Black Horse Ale
Horseheads Brewing Inc.

Black Horse AleBlack Horse Ale
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #98
Ranked #11,662
4 | pDev: 11.25%
Horseheads Brewing Inc.
New York, United States
Very Good
Black Horse AleBlack Horse Ale
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 55 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm from New Jersey

3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

7/15...pours dark black, tan foam. Still. Coffee malty nose. Alternatively smooth and bitter. Strong coffee and pine, but clean mouthfeel. Firm bitter. Interesting blend.

Aug 15, 2015
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62 from South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black. Outstanding head volume, retention and lacing.

Nice nose of chocolate over caramel, a touch of coffee and a hint of roast.

Light medium body with a light smooth texture. Below normal carbonation with just a touch of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is intense, complex and somewhat balanced. It begins with a blend of flavors that separate as the bitterness kicks in. Coffee, roast and chocolate emerge as a hop/roast bitterness comes to the forefront in the middle. The finish is a continuation of the bitterness which adds a citrus note. Very little sweetness emerges to provide balance.

Mar 17, 2015
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biegaman from Canada

3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black Horse, despite its name, does have some colour. Strands of chestnut brown flash from the bottom and its head has an almond-like tint. The endurance of this foam is to be admired; it has the unbroken, unflagging persistence of a monk in meditation. A statue-worthy appearance.

As is often the case with this style I'm smelling all kinds of flavours (not all of which are necessarily present, some are likely being evoked indirectly). Just the foremost in this long list: mocha cream, peppermint chocolates, Christmas tree needles, and citrus peels. It's all over the map.

Diversity continues on the palate. Each sip doubles as a slice of black forest cake or tiramisu with a grapefruit wedge on the side. The taste also showcases leafy and resiny notes but it's far from astringent; there's too much juicy fruitiness and gooey chocolatey malts to let that happen.

Indeed, this roasty/bittersweet/earthy/fruity combo provides a little something for everyone; it's a beer with many dimensions. And you know what's *not* one of them? The 7.4% alcohol! Nor is the 65 IBUs. These features magically disappear amidst the delicious dark malts and candied, citrusy hops.

Black Horse Ale is all the assurance you need to bet on Horseheads. This small upstate New York brewery shows great promise and their best offerings are probably yet to come. While they still need a little help with in the labels department, they've evidently got their recipes down pat.

Feb 27, 2015
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Boto from Connecticut

4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours an inky dark brown color. There was a small dark tan head that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing. The nose is good. chocolate and caramel malts. Earthy, pine and citrus notes also. The taste is good. Bit of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, pine and earthiness. A touch on the bitter side. The flavors are nicely balanced. A definite keeper.

Dec 28, 2014
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev 0%

Pours a deep mahogany bordering on black with an ample coffee colored head.

Smells of citrus, malt, and earth. There is a touch of molasses in the background.

Taste is bitter and sweet citrus up front with with bitter dry earth hop punch in the back. The slight malt middle has a hint of molasses and is felt throughout with a creamy mouth feel. this one is pushing the boundaries and subtle, complex, and delicious.

Dec 04, 2014
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev 0%

22 oz bottle, no date

pours black, with brown edges. off-white head that fades. aroma is a bit earthy and piney. taste is a bit roasty, bitter, a little acidic, hoppy aftertaste medium body and carbonation.

Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Wortman1998
Wortman1998 from New York

3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap as a tasting at "Horseheads Brewing". Appears a nice, rich black with a decent tan colored 1/2 inch head with really significant lacing. Smells dark and malty and can pick out the hops in the aroma. Taste is very good. I am a black IPA fan - this is very good - hopped well, but not overly so. I can't pick out the types of hops used... Mouthfeel is full and satisfying. Overall a really good Black IPA - I'll buy it again.

Jan 27, 2014
Photo of skmst5
skmst5 from New York

4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Best black IPA I've ever had. Lots if hop, not a lot of coffee/chocolate taste like many of the other black IPAs I've had. For a tiny brewery, these guys really know there stuff and are very knowledgable about their beer. Very friendly staff as well.

Jan 24, 2014
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
BurgeoningBrewhead from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured bomber into 34oz mug. Jet black, showing dark brown through the edges, with a huge thick tan head that sticks around for a good while. The head is gorgeous, incredibly fine bubbles and it stay forever. Smell is grassy hops and a bit of chocolate, not as bitter as something that purports to be an "india-style black ale" would be expected to be. Taste is the same as the smell, grassy hops, a bit of a smoky center and some chocolate/coffee at the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth. An interesting black ale; not sure what to think of it, but it's enjoyable.

Apr 29, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee color with a thick beige head that displays tremendous retention powers though the lacing was not as plentiful as I would have anticipated

Smell: Black german bread, chocolate and a hint of coffee; piney hops in the background

Taste: Malt-dominant, up front, with the chocolate and black bread laying down an impressive backbone; in the middle, the piney hops take the stage and add a nice bitter flavor that lingers into the finish, where just a touch of coffee makes an appearance

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; somewhat creamy with moderate carbonation

Overall: A real delight for the style; though it is a bit malt forward compared to others, there is plenty of bitterness for the hopheads, too; it's just that the malt flavors are so interesting that they should not be overlooked

Thanks, RochesterAaron, for the opportunity. Came highly recommended by you and I can see why.

Sep 30, 2012
Photo of pschul4
pschul4 from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet extra thrown in by RochesterAaron! Thanks a bunch man

A- Pours a cola brown with a big dark tan head that doesnt go away quickly, leaving excellent lacing

S- Lots of pine notes with some roasty malts in the background. Smells more IPA than black ale, not a bad thing at all

T- Just like the nose tons of pine with a little bit of coffee malt towards the middle of the sip. I'm really digging this

M- Decent mouthfeel, could be a little thicker or a little lighter but not a big let down by any means

O- Really enjoyed this one, if everything frmo Horseheads is as good as this I'll be ISO more soon!

Jul 10, 2012
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27 from New York

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, black in the glass with a half inch creamy chestnut head that leaves a film behind.

Big citrus aromas up front are quickly followed by malted chocolate. This one almost smells syrupy.

Roasted malt is followed by a good dose of hop bitterness. There is some chocolate and grapefruit to be found. The long finish has a modest bitterness.

Black Horse has a medium to light body with a sticky texture and prickly carbonation. While sweet up front, it has a dry finish with alcohol as expected.

A good all-purpose beer. Best while relaxing with food or a ball-game.

Apr 01, 2012
Photo of LiquidBread219
LiquidBread219 from Indiana

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark Opaque Hue, Passes No Light at all, Foamy Brown Head, Decent Lacing. Really nice looking beer.

S: Mild Roasted Dark Malts, Pecans is about all I pick up from the nose.

T: Again the taste is like the nose you get the toasted malts along with pecans but I did pick up some bread notes as well.

M: Decent Carbonation, Medium to Full Bodied, Hearty, Mildly Bitter they did a good job with this one.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this beer it was a different type of ale that I haven't had much of and was glad I got to try this one.

Mar 28, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black pour with a big head of tan lacing; a near perfect balance of rich roasted malts, smoked notes, dark earthy, and piney hops. warming only brings the hops to the front even more and allows them to steal the show. quick hitting and bitter as the first sip hits your palate it was amazing how smooth and easy this one went down

Nov 24, 2011
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bobhits from Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown pour that turns dark as night in the glass. Toffee dark chocolate colored head with stickily lacing left clinging to the glass.

Citrus hops, pine resin, and hints of dark fruits and malt.

Amazing chocolate and oak flavors that are bombarded by citrus hops and piney needles attacking the taste buds.

Flawlessly carbonated and just the right mouth feel...just divine.

Well damn...I like to be critical and disagree with the norm when they overrate beers. I'm not completely fresh but this is just amazing beer. The dark malt is just the perfect complement and to make things better the beer is creamy thick and sweet in just a wonderful way. Maybe I'm just enjoying the mix here and not being critical, but I love this one.

Nov 17, 2011
Photo of CaptDavyJones
CaptDavyJones from New York

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a really dark brown color from a 22 oz bomber, with no ABV or freshness date on the label. Absolutely pitch black once in the glass with no light penetration whatsoever.
Massive two finger dark tan colored head from a mildly aggressive pour. Dissipates very slowly to a thin film that stays and leaves some good lacing. Very good head retention.
Aroma upfront, was very hoppy. Floral hop aroma with notes of pine. The hop aroma slowly gives way to a nice roasted malt/coffee aroma.
Taste is very malty upfront with the roasted malt and hop bitterness taking over in the finish. The lingering bitterness is not overwhelming by any means, just perfect.
Very good drinkability, the ABV is masked very well.
Visually and taste wise this is an excellent black ale.
Definitely worth trying and is highly recommended. More so considering it is being sold at such a reasonable price.
To reiterate, this is one hell of a black ale.

Sep 19, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi from New York

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle around fridge temp poured into a snifter. no freshness date. purchased at beers of the world in rochester for $5 and some change, what a deal.

pours out pretty much opaque black, reveals just a bit of rubiness when held to the light. a very big creamy light tan colored foamy cap off the pour, settled to some thick creamy retention. some nice lace as well.

mostly piney hops off the first whiff, slightly woody and almost menthal like. not much malt behind all the hops.

nice balance. big resinous, piney, woody hops. a little citrus sneaks in there. towards the finish a very nice roasted malt, slight cocoa character makes itself known.

the mouthfeel is one of the best parts of this brew, everything you could want for the style, very resinous and very sticky malt. goes down super smooth and appears very creamy on your palate. lots of lingering smooth bitterness, and somewhat of a lower carbonation.

overall, a very solid Black IPA, or whatever you wanna call it. definatly one of the better ones available, very nice malt character that goes super well with a big hop presence. ill definatly come back to this. i really love what ive had from this brewery so far, ill definatly be buying all i have available from them in the future.

Sep 17, 2011
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WesWes from New York

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sold pale and roasted malt scent along with a wonderful hop aroma. I don't detect much earthy character, so I'm not exactly sure how the blackness is achieved. The taste is good as well. It has a dry, bitter flavor that goes down easy and finishes with a touch of malty sweetness and some residual hop character. Again, I detect a faint earthy, black malt character, but nothing too intense. The mouthfeel is great! It is a full bodied beer with near perfect carbonation. This is a very good beer. It's not too bold in any one direction. It's just a well brewed ale with lots of character.

May 19, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag from Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light comes through the edges of Black Horse, showing off some ruby highlights. Most of the beer, however, is either a very dark brown or just plain black, and almost completely opaque. The head is towering, coming in at at least three fingers tall. It is creamy and solid looking. Retention is great and lacing starts to form immediately. Black Horse definitely has "the look."

The aroma has a ton of pine, followed by a bit of citrus and some grass, all from the hops. Bitterness is evident. The roasted malt and dark bread is also evident. Combined they form an aroma that is something like jasmine.

Black Horse is different than most beers of its style, but in a good way. The hops have a juicy citrus flavor, and a touch of pine, but the bitterness is toned down, surfacing only in the finish. Also, grassy earthy hops seems almost make this taste like a fresh hop beer. The fruity hops probably have the edge on the grassy hops by a bit in terms of potency. After the hops comes a bit of roasted malt and a good dose of dark bread. There is a hint of coffee in there also. The melding of the hops and malt create the almost minty flavor that I am beginning to encounter with regularity in this style. The finish is dry. The aftertaste has a ton of fruity hop flavors; more than I encountered when the beer was in my mouth actually.

The carbonation is a tick below what I would consider moderate, and I would probably say the same thing for the body.

Black Horse is good. It takes this style and does more than just throw a ton of bitterness at roasted malts. The hop profile is flavorful and pretty complex without being harsh. That aftertaste rocks. Well done Horseheads, this is one of your best yet.

May 05, 2011
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Horseheads Brewery on a trip from Binghamton to Rochester.

A-Dark black, with a two finger brown creamy head, leaves some lacing.

S-Mainly hops and roasted malts.

T-Starts with roasted malts and some coffee flavors. Ends very bitter. However the beer needs to be a tad sweeter, either with some chocolate notes or citrus/dark fruit flavors. If it had these it would be a 5. So slightly missing the malt but balanced none the less, just an opportunity to improve.

M-Medium bodied and smooth. Not much carbonation

O-A really good beer, a little tweaking on the malt front and this thing would be wonderful. This was my first Horseheads beer but from the taste of things they could be a great local brewery. If you live in the Southern Tier on New York I recommend that you make a trip to visit their extremely humble brewery.

Apr 21, 2011
Photo of lovindahops
lovindahops from New York

4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Loving the opportunity to try a horseheads brew after work in the beginning of spring in syracuse. This is one heckuva upstate ny brewery. Furthermore, I know the mastermind of horseheads brewery has an affinity to this style I am reviewing. Black horse ale, here we go

A- pours an opaque body with cappuccino head that ever so slowly recides to leave a slight mocha trace of lace on the sides. A good looking american black ale

S- a great whiff of roasted malt that accompanies an awesome hop profile for this style. There is a phenominal toasty theme that does not disappoint at all. Some sweet flavor is evident at the end. This is a lively american black ale scent profile

T- roasty and hoppy simultaneously. There are nutty and smoked taste that end with a slap of dark citrus smoothness. The flavor is a perfect balance and what I would want for this style

M- another great combination of carbonated flavor that finishes as syrupy and and roasted sweet malt. It's smooth

D- horseheads am black ale is an incredibly drinkable brew. The brew is so smooth and balanced... That's it! Smooth, balanced, and full of integrity. Roasted malt and citrus hops that are drinkable. This beer can keep going down!

Mar 25, 2011
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almychristopher from New York

4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a dark black, very little transparency, with a tall tan head that clings to the side of the glass as it recedes to a thin layer of lacing. the aroma brings a nice mixture of citrus hops backed by the roasted malt smell. the taste brings a nice balance of sweet roasted malt backed by a big hop flavor. the medium body and good co2 make this an easy drink.

Jan 22, 2011
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generallee from Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a growler into a tulip glass. The growler was filled at the brewery.

Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful dark almost black color with dark reddish highlights. It foams a tall just off white head on top that hangs on well and makes cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has some nice bready and toasty maltiness backed up by a generous bouquet of citrusy hops.

Taste/Palate: Like the aroma its flavor has a solid bready and lightly toasted maltiness that give good balance to the big citrusy hop character of this beer. Solid hop bitterness slowly fades off the tongue in the finish leaving me wanting more. The body is not too big and there is an easy drinking medium body feel to it with plenty of carbonation.

Notes: This is an excellent beer of an excellent, small and over looked brewery in New York.

Jan 18, 2011
Black Horse Ale from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 55 ratings