Dark Vine - Ithaca Beer Company
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
4.79/5 rDev +23.1%
I got three of these spooky black bottles in a beautiful 12-pack Box of Hops at the Brookton Market in Brooktondale on a bike ride yesterday. I love the wood-grain theme on box, and as I'm a long-time fan of IBC's Flower Power, was really glad to see it with 3 new companion ales. The Creeker and Double Zilla had quite a bit of sediment on bottoms, Flower Power just a trace, so I figured this Dark Vine would have it too, though the brew is so dark and opaque I couldn't see any, even with a 100 watt floodlamp shining through it. Swirled the bottle just in case yeast is hiding in the brown bottle glass, and poured high to make an inch head bulging perfectly over the brim of a pint glass. Head is tan-brown, brew so dark that the spotlight shining through it looks violet-red. Lacing hangs on down the glass like a coffee-colored curtain, fine head film hangs on top for the 20 minutes it takes to sip this rascal.
Smells funky strong hops and fruity black cherry. Cherry? Maybe because the light shining through it turned that weird dark cerise?
Tastes at first strangely hollow, the dark color doesn't seem to come from dark malts. Hops are exactly where I want them, though, so the next sips I mash around in my mouth more before swallowing. As I get over the surprise of the first few sips I start to find the missing center to a fine dry hoppy mouthfeel that makes my mouth water after each swallow. The only piece missing to this great puzzling black beer is a bit more roasty dark malt flavor, but maybe that's just a problem with my expectation from such a stout-looking brew.
10-30-2013 00:15:55 | More by jameswaldo
3.91/5 rDev +0.5%
Appearance: pours a nice dark brown color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls to bubbles hugging the rim of the glass.
Smell: pine, hop bitterness, and a bit of earthiness comes through to the nose.
Taste: slightly roasted malt goodness with pine, grapefruit, raisins, and an earthy hop bitterness wrapped in a mild alcohol blanket.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish with some dryness late.
Overall: this was an enjoyable Black IPA, slower sipping but mildly refreshing. Defintely worthy of a try.
10-26-2013 16:06:05 | More by Gavage
3.6/5 rDev -7.5%
This beer started off with so much promise, but I found it to be very disappointing.
The aroma was quite nice. It was very hoppy smelling with floral and pine notes. Roasted barley lay just beyond with some roasted malts as well.
The appearance was good too, dark and menacing with a tall light beige head making a nice contrast.
The disappointment came in the taste. Which was like a shell to the aroma meaning if it tasted like the nose we would have a winner but it doesn't
Instead we have a beer that tastes watery with a brash bitter acidic taste.
The characteristics of the nose are missing. The floral hops which smelled so fresh are absent as well as the roasted maltiness.
The beer drinks thin and watery with an abrasive charcoal finish before a massive bitter ending.
The things I like about black IPA'S are the fresh hops and roasted character. These two things are absent.
What would be nice would be a blend of flower power with a roasted porter, thats a black IPA
10-26-2013 13:29:54 | More by micromaniac129
3.41/5 rDev -12.3%
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass/goblet glass.
Pours a dark black body with a fingers worth of fluffy tan colored head. Body shows a cola like color around the edges when held up to the light.
Smells of pine and hops, there's a burnt smell of some sort that I could not quite pin down. An almost sour smell. Wasn't really appealing.
Tastes way better than it smells. Definitely a hoppy beer! Still on the fence withe whole black IPA thing, but this is pretty tasty. Grapefruit/citrus dominates followed by a smoky malt sweet finish.
Very easy drinker, smooth and easy. Smokiness from the malts and bitter bite from the hops. Pretty well balanced beer.
Wasn't super impressed, but really liked how easy this was to drink. Wasn't overly impressed with the aroma, but the taste and drink-ability more than made up for it. Unlike the first beer I had from the Box of Hops (The Creeker) this one can easily be a one and done brew.
10-24-2013 22:46:50 | More by jhartley
3.89/5 rDev 0%
A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color of rosewood coated in black lacquer, with a faded khaki, 1.5-finger head. The head has great retention, and a nice fluffy texture. A very good amount of lacing, and overall very pretty to look at.
S: Hops mixed with burnt caramel and a bit of citrus juice. Thick pine aromas blend well with the toasted malt underneath. Aromas of oak, coniferous stands, dirt, grass, and a touch of caramel.
T: A good mixture of toasted malt and sticky hops lands this beer right in the middle of both camps. flavors of dark fruit up-front with a hoppy ride through the swallow, and a dry/alcoholic aftertaste. Notes of prunes, pine cones, creme brulee, alcohol, with a slight orajel aftertaste.
M: Fluffy in, syrupy down, hollow after. It's a warm and comforting beer, but a lot of that comes from it's higher abv. It puffs up on the initial sip, then sticks on the back of your tongue on the swallow, which is a little odd. The afterfeel of boozy esters and hollow dry hops leaves something to be desired. Overall, however, for a 9.5% abv beer, it's pretty smooth.
O: The Black IPA is a fantastic winter beer to those who can't stomach the malty/spicy offerings usually found on offer in the darker months. That being said, it's a style that is still young and developing constantly. This particular beer could be a fine example of the style with a bit of tweaking. It's the first Black IPA I've tasted from Ithaca, so perhaps they're still experimenting, but it's a strong start to an exciting style.
10-23-2013 02:03:54 | More by TangTKE402
4.2/5 rDev +8%
Poured into DFH signature glass; pours clear brown, black in the glass with rising carbonation feeding a nice finger-thick cream-colored head that descends slowly leaving sticky rings of lacing.
Smell; I could smell it as soon as I opened it. Gotta love fresh hoppy beers...in the glass, you'd never know it was a black IPA if it weren't for a slight dark cocoa-like malty smell behind the hops. Hop smells have lots of citrus and floral aromas, with some lighter pine behind that. The sweeter smells fade after a bit, leaving some sort of sharp, metallic odor. It's almost ammonia-like; perhaps this is what people are talking about when they say hops smell like cat urine. It's odd, but not a bad thing for some reason.
Tastes exactly like you'd imagine a black ipa would; like a porter mixed with an ipa. Smooth, clean dark cocoa malt flavors blending with fruity and citrusey hop flavors, moving smoothly into a bitter finish with lightly piney hop bitterness melding with the slight roasted bitterness from the darker malt.
Mouthfeel is medium-light, like a lighter porter; smooth and clean, finishing slightly dry and bitter.
Overall, a very nice cascadian dark ale (the term I prefer). Fresh hop flavors blend nicely with dark malt very well. Another winner from the Box of Hops.
10-22-2013 02:35:05 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
4.05/5 rDev +4.1%
A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Dark brown on the pour, but black in the glass with a small (half-finger) khaki head on top. Leaves behind a nice thick ring of lace up top, then some splotchy "legs" of lacing on the way down the glass.
S: Nice nose - roast, charcoal, pine, leafy tobacco and citrus.
T: Roasted barley foundation that brings to mind charcoal, smoke and ash on the finish. Juicy hops are there: citrus earlier on, then pine at the finish. Lingering bitterness on the palate. Does not drink like a 9.5% ABV beer at all, as there's no heat on the palate early (more as it warms however) and only a modest warming sensation in the belly.
M: Medium-to-full-bodied. Carbonation is modestly active but not obtrusive.
O: Quite good, though a bit too much char/ash to meet my ideal ABA.
10-19-2013 21:51:34 | More by Kendo
Dark Vine from Ithaca Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.