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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

721 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 721
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 721 | Reviews: 313 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of welldigger888

South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful deep garnet, then held to light and it was a nice bright deep garnet, nice. Nice off white head that laced ok.

Roasty toasty malt with a nice helping of hops.

Smooth roasted malty, BAM, nice hop bitterness with some piney hits as well.

Seems a bit thin, shame, because I really like this brew. The carbonation is good just seems that it is watery.

At the right price this would be a go to beer for me, that said $8 a 4pk & the thinness will hold this back for me.

With all due respect, was out in Portland in early 2010 when this was rolled out, seemed better maybe fresher. The $6.99 sixer price was real nice to.

Serving type: growler

04-12-2011 23:43:56 | More by welldigger888
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler at CBX for a little weekend treat...

A: Served in a standard shaker pint... Looks black, but upon closer inspection, perhaps its more of a dark brown with some garnet on the edges; a one-finger almond head leaves some sheets and spots of lace.

S: Grapefruit and piney hops are in the forefront, but not quite as kickin' as I was expecting; some sweet malts and toast in the background are there for good support.

T: Hoppy bitterness, but again, kinda subdued - at least compared to other Black IPAs... some grapefruit rind and light piney-ness; deep caramel / burned sugar sweetness on the finish; hmmm... about the finish... its a touch bland and feels like its missing something.

M: Medium-full body and pretty creamy; low carbonation; a tad thin / watery, though.

D: Its a good brew - definitely not as aggressive as other Black IPAs out there, though (although, I see that Ba has this listed as an American Black Ale - not the Cascadian Dark / Black IPA). Its not too "in your face," which helps drinkability, but the blandness leaves something to be desired.

Serving type: growler

03-06-2011 19:33:18 | More by jpro
Photo of a0lbudman


4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 01:36:27 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of metter98

New York

3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 03:39:00 | More by metter98
Photo of stoutman


3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 01:20:55 | More by stoutman
Photo of anarchia


3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
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).

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 06:06:11 | More by anarchia
Photo of BeerGod27

South Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -33.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 21:16:24 | More by BeerGod27
Photo of hreb


3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 01:23:05 | More by hreb
Photo of hmich176


3.29/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 13:28:14 | More by hmich176
Photo of kaufmaal


3.98/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 03:06:25 | More by kaufmaal
Photo of Smurf2055


3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 04:59:30 | More by Smurf2055
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 Omnium


3.95/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 22:48:27 | More by Omnium
Photo of Samuel906


3.36/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 04:44:34 | More by Samuel906
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Into a nonic pint glass:

A: jet black colored body had a nice tan half finger head appeared for thirty seconds and slowly settled into the body. No carbonation was seen rising because the body was too dark. Tan foamy lacing was left around the sides of the glass.

S: hops and pine up front with just a bit of citrus in the background. Some roasted coffee tones came out as the beer warmed.

T: roasted coffee up front with the hops and pine taking more of a secondary role. Some smokiness came out in the taste as well.

M: medium with a good creaminess to it, adequate carbonation

O: Glad I had this winter`s batch, as I had last year`s pretty late, nothing changed, this is a superb black ale that I would definitely have again.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 15:13:26 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 06:42:38 | More by Noxious26
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 23:47:57 | More by mountdew1
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 21:51:16 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of tectactoe


3.63/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 16:54:43 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9

4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 00:13:26 | More by Chris_Cali_2o9
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 BhamBeerLover

4.23/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 03:19:49 | More by BhamBeerLover
Photo of McD0uche


3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 17:53:13 | More by McD0uche
Photo of Bitterbill


4/5  rDev +5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 18:04:16 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of scvance

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a pitch black color (no surprises there) with a small creamy tan head. Looks to me like a porter. Smells of caramel and roasted sweetness. Slight herbal and citrus aroma. Taste is great, there's the dark roast qualities of the darker malts along with a nice bitterness with a crisp finish. Slight citrus character in the taste as well. Medium carbonation, with a medium body, this beer goes down easily.

This is a very good beer, I just don't think it has quite enough hop character in it to truly be an IPA. I think it tastes more like a strong porter with slightly more hops in it than normal. Still, good nonetheless and it will stay on my list of beers I'd like to have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 22:43:34 | More by scvance
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Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 721 ratings.