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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.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 83
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 22.4%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 83
Photo of Beaver13
2.31/5  rDev -38.4%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

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Photo of SamN
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of lsummers
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber to a pint glass.

A - The beer pours a deep black color. Opaque. No highlights or colors on the corner. The head was a nice 1 1/2 finger tan had. Thick lacing not a ton of lacing.

S - Citrus and piney hops up front though not nearly as strong as I anticipated. Some chocolate and coffee tones as well. Not as much here as I anticipated or expected.

T - Well the beer starts pretty sweet. Not much roast, chocolate, or resin flavors immediately. The middle of the beer brings a strong bitterness and the malt flavor, though not a terrific blend. The alcohol cuts through on the back end. A little stiff, not a great blend.

M - It starts smooth and quickly fades to sharp. Good carbonation.

D - A little strong in the alcohol flavor for much drinkability.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-15-2011 02:20:27

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i didnt like this as much as the wet hop, but another good ipa in the series. pours a midnight black color with a small and fleeting off white head. the nose is charred malt and one of the C hops, but not sure which. flavor brings good balance between both malt and hop, and its a nice showcase of how a dark toasty malt can be good with a sweeter, oily hop variety. finish is bitter as. mouthfeel works, plenty of mellow bubbles, and a full body. its a good bomber to share really, as its quite strong, but the alcohol is well hidden, and its a very palatable brew. havnt loved everything from fort collins, but this whole series has been good so far.

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Photo of amorpork
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured with virtually no head. Deep brown with little lacing. Flavor is nice and acidity with an open boozy finish. I don't find it hoppy enough to carry the name "incredible hop" but whatever. It's good but do not know if I would buy again. Probably not but I can be persuaded if what around it is worse!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Heatwave33
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of gpogo
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of bschinelli
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Photo of GJ40
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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."

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Photo of coldriver
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of babaracas
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, black in the glass, two fingers of creamy medium brown colored head, delicate splotches of lace left behind. Smell: pungent pine, tangerine, citrus rind, a hint of bitter chocolate way beneath. Taste: pine, pulpy grapefruit, leafy, light roasted note with a little powdery dark chocolate. Nice, but it's far too boozy. Light-medium bodied but sprints off the palate leaving hot booze and piney astringency. Just tone down the booze and this one would be pretty nice.

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of mjvos
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark black color (dark ruby red in intense light). Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a skim. Decanted lightly (see it when held up to strong light). Laced in spots and broken rings.

S: Big caramel malt aromas. Floral and herbal hops follow; grapefruit, pine and white pepper too. Bitter roasted coffee in the background. No noticeable boozy aroma.

T: Rich toasted malts and a variety of hop flavors consistent with the nose. Huge resiny hops dominate the middle. Very sharply bitter in the finish accentuated by the coffee flavors. The bitter along with warming alcohol linger a bit in the finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation (a little more may have helped the finish). Big resiny monster. Finishes really dry and warming.

O: Good deal of malt character in a huge hoppy beer. ABV limits drinkability somewhat.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from The Wine Seller in Ann Arbor. Pours deep black with ruby edges and an off white one finger head. Aroma of big pine cones, really focusing on the hops. I don't get much roast but that's ok. Flavor follows with bitter pine, a nice yet very slight roasted malt backing, and a bit of grapefruits. This really focuses on the hops for the style. Medium mouthfeel, slightly dry, and plenty of carbonation. A very solid black IPA. Pretty good.

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Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA from The Fort Collins Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.