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Black Ale | Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

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Black AleBlack Ale

Brewed by:
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed to be smooth, chocolatey, semi-roasted ale that bridges the islands of porter and stout. And if you aren’t a fan of bridges, there’s always the canoe. This Black Ale drinks like a porter but is opaque like a stout. Brewed with a generous amount of oats to round out the flavor.

Added by gatornation on 06-25-2013

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 224
Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Big roast and toast nose.
Pours opaque black with a thin head.
Complex rich malts start the palate followed by cola, faint coffee, a touch of cocoa, dark sugars finished with a penetrating citrus rind hop bitterness. The beer has more toast than roast on the palate.
Medium full body with medium light carbonation.

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.71/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite session-able stouts. Similar to a oatmeal stout, nothing in my craft world compares to this black ale. Taste is roasted malts and burnt brown coffee dry finish. Herbal hops notes, cream, and dark chocolate. There is a dark fruit, bitter taste, slightly at the finish. This a by far the easiest drinking black session porter/stout I have ever had and its REALLY good. I have been watching the rating of this beer on beer advocate and it's been really escalating. There has been more recent hype around it and I can definitely see why. So if your a person that has coveted this beer outside the Minnesota area, definitely try to trade for it. Its a thumbs up in my book Bent Paddle. Good job!!!!

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a gorgeous head, with a lot of bubbly activity and a creamy appearance. The body of the beer is pitch black, with a small amount of rising bubbles. This definitely looks the part.

Smells of roasted coffee beans and malt.

Has an incredibly present chocolate aftertaste, which dominates completely. Carbonation is there, but kept to a minimal.

I haven't been particularly exposed to this style earlier, and this is a beer that had the same effect on me as Modus Hoperandi or Moo Joo's when I first had it. Meaning that it feels like I finally 'get' what people love about the style. This is incredible.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap into mason jar.
A: Pours an extremely dark black with 1/4 inch light tan head. Decent retention and lacing. (4)
S: Dark chocolate and caramel malts. Whiff of root beer and molasses. (3.5)
T: Dark dried fruit, plum, dark chocolate and caramel malts. (3.75)
M: Light-medium body but drinks heavier than the ABV would suggest. (3.75)
D: This brew has excellent sessionability. Nicely crafted especially for style. (4)

Early July 2014:
Had on nitro-tap and was even better (4.25/4/4.5/4.5/4.25). More sweet, smooth, and chocolate. Really worked well with the nitro.

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Photo of MCImes
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my favorite dark beers. The can is correct in that it rides the line between aporter and stout. Its fairly dry but not overly, which I like. I find many porters and stouts either too sweet or too roasted. This is niether. Its perfectly roasty without being 'burnt' tasting. It has enough residual sugar to have some body, but its not sweet. It has a nice hoppy bitterness without being over the top. I hate black IPA's! I drink dark beet to be malty and smooth. Bent Paddle Balack Ale nails it. It deserves higher than the 88 that it has right now and is my go to dark beer.

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Photo of drop6301
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark-tan head sits calmly above the dark depths of this beer. After consuming the black liquid, a nice lacing is left behind to tell the tale. Even nearing the end of the glass a nice creamy layer sits afloat.

Smell: Immediately some sweet chocolate is carried up to my nose, pulling with it a nice roast-toasty note. Caramel sits there with a subtle citrus hop aroma.

Taste: Chocolate roasty character. Caramel and nuttiness shelters the hop presences.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body with good carbonation. Smooth, very smooth.

Overall: This is a very drinkable dark beer with very nice chocolate presence hiding the deeper characters that run deeper down. For a beer with so much in common with stout, I could easily drink many in one sitting with out thinking about it.

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Photo of nmann08
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a can, pours a dark mahogany brown with a full light brown head sitting on top.

The smell is very roasty, lots of toasted oats, resin hops. This smells like a dry Irish stout. The flavor is roasted barley, piney hops, bitter chocolate, clean dry finish. I really like this interpretation of the style. Not too hoppy, balanced with the roast of a porter and a creamy mouthfeel like an Irish dry stout.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and opaque but seems a bit thin. 1 finger tan colored head which dissipates to a thin layer of creamy bubbles. Nice amount of lacing around the entire glass.

Nose is medium roasted malt. Layers of chocolate and coffee. Tobacco and some earthy/herbal hops.

Taste is roasted malt and coffee. Burnt brown sugar. Herbal hops notes, cream, and dark chocolate. Licorice and dark molasses.

Medium body with a high-ish carbonation. Crisp on the tongue. Creamy and smooth. Malt and coffee flavors linger and fade into dark chocolate.

Excellent beer with well blended malt flavors. Just enough hops for good balance. Top notch mouth feel really elevates this beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark black with a hint of brownish amber. Lots of bubbles and a huge four finger tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A sweet and very roasty stout like aroma with big hints of chocolate, oats, and caramel malt. Upfront roasted malts with big hints of chocolate, coffee, biscuit, toasted bread, oats, grains, caramel, toffee, nuts, yeast, vanilla, and cream. Sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Background presence of earthy and grassy hops along with light hints of citrus orange. A very good roasty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a very roasty and fairly sweet and creamy stout like taste with good notes of chocolate and light hops. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of chocolate, coffee, oatmeal, biscuit, toasted bread, grains, caramel, toffee, nuts, yeast, vanilla, and cream. Sweet notes of brown sugar and molasses. Solid backing presence of hops with earthy notes and some subtle citrus notes of orange. A pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, silky, and smooth. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: A pretty solid dark brew. More like a small stout than black ale. Very good notes of chocolate and oatmeal.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can poured into an ale glass. Pours a very dark brown with a 1 1/2 inch head and good retention. The coffee and chocolate taste comes through nicely. Has a delicate after taste which leaves you wanting more. Very nice.

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Photo of herman77
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, near black with a light tan head that sticks around for awhile. Nice lacing.

S: Semi sweet chocolate with roasted malts, oats and a bit of citrus hops coming through. A bit of carmel sweetness as well as a coffee.

T: Nice and malty with a bit of citrus hop bitterness at the end. Bittersweet chocolate, lightly roasted dark malts, a touch of coffee and carmel malts. Nice balance between malty, sweet and some mild hops at the end.

M: Medium to slightly fuller body. Fairly creamy, average carbonation.

O: Good drinkability. A really solid beer. When I think of black ale, I think of a black IPA, but this is not that. It is way more malty and not that hoppy. More of a porter than a stout in my mind.

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Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can into pint glass, best before 12/15/2015. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 2 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, light nuttiness, light pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy/piney hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, light nuttiness, pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/pine and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate herbal/piney hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and fairly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent American porter style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt and light-moderate herbal/piney hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ZAP
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Roasty black ale described as a porter/stout hybrid.

I like that it leans heavy on the roasty, choclate notes....some coffee creamer as well....

What it does not have is a an American Stout hop level....which is just fine with me...if you're looking for a hopped up black ipa type beer this is not it...if you want a nice roasty, smooth, creamy dark ale though I would suggest this.

 384 characters

Photo of Strix
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown, good initial head that gradually fades.

Roasty notes in the nose.

Classic porter/stout notes: roasted malt, caramel, cola, chocolate, oatmeal.

Medium thick mouthfeel, goes down easy.

This was well balanced and tasty. Doesn't fit the mold of the typical hoppy black IPA but I'm very impressed with the first I've had from Bent Paddle.

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Photo of bsp77
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from can into Nonic Pint.

Appearance: Black with good sized tan head and nice lacing rings.

Smell: Heavy roasted aroma, with dark chocolate, bitter coffee and smoke. Definite oat aroma as well.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, with very dry, roasted notes of chocolate, coffee and smoke. Some bite at the end from the roasted malts as well as spicy hoppiness.

Feel: Smooth and creamy with moderately low carbonation. The body is lighter than expected. Dry finish.

Overall: The Black Ale name is a bit of a misnomer, as everyone assumes that means Black IPA. This is really an Oatmeal Stout but with a lighter body than expected for the style. This is really good stuff; I just hope people aren't disappointed that this is not a hop bomb.

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Photo of mikevanatta
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell and taste both give a lovely amount of roasted malt with the taste also offering slight hints of coffee and chocolate. This beer seems to fall somewhere between a stout and a porter (I would lean more toward the latter) and, at 6% ABV, I find it to be very satisfying when I crave something dark but don't need a "big" beer.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small light tan head slowly settles into a nice lacing above all clear very dark brown to black colored beer.

Rich dark roasted grain malt aroma with a light coffee hint.

RIch and creamy taste with a lot of the dark roasted malts with a light coffee hint.

Lasting Rich roasted malts and light dryish aftertaste on this full bodied beer.

A very worthy beer.

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Photo of pagriley
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can into snifter

L - pours slightly thin and translucent black with a thick head that falls to lacing quickly
S - toasted malt dominates, with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate
T - more of the same, but lacking sweetness - could do with a touch more malt - but I am being picky, as it just needs a hint
F - lighter bodied but creamy. Good fine carb that isn't prickly.

Overall an excellent porter / black ale. straddles the border a bit as there really isn't a hop presence that is dominating, but if you put this in front of me blind I would call it a porter every time

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Photo of shadetree67
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - As close to black as I've seen from this style. A really nice head of 3 fingers and a pillow of foam stuck around for a long time. This is a great looking beer.

Smell - Roasted malt and hints of chocolate.

Taste - Roasted malt with some bitterness on the finish. Touch of milk chocolate.

Mouth feel - medium body and Dry finish

Overall - Pretty good black ale that you could drink several of in one session and not tire of it.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Label uses each of the following “black ale, stout, and porter”, so will review with an open mind.

A: Body is black, with a pillow of tan head. Nice retention.
S: Bready and musty with some roasted malt (and lactose maybe?). Smells like an oatmeal stout.
T: Flavor is slightly sweet and strongly roasted with some chocolate flavor and a heavy black malt contribution. Finishes with bitter roasted notes.
M: Body is not thick but is full and pretty smooth. Carbonation is medium to plus, depending on style.

Nice beer. I’d like it even better if they reduced the bittering hops a tad, but this has been growing on me over a couple 6 packs and is a good option if you want to pack a canned stout.

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Photo of n2185
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Zeledonia for this can.

A: Pours black with two fingers of light tan head that fades into a thin cap with good lacing.

S: Roasted malts with semi-sweet chocolate and dry, piney hops following. The finish is a little sweeter with a touch of vanilla.

T: Roasted malts here as well with cacao nibs, slight char and smoke, and piney hops. The finish is dry and lightly bitter.

M: Body is on the thicker end of moderate with medium carbonation, this beer is nicely drinkable.

O: An enjoyable beer, overall. It has a good mixture of stout and IPA characteristics and is quite drinkable for the style.

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Photo of Mdog
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12oz can:

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Sweet roasted malt, coffee.

Taste: Mild sweetness, then a moderate coffee flavor and semi-dry coffee finish.

Overall: Bent Paddle is a very good brewery with 12oz cans of almost everything they make. The black ale is solid, tastes like a good porter, not too hoppy or sweet, balanced flavor.

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Photo of Pj27
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L - pours black with cream/off white head that disappears quickly
S- very well balanced between chocolate an coffee. Chocolate is a bit more though
T- more roasted and coffee notes than chocolate, but the chocolate isn't absent. Not off flavors to be found. Great drinkable beer.
F - after taste is a bit off but nothing drastic. Smooth with a bitterness on the backend.
O - I enjoy this beer and would definitely go after it again. If in Minnesota, would be a beer I go after to bring back

 492 characters

Photo of tempest
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Among porters this is both brighter and smoother (that part likely thanks to oats). The roast is there, but doesn't dominate. And I get more caramel sweetness than chocolate. But this is still a tasty porter and I appreciate that it's a bit different.

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Photo of TCMike
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Produced a one finger beige head. The beer color is an ultra deep brown, (appears black at first glance).

Smell is nice, but could be bolder. It's of roasted malts, light caramel, and peppery hops.

The taste is very similar. Not as much hop bite as most black ales i've had. It is easier drinking in that aspect. Medium mouth-feel, and carbonation.

Good stuff!

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Black Ale from Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 224 ratings.
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