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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

749 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 749
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 26
Gots: 29 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 749 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mobyviacheslov


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black? Close. Dark beer with a 2 finger head that dissipates quickly into a thick lace. Fairly black/opaque, with light coming through at the very bottom with a daaark amber color.
S - Smells like an American IPA...hop nose. Honest to god, blindfolded, I would have pegged this as a thick, orange/brown American IPA. Northwestern hops dominate.
T - Intriguing, but only because of it's simplicity. Basically, it tastes like your run of the mill, hop driven American IPA. But, the finish is a very mild, but very obvious, caramel malt. All in all, not an amazingly unique flavor, as I was expecting. Instead, it's a fun beer that tastes like every IPA you know, but looks like an IMP Stout. The dark malt flavor at the end is a bit of an afterthought, but fun nonetheless.
M - Slightly thicker than your average American IPA, but fairly comparable. Good carbonation to bring out flavors, but nice and thick/yeasty.
D - Very drinkable. Refreshing, and no dominating flavors (not a hop crazy IPA).

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 01:48:30 | More by mobyviacheslov
Photo of allengarvin


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite dark for an IPA, inky black unless held up to the light. Not much of a head formed, though. Good aroma, with resiny hops dominating. and a light touch of toasted malt. Excellent flavor. The IPAness is little less than their Broken Halo, but there's still a good amount to be fine. The dry roastiness of the malt really makes it. It's not assertively roasted, but it's a nice contrast that blends well. The finish is very dry, both from the hops and the malt.

Interesting beer. Worth seeking out

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 03:01:16 | More by allengarvin
Photo of Bighuge


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

Pitch black IPA is not pitch black. That's really disappointing. When held up to my 450 Watt Light Source, I can see bloody red streaking. Nice aroma though. Mix of dark malts and resiny hops. Upon tasting I realize at once, this is no Alpha Klaus. But then again, not many reach that standard of Black IPA. This is actually quite good tough. Nice roasted, chocolatey tones. IPA traits are actully fairly muted, but citrusy in nature. Medium bodied and really quite flavorful and drinkable. Give me some roast suckling pig and a pint or two of this and I'm good to go.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 05:58:39 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Telix


3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Pours with a thin, filmy head, with a deep chocolate brown/black color. Not much to say here, it's not really exciting looking beer.

S: There is a nice hint of malt sweetness, bright, fresh hops, with a hint of mint and strawberries.

T: Initially I was put-off by things, but it opened up pretty nicely. It's mild in flavor, really. Caramel malts, some honey floral hops, some frutiness, a mild roast maltiness... overall not different, or interesting, to be honest.

M: Totally fine, fitting for the style.

D: Eh... not a big fan of this. I don't get the "black" IPA thing.... roast flavors don't make much sense here.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 03:36:14 | More by Telix
Photo of Fnord


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Very dark brown-black with a thick tan head that sticks to the glass.

Smell - Grapefruit and pine dominate the nose. There's definitely a lot of Cascade in this one.

Taste - Chocolate malty beginning, kind of like a chocolate shake, only roasted. The Cascade hops swiftly push themselves into the spotlight in the middle. The aftertaste is balanced. After you're about halfway done the malt stops being noticeable due to palate numbing.

Mouthfeel - Thick with medium carbonation.

Notes - By far the best beer I've had from Widmer to date. It's the only black IPA I've had, so it's unique as far as I'm concerned. It's somewhat like Arrogant Bastard, but with a more porter-like malt profile. I wouldn't recommend it for a hardcore hophead, it's more for someone who likes balance but wants to get into hoppier beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 15:28:52 | More by Fnord
Photo of Bfarr


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer with split personality disorder. Is it a stout or an IPA? Both and neither. A deep brown color gives the initial stout impression but a light citrusy aroma is present leading one to believe it's and IPA. However, the first taste is all malt. In the middle the hops find their way to your palate and as you swallow there is a balance between the felt like hops and the viscous malts. This beer becomes more malty as you continuously sip but if you take a break, the hops become much more noticeable.

This beer definitely keeps you guessing and is a very good value. In the end, I would have preferred a more hoppy concentration in a black IPA but I can understand why this would have won a gold medal.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 01:43:29 | More by Bfarr
Photo of Genghis22


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

A - Pours a very dark brown. Almost black, but there are visible mahogony highlights at the bottom of the pint glass. Rich foamy tan head.

S - Smells like citrusy hops, especially grapefruit. A touch of piney floral notes, but mostly citrus.

T - Tasty. The hops come through at first. Nice bright, grassy hop flavor. The roasted malts come in quickly behind, and leave the tongue coated in a rich, rasty state. The aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter, but not as bitter as most IPAs.

M - Moderate to high carbonation. Medium body, on the border of being a bit thin/ watery.

D - Very drinkable IPA. Nothing spectacular, but good nonetheless. The roasted malts add a nice demension of flavor to an otherwise ordinary IPA. The alcohol is hidden, and the abv isn't so high that you can only have one in a night.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 00:55:49 | More by Genghis22
Photo of mjryan


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive been really diggin this beer. Black pale ale, hilarious! Pretty much what I would expect. Very hoppy in the nose, with some roast malt character. Hops carry on in the finish and mingle well with the slightly sweet and reastrained roast malt profile. I really like it. Easy to drink and covers lots of bases.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 18:58:27 | More by mjryan
Photo of HugePlume


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lots of buzz in my office about black IPA's. Had to find one to give this style a try. Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A- Very dark, coffee like appearance. Held to light only a slight hint of red around the edges. Very good lacing.

S- Smells like an IPA. Hoppy at first, as it warms more of a malt nose present. Not strong, but certainly unique which I think is the goal.

T- Taste is a tug of war between bitter hops, floral hops and malty notes. Initial hop flavor is mild, quickly building into a floral pop that finishes with a deep smoky malt finish that lasts quite long. Unique.

M- Light mouthfeel, a little watery. Carbonation appropriate for the body.

D- Initially I think of this as a utility micro. Good for many meal choices, or a party with hours d ovres of many styles. Hoppy and malty doesnt match it with any particular food, but makes it a choice for any.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 02:34:51 | More by HugePlume
Photo of beertunes


3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very slightly opaque black with an active head of about a half-inch. The head dissipated quickly and left just bare lacing though.

The aroma was a pleasant surprise, a nice blend of pine and floral hop notes, with a trace of malt in the background. The flavors followed along in the expected manner, but after the aroma, I thought perhaps the taste would be a little bolder than it turned to be. Those pine hops dominate the fromnt of the tongue, with the floral hops lingering pleasantly at the rear.

The body was typical for the style, perhaps a little thin for my taste but I didn't subtract from the score on that. Drinkability was very good, I'd consider grabbing a sixer of this for a party or cookout.

Overall, a pleasant surprise from the Brothers. I find most Widmer brews to be understated to the point of being almost dull, but this beer is certainly worth your time.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 22:30:00 | More by beertunes
Photo of herman77


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my new Surly nonic pint glass that I got at the Surly Beer Dinner at the Happy Gnome earlier this week.

A: Very very dark brown color. I wouldn't call it black since a little bit of light comes through if you hold it up to a light. Nice creamy khaki colored head that diminishes quickly. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Hops and a slight hint of toasted malt.

T: Medium to strong hop flavor with a little bit of roasted malt flavor. Very interesting... bitter drying effect at the end like a typical IPA.

M: Medium full body. Somewhat creamy. Lighter carbonation.

D: Its okay. I could have maybe three in a row, two for sure. Better drinkability then most IPAs for me.

Very interesting beer. Can't remember having a beer this hoppy, but still with a roasted malt flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 03:26:26 | More by herman77
Photo of northaustin


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice clean and light black with a reddish hue when held to the light. half a finger of even dark white head that has semi long retention and leaves little lacing.

the beer smells fantastic. fresh cascades dominant the nose. very pleasing.

the taste is interesting. very upfront hop bite mixed very well with a smooth malt bill.

mouthfeel: goes down easy and leaves nothing behind.

drinkability: very sessionable and in general just a refreshing new twist on a classic style. reccommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 22:54:41 | More by northaustin
Photo of twiggamortis420


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

12 oz bottle with a bottled on date of Dec2909. Not exactly sure what a black IPA should look like but generally the beer looks pretty good. Nice retention and excellent lacing. Thick, creamy tan foam while the beer is a dark shade of brown with crimson highlights.

Nose is a nice combo of pleasant hops and roasty malts. Leans towards the hoppy end of the spectrum and it is very grapefruit oriented. Fresh and clean, one of the best smelling Widmer beers I have had.

I would imagine this would be tough to nail as it needs the juicy hoppiness of a west coast IPA without a whole lot of specialty malt influence. It does just that as this is a hop-forward beer with a thin enough body to not jump into the realm of hoppy porter or stout. There is some roasty, toasty malt presence and amazingly does not get in the way of the lupulin. There is also a nice mix of flavoring and bittering hops that are an influence from start to finish. Not the best IPA out there for sure, but it is fun to drink and tastes nice and fresh. I will definitely buy at least one more sixer of this. Good job Widmer brothers!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 01:47:48 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of JBogan


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

Pours a black liquid with a one finger tan head which leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of roasted malt along with a bit of nuts and a small hop presence.

Taste was of the roasted malt and some chocolate, but the finish had more of an IPA trait with the hops showing through. No sign of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel was smooth but probably could have used just a bit more body.

Overall this was certainly worth a try, although probably not one I'd return to on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 02:55:25 | More by JBogan
Photo of Mora2000


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

The beer pours black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is piney hops with some roasted malts. The flavor is mainly piney hops, but there is some citrus hops in there as well. There is also a roasted malt backbone which is very interesting. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 23:46:54 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Riccymon


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola black with an attractive two fingers of off-white head that collapses upon itself in a few minutes. Some sticky lacing clings to the top of the pint glass. An aroma of piney hops waft up to the nose, reminding me a lot of SN Celebration. Not a very powerful nose on this beer, however, as I have to swirl the glass a bit to get at that aroma.

Tastes of more pine notes plus the addition of some slight citrusy hops. Pale malt is present, but it seems to temper the hop bitterness (in a good way) more than it shows up in the taste. Pitch Black is medium-bodied, as befits an IPA in my book, and finishes very smoothly with only a bit of tongue puckering. I appreciate an IPA like this that doesn't tax the tastebuds too much.

The combination of tasty hop flavors and a subtle, easy-drinking mouthfeel make Black Pitch terribly drinkable. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 20:19:11 | More by Riccymon
Photo of Tdizzle


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

Bottled on January 6th, 2010. 6.5% ABV.

A- Poured into an Allagash stemmed glass, this beer pours black with clear copper hues when held up to light. The head is light brown in color and sticks around in the form of a thin cap over the beer. A few dashes of lacing are left behind after each sip.

S- Notes of citrus fruit and pine are backed by roasted malts and a bit of ash. A good stir is needed to bring out hoppier aromas of citrus rind.

T- The taste mirrors the smell. Citrusy hop flavors mingle with darker, earthier notes of roasted malts. The finish is moderately dry and leaves very little flavor lingering on the palate.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with watery edges and the carbonation is mild. A lightly oily texture comes through as the beer warms up a bit.

D- A decent black IPA. The flavor is on the lighter side, but I could easily have a few of these over the course of a night.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 03:17:28 | More by Tdizzle
Photo of BradLikesBrew


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light tan head is huge and fluffy, black body beneath.

Straight up hops on the nose, pure and simple. Green, fresh, and full of citrus.

Chocolate malt first, caramel and toffee follow. A subtle grapefruit hop presence begins to fester. With time, it builds and builds, then explodes into a long, satisfying, moderately bitter hop finish.

To be honest, my expectations were low on this one.
To be fair, Widmer hasn't done much to set my expectations high. But I tell you what, I love this beer.

It may not be Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale or Beer Here Dark Hops, but at $8.49/6pk it was pretty freaking good.

You buy now!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 04:50:20 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of jwillcourt


3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on tap into a pint glass.

A - Near black and ruby around the edges. Tight, finger-sized, tan head. The head retention and lacing are average. The head and aroma come back easily with a vigorous swirl.

S - Roasted malt and pine hops. I expected citrus due to the cascade hops, but I could not coax them out.

T - Initial flavors are pine and floral hops. Roasted malt follows. The bitter finish is a combination of roasted coffee and hops. It tastes like the roasted malt from a porter/stout and the hops from an IPA, just like one would expect. The flavors seem to sit side-by-side, however, and do not feel integrated. Imagine dumping a shot of iced coffee in your favorite IPA.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Crisp.

D - Drinkability is good due to the crisp body, but I don't need more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2010 03:15:07 | More by jwillcourt
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


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

Aroma: Moderately strong American hops (citric, some pine) dominate the aroma. Smells good.
Appearance: Not quite pitch black but close, clear, moderate head. Looks good.
Flavor: Softer hops in flavor than aroma, but still the dominant force. Moderate bitterness. Mild creamy sweetness. Soft tartness similar to lemon. Soft roast character.
Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. Moderately strong tannic mouthfeel (grape stem) lingers well into finish.
Drinkability: good.

I wish I saw more Schwarzipas. This is a fun hybrid. One of the best Widmer Brother's brews I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2010 01:28:37 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of BeanBone


4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A nearly black body with ruby-red laser beam highlights. Up top, a finger and a half of creamy, tan-tinged head that leaves great sheets of lace.

Aroma: A bright blast of citrusy and piney hops over a sweet and mildly roasty malt body. Thoroughly appetizing.

Flavor: Up front, it's citrusy, piney, and mildly tropical-fruity hops. Underneath, the malt backbone is a particularly rich and roasty caramel with just a hint of coffee. Balanced exquisitely. A citrusy and biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-full carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Highly quaffable, I could drink this all night long and never be bored.

Verdict: This is essentially a solid, highly drinkable American IPA with just a little more malt intensity. Imminently satisfying, there's something about this beer that I just love.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 03:34:54 | More by BeanBone
Photo of popery


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

This was a pleasant surprise from Widmer. I'm not a big fan of all of the new black (D)IPAs and still found this beer quite enjoyable. There's a healthy if restrained roasted/chocolate malt note. The hops are floral and piney, strong but not harsh. It's quite dry, which is very good for this sub-style. It's a creamy, rich beer that drinks bigger than its abv. I assume this beer is a limited edition, which is really a shame as it's quite good.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 16:56:41 | More by popery
Photo of cswhitehorse


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

Poured the pitch black W10 into the normal pint glass. It was a good 1-2 finger foam head with some decent retention.

Nice smell to it with citrus dominating. Initially I wasn't sold on this but as it warmed over the 15-20 minutes that I drank it, it really grew on me. It moved from starting out as a highly hopped porter to a darkened ipa. Good bitterness but not overpowering. Overall i would buy a sixer of it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 06:42:10 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of ccrida


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

Imperial pint at Baileys. W'10 is a dark cola brown with a very creamy off-white head that leaves sheets of foamy lace.

Smell is huge, bright citrus hops.

Taste is also big on the citrus hops, a somewhat acrid character to the dark malt, which is otherwise not overly distinct. Firm bitterness lingers on the finish. I'm still not entirely sold on the style (for which there is a big movement in the NW to call it a Cascadian Dark Ale). This one is a pretty typical example of the style, however.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, some slickness from the hop oils, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty good, not great though...basically a hoppy porter that's not sweet. Did I mention I'm still not totally sold on the whole CDA thing?

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2010 00:54:21 | More by ccrida
Photo of GreenCard


4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark mahogany, great clarity, tan fine-beaded foam that recedes to a thin crown, some lace

Aroma: lush hop scent of pine and citrus underpinned with a hint of roasted malt

Flavor: balanced malt profile with subtle roastiness and loaded with luscious hop flavor (passion-fruit and pears) and a smooth grapefruit rind bitterness; finishes semi-dry with a roasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine carbonation, crisp

Other comments: Love this beer! Should be one of the hallmarks of the burgeoning Cascadian Dark Ale style.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 22:05:17 | More by GreenCard
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 749 ratings.