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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA | Arcadia Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
85 Reviews
THE BROS
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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:
85
Ratings:
342
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
24.1%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
32
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 342
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but is clear, very dark amber in color with no visible carbonation. It poured with a short tan head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts are present in the nose along with faint hints of resins from the hops.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and has prominent flavors of roasted malts along with a moderate amount of bitterness and associated hints of pine resin malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really liked this Cascadian IPA because it had an excellent balance between the malts and hops.

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Photo of emerge077
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Odd single in the cooler at Warehouse, hadn't seen before, hopefully fresh.
Code on the bottom reads "153 12 BIE 0351", if the date is the first part: May or June 2012... 4 months old.

Pours black into a mug, a sticky collar of light tan lacing adheres inside the glass, leaving behind a delicate web of lacing. Pretty good head retention as well.

Aroma is fairly subdued, mildly roasty, light herbal hops.

Flavor carries a slight citrus sweetness,medium bodied with a fair amount of roasted malt comprising the main flavor accent. Moderately bitter with a drying finish that is somewhat chalky in feel. A textbook IBA, nothing too wild but it's drinkable with a good hop character to it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sycamore.

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a two-finger, light brown head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pine with a touch of citrus. Nice roasted malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted strongly of pine with a burnt toast maltiness. Nice chocolate and caramel flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - Very cool to get a tap only offering here in Columbia. Thanks, Sanford. Very nice brew!

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 4/24/2012. Pours almost pitch black dark brown color with a nice 2 finger tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of big pine, grapefruit, orange rind, toast, roasted malt, herbal, earth, and light chocolate. Great aromas with big fresh hoppiness; and nice balance. Taste of big grapefruit, orange rind, pine, chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, herbal, and earthy hops. Moderate citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange rind, pine, chocolate, roasted malt, and herbal on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of hop flavors with the roasted malt. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is a fantastic black IPA! Great hop and roasted malt flavor balance, and very smooth for 8.5%. Amazing stuff!

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Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Great retention & lacing

S: Woody hops, dark fruit

T: Follows the nose, much dryness & a bit of boooze bite up front. Some pineyness & figs as this warms, more dryness, some leafy hops too, a touch of raisin. Finishes dry, fruitty & with woody hops, just a bit of orange peel

MF: Fairly thick, low carbonation, okay balance

Seems more like an English Barleywine to me, not bad, just not hop-centric enough to please me

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I remember really enjoying this stuff during my birthday's visit to a trade show last year, so expectations are high to begin with this time. Full disclosure, I guess. This stuff pours a deep, dark sienna topped by a finger of tan-cream foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light blackened pretzel, dry pine resin, and a touch of straight booze tossed in for good measure. The taste brings in more of the same, softening the resin, getting rid of the booze entirely, and adding a faint hint of hickory smoke. Nice. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a very nice black IPA, one that lived up to my pleasant memories in every way save the smell (which, to be fair, was probably getting pretty weak by the time I got to this one last year...).

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours pitch black with strong anise and herbal hop notes rising strong. Tan head dwindles too quickly, leaving anise black licorice notes behind it's crazy. Aroma has sharp herbal hops, black licorice anise notes, dark roasted peppery base malts. Earthy flavor, alcohol flowing fully on each sip, dark malts and dark chocolate...it's unbelievable how harsh the beer is with explosive dark anise notes. Mouthfeel is dark roasted malt sweetness with a slight alcohol burn, dry fruity finish intertwined with black malts. Overall not a beer I'm looking for anytime soon, it's full of dark fruit herbal and earth hops, it's too wild for my tastes.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown, not quite black body with only a touch of a head. The faintest of collars around a translucent edge at the surface.

Smell - Some musty pine hops, but it isn't hop dominant. The hops are well balanced by a chocolate and caramel malt.

Taste - Pine hops throughout, which is nice. The chocolate is consistent with just a hint of sweetness shining through. It gets more bitter throughout without ever getting heavy on the malts.

Mouthfeel - Like a light, overhopped RIS. Never too sweet. Never too bitter. Nicely balanced without being a hop bomb of a black IPA.

Overall - I usually like hoppier black IPAs, but this is quite nice. There is a strange aftertaste that is there and gone in an instant. So brief I can't really identify it, so I won't peg it back for it.

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Photo of jwc215
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with some ruby highlights. A creamy, thin tan head stays, leaving some lacing.

The smell is strongly of pine with some tropical fruits. There is a "black" undertone - more like anise/black licorice than of smoke (which is good - doesn't clash - lets hops really shine through).

The taste is of sweet resin/pine with a touch of tropical fruits. The "black" character adds a touch of licorice, with just a hint of roast. There is a bitter, boozy bite in the finish. Chocolate comes through in the after-taste.

The body reaches close enough to full-bodied to fit. It is between creamy and slick. The carbonation is under-stated, which works well enough in this case. A touch more carbonation would probably give it a more velvety feel, but it is creamy/velvety enough not to tinker with it.

This is a potent, hoppy - mainly piney - black ale. I do have issues with the term "Double India Pale Ale" on the label - as it should just say what it is - a hoppy American Black Ale, but as for the beer - it's nice - if you like piney beers that have a boozy character with some black (licorice/chocolate) traits - and is balanced enough not to be just pine sap - give this one a shot! Well-done!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My bro-in-law is awesome!!! He set me up with b-Craft Black from Arcadia...and it is amazing!!! The beer poured a opaque black with thin ecru head that is lacing. The smell contains a piny roast that could be more bold if I am to compare to SSRA from Stone. The taste is more of the same of the smell. It starts off roasty then finishes bitter. The mouthfeel is very nice, full bodied and creamy with smooth carbonation. Overall it is a good beer....the 8.5% will cause everyone pause....and may be a one and done.

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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 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 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 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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Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 342 ratings.
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