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Pitch Black IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA

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

756 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 756
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 27
Gots: 31 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 756 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

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


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

Good, lasting head and excellent ring lace. Not quite "Pitch Black", more dark brown where a touch of light passes.

Nice balance of some black patent and (I believe) chocolate malt on the initial smell. There is some hop in the background. It's even behind a mild alcohol presence.

Better hop bite in the taste, but it's not up to the IPA levels one would expect. Nice darker malt flavor--mostly semi-sweet chocolate. Appealing but thin bodied. Low carbonation as well.

05-27-2011 23:30:51 | More by smcolw
Photo of washburnkid

New York

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%

Two fingers of tan head over a black ale with brown edges. Good retention and lacing. Aromas are prominent and quite nice, with roasty malts but also distinct Northwestern hops...florals to boot. Flavors fall a little flat. There's a metallic note underlining each flavor. Sweet breadiness from the malt, and also roasty bordering on burnt. Loved the aromas, but disappointed in the flavors not being more balanced.

05-27-2011 13:19:51 | More by washburnkid
Photo of WastingFreetime


2.95/5  rDev -22.4%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%

A: The color is a deep dark brown with a finger thick, light khaki colored head that takes an excess of 5 minutes to dissipate and leaves some nice lacing.

S: There is a nice floral aroma coming through the nose. Piney hops and resins are the most prominent floral scents. I'm not getting a lot of malt scent but they are slightly there.

T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the malts come through a little stronger. The piney hop notes come through up front which is followed by a hint of roasted and caramel malts that lead to the bitter finish with the hops remaining long after.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation that leaves a tingly feel. There is also a hoppy/bitter feel throughout.

D: Very easy drink from this "Black IPA," goes down smooth and has some nice flavor. Didn't blow me away but it was solid nonetheless.

05-24-2011 23:37:21 | More by mavbrew
Photo of StlHopHead77


2.98/5  rDev -21.6%

A-Pours out,oddly enough,pitch black with only some very slight crimson slivers sneaking in at the edge of the glass.Two fingers of dusty but stiff tan head that dissipated at a moderate rate and left thin ribbons of lace.

S-Caramel,metal/mineral notes,some faint citric hops,black tea and chocolate.

T-The taste was reminiscent of an English IPA.Somewhat tinny with flavors of old hops,mild chocolate,weak coffee and stale,brown bread.

M-Thin and uninspired.No real depth of flavor and no real punch.Flaccid.


05-23-2011 14:22:29 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of Lauthaha


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is, true to its label, pitch black. Slight mahogany tones are also present when held to the light. Head is a sturdy, creamy tan, and dimples heavily as it recedes. Very interesting to watch. Once dissolved, it leaves a marginal ring around the glass and a light foam on the surface.

Smell: Very robust, with a pronounced ester aroma. The malt mixes very well with the hops to create a toasty, buttery-sweet and bitterly-herbal masterpiece. Butterscotch, fresh-cut grass, maybe even some lemon? A lot going on here, and it's all really, really good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Well, I've got mixed feelings. Beer is medium- to heavy-bodied, fairly oily on the tongue. Taste is mainly of alcohol. Some slight toastiness, but not a lot of sweetness; some obscure bitterness, but not a lot of flavor. What's happening? Aftertaste is much of the same, kinda like chewing on somewhat tasty wood.

Overall: Can't say it's a bad beer, but it certainly didn't meet my expectations for it. Oh well, no more WBBCPBIPAs for me any time soon.

05-22-2011 23:43:42 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - 'pitch black' with a beige head that thinned to a ring and left a thin sheet of lacing.

S - good mix of roasted malts and citrus hops.

T - the balance is good, I got roasted malts with citrus and bittering hops.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - this is a good beer that I'd gladly have again.

05-22-2011 21:26:25 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of tapman


4/5  rDev +5.3%

Well, it's not pitch black, so... color is more of a dark ruby/brown with a tan, tight head of 1 finger with decent lacing. Still, why call it "pitch black" if it isn't?

Burnt brownies, pine and grass, soft floral notes when it warms with a little soap in the back.

Roast character is not as astringent as I thought. More toasty than roasty, actually. Bitterness is relatively low and the soft, flower/vegetal hop character blends well with the malt creating a woody character. Quite balanced, but I was expecting something a little more daring. However, the "daring" beer I was hoping for might have been crap, so I'll take this balanced brew for what it is.

Smooth with a little dryness in the finish. Feels like it looks.

I disagree with the name, but like the flavor. This is more of a Brown IPA, which actually works better than some hoppy stouts and black IPAs that I have had. Good work, Widmers.

05-21-2011 03:25:53 | More by tapman
Photo of brewski09


3.08/5  rDev -18.9%

A beer by widmer bothers to introduce you to the Black IPA style.

A - This is exactly what the beer is supposed to look like. Dark to the point you would think it was a big ole porter or even a light, dry stout. The minimal head was light brown for me.

S - For a dark ale/black ipa, this was kinda lightly hopped to me. I know this is a new style and all, but all of the other ones I have had are more aggressively hopped and better off for it, so i have an expectation of IPA style hopping (not double or triple IPA hopping, just regular)

T - The taste was fine. More like a pale ale or american bitter than anything else. I found the debittered black malt to contribute a bit of flavor, but not bitterness.

M - This was light and lacking in body to me.

D - This was drinkable, but not spectacular. A good beer for someone who wants to start trying dark ales/black ipa's. Just realize that others in this style are more aggressively hopped.

05-21-2011 00:49:47 | More by brewski09
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is black with a small khaki head. Leaves behind some lace.

S: Some roasted barley malt, some citrusy hops. Pleasant, albeit not terribly strong in the nose.

T: First impression: roasted barley malt with some char underneath. Finishes with piney, juicy citrusy hops. Good lingering dry bitterness.

M: Nice. Good creaminess - carbonation is active but fine.

O: Solid. Been impressed with some of the Widmer stuff I've had recently (e.g., this and the Nelson DIPA).

05-20-2011 20:25:54 | More by Kendo
Photo of mttaylor1066


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

A -- Not quite opaque, more like espresso or dark coffee. A thin, tan head seeps back quickly into the ale.

S - Black coffee and malt. I'm trying to detect the hops but this is not a strong IPA style.

T -- Coats the tongue with a thick film of chocolate malt. It grows on you as the ale warms up. The hops help thin the ale a bit.

M - Not as thick as Guinness, but still pleasant.

Overall, not a bad beer. It grows in the glass and is great for sipping.

05-18-2011 22:35:41 | More by mttaylor1066
Photo of tigg924


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, dark brown in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: chocolate,wood, floral and pine hops

Taste: big pine hops with some floral hops in the mix, charred malt, and some chocolate

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light body, bitter with some sweetness in the back

Overall: A very drinkable black ipa. I could drink a couple of these. I tend to like this style and this is a good representation. My favorite from the brewery so far.

05-18-2011 15:27:15 | More by tigg924
Photo of cvoss


4.43/5  rDev +16.6%

A - Black with lots of head that disappeared quickly. Long lasting lacing.

S - Hops and a piney smell that is to be expected with an IPA

T - Great. Citrus upfront and a hoppy bitter finish. A great tasting beer.

M - It has a light mouthfeel. Maybe the dark color made me expect something thicker

O - Great taste and light enough to session. Will definitely buy again.

05-16-2011 19:19:51 | More by cvoss
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%

Near black pour with noticeable brown notes. Pillowy, billowing 2-finger medium tan head. Good retention and good lace.

Nose is light citrus, grapefruit mainly with notes of oranges. Shot of cream in there too.

Citrus right up front, with light grapefruit. Bigger citrus in the finish, with more citrus and further notes of orange peel. Shot of cream here, too. Light roasted malt comes in at the end.

Body is light and fizzy. Creaminess in the flavor is missing in the body.

Balance of flavors is not quite right for me, but not a bad beer at all.

05-16-2011 01:46:16 | More by beer2day
Photo of philbertk


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

5 oz. Taster @ Portland, Oregon Spring Beer & Wine Fest April 3rd, 2010. 6.5% ABV. 65 IBU’s. Clear dark bronze black color. Smoke hint toasted hop front. Dry thin sweet smooth crusty mild toasted IPA body. No black taste. Crisp hop spice smooth end. (4.0 / 5.0)

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company--W’10 Pitch Black IPA--Cascadian Dark: Join the shady revolution. Brewmasters’ Release: 2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. 65 IBU’s. (4.0 / 5.0) India Black Ale--Cascadian Dark--CDA? No sediment. Thin mild lace tan head. Clear dark black deep ruby edged color. Floral hop roasted hint front. Crisp dry sweet soft smooth dark roast malt mild biscuit fruit pine hint IPA body. Tangy clean hop spice chocolate hint end. Well made CDA. Smooth hops. Sampled 5/27/2010. 6-Pack $6.99.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company--Pitch Black IPA--Smooth, Dark And Hoppy--Series 926--2011 12 oz. bottle. 6.50% ABV. 65 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) CDA--Cascadian Dark Ale. Light tan lacy thin rocky quickly dissapating head. Clear dark black ruby edged color. Smooth light toasted mild earthy hop front.Mild sweet dry soft dark unbittter roasted light hop infusion mild fruit no chocolate espresso body. Mild smooth refreshing mellow hop spice end. Soft black malts--Schwarzbier IPA. Mild hop character. Refreshing tasty balanced & smooth. Nice & well made but not exceptional. Tough to describe style. No sediment. Bronze pour. Sampled 4/27/2011. Purchased 4-Pack for $7.99 at The Ballard Market, Seattle on 4/27/2011.

05-16-2011 00:00:30 | More by philbertk
Photo of jbertsch


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%

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.

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


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

Widmer's hefeweizen is well-known and one that I've always found to be a top-notch session wheat beer, but this one's escaped my radar, and sad that is.

This is (no surprises, please) pitch black, with a big head of off-white bubbles, and an intricate, spider web of lace.

A decent mild hops nose -- grapefruit and floral.

What a taste! All sustained citrus sweetness (orange, grapefruit) with some pine, and a bitter finish. Very tasty, and one I'd seek out again.

05-13-2011 04:04:59 | More by secondtooth
Photo of Brenden


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

The color is a dark red-brown. The head that develops is off-white, very light in color considering. It's also tight, creamy and dense, between one and two fingers tall, and drops plenty of sticky lacing in its wake.
The aroma shows a nice interplay between hops and malts, with an intersting mix of both crackery and roasty notes. A touch of smoke/char is present, and the hops that pull through are earthy with some citrus and just a little floral. There's a tinge of acridity and the dry malts with the roasted note are just a little odd.
The taste follows suit with a few exceptions. A little bit of the caramel drops off and charred flavors come out a touch acrid. A nuttiness comes out as well that I appreciate. The hops offer a little bit more pine resin in the bitterness with citrus also give a little bit of rind. Otherwise the same herbal, grassy and earthy characters come through.
The body is medium, but what seems to happen is that it starts off with more depth and a bit creamier, then something drops off and it goes lighter with a bit less character and activity. It's interesting, but a sharp crispness up front and relative smoothness save it from mdeiocrity.
This is a good ABA to try, but as with what other Widmer offerings I've tried, not a beer to pick up with other beers readily available.

05-12-2011 20:29:53 | More by Brenden
Photo of pitasoup


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%

thanks to flexabull for this bottle as part of blind bif 5

A: Pours black (very dark brown) with an inch of off white head. A bit of lacing. 4.0

S: floral at first, then pine, american hops. A bit of spruce later as it warms. Also slight oxidation. 3.5

T: hoppy bitterness, probably cascade. Black patent, a hint of chocolate and anise at the end. There is a strange combination of malt bitterness and hop bitterness. At times, it is difficult to distinguish between the two. 3.5

M: medium body, a little bit creamy at first but finishes clean. A little bit alcoholic at the end, but by no means hot. I'd guess this is 6-7% area. 3.5

O: I'm not too familiar with the style but this screams black ipa/cda. The color is pitch black but it's not thick enough to be a stout – and certainly not enough, if any barley malt. Very drinkable – but not as good as a couple others of this style that I've had. 3.0

05-12-2011 16:30:50 | More by pitasoup
Photo of orbitalr0x


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a nice deep black with some dark brown edges along with a khaki head that leaves some spotty lacing as it falls. Aromas kick off with some solid roasted malts and a blast of floral and citric hops with Cascades taking their place nicely. Quite enjoyable with a cocoa/coffee undertone.

First sip brings tasty roasted malts upfront with touches of coffee, cocoa and caramel. The hops flow in quickly bringing citric and floral accents along with a nice dose of bitterness. Good balance overall as it finishes with some lingering hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation - just an easy drinking brew overall. A solid black IPA that I was glad I picked up and tried. Hope Widmer keeps brewing this one.

05-11-2011 02:47:50 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of therica


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%

For an "American Black Ale" (ie Schwarz) you'd swear it was a heavy APA or a modest IPA if you had your eyes closed.

So what's the deal here, Hop-Heads?!?! Widmer pulls off a rather top-notch creative micro and the reviews are less than generous just because people think Widmer is a "macro" now?!?! Gimme a break-- Goose Island has the same distributor.

A= dark dark black, almost no light coming through, with a decent tan head, decent lacing and a modest watery rimming throughout.

S= very nice hops bouquet, some very nice floral hops as well as some west-coast hops notes. Some nice dark malts. Not potent but very present. Hickory nut.

T= fine floral hops as well as some nice bittering hops; very nice dark malts adding slight dryness; no chocolate or coffee or dried dark fruits-- just... very interesting and flavorful in the malts. Top-notch creativity.

M= dry yet pleasant, somewhat woody, with modest hops florals lingering and hints of molasses. Hickory nut.

O= if this stuff was $15 for a 25-ounce bottle and had a long German name (or dog and fish) youz guys'd be grabbing it off the shelves. Grab it if you can find it.

05-10-2011 02:38:53 | More by therica
Photo of marcobrau


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

Pours deep black with a decent amount of carbonation that forms a grayish head. The bubbles retreat revealing just a little bit of lace work and quarter-inch collar of foam. Complex aroma of cocoa, more subtle chocolate along with a touch of cedar and leather. Very smooth and thick on the tongue. Tastes nicely chocalately with some piney hops before a bitter finish. Hop bitterness lingers. I've liked hoppy and bitter dark ales since having my first Sierra Nevada Stout. I sort of see this beer as an IPA crossed with a schwarzbier and the result is tasty.

05-10-2011 02:36:49 | More by marcobrau
Photo of mactrail


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%

Nice dark color with some brown around the edges. Good head and lacing. Plenty of carbonation. Some malt with a tart and burnt flavor. Woody mouthfeel. Some hints of fruit, but more like burnt raisin toast. Hops are not immediately on the attack but aftertaste is long and bitter. There is a peculiar cereal flavor I don't like much.

I remember liking this better the first couple of times. Still it's worth a try for being interesting.

05-09-2011 05:01:01 | More by mactrail
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours deep brown with a white chunky head that lasts to a chunky skim. Nice brew.

Big pine aroma and some dark roasted malt.

Hop forward, but the malt is allowed to shine as well. One of the more drinkable of the style. Coffee, some light caramel, pine, wood. Good balance between the bitter, the hop pine, the malt -- sugars and bitterness.

Medium bodied, good carb. Liked this alot. Would drink again.

05-08-2011 13:12:10 | More by OtherShoe2
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.