Sobek & Set
Finch Beer Co.

Sobek & SetSobek & Set
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #273
Ranked #19,715
3.86 | pDev: 11.14%
Finch Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Sobek & SetSobek & Set
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 168 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Savan
Savan from Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A lovely black beer with medium head to it of an almond color, spicy aromas are present to me and cocoa? First Black IPA i have enjoyed so far.... I have had others but this one, was pretty good :)
light coffee notes and pine-nut and citrus goodness is what it tastes of... wow quite amazing really :) Over all I WILL TRY AGAIN !!!

Jan 05, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really dark brown color with light brown head. Aroma has earthy hops, resin, chocolate malt and generic sweet malts. Taste starts with roasted, resiny hops, medium bitterness throughout, roasty finish but also some grapefruit pith underneath. Medium to light body and medium carbonation. Quite bitter black IPA but I like it.

Oct 03, 2016
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WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Dew Drop: Pours a red-brown black with a finger of foamy tan head that settles to a thick cap with thick sticky lacing. Mostly malt aroma and taste, bready. Well-bodied thick feelwith a tapered bitterness in the end.

Mar 29, 2016
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 oz can, unclear date code on the bottom.

black, off-white head. decent head retention and lacing. aroma has a bit of earthy hop flavor. taste is a good combo of slightly roasted malt and that same hop flavor. not really sweet or dry. medium bodied.

Oct 26, 2015
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours jet black, thick tan head fades quickly, not much lace. Aroma is chocolate roasted malt with hints of sweet fruit. Taste is similar with chocolate malt, touch of smoke, fruity hops. Overall on the sweet side but I like the combination, enough fruity bitterness to balance the malt. Medium slick mouthfeel. Very solid hoppy black ale, full of flavor.

Oct 16, 2015
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barczar from Kentucky

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No clue of the age on this one.

Aroma is roast malt dominant, with citrus and pine combining with rich chocolate to form an acetone quality. Seems to be a clash.

Flavor is initially slightly sweet and chocolatey, with sharp citrus hops and pine hitting early and carrying into a roasty, chocolatey, bitter finish. I like both malt and hop profiles, though a bit too bitter, and I don't think the combination is quite right.

Sep 05, 2015
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HoppyBastard from Nebraska

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1 pint can into a Shaker pint glass, there was no "best by" date that I could find.

APPEARANCE: it's black with one-finger tan head that quickly dissipated until only a ring of bubbles remained, there is a moderate amount of lacing on the glass, lighter carbonation,.

SMELL: sweet roasted malt, flowers, bread.

TASTE: initially sweet then a smokey, roasted malt profile with hints of chocolate, the hop profile is overshadowed.

PALATE: lighter carbonation, medium body.

OVERALL: the can I bought as part of a sampler pack confused me, it said "India Pale Ale" but "Black IPA" was also present and not perceptible, this was off-putting to me as I do not generally like the Black IPA style, with that said it was a good beer for the style but I would not seek it out again as there are other styles I prefer.

Jun 03, 2015
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Foxybrau from Louisiana

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Difficult for me to rate IPA's as I find even the good ones borderline offensive. Just not a hophead. This one is fine, at least presenting some coffee notes. My second brew from Finch's, I'll probably pass on the next.

May 13, 2015
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the can marked 00635 on the bottom. Sampled on May 5, 2015.

The pour is deep black with a tan colored head that lingers and laces.

An array of enticing aromas including dark roasted malts, black licorice, raisins, red grapes, and an earthy hop sensation.

Medium to heavy body.

The roasted malt flavors are solid along with a kind of wine-like grape character but it tends to go more earthy and bitter at the finish. I could have this again and I will since I bought a 4-pack of it.

May 05, 2015
Photo of russpowell
russpowell from Arkansas

3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3+ fingers of caramel colored head. Nice lacing & head retention

S: Roasty, brown bread

T: Follows the nose, some charred grain as well, a little pineyness & woody bitterness up front. Dryness, roastyness , & char as this warms. Finishes with a little carob, herbal & woody bitterness

MF: Medium bodied firm carbonation. Alright balance

Drinks pretty, good a serviceable, not great Black IPA

Apr 12, 2015
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"India Pale Ale" on the can is a wee bit misleading.
Found a single of this, code printed "00614".

Pours a brownish black with tan foam, lots of lacing.
Piney green hop aroma, light toast and roast. Something funky from the yeast when swirled, but it seems to quickly dissipate.

Roasty with dry bitter pine, unsweetened bakers chocolate, ashy and dry in the aftertaste. Medium bodied and nicely creamy in texture. Overall this wasn't bad, one of the better Finch's beers I guess.

Apr 06, 2015
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2+ fingers of tan head that takes a while to fade down to a nice cap that leaves great lacing

S: Roasted malts and dark chocolate up front, with hints of coffee, molasses, and toffee. Lightly sweet with nice roast overall

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some roast and lightly sweet dark chocolate, followed by some coffee and toffee notes. Very light bitter molasses notes come through, but are mostly muted out by the general roast and bitterness of the hops. Finishes with roast and a combination of sweetness and bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very nice black IPA with great balance and drinkability. The 8% is absolutely nowhere to be found or felt. Definitely one of the better ones in the style, and one that probably gets looked over or ignored. Try it if you're into the style

Mar 25, 2015
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galwayjoyce from Massachusetts

2.91/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

nice and smokey...but yet another fail at attempting to make a black IPA...will ANY brewery succeed...EVER?
little advice for Finch's: an IPA should have discernible hop presence...and IBU information listed.
not as dreadful as their fellow midwesterners, Founders, for their "Dark Pennance"...but still very disappointing. ANY ADVOCATES WITH BLACK IPA recommendations, please fill me in. i live in Boston, for an idea of my local breweries.

Feb 08, 2015
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finch’s Sobek & Set has a thin, cream-colored head, a very dark brown (almost black) appearance, and a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted barley malt, sweet, brown bread crust, and the slightest amount of hop oils. Mouthfeel is medium and a touch slick, and Finch’s Sobek & Set finishes semi-dry and pretty easy drinking for an 8% beer.


Jan 28, 2015
Photo of ctbrewer227
ctbrewer227 from Connecticut

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Easy drinking black IPA for the style, ended up getting it fresh in a can. For the style of beer I think Finch nails it with this one. One black IPA everyone should try

Jan 20, 2015
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks man.

The beer is opaque and deep, dark brown with a thick, beige head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, pine. Hop forward with warming alcohol and resinous pine. Medium bodied with lingering roast. Dark chocolate and a touch of licorice. Solid.

Sep 23, 2014
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured a jet black color with a 2F head in a Spiegalgau glass.

The aroma: rich Caramel, fruit, and chocolate.

Mouth feel is moderate+ carbonated.

Taste: dark roasted malt, some fruit, finished with a light hoppy bitterness.

Excellent black IPA. I especially like the fruity caramel aroma transitioning to a dark roasted malt taste & finished with a light hoppiness.

Sep 03, 2014
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Somewhat a surprise here. Opaque as a good stout with a HUGE tan head and tons of tan lacing. Nose of chocolate, coffee, spicy hops, and deep roasted malts. Taste is up front bittering hops with sweet malts to the sides. Coffee and bitter bakers chocolate comes through on the back. Highly carbonated mouthfeel makes it tingly to the hop flavor. Beefy for a black IPA. Excellent. Have had few Finch's brews I dislike, and for not being a hop head either I am changing or they just do it right. Cheers!

Jul 19, 2014
Photo of Mdog
Mdog from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Citrus rind, roasted malts.

Taste: Solid roasted malt flavor. Balanced out by some pretty bitter citrus hop. Coffee shows up in the finish, even more as it warms up.

Overall: I'm not a big black IPA fan, I didn't notice the "black" on the can until I got it back to the hotel. Was very pleasantly surprised though, plenty of roasted malt and coffee flavor that are complemented by the citrus hops instead of clashing. Kind of a hopped-up porter instead of an IPA with some roasted malts thrown in.

May 25, 2014
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

My local, in-person trader, tone77, dropped this CAN off for me recently and I am working to clear some of the backlog.

The Crack! unleashed a spritz of foam across my fingers so I retaliated with an inverted Glug just to show this CAN who's boss in this equation. The pseudo-cascade settled into two dense fingers of deep-tan head with great retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled of mint, charcoal and dark chocolate. Man, I really dislike the way this style squanders hops! Mouthfeel was thick, full, kind of silky on the tongue. The taste was much too smoky, almost like burnt charcoal, to allow the hops even a fighting chance. Finish had an odd peanut butter flavor, but the major flavor was a burnt charcoal. Ugh.

Apr 19, 2014
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

16 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color - it's not quite pitch black, but it's not far off. The head is two fingers high, and khaki in shade. I'm impressed with the long duration of wait, I'm mildly annoyed by the long duration of retention. Its texture is rather soapy and inconsistent, leaving inconsistent patches of lacing down the glass.

S: Oh brother this is a piny brew. Somewhat grapefruity, as well, but the pine really breaks my nose in half (that's a compliment, FYI). As it warms up, touches of chocolate and roast appear, but the hop profile is what dominates. Why am I not giving this a higher score? Because the malts/hops don't seem to be integrated well within one another.

T: Bitter, grapefruity hops open it up. The dark malts come around in the midtaste, bringing notes of chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar. Roasted malts are subtle at best. Brown sugar and piny hop bitterness linger into the finish. The ingredients are here for a great black IPA, unfortunately the integration and balance between the hops and the malts are way off the mark.

M: Slick and syrupy - normally I'd welcome an astringent bite of hop bitterness to clean it up, but is just doesn't. The finish is extremely long, though. I just don't think it's that drinkable, even for an 8% black IPA (if something like Wookey Jack can be effortless, then so can this!)

O: Black IPAs are REALLY hit or miss to me. It takes a lot for this style to impress me, to be fair, and this one just doesn't do it. There's just way too much hop/malt clash here (which is a shame, because individually each aspect is pretty well balanced). Others *might* find enjoyment with this, though - key word might. Caveat emptor, my friends.

Apr 14, 2014
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superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, floral, grass, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and deep roasted malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, citrus rind, floral, grass, pine, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Moderate amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, toast, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of citrus/floral hop and dark roasted malt flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, smooth, and moderately crisp/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent black IPA. All around great balance of citrus/floral hops and dark roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Apr 05, 2014
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jmaharaj from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Among the best Black IPA's ive had. black with a rim of brown, a big frothy tan had that quickly settles leaving suds all over the glass. Smells wonderful, some new citrusy hop aromas layered over more traditional spicy minty notes. more roasted malt comes through on the tongue than most Black IPAs but it quickly gives way tohops that certainly make their presence felt but dont overwhelm with any dominant flavor. finch's have gone outside th box here to make a more subtle beer, which i think works well with a convoluted style like this.

Mar 27, 2014
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Michael_Brennan from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I found this at the local Total Wine among a crush of new interesting-looking strong IPAs and needed to give it a try. I didn't notice the word "Black" in low contrast on the can and so was disappointed to see it come out a dark, dark chocolate as I never black IPA that liked. So I was surprised and pleased by my first taste.
The beer felt full and smooth in the mouth. A nice mouth feel during and after each sip.
It had the right bite: I don't know the IBUs (I would guess around 80) and it isn't as hoppy as most beers I like but the bitterness is perfect for this beer.
The best part of the experience is a very pleasant smokiness to the taste. Not strong enough to dominate but a great extra dimension to enjoy.
This is now the only black IPA on my short list of "buy it when you see it" beers.

Mar 15, 2014
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JayQue from Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz can into a pint glass. Dark brown color, dense with no light getting through. Big tan frothy head with good retention. Thick bands of tan lacing.

Aroma or roasted malts, fairly inviting.

Taste reveals some finishing hops along with some rich roasted malts. The hops presence is mostly piney and there is a nice balance, although malts rule here.

Mouthfeel is crisp, smooth and rich enough.

I like a bit more hoppiness in Black Ales, but this is still a solid brew, well worth trying.

Mar 11, 2014
Sobek & Set from Finch Beer Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 168 ratings