Desert Select Black Imperial IPA | Moab Brewery

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45 Ratings

Brewed by:
Moab Brewery
Utah, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.59%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Imperial India Pale Ale, spawned from west coast brewers who have no problem bending what we think about traditional ale styles, is dark, rich and extremely hoppy. Made from the finest Two Row barley, fresh Moab water, house yeast, lots of hops, it’s then fermented in American oak, dry hopped and bottle conditioned.

Added by andrewinski1 on 06-01-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by Zorro:
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown colored ale with a massive tan colored head. Been in the fridge for 2 days and I'm sure I didn't agitate it in anyway. Truly massive head. In color is is one of the lightest colored beers for this style.

Smells of burned sugar and chocolate with some tobacco leaf. Woody scent of cedar plank. Sweet scent of brownie batter. Describing this as a burned brownie on a cedar board would sum up the smell.

Starts out bittersweet and with a long lasting after taste or scorched sugar. Strong cedar taste like chewing on a cedar plank. Mostly the flavor is strongly bittersweet. Chocolate cake flavor is in here but it tastes a bit over cooked.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall not a bad black ale but it is a strongly flavored one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not all Black IPAs are actually black. Many, like Moab's Dessert Select Imperial Black IPA, are actually brown. Perhaps the style ought to have been called "dark IPA"? Either way, this "dark IPA" is so dark it might as well be black; don't count on seeing through it and forget about colourful highlights.

This 'Imperial' Black IPA has a few other qualities of note too: it is dry-hopped, bottle-conditioned and, of most interest, fermented in American oak casks. The first two have predictable influences; dry-hopping intensifies the leafy, piny notes of the bouquet, while bottle-conditioning makes for a more noticeable yeastiness and very murky second pour.

The impact of the oak, however, isn't quite so pronounced. Truthfully, I likely wouldn't have noticed if I wasn't made aware beforehand. The flavour of wood, not to mention its dry texture, is already insinuated in the Pacific Northwest hoppiness and its characteristic resiny pine and spruce bark notes. But the oak does compound that forest-y earthiness.

It's not like malt doesn't have a say in all this too; tasty, milky chocolate notes are weaved into each sip, the majority of which conclude with as much roast as bitterness. The odd impression of char is enough to evoke occasional tastes of coffee bean. It switches between herbal and toasted grain gears swiftly and often, adding a splash of lemon, and never once stalling on the 8.5% alcohol.

It's not easy brewing high-gravity beers in Utah. Unless I'm mistaken, it wasn't even legal until not long ago (and still may not be, deciphering Utah liquor laws is like cracking the Enigma machine. I can't understand them). Either way, Moab has done a pretty fine job with their Imperial Black IPA. It's smooth and complex enough that you'd think they were brewing high-alcohol beers for years.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle brought back by a friend from Utah. New Belgium glass. No freshness dating on the bottle.

Appearance of root beer, dark brown not tending to red with a nice finger or two of tan head. The lacing is nice.

Sweet, piney hops, lemon, hints of roast, vanilla, and oak. Smells like a standard IPA at first, but opens up into something like a hoppy Porter or Export Stout.

Very bitter and hoppy up front. Medium roast, short bread, and bitter alcohol to follow. This is a significantly bitter beer between the IBUs, roast, and alcohol.

Medium bodied, soft carbonation. Slightly astringent, bitter finish.

The oak was a try to give this beer a little something more I'm guessing, but I don't think it needed it. I'm not sure I would have noticed if I didn't read the bottle as another reviewer commented. It's a good Black IPA, hoppy, a little roasty, and bitter.

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Photo of Glibber
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Chilly_E
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of DrunkenMonk
2.54/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Blech gfgg vggh vffg fffgg vggv

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black with a foamy off white head. There is a lot of carbonation present that makes it almost impossible to pour it into a glass without getting a lot of foam.

The aroma is of bitter coffee and toasted bread.

The beer tastes malty and sweet. You can really taste the alcohol in this beer. I do not taste any bitterness from hops, just from the darker malts at the finish.

Overall this is an okay beer. I don't know if I maybe held onto it too long before tasting it and it lost all of its hop aroma and taste or if there was not much to begin with. I would call it more of a stout than an Imperial Black IPA. In which case it was just an okay stout.

 669 characters

Photo of Mikexw
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of crobinso
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GregJ
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is called a black IPA, looked more like a light brown. Decent beer.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of InfragilisBrew
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of iftcoach
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Maseitz
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of KlayWey
4.75/5  rDev +28%

Photo of ckollias
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Hophazzard
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cambabeer
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DerwinWentworth
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

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Desert Select Black Imperial IPA from Moab Brewery
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 45 ratings