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BIG HAPI India Black Ale | Lawson's Finest Liquids

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BIG HAPI India Black AleBIG HAPI India Black Ale

Brewed by:
Lawson's Finest Liquids
Vermont, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This dark and devious brew reflects a resinous and sticky fusion of intense bitterness, big roasted barley flavors, and powerful dank aromas. Made with HUGE additions of five hop varieties and seven malts to create a bold flavor profile.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-06-2009

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 204
Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at prohibition pig

Fluffy darker colored 1 finger creamy head fades slowly with nice lacing pitch black beer.

Nose nice piny spicy earthy hops, done darker malts, creamy malts, dark chocolate, caramel, hint if roast.

Taste starts creamy with milk chocolate and bakers choc, luscious, malty, malted milk ball, caramel, light bready malts, then hops, earthy light spicy piny hops, hint of coffee and roasted malt, chewy. Finish is creamy malty, little sticky and syrupy, fairly biter, earthy piny lingering hops and light cocoa and caramel lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb, fluffy and bit creamy.

Overall nice, great hops and malts combined, blend well, not too sweet too hoppy or boozy.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at the Farmhouse, Burlington, VT

How could I turn down a Lawson's on tap? Poured into a 6oz. stem glass, a dark, dark chocolate brown with a creamy, rocky tan head; decent retention and lacing. Typical dark ale aroma heavy with piney hops, and hints of greasy cocoa. Taste was oily, resinous up front, with a surprising infusion of delectable coffee mid-palate, finishing with more pine, grass, citrus peel, and charred wood. Quite complex in the taste, and probably the best of the style that I've had so far. Medium-bodied, quite drinkable, though perhaps one serving is enough for anyone. Very nicely done overall.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich roasted and burnt caramel malts with some coffee, citrus hops, and some light pine hops.

T - Starts off with some deep roasted caramel malts with some roasted coffee and some citrus hops and bitterness with some grapefruit. Through the middle, some burnt malts come through with some more bitter-coffee flavor and some pine hop and more bitterness. The finish is a mix of pine and citrus hop with some earthy flavors, roasted and burnt malts and coffee, and some chocolate and bitterness.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, roasty, and chocolately finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice Black IPA with a good combination of hops, coffee flavor, and deep roasted malts and chocolate. Very nicely balanced.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this about 10 days ago at the Warren Store (~$9.00 or so). Popped it yesterday while enjoying the lovely summer-like weather.

Poured into an imperial nonic, it came out looking like a stout or a porter. It was a very dark chestnut, with some highlights at the edges when held up to the light. Up top was a frothy, 1" layer of mocha hued foam, which ebbed slowly and left lovely lacing. Nose was inviting, with a good amount of chocolate with some rind hidden beneath. Medium in body, it was also pretty easy-going on the tongue.

Oddly, the choco and roasty notes were light on the palate, mostly staying in the background. What was strong was the citrus action. Had plenty of grapefruit and even a little zest of lemon floating around in there. It was a bit pithey and near the finish some roasty bitterness reappeared. Overall I liked this; it was well-made and satisfying, though the price pretty much makes it a "one and done". Prosit!!

4.03/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of andrewinski1
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Ben! Poured into a wine taster. The color is black with a large half inch tan creamy head.

The aroma blends coffee roast-like malt with piney spiced up hops.

The taste starts out with bitter hop dank hop flavor, finishing with roasted coffee malt flavor.

This is medium bodied with slightly velvety mouthfeel.

This is a delicious hop forward black IPA.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one from Alec. Thanks a lot for this one. Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with a small cap of light khaki head. A little bit of spotty lace.

The aroma is dark and roasty with some hints of grassy hops. Earthy aromas dominate this one leaving the hops to be a little more desired. Roasted malts on the pallet with dry piney hops. Hints of cocoa with a nice bitter piney hop finish.

The body is full with soft carbonation. Kind of dry on the finish. Pretty solid. Not my favorite black IPA but a pretty well made one.

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Photo of oberon
4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7.5%ABV.per bottle label.My second of Lawson's wares I have had today.Poured a deep dark chocolate brown with a fluffy deep near mocha colored beige head that settles into a frothy mass after two half rings of lace left behind.Resinious hops,char,earth,and bitter chocolate notes in the nose, a nice mix.Great complex flavors going on with huge resiny and citric hops that are sharp and pretty in your face,a bit of bitter chocolate and alot of raw roast to compliment the hops.Wow a great IBA it has everything going on,top notch right here.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying at the Mad Taco in Vermont.
Thick, tight dull dark beige head that settles to a cap of foam and covers the entire glass with lace. Really dark brown in color with no light getting through.

Aroma is of pine and roasted malt. Nice combination. Rounded, not harsh.

Nice pop of roast and hop bitterness right up front. The dark roasted malt flavors settle a little, but the hop bitterness does not. Lots of dark pine mixed with a dark almost unsweetened chocolate.

Oily finish which has the hop bitterness cling to your tongue.

Real nice. Not sure if you want a stout or IPA.... Here's your choice.

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Photo of SABERG
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch #147, bottle #62

Poured in a modified tulip.

A - dark with lots of lacing. Inviting and intriguing.

S - Maderia and cabernet, hops and licorice. How did that get in there? Complex fruit and a complex malt backbone.

T - Starts sweet, runs the gauntlet. Oily and tart, lingers on the mouth. a little sticky but nice with some subtle bite to finish.

M - All over the tongue, sweet, tart, bitter. Smooth follow through and a long finish. Ever so pleasant.

D - With the complexity this is a beer to explore with rich food. That said it is quite drinkable and may need extra adjectives.


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Photo of nickd717
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber thanks to Arbitrator. OMG rare, it says so on the bottle! Lawson's is trying to be quite the hype machine I see. Now let's start with the name. Like "Alfred A. Hopf," this is a rather clever hop pun, playing off the Red Sox great (well he was great, not so much anymore) David Ortiz a.k.a. Big Papi. Clever, guys. Will we be seeing Jachoppy Ellsbury, Clay Buchhops, Jonathan Hopelbon, or Hideki Hopajima any time soon? I hope so.

Dark brown in color with a large cascading tan head. Good lacing.

Earthy hop aroma, with wet leaves and some substantial roasty notes.

Roasty flavor with slight bitter cocoa along with citrusy and earthy hops. Rather bitter.

Medium-bodied and dry as hell, very resinous, with softer carbonation.

Pretty nice IBA, but I've certainly had better as of late.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks to youbrewidrink.

A: Pours a dark brown with some edge translucence. A fluffy, light tan head that cascades beautifully into the body as it recedes. Tons of sticky lace.

S: Citrus, specifically grapefruit pith, blasts the nose immediately. If I close my eyes I picture a fresh IPA. It is followed with aromas of roasted grain and dark chocolate, grass.

T: Wow, really bitter and aspirin-like. Herbal, grassy hops lead the charge with bitter roasted grain. Slight dark chocolate flavors that lead into mild grapefruit. Nothing as promising as the aroma.

M: A bit thin and oily, with lingering pine bitterness. Dry finish. The bubbles simply aren't robust enough to give this enough scrubbing power and cleanse the palate. Hard to split this three ways, much less finish a bottle alone.

D: It's decent.... Skippable. I've had better IBAs / Black IPAs / whatever.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Michael for this rare Lawson's...Brown beer with an off white head. A small cap forms, so-so lacing...This beer is total hop forward, does makes any bones about it. Hop bomb of flowers and grass, a little citrus helps to balance this pretty nicely...The taste is all hops and nothing else, way to strong its really tough to drink. So bitter, too hop forward.

Decent start but to much hops to drink.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to thorpe429 for sharing this one. Served in a Chouffe tulip. Batch #163, bottle #55.

A - Pours with two fingers of off-white foam that settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and some spotty lace. Body is brown and reveals some caramel notes when held to the light.

S - Hoppy, with notes of floral and grassy notes mingling with tangerines. There's malt backbone is definitely very cocoa heavy. This is balanced and well-integrated.

T - Dear god, the bitterness. There's a faint note of pine and grapefruit and then punishing alpha acids that evoke aspirin. If I concentrate really hard I can pick out a touch of malt and cocoa, but not very much at all.

M - Smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, well-hidden alcohol, dry finish, and nice residual oily hop resins.

D - Too bitter to consume in mass quantities, and I generally enjoy bitter beers. The aroma is great, but the taste needs more flavor and balance.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike (Thorpe429) for bringing this and others from Lawson's. This was rare batch 163, bottle 55.

Dark colored, a little reddish brown at the edges but otherwise opaque, with a tan foam. It smells very citrusy, maybe a mix of west coast citrus and European grass. Very nice, I wish the taste followed these notes but it's a different beast. Lots of roasted malts and a very bitter and dry aftertaste. Alum-like finish, very unique and defining. Possibly this is taking grapefruit to the extreme, meaning it's astringent rind. Many people might like it but it limited my enjoyment somewhat.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Black beer with an off-white head that dissipated to a ring. Great chunks and spot lacing on the sides.

S - Flooded with cascadian hops, and a great malt backbone. I'm usually not a fan of Black IPAs, but this smells a little less "black" than many.

T - Very bitter cascadian hops taste, hop forward and malt forward at the same time. The sugar manages to be not too sugary and therefore not hot. I like this beer, but it takes quite the effort to overcome the bitterness.

M - Solid, medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

D - It's good, but it's so bitter it can get hard to get down. I like this beer, surprisingly.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #163
Bottle #4
7.5% ABV

Poured into a pint glass. Nice black body with a huge light-tan head. The head is a little over three fingers thick and maintains very well. Lots of sticky lacing left behind. Looks great.

Citrusy, piney hops all over the nose. Grapefruit and orange wedge. Grassy and floral. Some roasted malt.

Dark chocolate, slightly bitter malt laced with pine-infused hops and dried orange wash across the tongue. There are a good amount of hops in this beer, but the malt backbone is fairly strong as well. I really like the chocolaty roastiness that comes through.

Mouthfeel is thick, resiny and bitter. Slightly sticky. Good carbonation and the ABV is unnoticeable.

Drinkability is quite good. This brew definitely lingers on the bitter side, but if you like this style you'll find it pretty easy to drink. Another winner in the Lawson line up.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 163 bottle 4, poured into a bulbous pint glass revealing extra tall thick crema head over a deep murky brown body. Lots of head, lots of intense floral and citrus hop smell. Lots of pretty lacing.Maybe the slighest hint of caramel under all those hops.

Tastes dark, rich and roasty with a nice hop presence. Very bitter finish, very grassy and clean. Thick grapefruit rind character. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little drying with a full-bodied volume-adding tingly carbonation. Very flavorful, very drinkable.

Overall it's extremely well-executed if you're into super bitter IPAs but want a little something different.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at The Warren Store the morning of Night of the Funk 2010. Poured into a tulip and shared with bmanning, Amyliz4, and Heather. Batch 163, Bottle 17.

Pour is a very dark brown with an off white head. Plenty of light carbonation bubbles on top. Very nice lacing. The nose is very, very strong aromas of piney, resinous hops with a pretty good amount of roasted malt to back it up.

The taste is all about the pine and resin with a bit of darkly-roasted malt. The feel is extremely dry and bitter. Just an incredibly bitter beer. Even with that, it's still quite drinkable.

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Photo of chuckd123
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First bottle of Lawson's I've had, and it lived up to the hype. Spectacular beer, and I would drink it over Sublimely any day (and I like that one quite a bit also). Poured from a waxed bomber into a pint glass. Very dark brown, not quite black, and a nice dark tan frothy head with lacing that lasted until I was done. Aroma is all hops and tough to compare directly to any other beer I've had, though the nose is a bit similar to the Alchemist's holy cow. Taste was excellent, not a west coast hop bomb, but one of the best "East Coast" ipa's (IBA?) I've had. Very drinkable at 7.5%, almost too much so. If you can get to the warren general store, get yerself some of this one.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz red waxed bomber poured into a magic hat tulip.

Pours a nice deep dark stout like color with a small brown head. Nose is really fresh and hoppy, floral and a bit roasty/coffee as well.

Taste is bitter from the hops and from the roasty malt. It's pretty damn cool to have a stout looking beer that tastes like an ipa. It's very heady and floral but not really fruity at all. Somewhat light mouthfeel. It's got a bit on graininess on the finish.

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Photo of mikey711
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to stowehop for this one.

A: Deep brown, with some light comin through at the bottom of the glass. Nice carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Very nice head that is about an inch thick with very good retention

S: Grassy hop aroma and chocolately sweetness

T: This one is a bit past its prime, but there is still a decent hoppiness present. the chocolately aspect is very nice as well

M: Very nice body on this one and very smooth

D: A pint or two is fine

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Photo of Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a two-finger brown head into my pint glass. Lacing is left on the glass and overall presentation is nice.

Aroma is full of roasted coffee, chocolate and floral hops! Hops are mellow but the other flavors stand through quite a bit.

Taste is full of grassy hops upfront with roasted malt dominating the mouthfeel throughout. This baby is all hops. The other flavors ensure that the hops don't get to be too much.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering grassy hops that once again dominate. It's like drinking a special blend of coffee that is full of biting bitterness from the beans themselves.

Worth a try but my only gripe is that there's so many hops, it overwhelms any potential that this beer had to be more. I would probably dial down the hops a tad bit but otherwise, if you love hops, this is right up your alley.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle #20 from batch #86.

Pours dark mahogany with a translucent tinge of ruby when held to the light. A massive, rocky head of tan crept down to a soapy pillow on the surface with loads of spongy lacing.

Aromatics lead off with chocolate-laced grapefruit and earthy resins. Roasty malts with citrus fruits and cocoa. Slightly acrid with fruit underneath.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a crisp but creamy mouthfeel. Slightly prickly in the finish.

Puckering grapefruit pith and citrus zest start the palate with cocoa-dusted roast quickly following suit. A solid, lingering bitterness steps forward and keeps things dry and lingering.

Finishes with juicy, pithy grapefruit, hoppy resins, and plenty of acrid roast.

Probably the hoppiest black IPA I've had, with loads of bitterness in the backbone. Maybe a bit lighter on the roast with help things mesh a bit better.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL capped brown bottle with black wax seal. Rare Batch 88, Bottle 36. No date.

Appearance: Inky black with think tan head.

Nose: Stinky f-ing hops! Wow, dank is the only way to describe this aroma. Tight, too.

Palate: Crisp and bitter as sin. Black maltiness rules the roost, but the sticky bud hops clean house into oblivion...

Notes: This is a great hybridization of a dark (medium-bodied) style and bad-ass IPA's.

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Photo of UA8
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Long and short on this one it falls right in with Iniquity and Sublimely self righteous.

Pours dark black with a slightest bit of light passing through. Head is minimal but light tan in color. The nose and palate on this one echo each other nicely with hints of citrus hop and rind bitterness pairing well with dark roasted malts that lend a hint of sweetness. Mouth feel is solid with medium body and carbonation.
All together maybe not my favorite beer ever but one that does everything well and would be something I would greatly enjoy sessioning.

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BIG HAPI India Black Ale from Lawson's Finest Liquids
3.96 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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