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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.

767 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
Reviews: 315
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 29
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pitch Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 767 | Reviews: 315 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

mjryan, Feb 22, 2010
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.

HugePlume, Feb 22, 2010
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.

beertunes, Feb 21, 2010
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.

herman77, Feb 20, 2010
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.

northaustin, Feb 19, 2010
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!

twiggamortis420, Feb 17, 2010
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.

JBogan, Feb 16, 2010
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.

Mora2000, Feb 15, 2010
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.

Riccymon, Feb 14, 2010
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.

Tdizzle, Feb 11, 2010
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!

BradLikesBrew, Feb 10, 2010
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.

jwillcourt, Feb 09, 2010
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.

MrHungryMonkey, Feb 09, 2010
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.

BeanBone, Feb 08, 2010
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.

popery, Jan 30, 2010
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.

cswhitehorse, Jan 30, 2010
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?

ccrida, Jan 30, 2010
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.

GreenCard, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of hoplover82
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours clear and almost pitch black with accents a deep red rose colors and a large/medium creamy espresso crema colored head that has very good retention and excellent lacing.

S-Has a slight dark roasted malt aroma with floral and pine hop as the foundation in the nose. Also some coffee in the nose. I'm sure it'll get more interesting as it warms. OH YES!!! Indeed, as the beer warms significantly, the pine hops come to the front and shine oh so brightly and delightfully. And the coffee aroma still is there but way in the back now. I believe there are some fruity esthers as well! Hmm...

T-I get coffee and bittersweet pine hops along with a long lingering floral/pine hop finish. There also is some caramel sweetness to this that is so lovely. The pine hops are the star in this show, (which I love)!

M-It has a full creamy body that coates the mouth well yet finishes long and dry with a hoppy aftertaste that I find well pleasing. There was a slight graininess that was unpleasant, but as it warmed, it went away completely. Enjoy this one way off the chill.

D-This beer goes down quite well. And if sipped on, one could session this easily. I think I'll get some more actually. I got this in a make your own 6'er and I want more. I would suggest this to any hop lover like me. CHEERS!

hoplover82, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of patobandito
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown-black color. Good thick coffee colored head. It dissipates quickly, but it leaves a good lace. Smells of floral hops, a bit of citrus. The malt sneaks in a bit on the finish of the smell, with a roasty smell. The taste is where this gets interesting. Starts off with the hoppy bitterness. Floral mostly. A bit of citrus, but not much. Then the malt kicks in with authority. Lots of roasty, toasty goodness. None of the flavors ever become overwhelming, they balance out relatively well. The main detraction from this one is it is a bit thin on the mouthfeel. One would expect a bit of a fuller beer. But its quite drinkable.

patobandito, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Bud American Ale glass.

Pours about a finger of khaki tan head. Very good retention leaving a lot of sticky lace. Color is a dark caramel brown, almost to the point of black.

Aroma: It smells as a regular IPA would, but with roasted malts added in there. Lots of floral hops but the roasted malts really cover a lot of the citrus notes which are one of the best aspects of an IPA.

Taste: This is an interesting beer. It has a lot of floral and grassy hops, but there is also a ton of malts as well. I think I have only had one other black ipa so this is pretty unique. There is a little citrus fruit in the background, but not a lot.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but very creamy as well, and very roasted. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends sticky and roasted.

Overall, this is a very unique beer. I liked how creamy the beer was for an IPA. It was just weird to see the malts and the hops battle it out. It is definitely worth a try. Pretty drinkable as well.

mothman, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of josiahschlender
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To be honest, I don't spring for Widmer brews as often as some of the other local offerings in Portland, but the black IPA limited release caught my eye for sure.

Given a vigorous pour, a big cocoa dusted head that leaves tons of lace sits on top of a quite dark brown with red highlights. Not the typical look for the IPA! Will the color be reflected in the flavor?

Lots of very fresh spruce tip hops on the nose, nearly overpowering the dusty, burnt malt aromas that pick up momentum as the beer warms. The best intensity and quality nose I can remember from a Widmer offering!

Those dark malts ended up being mostly looks. I can discern the more burnt, roasty flavors especially at the end, but they're pretty subtle considering the color of this brew. They definitely managed to capture a sweet caramel maltiness to balance out the big citrus and evergreen hop flavors. Appropriate bittering on a nice, long-lasting finish.

Medium body and carbonation, good balance on the feel.

It took me a few bottles into my sixer to come to appreciate this beer, but I'm liking it more and more. It has more hops than many IPAs out there, and mixes it up with some of the dark flavors without overdoing it. Great job with a hard brew to pull off, Widmer! Enjoy this one fresh to get the full effect of its excellent hops.

josiahschlender, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of ElGordo
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a dark brown with chestnut highlights, crowned by a small, creamy, off-white head. Aroma of roasted dark malt balanced by a nice, hoppy bitterness. Notes of cocoa powder, pine resin, and grass float in the background.
Palate is somewhat bitter up front, both from husky malt and from assertive, grassy hops. Notes of pine, cocoa, and a touch of grapefruit, along with a flourish of sweetness from the malt right before the swallow. Finish is a lingering hoppy bitterness.
Body is full and a tocuh creamy, especially on the swallow. Overall, a great example of the Cascadian Dark Ale style. Now if they'd only put that description on the bottle...

ElGordo, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeOne
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm confused. What's the difference between a black IPA and a hoppy porter? I picked up a sixer of this at a chain grocery store to share at a party with a couple of BAs and a house full of wine and whiskey drinkers. It went over OK.

It poured a nice dark cola color with a fine head. I wouldn't have called it 'pitch black' like Abyss or anything, but it was dark.

To be honest, it smelled pretty thin. I didn't really catch any strong aromas, but the roasted malt and citrus hops were there.

It tasted pretty good, though. I wasn't expecting anything special and didn't get anything special. The party I took this to was a dinner potluck and the beer matched well with the smoked ham, etc. that I had on my plate.

I don't think I'd buy this again. It was a nice party favor but not something I'd choose over SN or any other fine session IPAs I can get.

BuckeyeOne, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of ArrogantB
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really dark brownmore than black but that was the least of my complaints. It smelled weird, sort of hoppy and then brown ale. The taste was more of the same, mostly dark malts with a slight bit of hops, like a hoppy brown ale but not an IPA as far as my tastebuds are concerned. Still, not a bad beer but not a true black IPA like Stone 11.

ArrogantB, Jan 18, 2010
Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.