1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pitch Black IPA - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA

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

777 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 777
Reviews: 315
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 28
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)
View: Beers (69) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pitch Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 777 | Reviews: 315 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bmwgirl9606
2.25/5  rDev -40.6%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of TopOtheMornin
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of industrialswill
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of colts9016
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of canucklehead
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of Spineypanda
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of mn68amxguy
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled date of 12/9/09 on front right label corner. One-time release. Was a dark brown color with mahogany edges. It had a small head that quickly settled into a collar and some wisps. OK lacing with none sticking.

The aroma was resin, some c-hops and dark malt. Good but not great. The taste followed the aroma. Moderate hop flavor with a little bite offset with a roasted malt element. Interesting but not enough to make me want more than one at a sitting. Mouthfeel was medium to light. A little watery and needs more carbonation.

Overall, a good but not great AIPA. Only had a few black IPA's now and this one is in the bottom tier of those. Interesting to try one but won't be making the rotation. Maybe on-tap if best option over BMC. [N;BO;OTR]

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with very little head but nice, sticky lace.

A strong grapefruit and light floral aroma permeates. Surprisingly, there aren't any roasted notes.

The taste mimics the aroma quite well, with citrus pine flavor and finishes with a light roasted character. Malt character is mainly comprised of grain sweetness.

The beer is both light on the tongue and creamy, while being low/medium bodied and medium carbonated. Balance is present and hop bitterness, while lingering, doesn't overshadow the malt character.

This is a standard IBA with a light, and thankfully subdued, roasted character. Drinkable and visually appealing.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a one finger tan head, I think it could have been more but the bottle had been open a few minutes. The beer is, as they claim, pretty close to pitch black. There's a reddish brown glow around the edges though that really shines when held up to the light. No real active carbonation but no haze either.

S: Hops dominate. Very piney with a hint of grapefruit, this is a strong but not overly sharp aroma. I get a little malt, but nothing roasted or anything.

T: Taste isn't as fantastic as the aroma, but still good. The hops are there but not as cleanly dominant. It's a little grainy and I think I detect the esters of yeast. Still good but not the intense hop pallate I was hoping for. Here I do find some of the roast that I expected in the aroma.

M; Light bodied and sharp, it works well for both an IPA and a simple dark ale.

D: Very drinkable, a nice change of pace for people who still want hops but different than an IPA.

Photo of vacax
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle from Hi-Time Wine as I was quite interested to see Widmer's interpretation of this emerging style. Not really expecting a lot, but curious. This "pitch black IPA" poured out more of a dark brown, but in the glass it is indeed fairly black with a moderate khaki head that left moderate amounts of lacing (which was more than expected at least). The aroma is quite bright with grapefruit mixed with some sugar cookie and mild roast. The taste follows through with some nice Cascade flavors, grapefruit, citrus, mild flora and tempered with light roast and cookielike finish.

While more mild than other Cascadian Dark Ales, the flavor is crisp and good. Not an Imperial ala Sublimely Self Righteous, in terms of hops or alcohol, but very pleasant. Probably the best Widmer beer I have had actually. Lighter to medium in body with a nice full carbonation keeping things lively. Surprisingly tasty, I could settle down into a six pack of these for a fair price. Happy to see Widmer experimenting with positive results!

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

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19 that was bottled on February 3, according to the label. Been a while since I've had a "black" IPA.

Poured a super-dark brown that betrayed a ruby hue when held up to direct light. Big, sudsy light tan head that dropped after a few minutes but left lots of lace.

Piney and citrusy in the nose. I was expecting to pick up some roasty malts, but they're a no-show. Smells like a tasty IPA, though.

The taste is much like the smell, only the expected roasty malts do show up - but they're intensely shy. The hops are the star of the show, with the malts exuding a roasty flavor way, way in the back. Dry at the swallow.

Medium bodied. Not as "oily" in the mouthfeel as a lot of IPAs I've had. There's not as much of that sticky, resiny quality here. Still, it's pricky in the way that a hoppy beer should be.

This was like a good - not great - IPA. If drinking this blindfolded, I'd probably not have guessed it was a black IPA. Do I care? Not really. I'd definitely drink this again at this price.

Photo of kruse
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An interesting beer. Pours very dark brown/black with an off-white head. Head could have lasted a bit longer. Creamy mouthfeel, almost as if it came from a nitrogen tap. Mild hop aroma with nice citrus notes. Taste is good with decent hop bitternessqnd a slight metallic tang. A very drinkable beer.

Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, dark red when held to light, white head. Looks somewhat like a Guinness.

Smell: Lots of pine aroma, a little citrus too.

Taste: Pretty sweet, citrusy hops carry most of the flavor. A little roasted flavor buried in there.

Mouthfeel: Feels pretty light.

Drinkability: Lightness of body makes this one go down easier than a 6.5% should.

Picked up a sixer of this to try, pleasantly surprised. Very drinkable, lots of pine aroma. Not much roasted flavor to it for a black IPA, but still quite tasty.

Photo of djbreezy
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - dark brown with a half finger head that dissipates, decent lacing and retention

smell - light hops on the nose

taste - hops up front with a balanced malt backbone that finishes

mouthfeel - somewhat creamy, medium to medium light

drinkability - it's a fairly smooth and easy beer, not too complex, semi refreshing

Photo of flynnc
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After tasting this beer, I instantly remember drinking it earlier this year. A very distinctive taste that one just can't get out of his head. The malt hits your eyes first. After the pour I was excited that I might be drinking something similar to 1554, but upon first taste, you know that within the dark liquid an IPA definitely lies. The hops are in certain balance with the malt which one can only dream tastes delightful. however it was more confusing to my palate than anything. The finish was both clean and dirty. I had this beer last night, and can still not put my finger on whether I liked it or not.

Photo of jdense
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dakota Street Pizza, Sutherlin, OR, $3.99 for the pint, poured into chilled mug (argh), 3.22.2010.

Dark brown opaque body, one finger off-white head, medium dissipation with some lacing present. The nose is roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, with grassy hops. Taste replicates the nose, but I picked up more roasted malts and esp. chocolate than I did in the bottled version. A bit of bitter hops on the backend, but fairly well balanced. Mouthfeel was full and surprising dry finish.Not a great session beer, a bit heavy to do 3 or 4. I prefer this to the bottled version, FWTW.

Photo of Kromes
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Like it says, pitch black in color. There's a thick tan colored head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S: A nice citrus, pine hop aroma.

T: The big pine hop flavor hits right up front. If you let it roll over your tongue, you can kind of taste the roasted malt flavors...but the hop is dominant in this beer. It finishes somewhat sweet and hoppy.

M: It's ok, not too heavy and not too thin. The finish is somewhat dry.

D: This is an ok IPA. I've had some really tasty black IPAs recently and this one stacks up as just above average. I was hoping that you would be able to taste the roasted malts more. Others that I've had only have the cascade hop show up in the finish so that you get a nice coffee malt flavor before the hop kicks in.

Photo of Rayek
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: More deep garnet than pitch black, but what's in a name? A strong pour netted a small tan head with OK staying power. Bits of lace are left behind.

S: A moderate amount of citrus dominates the nose. Behind it are aromas of coffee, charcoal and even a touch of cherry.

T: Starts out dry and acidic. Almost like coffee. Bitterness arrives quickly with a grapefruit and lemon tartness. There's just a whisper of charcoal at work. Finishes with a lingering citrus bitterness.

M: The medium body is dry an has a bit too much fizz.

D: This is an interesting twist on the IPA. I like the extra complexity, but the acidity was a little too prevalent. A nice beer overall.

Photo of CaliBeerLover86
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours dark brown, almost coffee colored. Moderately carbonated, with a half inch head with a moderate pour into a standard pint glass.

Smell: Smells of hops, piney, with a toasty undercurrent.

Taste: First a taste of piney hops, then a taste of a hoppy heavy porter, with a slightly bitter finish. Has a similar taste to that of Redhook's longhammer, with a toasted aftertaste. This is the first black IPA I have had, but I believe it fits the style well.

Mouthfeel: A decent balance of flavors, the ending leaves something to be desired. Moderately carbonated with a smooth finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer, I would have another. A great beer to have on a budget. I would be interested in trying it on tap however to see if any other flavors would come out. Definitely give it a try.

Photo of MPLS
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pitch Black? I challenge the brewers to see if they are seeing browns as though they are black. Nah, I get it. This style, the "Black-IPA" seems to be growing in popularity.

A: The beer pours a pitch brown (see above) and fetches a nice small 1.5 cm head. It's nearly opaque, certainly with some lighter highlights. Lacing does exist.

S: What I expected, hop profile shines about the dark black malt that Widmer uses. Pleasant hops.

T: The resiny hops are the dominent flavor in it's profile. The black malts and roastiness come through, sort of. This is pretty hop dominated, but the hops aren't bright, big, and juicy like I'd like them. Alcohol is not masked in the finish where bigger hops or more flavorful malt would have helped the cause.

M: This is lighter bodied than I would have expected, too much carbonation.

D: Average offering, run of the mill AIPA. Whatevz.

Photo of briman
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges. Clear, with a large tan head that retains well, and settles into moderate lacing around the glass.

Nose is predominantly citrus hop aroma, moderate in strength. As it warms the roasted malts become more apparent with a hint of coffee mixed in there, but still relegated to the background

Mostly hops upfront, citrus...some underlying subtle roast follows up before setting into a dry slightly grainy finish mixing with the distinctive grapefruit rind aftertaste. Bitterness is moderate-to-strong and lasts well into the aftertaste.

Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Some slickness on the palate, but still nice and clean. Balance seems good, though, I was expecting a little more of an appearane from the roasted malts. You get a little hint of them in the aroma and with the dry grainy finish, but I wouldn't call them a significant player in this beer. The subtlety is probably a good thing, though, because if they were a lot stronger it would be two strong flavors battling for attention. Good beer, certainly could be a session candidate.

Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 777 ratings.