Death Hoppy Black Ale
Shmaltz Brewing Company

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Style:
IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #220
ABV:
7%
Score:
87
Ranked #19,774
Avg:
3.87 | pDev: 11.11%
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
459
From:
Shmaltz Brewing Company
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  6
Gots
  80
SCORE
87
Very Good
Notes: Formerly Death Of A Contract Brewer

Death seems so obvious: the end of life, no mas, kaput. But Humans stand an optimistic animal. Many traditions suggest alternate endings: Resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth, afterlife. Even the atheist view of Eternal Oblivion doesn't seem quite final, more of a shift in spiritual states of (un)consciousness. As usual, Jewish tradition prescribes... Food. 7 days of family, community, and bagels (beer!), called, Shiva, meaning "7" in Hebrew. The flip side to the 7 days of Creation with the 7th as a holy day of rest. The first meal of Shiva is "the comfort meal." And the number 7 provides powerful mojo: 7 Jewish wedding blessings, 7 Liberal Arts, 7 Lucky Japanese gods, 7 stars of the Big Dipper, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 seas, 007 license to kill, 7 dwarves, We are 7 by Wordsworth with a child's view of death, 7 deadly sins, Best of 7 finals in NBA, NHL, MLB, 7th Inning stretch, no. 7 on Elway & Tiny Archibald. George Costanza yearned to name his firstborn, "7" as a living tribute to no. 7 Mickey Mantle. The 7 Award however must go to the immortal George Carlin for 7 Dirty Words, inspired by another hero Lenny Bruce. Coming into 17 years of beer, and Year no. 1 with our own Brewery, we commemorate this conversion with Death Of A Contract Brewer, our Shmaltz homage to new life - L'Chaim! Jeremy Cowan, proprietor

7 MALTS: Specialty 2-row, Munich, Crystal Rye, Wheat, Chocolate,Pale Chocolate, Kiln Coffee
7 HOPS: Cascade, Citra, Summit, Crystal, Amarillo, Ahtanum, Chinook
70 IBU
View: Beers
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 459 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-A nice dark color with a slight tan head and nice lacing.
S-A scent of dank hops, roasted malts and coffee.
T-The taste follows the smell, with nice reminders of mocha.
M-A medium bodied black IPA that is very smooth and easy on the palate.
O-A very nice balanced beer, with good character.

Jun 23, 2019
Photo of Specules
Specules from California

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm more of a Black, Imperial, and English IPAs these days and this one really hits the spot.
Interesting licorice, sweet & bitter chocolate, peroxide/alcoholic burn on the nose and taste.
Taste is a good balance of the 7 malts and hops.
Would love to see this one barrel-aged.

Mar 27, 2018
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Death by has a medium beige head, a dark brown, nearly black, appearance, with brown highlights and a bit of glass lacing. Aroma is of dark bread crust, and the flavor is of sweet, dark malts, mild chocolate, and a touch of hop & acrid bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and Death by finishes medium dry.

RJT

Feb 11, 2018
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong resin, strong spicy hops, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level and noticeable bitterness. Tastes of strong resin, strong spicy hops, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance and blend, but only average aroma and body.

Nov 29, 2017
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear very dark brown (bordering on black until you shine a light into it) producing 2+ fingers of frothy, moderately lasting, tan head that leaves a beautiful wash of dense, patchy lace. Aroma is floral, grapefruit & pine with a note of deep roast intermingled with burnt hints caramel, molasses & faint coffee. Taste is grapefruit hoppy with only hints of floral and pine, malts are roast, dark bread & char infused with mix of caramel, molasses & a little coffee, again with a burnt note that is stronger than in the nose. Bitter throughout the sip but strongest at mid-sip where it becomes more pine dominant backed up by citrus which is complemented in the finish by smoke & burnt malts becoming a hop bitter/burnt malt aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate to heavy carbonation, astringent especially in the aftertaste, silky but not smooth, slightly chewy & prickly on the tongue.

Mar 06, 2017
Photo of Samlover55
Samlover55 from New York

3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic pint
not going to bother with the date code
L- black with hints of brown, khaki head, solid retention
S- really beautiful floral hoppy aroma, with notes of a chocolate-y mocha
T- malty, hoppy but most pronounced is the booziness, which is surprising being the beer is 7% abv
F- medium bodied with a hoppy/boozy bite
O- not a balanced beer the flavors just don't meld together nicely

Dec 09, 2016
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

2.89/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle at 7% ABV.
Pours near black with ruby edges. The body is topped by a large, tan head that leaves lots of lacing.
Aroma: a bit medicinal with hints of raisins and pine.
Flavor: similar, but with more suggestion of some contamination (Brett) and wet leather. Hoppy, as promised.

Nov 08, 2016
Photo of deleted_user_1111368
deleted_user_1111368 from Delaware

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Preface: I originally reviewed this beer in May 2016 ..without commenting. It was at the beginning of my venture into 'anything' IPA. This is an updated rating.

Poured into a 20 oz stout glass.. dark, with a tad light sneaking through. I get a little chocolate, some roasted malts, rye... and a flavor that I can't identify during my pour, sip, swill, or finish. I'm not experienced enough to pick it out yet.. but it's not off-putting.

Taste has a nice balance of malt and (not too) bitter hops, without anything overpowering my taste buds. MF a good mixture of smooth with a little late bite, but not bad enough to deter from the overall experience.

While not a great beer, it is a very good beer, I am glad this beer is available locally now, at multiple places!

Postface: I revisited DOACB because I thought I hadn't given it a fair and objective review last year. I was right.

May 26, 2016
Photo of jmd1978
jmd1978 from Missouri

3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate color with a little tan head. Nose coffee, roasted malt, caramel, a little citrus. Taste of cocoa, cinnamon, hops, roast, lemon. Cocoa finish that lingers. Not what I expected but s decent beer nor the less.

May 23, 2016
Photo of Boto
Boto from Connecticut

3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz. bomber: This one pours an opaque, very dark brown color. There was a small tan head that doesn’t linger long but does leave some lacing. Good nose. Roasted malts, citrus hops, lighter pine and faint coffee. The taste is very good. Just a bit of coffee and bitterness up front. Pine, roast, maybe some nuttiness. A good beer.

May 15, 2016
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a black body with one-finger head that left a bit of lace. The aroma struck me at first as oily, bitter hops, but then the aromas of burnt, roasted malts overpower this. Just like the aroma, this beer has notes of hops, mostly oily/piney/bitter that you can taste but the roasted, possibly burnt malts (there that strong), malt presence is overpowering. Lack of balance and too strong malt presence make this a black IPA that I prefer not to have again as there is a lack of a substantial hop presence.

Apr 20, 2016
Photo of brian44556
brian44556 from Kentucky

4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip. No date on the bottle.

Pours a deep black with a chocolatey head. Great head retention with thick, sticky lacing. Strong notes of roasted malts, light licorice, and a touch of hops. Let this one warm up to about 55 degrees to get the full flavor profile. Malty roast combined with bitter citrus from the hops highlights the taste. Also a bit of toffee and chocolate mixed in there. Full bodied and excellent feel. Nice crisp finish. Black IPA being my favorite style, I tend to be a bit more critical when reviewing, but this is a well made beer and a great example of the style.

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a half finger of head on a black body.
The aroma is rich roasted malt, dark candy and molasses.
The taste has a strong coffee and pine bitterness throughout, a touch of cocoa for sweet, roasted malt.
The texture is thicker.
Enjoyable.

Jan 16, 2016
Photo of Lahoi
Lahoi from Kentucky

4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! What an experience. A great beer for a cool winter night.

Bought in a 22 oz bomber. Poured a very dark color. Not quite black, but close enough. Creamy 1 finger head, good lacing.

Smell and taste almost match. Hoppy, malty, a little nutty, some fruits (raisins?), sweet like licorice. Finishes with lots of hops. Also has a spice to it. Alcohol wasn't overpowering at all.

Excellent feel. Full bodied, but not too filling.

Dec 24, 2015
Photo of MAB
MAB from Canada (AB)

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A superb ale. Not as dark as I'd imagined it to be from the description, but full of malty sweetness to balance the lovely hops.
It is thick on the tongue; sweet, and easy-drinking.

Dec 14, 2015
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love black IPAs and this is a good one. Pours black with a nice creamy light brown head and good lacing. Very nice citrusy taste with toasty notes of coca and caramel. This is the only black IPA I have found so far this year in my area. I hope the type did not burn itself out last year!

Oct 02, 2015
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Bomber

Poured into my Stone Arrogant Bastard tall glass a very nice dark brown/black color, with some very nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy light tan one-finger head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, nice malt note, licorice, slight vanilla, slightly roasty. The taste is very nice hoppy, malty, nice licorice note, with some roastyness. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall a very nice brew, would buy again.

Sep 12, 2015
Photo of dd43
dd43 from Connecticut

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty big dark malt presence on this one with a fairly strong hop bite on the finish. The aroma profile is a mix of dark malt sweetness along with coffee and a fairly well expressed raisin note. I can't say I love the flavor on this beer but it's pretty well executed as a black IPA. I found the bitterness to be slightly off putting, like an over-roasted coffee kind of thing.

Sep 12, 2015
Photo of tempest
tempest from New York

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big spicy hops that mix with deep roasted malts in the aroma. A touch of fruit sweetness in the flavor, but dark flavors of ground coffee and black malts roll over it and the biting citrus, black pepper hops. Standard drinkability for a 7% brew. Tasty black ale that veers more toward stout than porter on the malts.

Sep 02, 2015
Photo of Evan1356
Evan1356 from North Carolina

3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Intense malts overpower the hops a bit too much for my liking. Went into this thinking it'd be a bit like Dubhe from Uinta but not even in the same category, would much rather have a Dubhe than this monster. Do not take this beer lightly, it packs a wallop with the malts.

Aug 20, 2015
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a black brew with a tall and fluffy tan head. The aroma is of brown, toasted and roasted malts. The flavor is similar, with lots of brown and maillard flavors. It has a full and satisfying mouthfeel and a serious hop bitterness that really kicks in in the hind taste.

Aug 16, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Happy Gnome. L: Pours black with a one finger light tan head that grips the side of the glass as it goes down. S: Spicy grain, some espresso. T: Some rye spiciness, light espresso, not a lot of caramel, bitter hop accent, nothing harsh or burnt. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: A flavorful American Black Ale that is refreshing and easy to drink.

Aug 03, 2015
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I am taking a brief break from The CANQuest (tm) to knock out a bottle. Sue me.

From the bottle: "Born SF 1996 Reborn NY 2013"; "Commemorative Black IPA 7 Malts, 7 Hops, &% Alc. by Vol."; "Death seems so obvious: the end of life, no mas, kaput. But Humans stand an optimistic animal. Many traditions suggest alternate endings: Resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth, afterlife. Even the atheist view of Eternal Oblivion doesn't seem quite final, more of a shift in spiritual states of (un)consciousness. As usual, Jewish tradition prescribes... Food. 7 days of family, community, and bagels (beer!), called, Shiva, meaning "7" in Hebrew. The flip side to the 7 days of Creation with the 7th as a holy day of rest. The first meal of Shiva is "the comfort meal." And the number 7 provides powerful mojo: 7 Jewish wedding blessings, 7 Liberal Arts, 7 Lucky Japanese gods, 7 stars of the Big Dipper, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 seas, 007 license to kill, 7 dwarves, We are 7 by Wordsworth with a child's view of death, 7 deadly sins, Best of 7 finals in NBA, NHL, MLB, 7th Inning stretch, no. 7 on Elway & Tiny Archibald. George Costanza yearned to name his firstborn, "7" as a living tribute to no. 7 Mickey Mantle. The 7 Award however must go to the immortal George Carlin for 7 Dirty Words, inspired by another hero Lenny Bruce. Coming into 17 years of beer, and Year no. 1 with our own Brewery, we commemorate this conversion with Death Of A Contract Brewer, our Shmaltz homage to new life - L'Chaim! [undersigned] Jeremy Cowan, proprietor"

I Pop!ped the cap and began an aggro pour, resulting in a finger-and-a-half of dense, deep-brown head with good retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with some clarity as evidenced by the garnet highlights. Nose had a minty chocolatiness and I immediately thought of a Girls Scout Thin Mint. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of the style since, as a hophead, I feel like the dark roasted malts get in the way of the precious hops. In this case, the nose seemed pretty nice, actually. Mouthfeel was full, approaching, but not quite creamy. The taste started out with a nice hoppy, minty bitterness, but suddenly, I was getting bombarded with smoke and charcoal. Eh. I looked down and the glass was coated in sticky lacing, which was another plus. Finish held that curious admixture of hops and charcoal that I have come to recognize as a hallmark of the style. If you are into that sort of thing, great, but it simply is not my cuppa tea.

Jun 23, 2015
Photo of travolta
travolta from California

2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Minimal head volume, but good retention. Minimal lacing. Totally black in color.

Nose: Leather, bbq sauce, dark cherry.

Taste: Some licorice, nougat, chocolate, bitter cocoa nibs.

Notes: It is interesting, but not something I enjoyed. It has character, however.

May 22, 2015
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This black IPA pours, well, black with a beautiful thick head of quickly dissipating bubbles of off white foam that turns to a nice layer and a thick ring with GREAT lacing. Nose of dark heavily roasted malts, strong bittering hops, moderate citrus notes, and earthy funk. Flavors of almost burnt malts and strong bitter hops explode to all sides. Some light toffee notes come through on the back. This big brew is aided by a creaminess that helps cut through the bitter hop after bite and long lingering burnt aftertaste of some seriously roasted malts. Good carbonation gives a searing mouth feel that finishes bitter. Good for the style.

Side note: The little lady will have nothing to do with it.

cheers

May 15, 2015
Death Hoppy Black Ale from Shmaltz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 459 ratings