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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 385 |  Reviews: 113
Photo of savagepm
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of tln13
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of daveytheformer
4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

 432 characters

Photo of poppyjohn
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

 535 characters

Photo of jriggins6
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of DerwinWentworth
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of AlphaKing414
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Unchi
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

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.

 1,360 characters

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.

 1,029 characters

Photo of Scoobert
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of richkrull
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.”

 978 characters

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.

 1,211 characters

Photo of ebrauser
4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

 765 characters

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.

 737 characters

Photo of piclee
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

 1,315 characters

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.

 566 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, thanks for the bottle Ann.

Poured this out into a CBS snifter, served chilled.

A) Looks black coming out, but held to light, more of deep brown. There was a nice finger of khaki colored coffee house froth. The head settled to a dusting. Decent amount of lacing.

S) Darker malt and coffee roast, light citrus, pine and grass.

T) I don't think the flavor was weak, but something seemed to be lacking. It was at least refreshing. There is some hop bitterness, grassy/piney, citrus zest, I thought a little lime. This could have been just a tad sweeter, not sure about the balance. The finish is bitter with a burnt coffee flavor, maybe a little smoke.

M) Fairly light, with a good amount of carbonation. This one feels lively, not what I would call smooth, but easy enough to knock back. The aftertaste lingers a little to long for my liking.

O) Decent black IPA. Glad I got the chance to try it, but probably won't revisit. NG Black Top has perhaps spoiled me a bit.

 985 characters

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