Menage A Singe
Tied House Cafe & Brewery

Menage A SingeMenage A Singe
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American IPA
3.59 | pDev: 10.58%
Tied House Cafe & Brewery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Menage A SingeMenage A Singe
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Offa
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First, I think that classing this as "American IPA" is incorrect since this is clearly a "Black IPA."

Overall, I found this to be a very good beer, rather interesting, but not great, not complex, to me another example of the dubiousness of having a "Black IPA" category. It's not only inconsistent to have a black IPA since IPA by definition is Pale, but ultimately what is a black IPA but a hoppy type of porter or stout? There have long been many porters or stouts that are bitter and/or hoppy, and this includes even at least a few from the UK, not just the US. This beer struck me as essentially a strong, hoppier porter or stout. Another "Black IPA" I've had really just struck me as nothing more than a porter or stout. I find this to be another faddish claim to have created a "new" style when in reality it is just an interpretation of an old style (like American Imperial Pilsner, for example).

Anyway, this is deep, dark red-brown, almost totally black but not quite. It has a very big pale tan head slowly shrinking to a puffy top with some nice lace. It looks great.

Aroma is grapefruit and orange rind, caramelised apple, somewhat musty pine sap. It is a bit like Napa Smith Amber ale, for reference, but much better and less pungent. Smell has no real roasty quality and is almost entirely of the hoppy, perfumy barley character described. It's not bad, but not great and lacks depth and complexity.

Taste is a bit better. It has darkly caramelised plum and raisin immediately up front with light bitter orange hints and hint of wine, lightly bitter grapefruit from start to finish. Then, a hint of bitter artichoke follows after the initial up-front character, then again lightly singed grapefruit and bitter orange. Almost gets too bitter then backs off. Some bitterness lingers a bit too much in the aftertaste.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this at work today at BevMo.

Appearance- black color, really big foamy head

Smell- roasted malt, dry hops

Taste- roasted malt mostly

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would probably drink it again. Pretty good Black IPA

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Photo of emmasdad
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up on a whim next to the registers at BevMo. Pours a dark brown color, with a nice tan head on top. Aromas of roasted malt, earthy hops and baker's chocolate. Very stout/porter like on the palate, with roasted malts and milk chocolate initially, with nary any hops until the lingering bitter finish.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is another phenomenal black ipa. It's black alright, great carbonation for being corked, well the bottle version at least I dunno, I always worry because its less familiar. Carbonation on tap, very nice as well.

Best dry hop aroma ever in a BIPA. Even better than that Dogzilla, which is great as well. Beautifully oily and dry at the same time, bitter and hop mouthful. It doesn't fade, solid down the backstretchk, a little pricey, but not really for what you get. Very delicious. Had on tap at the Bistro DIPA fest and in bottles.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stein.
LOOK: Deep brown with a stupid huge head, the head poured so huge the first time that I could see no beer and had to dump it out to start over. When I finally got a decent pour, the head still wouldn't stop.
SMELL: Very well balanced. Citrus notes with a very nice malt background. I also notice a nice floral character up front.
TASTE: More malts than hops. Not exactly what I expect from an IPA but certainly not a bad taste.
MOUTH: Too much carbonation (maybe that's what makes the head so terrible.) Nice medium body though.
DRINKABILITY: If I didn't have to mess with a 5 inch head it would be much more drinkable. The price is right, the taste is good, but... once again I'll bring it back to the fact that I had to pour out the first glass due to the stupid crazy head.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

Pours a cola brown color. Foam, foam, foam, foam, foam. Mocha-colored head won't stop growing, making it more of an annoyance than anything else.

Aroma is of citrus and roast. Seems spot-on for a black IPA. Has a kind of chocolate-y smell to it, as well.

Very stout-y roast. Really, I could see someone confusing this with a porter. Citric sweetness up front, then burnt bitter finish.

Medium-light body. Smooth, creamy texture. Surprisingly easy drinker. The bitterness is never overwhelming. This is a very interesting beer. It's kind of like a junior version of Stone Sublimely Self Righteous.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - This is a very dark brown in color, almost like a RIP, with a huge, monstrous light-brown head that stayed forever. It came up a bit too fast, actually, so you have to go easy on the pour with this puppy.

Smell - The dry hopping is apparent at the smell but there is such a big dark malt aroma here that the hops don't stand out.

Taste - The leafy hops show little depth at the flavor and again are overtaken by the big, darkish malt base. There's a bit of table sugar at the finish as well so don't know what really to call this ale.

Mouthfeel - This is thick in the mouth, maybe a big medium-body I'd call it, with some light malty bitter notes in the finish and little carbs to go with the gigantic head.

Drinkability - This was a weird one and definitely hard to categorize. I'll give the brewery owner a thumbs up for trying something so different and making it at least semi-enjoyable, but overall the pieces just didn't fit together in my book.

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Photo of popery
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I opened this bottle gently after chilling it down in the fridge and it still took forever to pour a full glass that wasn't mostly foam. There was just an unending slow motion foam spout crawling up into the air and down the side of my bottle. Only fancypants Belgians have ever matched this one in my experience. It's no big deal and you don't lose much beer, but I bet it would have been even more dramatic if the bottle were warm. Anyway, the beer pours with an enormous head. It's intentionally off-style as a "black IPA." The liquid is a dark purplish brown color when held to the light, opaque in all but the smallest quantities. The aroma has spice (rye?), piney hops and a bit of chocolate/roasted malt character. The flavor is similar, but the malt comes through a bit more. There's a definite dark malt presence, a bit more than I actually care for. The yeast flavor is a bit strong for me, but it's still a fairly pleasant beer. The flavors don't meld quite as well as something like Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous/11th, but I would definitely recommend it to fans of the black IPA sub-style that seems to be growing in popularity. The feel gets a bit sticky for me.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Holy crap, this one is a geyser. Let it sit in the sink for about 10-15 minutes. Pour was still explosive. Beige foam that just does not die down. Brown-black body with light brown edges. Lots of lacing, but had to mark it down on the over-carbonation. Nice roasty nose with piney hops and a little bit of chocolate. Roasty, bitter flavor. Hops are pine and herbal, not a lot of citrus here. Tough to call the bitterness coffee, but it is similar to the acidity. Unbalanced malt backbone. I haven't had that many Black IPAs, but this isn't as good as those I've had.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: This beer is incredibly over-carbonated. Half of a pint glass was full of foam. Nice lacing, however. Color is very dark brown, bordering on black.

S: The nose is oddly smokey with a strong roasted malt aroma. I was left wondering, however, where the hops were. This is, after all, supposed to be an IPA.

T: The flavor (unfortunately) follows the nose. The same smokey and roasted flavor without much in the way of citrus or other hop flavors. There is some bitterness, but it's likely from the roasted malts.

M: Smooth and medium bodied. Nowhere near as carbonated and bubbly as I would have expected considering how it poured.

D: I just really wasn't a fan of this one. This is supposed to be an IPA, but there was almost no hop presence. This one is a drain pour.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. For the most part, I'm right there with the past few it and lots of foam comes pouring out. I carefully tried to pour some and got about 4 inches of head/foam in the glass. Only lost an inch, or so, of beer. But, lots of crazy foam.

Anyway, this beer is PINE, PINE, PINE and more PINE. Dark brown/black in the pour with (eventually) a very thick tan head. Nose is pure pine and pine resin.

However, first impressions are wrong in this case. This beer shows very well after some time in the glass.

Give it some time and let it get some air and you can get some undertones in the nose of creamed coffee and bitter chocolate. Hints of roasted grains and slight hints of cooked fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium but nice, a little creamy and, I felt not too carbonated. In fact, after a few minutes the carbonation really disapates.

Flavors are heavily pine and pine resin initially. You can find, if you really look, (and then especially after a few minutes) some coffee, malt and some fruit. Pine, however, is the overwhelming nature of this beer until it warms up and until it gets some air.

Beer is actually well balanced and inviting and eventually flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate and toated malt come through. It needs a few minutes in the glass to see in its best light and needs to be at room temperature or only lightly chilled - otherwise, chilled, it's all pine and little else. Flavors and character do come out if you give it a bit and let it "warm up."

Huge bitter pine, pine resin, bitter coffee, bitter chocolate finish that goes on for many minutes.

This beer is more than initially meets the eye (or, palate, as the case may be). I found the more I sat with it the more character, flavor and complexities developed and came forward.
This is pretty good stuff and I'm already thinking about going out for a few more bottles having only seen it at one local place.

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Photo of Swimsum
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good god this is a gusher. After cutting through the was and popping the top, a creamy brown colored foam came pouring out. After about 3 minutes of waiting for it to stop (which it didn't) I finally decided to do an initial pour. The foam stopped once I did this, well stopped coming out of the bottle I should say. Sadly I think I lost about a third of the bottle....anyways on to the review.

A: Huge head as can be expected since it hasn't stopped gushing really. From what I poured, I think a third of the glass was beer and the other two thirds was head. Finally after another 3 minutes the head had died down and I filled the glass more. The body is a dark brown that turns to a dark reddish brown when held to the light. The head is a spongy brownish cream color. Huge lacing is dragged down the sides of the glasses and leaves a pretty cool pattern. By the end of the glass the head was very thin. This would get a higher score if the body were darker.

S: When I first popped this I got a lot of toasted malt. As I waited for the head to die down I didn't really get much more of a smell until it finally did. Got faint smells of pine and a decent amount of a grassy notes. However no real citrus notes and I really wanted the pine to smack me in the face. This is supposed to be a "Black IPA" so where is the IPA part of the smell???

T: First sip reveals a roasted malt taste. Hops and bitter taste are present in the end and a bitter aftertaste is left. Not the most bitter thing ever but it does provide a nice bitterness. Got hints of coffee and dark chocolate but these were not very prevalent at all. As it has warmed, the bitterness fades a bit. Wish there were more of a pine or citrus taste to balance the roastiness.

M: Lots and lots of carbonation; maybe a bit too much. It's leaning toward a medium body but some could say it's fairly thin. I felt it was an alright mouthfeel but nothing special.

D: Once the head dies down on this thing it's very drinkable. Went down very quick and the lack of bitterness made it go all that much quicker. I did get a good deal less of this then I wanted to what I did get when down all to fast. For only $7 for a 750 mL it was well worth it.

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Photo of rallison
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Way too carbonated. 10 minutes after the pour, the head has finally settled enough to let me sample the beer.

Grainy, piny hops in the nose with notes of roastiness.

Taste is of herbal, slightly astringent hops with some porter-like qualities.

Decent, but not great. $7 for the 750 though, so that wasn't bad.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours AHHH WHOAH!!! Yeah I poured this thing slowly and it still ended up with about 6 fingers worth of frothy head and yeah it sticks around for quote a while. Does leave some nice lacing once it recedes...seriously I don't think I've ever seen this much head on a beer before. Anyways getting back to the the appearance it's a nice darker brown color with a bit of a mulberry coloring as well. Nice looking beer but that's all I seem to be able to do is look at it. Wonder if it had something to do with the bottle conditioning?

S: Sort of a light nose, some chocolaty malts, a bit nutty and maybe a hint of citrus, not a whole lot. Pretty average...

T: Interesting taste, notes of coffee and chocolate , very pronounced earthy hop taste but not overly bitter. Not sure I'm a big fan of this style (Black IPA) but I do like this flavor I just wouldn't call it an IPA if that makes sense.

MF:Very zesty on the tongue maybe a bit over carbonated (could it explain the ridiculous amounts of head? Pretty good though it does dance on the tongue and is light/medium bodied.

D: Pretty drinkable though it takes a while to get there haha. Not too shabby.

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Photo of Talisker
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle purchased from BevMo San Mateo.

Label reads as follows:

"Menage a Singe - Black IPA - Dry Hopped - India Pale Ale

Three monkeys brewed this Black IPA and they are within this lively bottle.

So, if you choose to pop the cork, be prepared for, "Menage a Singe" - a house full of monkeys.

Up opening, we suggest: Keep your monkeys away from strangers, they bite. Monkeys shatter lamps, use candle light. Have plenty of space, monkeys like to swing."

Lively is right, in not such a good way. This bottle is a slow gusher. More head than beer, even on a slow pour. And foam continues to slowly grow out of the bottle even fifteen minutes after opening. Some issues with the carbonation or bottle-conditioning.

Otherwise looks nice. Very dark color beer, medium tan head. Smells yummy - slightly burnt bread, mostly C-style American hop character. Tastes good, but not great. Hops are there, but the maltiness has that "tastes like a homebrew" character - which in this case is not a good thing.

That leads to a bumpy texture, maybe like some porters. Overall the powdery texture would lead me to call this a porter, were it not far the pronounced (and lovely) American hope character.

The Black IPA is certainly an emerging style (or at least trend). My favorite is Stone XI/Sublimely Self-Righteous, though I've had a good example on tap at SF's 21st Amendment, too.

The Tied House entry is worthy, but not up to the standards of those other two.

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Menage A Singe from Tied House Cafe & Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 19 ratings