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Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA - The Fort Collins Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

80 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.81%
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: emmasdad on 03-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +5.8%

jaydoc, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head on a surprisingly clear dark brown body.

S: very strange as this one as a dark fruit aroma in the realm of dark fruit with mostly cherry, cocoa and raisin.

T: lots of chocolate, earthy hops, hints of dark fruit, roasted malts and Resin/pine. Nicely complex and diverse. Although, not what I want from a black IPA.

M: medium to full body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: definitely the best of the three or four brews in this series. Complex and different. A must try if you can find it at this point.

kylehay2004, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

StonedTrippin, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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."

RblWthACoz, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +5.8%

GClarkage, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Zorro, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Mebuzzard, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

beerthulhu, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

GarthDanielson, May 16, 2011
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of Haybeerman
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Haybeerman, May 10, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mouth-watering aroma is hoppy like a good IPA yet smoky like a good stout or porter. It pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a thick and rather persistent tan head that leaves some good lacing. Scrumptious flavor has strong hoppy, fruity and mocha notes with a burnt undertone and firm but not fierce hoppy bitterness and a noticeable alcohol bite. Firm-bodied texture is smooth yet lively, leaving a hoppy, edgy, bitter, and subtly fruit-sweet finish. I look forward to sampling more black IPAs. (Wait a minute - if you think about it, "Black IPA" is an oxymoron. How can something be black and pale at the same time?)

Cyberkedi, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev +5.8%

pathman, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of petermethot
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

petermethot, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
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

DarthKostrizer, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of barczar
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown/black with a frothy inch and a half tan head that slowly dissipates, leaving spotty lacing.

Roast malt and chocolate leap from the tulip, along with nutty aromas. Earthy hops and a bit of citrus and pine are present, but I struggle to find additional hop character. Malt overwhelms.

Flavor is more hop focused, with extremely tart citrus fruit at the base giving way to deeply roasty, bitter malt at the finish. Dank cannabis and fresh cut grass accompany grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine initially, and coffee grounds surface at the finish. Herbal, tea-like hops surface in the aftertaste.

Body is smooth and lush, a little full, with moderate to low carbonation, significant astringency, and moderate to high alcohol warmth.

Must be an old bottle or not have been dry hopped. Definitely dry and roasty, with enough hop character to keep the palate intrigued. Doesn't meld as well as some examples of the style, but good on several levels. A little bitter for my palate.

barczar, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of BMMillsy
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

BMMillsy, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

emmasdad, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
2.28/5  rDev -39.7%
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.

Beaver13, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

ktrillionaire, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Ryan011235
3/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Ryan011235, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

thinwhiteduke, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of tbone1384
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

tbone1384, Nov 09, 2012
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Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA from The Fort Collins Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.