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Black IPA | Garrison Brewing Company

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Black IPABlack IPA
Very Good
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

Bros Score:
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 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 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 robnews
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
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 EnemyWithin
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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 PEIBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
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 Lukecook
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
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 Long813
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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 Shadman
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
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 ZorPrime
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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 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 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 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 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 ritzkiss
2.59/5  rDev -31.5%
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 kjyost
2.84/5  rDev -24.9%
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 ludachris
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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 mikejc
4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
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 Seanstoppable
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
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 kelvarus
4.68/5  rDev +23.8%
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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Black IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 70 ratings
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