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Furry Black India Pale Ale | North Peak Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
88
very good
56 Reviews
Furry Black India Pale AleFurry Black India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Peak Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
northpeak.net

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alexgash on 12-31-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
153
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
20.45%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
14
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 153
Photo of clager
2.01/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Unfortunately date of bottling was almost exactly two years ago to the day, so not exactly fresh. However, my review is similar to others in general sense.

L: Dark black, viscous

S: Malty, sweet, chocolate

T: Thick up front chocolate. No hoppiness. Chocolate through and through with a malty finish.

O: really not what I expected from an IPA and did not enjoy the malty finish.

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Photo of rapayn01
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this is a mix 6 from a suburban Liquor Barn. It is interesting, but not unique. Basically, you'll pick up som stout flavors in a black IPA. As expected.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Furry by North Peak.

Had my first brew by these guys a few weeks back and was pleasantly surprised so I figured I'd look 'em up again.

Look - Wowza, I understand black IPA but this guy is BLACK. Even comes with a three finger mocha colored head. Can't speak on the carbonation as this one is like looking at a pool of engine oil. Oh well, who doesn't like surprises..This guy. But, we shall see. Lacing is there, though not all that pretty or plentifull.

Smell - Maybe it's because I'm sitting in a room with two hurricane strength fans on a 90 degree Michigan day, but my nose is playing games since this smells far more reminicent of a porter than any type of IPA that I have ever had. Coffee grounds with a swig of the malt and a tad bit dark and fruity. Hoppyness is on the tail end like a stalker girlfriend following you home from work.

Taste - The label says black IPA but my taste buds say chocolate infused java porter. Not sure if this is old, but I really don't care at this point. Sweet milky chocolate on the forefront with a touch of the hops and a sweetness that tastes like ripe cherries..hmm..chocolate java dunkel maybe? Either way it is..interesting.

Feel - Even sits bodied as though I poured a big old quart of oil into my mouth. The carbonation is a tad cold and stinging to my complaints. Body is quite sweet, almost getting a bit like a dose of robitussin.

Overall - Well..in my experience it doesn't fit the style at all. But. I refuse to rate according to that with this guy. While I must fully admit this would make a fine porter, the sweetness was a bit off-throwing. It seems like they threw everything they had into this beer. But I'd fire whoever decides the style. Make it a Fall released porter and you'll have a winner. Anyway, good, warming brew outta North Peak, and I'll be sure to find their number a third time.

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Photo of Suds
3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Dark, almost black and hoppy. The aromas are of charcoal, piney hops, and a little booze. The beer is sweeter than expected, with a little fruit and some plastic notes. Roasted malt and warm alcohol. Full in body. Not as good as it could have been.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%

Bottled on 2/20/14.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice balance of roast and citrus zest aspects all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As the layers of IPA glide across the soul of robust porter, there's the character of scorched earth that bleeds into the malt and hops to give this schizophrenic ale as much of a firey flare as its does of furry.

But Furry has no sign of IPA upon the pour. Deeply darken brown and heady with mocha froth, its porter character is well established to the eye. But one whiff brings about the sharpness of citrus peels and pine cones- yep, all of the singed variety.

Its lavish burnt toffee sweetness starts the taste, with the backdrop of dark roast coffee, smoky chocolate and campfire. Roasted walnuts carry across the middle as the sweetness drifts and the hop bitterness moves in, carrying with it a toasted citrus taste and waves of burning cannabis.

Deeply resinous as the finish ensues, burnt pine needles, citrus bitterness and herbal grassiness assists a coffee-like bitterness to amplify both earthy tones. Malty-dry as the beer closes, it lingers deeply with pine and cocoa.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick cap of dense and coagulated brown foam sat atop a body of thinly dark blackness.

The nose is entirely too weak but it does reveal a dry cocoa and smoky coffee. Light pine and bitterness sit just underneath.

The flavor is strong enough with an evident dry chocolate malt, Graham cracker and a mid palate of marshmallow sweetness. Some smoke and coffee lingers throughout, this finishes rather piney and bitter.

The feel is dry yet crisp, easily drinkable without any astringency.

More chocolate malt than I normally expect in a black IPA this has a lot of porter like qualities, which makes it well suited for my taste.

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Photo of barczar
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a frothy tan head that lingers.

Floral, slightly dank, and very citrusy hops are contrasted by cocoa and light roast in the aroma. Citrus dominates.

Flavor reveals roasted malt at the base, finishing fairly bitter coffee. Notes of chocolate are overwhelmed mid palate. Citrus notes of grapefruit and lime add intrigue. Resin and pine blend into the roast malt.

Body is moderate to a touch full, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Great balance of malt and hops, though the hops definitely shine. Not overly bitter or roasty. Chocolate prevents the roast from overwhelming. Best north peak beer I've had so far.

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Photo of mabermud
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks like a stout. Fine, black body, cream colored head, fine micro bubbles, and very sticky froth. Smells like a stout up front, however, I can faintly detect an IPA background...faint hops...Nice, this beer has a great taste, stoutish, but not. Definitely stoutly tasting, with an IPA body. I dig it. Mouthfeel is is thick and rich.

This is a really nice black IPA. If you really don't want a stout, and really don't want an IPA, but like both, try this beer. Surprisingly drinkable and good.

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Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian color with a tan stout-like head that leaves strands of lacing behind

Smell: Wafts of roasted malt, black bread, licorice, dark fruit (black cherry and blackberry) along with piney hops

Taste: Though quite balanced, the malt is flavor forward with the flavors found in the aroma while the hops kick in at mid-palate; considerable bitterness in the back

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Perhaps a bit less hoppy than others in the style, this beer benefits from its balance

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz stubby brown bottle that looks like something from the 1970s. Purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Pours a deep, opaque brown colour, with oily edges. Body is fine, but with a bit of weight behind it. Head is a fine, luscious film of pale chocolate. Lcing forms in minute but intricate specks. Carbonation forms in fine streams. Looks pretty good.

Nose is very good. Lovely mixture of toasty malt and green hop crispness, with overtones of rosewater, marshmallow and vanilla pods. The fragrance of the hops isn't so much an obvious character in itself, it just couples with the body and the malt to create perturbations in the aroma: it takes it in weird directions, and it's really rather lovely.

Taste is also good. Smooth and clean for the most part, it allows the characters to show themselves unburdened by too much weight or sweetness on the palate. Clean, slightly herbal, almost noble bitterness rides through the centre, while the roast characters allow a little subtle char to appear on the back. Some aniseed comes through as well, but some of those rounder fragrant notes (the marshmallow, the rosewater) are sadly absent. It's still very nice though—well constructed, and nicely balanced.

Feel is also good: it's a bit lighter than it might ideally be, but this allows the flavours to come out a little bit more openly, rather than clothing them in richness. It works fine.

Overall, yeah, this is a tasty beer. I like the combination—it's done well.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Deep black body with a thick, creamy head of beige – imagine the dense foam you get on top of a nitro stout. The foam stays for minutes, leaving lacing as it slowly goes.

S: Dark and earthy-sweet: black strap molasses, fig, toasted marshmallow, sugar cookie, cocoa nib. Not much hop presence here, just some herbal juniper dryness. Little campfire smoke to it, as well, coming out more as it warms.

T&M: This is what a black IPA is all about; wow. Lots of dense chocolate without that chalky, aspirin-like taste you can get sometimes from this style. Frothy carbonation complements a creamy body to give this a soft, weightless texture; it’s a perfect match for the palate, a profile based around a warm brown sugar and cocoa taste. Has a baked good character to it. Herbal spice tones dry it out slowly and subtly: tastes of anise, juniper, apple skin, and zesty hop. Ends up being just mildly dry, keeping it nice and balanced. Finish is all malt, a nutty bread note that drops off quick enough to leave you craving that next sip.

O: An excellent Black IPA; so far, I’ve been more than impressed with North Peak’s offerings. These guys just get it. Makes sense – apparently one of the brewers got his start at Jolly Pumpkin, and if you know how to brew those difficult French and Belgian styles, coming up with a fantastic black IPA would seem easy. Cheers!

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip, bottled on 2/11/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, citrus rind, dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, light char, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, citrus rind, cocoa, dark chocolate, roast, light char, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roast earthiness. Fair amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, citrus rind, cocoa, roast, light char, pine, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of citrus/pine hops and roasted malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice black IPA. All around good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of sennin
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, bottled on February 14, 2012.

A: Wow this beer has a BIG head and it forces you to pour incredibly slowly. Even after that the head is retained throughout the entire session. Crazy stuff. It is also very cool that the head resembles the top layer of a freshly brewed espresso. It's pretty unique for the style (at least in my experience).

S: Big hop presence in the smell, mixed with chocolate, coffee, and something that smells a little bit like vanilla bean. Very pleasant.

T: First taste is hops and something like charred pine needles- a tad smoky. Later evolves into some brown sugar like flavors and charred sugar. Coffee and Chocolate is present throughout the entire tasting. Alcohol is nearly non-existent considering the percentage. Impressively hidden.

M: Wraps around the tongue very well, pretty silky smooth. Later dries out on tongue- powdery. The chocolate, coffee, and hop flavors stay on the tongue after swallowing.

An impressive Black IPA from North Peak. I look forward to trying a great deal more of their brews. Good stuff.

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Photo of srv33
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark pour, inch light brown head, good lacing. Scents of Juniper are prominent, with copper, and a hint of coffee. Taste has notes of coffee, bitter toffee, and a heavy iron/copper/mineral taste, very full american black ale. I thought I detected a little grapefruit, bites quite a bit on first sip though mellows out on the tongue. This brew did not do it for me, I am receptive to the style but I felt this brew had too heavy of a mineral taste that I felt overpowered whatever subleties existed.

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Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black is this IPA, dense with a brown hue shining at the edges in direct light. A creamy tan head sits between 1 and 2 fingers tall and develops a rocky denseness before settling. The head that remains drops lacing in thick rings before going patchy. On first appearance, this will be a good one.
The nose is simultaneously roasty and piny. There's an earthy note there too. At the very end is a whiff of alcohol.
Pine smacks the palate and co-mingles woth the roast rather than dominating it. There's a note of toffee sweetness underneath and coffee grounds come out as well. Hops bitterness also goes a bit floral.
A good medium body, neither too heavy or too light, supports a smoothness that's creamy rolling off a constant crispness. It goes quite dry in the finish without being chalky.
Furry may be a new standard-bearer for the style. These guys are good.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle while eating at the Jolly Pumpkin brewpub. Pours black with little to no head. Aroma of pine, and some roasted malts, a little smoke, and even a hint of citrus. Nice up front bitterness from the piney hops that fades into a super mellow roasted porter-like body and flavor. Body is medium, with medium carbonation. Solid.

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Photo of rangerred
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.5oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is pitch black with a two finger rocky tan head that stays forever.

Lots of pine hits you right in the face along with orange and a little bit of coffee.

The flavor is tons of orange up front which kind of surprised me. Almost like orange juice. More citrus follows and a touch of pine. There is just a hint of roasted malt but not as much as I would have expected. A strong bitterness rushes in and drowns out any remaining malt flavors but you can tell malt is there. A nice dry, almost ashy finish.

Overall this is another impressive beer from North Peak. An awesome black ale and one I would love to have again.

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Photo of dudecandle
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 12 oz bottle into pint glass:

A: Black as night body with the slightest hint of brown. One-finger off-white head, slight lacing, modest retention.

S: Dark fruit and coffee with some lovely mint/anise piney hops, slightly oaky and almost bready as it opens up further.

T: It strikes a lovely balance between minty-piney hops and strong espresso-deep coffee. As it opens up, fruitier tones come out, both in the form of dark fruit and in the form of citrusy hops.

M: Excellent, full, yet crispy mouthfeel with an extensive finish. I'm still tasting this for minutes, and still loving it.

O: One of my favorite black IPAs. Unlike those in this category that fall short, it strikes a wonderful balance. Here, it's between hops and coffee, which play off one another with their respective bitterness excellently. The subtle dark fruit undertones round it out quite nicely. I could keep drinking the entire six pack.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This came out and I was weirded out because it looked like a stout. Creamy tan head, very dark brown color.
S: Smells like a roasty IPA. light roastedness, some hints of cherry, as well as a light hop floral smell.
T: Great at first with it tasting like a really hop driven stout. At first the roast flavor comes out then the hops. It was great how the two worked in sync. The problem for me was as the beer warmed the hops really overtook and that sort of ruined the great experience.
M: Great. sits with a medium body which is fun for an IPA. Perfect amount of carbonation and a nice bitter linger.

Overall a really great beer. The only real flaw here was the hops that began to dominate as the beer warmed. Otherwise a solidly great brew.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from stubby "retro" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a huge blossoming head of tan foam.
Aroma-Herbal hop note, toasted malt
Taste-Big, roasted malt flavoe, herbal,earthy hops, black coffee bitterness in the finish.
Big flavor and character, North Peak continues to impress. Match with a grilled steak or fajitas.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is black with brown tints. It has a big, gunky head and very sticky lacing.

Nose is roasted malt with some brown sugar, grain, and some hops; very similar to a Porter.

Tastes is heavily roasted malt with steady hop character. It is also buttery, with some dark chocolate and black pepper.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and refreshing with medium carbonation; great drinkability.

Overall, this is a roasted delight.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 18, 2012 (bottled?)

A - Deep dark ruby body, verging on black with a large tan head. Nice look.

S - Hints of chocolate and astringent alcohol. an earthy pungent bitterness is in the background.

T - Bitter and earthy. Nice stuff here. It's clean and crisp, enjoyable, and simple.

M - a bit drying, but otherwise smooth and palatable

O - A fine beer. I just hate these little stubby bottles. They always make it harder to get a good pour.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a big fan of the style but I am becoming a big fan of North Peak. This is a very roasty brew. To me, it could be hoppier, since the roasty taste prevails over all.

It does not have much of a head. The aroma is nice and complex. I was going to try to ding this a bit for taste or mouthfeel, but the truth of the matter is that it is one of the better brews of this style. My bias would have been easier to suppress if this called itself a rauchbeer (but it would need to be less roasty and more smokey). Recommended.

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Photo of BB1313
2.39/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled on Jan. 18, 2012. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with subtle brown hues, slightly off white head and nice lacing and retention. Smells like anise/black licorice. That's something I don't anticipate when drinking a Black IPA. The hops are present, but really take a backseat. The flavors are bitter, and not in a good way. It also tastes very metallic. Malty as well. There's really no fruit, pine, citrus, etc going on with this one. Mouthfeel is alright, kind of thin, nice carbonation though. I found myself nursing this one..

I had high expectations for this one for whatever reason, but I feel pretty let down. I love Black IPAs, but this one wasn't really enjoyable and doesn't stand out at all for me. It's just not what I was personally looking for.

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Furry Black India Pale Ale from North Peak Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 153 ratings.
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