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Pitch Black IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA

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

724 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 724
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%

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:
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

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

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Alchemy, Cascades
Dry Hop: Cascade T-45

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-21-2009)
View: Beers (70) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 724 | Reviews: 313 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of delta490


3.94/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2013 11:47:38 | More by delta490
Photo of Murrhey


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2012 01:13:40 | More by Murrhey
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a deep drown beer with a one-half finger white head. The head had great retention, but eventually faded to give decent lacing..

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of hop. A nice dose of citrus and pine are mixed with aromas of roasted malt and a light chocolate smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice blend of roast and hop. A chocolate and roasted malt flavor mixed with some citrus and pine notes. As the flavor advances to the middle the roasted flavors get stronger while the hop remains the same. At the same time a light char flavor comes to the tongue as well, complementing the roasted flavors well. The roast and char flavors, at the end, begin to lose ground to some sweeter flavors as well as more hop. Some semi-sweet coffee and citrus grapefruit hop flavor combine with the rest to nicely round out the taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side with the carbonation the same.

Overall – A pretty decent dark IPA. It has a good hop and roast flavors. While not the best out there, as it’s transitions and complementation of the roast, sweet and hop flavors are not always smooth, it does have decent individual flavors..

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2012 22:33:52 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of TheBrewo


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the tap at The Half Pint Pub in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a Pabst Blue Ribbon pint glass, and showed a deep brown coloring throughout. It held a half finger tall tannish head, showing okay retention without any noticeable lacing. No sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared average. The aroma gave citric hops, caramel and light coffee malts to balance with some sweetness, and light steel and yeast. Our first impression was that the malts are nicely deep, with big bready yeast and metals on the back. As we sipped, biting grain of coffee malts, yeast, syrupy sugars, fresh juicy and grassy hops, and citric rind to bitter started things off. The middle showed adjuncty bite to the peak, with more bread, yeast, and burnt caramel. We finished with full on char mixing with a big hoppy balance of citrus and nectary peach fruitiness. It was much more sweet than bitter, at least at the end. The aftertaste showed booze, charred coffee beans, peppery alcohol, and grassy aromatic hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium to high, prickling down the hard palate. The tongue was coated in hop oil slickness before a drying bite of finishing booziness cooled the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the hop freshness through the taste. The nose, however, was comparatively weak. Following in the taste, we wished there was a better balance throughout, as we felt the malts were underdeveloped, and the hops were left without any real good match.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2012 16:52:26 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Kooz

New York

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap and served in a snifter, the beer is, as the name aptly states, pitch black with a light tan head that has some staying power. Looks appetizing.

Smells faintly burnt with some stronger hops notes, but not overpowering. Nice.

Tastes bitter but not overly so, and slightly smoky with a hint of sweetness at the final finish. It's fairly complex, with notes rising above others at different point in the sipping process. It's got a nice flavor; not overly hoppy--perfect amount of hop taste, in my opinion.

Full-bodied with explosions of flavor when swished. It's crisp and refreshing (even though you don't expect it from looks alone).

Overall it's very nice--I' happily order this again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2012 19:03:38 | More by Kooz
Photo of estlinska


3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the J. Clyde in June 2011. Pours a flat black color that eats up the light with a very moderate chestnut tones at the edges of the glass. Creamy, khaki head with decent lacing overall. The nose was light on hops, mostly pine and lemons, and heavy on the roasted malt. The tast was full of oily hops, very pine driven and low key on the malt; more the opposite of the nose, which was a little off for me. Overall not a bad beer, but maybe could have produced a more harmonious interaction between malt and hop.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 07:22:39 | More by estlinska
Photo of BucannonXC5


4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a goblet at South Park Abbey in San Diego, Calif., on May 5, 2012. About two fingers of head. Color was espresso. White lacing that lasted for the entirety of the pour. Lots of film across the glass.

Smelled smoky spices up front, followed by sharp and wet hops. Roasty coffee notes as well.

Tasted just a bit hoppier than the smell. I want to say tangerine hops first. Also some pine, roasted nuts and a small hint of coffee notes.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

Really enjoyed this beer. Would love to pick up some more.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2012 05:22:19 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of Durge


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another nice find at The World of Beers in Fort Myers, Florida, this black IPA has a solid black color with a big tan layer of thick bubbles on top and really impressive lacing. The nose detects piney hop delight with citrus edges and just a touch of swampy malt. Very much what the doctor ordered. The flavor offers a minty pine/herbal/citrus medley of hop goodness with a touch of bread pudding sweetness. It’s medium bodied with a smooth midland feel that includes a healthy carbonation. A very solid black IPA that I enjoyed.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2012 03:09:01 | More by Durge
Photo of jsanford


3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA.

Pours a very dark brown with reddish edges and a thin white head that settles to a slight haze and ring. Pungent aromas of resinous hops, coffee beans, and a touch of chocolate. Taste is similar to the nose, more citrus and pine hops with a lightly bitter roasted malt profile. Mouthfeel is fairly light and crisp, with a medium body and good carbonation. Maybe a touch on the watery side. Overall a very easy-drinking Black IPA, but nothing special. I'll stick with Sublimely Self-Righteous.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2012 19:01:43 | More by jsanford
Photo of mltobin


3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the Ginger Man a few weeks ago, from notes.

Appearance is black with a thin tan head. Its` nose has resin hops, roasted malts and some notes of chocolate. The taste contains piney hops, general earthiness, malts and a bit of black licorice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a nice, clean finish to it. All things considered, a pretty good black ale, but nothing worth seeking out imho.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2012 19:54:01 | More by mltobin
Photo of Kegatron


2.78/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap @ the Widmer Gasthaus (Portland, OR) on 9/4/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, with a ½ finger of light mocha head. This retains mostly with a foamy ring but does have a decent looking flare-up to it, leaving back some light spotty froth. The aroma smells very floral, with an extra touch of spice and pine embedded in the nose as well. Grapefruit and sweet malts combo to add a green twang to this; while darker roast finishes things off in the back. I think that this is focusing a little too much on that green twang here overall.

Malts are prominent up front of the taste, with chocolate character and some tangier feeling caramel as well. This melds into that green citric bitterness before finishing with a roasted backend. Dry pith, spice, and pine all linger fairly strongly. That green bitterness here is just coming on too strong and really throws the profile here off at times. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sharp on the tongue but is a bit creamier and smooth feeling on top, which helps this go down. For 6.5%, the alcohol here is very well hid.

I just wasn’t digging this one. That flat tasting green citrus flavor just controlled too much of the taste here and ultimately made this a fairly bland drinking experience. It’s too bad to, as the nose showed some promise.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 18:36:23 | More by Kegatron
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Schooners Patio Grille in Santa Clarita, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted dark malt and a pungent herbal hop aroma. Taste is of roasted dark malts with citrus zest and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is also a bit of a roasted coffee bean flavor I am picking up too. Very mild bitterness on the palate after each sip quickly fades. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good black ale with a nice balance between the roasty malt and the hop flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 20:18:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of psuKinger


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at 6-and-Save, poured into a tulip.

A: As the name indicates, pours pitch black, but with a surprisingly light colored off-white head on top that didn't stick around for long. 4.0

S: hoppy goodness is prominent in the nose. Not exactly sure of the variety, if I had to guess I'd go with Cascade, but whatever it is it's very pronounced. 4.5

T: an awesome blend of roasted malt and hop, this is what "black IPA" should be. Roasty malts are present but take a back seat to the hops, which are prominent here. Finishes nice and bitter. 4.5.

M: moderate body, the dark malts add "thick heft" here. Would prefer it just a touch lighter... 4.0.

D/O: Drinks well, an overall pleasant hoppy black IPA. 4.0

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2011 23:12:48 | More by psuKinger
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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

A pint at a pub in the Basque Quarter of Boise, ID.

This beer appears a clear, very dark cola colour, with a half finger of creamy off-white head, which leaves some sparse stringy lace around the glass as it quickly fades. It smells of toasted bready malt, and mild citrus hops. The taste is light roasted chocolate malt, and soft bitter, earthy hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight and smooth. It finishes off-dry, the same two components carrying through to the end.

A nicely drinkable, understated black IPA. I could see this as a transition beer for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 22:04:54 | More by biboergosum
Photo of harsley


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty much what a Black IPA should be, if you added a little more hops. It was very hoppy, don't get me wrong, but I think it could've used a little more to put it over the top. I was impressed with the malt base though. It was dark, as it should be, but not too roasty or harsh. I picked up some chocolate to go along with the bitter hops and it finished nice and dry as an IPA should. A surprise find at a bar I wasn't expecting much from.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 14:54:01 | More by harsley
Photo of PorterLambic


3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours well, pitch black. A nice creamy looking light tan head with really good retention and good lace.
Smell is floral and hoppy with a resin presence and some malt hiding in the back. Balance is good.
Taste is piney hops and floral with some malt and a note of alcohol.
Medium bodied with a medium effervescence. Aftertaste is where the malt is mpst noticeable, balancing the hops nicely. This is, fortunately, not one of those over-hopped IPAs we get so often these day. A well-rounded brew from start to finish.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2011 23:22:22 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is jet black, with chestnut highlights and a frothy, skimpy head that clings to the glass. The nose is heavy of roasted malt/caramel, with steady hop presence, citrus notes, and a slight milk chocolate character. Flavors are smooth dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with a dark, wet, resinous hop profile that balances, but doesn't overpower. Take a chocolate orange, melt it in a coffee pot, and hop the shit out of it. Slight bittersweet aftertaste, with a dry, astringent finish. Delicious!

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 01:00:43 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black body with a scant, light beige-colored head depositing some sheer, gauze-like lace on the descent.

Smell: A sprinkling of licorice over energetically roasty malts hit the nostrils firstly, then notes of citrus, well-chilled coffee and a vague hint of muted chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste: Lightly sweetened, thanks-but-no-cream coffee, some subtle semi-sweet chocolate morsels, and, of course, the roasted malts. Very limited hint of dark fruit. A drop of lonely vanilla. Earthy, citrusy hops ricocheting between lemon and grapefruit. A blip of resin. Moderate bitterness. Sweet and fruity on the finish, though there is some encompassing, lingering bitterness present.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's got some punch to it, but it's also still fairly smooth. These beers are going from unique to hackneyed in a real hurry with every brewery racing to produce one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2011 16:28:56 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely opaque sable with a minimal head - but this may have been an artifact of the pour. Aroma is not strong but invitingly hoppy with a bit of a smoky hint. Flavor is hoppy and rather bitter with a malty undertone and just a hint of unsweet chocolate. Texture is fairly smooth, yet lively and tingly. If you like both IPAs and stouts, I’m sure you will dig this one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2011 01:49:10 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of WastingFreetime


2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A. The same color as a Guiness. The head also mimics a Guiness, one finger thick sandy tan made up of millions of tiny creamy bubbles.

S. Okay, this is bugging me, why is this even called an IPA? To me an IPA speaks of fruity scents, which are absent from this beer. Instead the hop scent is entirely floral and light. Very subdued nose. I totally agree with this site classifying this beer as an American Black Ale on the evidence of the nose alone. Besides the small bouquet of flowery hops, there are some vaguely acrid charred malt smells. I mean that in the best way possible. Still, I think that there is a hell of lot of room for more complexity in there.

T. Burnt unsweetened chocolate with earthy hop tones which fall apart a bit too rapidly for my liking, leaving me with alone with a bit too much astringency. Than it turns into subtle leathery flavor tones that I do enjoy. It is difficult to tell where the bitterness from the malt and the bitterness from the hops separate.

M. Not nearly heavy enough, and yet it is too oily. The biggest downfall of this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2011 00:45:08 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of jbertsch


3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap.

Black in appearance with a small frothy head. I can’t tell if a bigger head is easily gotten with this brew – I was served what I was served. Fair lacing.

Aroma was very roastey with noticeable charred notes and hints of chocolate. I did not notice any significant hops. Made me wonder iold the keg was and it’s been selling. But I did notice a couple other people having it.

Taste is all roasted malt with a sense of powdery oats and unsweetened cocoa. Notes of coffee grinds are also in the mix. I still don’t taste any major hop presence; however I know the remnants of som are in there for balance.

Creamy mouthfeel, and quite dry. This drank much more like a porter than a hoppy black ale.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2011 14:43:12 | More by jbertsch
Photo of LazyL

British Columbia (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My pint glass appears almost black with a creamy tan Stout style head. The nose is subtle molasses with some mild pine, citrus and floral notes. The taste is only mildly bitter with some herbal hop notes and a bit of banana on the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and overall is very similar to a Porter. A dark IPA not so much as I think its a little light on the bitterness side, but American Black, maybe.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2011 04:31:43 | More by LazyL
Photo of CHickman

New York

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer Review from 3/20/2011, on tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY: pours pitch black with a small tan head that faded fast and left very good lacing with rings.

Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, piney hops, toasted grains, and light coffee; smells like an IPA and a stout mixed together, which actually works well.

Tastes sweet with citrus hops, orange peel, grapefruit, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, piney hops, toasted grains, light coffee, faint vanilla, and peat moss or burnt wood that left a slight bitter finish that was almost clean.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with light carbonation, a light body and an overall crisp feel that has a malty taste with hints of smoked malts or grains. Very nice beer overall, I'd definitely have it again.

Note: had this again from a bottle on 5/15/2012 and enjoyed it again; appearance was much better this time as it poured pitch black with a huge 2 finger foamy tan head that faded very slowly and left very good lacing with foamy rings as it went down; a nice looking beer from the bottle. It seemed hoppier as well, a roasted malt IPA comes to mind as the hops and roasted malts are equal parts in this nose and flavor, which was very good overall.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2011 03:57:23 | More by CHickman
Photo of Gambrinus1184


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Thomas Hooker pint glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: More deep, near black, mahogany amber in color with a thin, wispy head that leaves great lacing and leaves a bit of bubbly, creamy lace.

S: Nice, grassy, herbal, leafy hop aroma with a hint of roasted grains and charred malt husk. Pungent hops are floral, fruity citrus aromas are abound as well.

T: Flavorful, bittersweet, roasted malt flavor up front with a quickly building hop profile. Tropical fruits, herbal, piney and citrusy hop resins coat the palate lending flavors of raisin, grapefruit and a bitter, leafy hop sting. Finish is dry, spicy and lingers with a slick hop residue that is bittersweet.

M: Slightly sticky sweet as the brew warms, but overall, a nice, medium-full bodied mouthfeel with a fine balance.

D: The 6.3% ABV is nice and warming as the brew sits a while. The hops are a nice surprise for hopheads who might not be expecting to get their fix with this black ale. Of all the black IPAs that have recently swamped the market, Pitch Black actually makes an impression on me because it's basically a nice IPA in disguise. And from Widmer no less!

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2011 02:26:40 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/19/2011 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, floral hops, chocolate and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong hops bitterness and then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a solid beer but there are better ones within the style.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2011 16:23:52 | More by TheManiacalOne
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Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 724 ratings.