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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

779 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 779
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

Malts:
Two Row Pale, Caramel 10 L, Special Roast, Carafa Special II

Hops:
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
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Ratings: 779 | Reviews: 315 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of dzyneguru
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review... I'm pretty new to the craft beer scene. I'll give it a try. Thought I'd make my first one a unique beer.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost coffee colored. Nice thick two finger head on a moderate pour into a standard pint glass.

S- The standard citrusy smell you find in a good IPA. Without looking, you'd never guess it would be this dark in color. Good, but nothing extraordinary.

T - Very good. A nice hop-forward flavor without being overpowering. A slight malty flavor follows with a slightly dry aftertaste. Nice.

M - I like the body... a nice coating without being too thick, a nice crisp, perfectly carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable IMHO, I could have a few of these. The alcohol is masked very well, so if you have to throw back the last 1/3 of your pint because your wife is complaining that you're going to be late for a movie, it's doable.

I recommend the W '10... Cheers!

Photo of drumrboy22
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into an older Leffe tulip. Beer was very dark brown, nearly black, with a two-finger, creamy brown head. Moderate carbonation and lots of lacing around the glass.

Aroma was citrus hops and light malt.

Taste was moderately bitter hops, chocolate notes and roasted grains.

Quite nice. Easy drinking and well balanced. I'd get this one again.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very dark brown, soft white head, pretty good retention.

S: Standard C-hops, smells like an IPA.

T: Some dark malt, with a hint of cheese - strange. Solid hop character, grapefruit, cedar and pine.

M: Light feel, but has some good carbonation on the back end. Just still, too light and fizzy.

D: A solid brew, not something I think I'll revisit though. A good place to try this new style.

Photo of mobyviacheslov
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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).

Photo of allengarvin
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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

Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Telix
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of Fnord
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of Bfarr
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of Genghis22
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of mjryan
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Photo of HugePlume
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of beertunes
3.6/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of herman77
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of northaustin
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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!

Photo of JBogan
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Riccymon
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of Tdizzle
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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!

Photo of jwillcourt
3.45/5  rDev -9%
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.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.