Black IPA | Santa Fe Brewing Company

very good
41 Reviews
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Black IPABlack IPA

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 12-04-2012

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 205
Photo of MikeWard
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a pint glass. no freshness dating that i could find.

looks very good. appears to be a black bodied beer, but shows amber/red wine color up to the light. good tan head, with great lacing.

nothing at all on the nose. nothing good, nothing bad.

tastes of heavily roasted malt, somewhat bitter. muted hops. a touch of sweetness.

close to full on the mouth.

Overall, this one is a bit all over the place, ratings wise. this is not a style i overly care for, highly roasted malt and hop sometimes comes off way too bitter. but this one is decent. no idea of the age on this.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a foamy khaki head. Head retention is strong with good lacing left behind. Resin, and pine hops with a bit of roasted malts round out a dark, and yet hoppy aroma. Pine and resin hops with dark roasted malts make up a bitter, dark aroma. Feel has a medium consistency, and is filling. Overall, it's a great beer. It is on the bitter side, but still good.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of thebeers
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extremely dark brown in color, approaching black, with a finger-and-a-half of frothy tan head. Delicious aroma of pine sap, orange and dark malts that reminds me of my homebrewing days. Similar taste with the heavy malt most prevalent -- a mixture of sweet and roasted flavors and the pine tar behind. Relatively thick bodied, slightly sticky, with good carbonation. Not my favorite style, but this one is pretty damn good.

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Photo of Can_has_beer
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is an exceptionally well done Black IPA. The roast is in the background and upfront is the piney and fruity notes from the hops. The mouthfeel doesn't leave you scorched either. This is one of the better Black IPA's I've had.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown, almost black. Not much head. Smells sweet. Tastes of a lot of malt first, then of bitter hops. A bit thin, doesn't remain on the palate very long. Feels smooth. Overall quite OK.

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Photo of stevoj
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can from Whole Foods - Indian School Plaza. Pours out with a nice inky black body and creamy beige head, reminiscent of a stout. Aroma favors the roast malts, while taste brings in a bit of fruitiness, and a bite which reminds me of a schwarzbier. The bite lingers on the palate with a hint of sweetness. Not expecting this to be so delicious....

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Photo of TheStoutLord
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured into a tulip, black as pitch. Good brownish head that lasts quite a while but leaves lacey eventually.

S: Complex hops, kind of hard to describe. Spicy and bitter smells, but I cant pin anything down. Maybe because its my first black IPA.

T: Wow. Some crazy subtle spiciness combined with a thinly masked ABV and harsh hops assault the tongue. This is not a beginning IPA. Very piney tastes to compliment the bitterness. Makes me think of dark forests in New York or something. The bitter front lasts a while, but there are some good roasted flavors that come through after the pine. Roasted malt and maybe a bit of toffee are hiding in there, you just have to find them.

F: Like a punch to the tongue. Heavy and bitter, sticks to you for a while. Gotta sip it.

O: This is a once in a while kind of beer. I'd want to keep in special and break it out only when I'm drinking with my non-IPA friends to scare them. Very, very good though.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a generous beige head that lasts and laces. Deep ruby black color that passes light. Aroma is black malt and spicy, tangy hops. Flavor is hop forward meets coffee and roasted malt flavors. Not terribly bitter but dry and balanced. They play well together. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall a solid dark hoppy brew.

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Photo of Sundrifter
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has been my go to Black IPA for the past year and it never disappoints any time I've had it. The pine and citrus are very strong when you first drink it and it follows with a deep chocolate and coffee aftertaste with some slight bitterness from the hops. There's a lot going on in this beer and the flavors all come together to produce something that's not only unique but very drinkable. Very recommended for any Black IPA fans out there.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Pitch black with a cream colored head. Sheets of lacing after head recedes to a light film.

Aroma: Pine, spicy hops, and apricot (??).

Taste: Piny, spicy, hoppy then very rich and dark roasted malts -- coffee, dark chocolate. Spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, dry.

Overall: Such a spicy, roasted beer. Really good. Complex. 7.1% ABV hidden well.

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Photo of arizcards
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late December for $1.79. No canned date but the TW sticker indicates a 11/26/14 received date. Been in my beer fridge since the purchase.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is citrus hops and mild roasted malts as this brew warms up.

Taste is pine and citrus hops over a roasted malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and petty smooth.

Overall this is nice black IPA, definitely a good representation of the style!

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Photo of mr-jj
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tumbler from a 12 oz can.

Color is dark brown/black with a thick frothy tan head. Retention is decent, lacing is word-class. Every sip is outlined. Smell is a lot of citrus hops along with some roasted malt, some chocolate and maybe even some coffee. Taste is similar - very rich tasting with a lot of hop presence, but significant roasted flavors as well. I really like this style. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a well made beer that I would be happy to drink again.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a nice clear dark brown in color, not black and has a tall thin head that settles quickly leaving a thin lacing down the glass.

The nose is smokey and tart with notes of earth, grass, pine vanilla, camphor and dark chocolate.

The taste is fairly good with a nice crisp and bitter that last from start to finish that has notes of dark chocolate, coffee, grass, pine, dry malt and nutmeg.

The mouthfell is a tad watery but acceptable.

Overall this is a good and drinkable beer. I am definitely enjoying it.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I scored this as a free sample from the store I usually stop at. When you spend a lot of money in a particular store, they hold things behind the counter for you. They had one six pack of this, so I got one for free. Awfully nice of them. Side poured with standard vigor from the can into the Sam Adams glass.

Appearance - First, I love the packaging. The silver and black are classically cool, with the New Mexico state emblem on the front making it even cooler. I am impressed by that. Furthermore, it pours a nice black color with a two finger that, while quickly dissipating, leaves some filthy lacing that lasts throughout the beer. I like it.

Smell - Smells like your standard IPA fare, although it is classified as a black ale. As would be expected the hops are the biggest presence, although unlike most IPA's there is a good smattering of caramel, roastiness, and a bit of chocolate in the background. Its almost like they hopped a thin porter.

Taste - Well balanced, with the hops washing the palate but being balanced out by the roastiness and caramel flavoring. Nothing amazing, but it is a good drink.

Mouthfeel - Finishes with a sweetness, a bit of caramel at the back of the drink that is a bit of surprise. Pretty thin, finishes smooth and clean. No hint of the alcohol content.

Overall - This is a decent beer. I cannot decide if it tastes like a thin, hopped porter or an IPA turned black with a bit of caramel and roastiness. There is nothing that stands out about this beer, but it is good, worth a try.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%

Can as a trade extra. Thanks! Pours black with a big fluffy off white to khaki colored head. Nice aroma of pine, roast, grass, very pleasant. Flavor is roasty and porter like with some chocolate notes, a bit of spicy influence, and some balancing grassy and somewhat citrusy hops. Medium light bodied, medium plus carbonation. Pretty easy drinker, but not particularly distinguishable from the trove of the style out there that tend to not be super exciting. Worth drinking, not really worth seeking out unless this is your style.

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Photo of stephens101
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown w/ crimson hues at the light. A voluminous tan head breaks apart slowly.

Puts forth an herbal aroma with caramel following and a hint of dark chocolate.

Has a creamier and lighter than expected body. Tastes like a roasted marshmallow and chocolate campfire treat with a piney hop bonus at the end. I'm all for dessert before dinner. Some nutty, metallic notes are noticed as it warms.

A little of everything I like in an ABA, and in reverse order to boot.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can poured in a nonic pint glass. Purchased on my trip to New Orleans at the end of March.

Pours pitch black, but allows some cola highlights through when held to the light. Beige head is 1/2 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin cap. Lines of lacing left with every sip.

Nice aroma of citrus hops with a little burnt malt in the background.

Yummy blend of citrus and floral hops with dark and burnt malts. Grapefruit, pine, chocolate, coffee.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This is a pretty straight forward brew without much complexity, but very tasty.

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Photo of marzenfannm
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Impressive head with staying power. Deep black color. Not a strong aroma ... Neutral. Well balanced flavor. No strong aftertaste. I'd buy again.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa Fe Black IPA has a thick, soapy, beige head, a dark, red-brown appearance, and heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is very noticeably citrusy, with some background bread crust and malt. Taste is of roasted grain, citrus, hop resin, chocolate, some bitterness, and sugar. Mouthfeel is medium, and Santa Fe Black IPA finishes mostly dry, easy drinking, and not the least bit alchohilic. Overall, I like it and recommend it!


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Photo of lordofstarside
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can to a pint glass, don't see any dates

I swear each one of these has exploded all over my hands each time I've opened one. Pours black with red hues and a pretty high transparency, moderate carbonation, and two fingers of head that aren't going anywhere. Lacing is good, if only it were darker

Smells of grapefruit, pine, and lemon upfront for the hops. Really strong chocolate and coffee notes with caramel notes. Finishes with a light scent of alcohol, definitely a black ipa

Taste falls short of the aroma. The hops aren't as strong but still exhibit the citrus character in the smell. The malts are a lot more powerful but don't meld as well, heavy chocolate and coffee none the less. Finishes with just a bit of alcohol

Feel is a moderate/thick body with a dry finish. Moderately bitter, pretty drinkable

Overall this stuff is okay, unless I was looking for a black ipa to take on trips outdoors I don't think pay another $10 for a sixer though

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Photo of sevopie
2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this one up to give it a try based on the quality of Happy Camper, and as someone mentioned - these cans stand out sitting on the shelf.

First impressions are mixed, the head looks full with good lacing, but this beer is clearly not black, its the first Black IPA (why are we still calling them this?) that I can see through. Hints of roasted cereal and a touch of pine cones.

The taste is where this beer begins to fully unravel for me. The flavor has no real direction to it, I get blasts of burnt malt, lemon, pine, and it finishes with a mildly sour/tangy flavor that does not mesh with the roasted (burnt) malt flavors at all.

One of the more redeeming aspects of this beer is the mouthfeel, it is very creamy and full bodied, with a pleasing amount of carbonation. If only the flavors it emphasized lived up to the body, they might be on to something.

Overall this is not a beer I could recommend to friends based on this example. Its not a terrible beer, but the lack of cohesion between the flavors leave me wanting more.

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Photo of delta490
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-deep almost black with a ruby hue. Creamy tan head with nice retention and lacing

S-roast malt and grapefruit and pine hops

T- deep malt flavors balance well against the hops

M- smooth with a slight hops bite/crisp finish

O- a great black IPA with a good malt/hops balance

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Photo of Auraan
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brownish black with a one finger tan head that receded to a ring of off-white leaving no lacing. It looks quite nice, very true to style. Scents of citrus pith, grapefruit, pine resin, some faint roasted malt and faint hints of alcohol. Very nice, a very IPA aroma, with some roasted character true to a black ale. Flavors of bitter citrus pith, grapefruit, pine resin, some woody flavors, roasted malt, all present throughout the sip. Some alcohol appears as the beer warms. Some hop spiciness and faint brown sugar sweetness. Hop bitterness is fairly high and abundunt, balanced by some nice roasted malt flavors. Quite nice, rather bitter, roasty and hop forward, I like it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly chalky, resinous, with a semi-drying finish. Very easy to drink, with the drying quality urging you to sip more. Overall this is quite a nice black IPA, quite bitter and hoppy with a nice citrus forward aroma. The roasted character enhances the bitterness and adds a bit of depth. The sweetness balances things and makes the flavor excellent. Its quite the nice black IPA.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have had this several times before, but this review is for a pint at the brewery yesterday (11/15/13).

The beer is jet black with three fingers of khaki-colored head. There is abundant lacing.

The smell is piney and hoppy, resinous and floral.

The tastes I detect are burnt coffee, chocolate, piney hops, caramel and toffee.

The beer has a big body, a powerful hop profile and a heavy mouthfeel that requires that one drink slowly. Despite the bitter dryness, the chocolate and coffee notes smooth out the finish. Overall, good but not great.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to StonedTrippin for throwing this one into our box…finally getting around to loading it up. It pours the color of black raspberries, sporting a one and a half finger head of creamy, soapy beige bubbles, showing nice retention. Chunky beehive lacing is left around the glass as it fizzes away at a medium pace. No haze cuts clarity, but tiny flecks of sediment are noted here and there. Carbonation appears to be active. The aroma is fresh with earthy and starkly piney hops, nectarine and pineapple fruitiness, bubblegum esters, seashore saltiness, light chalkiness, stinging medicinal phenols, fresh vanilla bean, root beer sugars, wintergreen, and curious pseudo-cedar woodiness, along top a base of brown, roasted chocolate, and pale malts. Our first impression is that the hops translate well into the flavoring, keeping things fresh, while some of the other components, like this strong metallic character, fall a bit out of balance. As we sip, the taste opens with lemon, mustiness, black and brown malt sourness, herbal, citric, and piney hoppiness, plastics and medicinals, pale malt crispness and lightness, tins, and thick caramel sugars. Peaking through the middle are citric and piney hops, bubblegum esters, chalky yeastiness, darkly roasted and soured brown malts, continued pale cleanliness, campfire smokiness, cedar, green grass oils, and earthen, herbal mineral. The end comes with chalk, chlorinated pool water, tinny metallics, soured brown and chocolate malts, tomato acidity, hop bitterness of herbal and piney varietals, white sugar sweetness, foamy plastics, mild airs of ethanol, white flour tortillas, and sap-laden pine cones. The aftertaste breathes of citric and piney hops, lemon rind bitters, chlorine and light plastics, sunflower seed saltiness, mulch and mud, faint soaps, black pepper spiciness, granite, pine needle and sap bitterness, bark and moss, cardboard, smoky and roasty grain, and mango fruitiness. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The mouth is cooled and coated, with light tannic dryness, and eventual boozy puck that warms the drinker down to their belly. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks great.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its aroma. Here we get all the fruity, hoppy, roasty, organic components that make this style so unique and so freshly approachable. With warmth these only develop further, adding bright green plant qualities to an already authentically herbal base. The sweetness of the hops strikes just the right balance through the flavor with its malty counterpart, finding inarguably tasty and drinkable synergy. This may seem like your random, off-the-rack affair, but you will find nothing but a smooth drinking, robustly flavored, wonderfully aromatic beverage that will be wishing you had just one more to finish the night off with.

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Black IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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