Black Betty | Beavertown Brewery

very good
33 Reviews
Black BettyBlack Betty

Brewed by:
Beavertown Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malt: Pale, Caragold, Caramalt, Wheat, Carafa II, Carafa III
Hops: Magnum, Columbus, Chinook, Citra

Added by Jason on 02-18-2013

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 155
Photo of Bruno74200
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the can. I love this one. It's the first one I have from Beavertown and I can definitely say that they're underated on this site. It's balance, it's a real black IPA. Citrus on the nose. Citrus and cocoa for the taste. Great mouthfeel with fine but vivid carbonation. A great session beer

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with light brown head. Aroma is heavy on the hops with dank, herbal notes but you also get the underlying roasted malts. Taste is sweet at first with juicy hops but gets bitter and roasty on the finish, lingering with grapefruit bitterness in the aftertaste. Body is dense and smooth with medium carbonation. Overall it's a really well made and balanced black IPA.

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Photo of MrDell
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Beavertown – Black Betty
Black IPA – 4.1% - 330ml can - Best before 21.02.16

Appearance: Black, just off white, three finger head. Good head retention. Low - medium levels of carbonation.
Aroma: Beautiful! Fresh new world hops with a very slight hint of roasted malt.

Taste: See aroma! Perfect balance of roasted malt with the fresh citrus flavours from the hops. There is also a little sweetness, that I really like courtesy of the caramalt.

Mouth feel: Smooth and then resiny, finishing up slightly dry. Upper-medium body that suits this beer perfectly.

Overall: My favourite beer so far from this brewery. Absoloutely fantastic in every way. I'm not usually a hop head but this is just so well balanced that I can't help but love it. A solid 9 / 10, will certainly be stocking the cellar with this after my next trip to the UK.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 10/17/15 notes. 12 oz. can poured into a tulip. Picked this up at Bottledog in London, England last week. Can has a drink by date of 01/04/16 on it.

Pours a dark reddish brown color with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Citrus hops, pine hops, resin, grapefruit, and fruity malts. Light roasted notes. Medium body and low carbonation, no bitterness.

Overall a really good black IPA; not my favorite style but I liked it a lot. Lots of hops and no bitterness, worth checking out.

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Photo of Bugs318
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great complex nose, some citrus, pine, and even a creaminess. Fairly roasty and piney bitter taste. A bit sharp if finely carbonated. Good linger of some roastiness.

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Photo of interzen
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330ml can poured into a tulip glass

Look: Think espresso. Think stout. Think dark. It's all of those, with a big, tight foamy tan head to match - a couple of fingers-width, easily. Drops back leaving some icky-sticky lacing.

Smell: Lots going on here - plenty of hops, with the juicy smell of Citra predominating, with some roasted malt underneath and a healthy dose of peppery spice. It's neck and neck between the hops and the spice, though.

Taste: Like the smell, there's a lot going on here and then some - citrus fruits, pine resin, dark chocolate and coffee, and that's just for starters. There's a definite medicinal vibe to the aftertaste with the peppery spices coming through along with a hint of hops.

Feel: Deliciously smooth, almost oily - slips down dangerously well for a (well disguised) 7.4% brew.

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Photo of Act25
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I asked the London barkeep at Cask in Belgrave which was his favorite canned beer and he said the best black IPA ever is my fave - And now it's mine too!


A . A deep black. Light tan head pours big, ragged, thick, loamy and foamy and fades slowly to persistent crema... Boatloads of sticky lacing all of the way down the glass...

S - Awesome and ample. Juicy fruits followed by sweet and roasted malt, with pepper candy, chocolate and coffee, brown sugar, pine resin and citrus hoppiness, raw honey, molasses, wet hay...

T - Devlish see saw of bright, piney, grassy hop bitterness mixed with lots of toasted chocolate and coffee malts.. tart fruit, caramel malts and floral honey, brown sugar, ending in very long herbal, licorice, light pepper candy dark brown finish.

F - Big, wet and peppery, smooth with oiliness and sharp finish.. full bodied... meditation beer.

O - Best black IPA and one of the best beers i've had in a while... recommended..Must try!

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Photo of aleigator
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coal black color, with a huge, lasting, slightly brown colored head.

Again, just after opening the can my room is instantly filled with tropical hops. After putting my nose to the glass, the beer reveals a fresh hop presence, leading unexpectedly into a grassy, citrus dipped direction. Underneath, chocolaty, roasty malts, together with caramel convert the aromas onto a ripe orange peel, exotic fruit course.

Medium bodied beer, very smooth and easy drinking, with a refreshing hop note during the finish. Offers an unusual pairing of creaminess and pleasant dryness at the same time.

Tastes of toasted, earthy malts, pushing even further into a Porter direction by adding a slightly sweet toffee tang to the beer, with recognizable sugar to it. This gets coated up by a silken smoothness beded on earth, from which tropical hops become introduced to the palate, changing the beers taste direction completely. The hops do put up the beers initial sweetness, but convert it into ripe fruits and add a decent dryness to it, the longer they stay on the palate, together with a strong malt backbone, remaining its creamy chocolate profile. Finishes with orange and citrus peel on toasted bakers chocolate, blending into a soft dryness.

Unusual composition, with a very pronounced, smooth maltiness and a late hop addition, reminding one, that this is still supposed to be an IPA. The hops do provide a pleasant character, resulting in a convincing teamwork with the malts.

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Photo of kindacold
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From the can it puts a nice dark with a decent head. Smells malty and heavy. Tastes sweet and heavy. Chocolate, charcoal, grains, and a dry bitterness. Mills bitterness lingers.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Rustico Arlington.

Poured into a snifter

A nice beer from across the pond. How good would this beer be if I was in the UK? - 4

A - Head typical of a cask beer (love it), black - 3.75
S - Spice, fruity hops, peach and mango, roasty malt - 4.25
T - Spice over slight sweetness malt, ABV well hidden. - 4
MF - An almost oatmeal like smoothness - 4.5

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with chestnut highlights and creamy, lacey, steady cappuccino head. 4
Big, resiny, fresh hop nose that opens to reveal a touch of ash. 4.25
Black currant with a touch of cocoa and cola then sugared grapefruit and light pine hops. 4
Roast and spice finish and spearmint linger.
Round, smooth, almost medium. 4

Columbus, Chinook, Citra

Surprisingly sweet and aromatic hop profile - not big IBUs or bitterness. No hint of the strength. Not the hop monster I might expect from Beavertown. But integrated and way drinkable ABA without too much roastiness or general aggression. 2nd tasting is not as sugary - a lot of licorice-herbal cough drop - but still dark and dank with no real citrus. 4

*from notes

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Hopped with Magnum, Columbus, Chinook and Citra, it clocks in at 60 IBU’s, but it’s black in color. For that reason, Beavertown calls this “a big fat contradiction,” which it is, and even more so coming from a British brewer. Regardless, this is a damn fine Black IPA that drinks well due its overall dryness and bitter hop profile.

STYLE: American Black Ale
ABV: 7.4%

LOOK: Opaque black, super tight and creamy off-white head

SMELL: Apple skin, dark bready malts, clean

TASTE: Smooth, semi-viscous, bitter, citric, apple, acrid, roasty, raisin, chocolate cake, leafy, yeasty, ashy, bone-dry

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before Sept 15 2015 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a pitch black colour, producing about two fingers' worth of resilient, fluffy, light beige-coloured head at the surface. It wilts very slowly, resulting in a lumpy cap and generous collar, as well as plenty of lace - this black IPA certainly looks the part. Very inviting nose; lots of citrusy grapefruit pith, pine sap and earthy hop notes, along with caramel and roasted malts. There are also some light hints of baker's chocolate and peaches.

This is a beautifully rich-tasting beer. Caramel, molasses and roasted malts start things off, with notes of pine resin, grapefruit and pineapple following in hot pursuit. Rich, bitter baker's chocolate and coffee grounds come forward in the finish, along with an earthy, almost herbal bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste, accompanied by some chocolate and prune sweetness. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and an exceptionally silky-smooth, almost oily feel on the palate.

Final Grade: 4.38, an awesome A grade. Black Betty is easily one of the best black IPAs that I've had the opportunity to enjoy. This is an exquisitely-crafted, rich-tasting black ale with no real flaws - it could easily stand toe-to-toe with many North American examples of the style. The only problem is that I neglected to pick up more than one bottle! A must-try, in my humble opinion - Ontario hopheads should grab as many of these as they can while it's still in stock.

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Photo of JavierGC
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

De color negro suave coronada por una espuma color café con bastante retención y que va manchando el vaso a la medida que la vas bebiendo. Aromas a pino y algo de café, muy fresca y aromática. Cuerpo medio. En boca entra amarga, un amargor cítrico, acompañada por el torrefacto de las maltas. Suave y ligera, sin presencia del alcohol. El amargor se prolonga tras cada trago. Espectacular,

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a nice, dark IPA, although it is a bit too bitter for my taste. Thus my score is probably too low for those who like this style. Still, I can taste the craft.

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Photo of mick303
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall I thought this was quite a nice Black IPA, similar hop profile to one I brewed, though this has less harshness. Not quite black in appearance though, this is more of a dark brown, aroma is full of citrusy and piney hops and baking spices.Taste is a great balance with some malt sweetness, citrusy grapefruit, smooth zest pine notes. Mouthfeel is good with a firm body, lively carbonation, and a well proportioned body. Even and assertive bitterness with a mild resiny finish. Overall it was good, easy to drink, notes were assertive but without too much complex nuance. Enjoyable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a cask at the 2015 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting.

This is basically an American Black IPA made in the U.K. It has a robust contribution from a mix of Western (USA) hops. Better balanced than most ales of this style, the hops and dark malts blend more than clash.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle served fairly cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $3.70 CDN.

Appearance - very dark brown nearly black in color. Three fingers of tan head are poured that won't quite, excellent retention. Hazy beer with a fluffy head, this is a great looking beer that leaves swaths of lacing behind on the glass.

Smell - big hoppy aroma plenty of citrus with a notable appearance from grapefruit and passion fruit. Kind of a caramel base lingering way in the background and even a bit of a bready and cracker like aromatic.

Taste - starts mild with a caramel malt before a dry citrus flavor hits, not quite as tropical as the aroma. Then finishes roasty with a near coffee like kick and a touch of leather. Interesting, but the cohesion just doesn't quite work for me.

Mouthfeel - well carbonated spritzy feel. Moderately heavy body and bone dry finish.

Overall - definitely a well crafted black ale, with lots of interesting flavours, but the cohesion for me isn't quite there. Certainly worth a try and a definite must try for those who like a big citrus aroma in their black ales.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: muddy brown, possibly unfiltered, with a very fine sand-coloured head that burns out in a couple minutes

Aroma: beautiful, bright citrus hops - orange, grapefruit - touch of herbs and floral; addictive and fresh

Taste & Mouthfeel: an interesting start, with the hop flavours duking it out against the chocolate malt - it's not a perfect union - but the finish kicks in with the pithy bitter side of the hops; finely effervescent, and with the chocolate flavour, has a pleasant creaminess and mellow mouthfeel; the initial shocking juxtaposition of flavours wears off and now are marrying well, the pithiness mostly gone and hop notes tamed - now left with a good balance of chocolate and fresh, bitter hops.

Overall: sceptical at first, but the flavours came together and the hop notes are great, pairing well with distinctly chocolatey malt; great if you're in the mood for something unusual, and a nice change from the glut of stouts/strong beers consumed over winter

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Photo of DaveBar
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for around $3.70 or so for a 330ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a nice high whitish head that lasts for a while. Very dark brown.

S- Traditional IPA with lots of hops and malt.

T- Typical bitterness that you get from a black IPA. That caramel is wonderful but at a price as black IPA's are burnt and bitter compared to regular IPA's. This beer is pretty low on that burnt scale which is nice

M- Dry and bitter as expected. Great for a black IPA.

O- As far as a black IPA goes this one is nice. Rating shows true reflection of this beer's true score. I may not like black IPA's very much but this is a good one. Worth trying if you see it

Food Pairing

This wonderful as far as a black IPA goes beer went well with..... Greek marinated chicken hearts.


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Photo of kevinlater
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into nonic pint. "BB15SEP15". consumed on january 5, 2015

a: a very careless pour yielded nearly 4 fingers of tan head that climbed out of the glass. oops. the body is a very opaque but somehow glowing hue of dark brown, chestnut, etc. i think this is what a blend of an IPA and a porter/stout would look like. cool

s: tropical-citrusy-fruity hops, strong dank pine, roasty character, some coffee scents, and maybe a bit of chocolate. the hops are certainly dominant

t: up front is the unforgiving hop presence, full of ultra dank pine, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, orange, and grapefruit. the roasted coffee, roasted malt, and chocolatey flavours emerge quickly, with the hop characteristics still being quite dominant. finishes with a lingering black-coffee-like, earthy bitterness

m: medium-ish carbonation, slightly less than medium-bodied

o: never thought i'd like these super-hopped dark ales, and it turns out i really don't. i like to keep my dark beers separate from my IPAs, thanks. but, this is still an interesting and massively-flavoured brew that is worth a try

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Photo of biegaman
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black Betty looks more brown to me. Just a little. Still opaque, but there's definitely some tone to be appreciated (however dark it may be). Regardless of her colour, Betty has one hell of a hairdo; the foam piles up like a beehive and, suitably enough, proves ultra sticky.

I challenge the food technicians of the world to try to replicate the aroma found here. It is as intricate as it is intense and is among the most beguiling in recent (and not-so-recent) memory. Pine serum and damp, black earth are sprinkled with candied grapefruit chunks. It's got attitude!

The palate is where all those citric and herbals notes are pitted face-to-face with flavours of cinnamon-laced mocha and tiramisu. In the spirit of the Beatles, things 'come together'. Imagine using pine or spruce resin in your coffee as your sweetener and you get the gist.

If you're of the view that it's a waste pairing citrusy, piny hops with dark malts, or that rich dark chocolate and black coffee notes shouldn't have to compete with bitter hoppiness, then you ought to try this. It'll convince both camps that cake can be had and eaten too.

Truth be told, most British Black IPAs I've tried to date have been underwhelming. Beavertown Black Betty, however, transports me squarely to the American Pacific Northwest. It is a vivid, characterful account of what makes this style so dynamic and desirable. BAM-BA-LAM indeed!

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear very dark brown colour, sweet malt and strong floral hop nose. Tastes like it smells; strong floral hops, slightly sweet, smokey, with a clean finish.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Not really black, more of a sherry brown. Great big poofy beige head though. Very fruity-floral hoppy aroma, honeysuckle and rose and apricot and orange, mostly. Aroma and flavor alike lack a 'black' presence; there's a good whack of caramel but not much beyond that, but no matter. It's still delicious. Bitter, juicy delicious. Campari, lavender, Seville orange marmalade. Frothy and mouthwatering. Good stuff but it's more just a normal American IPA in the vein of Bell's Two Hearted or DFH 60 Minute than anything that should be called black. Possible food pairings: blue cheese, hot dogs, foie gras/liver, fried rice, pierogi, Cantonese food.

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Photo of TheMissingDrink
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Visual: Pitch black. Creamy, tight tan head. Clinging strings of lacing.

Nose: Dandelion and Burdock sweetness. Fruit Salad sweets. Slightly smoky. Very roasted backbone.

Taste: Burnt toast, caramel sweetness. Dark chocolate. Sweet, refreshing hops. Hugely bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy but not heavy. Plenty of tiny bubbles. Drying.

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Black Betty from Beavertown Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 155 ratings.
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