Black Hops Beer | Blue Hills Brewery

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Black Hops BeerBlack Hops Beer
141 Ratings
Black Hops BeerBlack Hops Beer

Brewed by:
Blue Hills Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by david18 on 07-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 53
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

A lagered ale with a German malt bill, and more than the usual amount of hops. Dark brown with amber edges; creamy, dense head. Yeasty, fruity, hoppy, roasty nose, though the yeast seems to come through the most. Super smooth with a hefty body, the clean maltiness ranges from toasted bread to chicory to cocoa powder. Mildly fruity with a yeast tone that stays. Twang of hops drops more flavor than bitterness. Expect more of a hop pres- ence (it's the name's fault). Still, the balance works here to produce a solid ale.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerIsland
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber bottle label says South Shore Brewing Co dba Blue Hills Brewery Canton Mass
Black Hops 6.75%

A nice looking beer, the Black Hops didn’t express much aroma except some nice malt backnotes. This beer has a very nice balanced flavor that helps drinkability. While not being a big fan of this style, I appreciate the affinity with the darker malted lagers. Like a Schwartz malts add to bitterness, lighter finish. In that regard, I think true schwarzes and hefty dunkles have more to offer than this beer. This is a decently made beer that works OK within the broad parameters of this style.

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Photo of mctizzz
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of tigg924
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, hazy

Smell: burnt malt and sugar

Taste: burnt malt, sugar, chocolate, nut, and hints of charred pine

Mouthfeel: medium/low carbonation, light body--borderline watery, sweet with a small bitter backbone.

Drinkability: I like this one and could have several. This is one of the better beers from Blue Hills that I have had so far. I love the depth of flavor here. The pine/nut combo is really good. I wish this had a bit more body, but is still a quality offering.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Hops' nose is somewhere between a porter and a stout, smelling of milk chocolate, chocolate malt, coffee, mocha, and freshly-baked wheat bread. Though the beer has "hops" in the title, and the description promises a hoppy taste, there's virtually no trace of hops in the nose--only the faintest of tinges at the edge of the mealy malts belies their presence.

On the tongue, the beer begins dark and rich, with good chocolate malt, chocolate, coffee, and wheat bread flavors. There is, early in the mouthful, a sense that hops are going to come into play at some point, as a noticeable bitterness surrounds the malts (though at this point the bitterness is largely devoid of hoppy grapefruit-and-pine notes). Mid-mouthful, as the dark sugars peel away, the hop base becomes more apparent, and though it never reaches IPA levels, a distinct citrus tang joins the malty play, and the two of them dance around each other for the remainder of the mouthful. A strange, fizzy-light vodka spritzer of flavor hovers at the edges, perhaps caused by the hops (since the ABV is only 6.75%, I can't imagine the alcohol being the cause). The aftertaste is a continuation of the hop-and-malt jog, still slightly heavier on the malts, and lasts for quite a while. In addition, the aftertaste is quite dry. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is great beer, though I do notice that taking too many sips at too close of an interval seems to cancel out much of the malt flavor, leaving more hops to sting the tongue. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the malts were such a wonderful presence at first that it's a shame to see them go (though they do still make a strong appearance in the aftertaste, regardless). Still, the beer is very drinkable.

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Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of doremite
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of nmwhitehead
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The hops are a bit overpowered by the other flavors, which I'm not usually a fan of, but chocolaty coffee flavor is surprisingly good. Wouldn't drink it regular, but getting a large glass from time to time is a nice twist.

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Photo of Izak
4.44/5  rDev +28%

Photo of blknikon
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Larrydoherty
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of snowmaggedon
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of tkelley
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle (straight from the brewery!) poured into snifter glass.

A - The body is very dark, if not quite all the way black. There were brown/red hues around the edges where the light hit the glass. The head was about a half inch of light tannish foam that dissipated quickly.

S - Not a very strong smell when compared with other hop-centric beers, but the hops and roast are still obvious and pleasant.

T - I taste the roasted malt more than the hops. There's a sweetness present as well.

M - Smooth. Not crazy bubbles or anything. Its kind of like a soda.

D - Eh. This isnt really an American Black Ale. It isnt really very hoppy. But it's not a porter or stout either. I dont think this beer is really anything to go back to for me.


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Photo of beveritt
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label depicts a hop cone wearing goggles and a ski mask in the crosshairs of a rifle scope. No clear freshness dating; my wife just brought this one back from a recent trip to New England.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles quickly to a thin incomplete coating of foam leaving behind no lacing. The beer itself is a medium, muddy brown and opaque in the center. Some sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Roastiness with strong notes of chocolate and licorice.

Taste: Smooth roasted grains upfront with mild undertones of coffee and a distinct graininess. Very mild bitterness; finished with a lingering milk chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel: Average + carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: Leaves a little to be desired in the looks department, but overall a pleasant beer. Not sure I will be trading for this one though and as it isn't available locally, probably a one of.

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Photo of Bjlps
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Kmlund
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Jirin
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of CooperEllis
2.55/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle from my brother into a .3l tulip.

Well, it's certainly not black. Brown Hops? Perhaps more accurate. An odd head on this one, it's thin bubbles but doesn't look very dense. It is gone slowly and leaves moderate lacing on the sides of the glass and some on the top.

This is going to be a short review because I have very little positive to say about this. It taste's like watery strawberry quik. I'm not even sure how this happened? It has a very big bite at the back that sits on the tounge and just curls in my mouth. the aftertaste is harsh and fills the mouth much more than the brew itself.

the thing is, this didn't froth when I poured it, it doesn't have any funky notes in the aroma, it doesn't give any impression of being bad/past it's prime/infected or anything else. It simply isn't very good - or at least isn't what I was expecting and I don't think it's any good. It is sour enough to make one of my eyes flip shut. I don't have anything positive or constructive to say about this because clearly other folks have had it and enjoyed it, but I wouldn't classify this as a Black Ale, and I certainly wouldn't purchase it again.

drainpour the last 12oz.

EDIT: Just went and looked at other reviews of this...I just don't get how what I had is at all what these folks had. Maybe a bad bottle, if I have another I'll update my review.


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Photo of puboflyons
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on October 12, 2014.

It has a handsome looking reddish-amber pour with a modest off-white creamy head. Not black as one might expect but still attractive looking.

The aroma has a pleasant sweet roasted maltiness but little in the way of hops.

The body is medium to full. Smooth.

The taste is a bit of surprise given the aroma. There is a lingering bitterness that kicks in at the end. I think they did a decent job with it.

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Photo of seanh99
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of WhitmansNiece
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of tfidler
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of zlackoff
4.65/5  rDev +34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Maybe my favorite beer to date.

It has a very nice dark dark dark color that just looks delectable. I first got this despite the corny label to see what a mixture of a dark roasted malt with strong hops might be like and I was pleasantly surprised.

The beer's dark malt do it a favor giving it a nice slightly chocolaty characteristic but leaving room for some other fruity tones, a little sweetness and let's not forget the hop flavors that do this well-rounded beer's name justice.

In addition to the well-rounded flavor this brew gets it right with the perfect amount of carbonation (although I do prefer more lightly carbonated than most) that puts this one on my 'buy again' list.

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Black Hops Beer from Blue Hills Brewery
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 141 ratings