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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

723 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 723
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%

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: 723 | Reviews: 313 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of thekevlarkid


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

Out of a bottle this beer was a nearly opaque, dark brown color with one finger of khaki-colored head. The retention was good and it left lacing in chunks and then, later, bands. The aroma was of toasted and roasted malt, anise, molasses balanced with pine, grass and resiny hops. The flavors were quite enjoyable and appropriate for the style. I tasted all the elements from the aroma with the roasted malt and sweet notes being in harmony with the bitter elements of the piney hops. Well balanced and I really enjoyed the light chocolate and coffee notes that ‘filled out’ and added to the traditional IPA flavor profile. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body medium/full and the carbonation soft. A very good example of an American Black Ale/Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale and if you’ve never tried one (though it is a little more pricey) I’d recommend picking up a four-pack.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 13:34:59 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Trifecta1


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle bought from Oasis Micro Pub in Rockford, IL.

A - Opaque black, small amount of brown, pearly head. Dissipates fast, but leaves some nice lacing.

S - Cascade hops dipped in bitter cocoa and burnt vanilla. Spot on the a black IPA. Smells great.

T - Up front smokey, malty, dark cocoa, with a lead-up to grapefruit bitter-sweetness. Wow, what a fantastic black IPA, probably the best flavor profile I've had for this type. Very well balanced.

M - Low carbonation, kind of flat and oily on the tongue. Could use some work, but not displeasing.

O - A great, great black IPA, and a personal favorite in the style. If you would like to explore the newfound world of black IPAs, seek this one out. If you're a hophead, I would recommend trying it if you see it. Not for the new, pretty complex stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 06:45:41 | More by Trifecta1
Photo of Lemke10


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this as part of an M&M 6pk from Everett's in South Beloit for $9.99 in early 2012.

Pours a pitch black color with a slight but quickly disappearing head but with rather good lacing. Only scent I'm able to pick out are hops yet the scent is rather mild. The texture is quite full and thick. First you get a taste of chalky malts and robust flavors which turn into a crisp bitter finish. Great overall taste a highly drinkable. A rather good and reasonable sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 06:00:39 | More by Lemke10
Photo of AMiz602


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer to eat with a nice juicy steak or burger.

It pours almost complete "stout" with its "Pitch Black" (but not quite) into the glass and leaves a nice creamy, frothy beige head that has some intricate yet bulky lacing.

It smells nutty, with a strong scent of molasses or maple to it.

This beer tastes in 2 parts. First (after proper warming Please!) it has a rich, creamy burnt cocoa flavor. There is a slight hint of caramel malt in there, and towards the back end takes on a walnut sort of toastiness. Second, after going down it bitters up into a mild, pleasant, dry hoppiness with a grapefruity (Cascade) tanginess.

A very complex and worthwhile beer, especially if you want the best of both worlds, a dark stoutish beer with IPA hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 01:37:09 | More by AMiz602
Photo of Knapp85


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep brown color. The head was foamy looking and had a tan color to it. The smell of the beer gave off some lively hops on the nose with a bit of roasted malts underneath that. The taste was fairly well balanced I thought between the citrusy hops with the roasted malts. The mouthfeel of the beer was sharp and yet smooth at the same time. Overall I thought that this beer was pretty good and wouldn't mind drinking it again someday.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 03:58:04 | More by Knapp85
Photo of tgorgz


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Into a standard pint glass from a 12 oz. Not a bad pour, a little crema coloured head and minimal lacing.

A: As the name would imply, it is indeed 'pitch black'. Few bubbles coming up, and little movement after agitation.

S: Good balance of the caramel malty sweetness and the slightly bitter hops. However, the former definitely hits first.

T: As is so often the case, tongue follows the nose. Excellent balance of sweet and hoppy.The sweet hits first, followed by a rather subtle bitterness. This is definitely not your typical IPA, though.

M: Distinctly thick, and rather creamy in comparison to what I'm used to from IPAs. A refreshing difference.

O: Solid beer right here. These Portland hipsters know how to do their brews.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 02:53:30 | More by tgorgz
Photo of Chris1272


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Nice off white head with good lacing.

Aroma: Not overwhelming but nice resiny citrus

Appearance Beer is not pitch black yet a beautiful deep mahogany.

Taste a little toasty malt on the front end with sweet citrus notes from the hops on the back end. The beer has a very nice mouth feel and has a solid malt back bone to balance the hops over all a great shot at the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 05:26:55 | More by Chris1272
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color from a 22 oz bomber, with ABV and the date of bottling marked on the label.

Nice one finger off-white head that dissipates very slowly and leaves behind some very nice visually arresting lace.

Aroma up front is mildly hoppy with notes of pine and some grapefruit coming through. As the beer warms up, the roasted malt notes come through.

Taste, however, is more on the malty side. The hops which are prevalent in the aroma are completely buried in the taste. Burnt, roasted malt flavor comes through with just a hint of bitterness in the finish. The finish leans towards the drier side. I have to mention the lace again, there is just so much of it, and it only makes this black IPA look even better.

Overall, I think this is a very nice black IPA. Although, I do wish I had a fresher bottle. Would be nice to compare a fresh bottle to this one.

Definitely worth a try and comes recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 02:31:30 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of hopfacebrew


4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! Pitch Black IPA made its way to Denver! I remember putting this to the face at Great American Beer Fest last year as it was one of my absolute favorites. My favorite style without a doubt. Picked up a 4 pack at Lukas. Poured to pint glass immediately upon getting home. Bottled Feb 2, 2011 09:32 WA.

A - The beer pours what appears to be deep black however when held to the light you can see it's actually a transparent deep dark mahogony/brown color, though appears black. A nice 1.5 finger tan colored head with decent retention and lots of lacing. Looks good.

S - Yes the sweetness of the malts along with a nice subtle roasted character and those cascadian hops! Citrus and pine and floral.

T - The beer starts with the malty sweetness and hits the corners of your mouth with a little pucker. Next comes a wave of the citrus hops which blends nicely with the light roasted malt character. Well balanced, the hops are present as is a medium bitterness, but it works well with the roasted malt. Very good. The beer finishes with a dry malty bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Yes. Hides the alcohol well. If my kidney and lover could handle it I'd drink this all day.

Overall, I think this is a great representation of the style. So many American Black Ales are so in your face with hops and malt and alcohol. This is nice and smooth and gentle, lighter than the beasts. Highly recommended. Wish it came in a six pack.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-14-2011 23:11:54

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 14:01:55 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Widmer Pitch Black IPA. "Always Bet On Black." 6.5% ABV. "Embrace the Dark Side." Smooth, dark, and hoppy. Series 924. And so on, and so forth. Let's crack this open.

Indeed, it is pitch black in color, roasty tan head, mmm, enticing.

Aroma: there we go, grassy, piney, hovering over black malt, cocoa and coffee. Ah, hoptastic, it is, big time.

Tasting it, …there we go. Black malt, dark and tasty, low roast, minor toast, some chocolate happening. The hoppy buzz keeps on top of the palate.
After all the black IPAs/black ales I try, I'm still not 100% crazy about them. A big so what, is how I feel. I don't want grassy hops over a dark ale. And if I yearn for something hoppy, I don't want the dark malts. Peanut butter in my chocolate, that sort of thing.

Earthy, malty, and tasty. But, eh…not the sort of thing I'm going to turn to, again and again. Just doesn't thrill me. I hope this fad dies off soon, actually.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 09:24:30 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of mikechance


2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A --- deep black with a nice 1/2" head

S --- malts, raisins, grass

T --- caramel, coffee, roasted malts

M --- light body, watery, light carbonation

O --- Disappointing. Compared to all the other solid Black IPAs on the market this one doesn't measure up. It's closer to a roasty Porter than an IPA. Not crazy about it.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 01:03:20 | More by mikechance
Photo of kencarman


2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Did I get a different bottle than everyone else here? Black? Yes. Head: pillow with at tad rock and nice white. Garnet highlights. Nice Centennial-like nose with some malt: grapefruit. So far so good. Taste? Grass: pure grass with some medium body dark malt background. I LOVE fresh hops. But this is pure grass without the fresh taste. Dominants. Becomes ANNOYING and astringent.

A bad bottle? Possible, but not likely. No cardboard, no sense of infection: no defects other than the hop problem here. Phenolics? No. DMS? No. It really tastes like someone boiled the hell out of the hops, or used funky hops. Did they get bad hops for this batch of Pitch? Could be, I suppose.

I do not recommend this, and that's unfortunate. Less of a hop boil might help. No indication this is fresh hops, but if so: the boil is probably still off. The hopping ruined it. It could have been damn good. Get a better brewer: one who knows how to use hops.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 03:18:01 | More by kencarman
Photo of stercomm


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Dark brown bordering on black, 2 finger tan head that recedes quickly, leaving a medium lacing.

S - Initial smell is of piney, floral hops, also get some malt and maybe a hint of chocolate, but the hops are what hits you the most.

T - Strong pine notes on the front end,moving to roasted malts and some licorice finishing with some cocoa flavors. licorice seems to linger after all the tastes have disappeared.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, maybe a little oiliness from the hops.

O - I like this brew, great flavor profile, leans towards the hops but puts forth a smooth taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 23:17:42 | More by stercomm
Photo of jsanford


3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
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 -6.6%
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 tone77


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is also very hoppy, considerable bitterness, followed by some roasted malts.. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 17:47:35 | More by tone77
Photo of EkimGram

New York

4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 120z bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Colour is oil black with a half-finger head that fades to a thin film.

Smell: Burnt and roasted malts mix well with floral, bitter hops.

Taste: A well balanced mixture of roasted or toasted malts and bitter hops. Rich and dry finish, malts linger nicely in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, creamy, and soft. Gentle bite from a modest carbonation, finishes sticky.

Overall: I love this style and I'm definitely enjoying this brew. Not as thick and chewy as I had expected but then again, this isn't a stout or porter. I see myself definitely drinking more of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 07:44:51 | More by EkimGram
Photo of Slatetank


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up in the mix-a-six cooler, enjoyed chilled from a Duvel tulip.

The color is deep black and opaque as promised with a thick fluffy beige cap from a vigorous pour. There is a tight bead and lace sticks like a film. The smell is worty-again with Widmer's IPA aroma, very malty smell with a piney note in the background and slight sweet blend of caramel fruitiness with subtle dark brown sugar and fig-like earthy notes. Ther is a slightly woody essence which hints at alcohol in the ester.

The feel is somewhat full in body with a moderately sweet texture and moderate bitterness, overall well balanced with semi-dry middle and mild carbonation for the style with clean mildly oily finish. The taste is very good with nice blend of plum-like fruit and toasted grain with light herbal notes in the hops with pine and bittersweet chocolate flavors adding some earthy elements in the finish.

The overall vibe from this is more of a stout than a hop-forward black IPA, the balance is what makes me say that which I like, I just think it could be a little more dry and bitter. If you like less malt flavor in your IPA's you may enjoy this less, I like it for what it is which is a pretty decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 19:54:29 | More by Slatetank
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip. Pours a slick bright black, if that makes sense, with a two inch sticky light tan head, that settles into a fluffy coating of film, and lots of lacing. Smell is pineapple, roasted chocolate, coffee, and pine. Taste is all all of those, with a wonderful balance, nothing dominates. The body is a bit thin considering the look, but that helps with the drinkability. Plenty of life and lush, as apposed to dry. This is a very solid and sessionable black ipa. Date clearly marked Oct 10 11.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 18:17:55 | More by SawDog505
Photo of rapayn01


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split a 22 ounce bottle of this beer with a friend. It pours black into the glass, as advertized, with a small head. It smells faintly of hops.

I have not had many black ales that lean towards the hops, so this was an unusual beer for me. I didn't find the hops overwhelming, as it was a smooth IPA. And, my taste buds detected some mild caramel and coffee undertones -- maybe even dark chocolate. I suppose it is possible that I found these tastes because I was expecting them from a dark beer. The malts, however, are definitely subdued and it was like a somewhat balanced/mild IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 19:15:05 | More by rapayn01
Photo of Brewsky29


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

This beer pours pitch black just like the name with half inch of off white head put to the light its very dark red. Okay lacing also.

Smells of nice hoppiness.

Taste is very nice with citrusy, piney hoppiness, but also a smooth smokey flavor mixed in after with caramel undertones. Hops flavor lingers a bit too very nice.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with moderate carbonation.

Overall this beer is very delicious and I would buy this in case quantity its one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 19:50:25 | More by Brewsky29
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark mahogany color under a mighty head of dense, beige foam. Zesty citrus hop, pale fruit, and grass aroma with just a hint of caramel malt. Smooth, nicely balanced flavor giving hops the edge. Lots of juicy grapefruit and pine needle hoppiness turning peppery and a little earthy. Sweet bread and mild char make up the malt component. Medium, creamy body seems a bit under-carbonated...the bitter and the roast give it a solid astringency. Solid overall, though the mouthfeel made it feel heavier than it should have.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 23:46:35 | More by wedge
Photo of zachary80


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint.

Nearly black body with small head. Relatively low lacing and head for an IPA. Color is as expected.

Aroma is nothing exciting. Surprisingly malty, less hoppy than expected. Slight hop presence is hard to identify. Light chocolate.

The taste of Pitch Black is like a mediocre IPA with a hint of the darker malts.

Nothing notable about the mouthfeel. Hard to give this a score. Maybe a little light but this isn't a big beer. Carbonation is a little biting to be considered smooth.

Overall it's an okay black IPA. Nothing notable. Definitely one of the weaker Black IPAs or American Black Ales that I have had

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 03:43:09 | More by zachary80
Photo of jjboesen


4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The label on this beer reads “Smooth, Dark and Hoppy.” The beer, itself, is also referred to as Cascadian Dark Ale. This version, Pitch Black IPA, comes from Portland, Oregon, which is a well-known beer destination that, itself, is known by other names (Beervana and Brewtopia, to name two) and is fine example of this “recent” style.

Pitch Black begins amid a massive beige froth, one that takes time to subside. The color is black (well, duh); the body, deep and foreboding with nary a speck of light shining through. There is a moderation of lacing along the glass rim. The nose detects heavy swaths of chocolate mousse that is imbedded with specks of cocoa powder, some plum, mint and a bit of vanilla: a veritable candy store in a glass.

The palate is awash in a velvety blanket of molasses with a subtle hoppy finish. This is a very pleasant quaff, whatever it is called.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 22:07:43 | More by jjboesen
Photo of KansasBeerLover


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

The glass was filled, with about 3/8" head. Soon the head was down to what looks like a clouded moon in the center of the glass. Mild lacing. Color is a dark, opaque brown.

Aroma is mainly pine. Hint of roasted malt.

Flavor follows the aroma. Pine, a hint of toasted malt, a touch of either coffee or chocolate, not enough to determine.

Mouthfeel is thin. The wateriness lends itself to fast drinking.

Overall, this beer would be better served on a hot summer night. Bottled in October, it will have lost its edge by then.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 02:48:33 | More by KansasBeerLover
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.