Black Tuna
Pipeworks Brewing Company

Black TunaBlack Tuna
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #3
Ranked #927
4.34 | pDev: 6.45%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Black TunaBlack Tuna
Notes: Duuuuuuuude...pass that. No, not that. The bottle opener. Thanks man. Yeah. Psssssh so I'm drifting through the galazy and scored this Black IIPA brewed with like kilos like kilos man of this Galaxy strain of hops and like those sweet, sweet nectars of bees. It pairs like so well with Doritos and ice cream sandos. Duuuuuuudeee...let's go to that place with that grilled cheese. What? We already went there tonight? Oh. This is like that time I thought I wrote the Matrix.
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 251 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Treated as an imperial black ale, this was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a nice black color with a small cap of a little white foamy head. Dissipation was set at a nice pace. Light stringy lace.
The aroma had some roasted barley/sweet grain, piney hops, some sticky passion fruit, citrus rind and a subtle anise-like quality underneath.
The flavor was moderately roasty with a semi-crisp bitterness coming in to stifle a bit of sweetness coming from a blend of hops and malts. Nice aftertaste of roasty barley, passion fruity piney-ness.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. That's usually the norm for me from this style. Nice carbonation and ABV. Fair bitter grip along my tongue.
Overall, nicely done American black ale well worthy of having again.

Oct 15, 2018
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barnzy78 from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, dark mahogany colored body with a creamy tan head that holds good retention. Juicy and citric hops, alcohol, and dark malt on the aroma. Big Citra hop profile along with a bold dark malt backbone; notes of roasted barley, anise, passion fruit, piney mango, honey, orange & grapefruit zest, and dank hops. Full body, alcohol is actually pretty well concealed given its ABV, strong bitter finish between hops and roast. This was really good. I've balked at buying it before, but it's totally worth it.

Aug 31, 2018
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jakecattleco from California

3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Surprised how much honey remained on the nose and taste. Perhaps it felt this level of sweetness impeded the normal attributes of a CDA/BIPA.

May 08, 2018
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: opaque; very dark brown; 1 finger light brown head that receded to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: very hop forward; herbal and pine; really nice;

T: nice, but a bit of a let down after the aroma; herbal is presominant, with pine and earthy in the background from start to finish; mild to moderate bitterness that increases to moderate in the aftertaste;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately sry finish;

O: very enjoyable;

Mar 24, 2017
THANAT0PSIS from Wisconsin

4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pipeworks/4 Hands Black Tuna

A: Pours, like its namesake, completely black, with absolutely no light coming through, even at the edges. A thin, half-finger of khaki head has surprisingly good retention and remains a crust throughout, looking a bit like crema on an impossibly dark espresso shot. Lacing is also impressive given how scant the head is, and alcohol legs also make a cameo appearance, unsurprising given the hefty 9.5%. It appears very viscous as well. This is one of the darkest and most opaque beers around, and the disappointing head is the only gripe. 4.25/5

A: Hops show first with orange, peach, mango, and a healthy dose of ruby grapefruit, plus the signature Pipeworks pineapple note. Not to be outdone, and right on the heels of the lupulin offensive, simultaneously roasty, sweet, creamy, rich malts with (caramel, toffee, and burnt sugar in tow) blend impossibly seamlessly into something resembling a dark chocolate orange latte or one of those chocolate oranges you need to smash to get open chased with French roast coffee. A bit of pine resin sneaks in at the end, completing a very festive nose (those chocolate oranges feature prominently at Christmas time, under the pungent tree). 4.75/5

T: The taste does not quite reach the heights of the nose with the beer being a bit more divided against itself, but this is still a superb treat for the palate. Sweet fruits (again, orange, peach, mango, and lots of pineapple) lead it off again but transition into the grapefruit and piney bitterness early. This then segues to the "black" part of the IPA with a hefty dose of rich macchiato (the espresso-heavy, low-milk drink, not the caramel-infused sugar coma that Starbucks passes as a macchiato), midnight black chocolate, more coffee, oddly some milk chocolate later, and burnt sugar. There is almost an acridity to the finish as it all finally comes together, briefly: hops appear again with the pine resin to finish alongside campfire ashes and too-burnt toast. Some of this is nitpicky, and there are certainly great beers that are a tale of two beers, so to speak; the true greats integrate better, however. 4.5/5

M: This is everything one wants in a big, black IPA. The body is full and creamy, yet nicely carbed and goes down very smoothly. The bitterness is balanced brilliantly, and the finish is wonderfully dry with just a slight lingering sense of astringency. Alcohol leaves behind a pleasant warmth. It is aggressive, but that is down to the style. 5/5

O: This is a top three black IPA of all time, if not the number one best one ever made (with the obvious caveat that I have not had every single one ever made). It is exemplary of the style in basically every way, and if it could just come together a little better into a complete package (something I believe other batches have done better), I would have no hesitation giving it even higher marks. As is, it falls just short of perfection, but still remains a must-have beer, especially for fans of the style. Pair with Wolves in the Throne Room's "Two Hunters," a Cascadian black metal gem. 4.5/5

Mar 08, 2017
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Oneguy73 from Illinois

4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Delicious! Looks Like a IM Stout, drinks like an IPA. After I had my first one I went out and bought three more.

Black/brown appearance.
citrus notes in the nose and a hint of honey late.
Medium mouth feel. Not heavy.

Feb 24, 2017
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mschrei from Illinois

4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this the first time it came out but didn't review or rate it then, so I was excited when I saw they were releasing it again. Poured into a Pipeworks NvU snifter from a bomber. Black as the ace of spades, he was, to borrow a Monty Python phrase. As dark if not darker than most stouts, but with no thinning of color on the edges you get with that style. Constant big creamy thick head and lacing. Smell and taste are where I don't agree saying this is an American black ale-this is an imperial IPA all the way. Bold fruity, hoppy, and honey nose which follows through on the taste. There was the slightest hint of bitterness early in the bottle which softens as you go on, which can also be said about a mildly unpleasant burn on the back end of the taste which might just be the alcohol. Either way, it's a tasty and balanced offering from my favorite brewery's best series of beers.

NOTE: reviewed February of 2017, revisiting in March 2018. Upping taste to 4.75 and feel to 4.5, now comes in at 4.62. Probably the best black Ale I've had. Love when this one comes out.

Feb 22, 2017
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novamat from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is another solid offering from Pipeworks. Pours a thick black with a cocoa colored head. If you poured a glass of this without telling me what it was, just based on it's appearance I'd guess it was an imperial stout. Not as heavy on the roasty flavors that you get from other beers in this style, with more hop-forward characteristics that strikes a nice balance. Mouthfeel is excellent and is on par with with Pipeworks best beers. A great detour from the other hoppy, fruit-oriented beers in the fish series.

Feb 21, 2017
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eppie82 from Illinois

4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From bomber into pint glass. Appearnce is of a typical black/dark IPA but everything else was the usual Pipeworks DIPA. The smell and taste had citrus hop qualities, and the feel is smooth with a faint indication of honey. Very nice collab Fish Series I would (and did) grab again.

Feb 12, 2017
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled fall 2015; drank 10/20/15 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a big khaki head; a curtain of frothy lace.

Orange citrus & creamed coffee notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Orange citrus & creamed coffee flavors up front; sweet mandarin notes on the finish. No booze heat. Not super flavorful, but well balanced for the style. I'd have another.

Dec 14, 2016
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dar482 from New York

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The aroma offers citrus, roasted malt chocolate, resin hops, hints of sweetness.

The beer is sweet up front, caramel, pineapple, citrus, roasty bitter, chocolate, with resiny and clean finish.

Jan 15, 2016
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. Pours jet black, thick head fades slowly, rings of lace. Aroma of light roasted malt and tropical fruit. Taste is actually juicy, mild roastiness peeks through with some chocolate and coffee. Floral citrus peel bitterness lingers. This one is a great example of the style, fruity and roasty in near perfect harmony.

Oct 16, 2015
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hardysf from Michigan

3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good iteration of a black ipa, but i expected more based on what ive heard and read. This was a little more subdued on both the hops and malts I thought. I was looking for more roasty flavors and a bigger malt punch. Same for the hops; there was not too much hop aroma and even less on the palate. However, the minimilaztion of both made it balanced. It was a good beer and i would buy again, but definitely not my favorite black dipa.

Oct 12, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite the label describing Citra and Galaxy hops but I found a lot of Mosiac properties. Rose petal, herbal, floral and lightly dank it opens to a bit of grapefruit and orange. The black ale is evident with noticeable char and there is almost no bitterness.

Oct 10, 2015
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macher0 from Kentucky

3.89/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A. Glossy black, fine bubble-frothy Amber head. This looks like a stout.

S. Does not smell like a stout. The nose is big on the malts, a little sweet, and some booze. A little tropical.

T. The tasye starts with grassy hops. Moderately bitter. Slight sweetness in the finish. Notes of grass, honey, cereal, and bread crust.

M. Fairly harsh, high carbonation, and full body.

O. This is a great example of the style. Well crafted.

Oct 02, 2015
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Big_V from Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber pour into my snifter. Jet black with light brown head that coats the glass. Getting light roast and mosaic hops from the nose. Very well balanced no trace of booze. Only way I can tell its a black IPA is by looking at it. Juicy and creamy, with a slight bitter finish,not getting any honey. Mouthful is excellent. Well done.

Oct 02, 2015
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CotterEU from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Probably my favorite black ipa on the market. The dark malts play really well with the fruity hops and the honey. It has a warm boozy taste as it warms. Keeps a nice cream colored head to it as it sits and plenty of lacing on the glass. Impressive as always.

Oct 01, 2015
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MissSmisje from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, in TH Dudley Teku.
L: beautiful, deep black, three finger fluffy tan head with very thick lacing.
S: very citrus hop forward with an undercurrent of roasty chocolate.
T: same as the nose, some high pitched sweetness. Roastiness comes on in the finish.
F: medium body
O: very good. Not a style I usually like, but this one won me over.

Sep 19, 2015
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cjgator3 from Florida

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark black color with a nice light tan colored head with excellent lacing and retention. The nose is fresh resinous hops, a little more roast than your typical IPA letting you know it is a black IPA, and some sweetness from the honey. The taste is pretty fantastic as well. Overall, this is another fantastic IPA from Pipeworks.

Sep 12, 2015
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jonhorn from North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, fresh.

Appearance: Deep oily black. Rich creamy head with some lacing. Looks like a stout.

Smell: Citrus, hoppy with very subtle malt / chocolate in the background. If I couldn't see it, I would be expecting a typical DIPA.

Taste: Also tastes more like an IPA than a black IPA, although the maltiness shows up in the finish. I don't taste the honey at all.

Feel: Medium, smooth, creamy. Moderate carbonation and very easy to drink. Not at all boozy.

Overall: I'm not a huge black IPA fan, probably because they aren't typically anywhere close to as good as this beer. This is more of a DIPA than the average black IPA, which tends to more closely resemble a porter to me.

Sep 07, 2015
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tmryan21 from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not typically a fan of black ales, but I love the PW fish series and figured I would give this a try. Really glad I did.

Look: Black and oil like. Thick tan head that retained pretty nicely.

Smell: Huge nose - citrus flavors with subtle roast and chocolate in the background.

Taste: More like an IPA than a black IPA. Definitely get the roast/malt, but it is dominated by the hops. Pretty much the perfect amount of malt for me.

Feel: Medium-bodied and very smooth. Not overly bitter or boozy.

Overall: The best black ale I have ever had. If I tasted this blindly, I would have never guessed it was a black ale though. It has the signature PW hops that I love with a little bit of roastiness. Couldn't recommend this one more.

Sep 04, 2015
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a pretty solid American Black Ale, but I much prefer New Glarus Black Top and Wookey Jack to Black Tuna. This is my least favorite fish series beer by a decent margin.

Aug 31, 2015
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mfnmbvp from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, NO batch number on this one, strangely enough. But this was just released so I know it is fresh.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a deep dark black body. Opaque in the glass with one finger of thick creamy khaki tan head. Appears stout-like, if I didn't know any better. Good fat sticky strands of lacing.

S - A very fresh and zesty citrus hop aroma. tons of juicy orange, grapefruit, lemon zest. A very hop forward aroma, but notes of dark roast, chocolate, and caramel are noticeable when you look for them, and as the beer warms.

T - Taste follows the nose: lots of juicy zesty citrus hops: oranges, lemons, grapefruit. Creamy, with some dark charred / roasted malt content noticeable. Honey not particularly detectable.

M - Smooth, creamy, bitter, & roasty. Super easy-drinking for the high 9.50% abv, with good carbonation.

Overall, another excellent brew from Pipeworks. My first Black IPA from them, and a delicious one at that. One of the best true examples of a Black DIPA that there is. Highly recommended.

Pipeworks Black Tuna -----4.5/5

Aug 26, 2015
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brewskis from Indiana

4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with over a finger of a dark mocha head.

Although it looks like a stout, it definitely smells like a DIPA. Huge juicy tropical and citrus fruits. Mango, pineapple, papaya, tangerine, lemon, dank, pine. Nice honey sweetness. Get just a hint of roast and chocolate.

Taste is definitely hop forward with just a hint of dark malts. Get tons of juicy pineapple, mango, passionfruit, tangerine, slight lemon, and dankness from the hops. Dries out on the backend nicely and brings a nice pine resin bitterness to go with the juicy fruits. Get just a hint of roast and chocolate. The honey sweetness is there throughout to balance the beer.

Medium body. Very creamy and smoothly crisp.

This is by far the best black DIPA I've had the pleasure of trying. Too many beers in this style are more of a hoppy porter or stout; the intense qualities from the dark malts outshine the hops. This one is all juicy, dank, bitter hops with just a tad bit of dark malt flavors. A world class beer for the style.

Aug 23, 2015
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BSiegs from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black pour with plenty of tan head. Laces beautifully down the glass. Big time nose the second you open the bottle. Powerful hop punch, dank, pine. Initial taste is bitter, piney, and a punch of hops. The complexity of the roasted malts and honey play nicely. Medium body, medium carbonation, and a nice dry finish. A really superb beer of this style.

Aug 22, 2015
Black Tuna from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 251 ratings