Black Rajah | The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

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Black RajahBlack Rajah

Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mjw1200 on 10-16-2012

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 398
Photo of fscottkey
3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] Gave it an aggressive pour that yielded 1 1/2 fingers of head. The head is dense and creamy. The head is khaki colored. I get very little light penetration through the beer. It is dark brown to completely black. The bottle lists the ABV (6.8%). There are no visible date codes...

S: [3.00] Thick pine with molasses on it.

T: [3.25] Some pine and caramelized sugars. There is really late finish that imparts a slight bitter and hint of alcohol.

M: [3.00] A little thinner than I anticipated. It is not overly dry.

O: [3.25] I am a little underwhelmed. I was hoping for more with this one. The killer is no date so it could be old and I am grading an old beer. The late finish was the highlight of the beer. It is really pleasant. I think this beer improves as it warms. This is not a Black IPA I'd search out again.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.49/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. No Date. Pokal. Graded to taste, as there is no category for this.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown that light penetrates when held to the light; some lazy effervescence; two finger khaki head. Retention is fair, lacing is great.

Smell: Smells a lot like White Rajah; citrus and fruit bomb. In the interest of full disclosure, White Rajah is probably my favorite or second favorite IPA.

Taste: Hmmm. The bitterness from the malt is restrained. Slightly sweet and fruity, hoppy arrival, moderate sweetness across mid palate; less sweet overall than the White Rajah. The bitterness form the malt picks up toward the end, and lingers on the finish. The darker malt accentuates the pine aspects of this hop profile, and perhaps it subdues the fruit a bit.

Mouthfeel: Solidly midweight. Modest carbonation. Not overly slick, but not what I'd call clean-finishing.

Overall: For my first black IPA, I'd say its decent. It is pretty much just an IPA to me, albeit one with a more roasty bitterness on the finish. What I love about White Rajah is its light refreshing fruity character. This is heavier, slicker, and piney-er.

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Photo of HeightsEats
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Aroma is sharp hops and a tad bit of roasted malt. The flavor is almost all citrusy hops. I would not have known this was a black IPA if I hadn't seen the color. Unlike offerings from, say, 21st Amendment (Back in Black IPA), there is no caramel malt sweetness to counterpoint the hops. The dark roasted malt is additional bitterness rather than a contrast. That said, the flavor is clean, and this is pretty drinkable if you're looking for a fairly assertive IPA. I would have rated this higher as an amber IPA, which is basically what it tastes like.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a black color with a nice brown head. Head doesn't have a lot of retention, but does leave quite a bit of lacing.

S- Is mostly dominated by roasted and faint chocolate malts. Tropical hops are here but are on the back burner.

T- Taste is a lot like the nose. Not nearly as hoppy as I hoped or expected.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Being that White Rajah is one of my favorite and go to IPA's I found this one to be a little disappointing. I was really excited to try this one too.

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Photo of tlema1
3.69/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: jet black, with a tan head
S: it smells warm, malty and some hops
T: some roast, some hop bitterness
F: medium body, well balanced
O: very good example of the style

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Black Rajah is not as good as the white....but still quite tasty. I bought a bottle of this at Andersons in Reynoldsburg, OH. It poured an opaque black with ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent has some roast and slight pine. The taste starts sweeter with roast then finishes slightly bitter. The Mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's quite nice.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color. The head is a finger high, and mocha in shade. It doesn't seem to have very good retention, though. Only a small amount of lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: I tell you, this is the most surprising thing ever...but this smells just like White Rajah. It features the grapefruit, the melon, the subtle tropical fruits, and the pine. The malt seems to even have more in the way of caramel/toffee than chocolate/roast. Still, this beer seems to understand the secret of the best Black IPAs: very little black, and a whole lot of IPA. (4)

Taste: Indeed, the dominant notes are the hops. Citra, in particular, is shown off well. Malts perk up on the finish - and again, there are only mild hints of roast and chocolate. I'm getting more caramel I would normally pick out in a typical IPA. There's almost no clash between the dark malts and the hops here. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: The initial feel is light and fizzy, only beefing up slightly right before the swallow. If anything, it might be over-carbonated, clashing with the medium body and wet finish. Still, it does go down fairly easily. (3.5)

Overall: This drinks much like a standard IPA instead of a 'black' one. Even still, it isn't "quite" as good as White Rajah. Of course, that's all relative - 90% of all other breweries out there would kill to have a black IPA this damn good. Yet another beer I wish was available in MD. (3.75)

3.75/5: Yummy black IPA that doesn't seem very 'black'

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to @WesMantooth for the chance to try this one.

Pours like dark roast coffee. Citrusy hops notes leap from the swirling tan froth, immediately followed by a subtle roasty smell.
Taste follows the same path. Starts with citrusy hops, lemony and maybe a bit tropical. But then the roasted malt comes in right away.
Finishes with the roast and the hops, but the hops take the driver’s seat.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the fuller side.
Overall, I think the Brew Kettle executes this style well. They definitely get a melding of both the hop characteristics and the roasted malt to be evident in the profile. Probably the best I’ve had of this style, although I must admit, I still find this style a little perplexing. The mix of hops and roast is still not my thing. Having said this, this one is pretty good. Fans of this style take this review with a grain of salt.

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Photo of CaptainHate
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had a bottle of this at a local restaurant because what they had on tap wasn't particularly interesting. I'm not the biggest IPA fan but I thought I'd give this a try. As my rating shows it was certainly not bad by any stretch but I was disappointed that there wasn't more of a roasted malt presence. Still not a bad beer by any stretch and it complemented the stuffed eggplant I had for dinner very well.

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Photo of mjw1200
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was a treat to finally try this beer. Not very aromatic but the taste was excellent. One of the few smoky beers I have enjoyed recently. Smoke in the front, some malt and hops to end. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but glad I got to try it. Another solid beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Buck89
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour into a pint glass. Mahogany brown with a thick tan head with great retention and lacing. Assertive aromas of pine, citrus and toast - a funny combo, but it's a black IPA. Taste initially conjures up a WCIPA with citrus, pine and some dank but then followed by a large malt presence and malty roasty finish. Seems like a nice representation of the style but I prefer one or the other.

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Photo of Bone53
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shout out to The Brew Review Crew for the trade!

Appearance: Brown pour with a ruby hue when put up to the glass, and a finger of light beige head

Smell: Earthy hops (dank, onion spice, piney) with very little to no roasted malt presence

Taste: Same hop profile as the nose upfront with the slightest roasted malt undertone

Mouthfeel: Heavy light to medium body and quite light for the style; Goes down smooth with a blast of bitterness in the finish that lingers

Overall: I wasnt blown away by either this or white rajah. Both have a hop profile that im not in love with; dank, oniony, and piney. I think i prefer White Rajah because it had a little more juicy hops. I also thought the mouthfeel on this was a little thin and overly bitter. I much preferred Bells Uranus which i had recently. Wont be seeking this one out again

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Photo of Sabtos
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Cola black with a creamy soft beige blanket.

Dankness and lemon dominate the nose, with Pine Sol, a little chocolate and buttery biscuit.

Taste is that classic White Rajah cracker, with lemon, orange, dank cannabis, Sweet Tarts, and a little cocoa with coffee.

Full bodied and frothy with a nice, dry finish.

A bartender said this was basically White Rajah with food coloring, and that isn't too far off!

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Photo of Omnium
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Tulip Pint
A - Semi Clear brown with a finger of fizzy off white head no lacing.
S - Lots of bright tropical notes, orange juice, very very light chocolate roast tones.
T - Follows aroma pretty well, theres not a lot of roasted black ipa type flavors here, but its more on par with a good regular ipa, or the normal rajah.
M - Kind of dry, butt pretty balanced.
O - Good as an IPA but not a real black ale by flavor by any means. so Icant rate it higher.

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Photo of mtomlins
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark copper brown with 1-2 fingers of off-white head with good retention and lacing. Big citrus nose (grapefruit and oranges), some pine; minimal black malt or roast. The taste again has big citrus again, grapefruit and some sweet mangoes and tangerines with a nice piney bitter finish…but again, no dark character. Round, lively mouthfeel with good carbonation. Overall and excellent IPA not not a great *black* IPA.

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Photo of Greencoat
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with ruby highlights, khaki head with excellent lacing. Nose is big tropical fruit hops and a trace amount of chocolate malt. Flavor is a burst of tropical hops, slight caramel malt, and a complimentary - not overtaking - amount of roasted malts. Best black IPA I've had this far, well done.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no bottle date. Served in a DFH IPA glass, the beer pours very dark brown with a couple inch frothy light tan head. The head stayed around a long time, and there's also a lot of lacing. The brew smells like citrusy hops (tropical fruit, grapefruit), pine hops, bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but there's also some grassiness and coffee noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and coating with a good amount of carbonation. I thought this was a good brew, definitely worth a try if you come across some. $11.99 a 6-pack.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle sealed with pressure cap.

poured into SP wine stem.

Appearance: black bodied beer. Off_white colored head with good head retention. Leaving heavy lacing all over the glass. Head drops down to

Smell: Hint of roast malts and this is hop forward. Tropical fruits, grapefruit, and pine. Slight dankness, but it is fairly covered up by the dark malts roasty qualities.

Taste: Moderate bitterness with slight sweetness right away. Mild roast to the malt profile as well. Pine and grapefruit flavors mostly in the hop profile. Pretty well balanced between malt and hop profiles. Bitterness remains in check. Neutral finish it is slightly malty and slightly hoppy. Light bitterness in the finish that does last too long.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation levels. Creamy carbonation with a slightly dry finish. It is a surprisingly clean beer. Nice drinkability.

Overall: Decent balance between hops and malts. Pretty solid black IPA, but it is missing that wow factor. I prefer White Rajah over this beer for sure when it comes to The Brew Kettle' s hoppy beers. I would take New Glarus Blacktop over this beer anytime.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours deep brown, finger white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma is terrific, citrusy hops. Mild roasty malt immediately met by hop presence, pine and citrus. Very dry finish. Relatively smooth mouthfeel but a little thin. Overall very good hoppy black ale.

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Photo of DeFaz
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap (and enjoyed in a growler) from Spinoza's in Beavercreek, Ohio. This poured a very dark brown with a two inch head that left splotchy lacing. The smell is malty and hoppy, with roasted malt and toffee but there's not much that stands out (while White Rajah has an amazing smell that rivals the best IPAs). The taste consists of a 40/40 balance between chocolate and pine from the hops with caramel and coffee rounding things out. As for the mouthfeel, this is fairly smooth and minimally carbonated with bitterness that seems to come more from the coffee than the hops and that is moderately thick. Overall, I'm not a big fan of black IPAs, and so I expected to enjoy this less than White Rajah. Still, I think there's some room for improvement here. This is more difficult to find than the White, probably because (I believe) this is only available on tap and tends to go quick.

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Photo of barczar
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%

Side by side comparison with white rajah. Aroma is skunky and citrusy with tropical notes even in the bottle. Resin, grapefruit, mango, mango, and pineapple are contrasted by roasty chocolatey malt. The hop aroma profile is damn near dead-on between the two. Flavor reveals similar citrus notes, along with biting resin and an underlying malt sweetness, with a slightly more bitter finish, due to lingering roast malt. I like the perception of sweetness the chocolate notes in the malt provide, but the char pushes the bitterness too far out for me. Think I'll stick with the original, but still a great beer.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is rich, cola black with a tan head and thick lacing.

Nose is full of pine hops, oak, lemon zest.

Taste is mild compared to the nose, hop-forward but not heavy. Fresh sourdough bread and red fruit.

Mouthfeel is full with medium carbonation and some oil slickness.

Overall, this is very refreshing, very drinkable, very ready to be opened after a long day.

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Photo of dar482
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a black color.

The aroma hits of peach, mango, light roasted malt, chocolate, some caramel sweetness.

The flavor follows with more of that light tropical fruit flavor with peach, mango candy, candy caramel, with some milk chocolate, medium roasted malts, medium roasted coffee, onto an earthy bitterness with touches of green pine.

The mouthfeel is medium, but creamy. The beer has a bit restrained hoppiness, which makes the beer more drinkable and balanced.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

L - It is a very dark beer. It looks similar to a porter. It is topped with three inches of tan head that leaves some decent lacing.

S - I smell a nice combination of citrus and roasted malt. The citrus is a little more aggressive.

T - The taste mirrors the smell. This beer achieves a nice balance between hops and roasted malt. It starts out with some citrus which gives way to roasted malt. The finish is a combination of grapefruit bitterness and black coffee.

F - Medium

O - This is a well crafted black IPA. I enjoy the balance. It is not overly hoppy as many Cascadian dark ales are. I enjoy this beer immensely.

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Photo of mabermud
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a standard pint glass. In the glass, it has an ultra deep brown body. The head is light brown, fluffy, and clingy. This black ale has a nice pine aroma with a hint of mocha in the background. Taste is light pine, hops, and coffee. The mouthfeel is agreeable. A good balance of IPA notes and roasted malt.

Another nice one from The Brew Kettle.

Toast to - Karthalis-4040

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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
4.11 out of 5 based on 398 ratings.
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