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Libertine Black Ale | BrewDog

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71 Reviews
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Libertine Black AleLibertine Black Ale

Brewed by:
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lose yourself in this voluptuous beast of a beer. A twenty-first century hop overdose. This mother will seduce you, ravish you and you’ll be back gagging for more. Adore it. Lust for it. Fall for it. Libertine Black Ale is a dark hop bomb combining the hop awesomeness of an IPA, the decadent and indulgent malt flavours of a stout with an insatiable drinkability that belies the punch that this beer packs. A Dark Knight amongst pale knaves. Taste the hops, live the dream. Learn to speak beer, love fruit and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, dreamers and warriors… the outlaw elite. Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Swallow hard – this beer bites.

65 IBU

Added by flyingpig on 08-18-2012

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 397
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with 1/4 inch head. Nice and piney/resinous ale with a touch of citrus. Very smooth and tasty. Really great example of the style that I will pick up again.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a goblet.
Dark brown/black in color, with a moderate-to-short head of light tan foam.
Aroma-"Inscence-like" hop aroma, faint roastiness
Taste-Dark roasted malt, oily resinous hops, caramel, faint smoke, tobacco leaf. Well-balanced and complex in flavor and character. A bit pricey but worth a try.

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Photo of Brenden
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's pretty close to black, a little bit of brown-red shining in the thinnest parts. A tan head rises to a full finger and rests there soundly, retaining itself well and throwing down sturdy lacing.
I get some nice character, plenty of depth, and a lot of balance in both the aroma and the flavor. What would really put it in contention for the style would be a stronger hops backbone; there should be a focus on maintaining balance while remaining hop-forward. As it is, the malts provide very nice notes of a sort of light nutty smoke, plenty of roast, a hint of dark fruits, and a creamier sweetness along with bittersweet chocolate. Hops are a bit more muted than they ought to be but put up some earthy, resinous and citric undertones.
The feel is good. it has an even balance of sweet and dry and is very bright, lots of crispness without taking from the smoothness and flowing nicely on the tongue while remaining at a solid medium body, maybe a hair on the lighter side of it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into an IPA glass. Best before date puts it a month and a half within code.

A: In color it is as dark as brown can get before becoming black. The head forms a massive, rocky tower atop the beer, and retention is amazing. Lacing forms huge foamy gobs on the walls of the glass.

S: Dark chewy caramel, burnt crust, dark fudge, tootsie rolls, vanilla extract, charcoal. Aromatic pine, tropical scents of tangerine, passion fruit, and melon.

T: Semi sweet dark chocolate, char, acidic black coffee, dark caramel chews. Hops bring both tropical and earthy dimensions. Pine needles and bark. Passion fruit, blood orange, white grapefruit pith. Peachy esters. Peppery alcohol is gentle and fleeting. Unsweetened cocoa,toasted crust, and oily, tropical hops on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Ultra silky and smooth with a soft and creamy texture. Decadent, but fluffy and airy rather than weighty. Low tingling carbonation. Brush of warming alcohol. Astringencies are actually very gentle.

O: The mouthfeel and texture really help to bring this one together. This black ale manages to stay very balanced and drinkable, which is a challenge within the style as the double dose of bitterness and astringency from both hops and roasted malts often makes for a rougher experience. One of the more cohesive Brew Dog beers I've had to date.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter

A: Black with a tan half-finger head that settled down to a tawney rim. Curtainly lacing.

S: Chocolate, anise and grassy hops. A strange combination, but it works.

T: A nice blend of chocolate malts and grassy hops. Smooth, mellow, slightly bitter on the finish.

M: Medium with light to medium carbonation.

O: I'm really starting to enjoy black IPA's. And this odd hybrid goes down easy. Cheers to the boys from Scotland.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From Beer Cartel - 9 months on clock.

A - black n tan - three finger head fizzes and subsides beautifully. Spotty lace.

S - treacle, roasts, choc.

T - more treacle, add some choc. Balanced hops without being too bitter. Medium to big taste but not overbearing.

M - medium weight, no hint of ABV.

O - pleasant surpise and return of fresh Brewdog shows they can still make some Good Beer. Surprised I had not reviewed before.

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Photo of Act25
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding. From a WFM craft sampler: $12.99 for 12.
Love this brewer. pours into a tulip.

Pours a dark walnut murk, with generous, dark tan head, gorgeous lace, that lasts all the way down.

S: Wine like. Aromatic, hoppy, grassy, roast, piney, with peppery citric edge. Very peaty/ roasty; a peat fire in Scotland.

T: Follows the smell wit roasty dark malt upfront, dark chocolate, much charry bitterness. Hops play in the end, resinous, salty, with a salt/ bitter/ roast finish. Wine like meditation beer.

MF: Again wine-like, a bit dry, with long roast & hops finish. Leaves you in a tickle, good food or after dinner beer. Meditation. Pleasant texture.

I love this style, and Brewdog has put their salty, peaty, roasty, charry stamp on it. This is a favorite of the style and a favorite beer.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Cork and Cask, Cornelius NC.

I get what this is supposed to be, but the hops have faded (assuming they were ever there/being fair to the brewery), some of the extreme bitterness remains but the nose and taste are quite medicinal, old licorice comes to mind - though I doubt I've ever had any. I'll give it another shot - and as low as this review is, realize I could go much lower. I lean towards the overall good reviews and assume something is wrong here.

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3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Goblet glass @Tot Begut (Sant Boí –Barcelona). Very dark brown color. Beige foam shows fairly good retention. Intense aromas of caramel malts, resins & pine. Creamy upfront & roasted malt flavor. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Viscous texture & malty dried sensation. Sharp bitterness but solid caramelized malty backbone are touched by subtle spicy & dark cocoa hues. Long bitter finish. Slight wood on the aftertaste. Refreshing & nice spot of the Style.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color forming a medium and creamy tan head. Medium retention and some lingering thin lacings formed and left

S: A mix of roasted malts and flowery hops. A bit fruity with some notes of apple pie

T: Great mix of roasted malts and grassy and pinny hops. Notes of caramel malts and apples. In overall, a quite dry and bitter taste. Perfect mix of roasted malts and pinny hops bitterness. Yeasts have a very American Pale Ale profile with a nice earthy taste in the very end

M: Medium body and carbonation. Toasted malts with a strong punch of pinny hops in the aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Perfect definition of black IPA

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Brewdog Roppongi.

Drank this directly after the Brixton Porter and it's safe to say its the same malt bill. And what didn't work at all as a porter (too thin, dry, and charred) works great as the basis for this CDA or whatever the kids are calling hoppy dark ales these days.

Very dark brown with attractive dark brown highlights and some lacing. Head fades very quickly or this would be in the 4 range. Aromas of pine, skunky herb, a bit of coffee, and that stink I associate with Simcoe. Palate is top-notch, I went back and changed my rating to a 4 - very good blend of West Coast hops and roasty malt - think it ranks with Hop in the Dark. Mouthfeel is a bit dry and prickly for me, but I guess that adds to it's drinkability.

Could happily drink this all night, but then I'd be a mess.

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Photo of Aleks_P
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black with a super-thin tan head, doesn't even cover the top of the beer. Light does not pass through it. Was surprised by the absence of any discernible head.

Smell: Smells great, get some charcoal notes and some fruity tones, kind of like a tart apple smell.

Taste: Pretty complicated taste. Definitely getting some tart notes, maybe like grapes in the way that wine is tart. Balanced in a unique way with the smokiness or dark coffee. Aftertaste the most noticeable thing is the smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly good carbonation given the absence of any foam when I poured it. Having a hard time deciding if it's smooth or dry, guess it's somewhere in the middle. After a sip the alcohol warmth is very evident.

Overall: I oscillated between rating this a 3.75 or 4.00. Think the appearance was okay but the taste pushed me to a 4. Took me awhile to figure out what the flavors were and it was pretty unique although I haven't had a ton of black ales.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pokal.

A - black, lots of lacing, good head

S - chocolate milk

T - bitter chocolate, coffee, not real sweet but definitely not dry

M - medium body, not creamy

O - very easy drinking, not at all hot like many Brewdog beers can be, very sessionable, very good tasting

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me preface this review by saying this is one of those beers not for everyone. If you don't like hops, or at least these "Black IPAs" real hoppy and prefer a more balanced, malty beer, then skip this. Pour a black body with one finger almost tan head that died down leaving some lace. The hops are the star in the aroma as I get earthy, piney hops and just touches of any type of malt (mostly sweet). The beer is smooth, light to medium bodied, taste is mostly fresh, earthy hops but the beer is a little bigger/thicker than average IPA and the malts do come out as there is a residual sweetness that hits me on the backend. To poorly summarize this beer, it's an IPA with a larger chunk of bready and sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would welcome more sweet Black IPAs like it.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a tapered 8 oz glass.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam.

S- Bright hop aroma that's a bit on the earthy side and is complemented well by the dark roast.

T- Aggressively bitter but not too off-the-scales. Has a pleasant hop flavor that's, once again, quite earthy and goes well with the roastiness.

M- Oily but also dry at the same time so it makes for an interesting duality. Medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- One of the better "Black IPAs" I've had. Definitely done in an American style and isn't incredibly complex but I could definitely knock back a few of these happily. Now if only the price could be lower...

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Photo of Leviathan5
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Teku glass

A - Dark chocolate to black color, with a 2 finger tan head. Good retention and great lacing

S - Great citrusy hops (orange, grapefruit) with a hint of pine. The hops aromas are not overwhelming and there's a little balance from the malts.

T - Again citrusy hops, present in the dry, bitter binish and the aftertaste. As it warms up the roasted malts are a little bit more present, but not enough to shadow the hops

M - Medium body and medium-high carbonatation. Really smooth, with a great feel. Very drinkable.

O - A really nice black IPA, with a strong hops presence, both in smell and taste, but not overwhelmingly bitter. Definitely recommendable and worth repeating

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass with a fine two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney hops, orange and grapefruit citrus, and hint of tropical fruit. Flavor is mixed citrus with citrus and grassy hops, mild fruit esters and light toasted malt. Medium bodied with light creaminess; despite the beautiful head, a surprising lack of carbonation in the mouth feel. An interesting take on the black ale style, well hopped, but with a European flavor profile. More dominated by citrus hops and flavor than toasted malt, which takes a third row back seat. I'm baffled by the weak showing of the carbonation in the feel, but it was a distraction. Perhaps the carbonation was all used up in the nice foam? Interesting but not going to be my go-to black ale.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a decent amount of head which appears to have pretty good retention. The head is a light and creamy beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Very good lacing which is mostly sheeting.

Nose- Starts off with a brief mix of hops: some citrus (some orange, a little bit of mustiness, maybe grapefruit), pine, and resin. This is followed by a light amount of coffee which mixes with the hop notes and some of the spice from them to give a little bit of licorice to the finish. Swirling shows a brief hint of coffee that moves into a good whiff of licorice and some nice mint. Looks like these spice flavors might not be a suggestion but a strong component of this beer. We shall see.

Taste- Shows a brief amount of citrus then moves into coffee and roasted malts with undertones of a juicy caramel. This all quickly gets swept aside by licorice and then a pretty conspicuous finish of mint which suggests even menthol and eucalyptus. Sort of like a cough drop but in a good way. These flavors tend to recede into the background pretty quickly and leave the interplay of caramel and coffee on the front which moves into a slight woodiness and hop bitterness on the finish. The mint and licorice now seem to hang on the edges and on the linger. My guess is that this is about six months old and the hops have faded quite a bit but I still like the beer that has been left behind. It's not incredibly complex but is interesting and has very good balance and integration. Could use a little bit more presence but is pretty much a good beer with a slight tendency toward being really good.

Mouthfeel- Nears medium bodied and has a good amount of carbonation that works well.

Drinkability- Fairly easygoing. Subtle enough to be sessionable but interesting enough that the palate does not become bored. 3 dollars is fairly reasonable and it's something I might buy again.

Overall- Between a good beer and a pretty good beer. Nothing amazing but different enough to warrant attention. I would definitely give this a try and I will be on the lookout for more BrewDog beers.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle 7,2% Abv.
Served chilled in a wine glass.
Batch: 167
BB: 18/07/2014

Appearance: Libertine Black Ale lives up to its name - appearing almost pitch black in the glass. That said, a strong back light reveals some deep red highlights. A rough pour yields a massive tan coloured head that displays good retention and leaves beautiful rings of lacing as it recedes.

Smell: The initial nose certainly leans towards the hoppy side of things, with notes of sweet grass, grapefruit, a little orange peel and some leafiness. Once the beer starts to warm a little chocolate and darker malt becomes apparent.

Taste: As with the nose, the hops dominate the flavour, but it isn't powerful or that bitter. Notes include: Citrus, grapefruit peel, sweet grass, a touch of roast and a smidgen of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The body is just fuller than light and is a touch watery on the back end; while the carbonation is of a medium high level and fairly smooth.

Overall: Libertine is a decent beer, but it certainly needs a lot more oomph (either that or it needs to be a lot fresher).

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Photo of bark
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The colour is very dark brown (90 EBC), the liquid is clear. The three finger head is brown, airy and uneven. It sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is bitter and hoppy with lots of American citric flavours. Hints of smoked delicatessen and alcohol.

The taste is smooth, it is less bitter than expected. Some smoked and burned notes. Bitter herbs, citric fruits and salty Marmite-flavours. Clean bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got the same burned salt flavours, with some added sweetness and anonymous ripe fruits. The finish is malty and roasted.

The carbonation is medium to strong; the small short-lived bubbles soft. The liquid is smooth.

There is nothing wrong with this beer, I just don’t get it.

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Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a standard pint nearly pitch black except for some redish brown highlights when held to the light,a thinner quick to fade beige head atop.A good burst of resinous hops in the nose along with a little grassiness to go along with deep chocolate notes.Piney hops stand out at first sip along with nutty malts,more "greeness"comes into play from the hops providing grassy tones,malt driven sweetness becomes bigger as I drink more providing some molasses and caramel flavors to go along with bitter choccolate.This is how a ABA should taste in my mind,big hops but good dark malty sweetness,good job here from the Scottish guys.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: spotty surface film, opaque, black; scattered jagged lacing
S: musty, woody, espresso
T: bitter, seriously hopped, espresso
M: on the side of light-bodied, but with a coating, thinly syrupy texture
O: Decent, not memorable. Mouthfeel is the winner, but the dark, musty nose was somewhat off-putting.

Pilsner Glass / Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia, MD

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Photo of Tony_Sarracino
4.76/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

The main reason for the high scores is the fact it makes me want to take another sip. It has a good hop taste, which I am looking for, and the dark malty flavors are great for the cold weather. There is a lot of good happening in this beer and I keep going back for more. It is a very smooth beer which makes this, in my opinion, to be a great beer for someone just venturing into the darker beer universe.

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Photo of stcules
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Almost black, some reddish hue. One finger of beige head.
Malty smell, light toasty. Lightly citrussy (grapefruit), and something fresh and almost balsamic.
In the taste a light toastiness, then a lot of hop, grapefruit, maybe a bit prickly, but for sure it has character.
Light body, quite drinkable, long and bitter aftertaste, even bitter root.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.53/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Although I generally love BrewDog, this is not really my favourite beer from these guys.
Pours with a nice almost completely balck color and a medium beige head.
There is a strong aroma of roasted malts, coffee and an addition of some hard liquer aroma.
The taste is very bitter, with lots of roasty feel, coffee, and a slightly chocolatey finish (the best feature).
A very strong beer, with a bit too much bitterness in the taste for me.

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Libertine Black Ale from BrewDog
3.9 out of 5 based on 397 ratings.
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