Capricorn Black Ale
Rubicon Brewing Company

Capricorn Black AleCapricorn Black Ale
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American Black Ale
3.64 | pDev: 17.58%
Rubicon Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Capricorn Black AleCapricorn Black Ale
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 37
Photo of pat61
4.16/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: A 5” persistent , very rocky tan foam cap that fills the entire glass takes and over 5 minutes to recede to 1/3 its original size, leaving behind a brilliant brown body with ruby highlights.

S: Rich malt aromas with some dark bread crust, dark dried fruit, brown sugar and spice.

T: Rich malty flavors of dark dried fruit, dark sugars, some grain and bread crust leading to a moderate, lingering hop bitterness. The malt flavors are medium high, the hop bitterness is medium.

F: Very creamy with a medium body and medium high, soft carbonation.

O: A pleasantly flavored beer that is grossly over carbonated and foamy.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.36/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a rich black with a creamy cocoa colored cap of foam. There's a great bit of piney-grapefruit hop aroma mixed with a mild roast on the nose, and an inviting slightly herbaceous, medicinal grapefruit-pine flavoring. Pleasantly bittered. I'm enjoying this.

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Photo of arizcards
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber in late May from Total Wine for $4.89.

Beer poured black with a huge tan head that is lasting longer than most brews.

Nose has hints of roasted malts and citrus.

Taste is roasted malts dominate with the citrus hops taking a back seat.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall not a bad brew but the roasted malts are a bit too overdone for the style.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

The first thing I noticed with this brew is the burnt wood aroma. When poured though, it was a consistently smooth throughout blackened cream color. The beer retained just the right amount of lace and head and minimal carbonation. The taste is a bit overpowering of either lemon or citrus of some sort mixed with burnt coffee beans. The mouthfeel reflects the overall taste with a lingering aftertaste and heaviness. STill, Rubicon has brewed a slightly better than average black ale and look forward to trying more products from Rubicon.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours two fingers of light tan head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is roasted malt, burnt lemon and pine.
The taste is burnt malt with a little coffee and some lemon bitterness.
The texture is quite soft and pillowy with moderate carbonation.
An excellent black ale.

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Photo of lordofstarside
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber to a pint glass, no dates

Pours black with a finger of slightly brown foam, red hues at the bottom on the glass and when I shine an led through it. Retention isn't too bad, the lacing is okay, very mild carbonation stemming from the sides

Smell's not too thick. Upfront citrusy hops, orange, mango, and pine. A pretty strong chocolate malt holds it together with notes of coffee and caramel. Just a little bit of alcohol on the finish. Not bad, but not very complex

Taste follows the nose pretty well, citrus and tropical hops up at the front followed by all the darker flavors of toffee, caramel, chocolate, and coffee with a sweet malty finish. Again, pretty simple but this time much more solid

Feel is a moderate body with a wet finish. Not a ton of carbonation, leaves a nice tingle. No alcohol really, mild bitterness, very drinkable

Overall this really isn't a bad beer by any means. It's definitely not a bold take on the style, but easy to appreciate for what it is. Very balanced, would buy again

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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Rubicon Capricorn Black Ale

Got this beer via a sweet beer trade , and it is A very nice Cascadian Ale which I have never seen before.

A: Pours Jet Brown with a very active khaki / beige head which is very active. I over poured first shot. Very lovely creamy head which laces like Grandma's tablecloth.

N: Smells typical for the style, dark roasted malt well balanced with some nice hoppiness, and maybe citrus or green minced onions a bit.

T: Deliciously balanced yet the taste is more dominated by the charred easy bitternes of the malts and the hops take a back seat a bit. Very earthy flavors.

MF: Lovely creamy mouthfeel which coats the mouth just like it does the glass. I would say body is a little on the light side for the style and carbonation level is middle of the road. Refreshing and sessionable.

O: A nice beer which I would definitely buy again, even though I'm not a huge Cascadian fan. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks and small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and citrus zest. Some herbal garlic and onion hop aromas come out as the beer warms up. Taste is much the same with earthy herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I am not a huge fan of the hop profile coming through on this one.

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Photo of TheLostGringo
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in a trade and had no real expectations going in. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Light black with copious amount of white bubbly head, as the head receded naturally or as I drank there was real nice lacing remaining.

S: Beautiful bouquet on this beer, light pine, clean and zesty lemon.

T: Much better then I had expected, good clean hop flavors with just the slight malt backbone for balance. Perhaps the 1st Black IPA that I have had that really seemed to hit the mark.

O: Overall this was a very fine Beer and one I would buy if I saw in the store, pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. Lots of head, maybe four or five fingers. Color was basically black. Light brown cloudy lacing. Lots of film on the sides, brown, wet and sporadic.

An interesting mix on the nose of citrus hops (more lemon or lime than anything else) and dark chocolate malts. A bit of a toffee/caramel sniff as well. Maybe even a bit of mint in there, too, or just some wishful thinking?

Tasted fairly similar to the nose, although not as much citrus hops (still lemon or lime). A lot more stouty and coffee than dark chocolate. Still got that mint taste as well.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

A better beer overall than I anticipated. A couple of my ratings could have gone either way, but all in all it was a decent beer.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sugit for this one.

A: 1" light brown head over extremely dark brown/black liquid.

S: Toasted malt and a faint smell of pine hops.

T: Pine hops up front with a toasted malt finish.

M: Medium/thin viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: An enjoyable and drinkable American Black Ale.

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Photo of Zorro
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nearly light proof black colored beer with a very thing brown head that doesn't last.

Smells strongly of patent malt, char with a sweet burned sugar aroma. Strong smoke note and a roasted nut smell. Grapefruit and pine hop scents. This beer really does smell like it is burned though.

Starts out bittersweet with a LOT of patent malt taste. I do get a burned flavor here. Some sweetness and the taste of butter. Tastes like a porter more than an IPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is OK but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of flexabull
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a flat black color with a pretty nice off white head, nice lacing too.

Aromas are chocolate like and a bit creamy with pine hop undertones.

Taste is very bitter up front with strong pine like hoppy notes. Beer then settles into bitter dark chocolate, light semi sweet creamy malts, and some coffee. Finish is a bit fleeting, with some mineral like bitterness,

Mouthfeel is smooth, but a bit on thin side,

Overall, this is a good black ale. On the bitter side, and a bit rough around the edges, but I like it, and would drink it again.

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Photo of Klym
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a surly nonic.

A classic black ale look with a light milk chocolate head. Hibiscus, jasmine, and big corn chip in the nose. Taste is dominated by corn chip with herbal and floral tints. For the most part rubicon has granted me interesting and decently enjoyable journeys in the beer world and this is no exception.

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Photo of mactrail
2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Attractive but harsh dark beer. Initial taste is of dark malt, followed by tarry gumbo, and finishing with an intense, drooling bitterness. Really astringent and sets the teeth on edge. Utterly bitter with no hint of anything floral or hoppy. Medicinal like chokecherries. Nice head and great mouthfeel with a creamy carbonation. Slight aroma of roast barley.

This is borderline undrinkable. I don't think the hops have enough aromatics to even flavor a malt liquor.

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Photo of beagle75
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Opaque black color with one finger of lofty and persistent beige foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass, and submerged bubbles cling to the sides of the glass in places.

S: Roasted malt smells of faint sweet smoke, while the hop presence is minimally floral and piney.

T: Begins off-dry, with hop-forward pine and some herbaceous spiciness that is joined by moderate acidity. Roasted malt is complementary, rather than dominant or passive, with earth and wood smoke. Flavors dry out some in the middle with aromatic grapefruit peel emerging. Husky, coffee-like roast defines the moderately bitter finish.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, feels more rich than it otherwise is but is also undermined somewhat by spiciness and acidity on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: This black IPA finds an engaging balance in its flavor, without really showing a conspicuous effort to be extreme. The understated smell proves to be a let-down but is thankfully not indicative of the intensity waiting in the taste--which is remarkably similar to Deschutes Hop in the Dark.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an almost black brown with a light khaki head and thick lace all the way down the glass
smells like a porter. roasted malts.
roasted malts with a hop finish and a slight sweetness
medium to full bodied
a great black ipa. perfect balance of roasted malts and hops.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a mild white head, some good lacing, an inticing brew.

S: Notes of hops and grass, pine resin, some black malt.

T: Chocolate, burnt sugar melds well with the strong pine notes and mild citrus. Good flavour overall.

M: Smooth, sticky pine resin, low carbonation makes for an easy drinking pint.

D: A solid brew from Rubicon, not the best Black IPA ever but an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tapped at the source.

A - Dark mahogany to black in color. 1 fingered head and dissipates fast. Leaves nice lacing.

S - Citrus, chocolate, and light coffee.

T - Dark roast coffee, citrus, bittering hops, and light chocolate.

M - Slightly thin mouthfeel, not very viscous. Fairly bitter, but very filling.

D - Good, but a little heavy on the bittering hops.

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Photo of Floydster
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach for six dollars

This was the second black IPA I have add along with Stone's 11th Anniversary Ale and it was impressive as well

Color was opaque black and resembled a porter with a 1/2 vanilla colored head, left sticky lacing the entire time

Smell was a variety of hops and small accents of citrus, had a sweeter smell, more like a DIPA in my opinion because of the syrup-like aroma

Taste was very dry and bitter like a good IPA should be, small hints of grapefruit and oranges are present but not near enough to say this one tasted like an imperial like the smell might make somebody believe, starts off bitter and mellows into a dry charcoal-like aftertaste, went perfectly with the food and all three of the people I was with enjoyed this one as well

Very carbonated and had an impressively thick body, all around good mouthfeel

Could have drank three or four of these with no problem, light on the stomach and the alcohol percentage did not seem to be too high even though the bartender was not sure about it

This was my first beer from Rubicon and it did not disappoint, probably will buy a bomber of their normal IPA next time I see it at a BevMo or something

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Capricorn Black Ale from Rubicon Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 37 ratings