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Dad's Little Helper Black IPA | Rogue Ales

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Dad's Little Helper Black IPADad's Little Helper Black IPA

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERchitect on 04-20-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 574
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Undated bottle at 50 degrees into snifter
Aroma of malt
Head average (3 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing excellent – curtain of tiny bubbles covering inside of glass
Body dark red-brown, clear
Flavor begins with light hop bitterness and some toasted maltiness. The malt fades and only the hop bitterness remains. No alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation.

Appearance 4, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3, Overall 3.25

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Photo of Devon_
1.5/5  rDev -59%

I'll start by emphasizing that my distaste for this beer stems directly from my hatred of anything and everything that tastes like black licorice.

L - Dark brown with a nice off-white head that sticks around and laces the glass nicely. Nice and creamy looking head.

S - roasted notes, a little bit of dark chocolate, and some fairly substantial woody and floral bitterness.

T - roasted and a bit of chocolate at the forefront. Finishes fairly bitter with some floral notes. I get a lot of black licorice like taste in this beer which makes it very hard for me to analyze and appreciate the other tastes. This licorice taste was likely more prominent for me as I absolutely hate the taste of black licorice. If not for this taste I think I would have enjoyed the beer.

M: Fairly medium bodied with a slight creamy feel. Slight bitterness sticks around on the back of the palate.

O: I will never drink this beer again. There are lots of nice flavours present, but the licorice like bitterness ruins this beer for me. I am barely able to taste anything in the beer but this licorice taste. This is without a doubt due to my absolute hate for black licorice. Otherwise, I think this could be a good beer. It's a shame I wasn't able to enjoy the other flavours. Worth a try for sure if you think you'll enjoy that taste.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from the LCBO in Waterloo this past summer.

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 92
Bottled on 17 April 2014

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with excellent retention. Clear bistre brown with medium levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a thick creamy cap with lots of lacing down the glass. A good wisp remains until the end and coats the glass on the way down.

SMELL: Roasted malts, light chocolate, caramel, with lots of floral and piney hops on the nose. Very aromatic. More pine comes out as it warms.

TASTE: Roasted and light chocolate notes up front with caramel sweetness and some floral hops at the swallow. Big, bitter chocolate burst before a bold and lingering finish of roasted grain, more bitter chocolate, floral and citrus hops, bitter pine and light lemon notes. Very flavorful and plenty of bitterness lingers. More pine comes out as it warms as well. Really nice stuff.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Enough weight. Good feel here.

OVERALL: This is a really, really good black IPA with a solid, almost stout base beer. Actually, this is pretty much a very, very hoppy stout with more than enough bitterness to satisfy any craving. Something I was very happy to drink and would gladly drink again if the LCBO gets more next year. Recommended.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a nearly pitch black color with a one finger head of tan foam. The head fades over a moderate amount of time leaving a rather decent level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a nice blend of roast and hop with a rather strong showing of a both citrus and pine hops. The roast has with it some aromas of chocolate and caramel as well as a little bit of sweet caramel, which overall produces a nice hoped and roasted blend.

Taste – The taste begins with a heavy roasted malt taste along with a decent showing of some pine hop and a little bit of a grapefruit taste. At the start there is a little bit of a chocolate flavor which ends up dwindling as the taste moves on further to the end. While the chocolate fades, a little bit of a coffee flavor and more roast take its place. More hop flavors of both an earthy and more grapefruit flavor join the taste profile more toward the end, and mix with the rest of the flavors as well as a newly arrived light cola like taste, to leave a rather crisp and decently mixed hop flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on thinner side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. The feel was a little off for me with a lower carbonation level and thicker body likely better accentuating the roasted and hopped flavors of the brew.

Overall – A rather decent black IPA, but nothing all that exceptional overall. A nice one to try, but really not worth the added price of the bomber or on tap in comparison to some of the other black IPA’s out there in 12 oz-ers

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

A - Pours a dark brown colour with large frothy tanned head that retains well

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, slight vanilla oak with a hint of Liquorice

T - Roasted malts, some burnt coffee, quite dry with a rather bitter finish

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation

O - Just an average beer, lacks any real flavour depth and the dry bitter finish it not for me.

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Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a balloon glass.
Cloudy, dark brown in color, with a nice frothy head of light tan foam.
Aroma-Roasted malt, piney hop notes
Taste-Herbal, earthy hops, roasted malt, coffee and pine. Well-balanced, and nicely suited to a grilled burger or BBQ pork.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dad's Little Helper is a Black IPA that's not quite black; these chestnut brown highlights illuminate the beer almost enough to make clarity possible, the overall darkish complexion notwithstanding. Head affixes to the surface and glass like scotch tape. It's everlasting and leaves decorative lacing.

Both hops and roasted malts are distinctly aromatic. A beer utilizing both, it stands to reason, is doubly aromatic. And this one is pretty fragrant. The bouquet offers coffee-and-cream bittersweet alongside tropical fruitiness and piny resins, all at an easy to appreciate volume.

Black IPAs really do have it all: bitterness, sweetness, citrus, resins, earthiness, and roast. Even relatively modest examples such as this manage all the above elements in appreciable quantities. This mouthfeel seamlessly switches gears between sooty dark chocolate and sticky forest pine and pithy tropical fruit skins. It's got a little of everything.

And this is also reflected in the flavour. There are tastes of cocoa, coffee, tree sap, tree bark, flowers, and an array of fruits that include pineapple, grapefruit, lychee, and orange. It's this multifaceted profile that makes immediate and repetitive sips so desired and necessary; one can go back again and again and constantly find different flavours.

That being said, Dad's Little Helper offers more of a superficial glimpse than it does a master class on the style; while thoroughly enjoyable there are, to be sure, more formidable examples out there. Those new to the style, however, are encouraged to cut their teeth on this. Rogue rarely does any wrong, and this offering is up to their usual solid, serviceable standards.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; packaged April 17 2014. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep ruby-brown colour, topped with over two fingers of billowing, frothy beige head. It recedes gradually but steadily over the next period of minutes, resulting in a lumpy cap and collar with multiple rings of lacing. A beautiful-looking ale for sure, with an approachable, interesting aroma that includes roasted malts, molasses and espresso. There is an earthy, herbal quality to the bouquet as well, with a suggestion of tobacco.

Very balanced for the style. Roasted malts, black coffee and milk chocolate notes are easily detectable initially, along with some molasses sweetness. Finishes with an earthy, herbal bitterness, and a lingering resiny aftertaste. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with relatively low carbonation levels that give this brew a supremely soft, smooth, luxurious mouthfeel. The hop bill could use a bit of a kick in the pants, but otherwise this is a very good black ale.

Final Grade: 3.98, a respectable B+. Dad's Little Helper Black IPA is a solid brew, with a yummy malt backbone that should sit well with most stout/porter fans. Despite being quite bitter, the hops don't really seem to contribute many other flavours to this one, which is a little disappointing for a black IPA from the West coast. This would make a good introduction to the style, and there's no disputing that it's a well-made beer, but aspects of this one still leave me wanting. Worth a shot, but not a world-beater.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on June 26, 2014.

The pour is dark brown with reddish hues when held to the light leading up to a short-lived tan head.

Aroma of dark malts, molasses, earthy hops, raisins, and shoe shiner. Yup.

Medium body for the most part with an astringent texture.

The taste has a malt character but it is more like licorice or molasses. Muted sweetness. The finish is a tad bitter but not over the top. As far as Black IPA's go it is alright but I am not blown away.

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Photo of Sludgeman
2.38/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A gift from my daughter for Father’s Day. Poured into a chalice.

A drain pour! An odd combination of flavors that tastes like a bitter rye bock. 2.5

A – Pours a dark brown, not completely opaque, unexpectedly thin, with a two-finger beige head and some lacing. 3.25

S - Very malty with a very little hop profile to describe. 1.5

T – Herbal hop bitterness from start to finish. Roasty. A bock-like maltiness. Definite pepperiness.
Bitter with some rye brew characteristics. 2.5

MF – Creamy with a dry finish. Medium-bodied. A bit thin on the palate. 3.25

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Photo of ryannosaurus
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz poured to shaker pint

A: pours opaque dark brown with a finger and a half of nicely persistent head

S: outrageously malt bomb, strong molasses aroma.

T: Decent amount of hop and black malt bitterness are a 180 from the sweet malty nose. Coffee grass, chocolate are big notes at front, some sweet brown sugar, caramel, fig and yeast as it warms.

M: Good CO2 level adds some bite... fairly thick and creamy like a stout when the head lays over.

O: Didn't really like the first sip... let this one breathe and strike when it is a little warmer. Not exactly what I expect from a black IPA. More along the lines of a ridiculously hopped dopplebock. Not my fave in the style, but not bad at all, either.

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Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving from the bottle and the picture on the profile matches.

Appearance: Dark almost not able to see any light through it. It has a nice head about two fingers and dissipated slowly.

Taste: Its good it has a sharp taste to it that I will have to read some other reviews to see just what it is. I don't think its the hops because its not overly bitter.

Mouth feel: Its thick but not so much like a stout. This is my first black IPA so cant give a big review on the category.

Overall: I like the Fathers Day theme and this is a fine beer, I would recommend everyone try it at least once.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

$6.99 bomber poured into a 24oz pint glass.

Appearance: Aggressive pour gave off a thick four finger tan and creamy head. The beer is perfectly filtered and ruby black. Lots of lacing. Looks great.

Smell: Maybe this is an old bottle, but doesn't smell like black IPAs I've had in the past -- a lot of malt in this one. Heavy buttery biscuit sort of aroma with caramel. Herby and earthy hop undertones, but definitely not at the forefront. Smells great, but maybe not so much for the style.

Taste/feel: Moderate body with a pretty light carbonation -- pretty heavy for the relatively light ABV of 6.2%. The flavor is coffee and roast and chocolate with a slight herbal hop character, with a bitter hop finish. There's a roast bitterness in there as well, but a lot of it is from the hops, which is disappointing -- I feel like this is either a really old bottle, or Rogue just wanted to add hop bitterness without adding much of a flavor. There's some earthy and herbal hops throughout the sip, but it tastes more like a hopped up stout than it does a black IPA. Aftertaste is a long lingering dark chocolate and black coffee flavor with a fairly sharp hoppy bitterness and almost a slight smoke character.

Pretty tasty beer, and a bit different from other black IPAs I've had -- again, it tastes more like a hoppier-than-usual stout than a black IPA. Still, not a bad price at all, and it's a pretty tasty beer.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a Shaker pint glass.

APPEARANCE: dark brown with one finger tan head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin layer of small bubbles, lightly carbonated with a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: chocolate, coffee, smoky, roasted malt.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, chocolate and coffee with a lingering hop bitterness.

PALATE: thick and full bodied with light to medium carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a fine beer for the style, this style is just not appealing to me personally. I've had some beers brewed with chocolate and that worked but the coffee taste and roasted malt taste does not work for me.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rogue Ales are a fine bunch of scallywags. One thing I've noticed from the few of their brews that I've tried is that you're always in for an interesting ride, and it was with that in mind that I purchased the Black IPA, what you say? IPA and Stout flavours, together? Madness... madness indeed [insert blatantly evil laugh here].

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deep dark bottomless brown murky depths in the body, with a sticky 1cm khaki cappuccino foam head. Looks like a delightfully tasty brew.

S: Damn this is one fine smelling brew. The combination of Stout aromas; dark chocolate, espresso and roasted chicory, with IPA aromas; pine/earthy/herbal hops and an unmistakable tobacco notes put this ale in a class of its own.

T: The taste is where it begins to lose the plot a little - when you have all of the above (in a quick recap: dark chocolate, espresso, roasted chicory, pine/earthy/herbal hops and tobacco) combined there is bound to a hodgepodge happening, and guess what? Bingo! Checkmate sir. Well it starts out with bitter chocolate/espresso and in between has that array of flavours battling for supremacy, and it ends with a bludgeon of medicinal herb bitterness. The only victor being that fantastic aroma.

M: Medium bodied with a bit of hop resin oil slickness and light carbonation.

D: As I got to the bottom of the bottle I began to understand, dare I say it; laud the heavy-handed taste of this brew. And I enjoyed the quirkiness, as I always do with any ale that thinks outside the box, but in this case I really wanted the flavour to match the quality of the aroma... alas perhaps it needs reworking scallywags.

Food match: This is definitely an ale for the next cigar society meeting, which I am not affiliated with, nor do I acknowledge the existence of.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Field Of Drafts held at The Hanger in Lancaster, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, citrus zest, weed, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but there is a definite weed aspect I am getting in the aroma.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thought this beer would be a good one to try while I'm on dad duty on a Sunday afternoon.

A - 4 - Good looking beer with about 2 fingers of light tan head with different sized bubble sparsely lacing the glass as it dissipates. Leaves a thick, patchy film of loose bubbles on the top.

S - 4.25 - Chocolate, coffee, espresso and roasted dark malts. Light hint of hops.

T - 4 - Not as good as I thought it would be. A lot of roasted flavors and hop bitterness. Some coffee and chocolate. The hops are piney. Just not as complex as I was hoping for.

M - 4.25 - Good medium carbonation, alcohol well hidden, leaves a nice roasted coffee bean and hop bitterness flavor in your mouth

O - 4 - It's alright, the bottle rocks harder than the beer. Cool name. I'd love to taste it with Wookey Jack and see how the two compare.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought for Father's Day, but just opened today when I found out I was going to be a father to a daughter. Appearance is a black appearance with a slight red hint in the light. Creamy, thin layer of retention with good lacing on the side. Aromas were rich in malts with a slight chocolate, maybe coffeeish, flavor. Taste is a bitter, with a roasty malt flavor. The drink has a good, crisp, medium body with a creamy texture. Overall, a great, celebratory beverage for a great day in my family!

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Photo of Flounder57
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured some finger head that reduced to a thin layer. Nice lacing from the reduced foam too. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Crazy frothy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Chocolate, bready, and smoky malts. Citrus, pine, and earthy notes from the hops.

Taste: Pretty much getting a blend of hops and malts with lingering ashy bitterness from the barley. Somewhat extremely lingering. A few more sips and still there. It mellowed put after a while.

Mouthfeel: Ash, bitter, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and lingering bitterness.

Overall: Solid ABA here by Rogue. I feel the bitterness could be lightened up a bit and this beer could be more enjoyable.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- black color, thick foamy head, nice lacing

Smell- chocolate, hops

Taste- chocolate, malts, slight bit of hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought this was pretty good. Not my favorite style but still very good for the style.

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Photo of jerrytodd
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having a shoot-out between this and SingleCut 'Ol Blackie IPA...

A: Black!

S: Has that Rogue smell (love) chocolate malt mixed with citrus/floral hops

T: I like this beer. More chocolate/roast than the SingleCut and more citrus than pine but there is pine in there. A touch too much astringent/chocolate/roast aftertaste, but not a bad thing.

M: Very good. A touch of sweetness helps here.

O: I really like this beer, one of the first Black IPA's I actually enjoyed drinking back in the day. If I were to nitpick I wish the black malt was smoother.

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Photo of Pencible
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear dark mahogany with a lot of light tan head.
S: It smelled like bitter citrus zest and copper hops, with a little cocoa powder.
T: It tasted like bitter copper and resin hops, with some citrus zest and cocoa powder. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Great big body.
D: This was an ok black IPA, but the scent and taste weren't overly delicious. The body was excellent, and the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. Nothing unique or exceptional about this brew, but not bad.

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Photo of sommersb
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 06-30-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Received from a friend

A: Dark brown beer, nearly black, with a creamy tan head. Head retention and lacing is good.

S: Sweet malts at the start, followed by floral hops. A nice semi-sweet chocolate aroma reminds me of a stout or porter.

T: Taste features some very light sweetness of chocolate malts plus a pretty strong bitter hop flavor, of earthy and piney hops.

M: High carbonation with a medium body, the beer finishes with a balance of chocolate sweetness and hop bitterness.

O: I'm not a big fan of the Black IPA style, but this one is nicely done.

Thanks to Kirk for the beer!

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Photo of watermelonman
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pint arrived wearing near black, with a small but significant head and lace to match that description.

The smell brings pine hops on top a short but present dark malt background. Malt is stronger in the taste, but all the same basic flavors are there. This is is quite drinkable, and the mouthfeel is solid and pleasing.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass. No date on the bottle but I'll assume its from this year. Since it came out of a freshly opened box at the store.

Appearance: Black with some hints of cola brown at the edges. Tan 1/4" head upon pouring, dying back to a 1/8" persistent rocky foam with lots and lots of lacing all over the glass.

Smell: When first poured, almost nothing in the way of aroma. As it warmed up, I get some tobacco notes and maybe something floral. There is a brief period as it warms up that I got some hints of chlorine (my wife said it reminded her of someone smoking near a public pool in summer).

Taste: Quick hint of sweetness with some citrus, then chocolate and black coffee flavors mixed in with pine and grapefruit hop flavors at the finish. The bitterness lingers a bit - strong bitterness, but not overpowering. A bit of a dry finish with that bitterness. Every now and then briefly after the bitterness passes I get some black coffee + chocolate (Mocha) notes coming back flavor wise.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick, good carbonation. Some hop oils sticking to the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: While I wish there was a bit more malt backbone to counter the hops, the beer works nicely. The beer needs some stronger flavors to pair with in regards to food. I tried chicken schnitzel but it clashed a bit - I think the recommendation on the bottle of beef or lamb would have been right. The beer definitely needs to warm up a bit before drinking though. When first poured and still fairly cold, it's more bitter than anything else and the other flavors get lost. After warming up all of the flavors come out and that chlorine smell goes away. In the end, a good beer, but not sure I'd buy again. As for drinkability, I found that I drank it up fairly quickly, but I was sated after completing the whole bottle - I did not want another.

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Dad's Little Helper Black IPA from Rogue Ales
3.66 out of 5 based on 574 ratings.
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