Summit Black Ale | Summit Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
152 Ratings
Summit Black AleSummit Black Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
summitbrewing.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 10-31-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
152
Reviews:
71
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
11.65%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 152 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of LCB_Hostage
4.62/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass

A: Deep, dark black with so much head I thought it might be infected. Even with a glass giving and extra 8 oz. of space, it took me 10 minutes to pour this all in the glass. strong lacing throughout.

S: Had precisely the effect you want a beer's aroma to have -- an instant desire to tip it back and taste some more. A rich, heady combination of coffee, vanilla and caramel.

T: Glorious. So rich it transcended an ale and jumped straight to stout. A marvelously complex blend of coffee, vanilla and caramel with a bitter bite on the back end.

M: The head did not eat all the carbonation, which made the amazingly rich taste of this brew refreshing and surprisingly light. A heavy tingle on the tongue and a clean, crisp aftertaste.

O: I'm thoroughly disappointed to learn that this was a one-off and won't be available again. A thoroughly unique and tremendously enjoyable beer. If you happen to stumble across some left on a shelf, snap it up. The carbonation and complexity indicate it should survive some age and it's well worth trying if you haven't already had the pleasure of doing so.

 1,153 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of a build-your own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. No freshness date.

The beer poured a very dark brown color with a huge 4-finger fast rising tan head, so be careful with the pour. Frustratingly long retention with an incredible amount of lacing on the glass.

Nice roasted malt aroma with some orange citrus in the background.

Dry cocoa powder flavor along with roasted malt and lots of citrusy orange hops.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. More on the dry side than sweet.

A very hoppy and bitter black ale. Decent, but not my favorite beer of this style.

 619 characters

Photo of archi348
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JJWIGHT
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of happygnome
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from tasting notes dated March 3, 2012

A: Pours a nice jet black color with about a half inch of creamy tan head that disappears slowly leaving a good amount of lacing around the edge of the glass

S: Roasted nutty and cocoa malts, piny hops balance the aroma

T: Cocoa/caramel malt sweetness in the backbone, nice piny hop bitterness.

M: Medium bodied beer with good carbonation

Overall, a real tasty brew

 418 characters

Photo of bscalt
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of bnes09
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent black color with brilliant ruby hues. Mountainous ivory colored head which coats the glass in creamy waves of lacing. Gorgeous beer!

Bitter pine and floral hop aroma with just a hint of roasted character.

Toasty malt in the background with a touch of roastiness. Pine and grapefruit bitterness. Great balance.

Medium bodied, dry feel, well carbonated.

Solid black ale. True to the style.

 403 characters

Photo of millelacsmark
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of stortore
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of doucmehu
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: even with a very ginger pour this one yielded a large 5+ finger frothy off white head on a slightly hazy deep amber brown body.

S: toffee, toasted and caramel malts, with earthy hops and light coffee notes.

T: a lot sweeter than I was expecting. Caramel, toffee, some candy sugar and milk chocolate provide the sweetness while a smokey and coffee ground flavor provides bitterness in the flavor. If you want to search out some hops they mostly provide earthy notes.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: this one is pretty complex with extremes of sweetness and bitterness coming together to make a surprisingly well balanced beer.

 658 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Pours out a very dark brown color with two fingers of tan head that lasts for about two minutes, and leaves behind medium amounts of lacing. Medium body and somewhat higher carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes of medium levels of straightforward resinous hopping, some roasted and caramel malts, and a garnish of smokiness. It could stand a bit more dryness towards the finish to be balanced closer to my personal palate preferences.

 465 characters

Photo of GarbageMan
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of barczar
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a solid, half glass full of beige head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma is fairly complex, with chocolate, roast malt, rubber, and floral hops surfacing initially. There's a hint of hairspray.

Flavor is strange. Hairspray is again evident, perfumey, with bitter roast malt in the background, finishing fairly bitter due to hops. There's some subtle chocolate that is overpowered by the bitterness present. Grapefruit pith emerges as it warms, and more citrus and piney hops surface.

Body is moderate, with high carbonation and a fairly astringent, harsh grainy finish. Carbonation lifts the flavor right off the palate.

Originally thought this may have been a bad bottle. Took 10 minutes to pour the full beer. But it opened up as it sat for a bit. Not one I'll revisit.

 847 characters

Photo of ssjkyle
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of MN_Beerticker
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of frosted33
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of smogfood
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL
No bottled on date, but "13011108" stamped on label
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Pours a fairly huge head, more than 4cm even with a modest pour, of very light tan bubbles. The head has excellent retention, reducing to a 2cm cap atop the beer and leaving excellent, thick lacing. The body is an impenetrable brown-black color with amber highlights. Carbonation is visible streaking along the sides of the glass.

Pleasantly hoppy aroma with pine resin and grapefruit atop a backbone of roasted, chocolate, and caramel malts.

Flavor is roasted malt upfront, with hop bitterness present in the back. At this point, hop flavors are a bit blurred, but when more fresh, I suspect they were pine and grapefruit influenced. Chocolate seeps through from mid-palate onwards, perhaps being most obvious between mid and late-palate. Closes out a bit watery, but leaves a solid aftertaste of bitterness and some acridness from roasted malt.

Beer is medium-bodied with medium to medium-high carbonation and a bit of wateriness around the edges. At first, this drinks too carbonated, but the levels calm down after a few minutes of resting. Resultant mouthfeel is: generally smooth and slightly watery. Closes out medium-bodied with a bit of wateriness, leading to a very dry finish.

 1,318 characters

Photo of Mick-e-d
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Kunstman
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of trstar87
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of nheinzie57
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of bmike86
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 6 pack from M&M Wine & Spirits in Maple Plain.

Appearance --- a dark, dark brown, potentially black in color… with about 1 finger worth of a light golden brown head, with a very minimal amount of suds left lacing the glass while drinking.

Smell --- can notice the aroma of hops & roasted malts, a bit of citrus, and some sort of earthy herbal

Taste --- more complex than aroma would lead… a bit of the citrus & earthy herbal… although I could not smell it, had a taste of some sort of caramel, chocolate and/or coffee roasted blend.

Mouth feel --- medium bodied… surprisingly less hoppy taste than the aroma, which I do not mind. Not very bitter, definitely smooth & crisp with a clean finish

Overall --- I was fortunate enough to find a 6 pack of this stored in their coolers, so thankfully it hasn’t aged as much as it would have if it were to have been stored on a store shelf. This is one of my more favorite Summit’s… I would clearly rate the Summit’s Oatmeal Stout higher than this offering from them. I would recommend keeping this one around, but I would not know how it would fit in with the new Saga IPA being released, and this style does not quite strike me as a seasonal. It will likely be the end, but it was a pleasure to try… and would be open to trying similar black ales in the future.

 1,341 characters

Summit Black Ale from Summit Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.