Black Hops Beer
Blue Hills Brewery

Black Hops BeerBlack Hops Beer
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
3.53 | pDev: 16.71%
Blue Hills Brewery
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black Hops BeerBlack Hops Beer
Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 142 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by el_bobbo:
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el_bobbo from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz into normal pint, the color of this brew is fitting of the "black" hops name.

The smell is full of dark chocolate and roasted malt, and the flavor matches it. The first sip gives you a quick sweetness, (perhaps chocolate?) followed by the roasted maltiness and some apparent bittering hops. I kind of feel like it's a blend of a light stout and a soft IPA, and if that's what Blue Hills was going for, they did quite well.

This beer gets better as you drink it, as I found the 2nd bottle a bit better once my mouth was adjusted to it.

Aug 30, 2011
More User Reviews:
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Feb 04, 2011
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger light khaki head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Deep brown color. Nose is hops and tart fruit and flavor is dry, tart fruit. $4.55 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

Jul 11, 2011
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WanderingFool from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Hops pours a dark brown/near black into the glass with a small, creamy light tan head. The foam dissolves quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with subtly hoppy notes. Chocolate malt, a little bit of roast with a touch of pine and citrus.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer has a firm carbonated fizz, slightly syrupy with a dry finish. The flavor is malty with chocolate and bread dominating. It also has nutty notes and a touch of ripe fruit mixed in. It finishes with some hop bitterness and a taste of pine. Once gone the chocolate and nutty notes linger on the palate.

This is a tasty, malty beer with a good body. I was looking for more hop notes and IPA characteristics. This reminded me more of a porter.

May 14, 2011
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BeerResearcher from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. Served in a standard pint glass.
It pours a root beer black with a fast-fading tan head, along with some patchy lacing.
Smells or burnt rye toast, sweet malt, resinous and citrusy hops mix around, and come and go at will. A little dose of rummy fumes sneaks in and lasts throughout.
The flavors are balanced like a Schwarzbier, but unlike a Schwarz, the flavors are big and in your face. There are no subtleties here. Like loud but lovable cousins, this beer is difficult to ignore, but easy to get along with. And you look forward to future visits from them. This is a very liquid ale. Goes down real fast in large gulps.
Good stuff!

Apr 23, 2011
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BeerIsland from Pennsylvania

3.69/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Feb 11, 2014
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Greenlabel from New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack of this product after sampling it at a tasting of Blue Hills products at Wines and More in Mansfield, MA.

Very attractive pour - long lasting lace on a very dark base. Although I'm a major fan of IPA's, I'm not an expert on Black IPA's so am not sure what this style should offer in taste but I thoroughly enjoyed the malty flavor with only a mild hops impact and the rather sweet and chocolaty aftertaste. The 6.75% ABV was barely noticeable and I'd consider this product to be very drinkable at any occasion.

Glad I happened to stumble into that store tasting as this is a product I'd buy again

Mar 14, 2011
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horshack7 from England

3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Well it's certainly black with a decent sized beige head. As the head thins out there is some lacing left behind.

Aroma: Grapefruit, faint grape a touch of toffee way in the back. Roasted hops and chocolate malts are scattered.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel along with minor touch of mocha, roasted hops. Grape in the back chocolate here and there with notes of grapefruit as well.

Notes: It's not too bad it's very drinkable I thought it might be a little hoppier but it's still tasty. Cheers.

Dec 23, 2011
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ppoitras from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at Ryan & Casey Liquors, Greenfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the clear burgundy brew. Head dwindles promptly down to a skim of small bubbles, with prevalent lasting lace. Aroma is roasty dark malts, stanky piney hops, with a peek of fruitiness.

Taste follows along, dark sweetness to start, fruitiness for a moment, followed by ample pine bitterness to the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is good. Could do with a little more depth of grain for balancing, but a beer with hops in its name is probably going to edge that direction.

Aug 16, 2010
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frothy foam of a head, leaves plenty of streaky lace. The color is dark brown but apparently clear.

Dark malt aromas; I can detect some black patent. Lightly earthy.

Dry and dark flavor with a strong fresh hop finish that lasts long into the aftertaste. Rich bodied with a lower level of carbonation. It comes across oily and spritzy at the same time. There's a touch of alcohol in the swallow. The general flavor reminds me of a very well made homebrew.

Overall, this is an unusual beer. It has elements of a mild stout, but with lots of hop bitterness.

Aug 01, 2010
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color capped by a mammoth beige head; plenty of lacing squiggles around the side of the pint glass

Smell: Smells rather Germanic, with a grassy hop, biscuity malt character but there is a fruity element from the ale yeast

Taste: Just a trace of the biscuity malt in the foreground and then the hops take over, with a lemony/grassy/piney bitterness that grows astringent by mid-palate; underneath, there is a hint of coffee and fruit; after the swallow, the astringent hops overwhelm and linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting melange but ultimately I don't really care for the astringency in the hop profile

Thanks, shaggy9356, for the opportunity

Mar 13, 2011
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DrJay from Texas

3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark, but not quite black, with clear reddish highlights. Not much of a cap developed during the pour, but a thin collar of tan bubbles did stick around for a while. Malty aroma, lots of caramel and dark malts. The hop aroma was prominent, but not dominating, mostly pine with a little citrus. There was some dried fruit and alcohol present as well. Heavy malt in the flavour, caramel and toffee sweetness, nutty, chocolate, a bit of burnt character in the finish. More of the dried fruit and alcohol. Hop bitterness was stronger in the finish, as was the piney hop flavour. Medium to full bodied with low carbonation that made it feel a little dead, but also a bit creamy. Not at all dry, but there was still some astringency from the dark malts. Overall, this just didn't come completely together for me. I would have liked the hop flavour to have been more pronounced to balance some of the sweet malts.

Sep 13, 2010
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morebeergood from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler fill picked up at the brewery on Monday. Sat in the fridge at home for one night. Split Tuesday night with my wife, and poured into stemmed beer glasses. Dark brown color, with rust colored highlights at the edges. Thin white head formed but then faded fast. Slight coffee grounds smell. Taste was very different for an IPA. There was a bit of hops, but the flavor of roasted chocolate malt really dominates. Mouthfeel was smooth, and no really hop profile noticed on the palate. Easy beer to drink, even though the abv is at 6.7%. I would consider this beer a cross between an IPA and a schwarzbier. Very interesting and tasty. One of the better beers I have tried so far from BHB.

Aug 25, 2010
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rab53 from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Nov 25, 2011
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Wally1912 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Jan 15, 2012
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doremite from Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Jul 03, 2013
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin but dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, milk chocolate, some hops and some dark fruit.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of milk chocolate, some citrus and some dark fruit. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is a bit weak for the style and makes this beer seem more stout-like than IPA-like but it’s enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style even if it isn’t as hoppy as most others in the style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a long time.

Jun 16, 2011
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david18 from New York

3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at a bar called The Other Side while on a recent trip to Boston. The "Black" by the way modifies "ale" not "hops". Interestingly this was the second black IPA I had that day and this one wasn't bad either. Very dark in color with a suprisingly light head. Great hop aroma and flavor that are present enough to stand up to the additional malt. I have no idea of the ABV. Overall, a good beer.

Jul 05, 2010
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Burt from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +13.3%

Nov 30, 2011
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JAXSON from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, thanks Cody for the cool extra. Pour is blackish which is revealed to be a deep cherry red when held to the light. Fresh, juicy hops and some toasted malt in the nose. Graham cracker. Flavor is kind of a singular but pleasant fresh hop bitterness, without much malt complexity. Of course a bit of toasted malt unlike your standard IPA, and some nice graham cracker again. Good.

Sep 13, 2010
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belgiumbud from Hawaii

4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer out of a 22 oz. bottle and was immediately surprised as to how dark it was...Excellent head retention that was amber cream color...decent hop fragrance...extremely smooth flavor as the sticky hop flavor and the black malt roasty flavors intermingle...I like how Blue Hills decided to take a American IPA and do something a little different with it by using more darker malts to brew this fine beer...Really impressed...The cheesy label design allowed me to not expect much from this beer but, as always, do not judge a book by its cover

Aug 07, 2010
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jaxon53 from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Jun 25, 2013
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beveritt from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev +4%
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.

Aug 27, 2011
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musicforairports from New York

3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a glass at the Atlantic Beer Garden in Boston.

Pretty black, small head, some lacing. Sediment visible in the glass.

Aroma is light and chocolate-y.

Taste is chocolate/coffee malt and some floral hops. Not as much hops as the name might indicate. There's also a prevalent chalky, homebrew kind of taste here. Goes down smooth for the ABV, though.

Mouthfeel is medium and appropriate. Not too carbonated.

I'm not too crazy about this beer; the off-flavors remind me of an average homebrew. Drinkable though, for sure, and light enough for the ABV.

Sep 07, 2011
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kevgod from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Jan 21, 2012
Black Hops Beer from Blue Hills Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 142 ratings