Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA | Arcadia Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
84 Reviews
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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPAArcadia B-Craft Black IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
arcadiaales.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Massive in every way, B-Craft delivers a complex bundle of flavors with citrus-hop aroma. Moving beyond the massive hop aroma, rich roasted malt flavors of coffee and chocolate move forward only to be checked by an impressive hop bitterness. Texture and flavor dance together so seamlessly that you may need to remind yourself that, while it drinks like a session, it delivers like an assassin.

Added by alleykatking on 07-27-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
341
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
12.05%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
32
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 341
Photo of Tone
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hop oils, slight floral hops, pine, slight roasted malt, and a hint of sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight roasted malt, hint of floral hops, hop oils, citrus hops, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and body. The blend and complexity are a little lacking.

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Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts, some fruits, hops are present but subdued, easy drinking for the abv. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a little less hoppy than expected, but a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SMELL: Upfront roasted malt, fig jelly, and chocolate.

TASTE: A good mix of dark malt and citrus hop flavor. Pine, earth, and grapefruit come from sizeable hop additions. Cocoa powder and rooty hop flavor work well together. The 8.5% alcohol is well disguised.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated ale. Cocoa like malt flavor lasts well into the finish.

OVERALL: The B-craft Black is a well done strong black Ale. Solid all day, would have it again sometime.

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Photo of biegaman
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia misguidedly labels this beer a Double IPA despite that it uses enough dark malts to virtually turn it opaque. Though relatively light for an American Black Ales, it's black nonetheless. Heck, even its head isn't entirely white; the surface is encircled by a dirt brown foam.

The aroma has the desired coffee-and-cream sweetness and is blended with leaves and herbals, but it's all a bit sapless (pun intended) by my tastes - there isn't the resinous pine notes that I (and most hopheads) fiend for. I've come to expect my Black IPAs to smell like a tree that's been dissected into two... whereas this merely smells like I'm in a treehouse.

The taste, fortunate for me, offers a more vivid glimpse of the hops; spruce and pine grow in stature but not as much as the citrus notes; the flavour is like a strongly-steeped black tea blended with lemon myrtle. It is earthy, bitter, herbaceous and lightly, faintly tropical. There's also a flash of coffee on the finish that provides a juxtaposing kind of flavour...

And texture! This modest and subdued beer proves to have a fairly roasty aftertaste, however short-lived; the impression of burnt grain comes built-in to the finish but, for all its pent-up bitterness and roast, little interferes with drinkability. Ditto the 8.5% alcohol. At 85 IBUs this has a kind of profile that could appease both hop-heads and stout or porter fans.

For a well-hopped beer that is almost 9% and contains a good amount dark malts, B-Craft Black is surprisingly approachable to just about anyone. Sure, some will react by spitting and running as far as possible from this considerably bitter, comparatively bold offering but, on the whole, it's an ale that marries dark malt and bright hoppy flavours in a mild and engaging fashion. Good stuff.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich chocolate pour is dense black in the vessel. A mocha tinted head has a beautiful coloring, sadly is weak and washy, refusing to hold to give you a lasting visual even after constant agitation. Minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate coffee-roast and pine is most evident on the nose. A touch of dark licorice, burnt citrus bitterness with a strength a bit under par for a advertised.

T: Roasty pine bitterness, citrus and dark licorice first meets the taste buds. Rich coffee, vanilla with a dark roasty bitterness that was fresh and very smooth and polished. Hop bitterness level was good, some roasted barley, burnt flowery bitterness and coffee on the finish.

M: light to medium body, oily slickness texture with a quiet carbonation factor. Huge roasted bitterness on the swallow with signs of black licorice (sambuca type alcohol) coming upon warming and stay.

O: Overall while the nose could of used a bit more ummph the flavor was generally good and easy consuming material for casual affairs.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a oatmeal tan bubbly head that last a good bit and trails of bubbles that glide up the surface.

S- The tropical fruit and bubble gum esters lead into a faint smoky hint of roasted black malt that is overtaken by woody green hops in the finish.

T- The bubblegum, double bubble flavor blends with green herbal hops in the finish and a soft roasted black malt note comes through in the aftertaste. There is a cola note that grows as the beer opens up.

M- The medium mouthfeel has no alcohol heat and a gentle fizz compliments the hops.

O- This beer has full yeasty ester flavors with the hops being much softer. It is a nice beer but not much of a session beer at 8.5 % abv.

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with clear amber highlights and a dense one inch khaki head that lingers.

Aroma begins strangely, with a fruity, strawberry note, accompanied by roasted malt and a touch of chocolate. As it warms, the strawberry scent becomes more citrusy, breaking down as grapefruit and a bit of catty hops.

Flavor is initially roast malt, somewhat sweet, which forms a solid backbone to complement the citrus hop background. Notes of chocolate and coffee add complexity, while grapefruit, tropical fruit, and earthy hops lead into a slightly bitter, resiny finish.

Body is fairly thick, oily, with low carbonation, finishing slightly astringent, with significant alcohol warmth.

Overall, a very interesting beer. Alcohol is a bit hot, but the hop profile is complex, and the malt flavors support the hop character without dominating. A little on the sweet side, but worth a try!

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Snagged a single from Vintage Estate in Ohio. Cost is $2.49

A - Ah good no sediment I fear it was over 3+ months old. Just a 1/3 inch of deep mocha head and the beer itself is Imperial Stout Back, very viscous.
S - Mild tones of citrus hops, and some ashy roasts.
T - Quite an original Black IPA it seems to have some anise or molasses tone along with some citrus hops, English malts, and coffee roast.
M - The ABV seems well hidden if not somewhat watery.
Overall I really liked this black IPA it imparts tones of Russian Imperial stouts with anise and molasses and hides the ABV well.

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Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter, pours black with a thin head, even with a fairly rigorous pour, and leaves minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas are somewhat odd, or at least not what I expected: Dank citrus, evergreen, mango, candy black licorice cigar. Tastes are well balanced and very complex with up-front citrus/grapefruit, tropical with sweet fresh pineapple and mango, then pine, anise, mint, and roasted barley. Wild ride, but comes together nicely collectively. Mouth-feel is medium bodied and resinous, finishes bitter, but rather refreshing. Alcohol is well concealed. This one was strange, but I really enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting the tropical flavors that were present, but it was well balanced, both sweet and bitter, and a pleasant surprise. I need to grab another one when I get the chance!

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Photo of Suds
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep brown color. The head is a tan, thick foam. Some brownish-ruby highlights when held to the light. Murky. The smell is great...roasts malt, earth, smoke and charcoal...nice hop scents...resin and spice. It has a sugary, malt flavor, and a very sharp hop bitterness. Hoppy and flavorful. The mouthfeel is full and thick. This beer was enjoyable and worth having again.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.92/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Had both on draft at Ashley's and the bottle. Smell of mostly roasted malt, some peppery presence, very little citrus or hop. Tastes of roasted grain and very little else, a watery roast to me, with little sweetness, muddled hops if any, just weird. Heavy mouthfeel for the style despite the lack of flavor. Nothing to really enjoy here for me. Bland, and no hop bite. An unfortunate miss by Arcadia.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks elliot

Pours an opaque blackness with a finger-high toasted head resting on top. Slowly fades into a bubbly collar of retention with some cloudy film retaining. Spotty lacing dots the glass while drinking.

Pleasant dose of pine and citrus hops in the nose, nice bitterness with underlying boozy warmth. Roasted dark malts and light chocolately sweetness.

Biting, resiny pine hops right up front. Sticky on the teeth with a touch of grapefruit rind and pith. Roasted dark malts with cocoa and nuttiness. The backbone is formidable, but still struggles to burst through the slightly abrasive hop profile. Light caramel and cocoa powder sweetness. Finishes bitter, dry and long with a boozy punch.

Medium body, nice carbonation, sticky and a bit rough on the tongue. This is a pretty solid black DIPA, although the alcohol and strong pine hops can combine to become somewhat of an overwhelming force at times.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Arcadia's B-Craft Black IPA the other day for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. I have heard this was a good beer so when I saw it at the store I knew I should pick up a bottle, I think this is the first time this beer has been bottled, lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, Spring 2012 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label, it has a well done picture of a white owl flying at night with a crescent moon shining in the background, looks good to me. It poured a nice dark black color that took on some dark ruby highlights when held to the light. It had two and a half fingers worth of smooth dark tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a nice amount of lacing. This is a good looking American Black Ale, it's on par for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a good amount of hops that are mainly citrus with some grapefruit, mango, blood orange, and pineapple sticking out the most, there was also some piney and floral hops aromas but it was the citrus that stuck out the most. Next after that comes the malts that have a medium amount of sweetness and impart a medium amount of roasted malts, brown sugar, and chocolate aromas. This is a great smelling beer, it had great balance and the aromas worked very well together.

T- The taste of this beer is very similar to the aroma, it starts off with lots of hops, I find that the citrus hops stick out the most imparting all those great citrus fruit aspects that I got in the aroma, it has a really well done hop profile. Next comes the malts which have a medium amount of roast to them and a medium amount of sweetness, they impart some nice, roasted, milk chocolate and dark chocolate flavors. It had a pretty low amount of bitterness with a roasty, hoppy, and a little citrusy aftertaste. This was a very good tasting American Black Ale, the flavors were bold, but there was also lots of balance and complexity.

M- Very smooth, creamy, rich, on the thick side of being medium bodied, with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very nice, it was very smooth and the added creaminess was nice.

Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed this beer and I thought that this was a great example of an American Black Ale, the hop profile mixed very well with the malt base which made for a very complex and great tasting beer. This beer had great drinkability it was very smooth and hardly had any bitterness which I wasn't expecting, this beer went down way faster and if I had another one I would for sure drink it, the alcohol was hidden very well also, there's no doubt that a couple of these would for sure hit the spot. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much everything, I can't think of anything I would want to change, it's great just the way it is. What I liked least about this beer was nothing, I wish it was just a little cheaper, but with a limited release I can't really complain. I would for sure buy this beer again, in fact I will be getting more in day or two and I highly recommend this beer to just about anyone, it's just that damn good. Arcadia did an awesome job with this beer, I have found that they can be hit or miss sometimes, but in this case it was a huge hit, I am now a big fan of this beer, and I think it's pretty safe to say that this is now my favorite American Black Ale, and one of my favorite beers from Arcadia, North Peak's Furry used to be my favorite but this beer is better in almost every aspect, I am glad they bottled this beer, I can see a lot more of this beer in my future.

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Photo of warnerry
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours very deep brown with less than one finger of tan head. Head fades quickly to a collar and leaves spotty lacing.

S - Initial aroma is a big blast of citrus, both juicy citrus pulp and bitter citrus zest. Orange and grapefruit are both prominent. The malt profile is heavy with chocolate, both bittersweet and a faint amount of milk chocolate, along with roasted malts. Very nice.

T - Malts and hops appear simultaneously in the taste, which is a nice blend of the same components found in the aroma. There is a nice bitter hop presence, but it melds very well with the malt profile. Not sure which hops are used in this, but they seem to be well suited for a Black Ale, bitter, but blending very well with the chocolate and roasted malts.

M - Medium mouthfeel is by turn semi-sweet, creamy, bitter and dry. Finish is a nice bitterness comprising both the hop bitterness and earthy roasted malt bitterness.

O - One of the best I've had from Arcadia, and one of the better black ales I've had.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer may perhaps be the definition of what's referred to as "cola" as far as the color: very dark brown with lighter brown highlights and just a touch of red visible. A creamy tan head grows to almost 2 fingers and recedes fairly slowly, dropping a combination of rings, legs and patches of lacing.
On the nose, I get an initial burst of raw pine and a tinge of alcohol. Delving deeper, there's a touch of mint, something like spruce, and a bit of roast. Rind pulls out a bit with the bitterness and some leaf finishes it out.
As for the flavor, at first sip it's an even level between roast and pine with some unexpected toffee-like sweetness and a bit of wood. The mint comes out again and there's the ghost of char just coming out in the finish. A touch of cocoa and coffee grounds are drawn from the roasted malts while the hops remain at an even level, adding an herbal element.
The body is medium with an evenly crisp and smooth feel to it. Carbonation is light and keeps it lively without overdoing it.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a tannish head. In the aroma, big citrus hops and a small caramel like malt. In the taste, dryer orange citrus hops, somewhat minty even. A small hop bite, but mainly smooth and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dryer orange citrus and small maltiness in the aftertaste. Nice big hops, and a nice balance of flavor between orange citrus and caramel malt.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with hints of red and a nice tan head with good lacing

S-dark malt, citrus, pine, slightly herbal

T-citrus, dark malt, earthy, pine, slight sweetness, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a solid black IPA, good flavor and body

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Photo of buschbeer
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
Served in a nonic pint glass

A - It pours dark, allowing just a little light through to create some ruby highlights. A couple of inches of tan head made an appearance, leaving behind a skim of tan on top. It looks a lot like a porter.

S - The first scent I recognized was grapefruit. Then the roasted aromas come through. I get a little cocoa and a little coffee.

T - The hops are less prevalent in the taste. The coffee and dark chocolate are more pronounced. Delicious!

M - Medium

O - This is a very well balanced black ipa. It has to be one of the top two that I have tried in this style. I will probably be in the minority since the hops aren't overwhelming. I prefer this style to be more balanced rather than a hop bomb.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Silky black coloring yields a relatively substantial head the wicked away quickly and left no lacing.

Very interesting scent as its advertised an IPA but has a nice creamy milk stout quality. Subtle malt aroma ends the nose.

Lots of roasted coffee taste with chocolate malt and roasted grain flavor. It distinguishes itself more for what it is not than what it is; No IPA character, as the label suggests, but nice black ale character in taste, scent and feel.

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Photo of alexgash
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Bottled 4/16/12.

Dark cola amber-brown body. Some light gets through. Small, light khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose is a nice mix of hops and dark malt. Lots of pine sap, cat pee, and herbal notes. Caramel and roasted malts complement.

Toasted chocolate malt up front. Caramel and roasted malt settle in. Citric, piny hop bitterness gradually comes on. Some herbal, cannabis-y funk as well. Stays pretty-well balanced until the finish. Dries out, with lingering espresso and pine hop bitterness. Faint resinous notes in the end. Medium-full body with a slightly creamy feel. Nicely done!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a warming dark cola-black with cocoa foam. I get an upfront roasty malt profile with a pronounced roast on the palate cut by some bitterness and a touch of piney grapefruit hops. It’s malty and more sweet than dry, with enough going on to place it in my mind as more ‘hoppy porter’ than ‘black IPA.’ Tasty and enjoyable even as it warms.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark with some prune-brown tones. Small lip of foam became a ring pretty quickly.

Mellow earthy nose with a languid hoppiness and smooth maltiness in the balance. Lightly fruity. Not particularly roasty.

Spicy pine and woodiness, blanched by stewy roast malts and notes of unsweetened chocolate. Bit of a boozy sting. Almost rosy. Finishing bitterness gets a little intense. Dominated by grain and earth. Not dirty, but a little woody. Hints of dark fruits or berries. Almost port-like in the finish, only super-dry.

Smooth and a little oily. Biting carbonation toward the end punctuated by the bitterness. Alcohol turns out to be a whole lot sneakier.

Pretty good black ale. A DIPA is a bit of a stretch. Still enjoyable.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is a powerful ale. It has a ton of aromatics going on. Hops, roasty. Wow. Niceand unique smell.

The taste is similarly hoppy. A piney hoppiness is in this. It also has a lot of burnt (not really roast) flavor.

I would buy this again looking for a unique stron ale, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes hoppy stuff.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa since I hadn't given this a go and I wanted something darker to go with the cooler nights that are finally starting to set in. Because this beer was so accessible and easy to enjoy, this was a good choice and a solid example of the style. The alcohol was quite high but thankfully, not too pronounced when it came to the flavor and mouthfeel.

This had a dark pour to it, as to be expected, with a fair amount of head and just a bit of garnet around the edges. Not a lot of lacing to be seen either and the aroma wasn't that strong. What I could detect in the nose was a strong amount of peat moss, as if this were a Scotch Ale. The mouthfeel was not sticky and there was a good amount of roasted malt and burnt sugar in the taste. Not a lot of hops to be felt and with the carbonation being low, this almost reminded me of a Schwarzbier. The bitterness kicked up in the aftertaste with some earthiness and metallic notes to this but everything worked well together and the slight burn lasted for a while, long after I finished off each sip.

To be certain, this was strong and took a little while to fully savor. I didn't taste the booze and it didn't detract from the dark flavors but by the time I got to the end of the bottle, it had already sneaked up on me and caught me off-guard. Once I was past that, there wasn't much not to like here and this was a good example of what a black IPA should be. With more and more beers of this style hitting store shelves every year, better versions can be easily found but fans of Arcadia or beers that are strong and heavy will find enough to like here.

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Photo of BB1313
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/10/12. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black, but there's light getting through making it a very dark brown. Decent head and nice lacing and retention. Ok, this has a really nice nose. Lots of fresh berries dominate, with some grass and dank lemon zest. It kind of has the onion/garlic aroma. There are subtle roasty chocolate aromas as well. The flavors are very bold. Lots of fruity bitterness from the hops, but a nice sweetness from the chocolate, making it bittersweet. Lots of pine resin going on. There's a touch of heat, but nothing overboard or unbearing. The mouthfeel is very impressive, it's extremely creamy. It's pretty slick and has a resiny feel. The carbonation is very low, but it really works in this case. This is a FUN beer to drink. Very complex.

Wow, this is a nice "Double Black IPA". This is a great beer from Arcadia.. there's something unique about it that I can't put my finger on. Well crafted.. I feel like it should have a higher score from me.. highly recommended.

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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 341 ratings.
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