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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

784 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 784
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: 784 | Reviews: 316
Photo of morimech
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of smares2
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

Photo of constahoogan
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of kindestcut
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of bmwgirl9606
2.29/5  rDev -39.6%
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
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
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

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Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 784 ratings.