop is a series of four high gravity, highly hopped, impeccably crafted brews to be released throughout 2011." According to the site this is the first of 4.

A: Pours incredibly dark, imperial stout dark, with almost an inch worth of light brown, dense head that recedes to a film of bubbles, and a ring of lacing all the way around the glass. Completely opaque. Nice looking beer.

S: Initially an enormous amount of west coast "C" hops, resinous, piney hops that smell exactly like a super fresh DIPA. Underneath that is a serious amount of roast and coffee as well. A few notes of caramel and burnt sugars linger quite a while. Surprisingly not much booze. Enjoyable.

T: Once again a huge amount resinous piney hops in this one, huge hop resin oils blast the tongue and fade into a substantial bitterness. Bitterness is aided by a huge roasted, but not quite burnt malt profile. Coffee and hops is an appropriate way to describe this. Unfortunately there is a bit of a harsh booze flavor at the end that is somewhat reminiscent of Popov vodka, which is the only thing really holding it back. Booze strengthens the bitterness. Lingers on the tongue for quite some time.

M: Medium body with a little bit stronger than I would like carbonation. Finishes really dry, and pretty hot ass well, but not too bad for a 10% beer, its too bad that the flavor of the booze is so present, because the warmth is about right.

D: Its a big, roasted, hoppy, boozey monster of a beer, and is pretty enjoyable. . High IBUs and high ABV are a potent combination, but I would enjoy every minute of drinking another bomber of this if I had one. Nicely done imperial version of the Black IPA.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new one from FCB I think. Haven't seen it before and it comes in a bomber.

Black pour, no ruby or rusty highlights. Still a bit glossy, not a pitch black as, say, Abyss, but it's not the same style. Nice tan-ish head, creamy, dense and somewhat rocky. Lacing is splotchy.

Aroma is sharp hops up front. Citrus and resinous, some earthy pine. Baked dark chocolate and hints of espresso.

Taste is almost spot on for an IPA that's black, but just a bit heavy on the resin. Alcohol cuts through the chocolate and coffee too much. Although it doesn't provide much of an obstacle to enjoyment, it does come through as boozy a tad.

Sharp feel to it, but again the booze is a bit more like nail polish remover as it warms.

Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this on trade, this Imperial. Pours a fine, deeply foamy, pitch black brew...moderate light does not penetrate. Smells of coffee, and late fruit, and chewy malt, that mostly hides the hoppiness. Taste is the same, the hop is strong, almost mono-dimensional, and warmth of alcohol. Bitter notes don't sustain much. I think an OK black IPA, but a bit heavy on the booze, and too unbalanced in its elements, keep it from being great.

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a regular ol pint glass.

This brew pours a pitch black with a reddish hint around the edges and a 2 finger deep tan head. A classic looking black IPA but going by the name only, i was expect a standard IPA. The aroma on this beer is very hoppy and strong, the hop profile is rather herbal and onion-y with a touch of pineapple. Going by the nose only, this beer is all IPA. The taste is mostly how it smells, very herbal hops and some skunkyness and a touch of citrus. The flavor is more IPA then black ale with a light presence of chocolate malts and caraffa although they dominate the appearance. As this beer warms, the hop flavors disappear and a smokey caramel begins to stand out as well as the 10% alcohol presence that I did not notice when it was colder. This beer isn't easy to drink but has a silky feel and full body that isn't overwhelming.

A solid imperial Black, not as up to par with Inequity or Sublimely Self Righteous but a solid example that isn't too far behind its leaders.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch bubbly dark khaki head that settles to a craggy cap. Random streaks and curtains of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Looks very much like a thick stout in the appearance. Smell is of roasted malt, grapefruit, and citrus zest. Taste is of pretty much one-sided with grapefruit and citrus zests up front with a minor malt presence on the finish. The taste is all about the hops and a bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. Mouthfeel is a bit flat with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good black ale that has somewhat overpowering hop flavors that don't allow the malt to really balance them out.

Photo of GJ40
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this at the brewery as part of the sampler. I thought the aroma was fantastic. The flavor wasn't quite as good but was enjoyable. I thought about picking up a bottle to take home but I'm a little tight on space so I passed. But it's worth a try.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This strikes me as a one dimensional black ale. Yeah, it's got all of the standard characteristics going on. Nothing really beyond that though. It does its job and gets it done well enough. Nice enough to drink, but not really leaving an impression that means much of anything. Very "standard."

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa. That will teach me not to read the bottle. Expecting an IPA, I poured it and almost jumped in shock at the deep, dark black colour coming out of the bottle. Deep and black it is, with a very fine and creamy head of milk-chocolate brown. Body is a little thinner than it would be for an imperial stout, but in all other respects it rather resembles one. Pretty impressive.

Nose is presented twice. First, still it gives off deep roasty and chocolate tones, with a deep dark sweetness that almost epitomises a big American stout. Then, when it's swirled, the resinous hop characters get released, giving a pine fragrance and sharp grapefruit aroma. Oddly enough, you never seem to get both at the same time—the hops overpower the dark characters when they're present, and when still, the hop fragrance isn't activated. It's interesting.

Taste is smooth enough, but missing something key. Here, the dichotomy of styles means that neither reaches its full potential: it's neither hoppy, crisp and bitter enough to be an IPA, nor full, rich, and deep enough to be a big stout. Instead, we get this middling ground of muddled chocolate, a bit of roast character and a lingering hop oil character on the back palate. Feel is smooth and pleasant, though, and the 10% is well hidden under the big confused flavours.

A nice beer, but not one that's particularly well integrated, and one that perhaps doesn't justify the existence of this style. And it's a style that continually needs to be justified when there's perpetually confused examples of it like this one.

Photo of lsummers
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a super black amber with a half finger chocolate head that dissipates fairly quickly. Has some apparent alcohol legs, as I'm not surprised seeing as this is 10 percent!

Smells of roasted grains and some cocoa with a touch of burnt brown sugar and raisins. Kinda reminds me of some quads only very hoppy. Herbal hedgerow hoppy notes with a touch of citrus. A little bit of alcohol comes though.

Taste comes through with the citrus and herbal hop notes that leads to brown sugar and roasted burnt chocolate grain. Bitter-sweet is a great way of describing it. Alcohol comes through on the after-taste.

Mouth-feel is fairly velvety with a lower carbonation. Reminds me of a stout more than the usual stickiness from double ipa's.

Overall, it's an interesting double black ipa. One I'm glad to have tried, especially since I do like exploring the black ipa's. The off-putting were the excessive amount of roasted burnt notes. Which I know is a characteristic of black ipa's but this one didn't match up. Also the Alcohol note was a detraction.

Photo of coldriver
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours opaque black with adequate head and lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt, alcohol, and citrusy hops. Taste of cocoa, licorice, and lemony hops with alcohol pretty well hidden for 10%. A bit metallic. Thin mouthfeel with rather wet finish. This beer really warms the belly at 10% but it's rather subdued for a beer this strong.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint. Deep black, three finger tan head, very nice lace.

The smell is mostly charred coffee and chocolate, there is a touch of citrus near the end.

The taste starts with creamy mocha and a small blast of the booze. Citrus hops end up in the middle followed by a chocolate/mineral/booze taste. Not bad, but a bit mineral and booze heavy. Goes down pretty smooth.

This beer will mess you up. The booze is there, but not noticeable enough until the chuckles hit. Overall I say grab one, it might be more up your alley than mine. I prefer a lower ABV and a bit more balanced ABlackA. Not bad though.

Photo of bschinelli
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Fair warning, I have a slight cold, so the rating could be affected.

A - Poured a nearly opaque deep bittersweet chocolate black and brown into the glass (a Dogfish Head strong ale glass), with an inch of dark tan foam that very slowly sinks into a tidal pool swell on top of the beer and thick lacing on the glass.

S - Here's where I may not be giving a fair review. I'm no picking up much of anything other than the hops. I was thinking i'd get some roast barley, but really just a light orange aroma with some hop astrengency.

T - The beer shines for me here, now I pick up the roasted barley, maybe some chocolate, burnt coffee in a good way, and molasses, with a lot of hop bitterness in the back of the throat. Oddly, very little warmth from the alchohol.

M - Relatively light on the palate for a beer of this type, in a pleasing way. Relatively crisp, you could drink this on a hot day.

O - I like the beer, even though I really didn't get the aroma, it has a pleasing taste and mouthfeel, and is dangerously easy to drink.

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Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA from The Fort Collins Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.