Epitome | Carton Brewing Company

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
302 Ratings
EpitomeEpitome
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
cartonbrewing.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We don't have many rules at Carton Brewing and those we have we made up for ourselves. In general though, we strive for drinkability through balance and harmonization of flavors. But even self-imposed rules are meant to be broken. With Epitome we decided to embrace the teenage metalhead in each of us and get discordant with a seriously hoppy, high gravity, black ale. The only notions accepted were to make it bigger, bolder, hotter & faster. A Beast. The ABV had to push past 10, the black had to be "none more," and the hops had to be American and piled on like a double bass drum kicking faster and harder. Drink Epitome because things worth doing are worth over doing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXRy7uocSG8&list=UUnN44_ILc3y0x6WbvjLR1Kg

Added by Chas58 on 12-29-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
302
Reviews:
39
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.1%
 
 
Wants:
65
Gots:
56
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of PDinunzi
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Hopznbuds
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Urk1127
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jfitzbrew
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is definitely different. A beast as advertised. Deep black with a pretty nice tannish head. Great retention for the ABV of this beer. Get a lot of pine, molasses, rich berries, and roasty notes in the aroma. The flavor follows but what is delightful in the aroma seems to clash a bit in the flavor profile. Maybe that is just me. Alcohol detectable. Not surprising for the ABV but at the same time surprising that it isn't masked by everything else going on. Definitely will drink again and see if my opinion changes.

 527 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lemon myrtle, jasmine petals, and citron form a fresh and rejuvenating aroma despite the pitch black color. Pineapple and maybe some mango, but definitely pine oil. Taste is similarly tropical and piney. Soft, silky smooth graham cracker. Malt extract is subliminal with suggestions of marshmallow, light syrup and a bit of coffee to match its cafe au lait colored head. Mocha latte is apt given its super creamy mouthfeel. The cows definitely were grass fed; super lush and herbaceous flavor. The citrus fruit and piney, floral hop notes bound in the sweetness before it gets out of hand. It's an easy sipper despite the high ABV although occasional wafts of high ethanol and spent espresso beg to differ from time to time.

 724 characters

Photo of aquabears
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with thick lacing. Smell is piney and slightly fruity. Taste is... incredible. Citrus (sweet lemon?) and tropical, dank, strong malt backbone... the bitterness is faint and blends perfectly with the roasty sweetness. The taste is truly incredible. Thick, leaves and oily feel in your mouth after swallowing, some heat from the alcohol. But... you would never guess it is 10.3%
If you see this, buy it.

 413 characters

Photo of threeviews
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can (Canned on 22 November 2016) into a (Carton Brewing branded) Rastal Craft Master One Tumbler:

A - Pours black, none more than black with a single finger coffee ice cream colored head. For a 10%+ ABV beer, the retention is strong (4.75)

S - Pine, citrus (orange and grapefruit), floral and mixed berry aromas all wrapped in a blanket of mild roast and dark molasses. Although my review is one month from canning, the hops were much more pungent when first canned (of which I had less than a week after canning) but are still very pungent and dominate the aroma. Any hints of alcohol do not exist and are hidden wonderfully well. (4.75)

T - Hops clearly dominate with only a slight hint of the dark malts. In addition to healthy dose of pithy orange & (white) grapefruit, and berry sunshine, there is a fleeting lemon/lime presence that is not detected in the aroma. Very well balanced for a beer this big, this dark and this hoppy...a massive Black IPA (let us call it what it is) has been executed very well. (4.75)

M - Medium+ body with conservative carbonation. Although it finishes really tacky and dry, a bit more carbonation would be welcome to accentuate the nose and titivate the palate. (4.25)

O - Epitome is everything I look for in a Black IPA: a mind-bender of a beer where the aroma and flavor tricks your senses...this does exactly that (especially when drinking it one week fresh). Due to the size of the brewery and its output, the price (~$5/can) is a bit pricey, yet understandable since it screams hops, hops and more hops in both aroma and flavor. (4.5)

 1,601 characters

Photo of jodybrutal
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of allenson21
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AMCimpi
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SebastianMandeville
4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Cachookie
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of beebs22
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Barleycorn
4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Quigmann
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not a fan of darks, but this is fantastic.

42 characters

Photo of runeatdrink
3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jpbrooklyn
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Feeding beer-blessed I scored 6 cans of this nectar. Sorry to repeat others but it's true: if I didn't pour this out I might not know it was a black IPA. Hoppy bomb infused with a through-line of molasses maltiness. Perfect mouthfeel--light on the carbonation and the alcohol is wonderfully well hidden. Dangerously drinkable, flavors just keep coming! Makes me proud to know a NJ brewery created this nectar. My only sadness is I now have just two cans left...

 461 characters

Photo of Hoptimistic_Pissamesstic
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On its own this is a straight up top tier imperial IPA. I tried school of hops and then this and that made it taste like a top tier black ipa. If I did not pour it in a glass I would think it was one of he best imperial IPAs out there and I have heady and crusher in my fridge right now. I poured it, its a black IPA and its magnificent!

 337 characters

Photo of Rich_K
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 1levelabove247
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Baldrich27
3.79/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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Epitome from Carton Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 302 ratings.
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