Summit Black Ale | Summit Brewing Company

very good
71 Reviews
Summit Black AleSummit Black Ale

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 152
Photo of Ungertaker
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a deep black with crimson light penetration and a khaki-colored, one finger head adorning the top. Lacing is left with each sip.

S- Hops, chocolate, and malts

T- Chocolate up front, bitter hops, then more chocolate with a hint of coffee at the finish.

M- Light to medium with a fluffy, almost nitro-like carbonation.

O- One of the best two beers I have had from Summit (and I have tried everything they have bottled). The only one I could put ahead of this (my opinion, of course) is the Unchained #3 (the Rye).

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich darm brown with nice creamy head that left some great lacing

S: Not much hops coming from this but a little cocoa and chocolate scent come through.

T: Little bit of bitterness and citrus cent but primarly the dark roast and chocolate.

M: Medium bodies, not too rich, went down really well!

O: Great dark flavors but not too overpowering with the roasted malts or chocolate. Would definately order up again!

Serving style: On tap at the Blue Door Pub, St. Paul, MN

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a qaurter inch cap of solid foam that lingers. The aroma is of roasted malt, grapefruit, pine resin, and chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma. There is a nice balance of roasted and chocolatey malt, and citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth texture, and light carbonation. Overall, this is a really well crafted beer that I will be drinking a lot of while it is around.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Cheese Cave in Faribault.
Fruity, spicy aroma in a hops sort of way. Pleasant with minimal malt background.
Very dark with 1/2 inch off-white head (not really tan, more grey). Held in light showed dark red highlights and seemed quite clear.
Interestingly hopped with again a spicy and fruity (but not citrus) quality with an earthy green herbal plant quality. Roast flavors in an ample malt foundation. Roast flavor comes and goes, but strong enough when present to be clearly known (don't have to search for it). Bitterness is known, but actually kinda' subdued for an IPA of sorts. Drying was on the mild side too.
Smoothly and fully carbonated. Moderately light body.
This is a nice beer. Reasonably high drinkability with full flavors and mild alcohol.

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Photo of bsp77
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown (not quite black) with a moderate, light tan head and a single lacing ring.

Smell: Very tropical hops over caramel, chocolate, molasses and light smoke.

Taste: Definitely tastes more IPA than Black. The hops are fairly tropical (grapefruit, mango) but are more spicy and metallic than the aroma indicated. The malt body is relatively light with bittersweet chocolate, caramel and a touch of coffee and smoke. Fairly bitter on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a medium body. Very dry. Feels like an IPA. Not as smooth as some American Black Ales.

Overall: Another winner from Summit's Unchained series, who are about 6 for 8 in my book. For a moderate alcohol Black Ale (many are really Doubles), this is among the best. I also appreciate the use of unorthodox Southern Hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand) hops.

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Photo of Kbogac
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the Summit Unchained Series. Batch 08, Black Ale.

Poured into a pint glass. Nice foam that slowly settles to a nice 1/4 inch that lasts throughout. Dark brown molasses color. The smell is different than I expected. The hop aroma is sort of friuty citrus and pine. Slight malt too. The taste is dark wheat and malt with the unique hop coming through. Come chocolate and mild bitterness. Nice but the unique hop gives it a different taste. Sort of unexpected. Generally a good beer. Being a black ale with unique hops make it difficult to compare. I liked it will probably get more.

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Photo of mobius387
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pint glass

appearance: pours a dark brown thats actually slightly transluscent, medium sized brown head that dissipates shortly after.

aroma: i dont get much hop scent, but a nice malty chocolate thats on the lighter side of smells

palate: you feel the hop presences as this stings your mouth, not too carbonated and the flavor is strong while its sits inside. medium-full body

taste: nice roasty flavors, slight chocolate taste, and it would be very very good except for a lignering irony after taste that kind of brings things down

overall: a solid beer thats worth a pick up it you like roasty flavors. the iron after taste keeps this from being a top beer for me, but its still a nice choice with some good dark flavors.

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Photo of gatornation
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoy by 032812 on neck of bottle

A- pours a dark mahogany color that is clear with some black cherry highlights a tan 1 finger head that fades to some sticky lacing

S- is earth and malty with dirt smells ,roasted malts and toffee with citrus hops

T- starts with strong hops citrus and bold,mix in roasted malts and some herbs and spice ,toffee and toasted bread

M- smooth and brisk with hop flavor, a creamy texture

O- hoppy and malty robust malts its a porter, an ipa a black ipa you choose ,it is however tasty and i enjoyed it

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Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by Date 03/18/12 on neck of bottle. Dark color and appears black in the glass. Not so dark that light cannot find its way through. Two fingers of head forms and has excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is something I am becoming accustomed to in Black Ales. Sort of a resiny, herbal mix with some citrus thrown in. Cannot really come up with any dark malt.

Flavor is quite hop forward. Hops dominant the front end with citrus and herbal bite. The malt finally makes its presence known in the finish with some nice roasted qualities. Quite bitter and relatively dry.

Solid body with a fine carbonation. Feels like it carries the ABV nicely.

One of my requirements of a Black Ale is that I can taste the black. I can in this beer but I would of liked more. Some chocolate and a little more roast would of set this in the exceptional range. As is it is better than most in this style.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No distinct freshness dating but I do see a 12911139 on the label....

A= Pours a light black color if that makes sense. The head is a small skin on top of the glass with no real lacing on the side of the glass. A little weak when compaired to other black ales.

S= The smell is actually pretty typical of Summit beer as far as the hop profile goes. I feel like I've smelled this blend before. An earthy herby mix on the hops and an underlying roast that hides deep in there.

T= The taste is very nice. It has a big roast flavor that is excellent and somewhat lacking in most beers for this style and the hops again are the familiar blend. This is a very well mixed blend of roast and hops.

M= Nice and smooth. Good mix of hop bite and black velvet.

O= This is another home run in the unchained series. It is a good mix of the two extremes as far as the style goes. This style it seems usually takes one side or the other. This is a nice balance and worth trying.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Summit:

The rich, dark color. Exotic hops from Australia and New Zealand for pronounced citrus, passion fruit and pepper character. Toasty and dark malts. Summit Black Ale takes you on quite a journey. Batch 8 in our Unchained Series from brewer Mike Lundell, this medium bodied, hoppy ale should be a hit with adventurous beer lovers.

Pours a solid brown of the darkest shade. The head appears creamy and is taupe colored and leaves curtains of sticky lacing.

Getting grassy fresh hops, like a fresh hopped beer, along with dusty cocoa and milk chocolate. A nice little combo that sounds like it fits the style profile.

Big bitterness coming from the hops. Lots of grapefruit peel and related citrus flavors. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee coming from the malt side of the beer. This is a very, very hop forward version of the style, but has a nice roasty malt balance behind it.

Very soft carbonation, about medium bodied. Has a bite to it form the hops and finishes dusty and dry. Not quite as rich and malty feeling as others in the style.

This is a bold take on the style. Loads of hops which will satisfy hopheads. I really wish there was more of a malt presence to balance it and add some sweetness. This is still a solid brew that is worth trying out.

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