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Pitch Black IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

782 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 782
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 28
Gots: 35 | 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:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-21-2009

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
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 782 | Reviews: 316 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmerloni
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of flyingspatula
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of JayQue
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Photo of rbhockeyfan
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of CharcuterIAN
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Photo of bum732
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
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.


Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of whatthehull
3.64/5  rDev -4%
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

Photo of grittybrews
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of shand
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew sure isn't lying about the black part! Probably the darkest black IPA I've seen, with a head that retains pretty decently. The aroma is toasty with a touch of citrus and tropical fruit hops. The taste pretty much follows the nose, with toasted malts, coffee, and chocolate coming in at first and the hops coming in for an oily finish. Pretty good.

The mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but I thought it worked just fine, and the drinkability was quite good. A pretty good black IPA from Widmer, I rather enjoyed this one. Not worth killing yourself over, but worth a drink for sure.

Photo of Bung
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. Black pour with some brown around the edges. Just a layer of off white head, laces pretty well.

Some piney and herbal hops, faintest roast and anise.

Taste, a well balanced but milder mix of flavors than some. Slight malt and roast coffee mix with the piney and lighter citrus hops. Finishes with more citrus and pine than some of these American Black Ales.

Body is a bit thin, I'd dare say watered down. Carbonation is nicely active. Drinks quite easy, but that is no longer a number category above.

I guess this has the problem that most Widmer brews have for me, they are just a bit too toned down.

To me this was just an English IPA mixed with small amount of Schwarzbier or something similar.

Photo of output01x
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A vigorous pour yields a 1.5 finger tan head that diminishes almost immediately. The body is nearly "pitch black" but does give some crimson red traces when held to light. Lacing appears as curtains clinging to the glass.

Fresh floral hops hit the nose at first whiff. Sweet caramalyzed malt follows.

Strong malt with a slightly hoppy presence is the first flavors on the tongue. Citrus follows but is quicklh swept away by dry bitterness.

Light carbonation helps to prevent the thick body of this beer from becoming too sticky. It coats your mouth well but doesn't overstay its welcome.

The 6.5% ABV seems a little light as this beer is packed full of flavor and body. While the thicker body does detract from the drinkability slightly, the great flavor makes up for it.

Photo of puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle marked Feb0211-07:52-WA. It pours into my classic early 90's era Widmer pint glass. Sampled on March 14, 2011. The color is dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light with a small but long lasting beige head. It has all the aroma of a decent IPA, full of hops. The body texture comes in at about medium. The taste is vibrantly hopped with a sharp almost sour tingle on my tongue. Nicely done.

Photo of raszputini
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a foamy, airy head. The nose is fruity with the hops dominating - (maybe cascade?). Moderate, slightly oily mouthfeel. It tastes of roasted malts and maybe a little chocolate and finishes with defined hop character. I've recently gotten into black IPAs and this is one of the better ones so far.

Photo of MrOH
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the darkest CDAs I've encountered; it's actually black, albeit with reddish brown around the edges. 1 finger light tan head that quickly dissipates. Decent lacing.

Pungent, resiny pine and citrus nose, with a touch of weak coffee waaay in the back. Wish it was a bit more potent.

Yeah, orange at first, then grapefruit, then weak coffee, finishing with pine. Nice and dry. The dark malt character is fleeting and subdued, the hops are the stars of this show. This is the second beer of this style that actually tastes the way I think these beers should.

Dry and medium-light bodied, with medium carbonation.

Goes down easy and is tasty. I could definitely have a couple

Photo of Scotchboy
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a fresh bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Pours opaque and nearly black, with ruby hues around the edges of the glass. Very little head but what there was was mocha colored.

Smell seems pretty one dimensional but pleasant: citrus and grapefruit dominate with a little roasted malt in the background. Balanced.

Taste is citrus and grapefruit, a little resinous and piney, with a toasted malt backbone with hints of coffee.

Feels light and well carbonated in the mouth. Pretty drinkable, but nothing spectacular,

Photo of jpro
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler at CBX for a little weekend treat...

A: Served in a standard shaker pint... Looks black, but upon closer inspection, perhaps its more of a dark brown with some garnet on the edges; a one-finger almond head leaves some sheets and spots of lace.

S: Grapefruit and piney hops are in the forefront, but not quite as kickin' as I was expecting; some sweet malts and toast in the background are there for good support.

T: Hoppy bitterness, but again, kinda subdued - at least compared to other Black IPAs... some grapefruit rind and light piney-ness; deep caramel / burned sugar sweetness on the finish; hmmm... about the finish... its a touch bland and feels like its missing something.

M: Medium-full body and pretty creamy; low carbonation; a tad thin / watery, though.

D: Its a good brew - definitely not as aggressive as other Black IPAs out there, though (although, I see that Ba has this listed as an American Black Ale - not the Cascadian Dark / Black IPA). Its not too "in your face," which helps drinkability, but the blandness leaves something to be desired.

Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 782 ratings.