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Ugly | Alpine Beer Company

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40 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ZX6Chris on 11-25-2010

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 103
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Pub again.
Pours a hazy dark brown almost black, lighter on the edges. Builds a finger of tan head that fades very slowly leaving some lacing. The nose is very hop forward with pine, grass and citrus. The taste is hops up front, grapefruit and pine, with a very faint roastiness. This brew has a medium body with good carbonation and leaves a sticky resin feel. Another killer hop forward beer by ABC.

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Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to largadeer.

Very dark brown in color with a one finger beige head and good lacing.

The aroma is excellent, extremely piney with coffee and roast playing a big role.

The flavor starts with piney hops, goes to coffee, charcoal, and dark chocolate, then back to hops in a big way.

Extremely resinous on the palate with medium-plus body and average carbonation. Just a tad heavier than I’d like on the mouthfeel. Hoppy as hell.

Really solid beer from the ’pine...as usual.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's, San Diego.

Jet black, with just perceptible amounts of light visible. Tons of lace with fair head retention. Aroma is all C-hops, big grapefruit nose. High carbonation up front. Grapefruit and pine middle which is drier than most higher ABV IPAs. A hint of licorice. Finish is long and bittersweet. Medium body.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Cigar City snifter, huge thanks to Alex... the body is a super dark brown, almost black, a black ale that actually is black, gasp. A light tope head, ok cap but great lacing... The aroma is outstanding, cocoa, smoke, a hint of pine and soap, works so well together.... The taste isn't overly hoppy, hops are less than the aroma, add a nice oomph at the end of your taste. Molasses, smoke that's a touch burnt, a little soap. Balanced and easy to drink.

One of the best black ipas I've had, well worth trying.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black and totally opaque with a brown strip around the bottom a 1 inch head and great retention

Smell: Chocolate malt mixed with citrus hops

Taste: Great chocolate and coffee notes upfront with just a hint of citrus hops which makes this a great black IPA just wonderful balance

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly full body and medium carbonation

Overall: Great black IPA on of the best around Period

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Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into multiple pints. Thanks to HeatherAnn, Jay, Wil, and Chris for the assist. Extra special thanks to errantnight for this latest installment in our never ending trade!

A: Pours pitch black with slight hints of chestnut at the edges. A pillowy, dark tan head reaches about two fingers this and acts like it's going to hand around for the duration. Slowly but surely though, it settles into a finely bubbled collar that left just a little lace.

S: Initial blast of citrus (grapefruit and tangerine) leads into fresh pressed pine sap and then finally hints of smoke, bakers chocolate, and maybe espresso?

T: Exactly as above with an ever growing influence of smoke. The warmer it got the more prevalent the smoke and pine flavors became.

M: An under layer of sweet smoothness with a huge amount of bitter oilyness running roughshod on top of it. Killer finish of hoppy astringency and peppery smoke.

O: This could be the standard bearer for the style. Reminded me a lot of Half Acre's Sticky Fat.

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Photo of Tolann
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought a growler back after visiting San Diego for Stone's 15th Anniversary. This really was the way to start our California vacation! Poured in to a globe glass.

A - Dark pour with a white head that foamed about 1 finger then settled to a thin lace with a ring that clings to the glass. Nearly opaque with a little ruby color on the edges.

S - First off is the roast, but it's coming alive with lots of hops as it shrugs off the cold. With a bit more warmth hops take over the roast.

T - Hops! Not real assertive but more bitter than what you pick up in the nose. Piney hops with a roast behind that you'd expect from a black beer. There's a slight feel of coffee and chocolate roast at the end. Total hops up front!

M - Not too carbonated. Finishes very slightly dry. Somewhat thin.

OA - Love it! So glad I brought this one home! This Black India Ale is definitely tops and I'm a huge fan of this style!

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Photo of peacebone116
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler on 8/16/2011 from the brewery. Poured into tulip glass and reviewed on 8/17.

A: Opaque dark brown--has an appearance similar to coffee--with a nice cream colored head. At first glance, this looks like a simple stout.

N: Coffee scents quickly give way to a nose of grapefruit & apricot/peach; i.e., the smell from the grains is quickly overpowered by a wonderful hop presence.

T/M: Incredible complexity of bitter coffee and bitter peach. The taste follows the nose quite well, as the hops actually bring out the roasted notes. Clean fruity finish with an incredibly light body that belies the color and alcohol content. This is a very easy to drink beer!

Overall, I was a huge fan of this beer. It exemplifies what I (emphasis on the word "I") expect from a beer that is called a Black IPA--it is an highly hopped India Pale Ale with a black body and slight contribution from a roasted malt. I am big fan of this take on the style and especially appreciate the clean hop presence (typified by Alpine Beers), the touch of roasted flavors/scents, and the light body. Cheers to Alpine! This beer is anything but Ugly!

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Photo of xraided81
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip glass.

A: long lasting beautiful 2 inch off white creamy persisten head, with lacing on the side of the tulip as the head dissipates. transluscent black with ruby highlight highlights shining through.

S: trademark alpine hops is the first impression of this beer. the dank like resiney hops shine through in this beer. tropitcal - dank hops dominate the aroma of this beer, with a hint or roasted/chocolate malts coming through in the background.

T: Smooth, medium body, more of the chocolatey/roasted malts come through in the taste. hop bitterness works with the bitter of the roasted malts in this beer.

M: medium to light body makes this a rather easy drinking beer, not so sure if this is sessional considering the abv.

O: one of the best black ipa's ive had. this one retains more of the crisp/light/ pale ale qualities rather than stout like chewy roasty qualities. excellent beer from an excellent brewery.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Espresso brown body, not quite opaque. Clarity is excellent when held to the light. Huge resiny pine goodness on the nose, sharp and green. There's a hint of dry roastiness beneath. Palate has a big pine kick up front, followed by coffee-like roasted malt and a little orange toward the finish that makes me think of chocolate covered oranges. Light bodied, extremely quaffable though very bitter in the finish. Quite the palate wrecker, the coffee and pine sap bitterness sticks to the tongue for ages. Alpine nails it yet again, this is my new favorite India Black Ale.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks to Arthur for opening this.

A: Very dark brown, bordering on black. Creamy beige head in the pint glass with good retention and thick sheets of lacing.

S: Prominent pine and grapefruit notes, the hops are potent and aromatic. Lower moderate roasted malt. Touch of chocolate. Awesome aroma. When the beer warms up quite a bit the chocolate and roast are more noticeable and very nice.

T: Low on the roast with a small chocolate presence, both of which only serve their hop masters. Pithy grapefruit with some flesh and big pine resin notes. Great hop flavor and quite delicious. Upper moderate bitterness with some evident alcohol.

M: Medium body. Sticky, creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

Overall: A delicious Black IPA, one of the best I've had.

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Photo of rand
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From tap to pint glass...reviewed this at the brew pub 05/07/2011

Jet black in color, coffee-tan head, ugly pours like your favorite porter. The comparisons stop there, though, as the nose is full of fresh hops. Fresh wafts of hoppy pine and citrus flow from the glass in West Coast fashion. Upon the sip, bitter, citrusy hops jump off the palate up front, as expected, but the sweet malt-backbone carries a chocolate richness, reminding of squah bread. Light and bubbly, this ale is full of flavor but refreshing on each sip. Nothing ugly here but the title.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado 11-28-10

Poured an almost black with a nice finger head as well as great lacing.

Smell was faint but of citrus and a slighttt burnt.

Taste was GREAT! First black IPA Ive had and I was very impressed. Ive been dying to try some Alpine Brewing company so Im glad I got the chance.

It tasted more of a citrusy IPA but it had a nice slight burnt malt backbone.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Alpine tasting room with Johndoe8.

Dark tan to white head. almost pitch black with brown around the edges.

Extremely hoppy! Green hop bursting flavors. Citrusy. Very sharp aroma.

Piney, citrusy, grapefruity, a little roast in the middle and lots o bitterness on the finish.

Light and smooth with a hop bite in the back. Nicely carbonated.

IPA's is what Alpine does. Chalk this up as another win.

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Photo of Klym
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a surly darkness snifter from a growler. Massive thanks to my brother for sending me this very generous growler-- wish we could drink it together!

A: Not so ugly as the name would suggest. Pours a very black ale.. well, black. I was worried about carbonation at first but then a smooth off-white head sprang up and left splatters of lacing around the glass.

S: Really beautiful hop character-- very reminiscent of PtE for me, actually. A light bitterness balanced by spicy pine and tied together by tropical fruit sweetness. Behind it all is a deeper, more licorice and chocolate richer and heavier character as you would expect from a black ale. The smell on this is really superior.

T: I tried not to get my hopes up from the smell but the taste actually managed even to outperform it. Licorice on the front of the taste gets swept away by big, beautifully juicy, spicy, balanced hops that dance and part ways leaving a slight linger of chocolate and caramel. God, this beer is good.

M: Body is medium with prickly carbonation that doesn't do it wrong. The viscosity on this is great and I don't think I'd tweak the body one bit.

O: I originally planned to share this growler but now I feel a good sense of selfish joy that I have it all to myself. Maybe that's what it's all about, it's so good that it will bring out the ugly side of you. If you get a chance to try this, definitely dont pass it up.

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Ugly from Alpine Beer Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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