Vader Black IPA
Gilgamesh Brewing

Vader Black IPAVader Black IPA
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American Black Ale
Ranked #490
Ranked #35,646
3.68 | pDev: 12.23%
Gilgamesh Brewing
Oregon, United States
Vader Black IPAVader Black IPA
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 63 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KrisLambert
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Almost like a light porter with a hint of IPA Bitterness.
Dark pour.
Minimal head.
Very smooth.
Coffee flavor is subtle but still strong enough to lighten the IPA citrus taste.
Very nice surprise.

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Photo of woemad
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can purchased at Total Wine in Spokane Valley, WA, for $1.79. I’ve seen this before but didn’t pull the trigger because the reviews aren’t terribly complementary. According to the can, this was canned on April 20, 2016. Perhaps it will have suffered for the time it’s been sitting, perhaps not. FWIW, it was the last can of this on the shelf, and I was in the mood for a coffee beer.

Poured into an Iron Goat pint glass, this was a very dark, almost cola-like shade of amber. Things look more like mahogany when held up to light, with a thick, creamy light tan head that hung around for some time and left “beer neglige” – type lace on the sides of the glass.

The nose isn’t super robust, but I can get some sharp piney hop notes over bitter coffee scents.

More herbal and bitter than the nose indicated when it comes to the hops, and the coffee flavor is there, but way in the background. If it was turned up a little higher in the mix, the balance might be better and the beer would be better for it. As it warmed up a bit, the balance did improve, but not by much. Bitter, dry zap to the palate at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a dry but coating mouthfeel.

Funny, when I first saw this on the shelf at TW, my first thought was that the brewery was named Vader, and that it came from the town of the same name along I-5 in SW Washington. The hops don’t seem to have faded much in three months, judging by the other reviews. This is okay, but between a couple east coast coffee IPAs and Pales I was gifted by SammyJaxxx, and Stone’s Mocha IPA, I think I’ve still yet to have a PNW spin on the coffee (I)PA that I’d be proud to give to someone in another part of the country.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle served in a large mug. Date on the bottle is 10/01/15, so it's...aged.

Pours dark black with deep brown edges, medium sized creamy colored and textured head and not a lot of carbonation. Smell is roasted coffee and malts, and not much else.

Taste is a moderately strong tasting coffee stout with a heavier hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Actually pretty nice.

Mouthfeel is effervescent and surprisingly dry. Overall, not bad.

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Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cascadian Dark Ale brewed with coffee..
12 oz can with 6.4% ABV
Clear dark brown body with a tan head.
Moderately bitter overall and a bit higher in the aftertaste, with burnt coffee and grapefruit (hops) both contributing.

Overall: too bitter and too much burnt coffee and char.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark blackish brown with s thin round tan head. Head had poor retention. Chocolate cocoa and dark black earth on the nose with a brown sugar sweetness. Taste on the other hand doesn't mirror the taste. The cocoa flavor stays but the bitterness takes it down the dry unsweetened cocoa powder path. A bitter green herbaceous flavor finishes long after the cocoa and lingers with cold bitter coffee with a slight vanilla. Not a hint of sweetness. Finish is very dry. Too dry. Overall, this beer didn't jive with me. The dry bitterness lacked balance and the roasted coffee added an acrid flavor.

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Photo of TheWiltChamberlainofipas
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very disappointed bottled on date (8-2014) in black ink on brown bottle with black beer inside. Worried from the get go, but the taste was there. Hops a little faded but a nice black coffee bitterness played well with the roasted malts. Very nice porter like color with a beautiful white foam head. Would love to try a fresher bottle.

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Photo of Briken
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown with foamy head and good retention. Coffee and earthy hop aroma, almost unfinished yeast also. Good coffee up front to a bitter, very dry finish and tacky linger.

Really good coffee flavor to start but a terribly dirty finish just kills this beer. It also lingers on the palate very unpleasantly.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color, moderately rich, lacey head.

Light to moderate mouthfeel - less rich than the color suggests.

Not a lot on the midpalete, some maltiness. Not a lot on the nose, for me. Some attractive, deeply bitter notes on the long finish; not entirely in balance with the rest of the beer.

They should have spent more time on the recipe for this one - like they couldn't decide what kind of beer they really wanted to make.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing black in the glass with a half finger khaki head with good retention and lacing. Nice, but light aroma of toasted malt, coffee and grassy, citrus hops. Flavor is citrus hops, dark toasted malt with a hint of char, light brewed coffee; finishes with citrus and grassy hop bitterness and a little charred coffee, a touch astringent. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A well balanced, but somewhat subdued coffee Cascadian Dark Ale. Nice balance of flavors, but the hops seem attenuated. Kudos to Gilgamesh for the date stamp on the bottle, but it is dated 8/2014, over two months old. Odd that they are entering the Washington market with hoppy beers that may be losing their hop nuances. Good enough that I look forward to the IPA I bought at the same time, but I may look for fresher product next time.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%

Pours two fingers of head on an almost black body.
The aroma has chocolate, coffee and a little lemon and pine. Nice blend.
The taste has a nice moderate pine bitterness throughout, the coffee and roasted malt in the background provide a good balance.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of jds16
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

Label calls it a "Coffee Cascadian Dark Ale". Sounded intriguing when I saw it in the airport gift shop, so I brought one home with me. I enjoy Cascadian Dark Ales as well as the handful of coffee IPAs I've tried, so I was looking forward to this.

The beer's appearance lived up to its name, and the lace clung to the side of my glass all the way down. Aroma reminded me of orange-infused chocolate and coffee, and the taste largely followed suit, but with the coffee more prevalent. I thought this was a very good beer, but I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get as much hop flavor as I expected from a CDA. I felt like the roasty flavors dominated and the hops were just in the background. Maybe it was an old bottle; it was from an airport gift shop, and sadly I didn't see any date on the label. Aside from the lack of hop character I expected, this was a very tasty and drinkable brew. I'll drink it again next time I'm in Oregon.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

one of the best style fusions i have ever encountered, and my first beer from gilgamesh is a total winner! this thing is awesome. a coffee cascadian dark ale, dark dark brown in color, and holding on to an inch or more of just off white wispy head. it smells intensely earthy and bitter, coffee heavy, but equally robust roasted grain aroma, fresh as they come, and then hopped to high heaven with a mix of bittering and slightly orangey hops. i love it. its coffee first and last in the flavor. up front its balanced by a lot of grain body and a roastiness of its own, maybe a touch of sweetness. on the back end its paired up with the hops, bitter yet juicy, a cool combination with the low acidity coffee and extremely lush full body. deeply earthen vibe to this one, the coffee used is obviously of the highest imaginable quality, and is blended in expertly. still bubbly on the tongue, and a long slightly vegetal bitterness finishes it off. overall im in love with it, have never seen such a cool coffee beer that still fits neatly as an ipa of sorts. truly one of a kind, majorly impressive, and worthy of seeking out. honestly the coffee is almost like another grain in the mash here, it does something different in this than it usually does, and i cant get enough.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a huge amount of head which seems to have pretty good retention as well. The head is a light beige while the body is a chestnut to chocolate brown that glows burgundy and crimson when held up to the light.

Nose- Small but rounded coffee notes from the bottle which shows more nuance from the glass. It's fairly creamy and hints at caramel and chocolate. Some citrus- mostly oranges. After some time, roasted malt notes start to soar. Swirling shows much of the same. Not mind-blowing, but definitely has some promise.

Taste- Starts off with a nice front of coffee with cream and slight chocolate notes that moves into a middle of citrus (mostly oranges here as well) and then finishes with roasted malts with more of a bitter coffee aspect that mixes with pine and resin from the hops. Not all that complex but it is a fairly effective flavor profile. Good balance and integration. Some caramel that blends with the citrus of the middle and almost becomes burnt caramel with hints of matchstick but the coffee bitterness takes over before this. I've experienced coffee in CDAs (or CDAesque beers) before and I think it's a good way to go. Fair amount of presence but somewhat simplistic. Coffee is pretty solid and doesn't have any sour or acrid notes. Not a great beer but it is a good, solid one. I think some of the lower ratings may be from people who expected a more traditional black IPA rather than a coffee IPA.

Mouthfeel- Almost medium bodied with light carbonation and hints at smoothness and cream.

Drinkability- Fairly accessible and while not all that complex, it does keep my interest. 5 bucks a bomber seems fair and I might purchase this again.

Overall- Good, solid beer. Pretty true to a nascent style while being innovative at the same time. Definitely worth a try and I wouldn't pass this up if it were given to me. Not sure if I would buy it again. The lack of complexity is a factor in that.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- Poured a very dark brown with big fluffy off-white head that left big chunky, cascading lace.

S- Big roasted coffee, citrusy and grapefruit hops, some grassy and piney hop notes. Lots of coffee and hop bitterness in the aroma.

T- Big roasted coffee, piney and grassy hops, pretty big sweet bready notes, caramel syrup, toffee, light earthy notes ,and some light citrusy and grapefruit hops. Huge coffee and hop bitterness from start to finish.

M- Medium body, quite creamy, smooth, and mostly dry finish.

O- I am a big fan of this coffee infused hoppy ale. I had this at a beerfest earlier in the year and it was one of the best beers I had that night, glad to see Gilgamesh has started to bottle it. It has very bold coffee and hop character with high bitterness and it blends together nicely.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

sampler on tap at the Salem Bite Brew-n-Food festival

bit of head, not much, though. fine veil of foam across surface. hops balanced by nice sweetness, a bite of carbonation. transitions from hops into sweetness. dark garnet / brown, finishes with kick at the front of the tongue.

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Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at Gilgamesh’s Lounge in downtown Salem. $4 Dark dark brown with a nice tan was dark in the lounge! Nice roasty coffee, strong porter mixed with resiny hop aromas. Excellent creamy dark coffee taste up front then a nice dose of hop bitterness that lingers pleasantly. Good mouthfeel to this one..thick and tasty. Overall and excellent of the better

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Vader Black IPA from Gilgamesh Brewing
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 63 ratings