Darkwater | Swamp Head Brewery

very good
126 Ratings
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Swamp Head Brewery
Florida, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jdmpolk on 03-05-2011

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of tfsimpkins
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Aubreyann227
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Beer21
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of twizzbeatz
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of GatorBeer
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of One2Remeber
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A caramel, tan head that shows hints of creamy white in the middle signaling it is not a stout, or at least not one that I've seen. Extremely dark body with hints of light brown on the edges while holding up to the light. Carbonation looks spot on, with a quick shake the head retention becomes as thick as desired (common in the heavy molasses tasting brews).

S: A hop head would fall over in his chair after a whiff of this beautiful bouquet of hops jumping out of the glass. Heavy citrus hops with hints of grapefruit telling me I'm really going to enjoy this interpretation of an IPA. A lot more going on in the smell but my amateur nose can not decipher the subtle differences.

T: WOW! There is some major flavor going on with a couple transitions. Starts off soft, mild with a light alcohol presence that quickly goes away and does not come back. Middle of the taste is an explosion of citrusy hops and low acidic fruit that go easy on your pallet. Finishes with hints of chocolate malts that linger without all the bitterness common in stouts. For as much flavor going on, Blackwater is extremely balanced.

M: Way too drinkable. Makes me sad this is a limited release brew. I could really get use to making this my go-to-brew. From the hop profile, to carbonation, to mild malt backbone, this is an extremely impressive Black IPA that will set standards for the relatively new style.

D: I'm glad I moved down to Florida:) Between Swamp Head and Cigar City it seems I have a new favorite every couple months. Blackwater, being an off the wall IPA, far surpasses my expectations and I'm looking forward to trying more of their creations.

 1,652 characters

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Poppellian
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of petermethot
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Thors_Bounty
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of light tan foam, resting on top of an opaque, dark brown body with no light showing through. The foam settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate traces of lacing on the glass.

S - A pungent aroma of pine and citrus hops with notes of grapefruit, pine tar, sweat, and shallots. Dark malt characteristics lurk in the background with brown sugar, caramel, and a hint of coffee.

T - Dark sugary notes of caramel and brown sugar up front. Some more dark caramel and even a bit of molasses in the middle as orange and grapefruit hop flavors join the party. The beer finishes out with an equally matched tug of war between the dark, sugary malt and the bright, citrus and pine hop flavors. Moderate hop bitterness lingers on the palate in the aftertaste with a bit of chocolate and smoke.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Another really excellent beer from Swamp Head. I continue to be blown away by the consistently great beers that this little brewery is putting out and this one is a perfect example of just how and why their beer is so successful. This beer has an aggressive, interesting hop profile and a dark malt backbone without becoming over the top of resorting to strange ingredients for shock value. It is well made and well balanced in a way that makes it memorable and at the same time unusually drinkable.

 1,388 characters

Photo of jgagne
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pitch black, cant get much darker than this beer. Nice large brown head.

S-Smokey wood and coffee.

T-WOW! This beer packs a punch. Great bitterness with roasty, espresso flavors.

M-Sits medium with medium carbonation

O-Swamphead is amazing, they just keep on making some of the best beers around. Once the rest of the country starts to find out about this place, they will become highly demanded. Great work!

 415 characters

Photo of mullenite
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a black body with red-brown highlights at the edges. A thin tan head caps the beer and leaves very little lacing on the glass.

What this beer lacks in appearance is made up for in every other aspect.

The aroma is chocolate, dark malts (not roasty), and lots of American hops.

The taste follows the nose to a T. The hops are floral and fruity and very bright which matches nicely with the mild, milk chocolate and dark fruit flavors provided by the malts. The bitterness is very smooth and balanced nicely with the flavor of the hops.

Medium bodied beer with a nice mild carbonation that accentuates that body and the chocolate flavors.

Overall I really enjoy this beer, it is right up there with the other Black IPAs that are out there, albeit a bit different as you can actually taste the "black" part of the name.

 831 characters

Photo of JReites
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Nice dark drown color with 1-2 fingers of khaki head. Looks just like the swamp waters it describes on the side of the bottle.

S- Nice piney hop smell, but not too overpowering. Malty, carmel notes come through after the initial hop presence.

T- Very nice piney, floral hip bitterness up front that lasts until well after the last sip. Subtle hints of roasted and caramel malts complement and mellow the bitterness very well. This is superbly balanced and a pleasant flavor for a darker beer. Taste leaves with a slight drying finish.

M- Low carbonation with a lighter mouthfeel than expected for the look of the beer. Overall nice and easy drinking, slight dry quality at the end.

O-This is overall a very good beer for the style. I would not hesitate to drink this if offered. Very smooth and easy drinking. I would recommend this to any BA who has not tried it but has the chance. Wish I had more than one 750.

Serving type: Bottle

 946 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler filled on 4/30. Pours a murky dark brown, near black in the glass with two fingers of khaki foam that slowly settles into a thin cap, leaving a couple of rings of delicate lace. Citrus and pine punch to the nose with hints of powdery chocolate, dark brown sugar, slightly oaty. Taste: pulpy grapefruit, pine, leafy, dark brown sugar and milk chocolate in the back. Something about the sweetness (it's not really sweet) makes me think of dried tropical fruits. Medium+ bodied, creamy feel. This is a top notch black IPA that's begging for a bottled release and year-round tap status. 4/4/4.5/4/4.5 (5/13/11).

On-tap: On-tap at the tasting room. Very dark brown with thin tan head. Smell is leafy with sweet citrus and a little toffee. Taste: juicy white grapefruit, leafy, a suggestion of something tropical, dark caramelized sugar. Creamy feel. Spot on for the style with nice fresh citrus flavors. 3.5/3.5/4.5/4/4 (4/9/11).

 938 characters

Photo of tmm313
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jdmpolk
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is black as midnight with an explosive amount of chocolate tan foam.

Aroma nice and hoppy citrusy and grapefruity. In the background is a hint of caramel. As the bee warms hints of pine can be noted.

Taste smooth for a black ipa, there is a nice balance between the tart and bitter hops, and the chocolate roast of the grain. There is almost a nuttiness to it. Caramel makes itself known on the back end, along with a red grape dryness.

M- smooth on entry, like silk. The richness hits next, but quickly transitions to a mouthwatering bitterness.

D- next to anything Swamphead makes with chipotle in it this is in my opinion their best offering to date. Also, an excellent representation if a black ipa

 723 characters

Photo of Moo5152
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of wo87810
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of cjgator3
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of ninaturner
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of bloodysundae
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of malonelocke
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of TheMonkery
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of BrewtalAlement
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Darkwater from Swamp Head Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.