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 UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 5/10/12.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and some pine and herbal hops. Taste is of the pine/herbal hops up front with the dark roasted malt flavor coming through on the finish. There is also a slight metallic flavor that comes out as the beer warms. There is a medium roasty and hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation but the body is somewhat thin. Overall, this is a pretty good black IPA but it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

must be a newer one from these guys, only the tenth review... pours a nice brown ale/porter color with a 2 inch white head of tiny bubbles. smells less like an ipa and more like a black lager or something. tons of roast in the aroma, not as much hops as may beers in this genre. flavor too, plenty hoppy, but its not dominant. balanced by dark malt and a fairly light mouthfeel for the style. very approachable and drinkable, much more of a hoppy porter or something than a black ipa as i traditionally think of them as the hops just isnt the main focus for me. solid brew.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep black color with a nice looking mocha colored head on top. The head had a decent retention to it as well as a light lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer had a really nice blend of roasted chocolate malt with piney hops on the nose. The taste was nicely balanced between the roasted notes as well as the hops that were used. The mouthfeel was a little thin but still kept me interested. Overall it's actually a pretty nice brew. I could see myself drinking it again.

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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 kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderately high given the brewery, which I've grown increasingly fond of.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of khaki colour, nice cream and thickness, and good retention for the above average ABV. Colour is a dark black with hues of caramel. Opaque. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Mocha, roast, caramel, pleasant indistinct hopping, dark clean malts, and cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Dark malts with background roast and even a hint of mocha . Cream. Pleasant complementary hopping; the bitterness is tame and the floral character suits the balance impressively well. I like it. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Not particularly bold in flavour, but notable enough. Features some depth and impressive balancing, but comparatively little subtlety or complexity - though I wouldn't dare call it simple.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice cream and pleasant thickness. Near perfect carbonation. Some coarseness from the hops helps bring out the flavour.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking the complexity and subtlety needed to make it truly of note. This Black IPA may get lost in the mix, but it's worth picking up if you're a fan of the style. A solid offering from Alaskan, but not their best. I'd definitely try this on draught, but I wouldn't buy it in bottled form again.


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Photo of mothman
2.61/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

3rd time reviewing this beer tonight.

Beige head. Sticky lace. Color is dark brown.

Aroma: Chocolate and caramel. Sticky hop resin hop profile. Floral and grassy hops. Orange and grapefruit citrus.

Taste: Follows nose, but more hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and bitter. Roasty. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, a decent beer, but not for me. Too much malts and hops going on at the same time.

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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.

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Photo of mactrail
2.96/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a golden hint. Pleasant carbonation in the mouth. Smell is not as hoppy as one would hope. Slight herbaceous nose, but musty. Maybe this stuff is a little old. Hops seem plentiful but lack in the aromatics. I don't get much pleasure out of the bitterness. Malt seems scorched and anemic. Still, it's quite beery and fills the mouth nicely.

Light bodied. Seems like a lighter version of the over-hopped Schwartzbier that has become the must-brew recipe for everyone. They should have stuck to the spruce buds.

From the 12 oz twist-cap bottle.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in color, nearly black, with a light tan head. Nose is a bit sweet with licorice, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and very light hoppiness. There’s some caramel and molasses in there, maybe a bit of an earthy hop note. The flavor is quite sweet with lots of molasses and toffee. Decently roasty with a light hop bitterness on the finish as well as some chocolate. Not a huge fan of this kind of Black IPA.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alaskan Black IPA. 6.4% ABV.

Very dark. Not quite black. With crimson/brown highlights. Cocoa-tinged froth, lush and lacy.

Aroma: bright, grassy hops, chocolate malt.

Taste: deep, dark malt, bright hops, smooth and tasty. Medium-bodied, easy drinking. Grassy hops stay on top.

I like this. It's beer and you can drink it.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pours an extremely dark amber-brown hue which permits bright ruby highlights when held up to the light. Head is two fingers of pillowy tan foam. Not precisely black, but pretty damn good looking to me.

Smell: hops are earthy above all else, with some citrusy and funky notes beneath. A tart roastiness, while low in intensity, comes through it all. Decent, if a bit muddled.

Taste: funky, earthy hops complement a slightly chocolatey malt base. Big bitterness comes through at the end, along with a nice tartness that accentuates the citrusy character of the hops. I do like it, although like the aroma, it's a bit of a mess.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess. I like it.

Overall: tasty, but this beer needs some refinement in my opinion. It's just a bit messy, which limits how much of it I want to drink.

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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 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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.92/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep brown with a moderate dark tan head. Good climbing lace.

S: Charcoal and roast, but fairly AC, a light smell.

T: Roasted malt, some dark chocolate, still a lot of greeness/mossy. Has some good flavour components, but they don't coalesce that well. It's OK.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy, some biting carbonation at the end. Medium aftertaste.

O: A well intentioned effort, but it's just middle of the road at best. At least it wasn't a new Black IPA that was priced through the roof which was refreshing.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a near pitch black; I can see some reddish hues when I hold the glass up to the light. A good firm 2" head shrinks slowly to just a fine layer leaving some nice lacing behind.

The smell is of grapefruit and some roasted malt. Not complex at all but good.

The taste is no. 1 grapefruit citrus, no. 2 roasted malt and is quite smooth..some would say timid but I say smooth. ;^)It has a smidgeon of some mild sweetness in there but it's not really doing much to offset the other 2 flavours. This has a very dry finish and it's quite easy to take sip after sip.

Fairly light bodied with plenty of carbonation, the mouthfeel is good.

This is a pretty good brew that, I think, brings more to the table than Alaskan's regular IPA. Best by date of May 17, 2012.

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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.

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Photo of beertunes
2.6/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a lightly opaque black with 1/4 inch of tan head that had no retention or lacing. The aroma had solid roast notes upfront, some malt backing that up and subtle hopping in the far background.

The taste was definitely malt dominant, with the roast feature placing second and some barely noticeable hops in the background. The body was fairly typical for the style, in the medium range, and had the roast lingering on the finish.

Drinkability was OK, but the lack of outstanding features makes me wonder why you'd want more than one. Overall, a below average example of what I generally find to a bastard of a style. If you like Cascadia Dark Ales, you'll probably be OK with this beer. Even if the lack of bold hop presence makes me wonder where the "IPA" is in this Black IPA.

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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 DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always enjoy hitting the West Coast, since I almost always find something from Alaskan that I haven't tried yet. Very dark brown, but still clear with a deep ruby hue. A short cap of tan/brown bubbles capped the beer -- fair retention, quite sticky. This one's more roasty than hoppy, though there's some grassy character in the aroma. It smells kind of sweet though, a bit of cocoa and licorice. Same in the flavour, but with some pine mixing in with the licorice and sweetness. Bitterness was moderate -- a little less pronounced than I expected. Smooth, lowish carbonation, medium body, nice texture. It's quite drinkable, but maybe at the expense of blowing my socks off with "character". All kidding aside, it's an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black beer, moderate thickness, small tan head on top of it. The aroma isn't massively hoppy, it is definitely the grassy type, reminiscient of a homebrew nugget black ale, but this did a poor job of getting rid of the roasty character, which didn't allow the hops to be all on the up and up as much as I'd like.

Taste, nice, good hop bitterness, a little less roast at this point. Missing the fruity hop character that makes the best black ales shine. This one leaned a little much on simple grassy bitterness. Sometimes the dehusked black malt just doesn't get enough of the acrid bitterness out of it, and as a result, covers up a little hop flavor. Because of that, this could just as much be called an American porter. Might not have the thickness you'd want, but in the more sesssionable porters, they tend to be weaker in mouthfeel, this is just fine for style.

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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 ArrogantB
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a twelve pack of this beer for $12.49, very decent price. Dark black color, good tan head with a lot of lace on the glass. Smells a little grassy and a lot like a porter. The taste is cool, grassy hops and then a porter-like backbone. I find a lot of beers in this style have a huge clash between the hops and the malts, not the case here. This is very easy to drink and a nice beer. I would say it seems more like a hoppy porter but I will buy this again especially if I can get a good deal on a twelve pack again.

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Photo of jera1350
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Near solid blackish brown color with a creamy little tan head and some acceptable lacing.

A nice mix of citrusy hops and dusty chocolate. A bit light however.

Lots of powdery cocoa with a mellow bitterness and a touch of citrus. Mild toasty malt presence. Really well blended flavor that makes this one easy to drink.

The carbonation is frothy, creamy and soft. Almost a chalky feel at the end.

Has to be one of the most approachable for the style that I've had. Seems all of Alaskan's regular and seasonal beers are made this way though. I was pretty impressed with this one and would have it again.

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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 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.

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