Alaskan Black IPA | Alaskan Brewing Co.

113 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 385
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black beer, looks porter viscosity, mild beige head on the top, 1/3". Aroma was moderately hoppy, grassy, not too aromatic, had the porter like roast coming out as well no doubt obscuring the hop aroma a little bit.

Taste, plenty bitter, at times ashy down on the back mouthfeel, grassy up front. Hops just couldn't get out of the earthy realm and into the fruity one. Another c hopped black ipa. Not bad, not worth talking about much either.

 449 characters

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.

 268 characters

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.

 351 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Mahogany brown body topped with foamy head. Spicy, pungent hop aroma mixing it up with a roasted grain characteristic; chocolate and mint; faint cherry. Flavors mimicking the aromas but with a stronger malt presence. Medium bodied; slight tingling on the tongue from the carbonation; clean and dry.

A good dark ale overall with a decent use of hops all around. There is a slight cola-like quality towards the finish, but the malt grain richness and hop bitterness win out overall.

 481 characters

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.

 497 characters

Photo of PaleZombie
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Deep ruby color with about a 2 finger of tan head which quickly dissipated.

S - Piny, grapefruity hops. Roasted malts, some mild sweet chocolate notes.

T - First the roasted malts and sweet chocolate notes hit you then are followed by some piny grapefruity notes on the end with a mild coffee bitterness that lingers.

M - Fairly smooth and easy drinking, on the lighter side of medium with mild carbonation.

O - Fairly pleasant beer and very easy drinking. Pretty complex also. I could see myself session this one. Especially at $6.99 for a 6 pack.

 585 characters

Photo of makersmarkers
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The lady at the local package store recommended this little number from Juneau, AK when I mentioned that I enjoyed the flavor of hops and was seeking a seasonal or limited offering. I took it home with some excitement, as it is my first taste of this style of brew.

From the bottle and into the double-walled Bodum glass it poured an almost-black dark brown, which looked deep red when held up to the light. It created nearly an inch of frothy tan head which left remarkable lacing as it went down the glass. The aroma of this beer is quite enjoyable: dark chocolate, raisins, caramel, pine, and moss all come through very well. The bitterness of the hops, however, is somewhat overwhelming in the taste. Behind the earthy, pine-y notes of the hops, there is a bit of vanilla and the impression that some of the complexity of the aroma is also in the taste. It's just a bit overpowered. I thought the beer had good carbonation and had a pleasant body but nevertheless felt a touch light on my tongue. Overall, I expected a bit more but I enjoyed every bottle in the pack. I will be trying other black IPAs, for sure, but I'll think twice about buying this one again unless there are no other options.

 1,201 characters

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.

 1,097 characters

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.

 1,282 characters

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

$1.99 for a 12 oz. Best Before 050713

A: Looks like a porter...tan colored head. The beer itself exactly dark, there is a hint of ruby tint. The head does stay around for a while, with some minimal lacing.

S: Dank hop aroma ... pine sap, fresh grapefruit peel, a bit of ganja. Very mild roast aromas surprisingly. Aroma is mostly hop.

T: Very much on the IPA side of "Black IPA" ... grapefruit, lemon pith, strong coffee, hint of chocolate. The aftertaste is a long lasting dry woodsy bitterness.

M: Has medium carbonation, perhaps a bit thin, but then this isn't a chewy stout.

O: I liked this Black IPA a lot. I'd buy it again if nothing new was on the shelf.

 669 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 5/4/2013. Pours crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, char, light coffee, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, lemon zest, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt notes; solid strength and very pleasant. Taste of dark chocolate, char, light coffee, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, floral, lemon zest, grass, and floral earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, char, citrus zest, floral, pine, and grass on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, sticky, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice black IPA. Nice complexity and good balance of hop/malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,198 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle pours a clear, dark mahogany color with a billowing cap of tan head. Nice retention and lacing.

Hops on this one are easily identifiable as citric, maybe a little tropical too. Malts show some char and roast.

Taste is big on the hop flavor and surprisingly low on bitterness, for me sometimes the roasty char and hop bitterness can be a bit much, but this one has a nice mellow bitterness. The malts actually have a touch of chocolate that is nice. Mouthfeel is pretty thin, but it seems to work in the beer's favor for some reason. This Black IPA might be more simplistic than many of the style, but I find it to be quite enjoyable and manages something rarely accomplished for those of the Cascadian's refreshing! Id buy this again, yizeah.

 773 characters

Photo of BlesstheHarvest
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Alaskan Black IPA

Poor to a tulip Glass.
It poors a black/ roasted coffee elixir with a nice tan/chocolaty head.

It looks like a Imperial stout but it definitely smells very hoppy and citrusy like an IPA.
The smell is really fresh and bright like recently cut lemon/pine leafs.

The tastes follows with citrus and hoppy notes. Has a nice bright and light taste with a mild bitter finish.

It is not a very in your face IPA. It is definitely on the lighter side but nonetheless enjoyable.

The mouth feel is very light, it has nice carbonation and overall very drinkable.

It is a very good offering Alaskan Brewing.
I would have this again.

 642 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a beautiful opaque black pour with 2 fingers of detergent-like off-white colored head, excellent lacing. smells of grassy hops, spruce, chocolate, toasted grains. the flavor is a nice mix of chocolatey earthy smoky bitterness.. toasted grains, smoked flavor, lots of chocolatey roasty after taste. the hops are a bit hidden but you can get a grassy sense of them. medium body, creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

a nice offering from this brewery.. not sure if this is my first from them or not, but i've been meaning to try this one for a while. really do like it, but it's hard to distinguish from a porter.

 618 characters

Photo of Sark
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- huge frothy tan head bursting with aroma, retention that holds for many minutes. Brew is a dark dark brown, transparent on the edges of the glass

Smell- unavoidable hop characters, slightly citrus, light toffee/caramel malts

Taste- breadiness and toasted, hop oils, dark malts tempered by hop bitterness finish

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, long bitter finish

Overall- Bold smell doesn't quite translate to taste, still quite a good beer with easy session-ability

 475 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip

Black, with deep ruby highlights when held to light. A thick, foamy, craggy light tan head with great retention and lacing.

Pretty balanced mix of roasty, cocoa malts and citric hops in both the taste and nose.

Medium body, with mild foamy carbonation.

An enjoyable Black IPA, though overall it doesn't stand out for the style in any particular way.

 366 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber/brown with a tanned head. Leaves some decent lacing.

Nice little roasted malt lending a coffee quality and some chocolate. Citrusy orange/grapefruit/pine hop aroma.

Decent lingering bitterness with a well balanced flavor profile of roasted coffee and grapefruit. Medium mouthfeel.

This is a very delicious well rounded brew. A session ipa. I like the darker malt quality of it.

 400 characters

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.

 1,045 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown beer with a tall light brown colored head.

Smell is herbal and hoppy with a strong carrot aroma. Strong patent malt with a strong piney hop aroma. Little bit of toasted grain aroma.

Starts out sweet and bitter with woody after taste. Strong pine hop flavor with the charred taste of patent malt, the two flavors meld and give this the taste of a bitter carrot.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall an OK Black IPA.

 417 characters

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.

 1,443 characters

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.

 987 characters

Photo of obrike
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a single at HEB in Round Rock for about a 1.69.

Poured a deep dark brown in my Stone Ruination pint glass and had a small but lasting tan head. Some decent spotty lacing as well.

Aromas are sweet malt, cocoa, and some nice citrus undertones, and almost a cinammon/hard candy quality as well. I dig it.

Taste follows, but not catching as much of the cocoa. Almost like a hybrid porter/IPA. Fairly easy drinking, almost drinks like a light beer, but the flavor is still pretty nice

Overall a good beer from these guys. Not their best in my opinion, but certainly one worth trying.

 589 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Almost black, kinda more dark brown with amber notes, but nice enough looking. Head and lace were pretty good.

Aroma is slightly astringent, hoppy, some maltiness and roastiness.

Flavor is nice, it's pretty IPA-like. There's some roasty dark malt flavor, but it's light. Mostly you get a nice hoppiness, pretty up front but almost balanced.

Body is medium and well carbonated, quite drinkable.

It's a nice brew, I'm glad I took the chance on a sixer. I've had other Alaskan brews before tho and it's a good brewery.

 521 characters

Photo of texasnomad
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: Looks like a dark brown ale. Thin head quickly disappeared. Lively, but quick vanishing lacing.

S: Basic hop aroma (Cascade? Chinook?) with slight mineral notes. Not much roastiness.

T: Taste follows the nose with nice hop bitterness that lingers at the finish. A slight maltiness adds some dimensionality.

M: Light to medium body and carbonation.

O: A decent beer, but would like a little roasted barley presence. For those that like a good hop character but have grown bored with obnoxiously hopped beers ("oh wow how original") might give this one a shake.

 567 characters

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.

 509 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Alaskan Black IPA from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.71 out of 5 based on 385 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.