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 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 angrybabboon
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 4/3/11

Appearance: Black, as the name would suggest, with a really nice light brown head - decent retention, some good lacing

Smell: Burnt malts, hops everywhere - this is what every American Black Ale should smell like - chocolate and citrus/herbal hops, very nice

Taste: A little on the sweet side with some burnt biscuits and typical "Rock Art" yeast flavor - there is a LOT of chocolate - hops shine through the burnt malts and round out the taste - very good, but not exactly mind-blowing - the only really surprising thing is the utter lack of alcohol

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium-bodied, smooth, nicely carbonated

Overall: A solid offering from Rock Art

As mentioned above, the alcohol is well-hidden. Either that, or the ABV is false. Regardless, this is a great beer. It's not my favorite from Rock Art, but it's worth seeking out.

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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 sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep dark black, opaque with some hints of ruby, a creamy mocha head with great retention and lacing.

S-Roasted malt with a rich undertone of tar and mocha. Very appealinjg.

T-A tinge of caramel with lots of earthy hops and some nicely understated bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, nicely rich, slightly bitter.

O-Really nice Black IPA. I had no idea this was 10%. It sure does not taste like it. Probably my favorite Rock Art beer ever.


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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 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 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 PicoPapa
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Pours a black/dark brown with a thin tan frothy head. Aroma is of citrus and piney hops. Maybe a hint of chocolate but the hop aroma dominates, and I'm not complaining. Taste is more of the mix of the pine and citrus hop flavors but a bit more chocolate this time. Some roasted malt and burnt coffee flavors. Bitter orange peel aftertaste. Heavy mouthfeel. This beer has less drinkability than most others I've had of this style but is still damn good. The 10%ABV is hidden well. Overall this is a very fine Black IPA and I will absolutely look for it again.

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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 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 PeprSprYoFace
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in the Regional Growler BIF. Thanks baconsausage

Pours a deep black. Nice thick tan head like an oatmeal stout. Nice lacing.

Aroma is nice and hoppy. But with a nice caramel and roast. Smells great.

Taste is awesome. Not too IPA-ish. Was expecting something like night stalker but is almost like a smooth drinkin stout. Nice hop flavor though. Slight bitterness with the roastyness and caramel. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Great carb.

Man glad I got one of these to try. Awesome beer. Grab one if you can.

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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 EgadBananas
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night nice medium brown head with nice lacing.

Aroma is very hoppy, resiny, piny, rusted malts and chocolate.

Taste is pretty similar...actually spot on but more chocolatey and roasted notes.

Feel is medium, creamy and slick.

Drink is pretty good. Nice and intense!

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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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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A reward for a trip across the border today.

A: It is black. I get it. A touch of cola colored when held up to the light. A half finger of brownish head with some impressive lacing.

S: I have been having quite a few examples of this style lately and I think this might be the best nose I have ever had for it. The black and the black and the IPA have never been more integrated in the nose for me. You get the hops which come across with a nice citrus not then the malt which has a touch of chocolate with only a hint of roast.

T: Just like the nose. I think the roast really can get in the way of this emerging style and it is just not there. A touch of chocolate combined with citrus nature of the hops is a real winner. The finish is nice with a touch of chocolate and a nice pleasant lingering hop taste.

M: Feels like a normal IPA. It was never overwhelming. Well carbonated.

D: This is one of the best examples of the style that I have had hands down. The more of these beers I have the more I realize that the roasted flavors really need to be cut back.

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Photo of vtblackdog
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black as night and no light passes through! Not a lot of head but what forms stays around.

S - Awesome on my nose well hopped. One of the best.

T - Catching some bitterness from the heavy hops which were present in the aroma. The alcohol is present for me.

M - Soft to the mouth.

D - The offering is a good black IPA however I'd preer a bit more balance on the hops to malt.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the hobo tasting at RJ Rockers last night, we went with some damn good DIPA's that I will be the first to admit knocked me for a bit of a loop after a long break. But got a love good beer, good company, and being surrounded by fermenters, still does not beat a chucky cheese. Poured into a pint glass and enjoyed on 02/17/2011.

The last of the tasting I had acquired this gem from Rock art and clocking in at 10% here we go. Dark black pour with a inch and a half of tan that leaps off the top of the beer. Settling down it coats the sides of the glass with a deep layer of lacing and a firm staying power. Hops are much more upfront here than in the previous two. Deep citrus comes through the air followed by a nice roasted malt, brown sugar, earthy and a touch of light peat. Follow through in the flavor was gorgeous with a sustained hop bite that melted away into a smooth sweet malt finish that had just enough left to dry the palate. 10% abv, where???

Overall the winner of the day for me, until I got home, but really very well done and probably my favorite thing I have had from Rock Art.

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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 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 Jwale73
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours one shade shy of black with a half inch, creamy, tan-colored head embedded with ringlets and interspersed with clusters of bubbles. Head was refreshed with a gentle swirl of the glass. The overall appearance is very much reminiscent of an RIS. Creamy spots and slashes of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses an earthy char, coffee notes, cocoa and a trace of earthy hops. Taste reveals dark chocolate, a creamy quality, an earthy character and only a trace of bittering hops. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied with an assertive, palate cleansing carbonation. I have to say that I wasn't sure what to anticipate from this brew. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity, well-hidden alcohol and the chocolatey/malty flavors so prevalent in the flavor profile. Well worth your time if you have the opportunity to try this one.

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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 mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Review from notes 12/28.

A: Dark black with a two finger tan head. Good retention, slowly settled to a thin layer of foam. Nice lacing down the sides, not sheets, but a good amount left behind.

S: Hit right away with some nice floral hops, a little bit of pine. There is a grassy smell as well. This is followed up some roasted malts and chocolate.

T: Some very nice hops upfront, a nice combination of citrus and a little pine. It blends very nicely with the malty backbone as well as the chocolate and caramel that come through as well.

M/D: Medium bodied and very smooth. The alcohol is extremely well hidden. I was very happy to have had this beer, it tasted great right off the tap, I only wish I could get some more.

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Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant - much obliged!

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth, lightly roasted malts with large amounts of pine hops. Also present are slight amounts of dark chocolate and slighter still amounts of anise.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the complexity of the malts is not quite on par with that in the nose. Robust roasted malt flavors - more robust than almost all other CDAs I've had - kick things off and are joined almost immediately by large amounts of sticky pine hops. Midway through the sip hints of semi-sweet chocolate and roasted coffee work their way into things, fading out into a solidly bitter ending. There's a good deal of warming on the way down, indicating the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I was impressed with this beer after giving it a sniff but slightly less so after my first sip. Somewhere between a CDA and a hoppy American Double Stout, this beer is tasty and worth a shot.

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Photo of afksports
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. Thanks again to KristinCooks for this one as an extra in a trade. It could really be the main bottle in a trade, because it's fantastic. Enjoyed with my buddy Dan and his wife Leigh on New Year's Eve. Breaking out the nice IPA's for this one!

Goddamn! This f*cker smells exceptional! It's hoppy, it's malty, it's... like a campfire in the forest and a toe-tingling wave on a hot summer day. Appearance is dark brown, with a tan head that maintains. Smell is a mix of roastiness and hop bitters. Grapefruit predominates in my mind. Black Moon's taste far exceeds Black Moon's music (for the underground rap fans...) and it leads with hops, features roasted sweet malts in the middle that give it its darkness, and finishes with a grapefruit tinge that lingers in the back of your palate.

I'm floored. A f*cking co-op grocery store made this. Official WTF. Too bad I won't see another bottle of this anytime soon, because I'd enjoy it "in a moment of solitude" as the beer label suggests. The one knock is drinkability. While its really smooth, its deceptively alcoholic. But that shouldn't stop you.

Plus, if my review hasn't sold you, Dan says it has a fun finish. So there's that too.

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