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Black IPA | Garrison Brewing Company

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Black IPABlack IPA

Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Holy hybrid, this legendary hop-forward style goes dark and deep with the addition of a big, roasted malt base. Dry-hopped and Unfiltered, don’t overthink this beast, just enjoy.

52 IBU

Added by bobsy on 01-25-2010

For Trade:
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 70
Photo of kelvarus
4.68/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Beer.

They have brewed only one palette of this beer and are awaiting to see if its a hit.

Drinkability: Excellent for hop lovers and stout lovers. Easy on the palette.

Mouthfeel: Kinda fizzy but otherwise quite smooth and easy to drink.

Taste: A big hop bite right of the bat. Let it linger on the tongue and you'll get the coffee and chocolate notes of the stout. The finish is more chocolate but the hop bite returns and just stays with you.

Appearance: Very black with a red tint when held up to the light. Produces a great head but disappears rather quickly.

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Photo of mikejc
4.53/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New offering from Garrison that combines their Martello Stout and IPA.

A: Dark chocolate in color, only slightly lighter than the stout. Solid two finger head fades very quickly with very light lacing on glass.

S: Slight scent of hops comes through the other wise underwhelming nose of the brew.

T: Starts with a nice hit of hops then mellows into a fantastic dark chocolate/coffee. Combination of hops and malt is well balanced.

M: Smooth. Bitter, creamy and then dry on the finish.

D: Bitter enough for IPA lovers and retains all the characteristics of a good stout. Well balanced brew overall.

Among the best seasonal beers I have tried. Highly recommended.

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Photo of robnews
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Leffe Chalice from an Ice cold bottle.

Nice 2 finger head off white in appearance. Extremely dark beer,
slight red color if you look into the light.

Great smell, similar to Imperial IPA from Garrison, bready orange peel with intense hops. Slight molasses notes accompany the freshness.

Taste is hoppy bitter light stout. I enjoy the toned down taste of this one compared to the IPA.

Sort of a strange style but I find it very refreshing. Great for a session and should be shared. Another fine offering from Garrison.

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Photo of Stocean1
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with chestnut highlights. 3 finger head with great retention melting to a nice thick collar, beige head with an impenetrable body,thick lacing slides down the glass.

Big hop scent, citrus, some pine and grapefruit, and some malt sneaking through.

Taste is initially hops, earthy yet with grapefuit and mango, with the malt coming to the forefront as it warmed, giving way to burnt malt, dark fruit, with a chocolate note.

Medium to full bodied with plenty of carbonation, this one is nicely bitter throughout yet relatively smooth,a little boozy.

Overall, an excellent brew that is complex and pulls off a difficult balancing act.

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Photo of ludachris
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200

Pours a peach core brown, that, without being held to the light, appears pitch black. Three fingers of mountainous, billowy, and creamy khaki coloured head top this beer, displaying excellent retention and leaving sticky and thick patches of lace.

The nose consists of roasted malts, dusty chocolate, citrus, and piney hops. An odd but wonderful combination.

Roasted malts and milk chocolate assert themselves first but move towards the back of the palate as bitter notes of grapefruit rhine and pine come forward, and drag it out to the bitter end, lingering for a while after.

Mouthfeel is luscious, smooth, and creamy, keeping that great DIPA feel I've come to love. Very, very well balanced, and highly quaffable.

This one is definitely one of mty favourite, if not my favourite Garrison offerings. Their Martello Stout and DIPA blend perfectly, making for a fantastic, flavourful, and drinkable brew, and also making me more than happy for picking this for my 200th review. I really, really, really hope this one isn't a one-off, and makes an appearance again next year.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had to pour this one in a couple of stages. There are just hints of reddish brown at the bottom of the glass. It really is dark/black. Lots of cream-coloured head sits on top with a creamy and dimpled surface. Retention of the head is solid, and so is the lacing.

The smell is all IPA. Pineapple, some grapefruit and orange peel... bitter fruits. Only just a hint of anything malty.

Taste-wise? Whoa... it's all hops and IPA. You get that open, airy feeling in your throat from the flavours and bitterness. Some undertones of roasted/malt flavours, perhaps some coffee, but it's a stretch.

The feel is great. Bitter, with a medium body. Subtle, but ample carbonation. It's much lighter and like their original IPA than the colour would suggest.

Overall, this brew's pretty fantastic. It's light enough to be refreshing... with strong flavours, but not so bitter as to stun your taste buds.

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Photo of kwjd
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a part of a mixed pack in a private order to Ontario. Pours a dark brown colour with incredibly thick white head. The head dissipates to a nice ring on top of the beer. Lots of lacing on the glass. Smells of citrus hops with lots of roasted malt. Really balanced flavour, nice mix between the roast and the bitterness. Nice carbonation level. This is one of my favourite styles and this beer is very well done.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wasn't a huge fan of this release in 2010, but picked some up at the brewery in 2011 and IMO it is fantastic! A proverbial "hop bomb", there's no mistaking this for a standard dark ale.

Cloudy dark brown colour is opaque except at the edges of the glass. Decent coffee-coloured head and lacing. Aroma is pure "c" hop, I would have guessed this as a "west-coast" brew if I hadn't seen the brewery in Halifax.

The taste has elements of roasted malt sweetness with some caramel tones, but the predominant flavours are definitely citrus & pine hop notes. The finish has a nice alsohol warmth and a brilliant level of bitterness that lingers impressively.

An excellent example of the American Black IPA style. Didn't buy enough, so will be looking forward to its impending arrival at the LCBO...

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to peensteen for the hook up! Super pumped to dip into the Garrison features that didn't make it to T Bay.

A - Pours a nice copper brown, reminiscent of tall glass of root beer, solid thumb of head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Surprisingly sweet with citrus hop notes dominating, a sugary caramel malt backbone, hints of cotton candy and apple, and an earthy cedar finish.

T - Surprisingly the malts come off the top with a nice dark cocoa and espresso malt, followed by a citrus bitterness which calms to a sweet cotton candy hop finish. What a transition from bitter to sweet, superbly balanced with an incredible citrus hop finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth with sneaky dry finish that creeps up.

O - A very tasty Black IPA and certainly one of the more flavourful that I've tried to date. A unique bittersweet flavour that I have yet to experience, and an excellent example of the style. Loads of flavour, easy drinking and I'm super pumped to have had the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the color of cola with extra reddish glints. The pillowy tan head lasts the whole glass and coats it in lace. Chocolatey roastyness and citrusy hops fill the nose. The first sip does not betray the nose, lots of hops, now with more pine notes mingle with a solid, roasty malt profile. The mouthfeel is thick and full with a somewhat languid carbonation. Lots of mouthcoating bitterness lingers in the finish, as does a pleasant dark chocolate character.

This beer covers the ground of both a stout and an IPA well. It reminds me of one of the first beers I brewed, an extra hoppy Imperial Stout I made at a BOP. Seek this out, delicious stuff from a great brewery.

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Photo of SebD
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice thick beige head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrus, pine and grapefruit with some dark roasted malts and a slight chocolate and caramel note.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice hop character giving out citrus, pine and grapefruit with a nice balance of roasted malts and a sweet caramelly note.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel. Nice lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good strong flavors and aromas.

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Photo of bryehn
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on December 9, 2011, served at 45 in an oversized wine glass.

Poured an opaque black, with a rusty brown tone and specks of white sediment. The head wad medium-sized, off-white and very frothy. it was retained as a thick film and left some spotty lacing. Very appealing if you're into dark ales.

Smells of coffee, chocolate, floral hops and dark toffee. I also get a deep fruit or berry note and one of musty wood.

The taste follows the aroma, though I find the berry/fruit character more forward than I expected. The body is mainly a chocolate and coffee blend with a nice toasted quality about it. The finish has a solid bitterness.

Surprisingly thin-bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very creamy on the tongue. The aftertaste is quite fruity, with all the toasty, chocolate and coffee flavours lingering on the back of the tongue.

Pleasant beer that I was expecting to be quite different. More of a sipper for me with characteristics of my favourite imperial stouts. The fruit and wood tones really made this beer enjoyable. Will buy again.

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Photo of Shadman
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black IPA..hmmm a new name for a hoppy stout perhaps?

Yep, it's a black one all right. Jet black colour, some hints of mahogany on the fringes. Thick foam toffee head that took forever to receed.

Roasted malts with hints of smoke and chocolate coupled with floral pine. Nice!

For those who like bitterness in their IPA, this one's for you. Roasted malts attempt to add some smooth cocoa/coffee to the mix., but it's mostly about he oily pine bitterness. Finish is grapefruit bitter with a hint of acidity.

Fuller in body than what I was expecting. Some nice slick feel to it.

An interesting take on the style and worthy of trying now and again.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours very deep amber. Bright. Lot's of carbonation coming up. Two fingers of fluffy light brown head on top look like they wanna stick around. A few thick rings and chunks of lace are left with a full finger of retention.

S - Lot's of great roasty notes with a huge hop nose as well. Licorice covered hops perhaps. Aroma reminds me of chocolate, a slight coffee note, and some citrus fruits with orange quite present. The hops are really strong, mixing well with the great malt body.

T - Sweet chocolate and dark malt with huge citrus mixing in as well. A great hop/malt blend with both elements really blending aggressively, yet well. A stout like sweetness with lot's of roastiness and sweet chocolately malt up front with a great resinous hop mix afterwards.

M - A good bitterness in the finish follows good carbonation and a medium-full body.

O/D - A fairly tasty Black IPA. I liked it alot but the beer seems like it wants to be more of a hoppy stout than a black IPA. It's good stuff though and very drinkable while being nice and complex. A good offering.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Long813 for sending 2 bottles of this craft my way. These bottles were bottled on February 10, 2010.

Black color, not very dark and I see some reddish notes on the edges. The head is beige color and it has a creamy looks. A good looking beer.

The aroma is roasted malts + piny hops. Nice combo, but I think it would need more pale malts to adjust the balanced. Nevertheless this is good and is inviting to get a big gulp of this one.

The taste is a mix of roasted malts and hops. The roasted malts are there at the start and at the finish in the aftertaste. The roasted malts reminds me of their Martello Stout. In the middle, it is piny hops. Again this would gain in having more pale malts (and slightly more roasted malts to keep it black). Medium body and this one feels more like an IPA regarding the texture, however the taste is reminiscent of stouts. Highly drinkable.

A good beer IMO, hard to compare since it is my first from this style of beer.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on December 9, 2010. I hope that is an error- this beer literally arrived at the LCBO in the last few days. I hope it is a 1.5 months old rather than 13.5!

Dark brown in colour (light black?), a large beige head, thick and foamy. Head has great retention and leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smell is roasted malt, citrus scents (orange, a bit of grapefruit), a bit of cocoa. Nice.

Taste is similar to the nose. Bitter chocolate, citrus fruits (primarily orange), roasted malt. Quite bitter. Pretty good.

Moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied. A bit chewy.

Pretty nice black IPA. Good stuff. Overall rating reflects that I was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 for the taste.

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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black IPA might be just that if not for one thing: the light. Even brief inspection up to the window reveals cedar-colored highlights and large patches of clarity. (No worries, it's the accuracy of the "IPA" part of the name that I'm more concerned about.) The way the blotches of its head contrast the dark liquid it looks like some kind of naval map.

The bouquet takes your nose on a walk through the woods. Woodsy, floral, herbal, and earthy elements all contribute to a hoppy aroma that, while not overwhelming, still distracts from the sweetish and lightly roasted malts. The two parts blend well enough that eyes closed any beer geek should have no problem identifying this by name ('Black IPA').

What I love most about these so called 'black ales' is how the roast and cola-like sweetness of the crystal and toasted malts is enlivened by tropical flavors of grapefruit and papaya. There is a slight impression of milk chocolate or roasted coffee beans but it's quickly mowed down (no pun intended) by the grassy taste of freshly-harvested hops.

The lingering flavour of pine serum makes the mouthfeel most satisfying. It has a very oily personae, showcasing the peppermint-like notes of an herbal tea, albeit with the roasty astringency of coffee. Mind you, the chocolate and nutty flavors are subtle in comparison to others in the style, although some cocoa characteristics are appreciated.

Black IPA is an unfiltered, dry-hopped hybrid mix of Garrison’s Martello Stout and their Imperial IPA but it makes a wholly respectable beer in its own right. Anyone wondering if the sum is greater than its parts ought to buy a bottle or two (spoiler alert: it very well may be). Bottom line is that Garrison doesn't make bad beers - blends included.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big ups to andrenaline by way of peensteen for hooking this up in our latest trade
A - matte black finish on this hot rod, thumb of tan head receded slowly leaving random blobs on the glass
S - butterscotch and light roastiness, subtle grassy and perfume hop hints, and milk chocolate
T - bitter bakers chocolate mixed with pine and perfume hops, light toffee and just a touch of smoke, this is a unique bitter sweet treat
M - biggish body, smooth, bitter sweet with the bitter lasting strong through finish
O - a fine and unique version of this style from a brewer that I have been generally pleased with, keep em coming

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Photo of Derek
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention, light lace.

S: Citrus, pine & grass with some underlying brown sugar & roast.

T: Citrus, pine, rye bread, good bitterness. A little odd, boardering on a hoppy stout, but I like it.

M: Smooth moderate body has a light acidity.

D: A good drinker.

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Photo of EnemyWithin
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into wine glass on Jan 14, 2010. Picked up from brewery 2 weeks ago.

Appearance = 3.5

Black, slightly brown body with latte brown head of 1/2-1 inches. Moderate lacing. Mild retention of head.

Smell = 3

Mainly roasted malt aroma with notes of coffee, molasses and chocolate as well as mild citrus notes from hops. Not the most intense or distinct, but enjoyable. May benefit from more aromatic qualities.

Taste= 4

Initially, a smoky, roasted bitterness. Flavors of malt seem to soften as I continue to drink and become more balanced with bitterness. Also start to get more citrus/ piny taste from hops.
Reasonably good, but not spectacular.

Mouthfeel = 4

Surprisingly enjoyable. Mild to moderate thickness with a very pleasant creamy, softness to the body. Not overly astringent from hops, but still element of dry/bitterness that lets you know that the IBUs are there.

Drinkability = 4.5

Quite drinkable and the beer seems to improve as I continue to drink. Make no mistake, it's still has a commanding bitterness from the hops, but the other flavors of dark malt are strong, and overall, the concept works very well, in my opinion. I have had other beers of this Cascadian/ black IPA style that I may have liked more, but I feel this is still a strong interpretation of the style. It seems to be very true to its label of a "Black" very hoppy IPA.

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Photo of leaddog
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a dark copper brown with two fingers of creamy tan head.

Smell - citrus and piney hops, bready roasted caramalts, pine resin, and tropical fruits.

Taste - Starts off with the citrus and piney hops then goes into the bready roasted caramalts, pine resin, and tropical fruits.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a lingering bitterness from the hops and the caramalts.

Overall - An easy drinking Black IPA. The hop and malt profile are done well in this one but the aromas lacked. Perhaps some dry hopping may help the smell be more true to the style. A worthy go if you are fan of the style. Nice to see a new offering from Garrison out in Cowtown.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garrison's latest experiment. A hybrid of their Martello Stout and their IPA I believe. Obviously not going to be a regular AIPA.

Pours an inky black color with two fingers of fluffy chocolate colored head. Head took a while to evaporate and left sporadic lacing on the glass.

Scent is very muted, odd given how the Martello Stout and IPA are individually. Hops can be detected, but that is all I am getting.

Taste is really good. Hop flavor of the IPA rings through and blends well with the more chocolaty martello stout. Really nice balance between the two flavors. Hop aftertaste tends to last longer than the chocolate.

Definitely closer to an IPA than a stout, but a bit heavier than an IPA. As easy to drink as the IPA, which makes it fairly drinkable overall.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am a big fan of this style of beer, so I was thrilled to find this on the shelf in my local bottle shop. This rendition is hearty, hoppy, and a bit rough around the edges. The coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt all work well together. I found this quite bitter, which is not a bad thing, just harder on the palate.

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Photo of peensteen
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black with some ruby highlights, one finger of tan head, fair bit of lacing on the glass. Smell is of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate, orange, citrus and pine, fairly hoppy stuff, some nice coffee and milk chocolate show up behind the huge roast and hop bill. Taste is initially roasty and chocolatey, espresso flavours come through, hops make their way in towards the middle, lots of citrus and pine with a moderate bitterness, bittersweet and roasty flavours in finish with a long dry aftertaste. Medium carbonation, dry, medium to full body, medium weight. Pleasantly drinkable and would have this again, one of the roastier black ipa's I have come across so far, fairly solid stuff.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown body. Pale tan head is tight, retentive, and quite lacy. Bright citrus aroma with leafy and floral notes. Hop forward with a pleasant grapefruit flavour and lesser notes of brown sugar and dark chocolate. Theres some light char in here as well. Finishes with a lingering bitterness of medium intensity. Medium-bodied with low carbonation and a slick, oily mouthfeel. This is some pretty tasty beer, but I think it would do better without that burnt note. It just isn't pleasant in concert with the bitterness of the hops. That said, it isn't off-putting enough to ruin my enjoyment of this beer.

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Black IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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