Peak Organic Hop Noir | Peak Organic Brewing Company

very good
128 Reviews
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Peak Organic Hop NoirPeak Organic Hop Noir

Brewed by:
Peak Organic Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences. Enjoy with a night-light.

98 IBU

Added by mcallister on 02-18-2011

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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 336
Photo of HopHead84
1.97/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5


Extra courtesy of funhog, thanks! Snifter.

A: Black with an inch of creamy tan foam and nice retention. Lots of lacing is left on the glass.

S: Pronounced roasted malt presence with a little chocolate. The malt seems burnt. There's a prominent off note that I can only describe as metallic cardboard. Pine accompanies faint grapefruit notes.

T: The beer has a really harsh and acrid roast grain profile. It leaves a burnt toast taste lingering on the palate. There's also a wretched metallic note. Chocolate accompanies a little coffee, pine, and an upper moderate bitterness. The finish is gross: burnt, astringent, acrid, and harsh, with a little booze.

M: Medium in body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: Not remotely enjoyable. Avoid. But at least it's organic, right?

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Photo of Schracky
2.26/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was very excited to try this beer, as I do not see too many black IPA's on the east coast yet.

A: Very dark, porter like in appearance. Very little head.

S: Sweet, malty and grassy. Hard to explain the smell, but I really don't like it.

T: Initially it hits the tongue with a decent roasted coffee flavor, but then turns astringent and has a bad lingering aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel was okay, but could use more carbonation.

I did not like this beer. The smell and aftertaste are too off for me. I am having trouble explaining this beer because it does strange things on the palate. I have enjoyed every black IPA I have tried up to this point, especially the Portsmouth Brewery Black IPA.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.33/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

At the time of this review, this beer is not on the top beer list for American Black Ale despite being an American Black Ale, probably because this beer sucks. On tap at Meridian pint.

Beer is black with an almost white head, OK.

Aroma is mildly earthy, a little pine, a little hops, a lot of butterscotch.

Does organic mean diacetyl? i'm not up on the hippy lingo of politically correct eating. This beer tastes like buttered popcorn. I didn't even finish my sampler. I'd rather have more of that horrible DIPA from Lost Rhino than this disaster any longer. NEXT.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.49/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle - $6.49 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a very, very dark brown body with a tall, well-frothed, tan head.

Smell: Hop Noir smells of a vicious degree of roastiness, beyond roastiness, even, to intensely burnt, cauterized malt. Not just kilned, but killed. Underscored by meek hints of pine and citrus to timid to tackle the still-smoldering maltiness.

Taste: Beings immediately with a strong, sharp roastiness, with an unpleasantly acrid tar-like taste. Low sweetness. Sadly, subtler tones of chocolate or coffee are totally squelched by the astringency. Fire-scorched pine bark and citric citrus fruits are present, though enveloped in the roast, as is a bitterness, which only serves to compound the astringent quality of the beer. The a dash of spirits. Woof. Lingering burnt char on the tongue beyond the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Those black malts sure can be a harsh mistress. The bottle immodestly described it as being "delectable," though I found it hardly even drinkable.

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Photo of nitro0292
2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Opaque black color, adequate head and lacing but nothing to write home about.

Smell - Smell is hop forward, but not full of delicious hop scents, more an onion, burnt hop smell.

Taste - More of the same, all burnt onions. No real malt presence and the hops provide bitterness, but also a cloying taste. The hops are not piney, nor citrusy. Not what I am used to from Centennials, which according to the website are used in this brew. These taste more like Summit and that onion or "cat pee" taste. Very, very burnt and overly acrid. Not enjoyable, but hey, it's midnight on a Tuesday (Wednesday). Again, very burnt and not desirable.

Mouthfeel - adequate carbonation for style and ABV. Not syrupy, not thin.

Overall - I want to like this beer. Maybe it needs just a bit more malt backbone to round out the (unfortunately) less-than-desirable hop flavor.

I had this on tap many months ago and don't remember it tasting like this. But then again I can't say for certain that it did not taste like this. I'm hoping that I have a pack that is just "off."

Not sure I'd buy another 6er, maybe just another to see if it is any different. Boo.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.76/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz brown glass twist-top (with foil?) bottle. No date that I can find.

Pours a thick black with some mocha colored head that leaves some spotting. Nose is rather off-putting and smells like soap. Palate is pleasantly bitter, but the combination of green, grassy hops and black malt is strange in this brew. I like black IPAs generally, but this is pretty weird. Reminds me a lot of herbal soap.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.91/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Alex for this, the king of Buzzed beers, tasted with Olde Hickory Black Raven, this was the consensus loser... Pours a nice black color, a decent light tan head... The nose is a little light, cascade, lots of hop, a bit of ash... Soapy but has a nice malt balance, too bitter and charred overall

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Photo of jdhilt
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours three finger tan head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose and flavor is burnt coffee with a long, lingering burnt coffee after taste. $5.49 for a 22 oz bottle from Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.04/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz gold foil topped bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black in the glass, topped with a couple fingers of milk chocolate colored head. This is surprisingly dark, looking much like what you would find on a Porter or Stout. This retains with a tight cap of rich froth, which just slathers the sides of the glass with sticking swathes of lace. The aroma is grassy (with a touch of a medicinal plastic tinge), layered on top of a green citric bitterness. A mix of sweet chocolate and smoky roast rise up from underneath. I’m not getting any pine out of this, even though there is supposed to be Centennial hops used in this.

The taste is forward with grapefruit and other pithy citric fruit but it’s the aggressive burnt character of the malts that bring most of the bitterness to the profile. This is sweetened up some on the edges by notes of chocolate and caramel but the hops strike back in the finish, with a strong lingering rind flavor that sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with an initial creamy slickness that then gets much pricklier on the tongue. This definitely has a certain amount of oiliness to it from the hops. There is some light warmth to this but it’s actually pretty well kept in check for a 8% beer.

With its off-smelling nose and too roasted taste, it’s safe to say that this wasn’t the best example of the style that I’ve had lately. The taste did bring some decent hop flavors to the table though and the body was at least pretty smooth for a big beer. I mean it's drinkable if you find yourself with a bottle but there are definitely better options out there on the market right now. Hopefully Peak will continue to work with this one.

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Photo of GuyIncognito
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very disappointed in this one. I like Peak's other beers, and I love the black IPA style. This tasted like a stout, or maybe a coffee stout. No cascade finish, no crispness despite the dark color, nothing. If it had been labelled correctly as a stout, I still wouldn't have been that impressed.

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Photo of eod81
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a fan of dark beers, IPAs and Peak Organic, I found this to be a real let-down.

A- Noir might be a slight exaggeration, but this sure is a dark beer. Some reddish transparency in my skinny pilsner glass. Handsome head of about an inch dissipates quickly, but leaves dazzling lacing with each sip: fine, even bubbles in an appetizing golden brown foam.

S- Nothing special in the nose here, pungent hops and some burnt caramel notes.

T- This is where I'm lost; some charred flavor with the slightest hint of chocolate and coffee, but not enough to suggest a stout or porter character. Very sour up front, but then the hops get lost in the overwhelming roast flavor. Certainly some citrus here, but it's really not jiving with the darkness. No real taste of alcohol, though, even as it warms up: impressive for an 8.2% ABV.

M- Neither here nor there. Not too syrupy, might benefit from more carbonation. Really in keeping with the IPA nature, maybe a touch sticky.

O- I would try a bottle but skip a 6-pack. I wouldn't be surprised if this one didn't return to the shelves next year. Maybe they'll keep the name but ditch the mediocre recipe, I've seen Peak shine before.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Black color with a small cafe-au-lait head. Little bit of lace.
Roasted malt aroma, strong piney hops.
Taste followed form. Coffee/roasted malt, followed by a blast of piney hops. Really bitter.
I thought the hops dominated this beer, and not in a good way. I love hops, but this beer was way too aggressive for me.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this up at Discount Liquor in Milwakee. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Looks pretty similar to Black Raven - perhaps a bit darker and murkier.

S - The aroma has more hop presence than the Black Raven - lots of herbs, oranges, and lemons. The malt backbone is more sugar and less roasty as well. However, there's something very artificial about the citrus flavors.

T - The taste has far too much char and burnt malt astringency. Gets unbearably bitter after a short while, and there's minimal sweetness to balance things out. Just too burnt and ashy here.

M - Medium body, lower carbonation, and a sticky finish. Texture is somewhat gritty.

D - I didn't care for this one very much, and found Black Raven to be superior where it counted.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here's a return to an old review I made over a year ago on what was then an emerging style in the popular craft beer scene (I do believe this was my first ever Black ale. Since that time, I'd like to think that my experience of sampling black IPAs have led to me being able to better discern some variations and originalities within the style. I picked up a 6'er of this at Niko's Wine Corner in Snellville for $9.99.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served at 43º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pouring this bottle led to a frothy light brown head with an average quality retention, settling to a very thin surface in a few short minutes. Lacing is thin and spotty but still mostly there. Body color is nearly black to the naked eye, although I can pick up some deep brown near the surface and some mahogany tones where the light gets through. Head quality is stunted a bit which bumps the appearance down but the lack of any other glaring flaws makes the appearance acceptable. Overall, this is a decent looking Black IPA, but nothing spectacular. 3.5

(Smell) Most people will certainly notice the bold buttery flavors in the aroma which really smack you in the face, but underneath are some milder fruit tones, like blueberry, peach and plum. Hops are mild in the nose, masked by the boldness of the malt bill, but the hop quality is slightly piney, slightly floral. There is a slight alcohol aroma but it is largely masked by the diacetyl-like aromas of this beer. Unfortunately the balance suffers some due to the limited hop presence and most noses are going to be turned away by this aroma. I find it enjoyable enough, as I am offended by little aromas a beer could present, and while it is not ideally balanced and lacking in hop aroma, the sweet buttery malts and subtle fruit qualities are two uncommon qualities of this aroma that I find enjoyable, and contribute to a unique aroma for the style. 3.5

(Taste) A lot of what the nose reveals carries over to the mouth. Fortunately the diacetyl is toned down a notch but is still very much there. Unfortunately, the fruit is hard to find in the beer at all, masked by a smoky finish with a subtle bit of grassy hop flavor. The balance continues to be a bit out of whack, with a malt heavy presence and little hop action, even less than in the nose. No particular point of the brew stands out from the rest, and although it's not terrible, it's not particularly impressive either, with limited flavors and limited hops. My choice favorite moment is the charcoal-like finish, which is more enjoyable than it sounds, although not perfect, and the poorly hidden alcohol peeks through a few times too many, reminding me as to why it's not always ideal to brew an 8% beer if you can't hide it well. Second time around I find this beer a bit disappointing, but it's not terrible. I have better options and are willing to go to them first. 3

(Mouthfeel) Mouthfeel is a bit creamy with a little bit of air on the tongue. Alcohol presence is medium-high. Body is low-medium. I found the texture to be a decent pairing for the taste, although the lack of being able to conceal the alcohol and a limited body depth impact the score negatively as well. 3

(Overall) I'm glad I've found better options in this last year. Second time around I'm finding a very intense diacetyl character in this beer which is hard to avoid or overlook. Hops are hardly there, and really could bring the flavor around if they had more of a starring role. The fruit esters that I thought I were picking up turned out to play hardly any role in the beer either. While it's nothing majorly offensive, I think it's a gamble that many may not enjoy this beer because of it's wacky balance (or really the lack of it), and the lack of hops. I found that aside from the butter, this was one of the mildest black ales on the market, and aside from some nice charcoal smoke in the finish, it doesn't have much going for it. With some tweaks, it can likely go in the right direction, but right now its not particularly impressive, and I'd recommend looking elsewhere to fulfill your Black IPA fix. 3

Peak Organic Brewing Company's
Hop Noir

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Photo of Thads324
3.19/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A : pours a jet black and thick looking glass. A little bit of tight bubbles dissipates quickly leaving a tiny film around the edges.

S: smells like a bit of citrus hop and a little bit of sweet malt. Nothing stands out much.

T : starts a bit roasty then come the hops. Sharp piney and citrus hops with mild bitterness. The malts kind of disappear into a sweet toffee bit of water. Hops stand alone at the end with nice bitterness and piney flavor.

M : medium bodied with smooth malts and good bitterness

Overall a better flavor than aroma. Pretty nice, and the alcohol is well hidden. Not bad, but could use more malt body. The hops are good and vibrant.

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Photo of hophugger
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep, chocolate-brown with about a finger of light, tan head. Lots of carbonation in this one. Aroma is very malty, with some hops and I even get the aroma of red wine, interesting. Taste is full of roasted(almost burnt) coffee but balances pretty good. The wine seems to be coming through again on this one. Not sure what is causing this. Carbonation is very plentiful, almost being to the level of too much, but stops just short. Mouthfeel is decent, very carbonated and slight coffee bitterness follows. Some weird stuff going on here, but it still manages to come together pretty good....

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Photo of AgentZero
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Alex for showing up with another Buzzed beer.

A - Black beer, small white head, minor stick on the sides.

S - Cascade hops, some caramel malts that don't get too sweet, a little bit of char and ash.

T - How do these things keep ending up on the buzz list, are most of the new beers made just not any good? I did like this a little bit better than the Black Raven, but not much. Char and burnt malts, a little bit of soap, some caramel and tropical fruit. It's not really good, but I do like it a little better than Black Raven.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - I hope these reviews helps to knock it off the buzz list, as people really shouldn't be seeking it out. Pass.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an honest pint. This one pours black with a small layer of off white head.

A little bit of a tropical citrus hop aroma with some doughy yeast in the background. A nice touch of char in the aroma but the hops seem to be a little bit on the muted side. Much like the aroma the flavor has a nice bitter citrus hop aroma with a little bit of a yeasty background. The hops seems a little bit muted but still give a nice presence.

The body is nice and light with good carbonation. Overall a solid brew here. Not sure how fresh it is right now but pretty tasty either way.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: entirely opaque. dark brown, almost grayish dense head. reasonable retention leaves some spots on the way down.

S: a good bit of piney resin leads a heavily chocolate nose. warm roast. smells like a big time beer.

T: a touch of roasty smoke. rich chocolate flavor. sweetness similar to marshmallow. bitterness in the finish is not necessarily hop derived and can be interpreted as dark malt astringency, which is actually a bit distracting.

M: an assertive carbonation that i find a little distracting.

D: just not overly impressive, pretty on par for the style. great chocolate/roasted flavors, but i need more hops in the nose and on the palate. definitely surprised considering the ABV.

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Photo of Kendo
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the 22 oz, gold foiled (but twist-off) bottle into a pint glass. Body is black. Small khaki/light-tan head on top. Some splotchy lace.

S: At first blush, I got some molasses and roasted coffee. Molasses dissipates after awhile, leaving charred coffee beans and roasted barley malt.

T: Whoa - big time bitterness. Over-roasted barley malt and char combine with a wallop of bitterness on the back of the tongue, which really lingers as a palate-destroying bitterness. Taste of campfire smoke at the back end too. Unlike the best of the style, this one lacks subtlety or nuance - rather than containing sweet chocolate malt or modestly roasted barley in combination with a citrusy or juicy hop flavor, all I'm getting is a combined clobbering of bitterness - from the burnt, charred malt and the hops - on the taste buds.

M: Medium in heft. Carbonation is about what you want.

O: Too one-dimensional and leaning towards the heavily roasted/charred malt flavors. Not undrinkable for me (I like a nice roasty porter, for instance), but I could see how others may feel differently.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Gold foiled cap, which is glued like crazy.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark tan head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Thick head lasts nicely, with lingering lace. Aroma is dark malts and bubblegum.

Taste starts with roasty malts, but then goes lightly sour in the middle, that carries through even under the hoppy close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are alright, but less of the sour would certainly make this a more enjoyable brew.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tapered glass. Black in color with amber hues at the edge. Nice tan head leaves a lot of lacing.

The aroma is full of citrus and mostly licorice. The hops have a sort of leafy presence in the aroma.

The taste starts out dry with a nice touch of bitterness from the roasted malts. There is a good burst of bitterness in the followthrough attributed to the hops and concentrated on the sides of the tongue. The hops aren't particularly flavorful, but I would say they are a little citrusy.

The body is medium and the carbonation is relatively high.

I like this one, but it's really nothing special at this point. Just a nice bitter strong porter.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into room-temp pint glass.

A- Noir it is, jet black with a fluffy tan head. Lots of rings of sticky lace.

S- Well, if it's "dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops", as the brewer claims, they are hard to sniff out. A bit of pine hop armoa as it warms, but not much. Dark and roasted malts are what I get; the regulars, coffee and chocolate.

T- Sweet roasted malts like above. Some dark fruits.

M- Thin and slippery, well carbonated. More like a black lager than a heartier ale.

O- This beer improves as it warms, but a good hoppy ale doesn't run from the cold.

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Photo of Derek
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Supposedly a black IPA, but I wouldn't even call it a CDA... this is more like a Baltic Porter. Lot's of tar & piny bitterness, soya sauce, black strap molasses and hints of bitter orange rind. Old Rasputin comes to mind. Along with the tan head, I'd say there's more than just carafa here... probably some black patent malt. It really misses the style, and would probably benefit from some age.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a cellar temp bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a deep black hue with light passing through only on the edges of the glass revealing some rich ruby and mahogany color.
Creamy tan head foams up about 1 cm and fades to a sturdy edge layer. Very strong windowpane lattice clings to the glass long after each sip of the beer.
Aroma is some roasted malt and dark cocoa, but mostly some pine sap and grass. The aroma isnt huge but is appealing and well balanced.
First sip reveals an average body with minimal fine carbonation. Flavor is bitter black malt with some roasted notes, and just a little bit of burnt flavor like overheated coffee. I also get some bready, grainy notes mixed in with some sappy and grassy hops. No real hits of booze on this beer and I find it easy to drink with a long lingering roasted flavor after each sip. The hops come up on the burps with heacy grass notes.
An interesting beer but not very robust flavor or nose, makes it easy to drink, but bordering on uninteresting.

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Peak Organic Hop Noir from Peak Organic Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 336 ratings.
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