Black Moon IPA | Rock Art Brewery

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Black Moon IPABlack Moon IPA

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AlexJ on 10-03-2010

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 148
Photo of q33jeff
2.84/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma- some smoke, but otherwise empty. Dark black color with a Foamy tan head. Smoke, ash, hops barley. Hint of coffee. Smooth feel, above average carb. Not bad in the end. Taste is a bit funky.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of imagineiii. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours near black with an off-white head and some spotty lacing as it goes down. The nose is a bit plain with some woody characteristics and a bit of dryness. There is a bit of a perfume-like character there as well, perhaps from some floral-forward hops. The flavor has a lot of roast plus some pine and more of the perfume notes. Feel is brought down by this, as it almost seems like someone sprayed perfume way too close to my face right before I inhaled. Overall, this was pretty good, though nothing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Schuffer Steak and Ale House in Burlington.

Definitely black, small, off-white head that leaves some lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and some pine. Pretty sticky and a bit sweet.

Taste is robust, with a lot of roasted chocolate flavors. Hops take the form of a resin-y pine flavor with some citrus, but they aren't too strong. In some ways, this is like drinking a hoppy Imperial Stout. Alcohol is noticeable but less so than it could be for the ABV.

A bit syrupy on the mouth, appropriate level of carbonation.

This one is less hoppy than some I've had of the style and is definitely the most robust. It's a sipper and a decent beer overall.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Slight grapefruit nose, flavor is grapefruit and hints of caramel, some lingering bitter aftertaste. Decent DIPA. $5.49 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere in the Middlebury/Burlington area.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" dark tan head over the barely translucent dark reddish brown brew. Head collapses slowly, settling at a strong 1/2" and holding, with leggy lasting lace. Aroma is miminal.

Taste has a peek of sweet to start, an undercurrent of slightly acrid bitterness from stem to stern, a shot of dark fruit in the middle, and a cream yet more bitter close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is good. Never would have guessed this brew is 10%abv.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a coca cola brown and when it settles it is black and totally opaque with a small brown ring at the bottom. 1 inch tan head with ok retention and some lace

Smell: Smells like black malt mixed with bittering hops

Taste: Has a unique malt flavor upfront which is part sweet and part bitter. Finishes with a great coffee flavor. The alcohol at 10% is well hidden at first when the beer is cold but when the beer warms the alcohol shows up and the beer starts to have a nail polish remover taste so drink it fast

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium to high carbonation and maybe a hair dry

Overall: Not a bad black IPA reminds me alot of ST iniquity. The flavor keeps it from being a great beer.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark burgundy, almost a blackish brown, that was partially opaque. Poured with a reasonable mocha brown head that clung to the sides very well. Aroma was mostly grainy malt, reminded me muchly of a stout. Hints of chocolate aroma as well. Taste was hoppy with a bit of lactose sweetness mingled with the bitter. Coated well, with a bit of tingly on the tongue. A fair bit of chew as well. Overall a nice beer, but the IPA in the name was a bit of misnomer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours incredibly dark with solid head. Its a great look for a beer. Smells of citrus and hops. something else is coming through on the nose as well that I can't quite identify. Bitter hops and tons of malt on the tongue. Fairly well balanced but too bitter. Tastes strong... like it is. Overall a very interesting beer

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at American Flatbread, South Burlington, VT

Poured an opaque black with miniscule brown highlights, and a small tan head that dissipates to a ring of bubbles. Big hops and roasty malts in the aroma. I love black IPAs because it doesn't look like they should be so hoppy, but they are. Crisp hop bitterness up front with a toasted caramel maltiness accompanying. Piney, and a bit woody. Medium mouthfeel, and about the texture of a typical IPA; quite drinkable.

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Photo of CrookedStill
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black/deep mahogany in color with a thin tan head that quickly falls.

Pine aroma dominates with a slight sweetness behind it.

Taste really follows the nose. Big hop presence upfront and balanced by a equally large malt backbone. Pretty standard for a IIPA but much better balanced than many I've had. There's hints of the roasted malt but it isn't overpowering and really compliments the hops. Finishes on a mildly sweet note. The alcohol, to be 10%, is well hidden and is only slightly present.

Fairly full body, just short of "syrupy," with a nice amount of carbonation and again not unlike other IIPAs I've tried.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. The nice thing, at least to me, about this one is that the roasted flavor is kept to a minimum and, in that respect, doesn't depart too far from a traditional IIPA. The most enjoyable thing about it is that the body is thicker while being better balanced than many other beers I've had from this style. It's a shame this was only brewed once.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed during Hobo Tasting #4 with mikesgroove (as always) at RJ Rockers Brewery during a Thursday Taste & Tour session. Massive thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this bottle! Served from bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature snifter. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a one and a half finger very light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, and caramel hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, and roasted sweet hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The flavors in this one were very well balanced. This was honestly the first time I had tasted a brew with a roasted sweet hop flavor in it (at least that is how I describe it). 10%!? I never would have known if me and Mike were not checking the bottles we were trying... The aroma given off by this one was quite nice as well. Not really a lot missing on this one to say the least. This is an absolute must try for anyone who is a fan of the style (whatever they decide to call it) or some one just curious.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this 22oz bottle at the Cabot Annex last Sunday. The price was not loaded into their 'puter, so they charged me only $3.09. Sweet! Will enjoy it today out in the 'Zebo before heading in to watch some football...

Pours a very deep, opaque chestnut/mahogany color. Head is frothy, healthy and mocha hued, lasting verry well. Lacing is top-shelf as well. The nose has a decent combo of rindy citrus and roastyness. Body is middle of the pack, and it is low on the prickle factor.

Flavorwise, this one is low on the malty sweetness, as the 90 IBUs would suggest. Has a solid roasty character, with some espresso, mocha and dark choco bitterness present. On top of that is heaped some rindy, pithy, even piney, hoppage. So you get bitterness from both the dark malts as well as the lupulins, and it lingers nicely in the aftertaste. This one is well-made and satisfying. Now, if I could always get it for $3.09.... ;-)

4.03/5 rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a dense black, with roughly 1 ½ fingers of rich mocha-colored head. This retains with a frothy ½ finger cap, which throws some sticky swathes of lacing up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral feeling, with a green grapefruit smelling bitterness to it that is layered on top of notes of smoky roast and thick chocolate malts. That big ABV adds fullness and spicy fusels to the mix but without any obvious stinging warmth in the nostrils.

The taste starts with a thick chewy combo of chocolate and caramel sweetness before segueing into a crunchy wall of roasted coffee bitterness. Green citric hop character and spicy alcohol works their way into all of that sweetness and dark roast, stretching into the finish with a dry and warm pithiness that sticks to the tongue and eventually gives way to lingering notes of burnt malt and sweet sugars. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a sharp creaminess to the carbonation, which sits on top of a chewy alcohol beefiness. Amazingly, beyond the fullness of the body and that spicy warmth, the 10% ABV is wonderfully hit here and I would never have guessed just what the full strength of this was, as it feels more like 8% at the most.

This was a VERY solid take on a Black IPA with a great even mix of sweetness, roast, and hops, and while I may question just why this beer had to be so strong, there is no doubt that it impressively hides that big ABV. I’m usually one to dive into a bomber of an IPA by myself but I’m glad that I had a buddy along for the ride with this one!

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Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black as can be with a great, thick head (wonderful retention): lacing is beautiful; this beer looks amazing

S: Loads of pine, tar, citrus, and possibly a touch of chocolate splash across the nose first followed by some obvious booze

T: Although hop forward, this beer has an awesome chocolatey malt backbone which combined with the citrus and pine hop qualities makes for a tasty brew

F: Full bodied and creamy; this beer is like liquid velvet on the tongue

O: this is a boozy beer and is one to sip and share but I sure did enjoy nonetheless

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nkersten for picking this up in Vermont. Served in a pint glass.

A - Pours with two fingers of tan foam that settles to a solid thin cap, and leaves behind attractive splotchy lacing. The body is near-black, but reveals some reddish transparency when held to the light.

S - Lots of baker's chocolate, and some light pine, floral, and herbaceous hops. That being said, the malt backbone has enough complexity to keep things interesting, and there is thankfully none of that cheesy faded hop aroma.

T - Sweet baker's chocolate, light caramel, and some light citrus character as well. Nice hop bitterness that is present but initially well-attenuated. As I worked through 10oz or so the bitterness mounted to a fairly intense level by the end.

M - Smooth medium-full body, soft carbonation, well-hidden alcohol, and a pleasant roasty dry finish.

D - I'm guessing this was terrific fresh, but at this stage it's merely "pretty good". I had no problem sharing a bomber, and would seek this out if I heard of a new batch in the works.

Edit - imagineiii has kindly pointed out that there were two batches - one from late September, and one from mid-November. Based on purchase location, I'm inclined to think I had the latter.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours super dark brown - nearly opaque with a deep tan head that falls slowly to a fairly thick blanket. Nice lacing. Smells of piney hops, roasty malt, some chocolate. The taste is much more assertive than the nose. Hope hit first with some impact but the flavor of the hops in in a tangle with the roast of the malt. It's actually a pretty good balance. I get some bitterness for the hops but some of the pine notes are intertwined with the malt so as they don't stand out on their own.

The body is medium and th4e carbonation is fairly active but the beer is quite smooth. Overall an enjoyable brew of a unique kind. Oh damn - I didn't realize that it's 10% - I guess it also hides it alcohol very well!

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Photo of AlexJ
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany brown, almost black, with a moderate beige head that has good stick.

Aroma of cascade citrus, marmalade, pine, and hints of sweet char and dark roast.

Flavors between IPA and a Brown Porter on steroids. Nice caramel, roast barley, and dark fruit meet with citrus, pine, and herbal earthy hops. IBUs are listed as 65 and could honestly use a bit more to balance the high ABV and malt flarors.

Medium bodied and quite drinkable. The hefty 10% ABV isn't noticed until the end of the first pint.

Just happened to be in VT on vacation and surprised to see this was not in the database...must be brand new and very fresh.

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Photo of SickGnar
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Quite black & very nearly opaque – just hints of garnet / mahogany highlights. Big, dark tan (café con leche) head of pillowy foam that turn a tad rocky as it slowly settles. Nice retention and very nice lace.

S: Mix of hops & roasty malt. A bit of danky citrus & herbal hop character – but overall it is less strong and rather vague for what I would like. Roast is another story. Firm dark chocolate. Rather a good bit of sweetness ranging from molasses to bitter-sweet coffee. Hint of oddly bacony smoke. Generally, sort of a s’more dropped in the campfire smell. Dark fruit hints push out as it warms. Needs more hops.

T: Hops are far more pine, sap, & resin on the open than the nose. Just a touch of grapefruit / citrus comes through in the middle. The end turns to spicy resin. Very bitter and coating throughout. Sweet, but rather in a dark way – and with out being syrupy or cloying. Dark chocolate is main roasty malt notes. It is rounded out by some molasses & scorched toffee up front and by increasingly dry and roasty malt notes on the back end. Underlying very dark crystal malt base. Edge of raisin – from the edge of the cookie – darkened and even a touch burnt. Peppery (and a bit sweet) alcohol.

M: Big and rich mouthfeel, carbonation does not match. Low relative CO2 lends a soft smoothness. Loads of texture – from dextrins to hop oils. A touch soapy and slick. Stays semi-sweet for a really long time into the finish before the hops and alcohol push it drying. Obvious alcohol warmth & the barest hint of a bite.

D: Rich, very dark, robust, & darkly sweet malts. Hop character is perhaps a touch faded, but still there & very firmly bitter. Peppery alcohol shows proud, even for a 10% brew – yet it is oh so very drinkable. Well done. Not that you can throw it back (nor should you), as although it is not really sneaky it is very much potent. A sip and savor beer.

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Photo of Brad007
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A new Rock Art ale? Rejoice! In fact, it's a style that is quickly gaining in popularity among hop-heads (American Black IPA aka cascadian dark ale).

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown head into my tulip glass. Very appropiate color-wise.

Aroma is chock full of floral, grassy hops with just a hint of roasted malt character (its not overdone).

Hops greet the tongue with a character that compliments the malt. I want to say that they have a prominent taste that is grassy in nature witrh a tiny hint of citrus. They do not overload the palate like a few other examples. Other flavors I detect err among the lines of chocolate/coffee in the malt.

Mouthfeel is muted for good effect, allowing the drinker to enjoy the fine characteristics of the malt. Alcohol is barely noticed until about half-way through the glass. Deceptive.

This is a fine example of the style and honestly, it is far more drinkable fresh than Rock Art's other hoppy examples. Not to take anything away, but I would love to age a bottle of this to see how the flavors mellow throughout time. I would recommend this to fans of the style.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes taken July 14, 2012.

(4.0) A: Black with tall semi-creamy mocha coloured head. Very good retention and sticky lacing.

(4.5) S: Pine, honey, roasted notes of rich dark chocolate and lesser amount of dark coffee bean, vanilla. Lots of variety and complexity.

(4.0) T: Caramel-like malt, rich dark chocolate, citrus-like hops, vanilla, dark fruit elements poke through. Alcohol well hidden.

(4.0) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Syrup-like with an oily texture.

(4.0) D: Very nice collaboration between one of my favourite VT breweries and favourite co-op's.

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Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black. Forms a relatively small, but stable, deep tan head that eventually reduces down to a thick ring around the edges. Good lacing.

S: Strong scent of heavily roasted malts. Char. Coffee. Some bright citrus in the mix as well.

T: Strongly roasted malts. More char with a fleeting, but unmistakable, creaminess. Strong bitterness. Coffee. Even some tropical fruit. A complex and odd combination of flavors that just works.

M: On the heavier side for a "black IPA" with lower carbonation. A bit sticky.

O: A very good black IPA and a great beer in it's own regard. Complex, yet still drinkable. ABV is very well hidden.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski. This might be the first black DIPA I've had, or double black ale if you prefer. There's a slight edge of alcohol heat, but otherwise there's a great mix of citrus and roasted barley. There are clean, clear black malt notes jumping through the hops, but there's also a fruity, juicy undertone with figs and raisin. The aroma has a touch of molasses in with the grapefruit hops. The burnt grains come out more in the flavor, and are overpowered by rolling grapefruit, biting citrus zest and a mild floral undertone. Great beer.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Hunger Mountain Coop. Always a great lineup of beer!

Looks very pretty. Dark brown/ black body with a finger of tan head.

Super clean nose. Almost reminds me of a Hill Farmstead brew a little cause it's just so clean and crisp. A hint of the malt here, but less than I expected.

Flavor is clean, crisp bitterness with moderate malt. With this dark of a body, I am surprised by how much this tastes like a normal IPA. Very tasty and still a little green even, although it's nearly a year old.

Mouthfeel is crisp, tooth-strippingly tart and quenching. Nice mouthful.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Not at all what I expected for the style, but just pure pleasure to sip. The ABV is well hidden, I was shocked to see 10% on the label. Drinks like 6.5% to me.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a Cavalry Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Pitch black with a three-finger head of dense, rocky, off-white foam which retained nicely and a left a bit of clingy lace.

S: Very hopped-out smelling, with loads of tobacco leaf, piny resins and licorice to go along with the full, earthy, herbal and citrusy hop aroma.

T: Hops blast initially on the palate, but give way to subtle, roasted malt flavors of licorice, tobacco, coffee beans and charred, earthy tones. The hops and alcohol combine for a spicy set-up to the slick, bittersweet and hoppy finish which leaves a lingering slick of hot bitterness on the palate.

M: Full-bodied, rich and quite bitter, the malt bill and IBUs of this beer make it one to wait and sip on.

O: A real sipper at 10% ABV and one that's hot with hops and alcohol, but so very rich and tasty. Kept thinking I was drinking a RIS but hops billed at 90 IBUs remind you think is a heavy duty DIPA with roasted porter and stout characteristics. I would def pick up a bomber again, maybe to age next time though.

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Photo of koopa
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle brought back from VT by grassblue thanks!

Appearance: Pours an opaque deep dark brown with a 2.5 finger off white (grey to khaki) crown that shows moderate retention and good lace.

Smell: Strong pine and sandalwood hop notes over dark roast malt.

Taste: Same as nose with dark malt and a hint of fruit up front. The malt really takes a back seat and seems one dimensional but the hops are delicious.

Mouthfeel: A bit undercarbonated and flubbery (making up words again I know)

Drinkability: Fairly good despite the one dimensional malt and flubbery mouthfeel :)

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Black Moon IPA from Rock Art Brewery
4.12 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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