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 hoplover82
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear almost picth black color with some deep copper hues when held up to the light, with a one finger, mocha colored, creamy head that had pretty good retention and very good lacing.
S-The aroma is very faint on the hops. I pcik up on a melded blen of pine like hop notes along with some yeasty charateristics in the back. Pretty mild on the nose.
T-Now the flavor is full of hops. Pine mainly along with some pungent resiny bitter hops to finish your palate off right. Nice step up from the aroma, or lack thereof.
M-This has a medium to full body with a clean and semi-medium dry bitter finish.
O- Overall, I think this is a well done black ipa. I closed my eyes and took a drink and it really does taste like a pale ipa, yet it's black. This is how a black ipa ought to be.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured almost a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is citrus with a note of roasted malt.
It has a solid flavor profile: lemon, grapefruit and slight roasted malt.
It has a crisp texture, a bit high on the carbonation.
A worthy and flavorful BIPA.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into my Chimay chalice, this brew poured a deep cordovan brown with a light tan, finger width head. Decent retention. Fine lacing with good stick.

Smell - Hits on citrus and pine hop while lesser notes of roasted malt, specifically a subtle mocha character, does well to round out the aroma.

Taste - Hits on citrus and pine hoppiness upfront and throughout, while the roasted malt is subtle, but firm, peaking through mid-taste and into the finish, though never quite overtakes the dominant hop character. Finishes with a lingering orange pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. Utterly smooth from start to finish. Glides down with ease. A touch on the creamy side.

Overall - A very underrated CDA from Alaskan here. Personally I'd like to see a bit more of the roasted character, but this is a fine example of the style, regardless. My only gripe is that this isn't a year-round release.

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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 BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Aug. 6, 2012 (picked it up for $9.49 for a six-pack at Village Square Liquor & Kegs in Grantville (San Diego, Calif.) on Aug. 6, 2012). Two-to-three fingers of tan head, a bit like khaki pants, that settles to a full layer of espresso on the top. Lace stays strong and balanced on the top and sporadic and foamy on the sides.

Good variety of smells on the nose. Got dark roasty malts first, maybe even some nuts. Small whiffs of coffee beans. Then comes plenty of hops, but not sure it was citrus. Smells good though. The best part of the beer, but I couldn’t quite pull the trigger on a 4.5 rating.

Taste was initially a bit disappointing after the smell, but wasn’t so bad after all. Got bitter hops in the beginning, fiving way to the roasty dark malts that I smelled earlier. Kind of a weak watery finish.

Deceivingly medium-to-light body. Thin oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish. Seemed to warm quickly.

I’d say this was more of your average Black IPA, but I would have it again. That could be because I seem to love Black IPA’s, but still. Much better for me than the regular Alaskan IPA.

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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 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 arizcards
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from the Arrowhead Total Wine in late March for $1.39. Best by 5-17-12...dang that is two tonight!

Beer poured dark brown with a decent head on the initial pour that disapated quickly.

Nose has hints of citrus. Malts are pretty muted, not much chocolate or coffee.

Taste is pretty well balanced, malt base has dark chocolate and some roastiness. Finish is citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth, body is medium.

Overall this is a pretty good brew. Had it on tap at Old Chicago back in March and it was much better fresh. We'll see if Alaskan comes out with this in the future...if they do grab it fresh if you can!

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Photo of DJ-22
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My buddy brought me a "care package" from Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago, and this Black IPA was included.

Wasn't expecting much, from the bottle and pour, but I was pleasantly surprised after the first sip.

Appearance is dark and opaque... Mahogany where the light catches at the bottom of the glass. The slight head dissolves quickly (This differs in my account, from what others have described) leaving a slight lacing on the glass. Reoccurring head with every drink, dissipating quickly into a slight ring around the perimeter.

Smell is typical of a good IPA. Sweet with a hint of unidentifiable spice.

Tastes of Chocolate. Sweet, hoppy, and malty. Roasted Malt. Slight coffee?

Mouth-feel is moderately carbonated. A little prickly, but easy to drink. Finishes very clean, similar to a brown ale/IPA.

Overall, I am quite happy. Wish I could find this one here in MI. Definitely a beer that I would have no problem spending the money on. Quite happily surprised. Would recommend.

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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 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 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 brewcrew76
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown, ruby with a thin tan creamy head.

S - Light aroma. Coffee, chocolate, pine and citrus.

T - Light roasted malts, coffee, milk chocolate, pine and citrus hops.

M - Light body and creamy. Dry lingering finish.

D - Solid and easy drinking black ipa. Nice balance of roast and hops.

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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 tbern007
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cherry wood brown/ruby with very thick tan head, large bubbles in the foam, sticky lace that lasts.
Scent is pine, roasted malt, charcoal, molasses.
Taste is west coast hoppy, roasted malt, slight smoke.
Dry at first but then sweet and sticky.
Overall good but not sure how this fits into the profile of a black IPA. I do like it and would have it 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 jdense
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased in Boise ID poured into tumbler 4.2.12.

One finger creamy light tan head, slow dissipation with significant lacing over dark brown with red highlights opaque body. Citrusy hops dominate nose, roast malt not very noticeable until the beer fully warmed. Taste features good dose of coffeeish roast, citrus hops with a bit of floral overtones, certainly more roast than hops. Smooth medium mouthfeel, creamy, decent effervescence. Not quite hoppy enough for me, but one of the smoother CDAs I've had, worth a try.

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Photo of Docer
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (3.5)

- Nice couple fingers of light mocha-tan head that settle over the beer with a thing layer forming a large island covering most of the brew, and lace about the glass where the head made its mark. Overall the way it should look.

Smell: (3.5)

- Light sweet grainy aroma. I want a CDA to smell like this. Mild cocoa, biscuit, grassy bitter hop, and subdued flavor. It's mild, and good. Smells well balanced and drinkable. Just simple and well put together.

Taste: (4.5)

- A rather light flavor anyway. Biscuit, husky grain, light cocoa, some light esters, grassy hop, and some herbal hop. It is very well balanced, and every flavor seems to be trying to hide itself behind the other. I love the balance in flavor.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)

- This is where this beer suffers a bit I think. It is rather heavy bodied and thick for such a low abv beer. It's chewy (which isn't a bad thing), but yet thick and viscous. I get a thick chalky feel in it which makes it a little difficult to drink. It's a tad drying from its nice bitterness.

Overall: (3.5)

- A solid CDA/Black IPA. I think the taste is great, and even the look... but there is just something a little too thick about it that makes it hard to drink. I would love to be able to guzzle a few pints of a good CDA on occasion, but with this puppy, I may switch to another light drinker.

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Photo of Brianmead
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not a beer to drink with mozzarella cheese, salami, and sun dried tomatoes. What was I thinking? It is a beer to drink on a cool spring day, though. Isn't it funny how 40 degrees seems warmer in the spring than in the fall? Exactly why Alaskan's Black IPA is a perfect early spring beer. For me, it's a bit too powerful (read: hoppy) for hot summer days, which in Alaska means a scorching 70 degrees. Thank God we've got another two months or more before we hit that!

It's beautiful black pour and hoppy aroma says IPA. The crisp bitterness is complimented well by the dark malt's burnt English toffee flavor. While some may say the Black IPAs are gimmicky, I'll argue they're a refreshing and clever mix of flavors, distinctive and unique.

As for the Alaskan version of this IPA-and-dark-beer-lover's treat, it gets a B. Where it has two great distinct flavors that mix well together, it lacks complexity beyond that. It's deepest flavor disappears all too quickly, leaving nothing but the hops to rest on the tounge.

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Photo of JEdmund
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks very porter-ish with it’s black body and slightly red/brown edges. Small head formation and it settles out quickly.

Smells like an IPA. A big American IPA. Big citrus notes and little in the way of malt. Again I wonder what the purpose is of using de-bittered black malts.

Big flavor with bursts of bright, juicy hops. I’m immediately struck by the mouthfeel; it’s substantial and has a pleasant texture. Mostly bright citrus hops but in the finish comes a more pine/earthy drying bitterness to add another layer of complexity. Also in the finish is some of that dark malt, just giving a hint of some roasting on the malt. Fairly well balanced with malts, with a pleasing and somewhat light finish, helping the drinkability.

I’ve had a few black IPAs now, and I’m still convinced they’re a gimmick style. Alaskan Black IPA is a nice IPA that just happens to be black instead of yellow/orange. I’m not knocking the beer (it’s good), just the “style.”

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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 Gatch
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with an off-white, bubbly, frothy head that fades quickly into a bit of lace and no retention.

S: Watered down, roasted malt. A bit of smoke.

T: Smoky, earthy, peaty, with a bit of roasted malt in the finish. The flavor is weak. There was better hop presence in the first five bottles of the six pack. I'm hoping the glass I used didn't taint this one.

M: Has a lingering lactose sugar taste. Easy to drink. A good, middle-of-the-pack Black IPA.

O: I remember it being much better out of the bottle. I pulled the glass straight out of the dishwasher, which is a rookie move, so I'm thinking that affected the taste. This is a good beer, just not good enough to buy another six pack to prove my theory incorrect. I'd try it again on draft, though.

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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 budgood1
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out of the 12 oz. twist off stubby bottle a very dark ruby colour, with a frothy and thick tan head. the froth sticks and stays, and also leaves some very nice looking lace. very hoppy aroma, striking a balance between pine and citrus, with a definite dark malt tone. smells very nice. really like the dark roasted malts in this one on the tongue...maybe black patent? no astringency, little charred malt bitterness and very little chalkiness. the maltiness is straightforward and the impending hop profile is just enough to provide a depth of flavour to balance. some citrus, some spruce, and just enough to balance and compliment the overall profile. and the back end bitterness is about perfect too. just enough to satisfy without being over the top or blistering. the overall body is medium in girth, with an easy going, slightly lively mouthfeel. very nice drinkability. a very approachable black IPA.

overall...those wanting something big, bodacious and obnoxious will be disappointed. what we have here is a sublimely balanced and delicately layered version of this hard to define style. i've had a hard time with this style, but i find this offering as something i wish i could have sampled earlier, because it's seemingly a solid base model for others to build and expand on. definitley recommended.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown. A little light gets through giving a reddish brown glow. One and a half finger light tan head with good retention and lacing.

S: Floral and citrus hops. Dark malts, faint chocolate, very faint roast. Overall a light aroma.

T: Light chocolate and nuttiness upfront. Floral hops, faint bitterness. Finishes with a touch of citrus hops.

M: Medium light body. Medium carbonation. Slightly creamy. Faintly dry.

O: It's a decent beer. Black IPA's, IMO, are hard to pull off. This sort of works. Easy drinking.

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