Black Hops | Parallel 49 Brewing Company

very good
18 Reviews
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Black HopsBlack Hops

Brewed by:
Parallel 49 Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DaftCaskBC on 05-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 51
Photo of ChrisCage
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- This pours a darker than average cola color and has a reasonably thick head that is just off white in color itself....this dissipates rather quickly into a film over the beer. Too hard to tell what the carbonation is like but the lacing is very impressive I have to say, with a filmy layer of foam that clings stickily to the glass side. Not too shabby overall!

S- Deep but light bodied at the same time....burnt malts that blend with a cola, even leaning towards root beer like sweetness, tuberish, hints of chocolate, blackstrap molasses and some hop bitterness about round this one out....well balanced smells!

T- Flavors follow the aromas fairly close. Primary tastes of burnt malts that give back some of the sweetness....this sweetness is a blend of dark toffee/molasses, Earthy licorice, cocoa and dry grains. The finish is unique in the fact that the hops not only provide a bitterness that helps to balance the overall flavor profile, but there is also a citrus fruit, that resembles grapefruit rind....very nice!

M/O- Hinges on medium/full body and the carbonation is outstanding....not overly powerful but really, just right for a lager! A generally well balanced brew with robust smells and flavors.....the alcohol is well real boozy aggressiveness. I think the aging that my bottle undertook did very well and it would be very nice if this was still brewed. I recommend and would get again in the future if available! Jolly good!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one at the LCBO this past October.

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 41
Labeled as a Cascadian dark lager

APPEARANCE: A clear light brown pour produces a three finger, medium looking, creamy, off-white head with great retention. Clear mahogany brown with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and coats the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains with lots of nice lacing down the glass. Good wisp and lots of lacing.

SMELL: Plenty of hops on the nose, with grapefruit and citrus notes as well. Caramel and lightly roasted aromas with hints of chocolate under the citrusy hop show. Pretty good.

TASTE: Lots of citrus hops with some chocolate and notes of sweet melon up front. Grapefruit, citrus flavors and some hop bitterness at the swallow. Caramel sweetness shows up to the show too. Bold and lingering finish of sweet melon, caramel, toffee, some lightly roasted notes, then lots of bitter hops, grapefruit and citrus flavors. Nice black ale with plenty of bitterness, hops and a well-measured stout base underneath. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes dry on the palate. Bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: Quality stuff. Enjoyable and well executed for sure. Perhaps a bit less bitterness and a touch more roast would really bring this up to elite level, but this is an enjoyable brew as it is. Well worth checking out if you get the chance. One of the better Parallel 49 brews I’ve had to date. Cheers!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Bottle: Poured a clear black color lager with a nice dark off-white head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt notes with some bitter hops notes is OKish. Taste is also dominated by light roasted malt notes with some bitter hops notes and some light citrus notes. Body is a bit light for style with good carbonation. A bit short on character in my opinion.

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Photo of Bunman3
4/5  rDev +3.1%

This is a winner in my books. I particularly enjoy this style of beer, and Black Hops provides a pleasant alternative. Nice nose, persistent foamy head, toasty caramel malt presence with notes of espresso. This beer has a distinct, piney hop finish. I am surprised that BA has not added Cascadian Dark as a distinct beer style, because this is much more than a Schwarzbier.

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Photo of biegaman
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%

Black Hops isn't really all that black; chestnut highlights can be appreciated far away from the light. Heck, even clarity is reasonably visible without any extra assistance - this is nowhere near as dark or daunting a beer as its name makes it out to be. But the thick-ringed bubbles and tan froth overlapping the glass forge a proper looking appearance regardless.

Smelling it, one might think this glass sat for a week full of stale coffee before being washed with a combination of citrus scented dish-soap and pine-sol, but such impressions would just be those of the malt and hops respectively. It's the perfect profile but still registers a relatively low magnitude on the aromatic Richter scale; Black IPAs often showcase a little more flex than this...

Of course, this is not a Cascadian Dark Ale but, rather, a Cascadian Dark *Lager*. This explains the more tempered and smooth presence on the palate. Hops remain the major part of the equation but aren't flamboyantly flavoured or piercingly bitter; the tastes of pine resin, spruce tips and tree bark are mitigated with nutty milk chocolate and creamed coffee maltiness.

Despite the smooth malt flavours the mouthfeel is marked, not by coffee-like roast or cocoa-like bitterness, but still by the candied peels and rinds of citrus and tropical fruits (orange, grapefruit, pineapple) as well as a leafy herbalness (and slight astringency) like that of a strongly-steeped peppermint tea. (Chocolate and peppermint is a proven combination!)

Depending on your familiarity and affinity for dark, hoppy beers, Parallel 49 Black Hops will either blow the brain out of the back of your head or provoke a frown that droops down to your knees. I dig the concept of a 'Cascadian Dark Lager' and like what I tasted here, but it did leave a little something to be desired; what more it offers in quaffability it loses in character and depth.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Purchased at the LCBO for just over $5.00 for a 650ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip glass

A- 3.75- Pretty good. Opens well and pours a brown foam that dissipates in 1min. Very dark.

T- 3.25- Not so good. Heavy malt. Not much hops at all even though it's an IPA. Pretty bland.

M- 3.25- Very dry. Not in a good way though, more in a dried up flavor kind of way!

O- 3.5- Not so good. Will not buy again. Have tried black IPA's in the past but this one is actually the worst

Food Pairing

This ok beer did alright with.... sweet and sour chicken wings


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Photo of BGDrock
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Appearance: root beer brown, with a tinge of amber under light; clear; good head and retention, with sticky lace, sand coloured

Aroma: light, biscuit/cracker as in a typical lager, with a touch of sweetness

Taste & Mouthfeel: mild hop bitterness is blending with the dark roasted malts in an interesting way, enhancing the espresso flavours; burnt toast and chocolate too; sprightly carbonation and crisp, medium body make it highly drinkable; touch of vanilla; chocolate lingers most of all, pairing well with the hops which have played an admirably restrained supporting role throughout

Overall: delightfully, different, and great that it hasn't taken a grand gesture to do so, just a couple simple, clever twists that combine wonderfully - could drink a bunch!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a pilsener glass, this brew looks like medium roast black coffee with a very creamy thick tan head that retains its form remarkably well. The aroma is certainly hop-forward, with bright fresh citrus (massive grapefruit in particular) and gooseberry notes immediately apparent along with nondescript tropical fruit, all against a toasted pilsener malt backbone. Palate is an assertive roasted flavor coupled with lots of hops. Coffee and hints of ashtray co-exist with fresh orange juice, peach, lime, carrot, mint, and hash pipe resin in what is initially a rather jarring juxtaposition, although the odd admixture quickly grew on me. Body is on the thin side and the carbonation is tame for a lager. There is a subtle tropical fruit note that lurks in the background but I cannot chase it down for a positive identification. Finishes dry and lightly roasted with some pine and herb/spice aromatics waving goodbye. Although this is less well-integrated than many "Cascadian dark ales", with the hops clearly stealing the show, the proceedings became quite enjoyable by the end.

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Photo of souvenirs
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

To quote my friend Julie, "this is a sexy beer."

A: Cola coloured, with two fingers of head that dissipates leaving lots of lacing around the glass.
S: Hoppy, like an IPA. Tropical fruits.
T: Piney, as hoppy as an IPA, but with a different aftertaste.
F: A little thin? But it's a lager, so I guess it's what it should be.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark cola brown, some light getting through at the bottom, tall tan head retained very well with plenty of random blobs of lacing
S - hints of pine and earthiness, mild molasses and nuttiness
T - medium earthy and light perfume hops, nutty and slightly roasty malt backbone, mild hints of tobacco and pine on the late finish
M - slightly bigger than medium, starts creamy and moves to a fairly full yet nicely bitter finish
O - flavours are relatively bold yet it strikes a nice balance between hop & malt with the hoppiness breaking through late, a nice example of this style that I quickly grew to appreciate

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Photo of BigBry
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650 ml single bottle that I grabbed at Cork and Keg on my last trip to Edmonton. Label as pictured, love the Black Ops warrior throwing a hopcone grenade. Labelled as a 'Cascadian Dark Lager'.

This beer pours clear, dark cola color. Foamy, off-white head, good retention leaves a nice lace pattern. Smell starts with roasted malt and coffee, then moves into the piney and citrus hops. The taste is well balanced, toasted (almost biscuity) malt, and citrusy hops.
The body is medium, smooth, finishes dry. Very drinkabke, enjoyed the whole bottle myself.

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Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a mahogany red/brown with two fingers of beige head.

Smell - Piney hops, roasted malts, tropical/citrus fruit.

Taste - Citrusy and piney hops with moderate bitterness, along with a punch of roasted malts. More of a lager finish. Nice lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - This is my first taste of a Cascadian dark lager and, to me, Parallel 49 has executed the style well. Good roasted malt backbone to support the piney/citrus hops that are so dominant in American brews.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a cola-coloured brown. This is listed here as a schwarzbier, which it is...with a ton of hops. They call it a Cascadian Dark Lager. The nose is an interesting mix of chocolate and hop notes, some of which don't mesh so nicely with the dark malts. The finish is hugely hoppy. Uncomfortably hoppy for this style. Upright's version of the same thing--their Bad Brains beer--does this much better. It's a bold attempt from Parallel 49, but it falls short.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Awesome metaphor for hopcone as grenade depicted on the label, which bills this as a 'Cascadian Dark Lager'. Not sure how long it will be until this seeps into the BA style listings.

This beer pours a clear, very dark ruby amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, gently foamy off-white head, which leaves a nicely muddled array of Simpsons-esque clouded lace around the glass as it lazily abates.

It smells of moderately roasted pale malt, acrid pine sprigs, dank tropical fruit, faint mocha coffee, mild perfumed florals, and a hint of musty yeast. The taste is musty, indistinct citrus rind, dry, slightly ashy toasted pilsner malt - still biscuity all the same - persistent brewer's yeast, a subtly weird chalky medicinal pithiness, and ever so timid noble dead grassy hops.

The bubbles are active, and moderately spritzy, the body medium-light in weight, and tacitly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the roasted malt still sort of running the table, with the those hops doing a bang-up job of emulating the titular ethos.

A pretty decent black lager, gussied up to appear somewhat like a Cascadian Dark Ale, though a fair bit hoppier than most I've yet encountered for that style. The mustiness kind of limits this to a certain degree, however, as straight-up crispness is always an asset in my book. And yes, this particular offering is pretty well priced in these parts.

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Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A west-coast schwarz!

Deep mahogany with a very light tan head, great retention & lacing.

Aroma of pine, floral & citrus with hints of coffee.

Some piny resin, but there's a surprising amount of bready malt here... really nice. Light citrus & roasted nut, slight hint of sulfur in the finish, but the yeast really lets the malt & hops shine.

Smooth, moderate to full body has an off-dry finish.

Overall, this is really nicely done. I was expecting more of a black IPA with the hops in my face (as the name might suggest), but this is a really nicely balanced brew.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured into tulip 28/5/13

A deep maroon when held to the light, large light brown foam falls to a dense thick film after a few sips leaving a few squiggly rings of lace

S tropical dark malt, some pineapple, grapefruit, and tangerine, with coco powder, faint smoke, some pine and spruce work well in the background, I'm not sure what the Saaz is up to, I'm not getting any noble notes

T still plenty of citrus and some Flintstones chewable vitamins, maybe I'm getting some very faint grass and hay but its struggling to shine through the West Coast hops, some dark malty notes but more hops then anything with just a little char and dark roasted coffee but its faint

M its light and has a nice snap to it, lingering rind and pine and the bubbles stop short of being foamy but its pretty lively in the mouth

O very easy to drink with a nice hop blast followed up by some mellow dark notes, 6.5% might be a little much considering how fast I drank it, solid beer I'll be drinking again

Priced right, hopped right, I'm digging this on, easy to drink and perhaps another style in the making? the IPDL? CDL? ABL? whatever acronym you use its worth trying

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Photo of canucklehead
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool beer in that it really is a dark version of the Hoparazzi which is a hoppy lager. The beer looks and tastes like a Scwarzbier with lots of extra hops on the nose and the finish. I found it a little mixed up at first but after a few sips it came together and became a real nice beer. Very food friendly especially with summer BBQ.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Black cola liquid and 5/8" tan head that dissipated quickly leaving a nice lacing.

S: Roasted grains, grapefruit, orange and grass.

T: Orange, roasted grains, grapefruit, pine and grass.

M: Thin viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation. Quite dry.

O: A bit heavy on the roasted grain flavours. I would've preferred this beer with more of a caramel or bready base with some more French/Belgian/German kilned malts and a little bit sweeter and less dry Maybe the addition of some malto-dextrin to round out the mouthfeel and increase the head retention. That being said, this is still a tasty beer.

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Black Hops from Parallel 49 Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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