Alaskan Black IPA | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Black IPAAlaskan Black IPA

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pdoran10 on 12-31-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 385
Photo of Mike22
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Dark color is almost midnight black just makes it look like a nice stout or porter with a surprise.

The Smell is of roasted coffee at least subdued.

The taste is what I truly enjoyed. It was a great blend of Coffee Notes with Chocolate and light bitter notes. The malts were just right without being too syrupy or too sweet. Just a great tasting beer.

Nice Velvet and hop combo mouth feel

Just a good first experience with a beer I have never had. It did not have any metallic or harsh notes that I was concerned about.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

For my stop at the Hopkins Tavern, the Alaskan Black IPA was the best surprise of the stop.

The bartender poured the draft a bit hard, so the head was a frothy dark tan. Mouthfeel on first sip is somewhere between creamy and silky--full bodied and satisfying. Good lace on the glass, so a nice serving job by the tavern. Clean roasted malt in the nose, but not burnt or acrid--like standing back a bit from a hardwood campfire. Earthy and floral hop in the nose--some grapefruit in the background. Roast is just as pleasant in the taste and there's a very respectable hop bite with a slight fruity tint (from hop?). Dry finish leaves me wanting more. Excellent Black IPA that I need to do again, but haven't in the intervening two months it took for me to post the write up.

Took me a while to find the description on the Alaskan website under spring release (that I drank in January). Alaskan emphasizes the high hops and citrus, though my draft was understated compared to the touting. However, my experience was significantly better than the reviews on BeerAdvocate. While there are those who reflect my high praise, we are in the minority. Maybe I need to try it again to confirm or deny my first draft.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a 12oz bottle served in a chalice.

A- A thick black with a bubbly tan-ish white head. No light penetration whatsoever. the head dissipates after only a few minutes.

S- hoppy and chocolatey right off the bat. grapefruit notes blend with light hints of almost peanut buttery chocolates.

T- Strong chocolate notes hit you right away. A slightly citrusy hoppy finish. Cocoa notes are very strong. almost reminiscent of a chocolate covered orange. a nice hope bite at the end.

M- a creamy start moving into a bit rougher mouth feel and ending with a biting finish

Very good beer. Incredibly drinkable. This is a cascadian dark ale that leans more toward the malty side of the equation with just enough hops to leave me completely unwanting. a delicious sweet treat.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.42/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear deep dark brown body with 1 finger of a bubbly creamy head that recedes but very slowly. You can't see any carbonation moving around.

S- spicy, citrusy hop aroma that is rather potent. You can hold your nose a few inches away and still get a good feel for the aroma. Earthy and herbal at the same time. It's hop complexity develops nicely.

T- The hop characteristics come fully forward. All the indications in the aroma get multiplied in the flavor. Not a lot of malt sweetness, you can tell it's been balanced enough to let the hops be the showcase.

M- It's silky, soft, and the carbonation is present but not overwhelming. It's very smooth and leaves a nice alcohol burn on the back of your throat.

O- the first black IPA i fell in love with. This is a 12-pack purchase once a season for sure. It's body and hop flavor are balanced and the pushed over with the hops and it's a great example of what this style shall develop into. Cheers to the alaskan brewery on this one.

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Photo of drpimento
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer. Served at a good temperature with a nice sized, light tan, foamy, frothy head that settled slowly and loads of lace. Color is a very dark, clear mahoganey. Aroma is malt, roast, hop. Flavor is surpisingly mild yet fairly good balance and similar to nose with the usual hop, malt, tart characteristics standing out - in context with the body, which is full and has slight high points from the acid/bitter rounded peaks. Finish is like flavor, of average length and is easy drinking.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle bought locally...poured in St. Bernardus chalice.
Mahogany color with small head.
Slight aroma of roasted malts and grassy hops.
Significant carbonation and full mouthfeel.
Flavors of dark roasted sweet malts, grassy hops, slight bitterness but not offensive to the's a bit cold, I'll give it 5 minutes....
OK...dark amber head remains...slight aroma of dark roasted malts. Big carbonation remains, almost in the way of the dark roasted malts. I'll admit I like many black IPAs, like Hop Strike from Tommyknocker or Stones black IPA, and this one is darn tasty. Rich roasted malts, slight sweetness, robust hops in a nice balance. Like a export stout with extra west coast hops, like a burnt porter gone hoppy, like a beer I want to bring to my mouth again and again. In my mind a brilliant balance, not a giant in abv, which is fine, but big in flavor and richness. Heck, a good competitor with my current regular house brand, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA...humm... I think I could say I like this more.

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Photo of Moose90
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best By 05.08.13
Tasted 05.11.13

A - Pours a deep, dark black, with a tall light tan head. Initially, this looks like a nice dark stout. On closer inspection, the head dissipates to a thin layer, and the body of the beer is more of a dark rich mahogany brown. Lacing is uniform, sticky, and overall great.

S – Woah hops, bright, fragrant, and floral. Held up with a large dose of sweet, rich malts. Dark fruits come through here as well. Quite complex, this beer is no longer fresh, but has developed some deeper notes here with time.

T – Rich and roasty, this is dark, deep and complex. Comes across as a robust porter, some coffee, bitter chocolate, and dark fruits again. Hops are vacant here, make a brief appearance, but that's it. Fine by me. Very complex, bitter coffee notes abound, dark chocolate covered cherry notes here, unique. Reminiscent of a barleywine in regards to it's level of complexities.

M – Light, crisp, and bubbly. Carbonation is high, but okay here.

O – Wow. I've had this one fresh, and it is great then, as a big hoppy dark ale. But now, once the hops have faded, the malt complexities are great. The sweet dark cherry and chocolate notes, to contrast the bright bitter coffee and light hop notes, are just great. This is truly underrated.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark ruby-brown to black, good clarity, thin layer of tan foam

Aroma: piney hops with a caramelly, roasty undertone

Flavor: medium malt sweetness with a roasty edge followed by a pine-citrus hop flavor; bitterness is smooth through the dry finish

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, silky texture

Other comments: This is a beautiful Black IPA (or as I prefer to call them, Cascadian Dark Ale). Could drink a lot of these.

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Photo of timtwoface
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of Alaskan's IPA as a standard and cheap IPA, so when I noticed they had a Black IPA I had to give it a shot. It's an interesting mix. I've enjoyed many new black lagers lately and this is just the's like a cross between a porter and an IPA, and I find it a tasty, very drinkable concoction. If you're a fan of either style, I definitely recommend!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For a style that is, still, kindasorta all over the map--is it an IPA, only darker? Should it be, in fact, ‘black’? a hoppy porter? Cascadian? Or was it actually developed along the east coast and, ah, fuggitabout it—reviewing this ‘to style’ is somewhat of a challenge. I can say that I like the style, although in my mind I have a set of widely ranging guidelines which I have come to expect, and when its done to my expectations I enjoy it terribly much. Which is a rambling way of saying that this is an itch I want scratched. Does Alaskan’s take on it scratch the itch? Not really, but that’s not saying I dislike it.

Pours an amber-black in color with plenty of cocoa-colored creamy foam that dies down into a thin cap. Excellent head retention. There’s a light roast aroma matched with a gentle hoppiness. Maybe some essential oils, but it’s not very evident even after opening and warming. Flavor has a soft, rounded bitterness. The flavor and finish coats the mouth without being assertive. I am thinking of pine forests and some grapefruit zest, although I could definitely use more of them here. Just a spackle of caramel maltiness ties things up.
On the spectrum this isn’t quite a red ale nor is it a hoppy porter, but it has aspects I like from both of the styles—some piney, dank notes; a light roast; malt that’s not overly sweet—which work for me. A mixed bag, to be sure, but one I’d grab again.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Alaskan Black IPA in a grocery store. $6.88. Poured in to a pit glass.

Pours a black walnut color, nearly opaque, with some reddish-brown hues when held up to light. Creamy two-toned tan head, with swirls of a darker tan color.

Smell is a roasted grain scent with a little caramel sweetness along side.

Taste is quite good, A bitter charcoal and coffee flavor upfront, with a sweet caramel flavor on the swallow, and a dry bitter charcoal aftertaste. Not much on the hops really for the style, I'd make this more of a hoppy porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but fairly clean.

Over all a very drinkable brew from Alaskan, and much much better than their regular IPA.

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Photo of Strix
4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky burnt umber with a nice head that sticks.

Smells quite malty, hint of cocoa and chocolate, faint pine/dark chocolate hop note

Rich malt, dark bread, cocoa, the hops are subtle and provide more of a dark chocolate note than anything.

Smooth mouthfeel, a bit on the thin side but it works.

While most black IPAs come down on the side of light, this one comes down on the side of dark, and sort of comes off like a hoppy porter or stout. A different take on it, but a tasty one, I thought.

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Photo of woemad
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Bottles in Millwood, WA, for $1.49. Best by date of “060612.”

Poured a dark brown color that took on a very dark amber color when held up to light. Big, creamy, rocky tan head that took it’s time dropping.

Very roasty in the nose. It smells like the roast malt is equal to the hops.

Very roasty in the taste as well, though there is an obvious robust hop presence as well. Tastes like a stout, or even an overly hoppy porter. Dry and slightly acidic at the swallow.

Medium bodied, with a coating, velvety mouthfeel.

I had this once on tap, and found it very stout-like. Now that I have formally reviewed a bottle of it, I still agree with that assessment. This is a very tasty beer if you like stouts, porters, or beers with hops and lots of roasted dark malts. I would happily drink this again, especially at this price.

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Photo of BryanCarey
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Alaskan Black IPA is a dark beer with an interesting and varied nose that combines such things as roasted malt, earthy notes, citrus, and pine. The generous tan- colored foam has good staying power and leaves its mark all along your glass as you drink.

Alaskan Black IPA is a complex beer with flavors of citrus fruits, pine, and bread with some coffee and dark chocolate. The taste is shaped by contributions of a dark ale and IPA, like you expect, but the taste leans more in the direction of an IPA than anything. The bitter sensation is a little more evident here than with other black IPA, but it is still kept under control enough that most consumers will find it to their liking.

Alaskan Black IPA is certainly a tasty beer and it rates a notch better than other black IPA I have tried. It is less balanced than others, with a greater reliance on the hops, but that fact should not dissuade anyone from sampling it, as its taste is still very good and memorable. The complexity and other factors make this ale one for the record and one everyone should add to their list of beers to try.

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Photo of bjohn84
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Jet black with a slight cola red tint, 1-2 fingers of creamy tan head

S - dark Roasted malts with hints of coffee, a small bit of resiny sweet citrus

T - Bittering hops hit immediately up front and linger through to the back end. Dark roasted coffee. not much citrus comes through, but pine is prevalent as well

M - Medium bodied with a slight stickiness.

O - Great Black IPA. Def on the high end of bitterness.. could maybe use a bit more flavor to go with it though

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Photo of lwillitz
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - beautiful black body with golden/brown highlights under 2 fingers of light tan head

S - rich malt, toasted bread, dark fruit, earthy hops, coffee, pine, caramel sweetness

T - malty, bready, fruity, nice blend of bitterness from the hops and the roast malts, enough caramel sweetness from the malt to keep it interesting, dry earthy finish

M - full-body, above average carbonation, smooth and creamy, somewhat astringent

O - This is a very good dark ale. The appearance is stunning, the smell inviting, the taste delightful and well-balanced, and the mouthfeel smooth and pleasant despite having more of a bite than I would like.

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Photo of hardy008
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark black with ruby highlights. Has a small light tan head with decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has citrus hops and dark roasted malt.

The taste has citrus hops, dark roasted malt, and a light amount of cocoa. Bitter with a light amount of sweetness. Thankfully the bitterness is not over the top, and makes for a nicely flavored American Black Ale.

Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Overall, a nice beer.

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Photo of PintOHops
4.01/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glass - Sam Adams Official

A - An almost black but rather mahogany colored brew with a 2-finger tan head. The head looks hardy and dense, and I got some nice splotchy lacing left on my glass.

S - A very nice floral, pine, and citrus hop aroma upfront. Very fresh smelling. Chocolaty malt notes underneath the fresh hops upfront. I pick up a bit of caramel and molasses as well. The aroma is very nice to me, and reminds me of Stone Sublimely Self Riotous.

T - Wow, this definitely reminds me of a toned down Sublimely Self Riotous. Upfront I get a punch of pine, rind, tree bark and sap. Quickly following is undertones of chocolate and caramel. It finishes with more resinous hop flavors and a punchy bitterness that lingers just a bit.

M - Lite-Medium bodied with medium crispness.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. It's full of flavor and the hop characteristics come off very fresh. I think I would like a little less carbonation but that's about all I can complain about. If your a hop head, give this one a try! Cheers.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Nose: light roast hinting at espresso, dark malts, caramel
Brilliant deep dark brown, 1" off-white foam cap, medium persistence, light lace.
Palate: citrusy hops, light espresso, hint of dark caramel, citrus rind bitterness on the finish.
Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, green solo cup.

Looks much like your standard porter or black IPA. Really nice head.

Chocolate crunch bar and chocolate malt dusted with grapefruit and orange peel. Like the chocolate oranges I used to get in my stocking.

Same thing, gentle but bitter and very tasty. Chocolate working exceptionally well with citrus.

Creamy texture, much like a porter. Medium-high carbonation.

Somehow I'm second to strike on reviews of this very good black IPA. It's simple and creamy and satisfying.

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Photo of uhcougar
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice head that dissipated somewhat

dark color, like a stout.

Smell and taste are more IPA, more bitter and piney than anything roasted. I guess I would like a bit more in the roasted dept, but it is good.

Nice carbonation and mouthfeel not really thick or thin.

Nice IPA for the "winter" in TX

I would buy this again, especially since they are $6.99 a sixer. I usually buy just TX stuff, but there aren't really black IPAs available in bottles/cans at this time. Bottle was dated good until late April.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny brown as it's poured from the bottle, black in the glass with a tight cap of creamy tan foam. Coating lace around the edges, visually it's great to look at.

Interesting aromatic blend of pine, licorice, cocoa sweetness, and coffee roast. Woody, earthy character emerges at warmer temps.

Herbal pine and spruce greenery mesh into soft, mellow roastiness of dark unsweetened chocolate and dark roast coffee. Medium bodied and fairly smooth. Lingering resinous hop bitterness that keeps interest nicely. A Black IPA i'd buy again, which is a fairly rare thing.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours with a good dark brown head... nice lacing... the brew is clear, but is still very dark brown only showing hints of garnet at the stem end of my wine glass.

Aromas are well rounded.. good blend of roasty malts and citrus hops.. dark cocoa comes with some warmth...

Flavor is nice... cocoa and slight roast maltiness with no real astringency... citrus is a bit light, but it helps the overall brew... this is well balanced and well done... a slight sweetness adds to the overall brew adding to the body and helps bring out the hop and malt flavors.

All 4's

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...

A - Pours nearly opaque, solid thumb of head, solid retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Leafy, earthy, citrus, some nutty almonds, hints of espresso, coffee and dark cocoa.

T - Much like the nose, nicely balanced flavours with the earthy citrus hops backed up with roasted coffee and dark cocoa. Surprisingly flavourful and a solid sample of the style.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty black IPA, easily drinkable and nicely balanced. Certainly worthy and a good example of the style. Nicely hopped with a solid roasted malty backbone.

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Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Appearance- Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of white head.

Smell- roasted malts, piney hops, touch of cocoa.

Taste- Roasted malts and nice touch of piney hops and cocoa.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall- An enjoyable Black IPA by Alaskan. There was a good amount of roasted malts and hops.

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Alaskan Black IPA from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.71 out of 5 based on 385 ratings.
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