Black Vanilla IPA | Horny Goat Brewing Co.

12 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Black Vanilla IPABlack Vanilla IPA

Brewed by:
Horny Goat Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jhartley on 09-02-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 66
Photo of Treyliff
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep black color with a one-finger creamy off-white head that has great retention and nice lacing

S- aroma is of light charred malt, artificial vanilla, stale chocolate

T- opens up with dark charred malt and chocolate, followed by piney hops at the mid-palate, the finish brings a vanilla sweetness with linger of burnt malt and piney hops

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues to the finish

O- vanilla is hard to find at times, otherwise a middle of the road black ipa

 557 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Horny Goat Brewing Co. - Black Vanilla IPA. 6.6% ABV. 12oz bottle split between two snifters.

Look: Settles black in the glass, with an off white bubbly head, which subsides into lacing. Retains some caramel highlights in the light.

Smell: First whiff of this about made me want to pour it out. Once I got used to it, I picked up some roasted malts, earthy hops, and vanilla.

Feel: Very smooth and light body, with a small amount of carbonation balancing it.

Taste: Immediately some earthly bitter hops and rich vanilla, followed by some faint caramel; seems to be lacking in any flavor besides bitterness.

Overall: This is an odd one. Not sure if it's just a strange beer, or old. Really off putting aroma, and masked taste made this hard to drink, but luckily it didn't taste as bad as the aroma.

 803 characters

Photo of do_ob
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black appearance with a dense, khaki head. Smells weird. burnt toffee, vanilla, ripened fruit, and carmelized sugar. Watery feel, but easy to drink. Taste is burnt caramel, vanilla, overly-ripened citra and grapefruit, burnt sugar, and a little bit of hops. Strange beer.

 271 characters

Photo of MacMalt
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into IPA glass. The color is a dark brown-black with a fairly thick tan head and lacing. The smell is of burnt coffee, vanilla, roasted malt, and hops The first taste to hit the palate is sweet vanilla, followed immediately by burnt, bitter coffee, malt, and bitter hops. These favors hit you in quick sequence, which makes for an interesting taste experience. It's a shame there is not some dark fruit, as well. This is a medium-bodied, pleasantly carbonated ale. Overall, I enjoyed it and would gladly drink it again. Well done!

 540 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.

Black-mahogany body is clear but nearly opaque in my ping glass.
Large, durable and cream y tan head. Looks good and smells good: hops, vanilla and roasted grains in about equal measure when cold, with earthy hops becoming dominant after some warming. If the aroma suggests low hopping for an IPA, tasting proves otherwise. The aftertaste is lasting, moderately bitter and hoppy, with a light but solid vanilla presence.

Medium body and lively carbonation.

O: if Black Vanilla IPA sounds good to you, you'll probably like this brew.

 555 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Blackish brown with a tan half finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Vanilla and piney hops.

T: A tense battle between vanilla and piney hops. All sorts of tastes intermingle with slight bready malts in the background. Not sure what this one was attempting but it's not quite working.

M: Low to medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: Not my cup of brew. A strange concoction that bit off more than it could chew.

 432 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Horny Goat Brewing Co. "Black Vanilla India Pale Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded "12:12 2864 SP"
$2.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

While "Black Vanilla IPA" sounds like a good idea, it just doesn't seem to work. The components just don't fit together properly, not unlike adding a drizzle of chocolate sauce to the top of a margherita pizza. All of the elements are clear, they just don't fit together too well.

So do you blame the brewers for that? Nope, it's a really well made beer. And you can't really say it's not brewed to style, as there is no style. So what do you say? You can only say "it is what it is".

It's a dark brown-black beer with a creamy dark tan head that leaves some nice lacing behind. It's roasty in the nose with a little bit of hops and a hint of vanilla. It's bitter and dry in the flavor with a combination of raspy hops and roastiness, with vanilla coming in across the middle and into the finish where the grassy and piney hops become more apparent (at least they didn't use anything citrusy or they'd have a real mess on their hands!).

It's an OK beer, and it's interesting, but it's 'spiky' and not particularly rounded. Remove the vanilla and you might have something, or remove the "IPA" and your there, but as it is I can't really recommend it.

 1,302 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.04/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is pine, dark malts and earth. The flavor is citrus, pine needles, light grapefruit, fruit, dark malts, light chocolate and a slightly sour/bitter finish.

 160 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.19/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Bottleneck says 2864.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a frothy 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before melting away to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Solid balance between the earthy hops and roasted malt with some vanilla undertones.

T- The malt and vanilla work a nice interplay with the moderately bitter hops. How is this actually working? Smooth and slightly chocolaty.

M- Somewhat sharp from the hops as well as a bit creamy. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- I gotta hand it to 'em: this is a great flavor combination. I feel like it wouldn't work with a regular IPA but the roasty malt backbone allows the vanilla to have some context while the hops just do their thing and provide a little extra "oomph." Was never interested in this brewery's offerings until a friend of mine whose opinion I trust recommended it so I took the plunge and I'm so glad I did.

 1,039 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an IPA glass.

Look: The body is dark chocolate black under a cream colored head that doesn't recede much. Massive sheets of lacing coat the glass. Nice.

Aroma: Piny, woody, earthy hops dominate. No vanilla can be found.

Taste: Interesting. You have to really dig around, but chocolate comes out through the malts with cedar, pepper, and wood. Hoppy and bitter in the finish, with some spiciness and a smokey, charred grain aftertaste. I think faint vanilla is there after the beer warms a bit, but not enough to really notice.

Mouthfeel: Pretty creamy.

Overall: This beer looks great, but under the premise that it's supposed to have VANILLA in it, I'm discouraged.

 682 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Horny Goat Black Vanilla IPA has a somewhat thin (Anheuser-Busch shelf glass), beige head, a dark brown appearance, and heavy lacing left behind. The aroma is of citrus hop resin, dark malt, and maybe a shadow of vanilla. The flavor is where the vanilla shines through, with dark, slightly charred malt, sweetness, black bread, and fairly strong, acidic hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery, and Horny Goat Black Vanilla IPA finishes crisp, refreshing, and not alcohilic.


 492 characters

Photo of GregJ
3.39/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark brown with a light beige half-finger head. Smell is dominated by vanilla with a little mocha and pine in the back. Again sweet vanilla, mocha, some burnt maltiness, a little citrus and moderate pine. Moderate/light pine dominate the aftertaste. Moderate/light body with medium carbonation. Decent beer, I would certainly pick it up again.

 356 characters

Black Vanilla IPA from Horny Goat Brewing Co.
3.53 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.