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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

725 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 314
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: 725 | Reviews: 314 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint glass. Pours a very dark brown appearing black in the glass, with a half finger light tan head with decent retention. Aroma was piney hops with light toasted malt. Flavor follows, with light pine and citrus hops and toasted malt, light singed coffee. A fairly understated black ale, but maybe I've been spoiled by black IPAs. Light to medium bodied. A satisfactory black ale, but nothing really stands out about it.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 02:57:50 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TrappistJohnMD


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown to black in color with a light tan head.

Smell is piney hops with some malt character. Alcohol presence too but not unpleasantly present.

Taste is sweet malt up front. Pine hoppiness with mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Very smooth.

Overall this was better than expected. Better than other black IPAs I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 23:54:33 | More by TrappistJohnMD
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 Flounder57


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

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a puffy mocha colored layer. It is pitch black color with no clarity. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: roasted and chocolate malts, citrus notes, and burnt notes too. Interesting.

Taste: citrus up front, mocha, raosted and burnt notes in the rear. Some lingering bitterness in there too.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, a bit watery, light to medium bodied, and a bit smooth too.

Overall: I like certain things about this beer, but it seemed a bit light and watery on the palate. I have enjoyed more of this when on draft, but will still drink in a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 01:30:59 | More by Flounder57
Photo of mralphabet


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz beer poured into pint glass

A: Poured an opaque black with a good 2 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice think layer. Wonderful lacing from start to finish. Great looking beer..

S: Wow, hops right out of the gate.... followed by some burnt malt and a touch of vanilla.... Smells great !!

T: OK taste is a little opposite of the smell.... I'm getting a smokey burnt malt right up front with a strong grapefruit bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is a little bitter for my taste.

M: Mid bodied with pretty low carbonation.... Hops are pretty oily.

O: OK, let me say I'm not a big hop head.... and this beer is not over the top hoppy but a little on the sticky hoppy side. A good representative for a Black IPA. If you like black IPA give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 23:09:55 | More by mralphabet
Photo of RblWthACoz


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

Real nice nose on this one. Has that fruity tone to it you'd expect from the style. Flavor is pretty good, though it doesn't really live up to the fragrance at all. Pretty easy to drink, but not really bringing a mass of complexity. Just hits ya in the mouth, and it's good. Just not overly memorable.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 02:27:31 | More by RblWthACoz
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 soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

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

Looks a bit like cola. Almost opaque brown with a thin head, sandy white in color. Nice to see a blac IPA that looks more like an IPA as opposed to a stout that happens to be hoppy. The aroma is like chocolate covered hops; rich ganache with a hint of coffee, citrus, honey, and lavender. A touch of dark raisiny fruit is there as well, making this a nice balancing act between the malts and the hops. A nice sprightly carbonation keeps this pretty easy to drink in spite of its rich flavours, as does an overall dryness. The general impression is one of balance; there are some good juicy citric-tropical hop flavours here, but they share the stage with the chocolatey, kind of licoricey flavours of the malts. This isn't a beer that has me totally engrossed in its nuance, but it is a damn tasty sipper and a great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 06:39:40 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of SykDoc


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It pours almost black and forms a 1/2 inche tan head that slowly reduces leaving a nice lacing.

The aroma is a solid hit of pine and citrus with roasted maltiness coming through. Just a bit light.

The taste is a good blend of the pine/citrus hops with a solid coffee/roasted malt bitter sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly lacking carbonation. It is fairly smooth and a minimal dryness lingering.

Overall, this is a good beer. It's an easy beer to sit and drink while not ruining the palate and providing solid flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 01:46:10 | More by SykDoc
Photo of alexgash


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

12 oz. bottle. Brewed on Apr 10, 2012.

Very dark ruby brown. Seems clear. Finger of thick, dense, creamy, dirty sandy brown head. Nose of roasted coffee, dark fruits, and a little smoke. Oh, and a nice contingent of hops: minty, piny, and herbal.

Roasted, charred bitterness up front. Coffee and dark chocolate malts settle in, with a meaty, smoky edge. Slightly fruity. Herbal, piny, minty hops complement the malt nicely. A little spicy. A little drier in the finish, with lingering charred malts. Medium body with a slightly creamy feel. A nice black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 01:03:30 | More by alexgash
Photo of mrfreakybig

New York

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, nearly black. Really smells great. I grabbed a couple of bottles of this at a nearby store, and was really looking forward to it. It’s not a bad beer, malty and hoppy all at once, with a really nice roasty taste to it, but I felt like there was something missing from it. The flavor was a bit too smooth. Something was just not quite there. It’s not a bad beer, but it’s not quite a great one either. Certainly worth a try, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 13:58:29 | More by mrfreakybig
Photo of Fatehunter


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Finger of tan head and (surprise!) pitch black body.

Citrus aroma, strong. Picking up a little bread too.

Milk taste, pine, lemon and more pine.

Softer body, moderate carbonation.

I enjoyed it and probably will again. No weaknesses here.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 02:47:10 | More by Fatehunter
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 TheSixthRing


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

Appearance - Pours near black with light penetrating only the thinnest edges to reveal a brown edging. Head is light tan and 2 finger thick, great retention, and the resulting lace is thick and clings to the sides like Spider-man.

Smell - Prominent pine hop aroma, with notes of citrus and some roasted coffee malt notes.

Taste - Surprisingly, the roasted malt is at the forefront, with coffee and a slightly bitter chocolate getting their share before a pine and citrus hop comes in to balance things out. Finishes with a harmonious balance of flavors riding it out into the depths of the abyss, then a touch of smoke makes an appearance, clouding up any trace of the previous character as it fades to the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Somewhat creamy. Very little bite from the carbonation.

Overall - Not big on the pine hop character, but the citrus is there to keep it in check. Great malt/hop balance for a CDA. Not sure I could drink more than a few of these at a time, but a standout amongst it's contemporaries in a fairly new style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 07:00:46 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

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

12oz Bottle from Whole Foods Las Vegas NV for 1.99$

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate/coffee, grapefruit, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with coffee/chocolate and hops. There is also a bit of a grapefruit flavour and a touch of a smoke. It ends with a chocolate/hop aftertaste with some lingering bitterness.

Overall - This one was a little more on the stout side of the style in my opinion. It still had some nice hop bitterness but only during the aftertaste. I'd also like a little more of a grapefruit presence. Still a very good beer that I would have again.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 18:47:23 | More by spinrsx
Photo of tlazaroff


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big citrus, tangerine, lime, grapefruit, and a whole mess of tropical notes too. This smells fantastic! I wish it was a bit maltier on the nose.

Its quite dark at first glance, but highlights around the edges are brown, and when held to the light it becomes brown with ruby highlights. The head was really non-existent, and lacing is spotty at best.

I'm picking up some roast in the taste, as well as a bit of the hops coming across as the tropical fruits. Its somewhat toasty and doughy, but not overly such.

It's a tad astringent but mostly okay. Medium body and carbonation with a moderately dry finish. Overall this is a good beer, but not a great beer. I would probably try it again, however.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 04:24:13 | More by tlazaroff
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 jbphoto88


3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wouldn't go as far as saying pitch black IPA but widmer brothers brewing comes very very close. Think deep brown that is so rich in color that it's downright inky with ruby highlights only in the thinnest of areas. The head is a frothy cap of yellow khaki foam. Very even with some lasting power.

The nose is rather pleasent with more of a roasted grain scent then a hoppy wiff. The cones are there though and please the olfactory glands with light citrus. Mild nose all together but all the pieces are in the right place.

This is a solid black IPA with again the strongest flavor coming from the grains. Sweet, roasted grains with caramel notes, subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. The hops fade into the background and take more of a supportive role here in flavor town.

My favorite part of this brew is the way it feels in your mouth. The carbonation is smooth with small bubbles but adds a nice crisp texture to the brew. Also the hops have a nice presence here with a clean bitterness balanced by the sweeter malts. A really good beer and a great cheap find at costco. Well worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 23:10:17 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of goldennectar


4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark amber to black with light brownish head that slowly fades

Smell: Malty, piney hoppy, and a hint of roasted coffee

Taste: As it smells, only better. Very well balanced I think between the hops, malt and blackness

Mouthfeel: Medium and light carbonantion, Very very smooth

Overall: A very fine beer and one that I look forward to again.
Definitely worthy of anyone trying it.

Thank you sir may I have another

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 00:31:13 | More by goldennectar
Photo of mschind


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle dated 1-9-12

A- Pours a dark translucent mahogany with a one inch foamy mocha colored head.

S- Nose is hops and carmel malt with some biscuit.

T- Expecting some stout like bitterness, it is there but very muted. Mild citrus hops, some toasty malt with consistent mild hop bitterness across the palate. Definitely qualifies as hoppy. Not sure what I was expecting here. Not as crisp as a standard IPA, the dark malt adds a different note and perhaps a bit more richness.

M- It has more body than I expected and I would agree with the description on the bottle; it is smooth, dark and hoppy.

O- This one is a genre bender, never heard of a black ipa before. I like it. It isn't an over hopped stout or a burnt tasting ipa. Unique and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 22:43:20 | More by mschind
Photo of kylehay2004


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

A: Half finger head on a deep amber body with nice lacing but poor head retention.

S: Nutty, vanilla, oak, bourbon and overall sweet. Nice aroma.

T: Flavors are more hoppy with mostly pine and lighter on the roasted malt than I expected.

M: smooth, a little thick and moderate carbonation.

Overall: For me this is more like a Black IPA; Hoppy with roasted malt as oppose to a roasted malt beer with hop notes somewhere in the background.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 02:09:51 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of BigRedN


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

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is, naturally, black in color. My pour produced a nice thick light tan head about 1 inch in height. The head has some good staying power, remaining a solid cover on the liquid, and left good, thick, lacing down the glass.

Smell: A solid mix of malt and hop aromas. Seems like an even balance of roasted malt (burnt cocoa and roasted nuts) with some piney and citrus hop aromas.

Taste: The taste follows along with the scent. It begins up front with the roasted malt (taste same as the scent except it is perhaps more coffee bean than roasted nut). There is a strong hop bitterness on the finish that lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a low carbonation. A bit of a slick oiliness on the tongue as well.

Overall: I am not overly familiar with a "Black IPA". Listed here as an American Black Ale. This has a good balance of malt and hop, both in ample quantities. Purchased a 4-pack on "close-out" for $3; well worth that price.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 03:57:53 | More by BigRedN
Photo of rangerred


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger off'white head with great lacing and head retention.

There is a nice roasty aroma with some hints of coffee. There is a slightly unpleasant metallic note along with some spicy floral hops.

The flavor is very nice with some roasted malt, lightly roasted coffee and milk chocolate. Maybe a touch of dark fruit in there as well. Some floral hop flavor leading to a moderate bitterness. Mouthfeel is quite silky and smooth.

Overall I really like this beer. It is smoother than a lot of American black ales in that there isn't a lot of tannic bitterness from the malt. A really good effort and something I will pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 01:50:28 | More by rangerred
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
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.