Black Top
New Glarus Brewing Company

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American Black Ale
4.1 | pDev: 10.73%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 210 | Ratings: 1,090 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Duff27 for throwing this in at FFF XV.
Served in a tulip.


The beer pours a very dark brown, and appears black whilst in the glass. There's a shimmer of reddish-brown light that poked through in the glass. The head was about 2 fingers and was just slightly off white. It dissipated to a sliver quickly, and left moderate lacing. Lovely looking brew.


The beer has a big hop aroma - tons of grapefruit, lots of pine, some peach, and a little pineapple. I also get some dark malt character. There's a bit of coffee, some bittersweet chocolate, and a little roasted malt. There's a smidge of some alcohol in the nose, but it works well with the other aromas. This beer is an awesome smelling beer!


A little milder than the nose would suggest, this beer still has some wonderful complexity. The front of the tongue is greeted with some tropical fruits, citrus notes, and melon. The middle of the tongue has some nice coffee and a little chalky bittersweet chocolate. There's some slight bready character, and overall the beer is more balanced than it is bitter. This beer isn't sweet, but has somewhat of a roasty fruit flavor which is very pleasant. It's more like an IPA than it is like a porter or stout, but the dark malt adds a little layer of complexity to add to the beer's hoppy notes.


Black Top is very easy-drinking. It starts off with a bit of body, then finishes wonderfully dry and crisp. The carbonation is somewhat low, which works in this beer.


This is a really nice "Black IPA". The beer is complex, yet not fussy on the tongue. Everything is extremely balanced. This beer is incredibly well made, and would be a beer that one could enjoy several of throughout the evening.


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More User Reviews:
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4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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Photo of brystmar
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Handsome black pour with thick, frothy, tan head spawning atop the body. Leaves sticky lace. Nothing special about the aroma, though: piney hops and touch of malt; no roastyness to be found.

Strong, roasty malt base blends harmoniously with the hops and pine. Smooth and refined. With this much malt to support the hoppiness, Black Top becomes a recommended beer for those who typically dislike IPAs. A gateway drug, per se.

New Glarus delivers once again with Black Top!

 473 characters

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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4/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Lucular
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1000th rating of Black Top!

Pours with a huge head that leaves copious lacing on the glass. I'm not the biggest fan of the black IPA style but I have no complaints. The malts provide a slightly sweet caramel flavor the melds well with the citrusy hops (the bottle says the hops are piney and citrusy, but I get more citrus than pine).

 335 characters

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4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of bierbrauer
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased locally. Bottle dated day #301 or October 28, 2011, just over 2 months old. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque, very nearly black with 1"+ fluffy, tan head that drops quickly; some thin lacing, w/ about 50% coverage; no effervescence is evident.

S: Cinnamon/spice; herbs & damp grass; baked goods; light citrus.

T: Sharp and hoppy pine; sweet malt, then slightly sour; bready malt; some rising bitterness.

M: Creamy; medium body and medium carbonation, dry finish; no warming.

O: Quite drinkable; balanced, with some complexity; an interesting style -- another good release from a leading Wisconsin brewery.

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Black Top from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1090 ratings