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: 397
Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, chocolate, cocoa, toast, light char, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with bright citrus/tropical hops and light-moderate roasted malt balance; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, chocolate, cocoa, toast, light char, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, lemon/orange zest, pine, chocolate, cocoa, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt balance; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, moderately sticky, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome black IPA. All around great complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Dark pitch black body, but when held toward the light it has ruby highlights and forms at least 3 fingers worth of light beige head labeled as an India Black Ale the description reports this is Simcoe and Citra hopped.

Aroma has dark herbal tea dank qualities and citrus pith to me the complement of the dark roasts gives it a mint/herbal tea note that really is characteristic of this style for me. Dark roasted malts give enough dry dark chocolate notes but there's no chocolate or sweetness really. After it warms a bit and give the glass some swirling I can get a bit of the tropical fruit maybe pineapple or passionfruit.

Flavor very well constructed dark hopped beer with character, the best Black IPA I've had thus far very easy to drink. Dark dry chocolate still lets the herbal mint notes come through in addition there's a keen dankness to the hops here, along with faint tropical fruit notes. Dry finish from both hop additions and darker roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is juicy in the middle dry in the finish evenly carbonated resinous with hop oils everything is in cohesion this beer is firing on all cylinders.

Overall impressions for me are that I'm really getting into this beer for sure, I'm glad I picked up a six...White Rajah is the most drinkable go to IPA I have access...I'm hoping they bottle this one year round as well. Those guys know their hops up there in Strongsville, OH!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great color on this one. Nice tan head. Pretty good amount of lacing. Nose is that sticky sweet hoppy thing. Flavor carries a bit of the same with that oddly woody fruity character that so many black ales possess. This is a very good example of the style and quite nice to drink. I dig it. And I highly suggest it.

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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 Stinkypuss
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a slightly off white head and plenty of lacing. Free from sediment and pretty much opaque looking. The aroma is piney, almost spicy, herbal, and perhaps a faint citrus.

In the taste, piney, fresh tasting hops and a firm roasted malt backing. The hops are heavier on the palate then the malt, lending this beer to be known truly as a Black IPA or American Black Ale and not a stout. The bitterness is solid and this reminds me of an IPA, only dark,

Overall, the black rajah is just as impressive as the White Rajah, which I truly love as well. The Brew Kettle kicks out some damn tasty beers. This is a very good beer.

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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 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 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 markgugs
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tall stemmed tulip

Pours a solid brown with more than a hint of reddish cola around the edges, and a voluminous tan head builds up quickly, leaving an intricate web of sticky lacing. I'm a bit of a sucker for "cascadian ales," or black IPAs, or whatever you want to call them; I find the combination of smoky roasted notes with an often citric hop bite to be wonderful. Brew Kettle nails both aspects here. Ample Citra hopping delivers a winning burst of tropical fruit and citrus, before giving way to an almost mocha-like smokiness. This is delicious. A muted nose is the only subpar part of the beer. The body and feel are on point too, creamy and just aggressive enough. Tasty, dry finish. Love this.

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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 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 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 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 Roguer
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful, solidly black brew, topped by a dark tan head. Excellent retention and tons of lacing.

Roasty, spicy note at first; closer inspection brings the hops cleanly to the front. Ruby red grapefruit, a hint of pine, tangerine, some floral; perfect balance to the roasty malt lingering in the background. Exactly where I want a Cascadian Dark Ale to fall.

Flavor hits all the right notes, as well. Juicy, sweet, and hoppy up front; milky and pale malt backbone along for the ride; then a bitter, roasty finish.

Hop flavors follow the nose, although far less juicy overall. More pine and leafy green hops, more citrus peel.

Nice dry finish, cleansing the palate for the next sip. Silky but medium-light body; very drinkable.

This is as good a Black IPA as I've had. It's smoother and more accessible than most. I could quibble with the hop flavor (I'd like it juicier) or the roast quality (almost too subdued), but those are minor deviations from my own preferences rather than flaws.

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Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Wink's by the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. Caught a fresh keg and was impressed with the balance of malts. Very hoppy....probably 70 IBU I'm guessing. Floral hop aroma was almost enough to knock me off my stool. Light smoke flavor.

Very enjoyable Black IPA. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.29/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is going to be the best beer of the day.

It has a great head that dies quickly. There is a huge aroma that is very appealing. Pungent.

The taste rocks. Although it is hop forward, there are loads of malt tastes and a great balance. Just the right amount of roast.

The aftertaste is grassy and just a bit bitter. Great. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio

Pours black with some auburn hues; one finger off-white head that leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are awesome. Lots of sticky grapefruit with hints of pineapple. Subtle garlic notes, which are enjoyable. Decent amount of cocoa malts. Flavors are very sharp and earthy. Lots of grass and pine needles. Lots of citrus. More grapefruit and hints of tangerines. Hop vine and hop leaves in the mix. Hints of dark chocolate. More bitter than sweet. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied; creamy and silky with active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed. It's fun and easy to drink.

This is an awesome Black IPA. It's been awhile since I've had it, and I was very happy to revisit it. It does a great job of doing White Rajah justice. I wouldn't mind seeing this in bottles. Great stuff. Recomended if given the opportunity.

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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 WesMantooth
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle from a $11 6 pack

A - Dark pour. Looks like a thin porter, but the foaminess of the tan head gives it away.

S - When cold, very hoppy, with faint roasted malts. Citrus hops. Grapefruit/pineapple. As it warms, the balance becomes much more evident.

T - Same as the aroma for the most part. On the colder side, it is much more ipa like (White Rajah). However, as it warms a bit, it is perfectly balanced. The hops and bitterness are up front, with a nice roasted, slightly charred taste on the back courtesy of some coffee.

F - Nice body. Medium to light. A tad too carbonated possibly. It has a bit of a fizzy cola feel early on.

O - Easily one of the best black ipas I have had. A near perfect balance. It is like an easy drinking, hoppy porter.

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Photo of Ri0
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Obsidian, pitch black with a thin 1 finger tan head and some spotty lacing.

S - Hello Citra hops! Resinous, grapefruit and pine hop aroma sitting on top of a roasty malts. The scent is quite pleasing.

T - Yes, Citra hops jump out right away with citrus bitterness, pine, and earthy tones. They yield to the darker roasty malts on the palette along with bitter chocolate and some sweet caramel. The bitterness and hop flavors that are noticeable in the beginning make another appearance in the finish.

M - Medium and creamy mouthfeel with very nice carbonation.

O - A very nice BIPA that is similar to a local favorite of mine, Silk Scorpion.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with a bone white head that really brings out the aromas. Piney and tropical hops get muted by chocolate, chicory, and coffee notes. Taste is a great balance of robust roasty malts and citrusy hop zest. Feel is a bit slicker and softer that White Rajah. A great Black IPA for sure.

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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 drdiesel9483
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - black with a great tannish head and the beer is moving
Smell - toasty but lots of citrus hops
Taste - more toasty then the smell and less citrus but still lots of bitter hops
Feel - medium body with medium carbs. Slightly creamy.
Overall - fantastic black ipa.

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Black Rajah from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
4.11 out of 5 based on 397 ratings.
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