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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

742 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 742
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 26
Gots: 27 | 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)
View: Beers (78) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 742 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HalfFull


3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. This IPA pours black with ruby highlights and offers a thin off white cap. Retention is relatively brief, surrendering to a light film and light lacing.

Clean roast notes on the nose with some earthy hops. Nothing special for an IPA but perhaps in line with a 'Black' IPA.

Similar notes in flavor though a bit thin and watery in texture. Some smoked malt and chocolate notes are present and fight with the hops a bit too much. Feel is slightly sweet yet really void of any hop texture.

Black or white, this is an average IPA, and an average beer regardless of moniker.. Drinks like a lightly hopped black ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 05:53:19 | More by HalfFull
Photo of rmatson


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

Living in Utah I knew I may not get another chance to try this beer for a bit. Purchased at a Gelson's grocer and poured into a straight sided pint glass right after getting home.

A- definelty dark but still lighter than most porters. Head is small/limited.

Smell-smells of a moderate level of US hops with a slight hint of roast. The low carbonation limited the hop aroma.

Taste-tastes like the smell with US hops and slight roasty ovetones. The hops linger a little but I would not classify this a overpowering hoppy beer but still in the IPA range.

Mouthfeel-fairly drinkable. The additional speciality grains add a little more complexity to the flavor that interplays with the hops. This does limit drinkability slightlly but I would drink a few w/out complaint.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer as a new twist on one of my perferred styles. It is hard not to compare this to traditional IPA's but it is a new style by itself according to the GABF (i.e. American Style India Black Ale or Cascadian Dark). This would appear to be a great IPA type beer to drink during the cooler months as it offers a slight bit more character and darker color than a typical IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 03:27:24 | More by rmatson
Photo of jzm2500


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Dig Pub in Cedar Park (Austin). Gotta say I was a little skeptical when they told me about this beer, but I decided to give it a go. It looks like your classic stout: black w/ a thick, tan head. However, raising the glass the first time, it smelled mildly of citrus and hops. You know, like an IPA. hmmm.. Tasted grapefruit and moderate hops up front fading to a piney character. Left with moderate hops and possibly a mild roasted barley flavor (appearance skewing my perception??).. Will have to try again. In fact, I'm craving one now.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2010 18:28:05 | More by jzm2500
Photo of exonthebottle


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pitch black is one cool looking beer. it smells like a weak IPA not anything special but still usually hop citrus. the taste is a bit sweet and little bit syrupy like that is okay but boring no real taste from the malts either. this beer could be better but it is very drinkable and enjoyable on it's own.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 09:38:40 | More by exonthebottle
Photo of RobertTh3Texian


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours first deep copper then goes to a pretty opaque black with a frothy off white head that leaves behind some minimal lacing. The roasted malt and some small bit of aroma hops are there on the nose. Deep fruit flavours, and less hops than I thought for a "Black IPA" They are there but just not in the amount that I was expecting. Taste some vanilla and unfermenters on the after taste. Dont know if any of you homebrew but the after taste is kind of the sweet taste of the unfermented wort just before the yeast. Good not great but a great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 01:19:54 | More by RobertTh3Texian
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 16 May 2010.

Served in an Abita shaker pint. Large foamy light brown head. Medium carbonation. Clear dark cherry brown color. Light aroma of sweet roasty grains, earthiness and a slight bit of resin. Starts slightly bitter, resiny. Some chocolate in the background. Becomes more bitter in the aftertaste. Mild alcohol. Medium-light body.

If reviewing to style, appearance score should suffer, right?

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 15:01:56 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of ZAP


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

I've been wanting to try this for awhile and I am not disappointed. But, I am also not overwhelmed either. The Cascade hops are noticable on the aroma and the taste. Juicy citrus...moreo f a roasted matliness than the a burnt black malt bill....it blends nicely...finishes with a light dry bitterness on the finish...this is a nice change of pace beer and I'll probably buy it again but it is not one I sit here sipping and saying to myself "wow this is awesome"...good...not great...

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 05:13:30 | More by ZAP
Photo of dbossman


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown/black with a hint of red; thin film of a head; lacing is present

S: Grapefruit and pine are the most prevalent, but there is a biscuity malt backbone with a touch of caramel sweetness that permeates as well

T: Hoppy and malty--balanced well; the flavors seem muted though; grapefruit and pine flavors do poke through the somewhat mundane flavors though

F: Even mouth coat with nicely balanced carbonation

D: A nice, easy drinking IPA; somewhat of a pleasant surprise

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 20:45:38 | More by dbossman
Photo of morimech


3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not quite pitch black until it fills the glass. Large tan head forms and has good retention. Plenty of lacing is left on the glass. Plenty of citrus hop aroma. Smells like a straight up IPA. Not getting much from the darker malt. And the taste is the same way. More of a non-descript pale ale rather than an exciting dark beer. Nice flavor for what it is but I wanted something more. Plenty of citrus flavor and a little caramel malt. Bitterness is moderate. The body is also nice but not as big as I would like it to be. Good carbonation and smooth feel. Has good qualities but rather boring especially for a proclaimed Black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 22:06:10 | More by morimech
Photo of IntriqKen


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a big fan of Widmer's Anniversary brews and when I saw this one today I just had to try it.
It's good, but...
Pours a deep, amber black with a tan head that was slightly disappointing. Bubbles were too large and it broke apart too quickly.
Aroma is primarily citrus (grapefruit) hops without a lot of sweet malt which surprised me considering the amount of black malt they had to use. Slight wet newspaper scent which I could have done without.
The brew is smooth on the tongue and the carbonation doesn't overpower, nor do the hops overly dry the mouth.
The taste is a surprising balance of the malt and hops. Like a faint dusting of sugar on your fresh cut grapefruit, the malt mellows rather than sweetens allowing the IPA hop goodness to come thru in all of it's glory.
Unfortunate metallic aftertaste MAKES you take another sip, just to clean your mouth.
It reminds me of Mendicino's Black Eye Stout, a brew I was particularly fond of.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 22:26:27 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of smares2


4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not being a huge IPA fan, but generally a fan of darker bitter beers, this selection caught my attention. It did not disappoint.
Appearance: pours smooth, decent amount of head but more thin and airy than most dark beers. The beer itself was deep brown-black like a porter. Impressive. The sort of beer that makes Bud Light defenders wince just looking at it.
Smell: I'll be honest, I didn't take an intentional smell until the beer was mostly gone. Nothing struck me by that point.
Taste: great hop/malt balance. The full taste palate seems to endure, rather than having stage 1, stage 2 effect. The maltiness lingers hand in hand with the hops. Strong roasted barley presence.
Mouthfeel: more lively than it looks; a bit more active than a porter it resembles visually.
Drinkability: smooth on the tongue, good aftertaste balance makes it a fine slow sipper. Overall taste makes you happy to tip more often.

A definite winner. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark ales, porters, and hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 03:28:33 | More by smares2
Photo of constahoogan


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

My pour draws dark brown and red body gradates out to a deep ruby red, amber edge. The head is a mix of milk and creme brulee. Very faint vines of lace stick to the glass as the head quickly disappears.

The nose is dominantly caramel and toasted malt followed by a faint spark of juicy citrus hops. Upon tasting, it's just as it smells but with an addition to even more faint choco-java malts.

Pretty medium bodied and not harsh on your palate. It's a good beer, but nothing to rave home about.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 07:44:48 | More by constahoogan
Photo of djeucalyptus


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

pours a dark burnt caramel nearing black in the glass. Not really pitch black, but I'm not complaining. A nice two-finger head has fair retention, leaving behind some nice chunky lacing down the glass.

aroma is nicely fruity and citrusy. a bit more caramel maltiness than your average west-coast IPA... intriguing and inviting.

Taste is in line with expectations - rich, bright citrusy ipa with a touch of fruit and a touch of earthy, evergreeny funk. Light roasty and brown sugary notes intertwine with the fairly sharp bitterness creating a pleasantly dark flavor. Not the most amazing, but I'm definitely up for more.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and rich with a good balance of resinous slickness and sprightly carbonation. Maybe a bit heavy on the carbonation, but that's picking nits. Nice lingering bitterness I'd expect.

Drinkability is solid. this really reminds me of another IPA I've had in the past, but can't quite put my finger on it. A good, well rounded IPA with a bit of added character from the dark malts. I'm not completely sold, but I'd definitely consider picking up another sixer of this one - something I don't usually say with it comes to Widmer.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 05:58:14 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of Haybeerman


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown/black color; the brown more noticeable on the light edges. Poured a 2 finger light brown head with excellent retention. Lots of sticky lace.

S: Big grapefruit, citrus and pine hops. Toasted and caramel malts in the background.

T: Big floral hops, grapefruit and citrus rind. Toasted and roasted malts with some yeast flavors underneath. Sharply bitter in the finish.

M: Medium body. Medium to high carbonation. Clean in the finish despite all thats going on with the beer.

D: Big, flavoring hops and big tasty malts. Seems to balance - it works.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 14:34:48 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of kindestcut

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The W'10 Pitch Black IPA pours a midnight black with a modest off-white head. The aroma is awash with fruity hops with a malty background.

At first taste this beer tastes like a typical IPA, although not overly bitter. However, there is a pleasant taste of roasted malt that makes this an interesting beer.

The mouthfeel is not heavy with a pleasant carbonation. I'd say this beer would be a nice session brew if you are a fan of IPAs but don't want to be blasted with a hop flamethrower. A tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 02:38:16 | More by kindestcut
Photo of bmwgirl9606


2.25/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a nicely chilled bottle into a pint glass.

Deep opaque brown-black with light tan cream head that lingers. Minimal hop and malt aroma. Flavor was almost non-existent, watery and lacking in both hops and malt. No deep bitterness. Light crisp mouthfeel.

Overall impression - watery and flavorless. Ended up dumping it down the drain and poured a Short's Huma-Lupa-Licious instead.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 21:54:20 | More by bmwgirl9606
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with good carbonation and a nice tannish. Nose is citrus, black malt. Taste is citrus, black malt, roasted. Mouthfeel has a nice citrus, floral and booze feel, just right on hop bitterness. Very drinkable and one of the best Black IPAS I have had.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 04:38:24 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of TopOtheMornin


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

Very uniquely presented but basically just a lighter hopped IPA with some dark malt undertones, tastes good but is it a new breed? Cool label and bottle (cut sides with sun/W). Enjoyed thoroughly, may buy again. Will it go down in history as one of the best? Not today, but really like the concept and mad props for new styles of IPAs.

4.26.10 327pm JDH

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 21:29:14 | More by TopOtheMornin
Photo of industrialswill


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

I picked up a sixer yesterday out of curiosity.
I'm rating it "good" across the board.
It's a nice change of pace from the other IPAs I usually drink and I think other IPA drinkers would at least like it.
The most notable feature besides the dark color is that the smell is more intense than the flavor that follows.
I drank some more tonight just to validate yesterday's research and I'm sticking to my guns on my findings.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 04:14:05 | More by industrialswill
Photo of colts9016


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Adams Pint glass at 40 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that is ivory in color and has some retention. The color of the beer is pitch black( duh). The clarity of the beer is opaque. There is some dark brown highlights on the the side and bottom of the glass. The head leaves some lacing.

Nose: A nice hoppy aroma that is grapefruit, citrus and pine. There is a good malty aroma that roast and has some caramel aromas.

Taste: A very vibrant hoppy aroma, with grapefruit, citrus, floral bouquet esters, phenols, roasted malt and some yeast flavors.

The mouth feel is astringent, carbonated, and clean.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium with a medium finish. This a good beer. Never really heard of a black IPA, but it works. I really enjoy drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 06:00:45 | More by colts9016
Photo of yemenmocha


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a hint of reddish color, enormous head that is quite nice, and the head is quite creamy in texture also. Nose is full of citrus. On the palate there's a big chocolately malty flavor going on initially and then the bitter hops rush in to steal the show. Finish has a nice interplay of the malt and bitter hop flavors.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 03:16:53 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice to more examples of this Cascadian style as I was intrigued by Phillips Skookum Ale that used to be called IDA. This beer pours almost black with a big white head. The nose is hoppy at first but soon the malts come out to play. The taste is an IPA PNW style backed up with lots of dark malt. Very food friendly and a nice change from the big hop/ grapefruit parade of IPAs from around here. Could have been more complex but still a cool seasonal from Widmer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 16:57:10 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Spineypanda


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

Pours a black in color not see-through with a nice head that lingers and clings to the glass.
Smells of a bit of hops and some malts as well but seems pretty balanced.
Tastes balanced as well, the hops come through more than the malts but it is seriously a well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 05:34:56 | More by Spineypanda
Photo of mithrascruor


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

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego.

Pours a matte black color with a reddish tint. Nice tan head becomes a thick film. Very mild aroma of roasted malts. Nice roasted malt flavor with good hop spicyness. Some bitterness at the finish and into the aftertaste. Fairly constant carbonation, a bit on the strong side. Medium-bodied and smooth. The flavor is simple but tasty. Something like a porter meets IPA. Good session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2010 03:30:06 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of mn68amxguy


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Has a nice piney citrus smell. A hint of malt but faint. Excellent lacing! Looks wonderful in the glass! Has a nice hoppiness to it. A slightly dry maltiness. A calm smooth feel in the mouth. The hoppiness lingers well after drinking. Feels warm on the way down. More than I expected for 6.5. I have to say it's a really nice change from a normal IPA. I actually like it a lot. 7.99 a 6er here in mn. A nice bargin on a budget.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 01:30:11 | More by mn68amxguy
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 742 ratings.