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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 teromous
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Well, it's pitch black. Even holding it up to a light won't do much to diminish the opacity. It pours a lumpy tan head with large and small bubbles. The head drops down from about 1/2" to 1/4" pretty fast.

S: It smells of hops, and I can actually smell some roasted scents. It smells very much like a west coast style barley wine.

T: It's pretty mellow for an IPA. It's strange because the category listed on this website is just "black ale" which really suits the character. It doesn't really have an IPA hop character. There are slight roasted notes, and a decent amount of bitterness. It tastes pretty malty, and essentially has the character of a weak barley wine.

M: The mouthfeel is good, it has a nice carbonation level and it covers the mouth well. It doesn't leave any dead space of flavor in the mouth.

O: Overall it really wasn't anything special. It was a good dark ale with a decent level of hops and bitterness. I would probably look for a better one but this one would be alright in a pinch.

teromous, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch Black IPA is not pitch black. It's lucent mahogany with generous brick red and apricot orange highlights. The upper third of the glass contains a wonderful looking crown of caramel nougat colored foam that is no slouch when it comes to laying down lace.

Grapefruit zest-like hops (Cascade) dominate the nose. Since this bottle is only about six weeks of age, that isn't surprising. Kudos to the brewers for adding 65 IBUs worth of the little suckers. Black maltiness? Not so much.

This is a solid American black ale that, again, benefits from being fairly fresh. Once the hop character start to fade, the taste score will probably fall pretty quickly. Of course, that's true of most highly hopped beer.

Juicy white grapefruit and Mary Jane are still well out in front, but at least the caramel and roasted malts are now contributing and are keeping this offering from tasting like a straight-up IPA. Good mix of sweet and bitter, with the latter winning handily. The back end is nice and tight... just like I like 'em.

The mouthfeel falls a fraction short (light-medium for the style) when compared to the rest of the beer's attributes. That said, it doesn't impinge on my enjoyment and it's well-suited for either gulping or sipping.

Those of us who never got the chance to try W '10 are grateful to Widmer Brothers from bringing it back in the form of Pitch Black IPA. This is a tasty little American black ale that is scratching my 'gotta have hops' itch this morning.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Feb 02 11
Cool-looking bottle; I liked how it tapered.
In a pint glass the beer was black with a medium-sized tan head. Abundant lace.
Roasted malt aroma, a little coffee. Lots of floral/herbal hops.
Coffee and chocolate taste. Good piney hops.
A smooth, balanced beer.
Would drink this anytime.

lordofthewiens, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date on the label.

Froth walks up the glass, black color admits to not being pitch. Roasted aroma is soft, hops aim at floral and mild resin pine ... smells great. Yeah, it is smooth ... creamy with a big enough body for this fresh new style. Hops don't let go even though the flavors drop from its balance bitterness to a slow pull of herbal and wild flower flavor. Roasted malt feigns coffee but slowly pulls back. Bit of fruit and spice in the middle. Unsweetened cocoa and oily hop in the semi-dry end.

Yes, labeled as a Black IPA but all brewers should run with the re-named "American Black Ale" style and stay away from Black IPA all together. Regardless, very tasty and very easy to drink.

Jason, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of PicoPapa
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with Feb 02 11on the bottom right corner. Pours a black color with brown hues and a thin layer of head that disappears quickly. Fair amount of lacing. Light citrus aroma along with some sweet coffee. Roasted malts as well. Taste has very little hop presence. Mostly tastes of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts. Not really getting any of the citrus I smelled. Mouthfeel is light and watery. Overall this beer is pretty average. Once is enough.

PicoPapa, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of sk8man121
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tumbler.

A: Pours a dark brown with garnet highlights. 1-finger mocha head with good retention. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of hops in the nose. Citrus, pine and bubblegum, with a toffee backbone from the roasted malts. Very pleasant.

T: Deep chocolaty malts battle with assertive hops at the front of this one. Grapefruit and wood in the background. Nice, smooth toffee finish.

M: Starts sticky from the hops, and ends smooth and velvety from the roasted malts. Very nice carbonation, and excellent mouthfeel overall.

O: While I must admit I was skeptical about black IPAs at first, between this one and Otter Creek's excellent offering, I can safely say there's more to this "style" than mere gimmickry. Sure, this (along with black IPAs in general) is a pretty schizophrenic brew, but it works, and for reasons that are difficult to pinpoint. And isn't that what makes for a great beer in the first place?

Very nicely done.

sk8man121, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of welldigger888
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

welldigger888, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of avalon07
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy texture. There was a big, foamy, off white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: Aroma was dominated by hops, with a hint of chocolate.

T: A nicely hopped-up flavor, with some chocolate and a little bit of malt thrown in. A decent, but not mind-blowing flavor. Pretty well done.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied. Easy going down.

D: An interesting, drinkable beer.

avalon07, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of jmerloni
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice pitch black color, as advertised. Can't see through it. Head is medium and sticks to the glass pretty well.

S - Yummm. Roasted chocolate, bready, hops.

T - Dark chocolate, almost no malt here.

M - Dry dry dry and that has a lot to do with the lack of maltiness in this beer. There's no maltiness at all here. Medium bodied and appropriately carbonated.

D - Kind of boring. Respectable - I think it does what it's supposed to. It's just pretty boring overall, and I don't think I'd ever get this again. But I'm interested in the brewery. This is the first I've tried from them.

jmerloni, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of flyingspatula
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't think I have tired a black IPA, and this was a good one to start with. It has a beautiful black and brown color while pouring, but pretty black in the glass. Has a cream colored head, pretty small. Smells like an IPA, very hoppy. Tastes like hops too. This is a really good beer. Even though it has a strong hops flavor, it aslo has nice coffee type aftertaste. I will definitely try this one again!

flyingspatula, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of cjgator3
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark black, not quite pitch black though, with an off-white head with solid retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a touch roasty with hints of chocolate and fresh hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts up front with some bitter coffee flavors and some hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, Pitch Black IPA is a solid beer worth checking out. I am a fan of the Black IPAs, and this one did not let me down.

cjgator3, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of JayQue
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with only a bit of light coming through at the bottom of the glass. Medium size light tan head with a hard pour. Average head retention with some filmy lacing on the glass.

Smell is very mild, some roasted malt. Nothing impressive. Taste is mild and balanced - some roasted malt with a slight hops bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel is crisp, could be a bit more carbonated. Rich enough.

Overall a fairly average Black Ale. There are a few better ones available in Tidewater.

JayQue, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a smallish creamy light tan head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is roasted malts and some piney fruity hops.

The flavor is roasted / charred malts and a little fruit with a good sized burnt, piney bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and kind of watery.

Overall, a decent black IPA...a bit pricey at $9 for a 4 pack though.

Beaver13, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of rbhockeyfan
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice and dark, nice two finger head that lasted about 1 minute to a minute and a half then dissipated to nice lace on the glass. Smell was citrus, hops, and a touch of floral at the end. Taste is well rounded, a great introduction to those not fond of hoppy beer. It has enough hops to please, but is well rounded for the beginner as well. Mouth feel was nice and smooth, medium bodied. Over all a pretty good beer, a nice one that both my wife (who has very different taste to mine) and I could both enjoy.

rbhockeyfan, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer Review from 3/20/2011, on tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY: pours pitch black with a small tan head that faded fast and left very good lacing with rings.

Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, piney hops, toasted grains, and light coffee; smells like an IPA and a stout mixed together, which actually works well.

Tastes sweet with citrus hops, orange peel, grapefruit, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, piney hops, toasted grains, light coffee, faint vanilla, and peat moss or burnt wood that left a slight bitter finish that was almost clean.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with light carbonation, a light body and an overall crisp feel that has a malty taste with hints of smoked malts or grains. Very nice beer overall, I'd definitely have it again.

Note: had this again from a bottle on 5/15/2012 and enjoyed it again; appearance was much better this time as it poured pitch black with a huge 2 finger foamy tan head that faded very slowly and left very good lacing with foamy rings as it went down; a nice looking beer from the bottle. It seemed hoppier as well, a roasted malt IPA comes to mind as the hops and roasted malts are equal parts in this nose and flavor, which was very good overall.

CHickman, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a solid pale and roasted malt scent. It's dry with a touch of earthiness. It has a wonderful citrus hop aroma. It's not over the top, but well integrated into aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has an earthy pale and black malt flavor. It's bitter, but on a mild level. The hop character is good. It goes down easy and finishes dry with a slight citrus hop edge. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer; well balanced with good hop character.

WesWes, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of CharcuterIAN
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz into my globe.

pours a very dark brown. very little, quickly dissipating head.
smells of bitter sweet chocolate.
tastes big and roasty, again with chocolate (which lingers nicely on the roof of the mouth), some coffee, and some hop bitterness. A tinge of boozy flavor.
Not the best I've tasted in this category, but surely not the worst.
I'd drink this again.

CharcuterIAN, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Thomas Hooker pint glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: More deep, near black, mahogany amber in color with a thin, wispy head that leaves great lacing and leaves a bit of bubbly, creamy lace.

S: Nice, grassy, herbal, leafy hop aroma with a hint of roasted grains and charred malt husk. Pungent hops are floral, fruity citrus aromas are abound as well.

T: Flavorful, bittersweet, roasted malt flavor up front with a quickly building hop profile. Tropical fruits, herbal, piney and citrusy hop resins coat the palate lending flavors of raisin, grapefruit and a bitter, leafy hop sting. Finish is dry, spicy and lingers with a slick hop residue that is bittersweet.

M: Slightly sticky sweet as the brew warms, but overall, a nice, medium-full bodied mouthfeel with a fine balance.

D: The 6.3% ABV is nice and warming as the brew sits a while. The hops are a nice surprise for hopheads who might not be expecting to get their fix with this black ale. Of all the black IPAs that have recently swamped the market, Pitch Black actually makes an impression on me because it's basically a nice IPA in disguise. And from Widmer no less!

Gambrinus1184, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of bum732
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Some hoppiness mixed with roastiness, dark breadiness

L: Very dark brown, bordering on black, light tan head with decent retention and lacing

T: Hoppy citrus malt up front that is mute by an earthy bitterness leading to a touch of prickly carbonation. Finishes with just a touch of roastiness mingling with hoppy dryness. Fairly clean.

M: Medium light body, medium-low carbonation, just a touch of alcohol

Fairly clean black IPA, refreshing. Lack of bold flavors made up by its drinkability.

bum732, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- has an almost cola like appearance dark brown see through at the edges, tan fingers width head.

S-caramel,coffee and light roastiness dominate. Light piney hops scent but very faint.

T-coffee and caramel with some bitterness there is a lingering ashy smokiness.

M-medium to thin a tad too thin in my opinion.

D-overall this is fairly drinkable besides being a little watery it just seems a little "safe" to me.


drinkiusmaximus, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a blackish body with a large but quickly dying head that left some lace around glass. An airy hop aroma, light hopping, with minor sweet malts as the aroma unfortunately doesn't promise much at all. Easy to drink and smooth, there is a minor hop bitterness that lingers for a little flavor and then a touch of sticky sweet malts (mostly caramel and chocolate) and finishes w/ a soft, bitter dry edge. I enjoyed this beer but it's rather vanilla for this style and seems to be made for mass production/consumption.

clayrock81, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a great black color with a small little off white head and a little bit of lacing. Smells of earthy hops and a little bit of malt in there. Tastes of earthy hops, and some malt and a little dog blanket or something. Mouthfeel is medium with a nice carbonation. Overall its a pretty nice rendition of style.

TheKingofWichita, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - black, quarter finger deep tan head and some lacing

S - Sweet hops, toasted malt, maple syrup, some yeast. Has a black lager, stout middle. Nice hop, to malt and back to hop again

T - Sweet pine and floral hops, toasted malt, charred oak, vanilla, maple syrup, maybe a bit of coffee and chocolate

M - Carbonated, coats the mouth with a serious stout like coffee and chocolate bitterness

D - Goes down easy, only 6.5 and $8 a 4 pack. Good but not amazing

Final thought - Widmer let's me down once again, guess I shouldn't have expectations

whatthehull, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of grittybrews
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this quite a bit in its previous release as W'10, but didn't get around to reviewing it until the current version.

Poured deep black with a faint ruby tinge into a tulip with a finger of loose khaki head. Strong, citrusy Cascade hop aroma with a touch of caramel sweetness; not much roasty character yet.

Moderate carbonation and a creamy but somewhat thin mouthfeel. Mild citrus character up front followed by toast and hints of caramel and chocolate sweetness on the roasty finish, which slowly transitions back into hoppy bitterness as it lingers.

I've always enjoyed this particular black IPA, and I still do! Tasty, well-balanced, and easy-drinking, although it doesn't go too far to either extreme in the intensity of its roasty/hoppy flavors.

grittybrews, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/19/2011 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, floral hops, chocolate and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong hops bitterness and then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a solid beer but there are better ones within the style.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 21, 2011
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 765 ratings.