Close Encounter | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Very Good
438 Ratings
Close EncounterClose Encounter

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Close Encounter is a bold venture into depths unknown. The best of both worlds co-exist between a rich roasted malt er’n character and an aggressive hop presence that will probe your taste buds like +thing you have experienced before. Don’t fear the unknown, embrace it! You never know who or what you may encounter…

Added by MasterSki on 03-14-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 |  Reviews: 86
Reviews by 312HopBomb:
Photo of 312HopBomb
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber from Rogers Park Fine Wine and Spirits. My friendly neighborhood purveyor of craft beer. Served in a 70's vintage Goblet.

Appearance is black as night with mocha foam that reduces to a ring with thin foam across the surface. Low to moderate lacing.

My sensors pick up roast and piney hops but not real intense. A bit of citrus hops too. Like the other reviewers noted it smells more like a black DIPA. Similar to Odell Mountain Standard without the grapefruit aroma.

Taste consists of nice roasted malt (black patent?) and hoppy pine resin. Dry and well attenuated. No sweetness that I expected just focused on the hop profile with roast in the background. A nice roasted flavor that is not overshadowed by the hops. They are fighting for dominance but hops win by a nose. I really like this one. Not at all like Dubhe but very much similar to Odell Mountain Standard which is my current favorite of the black DIPA style (with Two Brother's Black Hop Juice right up there at the top of the list). This will be my local (Central Standard) substitute!

Mouthfeel is medium and nicely carbonated with a dryness that is pleasant.

The hype and anticipation was high but this first taste of Pipeworks did not let me down. I first read their blog two years ago and finally the fruits of their labor hit the Chicago market. I am excited that their new facility is located only blocks from my workplace. I see frequent growler fills (beginning at the end of summer) in my future when the taproom is pegged to open. Can't wait to share with my brother as he is pumped to sample their wares. Next up is Ninja vs Unicorn chillin in the fridge...yes!

A loud shout out to Pipeworks Brewing for a great intro!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tjk135
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of warnerry
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of chip26
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours dark brown black with a medium creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roast and piney hops with a little fruit.

The flavor is roast chocolate malt with lots of piney fruity hops and a little black licorice. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice hoppy stout / black IPA.

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Photo of JakerLou
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Tall can w/o freshness info...there is a "20" on the bottom of the can...(batch number?)

Anyway this one pours very dark and stout like, dark mocha head that's slow to fade, leaving a thicker collar and respectable low sheeting.

Pungent dark and bitter chocolate, expresso on the nose

Full flavor stout with more chocolate and coffee all over the palate. Aggressive hopping in full effect. Nicely crafted More HQ brew form PW Brewing - well worth a try

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Photo of mctizzz
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, dark brown in color with one inch head. Taste is pine, roasted malt, cream, and oats. Did not get much hops and only slight roasty bitterness. Did get a nice and layered oaty stout. Very enjoyable and smooth. This is one I would get again.

 256 characters

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of deebo
2.81/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A bomber given by a generous IL guy at Darkness Day eve. Batch 127.

A-Poured into a snifter, a thin finger of mocha head that laces the glass as it breaks down. Black as night.

S-Umm, very nice. I get a hint of grassy, earthy, slightly fruity hops with a very chocolatey malt quality. Other notes of rich roasted barley definite as well.

T-Unfortunately the taste doesn't hold up to the aroma. The rich dark malt overtakes everything in the taste. The hops add another level of bitterness beyond the burnt malt notes. Finishes a bit boozy. Kind of a mess.

M-A bit light in the body department. High carbonation.

O-Kind of a hot mess. Nice aroma, could use a better body and less bitter/astringent bite. A rough drink for 22 oz.

 733 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown/black colour. Smells like chewy molasses and cocoa nibs, bitter, and roasted malts. Big flavoured, quite bitter, heavier body, pine-resin notes, bitterness coats the mouth, earthy spice, baking cocoa, bitter coffee, and burnt malt finish.

 262 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with just a hint of light seeping through. There's a massive and dense brown head on top. Light to moderate lacing. The aroma is of bitter dark malt. I'm tasting plenty of dark malt. In fact I'm really trying to search out the hop aroma and flavor as it says it is a black IPA on the can. I'm picking up a faint grassy to pine flavor at the back of the palate. The mouth is fairly dry and lightly sticky.

 426 characters

Photo of boogerisu
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into nonic pint glass; inky black with a nice foamy thick brown head that leaves sticky delicate lacing as it fades slowly into a nice puck of foam. Smells of dark roasted malt, hint of smoke, slight coffee/chocolate, and some bitter hops with a scent I can't quite identify. Sort of herbal/minty maybe, bit of pine or citrus rind. Taste is big roasted malt, bitter and a little smoky; dark bitter coffee with a bit of baking chocolate. Then a small wave of alcohol comes in, carrying some spicy herbal hop flavors that bring out the bitterness in the malt. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy.
Overall it's quite different; it's separate both from a cascadian dark ale and a stout. It's somewhere in between, and it's also entirely something else. Not something I could drink all the time, but it's a neat beer.

 814 characters

Photo of Zonian1
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of JIMTRK16
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of tappangordo
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a jet black body wit a thick creamy cocoa head that takes up 1/2 the glass. As it fades it sticks in lumps to the glass and is supported by a sea of microbubbles.

S- The chocolate roasted malt is soft with a finish of resin hops that grows a bit stronger as it opens but is never really full in aroma.

T- The roasted black malt has nice chocolate notes and some cream flavor to it. The green pine hopes blend in the finish and the soft hop bitterness and roasted bitterness gently linger.

M- This beer has a nice medium mouthfeel with a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a nice balance of roasted malt and hops with the hops growing a bit as the beer opens. The flavors are softer than the artwork on the bottle but it is still very tasty.

 811 characters

Photo of shadytony
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of acurtis
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Reappropriated
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Shawner
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned on date of 03/06/17

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. Tan, frothy two-finger width head. Good retention, resulting in a thin, consistent layer of film across the surface. Strong lacing, with broken layers of sheeting found around the glass.

Smell - Roasty malt notes with hints of smoke and chocolate, off-set by some leafy, floral and slightly citric hoppiness.

Taste - Roasted malts as found in the nose, though the hops are more earthy, with just a hint of leaf. Hints of chocolate and citrus emerge mid-taste. Finish is slight roast and ash with lingering earth and faint pithy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with soft carbonation, making for a slightly creamy texture before turning slightly dry in the finish.

Overall - A pretty damn good India Black Ale. Hops could be a little more aggressive, but then this can is nearing the 3 month mark. This is a pretty hard style to master, it seems, so a commendable effort from Pipeworks here. I would definitely like to try it again, especially if I could find one a little more fresh.

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Close Encounter from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 438 ratings