Black Iron India Pale Ale | Grand Canyon Brewing Company

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Black Iron India Pale AleBlack Iron India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Grand Canyon Brewing Company
Arizona, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tpd975 on 08-06-2010

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 88
Photo of JByrne
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured straight into a pint glass, which formed a two-finger head. Not a very strong nose at all, which might be the glass' fault, but what nose there was it was good. Very bright smelling. Taste was actually really good! The hops bit pretty hard, but overall it was very refreshing, which is weird to me, but not bad. I enjoyed drinking it cold. I let it warm up a bit and tried it again and was met with darker flavors and more bitterness. Much more like a typical IPA but less flavor. Finally, I let it get to room temperature, and the hops are mild and the taste is mellow. In terms of how this drink reacts to tenperature, think of a Bell curve but flipped upside down. Either drink it ice cold or room temp. Overall, I enjoyed it and will be having another soon!

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Photo of farrago
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thin head, almost gone before it’s there, the lacing is more like a ring around a bathtub than separate streaks. Deep orange colored liquid with some discernible particulate and few bubbles, good brightness. Sweetly pungent nose, heavy on the floral musk, honey and orange marmalade, pine sap, poached peach to apricot scents, some pineapple too, peppery then it gets barnyardy like a bushel of hay left out in the weather to do whatever. Medium-bodied, soft and limp, no zip at all, carbonation on the low side. Tangerine, blood orange, and some pink grapefruit, has a soft drink character. Floral air freshener, cocoa, caramelized brown sugar, coconut custard, pine, like walking through a department store perfume department. Peach, nectarine, pineapple, guava, ripe but lacks tropical zest. Wish it possessed some more herbal hoppy qualities to heighten liveliness. No pedigree, clearly going for uber-friendliness at the cost of distinct elements. If that is indeed the case, at least it likely has succeeded.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

With a name like Black Iron, you would think that this was an India Dark Ale, not the traditional pale variety. Another lesson towards reading beer labels. Coming from a 12 ounce can, on to the beer:

The head forms thick initially, at over an inch ad a half, and it backs it up a good dose of lacing. Below is a toasted orange color. So much for a dark ale that I expected when I read the label. The aroma is raw, green, with melon rind and a faint aroma of juicy hops. Okay aroma, however it doesn't smell like the hops were worked to their potential.

Ok, so it tastes a few threads better. It starts clean with a little sweetness from the malt. Bits of grapefruit and bittersweet orange make much of the hop flavor provided. There's a raw bit of hops at the end. It's a medium bodied beer that isn't very bitter, and while a decent overall beer, doesn't quite hit the head on the style.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.37/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

No date on the can.

Appearance: Opaque orange (they must dry-hop the hell out of this, or not consider leaving the sludge out when they can) with a huge off-white head that filled the entire pint glass with only about an ounce of beer at the bottom.

Aroma: Strange. Sweet citrus with a chemical edge to it. Grainy sawdust.

Taste: Very sweet tangerine hop character up front with a bit of spice underneath. Some caramel malt flavor and good grain taste but not much malt presence considering the moderate 7.2% ABV. Decently balanced, I'd guess about 70-80 IBUs. Honestly, the appearance and aroma had me worried but the flavor is actually pretty good though a tad on the sweet side which gets cloying about halfway through. I intend on leaving the appearance and aroma scores as I originally graded them but needless to say the flavor is much better than they would suggest.

Mouthfeel: Just below medium in body with surprisingly normal levels of carbonation considering the near explosion when I opened the can (it had been sitting in the fridge undisturbed for almost a week). Good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: With a name like Black Iron IPA, I was half expecting a Black IPA. Though it wasn't dated, I'm thinking this one's pretty fresh because the sweet hop character hasn't morphed into something astringent yet. Would I drink it again? If I'm ever in AZ I'll give it another go on-tap.

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Photo of ckollias
3.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz can out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy orangish hue with a nice white head that quicjly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Hoppy aroma with a slight caramel hint.

T: Malty and hoppy flavor blended together leaning more towards the malt. Has a citrus background and finishes slightly bitter.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Decent IPA – more on the malty side then I usually like for the style.

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Photo of brentk56
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber capped by an inch of foam; the retention was acceptable but there wasn't much lacing

Smell: More malt than hops; earthy, somewhat fruity with grass and pine

Taste: Tastes like the aroma, with the sugary malt forward and grassy/piney hops picking up the middle; a touch metallic in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Not the most exciting IPA out there - more of a slightly hoppy amber or an ESB than an IPA; drinkable, but not something to seek out

Thanks, mikedR (from the other site), for the opportunity

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Photo of LXIXME
3.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A small white to slightly off white head settles into a decent lacing pretty quickly above this clear honey golden colored beer.

Citrus, floral, and light pine in the aroma with just a touch of some light malts.

The taste of this IPA is a little on the lighter side for an American IPA, but it does have some nice hops attributes of pine, citrus fruits, spring grasses, and lighter floral notes.

A dryish aftertaste that brings with it some of the hops characteristics of the taste with this medium bodied IPA.

Lighter in taste than a lot of IPA but the taste that is here is quite drinkable, if you want to introduce a friend to IPA's you might want to start with this one. The hops here are pleasant and won't blow them away and will let them gradually work their way to stuff like Torpedo from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass
A: Transparent orange with a solid two-finger head that slowly settles
S: A touch muted but overall very typical IPA with some grain, hop (pine/citrus rind) and caramel notes
T: This is fairly tame for an IPA - malts take the forefront with hops taking a back seat role. No flaws just not the profile I expected.
M: Medium-bodied with a nice smoothness from the malt and a hint of hop bitterness, but I expected more bite/bitterness
O: Not bad just not quite typical for the style. I don't quite get the bad reviews here but would love to see future batches have more hops.

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Photo of deciding39
2.36/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. can poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange-gold with a fluffy, three-finger head. May have poured this one with a little too much vigor. Head recedes a bit over the course of a minute or two, leaving half a finger of rocky froth. Decent lacing, although the bubbles appears a bit coarse.

S: Hoppy aroma of lemon and pine. A little bread and grain hide in the back with a slight trace of alcohol.

T: Malt is a little one dimensional - sweet, grainy caramel, followed by a quick juicy hop note of pine and resin that is actually a bit abrasive, with some copper/nickel in there. Finishes bitter with a sharp, astringent green apple flavor. All sorts of yeastiness coming back up in the burp.

M&D: Medium bodied and moderate alcohol, this would be rather drinkable if not for the offputting taste. I really can't enjoy this one...reminds me of a homebrewed IPA I made last spring. I think the yeast is the real culprit here (reminds me of Safale-05), responsible for most of the unpleasant notes. However, I'll also give some credit to the hops which are flavorful but harsh. Don't think I'll be having more than one of these.

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Photo of mactrail
2.47/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Big foam on pouring into the mug. Actually, the suds last well and this stuff is fairly attractive. The smell is slightly piney. Taste of malt with a little spoiled fruit. Soapy and bitter. Some hoppy notes but primarily just the murky earthiness. Aftertaste of burnt toast and plastic. Fair example of how not to brew an IPA.

Not as bad as the Grand Canyon Amber, but this is definitely a brewery to be wary of. From the 12 oz can bought at a store to be wary of, Total Wine in east Tucson.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can of an IPA from a brewery I've never sampled from? Yes please. Part of my Arizona beer fest I threw myself while in Phoenix. Beer is amber and mostly clear with a big head, over carbonated, and nice lacing. Looks good.

Aroma is mildly piny, sweet, a little malty.

This is a balanced IPA with a little citrus fruit hops and moderate bitterness, a little too malty sweet for my tastes but it is OK, not a repeat for me.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
2.98/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a straight chalice (its thanksgiving) - color is dark gold to copper, head poured very dense and thick, bright white.

Smell is citrus and pine hops, grapefruit comes through most light biscuit or toasted malt note.

Taste is a little on the sweeter side, not caramel sweet but maybe some modified malts, hops are citrus and piney blend, pleasant and bitter.

Mouthfeel is a little too cloying for my ipa taste, a little sweet and strong bitterness combined.

Overall, a decent IPA kind of down the middle, but I prefer mine a bit dryer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.89/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up some AZ cans from Papago while I was there, this was the worst of the worst.

Looked fine, amber colored ipa, carbonated, head etc. . . the aroma, ugh, bitter and soapy, something weird going on, not much in the way of a discernable green hop presence, just there for the bitterness party.

Wow, the flavor was just rough. Like a mix of a bad ipa, with just nothing but bitterness and no hop mouthfeel, in conjunction with some Rodenbach wet wood and sherry type mild sweet and sour infection notes. Thankfully, Corpulent is a trooper/sucker and helped finish this beer off for me.

Cannot recommend, one of the worst ipa's I've had in a long time. Like, almost Kennebunkport bad. Indian Wells etc. . .

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Photo of kevanb
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

This IPA from Arizona pours a hazy copper straw color, a fair amount of sediment floats in the glass while a nice 2 finger head sits atop the beer. The head has pretty decent retention and ample lacing on the glass. The nose is pleasant, a bit weak, lots of lemongrass in the nose with some slight biscuity malt backing, not much in the way of bitter hops, more of a lighter sweeter nose. The flavors match well, mild hop profile which is earthy and hazy, some bright citrus come through that leads to some light bready malt. The flavors and aroma are very simple, but still pleasant and well done. The body is nice, a bit bigger than I anticipated, can definitely notice the sediment, which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch.

Verdict: Simple but good IPA from Grand Canyon. I could definitely do with a 6 pack of these on a warm summer day.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly standard American IPA, and one slightly on the sweeter side, but it tastes fresh and pleasant enough, and I did enjoy it. As others have said, it pours with little, and an amber color. Both in the nose and by taste, this beer is very floral and somewhat soft in the mouth. Quite a bit of honeyed malt, especially in the aroma. The hops wake up a bit in the taste, with some citrus and pine added to the juicy malt and floral honey notes. A mild bitterness lingers, but it lacks a spicy hop edge that makes an American IPA so nicely bracing. A gentle IPA, but not lacking in flavor, just more subtle than most and the soft malt steps forward a bit more than most. There is a nice citrusy brightness to the beer, though, that is partially obscured by the softness of the mouthfeel. Pleasant enough- I'd certainly drink it if it were my local IPA.

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Photo of arizcards
3.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Total Wine in late August for $1.69.

Beer poured orange with very little head.

Nose is a nice citrusy hop that is still very pungent after the initial pour.

Taste is a decent malt backing surprisingly balanced by a decent amount of citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall not a bad beer but nothing special.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A last shout-out for today's New Beer Sunday (Week 339) to bennetj17 whose Arizona CANTrade led the way for a trans-Pacific daylong adventure to China, thanks to boatshoes and his box that had lain like a sleeping dragon for too long. My crew has gone ashore, vowing never to set sail with a scurvy dog like yours truly ever again and I CANnot blame them as even I am feeling the effects of the day's adventures in beer. However, The CANQuest (TM) must forge ahead!

From the CAN: "We encourage you to recycle, pack it in, pack it out."; "Black Iron I.P.A. [-] This is our tribute to the black iron that paved the way to get to the Grand Canyon. Black Iron I.P.A. is a high hopped, fragrant, ale that is as deep and as wide as the Grand Canyon itself!"; "Trains and Beer [-] 1901 was the grand arrival of the first passenger aboard the new railway from Williams Arizona to the majestic south rim of the Grand Canyon. Originally these black iron steam engines hauled ore for mining operations. Now, millions of people have seen this natural wonder by taking the Williams train. This country was founded on trains and beer and apparently the canyon is no different."; "Legendary Brewery [-] The Grand Canyon Brewing Company is located in historic downtown Williams, Arizona. Stop in the next time you're near the southern rim of the Grand Canyon."; "[Undersigned] - The Peasley Brothers John, Josh, Jeremy".

If you hang around male beer enthusiasts long enough, you will find that other commonalities are facial hair and trains. This beer makes a perfect marriage of two sides of that triangle.

The Crack & Glug went well and resulted in a fizzy finger of tawny head with moderate retention. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an unusual orange zest citrusiness along with a mild grassiness and a slight caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium and it tasted of Brach's orange caramels from when I was a kid. I have tasted this combination in other AIPAs and thoroughly enjoyed it and such was the case here. Finish was more orangish than anything else and the flavor lasted well after the swallow. I am of the opinion that there CANnot be enough well-made AIPAs in a CAN. This would definitely rate cooler space and especially if I were going on a train outing, like to Strasburg here in Lancaster County.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(12oz can). Pours a hazy dark golden color with off-white head. Decent carbonation and some lacing. Aroma has hard candy, some dank hops, with some cardboard. Taste is very sweet that overpowers the hops. Old can? Medium bodied with a slick texture and smooth finish. I’m quite surprised at how faded the hops are. Not a bad beer at all, but not what I expected from an IPA. Will have to re-rate when I’m at the pub.

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Photo of mmciz
2.51/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Kudos to the tiny town of Williams (pop. ~3,000) for supporting a craft brewer. All those Grand Canyon tourists help, no doubt. I've had a few of their beers at festivals but none made a huge impression. Time to try this black can.

A: I see others have had problems with this pours -- I got about 3/4 of an inch of creamy white head. The beer itself is an unremarkable amber and there seems to be some sort of residue suspended in it, which doesn't bother me.

S: Very lightly floral, like a sprig of baby's breath. This is definitely not a super-hoppy west coast IPA.

T: The brewer's boast of being "as deep and as wide as the Grand Canyon itself" isn't on point. It tastes more like something New Belgium would brew -- though not as polished. Sweet on the tongue with a lingering alcohol burn. Reaching for "average" within the style but not quite getting there.

M: Slides smoothly.

D: Kinda boring considering I can feel it pretty strongly -- one can will suffice.

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Photo of Sorcerer
3.86/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Aluminum can poured into glass produced no head and only the tiniest hint of frothy excitation. Very few bubbles preciptiating anywhere. Clear watered down whiskey color; dusk through amber lens. Smells sweet, scotch pine, something about a salty ocean in the mist out there (not considering the Grand Canyon here; but you could substitute "a hint of mud flats from deep in the canyons"), a slight note of freshly mown hay as well. Quaffed eagerly based upon good looks and smell, and did not disappoint, with an immediate delicious full malt-floral flavor of piney grapes and barley crackers. Delicious flavor. Reflex was for gulping. Not at all bitter. Sweet. After taste is pleasant but did not linger for more than a few seconds.

Too low on carbonation. The beer was flat by the end. Would be better to drink straight from the can (was this intentional for field ingestion?), and will try to remember this fact.

Delicious and very drinkable. It would be very easy to drink 4 of these within ten minutes. Not bitter at all: is not representative of the style. Not hoppy. However, I like it a lot. I would recommend this to try, but not a medal winner.

Perhaps this is best as a picnic beer.

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Photo of drpimento
3.57/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Better beer than the commercial description. Poured with a small, cream colored head that faded to a light cover and a little lace. Color is a slightly hazy medium amber. Aroma is caramel, spice, hop, funk, a hint floral. Flavor is like nose, plus some fruitiness that gets in the way. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.32/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour - almost peachy golden in color with a very thin head that dissipates quickly leaving just wispy white film on top of a very clean, clear looking brew.

Aroma - citrus, pine, pineapple, caramel, orange peels, grassy and floral.

Taste - a bit thin in body but very smooth with a good deal of citrusy hop profile. Nice malt finish, almost a bit like apple cider in sweetness. This definitely has a floral flavor that is really apparent as well. Solid but lacking some carbonation that would make it even better.

Overall - have to say it seems a little under-carbonated but that doesn't hurt it too much as its still a tasty brew, it does lack that certain crisp bite to it that comes with a little more carbonation. Definitely worth a shot though if you can get your hands on some cans.

Would I buy more of it? - tough call as not too far away is SanTan and their beauty of canned IPA called Hop Shock!

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Photo of tpd975
3.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in the Grand Canyon National Park. Had lots of good craft brews in the General Store, this one was a new rate for me so I picked it up.

A: Pours rather pale yellow hue with a nice white head. Pretty good retention that dies to a ring. Nice retention and some spotty lace.

S: Aromas of bready malts, hints of cracker, and grassy hops. Mild citric notes round things out.

T: Not aggressive at all. Nice sweet bready malts up front. The citrus hops are there with hints of bitter zest. A touch of herbal hops add some bitterness in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium, a hint of bitterness in the finish.

D: Pretty good. An average IPA.

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Black Iron India Pale Ale from Grand Canyon Brewing Company
3.26 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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