Black IPA | Garrison Brewing Company

Black IPABlack IPA
Liked This Beer
3.78 w/ 70 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of Sammy
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
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 t0rin0
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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 Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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 womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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 liamt07
3/5  rDev -20.6%
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 TheSevenDuffs
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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 Derek
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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 biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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 spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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 wordemupg
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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 bylerteck
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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 Viggo
2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
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 andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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 jrenihan
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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 Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -17.5%
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 Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of peensteen
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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 kwjd
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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 DaPan
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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 thehyperduck
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of bobsy
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Ivanhoes_Backpack
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -20.6%

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Black IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
Beer rating: 62.9% out of 100 with 70 ratings
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