Close Encounter | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Very Good
424 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: 424 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of jakea
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brureview
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour: 3F head, dark choc-brown color in a Stone Imperial pint glass.

Aroma is good, not very strong. Mostly roasted malt, very clean malt.

Body: medium+ Malty.

Roasted malt taste. Not overdone. Good malt choice.
No fruit as in other Black ales.

The recipe should be revised to put more fruit in the taste and this ale would be greatly improved.

Mild bitter, malty finish.

There has been discussion about what style this beer is. Tastes like a black ale/IPA.
Good beer, but it’s needs more fruit.

 509 characters

Photo of Celtics76
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Niqk
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of beergoot
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Near black mahogany colored body topped with a very thick, creamy, light tan head. Spicy, pine-y aroma. Fine malt backbone flavor; chicory and hazel nuts; peppery; soothing hop bitterness. Medium body; crisp and coarse on the palate; mostly dry finish.

Call it a dark IPA, American black ale or Cascadian dark ale, it's all good if it's like this example. This beer has the feel and hop bitterness and sharpness like a classic American IPA with the additional benefit of some dark malt robustness. Nicely balanced and very tasty.

 530 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. Can
Canned: 10/9/17

Poured into a Trillium glass a pretty nice black color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which also leaves some small islands and a nice oil slick, and some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, very slight chocolate, slight licorice. The taste is hoppy, malty, nice little touch of chocolate/licorice. Medium body, ABV hidden nicely, with a little dry/bitter finish. Overall, a pretty tasty brew. Been awhile since the last time I had a black IPA.

 542 characters

Photo of eppCOS
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very nice beer from PW that doesn't know quite...what to make of itself. It looks black as Death, but has enough hop bite and carbonation to veer towards a pale/IPA style, but as others have noted, stays a bit hollow on the mid-palate. Not watery exactly, but not exactly 'robust' either on the palate. Lacks a little attack, but at 6% it's a nice between-the-styles beer that I will gladly drink again. Just not a Black IPA in a technical sense...

 450 characters

Photo of eagle109
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Tbone2131
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smutty33
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of runeatdrink
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of papposilenus
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 16oz can, dated 03/06/17. Served in an imperial pint pub glass.

Pours opaque mahogany-black with garnet highlights and an untameable four-finger-plus head of whipped mocha pouffiness. Retention is exceptional and leaves fat wads of clumping lacing.

Nose is disappointingly faint. A little bit of charred grain and something metallic.

Tastes of roasted-to-the-point-of-burnt grains, bitter chicory, burnt spilt coffee, toast scrapings and dusty bookbindings. Finishes with a little orange oil and lemon pith and a lot of charred, bitter chicory.

Feel is clean and dry, medium-thin bodied and well carbonated.

Overall, well, I wish I had had this a month or two ago. There was little hop character left here at the three month mark and, in fact, it drank pretty much like a good but rather thin-bodied porter.

 821 characters

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

Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large foamy beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, roasted malts, coffee and citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character up front that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of citrus, chocolate and coffee. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

 794 characters

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.

 1,098 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SmangTown
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Roasty, hoppy, smooth. Big fan of beers that have an identity crisis - piney/citrusy stouts and roasty IPAs especially. Picked up a couple tall-boys and enjoyed within six weeks of canning. Beautiful black body with a lumpy khaki head that lingers for a long while; you can scoop it up with spoon if that's your thing. Big roasty, smoky aroma out of the can. Not picking up much pine or citrus on the nose. Taste is nicely roasty and bitter - chocolate, coffee grounds, smoke, burnt toast and light pine on the backend. Creamy mouthfeel with a full body. No alcohol heat. Easy drinker but more stout than IPA.

 609 characters

Photo of Jsalz21
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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 WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drstalker
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Close Encounter from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 424 ratings
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