Butchertown Black Ale
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Butchertown Black AleButchertown Black Ale
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #297
Ranked #20,651
3.85 | pDev: 11.43%
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States
Very Good
Butchertown Black AleButchertown Black Ale
Notes: Butchertown Black Ale celebrates the long forgotten neighborhood of San Francisco, Butchertown, where our brewery stands today. The nearby creek was once the home to over 16 slaughterhouses and was a thriving neighborhood till shipbuilding took over the waterfront in the 1930s run up to WWII.

This beer is a play on the senses: black as night, but with a deceivingly light body and a bold dry-hopping regiment more akin to an IPA. Butchertown pours black/brown with a thick, lasting toasted marshmallow head. It has aromas of pine, orange, tangerine, pink grapefruit, & light coffee. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, currants, and red wine come through before overturning to a malt depth intricacy of dark toasted bread, pumpernickel, subtle notes of dark fruits and hints of dark chocolate, tobacco and leather.
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 197 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by FLima:
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FLima from Brazil

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep black color with red highlights and a thick caramel head with medium retention and leaving laces and a constant plate.
Aroma of coffee, roasted malt, caramel, faint dark chocolate, some citrusy and melon. Dry hop was lost at this point.
Hoppy and roasted flavor with notes of coffee, charred wood, some pine, herbal, earthy and floral hops, grapefruit, lemon peel, caramel, dank tobacco, resin, spices, cocoa powder and charcoal. Very dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium creamy body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.2% abv is well hidden.
Black IPA with a clean bold bitterness and strong roasted and burnt character. Good layered complexity. It felt a bit like a hoppy Foreign Extra Stout with American flavors.

Oct 06, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Nov 21, 2013
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chugamugofsud from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Oct 27, 2013
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GClarkage from California

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jul 07, 2014
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plaid75 from New York

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black hue with a one and a half finger frothy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a serious dry hopped citrus.

The taste was a full citric hop experience.

The mouthfeel was light considering the ABV.

Overall a nice hop driven hefty IPA.

Dec 03, 2009
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2beerdogs from California

3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Jan 18, 2016
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BrewMaven from New York

4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm fairly new to this style, but if this beer is a representative example, I'm hooked! Great head, smells and tastes like MORE and only $6 for a bomber? Sign me up!

Apr 20, 2015
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hayesjw from California

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Apr 28, 2012
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jsh5771 from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Mar 17, 2012
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tempest from New York

3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a glass at Oliver's in Astoria. My big complaint with black ale is that they're usually just hoppy porters—thick and roasted with vague hops buried under the malts. No so here. In fact, I'd call this my favorite Speakeasy beer. There are a clean, clear dark chocolate and roasted grain flavor next to, and complementing, the big citrus hop character. The body is no thicker than a pale ale, making this a little dangerous, but very tasting and pleasing. Give it a shot.

Nov 25, 2013
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beerbart from California

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Sep 07, 2013
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david18 from New York

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I bought this beer I totally misread the IBA, just thinking it was another IPA from Speakeasy. It was odd when I got it and it was as dark as it was but Southern Tier does it with their Iniquity, so what the hell. This was a very good beer but I thought it could have been a little more hop forward than it was.

Very dark color, ok aroma, good flavor. This is one to get if you see it.

Jan 31, 2010
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mfrogs from New York

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Dec 29, 2012
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Kendo from New York

4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black with mahogany edges when backlit. Pretty big (2-finger) light-tan, foamy head on top. Some thick rings of lace left behind.

S: Nice - what I like in an American Black Ale: chocolate malt, roasted barley and a touch of piney hops.

T: Given the nose, I'm a little bit disappointed by the taste, though the first impression is more a knock on the mouthfeel - which seems a bit thin - than the taste. As for taste, I get roasted barley, roasted coffee beans and then piney hop bitterness. At times that roastiness becomes char or charcoal-like. I was hoping for some chocolate malt, but all-in-all, even without it, this is solid. Very porter-like with all that roastiness - if it wasn't for the hop bitterness at the finish. Aftertaste is a battle between roasty flavors and the hop bitterness. Alcohol warmth felt in the belly, but otherwise not noted on the palate or in the taste.

M: As noted above, it's a little thin in feel, and at first I thought the carbonation was too sharp. That seemed to improve, however (or I just got used to it).

O: Pretty good. Have had mixed experiences with Speakeasy beers, but I'd say this one's a winner.

Nov 11, 2012
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flexabull from California

3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black color with a nice off white head that receded with great lacing.

Aromas are mineral like, some chocolate, espresso, and bread dough.

Taste is mineral like, some tonic water, toasted malts, notes of coffee, and roasted nuts. Finish has a light creamy sweet quality, and mineral hop bitterenss.

Mouthfeel is light, decent crisp carbonation, but lacking body.

Overall, this is a decent, but flawed Black Ale. Not a bad beer, but not a beer I'm likely to repurchase. Pretty average...

Jan 23, 2012
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nose is all piney citrus. Flavor is like cold black tea mixed with beer. Ick. Hopefully that is going to change over time. It doesn't seem to be. And if it stays that way, it makes this a pretty weak black ale. Can't really say that I suggest this one.

May 09, 2012
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metter98 from New York

3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear but very dark red in color (black when viewed from afar) and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste has bold flavors of dark roasted malts and is accompanied by a moderate amount of bitterness. Burnt and roasted malt flavors are most prominent in the finish and linger through the aftertaste. Hints of pine resin hops also become noticeable once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation; the hops don't feel crisp but these and the roasted malts give this beer a "bite" that leaves your mouth tingling.
O: This is a nice Black IPA if you're looking for something that has lots of burnt and roasty flavors. It's not too difficult to drink and no traces of alcohol are perceptible.

Aug 28, 2013
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casapy from Idaho

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

May 06, 2013
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largadeer from California

3/5  rDev -22.1%

Dec 12, 2013
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sneaks2210 from New York

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 21, 2012
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Jun 17, 2013
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argock from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint glass at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Black with chestnut brown edges and short cap of off-white head with nice shades of lace.

S: Light nutty roasted aroma with modest citrus note

T: The flavor has much more teeth than the aroma with a dark but not black maltiness with no acrid elements, light caramel, and a citrusy hoppy note in the finish.

M: Relatively low carbonation with moderately dry finish and minimal aftertaste.

O: A solid black ale that could use a little more roast and citrus hopping but overall quite good and enjoyable.

Nov 12, 2011
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Nov 10, 2013
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illidurit from California

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a really dark ruby brown but not quite black. Not difficult to see through it with some backing light. Head is creamy and tan. Aroma is graham, bread crust, and a fat dose of piney hops. Flavor is similar but the emphasis is even more hop-focused. A touch of dark wheat bread crust gets steamrolled by big herbal resinous hop flavors, with piney and citric accents. Nice solid bitterness with no astringency. Pretty significant alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is nice with a medium body and great carbonation. The only flaw here is the booziness. This is the west coast version of a black IPA for sure: just enough malt to contribute to the complexity, but not so much that it turns into a cloying undrinkable mess.

Sep 11, 2009
Photo of willjschmidt
willjschmidt from California

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Dec 13, 2013
Butchertown Black Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 197 ratings