Cabin Fever Imperial Black Ale | Phillips Brewing Company

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Cabin Fever Imperial Black AleCabin Fever Imperial Black Ale
57 Ratings
Cabin Fever Imperial Black AleCabin Fever Imperial Black Ale

Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ericj551 on 03-08-2013

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by CalgaryFMC:
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a tulip glass. For some reason I am particularly appreciating the basically pitch brownish-black appearance, with a nice root beer float-like head. Lots of grapefruit and tangerine hops on the nose, almost perfectly balanced by some wood char, cacao, and coffee notes. Quite floral as well. Splendid aroma and this is one to keep sniffing as you drink. Palate is nearly as good, with a sweet beginning that immediately goes charred and then back to sweet again. Burnt concord grape and citrus lead the way, followed by rather dry char and coffee that holds my attention for a while, although a rock candy like sweetness eventually sets in and persists for the rest of the journey. Some black and green peppercorn spice notes also put in an appearance and the floral hops from the nose also hang tight for the duration. Not super thick of body despite the "imperial" designation and moderately carbonated. Finish is dry and roasted but with an unusually prominent watermelon Jolly Rancher flavor that I could still detect an hour post-consumption. This could be a top "American Black Ale" for me, an excellent balance of dark burnt malts and citrus/floral hops that Phillips might do well to elevate to regular status.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. My wife is near full-term, so the label imagery resonates rather clearly with me right now. Bedlam in the brain stem, eh, Phillips?

This beer pours a very dark, polished mahogany brown hue, with basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, shiny, and rocky beige head, which leaves some broad, fuzzy swaths of patchy lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of sweet citrus, pine and perfumed floral hop esters right off the bat, followed up by oily bar nuts, biscuity chocolate malt, a slight yeastiness, dry bready caramel, and a further pithy and musty vegetal character. The taste is gritty, toasted dark bready malt, singed cocoa powder, bitter citrus cream and spruce tips, and some further floral, earthy hops. Simple, but really quite effective, and no sign of the elevated ABV.

The carbonation is present, a tad frothy, and generally agreeable, the body a solid medium weight, a wee bit airy, and mostly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the roasted chocolate malt and prickly citrus/pine hops still running the table.

I'm usually nonplussed by most ABAs, mostly on account of their lack of long-haul drinkability, for whatever reason. Not so here - Phillips has rendered a smooth, blackened and semi-sweet, but still hoppy ale, all deftly balanced for our drinking pleasure, and with an extra boost of booze that you don't even see coming. Hah - c'mon kid, Imma ready for ya!

 1,420 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - coal black with just a little light getting through the bottom, tower of creamy tan head, held its own with plenty of consistent lacing
S - leafy and piney hops hit you, quickly followed by some nutty malt
T - more of a earthy hop dominance up front with accents of leafy greens, solid compliment of nutty malt with a touch of licorice, very nicely balanced
M - medium body with a creamy start, fairly full with a medium bitterness through the finish
O - its a big beer with a balance that makes it drink like a small beer, full of hop and malt flavours from start to finish, outstanding example of the style

 612 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around $6.00 for a 650ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high beautiful head that lasts forever. Films out and has a nice dark nearly black color. WOW this head looks creamy

S- Lots of hops and malt here. Has a stout like chocolate scent to it. So impressive for a black IPA

T- This one has body and zap. I like it a lot. Chocolate overtones.

M- Dry and airy. Carbonated well.

O- Very good beer. This one is in my top list for a black IPA. The bitterness lever is just right.

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with..... Roasted chicken


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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.7/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: Poured a clear black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt with some light astringent notes. Taste is dominated by dry roasted malt notes with some astringent notes and some citrus hoppy notes with subtle tart notes in the aftertaste. Body is slightly below average with good carbonation. I thought this one balance and was too astringent for my own taste.

 432 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Garrick's Head in Victoria.

A - Deep black; completely opaque with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Citrus, roast and pine.

T - Bitter up front with a big sweet roast profile providing balance. Chocolate and pine are the predominant flavours with some citrus present as well.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out an intense dark brown hue, mahogany highlights when held to direct light, with a creamy light beige head that retains to a middish cap.

Sweet dark malt on the nose, some dry roast with a solid spike of grapefruit and some leafy hops.

Roasty malt, some cocoa and coffee up front in the flavour, turning to leafy herbal hops in the middle, and a bigger grapefruit citrus kick on the finish. Mocha notes blend with the grapefruit on the finish, while a dry roastiness and grapefruit pith character linger on in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied on the fuller side of things, creamy smooth texture, with a medium amount of carbonation.

Phillips does it up right with this Cascadian, with a good balance between the malt and hops and enough character for them both to stand out in their own respect. I'll be picking up more of this while it is still available. This is one for Phillips to consider for a second brewing, for sure.

 962 characters

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: opaque black with hints of amber; nice "rootbeer" head
S: deep rich, toasted oats, some citrus (grapefruit rind)
T: a mish-mash of tastes: cola, dark licorice ... Noticeable bitterness in the taste and a bitter, dry finish. A big, brooding beer but I'm not sure that I like it all that much.
M: medium-fullbodied but with a line of bitterness that cuts through.
O: declaration-- American/Cascadian Black Ale is a beer style that I really don't care for (this bottle was a gift). It seems like brewers are just throwing styles together to see what sticks .. and for me, this style is much less than the sum of its parts. It's not a bad beer just not one that's very appealing.

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Photo of papat444
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of spinrsx
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RedAleMan
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thehyperduck
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; best before July 22 2015 and served slightly chilled.

This one pours a dark blackish-brown colour; impenetrable to light, and capped off by two fingers of highly resilient, frothy light beige-coloured head. It requires the better part of ten minutes to fully seep away, eventually leaving behind a lumpy, foamy cap and a generous collar, in addition to multiple rings of sticky lace. This beer is gorgeous, but the aroma is somewhat less, well, attention-grabbing - I am getting a lot of citrusy orange, candied grapefruit, pine resin and some tropical fruitiness. This is alongside molasses and caramelized sugar sweetness, overlying a muted roasted malt backbone - hints of chocolate and coffee come through, but in a very subdued manner.

Things get kicked up a notch once this stuff hits my tongue - the tastebuds are immediately bombarded with big blasts of roasted malt and molasses sweetness. Cocoa powder, dark-roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate are quite dominant, with the (somewhat less-robust, but no less appealing) hop flavours featured next. Pineapple, pithy grapefruit citrus and pine resin provide a last-minute surge, with the profile finishing upon a lingering, earthy hop astringency that really clings to the palate. Medium-full in body, with light carbonation levels and a seriously smooth, creamy feel that makes for a fulfilling, hearty presence on the palate. This is the sort of beer that would clearly excel during the winter months, but there's certainly no reason I can't enjoy it in May, either - it's holding up very nicely, and this batch should remain yummy well into the summer.

Final Grade: 4.24, a high A-. Phillips' Cabin Fever is a very well-made black ale that I am really digging right now. In a bit of a twist for this style - the malt bill really takes command here, but that's not to say that the hops don't provide a sizeable punch on the back end. There's plenty of citrusy, resiny bitterness to satisfy the hop fanatics. Quality black IPAs are not particularly commonplace at the LCBO, so this is a highly-welcome addition that I hope to see back next year. Definitely worth a pick-up if you spot it locally, and I will likely be purchasing another bottle, as the price point is pretty good too.

 2,277 characters

Photo of SenorBiggles
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ultrarunner100
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Svingjo
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Snowcase Advent Calendar 2013 - This again poured a nice dark colour with a long retaining tan head. The nose shows a nice leafy citrus hops that is balanced with a sweet malt. You get a mocha coffee taste up front that finishes with a citrus hoppiness that offers up a lingering bitterness. I've really enjoyed both of Phillips' Cascadian offerings in this calendar. The best of both worlds with a sweet maltiness and strong hop.

 430 characters

Photo of Long813
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Derek
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Slongie
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $6.30 CDN. Excited to try yet another black ale, this seems to be a style I just can't get enough of.

Appearance - virtually the darkest shade of brown I've ever seen, as close to black as you can be without being black. Opaque with an ominous three finger tan head and an incredible amount of frothy lacing left behind. Great retention that lasts a while and leaves behind a thin layerof foam on top.

Smell - big nose that starts with a juicy fruit aroma of pineapple and orange then a wallop of roasted malt with a slight burnt edge comes into play. A touch of coffee an chocolate for good measure. Great nosethwt transitions back to fruit before the end and a bit of a burnt sugar aroma.

Taste - like the nose this starts juicy with pineapple and other citrus blends then goes roasty with some coffee and leather. Mixture, before fading to a slightly sweeter burnt brown sugar, and molasses finish. Very tasty and well rounded. Finishes bitter.

Mouthfeel - smooth with good carbonation, fairly creamy but not syrupy and a hefty body that retains refreshment. Good feel for the style.

Overall - awesome beer, with lots of flavours, juicy fruit flavours and dry roasty grain and malts mixed into with an aroma that backs it up. The 8.5% ABV is undetectable at least until you realize you've finished the bottle and then it hits you. Very well rounded and certainly a beer I'd love. To see more of here in Ontario.

 1,489 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of connorhenry
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev -1.5%

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Cabin Fever Imperial Black Ale from Phillips Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 57 ratings