Pitch Black IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

316 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 316
Hads: 789
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10%
Wants: 30
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-21-2009

Originally brewed as a 2010 one-time release called W'10, now a seasonal called simply 'Pitch Black IPA'

availability: January - April
bitterness: 65 IBU
alcohol by volume: 6.5%
original gravity: 16° PLATO

Malts:
Two Row Pale, Caramel 10 L, Special Roast, Carafa Special II

Hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Alchemy, Cascades
Dry Hop: Cascade T-45
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 316 | Hads: 789
Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A small, dense tan head with good retention crowns a deep-black body. The lacing is scattered and Belgian-style

Aroma: Dark roasted and charred malts are well-balanced against grassy and slight pine hops. Hints of caramel as present, as well.

Taste: Opens with dark roasted and charred malt, with hints of caramel here and there, along with a strong presence of mostly citric hops. There is an interlude of nuttiness as well, perhaps of roasted walnuts? The hops, overall, manage to dominate the taste with grapefruit coming to the fore, though there are lesser grassy notes. Late in the taste, the dark roasted malt makes a late appearance. Finishes with lingering citric hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, gracious and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Despite the "IPA" designation, this comes across, and comes across well, as a generously-hopped dark ale. Very pleasant and drinkable, especially on a cool autumn day, albeit out of its natural late winter to early spring season.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle, with a pop off crown. Served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice (1,155 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Pitch black (no surprises there). A dense, lumpy, tan head. Very good stickage. A very handsome beer.

Smell - Toasty. Bittersweet chocolate. Faint hop aroma.

Taste - Toasted malt followed, quickly, by bakers chocolate. Being an IPA, the hops are present but they are masked, somewhat, by the initial flavors that I spoke of. The beer has a sweet yet dry finish.

Mouth - Slick. Tart. Fizzy. In a word; BIG!

Overall - There is a lot going on here. This is a bold, complex beer that is not for the faint of heart. Strangely, the beer reminds me, a little, of a good German Dopplebock. Pop open a Bomber and enjoy! (679 characters)

Photo of Robert_Ray
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Unfortunately, I had this after a 97 BA Imperial Black IPA from Uinta. Maybe that is just unfair. I mean it is okay, but nothing special. Flat. No malty sweetness. No Hops to speak of. Minimal head and lacing. Kind of bland. Not saying it is not a drinker. It does go down rather smooth with no noticeable characteristics. That's the problem, it is just too middle of the road, which should appeal to those who like bland beers. Just won't be on my buy list again. (466 characters)

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Impenetrable black body. Dense beige head.

S: Bathwater and orange rind hoppiness. Very nice.

T: Dry and slightly smokey. No particularly analogous flavours. As it warms it becomes slightly dank and muddy, which improves it. Has some subtle chocolatey espresso like quality.

M: Slightly too much fizz.

O: Hmm. No quality issues, just not a delicious beer. Nice perfumey hoppy nose but the flavour is dry and boring. Black IPA? Surely it's just a porter. Not the best offering I've had from this brewery. (510 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-black with a brown head that leaves a good lace
S-light roast with a hint of caramel malt and light hops
T-caramel malt and roasted taste mixed with a light hop taste that leaves you with the same aftertaste, yet it has a tad more hop bitterness
M-medium bodt and medium carbonation
O-has a great mix of hops and roasted malt that does not overpower you and leaves me wanting more (382 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—when held up to a bright light, traces of reddish amber are noticeable along with a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense tan head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark and roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has additional hints of citrusy hops and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation and a slight amount of crispness.
O: This beer drinks very easily although it seemed like it would have been better if the aromas and flavors were a little stronger. (776 characters)

Photo of stoutman
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Love this one! Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a fluffy tan head. Roasted malt with some chocolate and hop aromas. Roasted malt, chocolate, hop, caramel, citrus and pine flavors. Medium body with moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Roasted malt and lightly sweet hop finish. A very good beer. (322 characters)

Photo of anarchia
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Intense floral hop aroma. Pours black, almost entirely opaque, with a thin white head leaving behind a lot of lacing on the glass. Piney hops, malt character shows up more as it warms: roasty with some caramel notes. Finishes with a slightly bitter and very dry finish. The beer itself is very good and great to drink but doesn't stand out much in my neck of the woods where there are arguably too many IPAs (if such a state is possible). (438 characters)

Photo of BeerGod27
2.49/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was a disappointing offering. First of all I love IPAs but I've only had a few black IPAs. Second, this wasn't a bad beer but it tasted more like a porter than an IPA. Smell was dark with a slight hop aroma. Taste was smokey (like a porter) and never tasted any hops. The aftertaste was the worst. It was slick, oily and tart. (331 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle dated Jun 03 13. Served in pint glass. Beer pours actually more brown than black, though totally opaque in the glass, with a medium foamy chestnut head. Aroma is decent, but more big malt brew than IPA, like a brown ale or even a coffee stout. Flavor confirms it: roasty, nutty flavors, with a strong mocha flavor. Like an overly fizzy chocolate stout. Besides the fizziness it has the thinner mouthfeel of an IPA, too. But -- not to say that this brew is too sweet -- I really don't get any particular hop character. To call this an IPA is a sham. Beeradvocate calls it American Black Ale, but this is no CDA either. Still, it's decently enjoyable for what it is, even if it misses the style guidelines. (716 characters)

Photo of hmich176
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I think the beer has a great ruby color when you hold it up to the light. As a result, it's not pitch black like it's name, but I think it looks great nonetheless. It's an okay beer otherwise. It's got a decent taste, with a bit of a piny smokiness to it. The brew is a bit thicker, and the carbonation gives it a bit of an edge. It did have nice lacing. It's a drinkable IPA, certainly.

serving type : Bottle. (412 characters)

Photo of kaufmaal
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, not quite pitch-black but fairly close. Some ruby highlights, and a tan head that's quite sizable and holds its own. Very nice lacing. Not too much on the nose - some malty pine, woodsy charcoal, a bit of grapefruit. For a black IPA it is very drinkable. More pine and citrus, some smokiness and malt. There's a bit of an oily feel, mild carbonation, heavier than I anticipated. Very reasonable price for a bomber at $4.99, and one I'd gladly get again if for anything to look at the great designs in the lacing: a cat, a whale, three cyclopes dancing arm-in-arm. (569 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark red with a three finger off-white head. Excellent retention.

Smells is a bit floral, bit of candy.

Taste is more on the hoppy side, interesting because there’s usually a lot of malt in black IPA.

It’s got hop presence without being too malty or too bitter. Drinkable to boot.

Very tasty beer. (315 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- not quite true to its name. a very deep brown but not black. Creamy cappuccino head lasts a long time.
S- understated but interesting. Subtle earthy hops.
T-an interesting blend of roasted malt and pine hops.
M- very smooth. No carbonation noted.
O- an interesting IPA mixed with a dark beer. (295 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours completely black, nice 1 finger head, khaki colored, minimal lacing.
S - Mild hop aroma, darker malts and some smokey grass scents as well.
T - Extremely balanced, nice roasty malts with a good floral hop quality.
M - Medium feel, not too heavy or sticky from the malt, just right.
O - This is what I'd recommend to people when wanting to try a black IPA, this is a very solid brew that is sessionable when you want the darker side of malts and roasted flavor with a good hop balance. (517 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Never been the biggest fan of Widmer, but I couldn't say no to the name; sounded like a new take on my favorite style, so I thought I'd give it a go. Certainly the darkest IPA I've seen in a long time, but not "pitch black" like you would expect of an Imperial Stout. Instead it was a thinner, very very dark red, more similar to a porter, with a thin white head. Aroma is fairly benign: mild hops, light pine and some cocoa. Smokey flavor up front, leaves some chocolate and coffee on the palate. There are definitely some hops there, but the malts take a much bigger part of the stage. Mouthfeel was crisp, watery compared to a stout or a porter, heavy carbonation.

Interesting brew. Sort of joins the worlds of IPAs and Stouts/Porters. I don't really know if it was a bridge that needed to be built though. Usually when I drink an IPA I'm not in it for the maltyness, and when I drink a stout, I'm not there for hops. A good beer, but a good beer with no home. (965 characters)

Photo of Noxious26
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz brown bomber with pry off cap poured in a miscellaneous large glass at our rental condo in Turtle Bay, North Shore, Oahu. Purchased at Whole Foods in the Kahala Mall, but cheaper at the Sunset Beach Foodland on the North Shore.

Pitch Black is a great name as it's absolutely opaque. Obsidian black with a big foamy brown head over 1 inch on the pour and a solid 1/16th that sticks around with gobs of lacing.

Aroma is pretty muted. Faint roasted malts and undiscernable hops. Maybe a little floral.

Flavour profile morphs throughout. Roasted malts at the start, floral and citrus hops in the middle and burnt malt and dark roast coffee in the finish. Not extremely complex, but just enough to keep it interesting without muddling things.

Full bodied and rich with mild carbonation and a long finish.

This is quickly becoming one of my favourite styles. Not the best example I've had, but a solid offering and a welcome surprise on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (984 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Color was a mostly opaque black with a thick 1 finger light brown head. A fair bit of cling on the sides. Aroma was a roasted grain, with a bit of brown sugar in the back. Bits of lactose alternated with a bitter smell. Flavor was roasted grain with a bit of burnt lactose. As time went on, the burnt got a bit stronger. Felt good in the mouth, coated very well without being overly sticky. Overall not bad, but nothing special. (465 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cherry black with a puffy, pitted tan head that surprisingly sticks around.
Orange oil, brown sugar syrup, ash, leather and licorice sticks on the nose.
Cola, licorice sweets, a roasty bite and then mild orange rind and pine sap hops.
Thin, crisp, a bit of cling.

Alchemy hops are seemingly a blend of Warrior and Millenium.

Watery and not hopped enough for a CDA. Plays almost like a hoppy schwarzbier. Heard Widmer was the best of the CBA; this is a disappointment. (472 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as the name suggests, some brown hints along the top and very edges; tan head settles to a thin layer, medium lacing down the glass. Aroma starts off sticky, heavy, and dank with heavy hop oils and resinous layers unfolding left and right. The taste follows right through, overtaken by a solid hop profile; dank, oily, resinous. Slightly peppery, very faint citrus flavors, wet grapefruit rinds. Overall the hops are mostly wet and spicy. The backbone of this beer is very malty and it does a nice job of toning down the hops. Slight roasted character in the background; leaves a bready aftertaste which is very reminiscent of dry rye bread. Medium body, medium-high carbonation, just a touch of stickiness on the palate.

Not a bad beer at all. Black IPA's always surprise me, even though I know what to expect. It's like that purple colored Ketchup. Tastes like ketchup, but it just looks weird. Nice hop profile and a good balance with the roasted malts. Definitely a better brew than I was expecting. (1,016 characters)

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Near black mahogany body, 1" khaki head

S- very nice floral aroma with nutty roasted malt making their presence known, i also smell clay, which i have been getting hints of in some brews lately. I guess i can call it earthy?

T- Dark chocolate and floral sweet hops, the bitterness of the 2 go well together. Hints of alcohol twang and heat show up at the end

M- Medium body, good carbonation

O- I was going to give this an average score as i jotted down the review on paper, but as i began typing it up, the beer warmed, and i found myself liking it more and more. This is the 4th and final bottle out of the 4 pack, the 1st was such a disappointment that i drain poored it, the 2nd was ok, the 3rd good, and the 4th ended up being pretty damn tasty. I'm glad i caught it at the perfect temp and decided not to review it until now. Time to got turn the thermostat down on my fridge. (938 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap in a mug at the Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, Calif.

A- Finger width head. Thick lacing and decently long lasting retention. Black color.

S- Roast malts and barley but still some hoppiness.

T- Very hoppy with an added bitterness from the roast barley. Dark tastes!

M- Lighter body and good carbonation. Nice feel.

O- Pretty good, combines styles well. (374 characters)

Photo of BhamBeerLover
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much of a malt profile for a "pitch" black IPA. Would've expected some roasted notes or at least something in the darker category. For a fan of the dark cascadians this beer left me wanting on that subject. Otherwise this beer was good and I would drink again but cannot say I would choose it over some of the other options out there. I look forward to more brews coming out of the Widmer brothers operation. (412 characters)

Photo of McD0uche
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark black/brown color that lets little to no light in. The head is barely noticeable and quickly subsides into a few frothy bubbles. Lacing is nonexistent. Nothing extraordinary here.

S: A complex mix of malts, hops, grapefruit, chocolate, and cherries. Not overpowering or lasting, but enjoyable and appealing.

T: Grapefruit, tangy, malts, a hint of chocolate. A bit too sweet for my liking, but overall good.

M: Tart. Feels a little acidic on the tongue. Oily finish. Definitely not the best feeling on the palate.

O: Well, this wasn't too bad, but I wasn't impressed with it either. The mouthfeel sort of killed it for me. There are probably better black IPAs out there. No memorable qualities come to mind for this beer and I doubt I'll remember it for too long. 3/5 (791 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$9 something for a 4 pack. Better than paying half that for 1 bottle at the Old Chicago.

It's a pitch black pour with a small tannish head of foam. Not much lacing.

A very good smell here. I get grapefruit from the hops, roasted malt and some malt sweetness, done in a very balanced way. I came in not expecting much but the aromas of Pitch Black are darned good.

The taste is just as good. All 3 flavours are there and are just as balanced as what I got from the smell. A very nice roasty/hoppy finish that makes me want to open another bottle. From Widmer? Really? That's a new experience for me.

Nothing wrong with the mouthfeel either...medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how well this beer turned out. Especially as it was not at what I'd call a bargain for a 4 pack. Kudos to the brewer! (850 characters)

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Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.