Epitome
Carton Brewing Company

EpitomeEpitome
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Black Ale
Ranked #5
ABV:
10.3%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,111
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 8.16%
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
324
From:
Carton Brewing Company
 
New Jersey, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  65
Gots
  59
SCORE
95
World-Class
EpitomeEpitome
Notes: 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
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 324 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Nicolette10895:
Photo of Nicolette10895
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of WesMantooth
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As I dumped all 16 oz from the can into the glass, it produced a huge, off white/slightly kahki foamy head on top of the nearly pitch black body. Leaves a solid 1/4" ring and moderate amounts of laciness.

Aroma is big citrusy and somewhat floral hops. I don't notice any charred/roasted malt, but I do notice a slight dankness.

The taste is a blast of hops right off the bat. Very zesty and biting. Citrus - in the form of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. There is also some west coast piney flavor in there too along with the slight dankness I could smell. I never really notice a lot of roasted malt in this other than the aftertaste. There is a very strong bitterness long after finishing. I think the hop flavors just drown it out for the most part. It is a tad boozy, but not in your face.

The body is a solid medium. It is actually a little heavier than several porters. Carbonation is also on the higher end of medium I would say.

I am not real good with picking out hop varieties, but I do thing I can compare them to other beers fairly well. This one screams Great Lakes Chillwave to me. Both in smell and taste. This is where it became hard for me to score this because I love Chillwave, and I am really digging this.

I went back and forth with the taste from 4 all the way to 4.5 several times. I finally settled on 4. The main reason is, to me, I feel black ales should be as close to a 50/50 balance of a porter and an ipa as possible. Of course, that may just be me, but this is why Lagunitas Nightime and The Brew Kettle's Black Rajah remain my favorite in this style. All of that being said, this is one of the top 3 black ales I have had so far. It is a monster of a beer at 10%+ and 100 IBUs, but drinks so well. Much better beer than Founder's Dark Penance for reference. From my experience, I have a feeling that Carton beers may become more and more difficult to find in the near future.

 1,915 characters

Photo of Jason
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz tallboy from the brewery.

Amazing lace that lasts, loving the darkness. Pungent hops nose, lovely levels of hop oil, pine and soft citrus... Some dark bread as well. 100 IBUs is there but there is so much else going on that the hop flavor and dark bready base seem to show harder. Pine and citrus rind in the middle. Warming and a long lingering hop resin in the finish.

Pretty damn amazing... Seek this one out.

 421 characters

Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Looks amazing with a never ending, very slow head. Similar to Guiness for head dissipation. In the crystal beer mug I used it had a 5 finger head. Actually smells dank and fruity. Was expecting roasty, coffee, chocolate. If it is there it gets overtaken by this black hop bomb. tastes silky and smooth. Something about Carton's yeast I find unique in a good way. Overall another winner for Carton. This beer was canned 11 days ago. 16$ a 4 pack , 16oz Tallboy cans.

 470 characters

Photo of ShaggaCurtisovich
4.79/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Close to a five. First, more breweries should churn out black ipas. Second, how did most miss the most important ingredient in this beer. To me vanilla stands out. Jet black nose lacing and a nice IPA taste with a smooth finish. This is the best black IPA I've had. Great job on this one.

 293 characters

Photo of EnthusedAboutBeer
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Rich_K
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Devman171
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of NJB145
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NJBeer265
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JasonR1975
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jakemn91
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopBomb515
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour with a thick tan head that refuses to fade and leaves chunky lacing everywhere. Sweet caramel, lemon, grapefruit, light pine and coffee notes. Sweet caramel and soft coffee notes open up and give way mid palate to a burst of citrus hops that bring lemon and grapefruit flavors then finish with some light pine and light sweetness. Amazing beer. The mouthfeel is sublime. Enough carbonation to let you know it's alive, but supple and soft at the same time. Finish is dry and carries the hop bitterness and 100 IBUs beautifully. I must say, this beer is incredible.

 587 characters

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PintSizedLover
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Extra i got in a trade. Thanks to PatsBlueRibbon1. AP: A vigorous pour of this opaque jet black ale, beckons a foamy 4 finger khaki head that dissipates slowly to a thin foamy head that lingers throughout the drink, with spotty lacing up and down the whole glass. AR: Funky wet pine predominate, with faint hints of roast and caramel syrup. Floral notes linger way in the back. TA: More wet pine, and loads of citrus, mostly grapefruit and orange peel, with some orange blossom notes hiding with faint bits of roast, and sweet caramel scones. The ABV is hidden well behind the IBU's. MF: Probably the biggest miss in this ale. I could use a little more carbonation, to make the bitterness a bit more aggressive. OV: I want more. I am so glad that this is didn't try to become a hoppy porty, which many dark ales try to do. This is a hoppy ale, with a dark side that is only expressed in its appearance.

 903 characters

Photo of DrewRPS
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of tedgelee
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zero_signal
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jgunther71
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of woooobeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of jshusc
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dominic_Decoco
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of edhizdeid
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EB1
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Epitome from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 324 ratings