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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

765 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 765
Reviews: 315
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 29
Gots: 34 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pitch Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 765 | Reviews: 315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

GarthDanielson, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours fairly black has some amber hues with a hefty two inches of foamy tan tinted head lacing is mild but sticky

S - Wow I guess I didn't expect such a piney hit on the nose with notes of toffee and bits of roast.

T - A medley of flavors. Starts off with bitter pine then ashy kind of roast that turns to a bit of coffee then toffee and finishes with a piney twang that smooths the finish. Doesn't really stick to the tongue which is nice.

M - Light to medium. I found it balanced and tasty.

Overall I didn't expect much from this but remembered that I did like their hefeweizen so I figure it would be a good effort. Pleasantly surprised with a very drinkable Black IPA. Give it a try!

DrDemento456, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Beautiful dark purple color with a 3/8 inch kakhi foam head with very little lace

Smell: Sweet chocolate malts are topped off with a piney hop note

Taste: Much the same as the smell, first you get some chocolate followed by a bit of burnt toast and roasted malt then just a hint of citrus on the back end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a little carbonation and an almost buttery feel on the palate

Overall: Very enjoyable black IPA. I am becoming a fan of this style and this one is definately a nice compliment to the style

DarthKostrizer, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of atowle25
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lives up to its name, pours pitch black, not much head or lacing, but definitely a dark beer. Smell is pure hops, huge amounts of grapefruit and citrus. Not much of a malt/chocolate smell at all, but I did smell a little bit as it warms up. Taste is just like the nose, with the chocolate malts showing up more on the finish but dominated by the big hop flavor. This is a very hop forward black IPA. If that's how you like them, then this one is a damn good example. Body is on the lighter side, and also more reminiscent of an IPA. Easy to drink, very refreshing and just a downright excellent beer from a brewery that doesn't get much credit these days.

atowle25, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of Dope
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown pour with a nice mocha head. Lacing is excellent and the beer is see-through.

S: Some chocolate and some earthy hops. Not very strong but it's there.

T: Pretty nice mix of hoppiness and the roasted malts. Earthy hops hit first followed by roasty/burnt flavor which makes for a bit of bitter overload for a moment. Smooths out with some chocolate and some more roast on the way down.

M: Quite bitter and drying. Otherwise pretty light bodied and good carbonation.

O: Not bad, the bitterness overload from the hops + burnt flavor at the same time can be a bit much. Would go great with some food (BBQ). Pretty light and clean beer otherwise. Probably the best Widmer beer I've had.

Dope, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of dfillius
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/3 finger of cream colored hed with good retention. Clear, very dark brown liquid. Nearly opaque. Great for the style.
S: Tropical fruit and PNW hop! Hops float on a wave of cold masked other aromas, that I neglected to reflect on as the beer warmed...
T: Very bitter immediately following intense roast that vanishes only to return as char/black patent malt in the aftertaste. Not overwhelming with flavor, but quite good. The best tasting beer I've had from Widmer to date. A tad empty tasting, maybe too clean?
M: Bitter and slightly dry. Bitter feeling in a white fir needle way. Slightly syrupy while being a tad thin.
D: I'd order another and buy 6. This is the 2nd best CDA I've had to Stone 11th Anniversary/SSR

dfillius, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of AmericanGothic
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Not quite pitch black, but a very dark and nearly opaque brown. One finger of medium tan head with some retention and lace.

S: Nice peach aromas backed by a bit of grapefruit and sweet malt.

T: Interesting. Malt notes are chocolate and a little sweet roast. Some piney/citrus hops on the finish. Good flavors, but not what I expect from something calling itself an IPA. However, as the beer warms, the citrus flavors assert themselves and poke through the chocolate a bit more-- yes, it is an IPA after all, and this combination is pretty nice, orange and chocolate. Later in the glass, the chocolate starts to persist further into the finish as well. After that, a little floral/lavender quality joins the mix. Unexpectedly complex, very good indeed.

M: A bit on the heavy side of medium with a blend of creamy and soda-like feel, faint bit of oil on the finish.

O: I like this, it's quite tasty. Good choice for a cool spring evening where the chocolate keeps you warm and the hops speak of the promise of summer yet to come. Will buy this again.

AmericanGothic, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of gopens44
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black is a good description. Thin mocha colored head accompanied the pitch blackness.

S - Earthy hops, nice roasted malts and creamy sweet in the nose.

T - First taste was that of the pine flavored hops followed by an odd earthiness. The sweetness in the nose was never really fully developed on the tongue, but it did make an attempt at a delicate sweetness in the malty finish.

M - Well carbonated, dry and little aftertaste.

O - Not bad at all. Could have used a bit more balance or boldness, but still nice.

gopens44, May 31, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Cyberkedi, May 29, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

smcolw, May 28, 2011
Photo of washburnkid
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

washburnkid, May 27, 2011
Photo of WastingFreetime
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

WastingFreetime, May 26, 2011
Photo of mavbrew
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mavbrew, May 25, 2011
Photo of StlHopHead77
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.


StlHopHead77, May 23, 2011
Photo of Lauthaha
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Lauthaha, May 23, 2011
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

JoeyBeerBelly, May 22, 2011
Photo of tapman
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

tapman, May 21, 2011
Photo of brewski09
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

brewski09, May 21, 2011
Photo of Kendo
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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).

Kendo, May 20, 2011
Photo of mttaylor1066
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

mttaylor1066, May 18, 2011
Photo of tigg924
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

tigg924, May 18, 2011
Photo of cvoss
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

cvoss, May 16, 2011
Photo of beer2day
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

beer2day, May 16, 2011
Photo of philbertk
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

philbertk, May 16, 2011
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 765 ratings.