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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 ritzkiss
2.59/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle brought round by bobsy, cheers for bringing it mate!

Pours a dark brown with hints of amber and ruby, a good two fingers builds up on the pour and leaves light lacing down the glass.

From the moment you bring the nose to the glass it all goes downhill. An odd twiggy hop profile with a sharp twang, a bit of solvent, a yeastiness, almost no roast.

Bring all those odd characteristics over, add them to a thin, inky body, a touch of evergreen, dark fruit, a few old coffee grounds sprinkled in, a touch of biscuit, tingly carb, light bitterness in the finish - this is the Garrison Black IPA. It wasn't the worst I've had but I'd consider it in the running - so disjointed, lots of odd flavors coming through.

Funny flavors, too thin body, no roast to speak of - there are many better Black IPAs (Cascadian Brown's) out there to spend my time and money on.

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Photo of heebes
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Three fingers of tan head. Foamy good retention. Nose is sweet roasted caramel malts, vanilla. Taste is bitter coffee grinds, mollasses, malts. Medium bodied ale.
Overal, not to style - not hoppy, not well balanced with roasted malts. I believe this is a blend of two beers rather than a black ipa.

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Photo of Viggo
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle, thanks to bobsy for sharing.

Pours a dark reddish brown, medium sized tan head forms that settled down to a thin ring around the glass, some decent lacing sticks, looks alright.

Smell is weird, very malty, some chocolate, biscuit, a bit of sweetness, very faint floral hoppiness, a touch of fruit, iron, some strange character.

Taste is similar, decent malts, caramel, biscuit, hops disappear, a touch of citrus and some floral, unpleasant bitterness, just weird.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Whoevers brewing at Garrison now isn't fit to shine Nash's shoes. Thanks Robbo!

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Photo of kjyost
2.84/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to BBrianBoogie for this one!

A: Pours a beautiful inky black with a gorgeous head that leaves light to low lacing.

S: Roasty malt on the nose, no notable hop aromas. Smells like a stout. If this is supposed to be an IPA, where are the hop aromas

T: Begins with a strong malt that initially seems very nice, but I quickly begin to wonder where the hops are? If this beer is heavily hopped, the malt has beaten them down and killed them... Seriously. A strong residual bitterness from the dark malts lingers, which is bordering on unpleasant. Essentially tastes like a Guiness.

M: Carbonation is fine, and the beer is thick in the mouth as a dark beer should be, but it lingers with a nasty bitterness upon the tongue

D: I opened this beer with the greatest of expectations, but I would not seek it out again. The wrong type of bitter, with no IPA style hops.

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Photo of liamt07
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a pint glass.

Dark brown body, with some dark purple around the edges. Light lacing and moderate retention. Leafy hop notes on the nose, some pine, sharp citrus. Some chocolate and mild char. Big toasty, biscuity notes. Taste is blegh, burnt and charred malts, some metal and only a vague sense of hops. Lingering acrid bitterness, with a thin body. Flavour is weird, and does absolutely nothing for me. Didn't believe the dating on this initially, but the LCBO needs to do better at bringing beers in that aren't far beyond their prime. Offputting at best.

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Photo of Sammy
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A mediocre black IPA. The bitterness is fine,citrus, but it is very stouty, expresso style roasty. Blackish body with a good amount of lace. Roasty aromas. Coffee in here. Drying finish. Tingling mouthfeel. Not very drinkable. Odd ideas and avoidable.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one from phirleh in the summer. Thanks for the trade, and thanks for coming to hang out!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A brown pour produces a one finger, medium-thin, tan head with good retention. Head eventually fades to a good foam cap. Bistre brown in color with medium-higher levels of carbonation. A thick ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Some roasted and smoky malt, caramel malt, and a light touch of cocoa powder. Some floral hop notes there as well, but this one is actually quite stout-like for the style. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Follows the nose with some roasted and smoky malt and plenty of floral hops through the middle. Caramel malts accompany the floral notes and lead into a big, lingering aftertaste of bitter piney hops and a slight hint of cocoa. The bitter piney hop finish came out of nowhere a bit and was quite tough.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: A decent beer, but the finish was a little too bitter a closing act. Seems like it was bitter for the sake of being bitter, but it didn’t really follow from what had come before, which had been more stout-like and floral. A brew I’d have again, but wouldn’t necessarily seek out. Give it a go if you have the chance. Thanks again for the trade phirleh.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from the LCBO, as part of Garrison's winter release. Poured into a nonic.

Dark brown/black, nice billowing head, excellent retention, boatloads of lace.

Mild roast, a bit of woodiness, some citrussy hops.

Not sure about this one. Sweet and caramel at first, then a tart citric hop finish. Not much depth to this - it just feels like a dark IPA, and not the best one at that. Thin bodied, a bit inky.

Not a bad variation on the style, but it doesn't deliver the right roastiness and body of a Black IPA to really be worthwhile. My least favorite of the Garrison release thus far.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 12/09/2010???? Must be a mistake as I doubt this bottle was over a year old.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with one finger of thick light brown head.

S - A big bitterness up front with citrus, pine and herbal aromas. Slight roasted malt aroma in the background but the hops definitely dominate the nose.

T - A sharp bitterness up front with pine and citrus flavours. A very slight roasted malt backbone is evident but is definitely overshadowed by the hop bitterness. Not enough roast in this one for me.

M - Light to medium body; moderate carbonation.

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Photo of MattyV
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on December 9, 2010... hoping that this is a typo or the LCBO received year old beer for their feature.

Pours a deep chestnut/ruby colour that you can barely see through with two fingers of fluffy light tan head that laces well.

Aroma is a contrasting mix of sweet, roasty malt and herbal, citrusy hops. The hops and malt tend to take turns at the forefront with each whiff.

Lots of citrus flavour and citrus rind bitterness, with an underlying faint caramel sweetness. The roasted malt flavours play a background role throughout. Finishes dry and slightly astringent.

Medium bodied and slightly creamy carbonation.

A pleasant black IPA that is more hop-forward in flavour than the few others I've tried, but not overly bitter and still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Long813
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled On: February 2nd, 2010
From: Brewery, 500 ml

A: Dark brown body boasting three fingers of mocha head. Retention is good and leaves good lacing.

S: Roasted malts, coffee beans and hops. Aromas are quite weak and could use better blending. It seems as though they just mixed their DIPA and Martello stout together and 1/2 of the character was lost.

T: Much like the aroma, it's quite weak, but none the less, roasted malts mix with the hops. Could be stronger and more separated.

M: Medium-light bodied and medium carbonation. Silky texture and leaves a aftertaste much like the Martello stout. Little bitter and malty.

D: I applaud Garrison for trying this out and only hope that they reevaluate the brew. It has potential.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass may3 2010

A dark cola in color with a half glass of tan head that has good retention slowly falling to an island leaving a few partial rings of lace

S a little woody earthiness with some faint dark malts and a little pine

T not far from the smell but neither hops or the dark aspects really take charge, I get a bit of a ash flavor as well not unpleasant but not helping its cause

M a little slick in the mouth and enough carbonation to give it a slightly creamy feel and there's a fair amount of bitterness

D easy enough to drink but I was hoping for just a little more

not a bad beer and worth trying but I would choose their IIPA over this any day, thanks Moniker for sending this out my way

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Photo of korguy123
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black pour with a two finger light beige head that won't go away. Lacing is sticky and chunky.

S- Roasted coffee, bitter chocolate. Floral his and citrus.

T- Bitter coffee, bakers chocolate with floral hops.

M- Medium bodied, chewey with a dry lingering aftertaste.

O- Good, not great.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle, the newest arrival from the East Coast in Alberta (beer-wise, that is!)

This beer pours a sediment-strewn, dark red-brick amber colour, with one skinny finger of meekly puffy, and mostly just bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some bent coral reef lace around the glass as things slowly ebb away.

It smells of bready, doughy, and lightly-roasted caramel malt, buttered biscuits, a mild hard water flintiness, and herbal, piney, and damp earthy hops. The taste is quite in line with the aroma - sweet grainy, meaty caramel malt, wan butterscotch, wet stone paths after the rain, an understated dank ashiness, and more leafy, weedy, and piney hops.

The bubbles are fairly chipper in their tightly-rendered frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and more than a tad clammy in its otherwise genial smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the faintly toasted caramel holding fast, while the hops start their long swirl around the proverbial drain.

Kind of an English-seeming take on the 'American' black ale, it would seem - both the char and the hops restrained as if by design. At any rate, still a weird collusion of styles, an unnecessary collision of worlds, one that just isn't getting any easier to drink. But if you like it, then this is worth trying, I suppose.

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Photo of bobsy
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I believe this is a blend of their Martello Stout and Imperial IPA, with some dry hopping.

Pours a very, very dark brown with a couple fingers of long-lasting tan head that leaves sheets of lace as it slowly dies. Epically beautiful. Chocolate nose, with hint of dusty malt and grapefruit. The flavour doesn't have the aggressive bitterness of many black IPAs, but does exhibit a nice blance, with big chocolate and coffee malts balncing out citrusy hops. Light tobacco and cereal on the back of the palate. Medium body is par for the style, though the carbonation does a fine job of bulking the beer up in the mouth.

I had this last Spring and didn't particularly enjoy it, but this tasting has confirmed that there was something wrong with the two bottles I had back then. This is a fine beer - nothing too out there or whacky, but eminently sessionable. A grand offering from a brewery that knows its stuff.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a a clear black color ale with nice dirty foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of citrus hops is quiet dominant with some very subtle roasted malt. Taste is also a nice mix between some citrus and bitter hoppy notes with some roasted notes and light caramel notes as well. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done and something I would drink often if I had easy access.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the lcbo

Appearance - Black/brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Faint chocolate, malts, hops, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste faint chocolate, coffee, and some light roasted notes. There is also some grapefruit and fairly bitter hops. It ends with a chocolatey and malty aftertaste with a good amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – This is one of my favouritre styles of beer, and while this particular one isn't spectacular, it's very drinkable and has a decent flavour. It needs a touch more from the IPA department but it still has a nice hoppiness and good malt background. The price would prevent me from returning to it often though.

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Photo of Lukecook
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A- beer pours jet black, with two fingers of light mocha head, receeds to a thin oily head, good lacing.

S- roasted malts with a hint of chocolate.

T- milk chocolate, and a bit of citrus bitterness.

M- medium body, pretty smooth.

D- solid offering, I wish that the nose and taste at a little more character. That being said, I am glad to finally have it at the local liquor store.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seems to be more brown than black. Some off-white head sitting on top. A decent enough hop aroma. Good herbal and pine qualities. As usual, lots of roasted malt notes, too. The flavor is quite dry with a lot of roasted malt. Good herbal and pine hop flavors with some mild citrus peel. A nice bitterness to the flavor, too. Not bad.

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