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 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 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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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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3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap. Nonic glass. Enjoyed @ Cerveceria Freiburg (Barcelona). Pours very dark amber in color showing reddish brown lights. Tan head & some lacing on sides are made of creamy & lasting foam. Roasted aroma, hints of licorice & resins, delicate citric & cumin notes as well as subtle caramel on the back side. Sweet roasted & caramelish flavors at first sip then rising citric, earthy & resinous hoppiness flood all over. Medium body. Soft carbonation. Oily texture. Wet unleavened bread in the middle. Flavorful bitter finish on a solid toasted malty bed. Citric & resiny aftertaste. Refreshing & easy drinkable.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.20):
Black with a tall head that is a medium brown and creamy looking with great retention and very little in the way of reduction initially.

Hoppy & bitter with tropical fruits aroma that consists of some peach, lemon and mild grapefruit with plenty of juices coming through too. There is some darker notes as well with a hint of chocolate and some roasted, sweet malts making an appearance too, as well as some sugar, liquorice and floral notes.

Mild bitterness with some grapefruit to kick things off with. There is some tropical fruits coming through too and definite caramel malts that give the beer some sweetness. Again more liquorice and hops with a further bitter kick plus sugar, citrus and strong fruits.

Medium bodied and quite bitter with a very juicy and fruity feel to the drink. There is moderate carbonation and the beer has a solid citrus tang to it throughout.

A pleasant taste with plenty of fruit and juices coupled with some darker flavours that made for a nice twist on the usual but it felt slightly over done with in some areas. Nice but probably not one I'll drink regularly.

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Photo of GJ40
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with no apparent bottled on or best by date.

Black with some light around the edges and a moderate tan head. Aroma is floral and fruity hops, dark fruits and toasted malt. Flavor starts with hop flavor and ends in chocolaty, almost roasted malts combined with a hint of dark fruits; maybe a little too fruity. The hops play a distinct role but the malts set the tone. Smooth texture with a nice low carbonation.

Nice beer!

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Photo of FLima
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank at its original brewery home.
Dark brown color with a thin beige head with low retention.
Light predominant orange citrusy aroma with hints of pine.
Hoppy flavor with strong citrus notes with roasted and smoked malts. Hints of sweet coffee, flowers, pine resin and grapefruit. Astringent and bitter aftertaste with lingering citrus and roasted notes.
Full body with low carbonation. Slightly sticky. Alcohol of 7.4% abv does not even give a clue of its existence.
Interesting beer, Betty is a girl that changes its humor quite frequently and is hard to read it as a whole.

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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 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 CrazyDavros
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with an off-white head.
Hoppy aroma of pine, fruit confectionery, soft roasted malt and caramel.
Roasty flavours with a fair bit of pine and grapefruit too leading to an aggressive bitter finish.
Nice moderate carbonation.
Very enjoyable.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On cask during Cask Days 2013.

Beer is black with brown tinges. Small frothy tan head.

Citrus fruit in the nose, orange mainly. Some anise and caramel.

Flavour contains anise, sticky caramel and citrus fruit. Moderately bitter. Nice mix of 'black' and IPA.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation level. Oily.

Overall, quite good.

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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 wl0307
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in a 330ml thin brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; BB 31/07/14, served mildly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a very very dark brown colour, coming with a well-lasting, 1cm-thick layer of light khaki frothy head, on top of rather mild but constant carbonation.
S: the nose is fairly decent and balanced as far as this type of dark hoppy ale is concerned; intense tropical fruits and citrus notes are underlined by a very fine touch of burned caramel-ish malts, with sweetness and acidity arriving at a nice balance. Given a good swirl, the deeper fruity notes, like pears, and residual esters emerge, along with some musk-ish exotic aroma.
T: very smooth on the entry, slightly lacking bottle-conditioned fizziness, but the flavour has mainly citric flavours of hops to lead before dried stone-fruits, toasty & caramel malts, bitter chocolates, pine-ish hoppiness and a nicely lingering flow of bitterness towards the end. Nicely chewy also, but only just.
M&O: smooth on the palate, in need of slightly more carbonation in my opinion, but the body retains the medium-level very well despite the 7.4% alc. content, with the decent malt bill serving as a solid platform consistently. All in all, this is a well-balanced and rather delicately flavoured American Black Ale designed to quaff. As it is tasted almost back-to-back with Partizan’s Black IPA, the score comes slightly lower here than if I’ve had it alone in one sitting. That said, I still like it wholeheartedly and wish to try even the cask-conditioned version in my next visit to their bar!

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