Black IPA | Sprecher Brewing Company

Black IPABlack IPA
53 Ratings
Black IPABlack IPA

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerFMAndy on 01-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of mkostuch
1.68/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Three words describe this beer. Bitter, bitter, bitter. And it is not a nice hoppy bitterness either.

I poured the beer from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass I received from doing a tour. It pours out a nice black color with a dark-white head so it appears inviting. I took my first sip and thought I could get past the initial bitterness but I could not. This is one of two beers in recent memory I have had to dump out and I love all types of beer.

I do not recommend this beer.

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Photo of encdee
1.68/5  rDev -51%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

appearance: at first glance from the side of the glass it looks good. Dark, like any respectable Black IPA. But when I look from the top at an angle I can see through the edges (which isnt inherently bad) but it has a watery, somewhat murky, look which kind of matches the somewhat watery taste.

smell: is actually nice but faint. (my nose is kind of stuffed right now. dont know where one factor ends and the other begins...)

taste: the taste is actually quite disappointing to me. it isnt well balanced and, as I alluded to above, is basically watery. It just isnt satisfying. I think the malt is prominent and somewhat "smokey", but it isnt really matched or balanced by the citrus of the hops. After the initial malt taste it immediately transitions to watery with little aftertaste to relish.

mouthfeel: guess?

overall: dont mind trying everything once. like to see whats out there and how it compares to my preferred Black IPA (you know who you are ;) *cough* Black Cannon. Isnt horrible but not something I would prefer or look to get again.

other: definitely counts against the company that they dont show the abv on the bottle. Production dates and abv% should be on every respectable companies bottles. I know I am not the only one that feels this way. Cant find the abv on BeerAdvocate or Spechers website. tisk tisk....

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Photo of Zachtheporter
1.97/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.
Purchased off the shelf at a convienience store off a whim. Ok Sprecher Ill take your bait.

A- A deep dark blackish brown, Has a thick light bubbely light tan head.

S- Smell is sweet and slightly citrusy. Rather fruity for a black ale. Very strong mango notes.

T- Has a very strong malt forwardness to it, and ends in more of a hoppy "bite" rather than a flavor. Strong bitter cocoa and coffee notes start this beer off. The end is very bitter and slightly hoppy.

M- Very light feeling and crisp for how malty it is.

O- Not very impressed with this black ale. It is very bitter in a negative way. Not citrusy bitter, not piney bitter, not earthy bitter, Just bitter. For any of you coffee nuts/baristas out there, the after taste is like an espresso shot that's been poured and then left out to sit for far to long. The mouth feel is also pretty disappointing and gives off the feel of being a bit watery. Plus Sprecher failed to list an ABV on this bottle, so I don't even know what kind of monstrosity I'm really dealing with here. Overall dissapointed, I've come to love sprecher, but thsi beer is better off tucked away and forgotten.

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Photo of smerrell
2.22/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a bomber, this black IPA leaves a lot to be desired: While the appearance is quite nice, and the head sticks around fro a while, the aroma is slight, to be kind. The taste is very bitter, and as the beer warms presents hints of anise. This beer is unbalanced and bitter, and has disappointingly little in the way of malt presence. It has a dry finish that I didn't care for. If I compare it to other black IPAs, like Stone's Escondidian, I'd say it "pales" in comparison.

I won't go out of my way to try this one again.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.23/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Opaque black like a stout, two fingers of frothy tan foam for a head lasts about two minutes, leaving behind some minimal lacing.

S. Very light grapefruit, apricot, and pine over a semi-roasted malt aroma. Not nearly as strong an aroma as most black ales I've had.

T. Very sourish Baltic Porter sort of bitterness up front that completely over-rules all the malt and citric hopping. Way unbalanced in this regard.

M. Kind of thin, which contributes to a 'watery stale coffee' sort of finish. Not that great either.

This one needs some serious workshopping.

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Photo of Abed_Nadir
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Hopstout
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of birchstick
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of I_Closed_Wolskis
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of FreshHawk
2.94/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark cocoa color with a medium sized, creamy, smooth, foamy, cafe head. Decent retention leaving a decent lace.

S - Cocoa, nutty, earthy aroma. Roasted malt. There are hints of orange, grapefruit, pine, and floral hops. Maybe a touch of anise. Fairly faint.

T - Similar to the nose, but not as faint as the nose. Roasted, nutty, cocoa, earthy malt. Fairly bitter (chocolate and hops). Touches of citrus along with plenty of pine, herbal, and grassy hops.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Fairly dry.

D - Average drinkability. Hoppy dark ale but not exactly IPA like. Flavors weren't bad but kind of meh.

Notes: Not a big fan of the style, and this isn't a shining example of the style. So-so beer. Hoppy enough but it just doesn't seem like an IPA to me (even a dark one).

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Photo of Metz
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of trumpetstu
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Big_Dave
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Bear1964
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Soneast
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of gilgar
3.31/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of scratch69
3.31/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear dark brown color with a finger and a half worth of head. The head lingered for a couple of minute and then faded to a small cap that stuck around until the last swallow. Fair amount of clinging lace.

Smell- Herbal hop aroma with a very faint hint of dark roasted malt.

Taste- Herbal and slightly spicy hop flavor with the tiniest hint of dark roasted malts and some smoke. Taste more like a mediocre standard IPA instead of a Black IPA.

Mouthfeel- On the heavy end of medium bodied. Crisp and dry with a slightly above average amount of carbonation.

Overall- Not the best Black IPA that I've tried. It seemed almost one dimensonal at times.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 22-ounce bomber. There is a hand-written batch code at the bottom of the bottle: “11350.” No easily discernable freshness date, though.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is non-opaque black; light easily passed through and turned the beer amber when held to a lamp. Three fingers of dense, buttery head dissipated unevenly to leave a rocky cap with deep canyons of foam. A lot of foam was left clinging to the side of the glass, too.

Smell: Mostly reminiscent of the beer’s IPA inspiration. Invigorating pine and grapefruit/orange citrus dominate, but underneath are toasted caramel and chocolate.

Taste: It has an odd, though agreeable, taste. The citrus and pine aside, the grassy hoppiness and astringency are what stand out the most. It is more mouthfeel and bitterness than flavor, really. The dark malts are there, but they are mostly overpowered by the hops. As the beer warms the mouthfeel becomes much smoother, reminiscent of the beer’s maltier namesake.

Drinkability: This is definitely black IPA in the sense it is black-colored IPA. Tasty stuff, but very unbalanced.

 1,126 characters

Photo of anglagard1
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

An almost annoying amount of head that is slow to dissolve. I ended up fighting my way through it for the first couple of sips. Light does not penetrate this beer. Smell is of raspberry. Taste is of raspberry syrup and not much else. I really like Sprecher, but IPA does not seem to be their strong suit. Like their IIPA, this does not fit the style, nor does it work as some mutant hybrid. Nothing offputting about this beer, but nothing really going for it either.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A deep dark amber black. Almost pitch except for a bit of haze at the base and edges.Head is a nice 1/2 inch of tan head that sits for a while.

S - Mild herbal hops, charcoal roast bitterness, maybe some chocolate. Not the best smelling beer.

T - Well it's not terribly bitter anymore. Ashy roasts and aged bittering pine has taken it's place. It has a good bit of cloying bitterness so maybe I am a tad inebriated when I post this.

M - Medium drinks like it's around 7.5%. Not bad.

Overall not the worst bomber I got for 5 bucks. I could imagine this being a hop bomb 6 months ago but now it's a very forgettable black IPA

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Photo of amvrana
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of uwmgdman
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This BIPA pours very dark brown bordering on black with a moderate light tan head that quickly diminished to barely a skim. The aroma is highly hoppy, loads of pine and grapefruit citrus, not much in the way of malt. The flavor is dominated by intensely grapefruit hop flavor and solid, high hop bitterness. The hop bitterness lends to a dry finish, probably enhanced by some dark malts, but there are no pronounced malt flavors, if you close your eyes you wouldn't know this is a black IPA. The body is medium and carbonation medium-high. Overall a hop forward BIPA that could use a little more malt flavor/aroma to add some complexity.

 637 characters

Photo of oberon
3.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark chocolate color with a tight formed one finger beige head atop,the aromas are pretty weak with some roasted nut and light earthy hops mainly.Chocolate malts,roast, and earthy tones on the palate,the hop provide that earthiness and a little spiciness,a little alcohol sweetness is thrown in as well.Eh,its ok but the beers hop profile almost makes this beer more of a hoppy porter in its big earth and roast profile,not a bad beer but not really up to style in my opinion.

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Black IPA from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.43 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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