Black Horse Ale | Horseheads Brewing Inc.

BA SCORE
88
very good
55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Black Horse AleBlack Horse Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Horseheads Brewing Inc.
New York, United States
horseheadsbrewing.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by generallee on 01-18-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
55
Reviews:
23
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.36%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 913 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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

 330 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 710 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.97/5  rDev -2%
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.

 1,471 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

 214 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 854 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Griffith
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of KTCamm
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

 170 characters

Photo of JoeMans
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Boto
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 372 characters

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 935 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 1,712 characters

Photo of DonFrap
2/5  rDev -50.6%

Photo of generallee
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | 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.

 859 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 1,260 characters

Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 575 characters

Photo of Cooker_stp
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Horse Ale from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
4.05 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More