Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA | The Fort Collins Brewery

very good
35 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPAIncredible Hop Imperial Black IPA

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by emmasdad on 03-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 84
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a weisse vase, the beer pours a dark jet black coloring with a milk-chocolate colored head that makes a pretty decent cascade as it pours and settles. The final product is a foamy, dense, thick two inch head. This beer has a great lacing effect as it settles and you drink. The beer does have some ruby highlights in it when up to beer. The nose is resinously hoppy, with robust flavors of sappy cedar, spicy pepper, and pine needles. This smells delicious. The first flavor punch hits the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat at the same time, and it is coffee and milk chocolate. Wait, what? Lemme take another sip...oh yeah, bitter coffee and a silky, smooth milk chocolate. Shortly after the initial shock, the hops kick it up a notch on the bitterness scale, as well as spicing it up quite a bit. This beer has a great blend with all the spicy, sweet, and bitter flavors. It keeps the tastebuds guessing with feel and flavor. Delicious! All this leads to an interesting mouthfeel, with some creamy characteristics, but also an effervescent, sharp, and crips feel to it as well. The creamy milk chocolate flavor comes through the aftertaste with a bit of the peppery hops, and the finish is crisp and a bit dry, amazingly enough. What a unique and interesting brew. I look forward to "studying" this concoction further!

 1,370 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark black color (dark ruby red in intense light). Poured a 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a skim. Decanted lightly (see it when held up to strong light). Laced in spots and broken rings.

S: Big caramel malt aromas. Floral and herbal hops follow; grapefruit, pine and white pepper too. Bitter roasted coffee in the background. No noticeable boozy aroma.

T: Rich toasted malts and a variety of hop flavors consistent with the nose. Huge resiny hops dominate the middle. Very sharply bitter in the finish accentuated by the coffee flavors. The bitter along with warming alcohol linger a bit in the finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation (a little more may have helped the finish). Big resiny monster. Finishes really dry and warming.

O: Good deal of malt character in a huge hoppy beer. ABV limits drinkability somewhat.

 844 characters

Photo of babaracas
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, black in the glass, two fingers of creamy medium brown colored head, delicate splotches of lace left behind. Smell: pungent pine, tangerine, citrus rind, a hint of bitter chocolate way beneath. Taste: pine, pulpy grapefruit, leafy, light roasted note with a little powdery dark chocolate. Nice, but it's far too boozy. Light-medium bodied but sprints off the palate leaving hot booze and piney astringency. Just tone down the booze and this one would be pretty nice.

 491 characters

Photo of SamN
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black, but not as solidly black as a porter or stout. Almost seems like you can see through it if you really star hard. Dark billowy head of fine bubbles with a slightly bubbly surface. Fades quickly, doesn't last long. Aroma is odd, like a fishy hop smell. I can't really identify what I'm smelling. It's definitely hoppy, but a hop aroma like I've never smelled before. Sort of piney and raw. Taste is hops dominate, the malts don't really come through all that much, but the taste is fresh, juicy and resiny without any real palette-shredding alpha-oil madness. After sipping a bit more, I can detect a subtle coffee and roasty flavor, but it moves along with the hops pretty well, so it stays in the background mostly. Not a bad tasting beer, better than the smell. A bit too hoppy for me personally, but I can objectively say it's not a hop bomb at all. Mouth feel is bigger bodied and pretty robust, almost stiff. Smooth, but really, you can almost feel the tensile strain when sipping.

This is my first cascad...oh, wait, sorry, "American Black Ale".

Brief jag: I hate what they named this style. Of the three intial names of this new style, Cascade was the best, Black IPA second and American Black dead last. Why did we go with the most boring and unoriginal name out of the three?

End jag.

Overall, not a bad beer. Hoppier with a very subtle malt background. I'd have another, sure.

 1,408 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A mocha head builds quickly to a finger plus in height atop a dense black coloring. A thin film lacing is fairly generous on the coating. Hard to argue color wise here, a black ipa it is, modest head size and retention rate fairs good as well with a frothy topping that was mostly lasting.

S: fresh, young green pine cones and a fresh citrusy nature with a dash of peppery flair. Sweet whole grapefruit rounds things out with a moderate sense of strength.

T: Dark roast takes over on the flavor, hearty with a dark chocolate malting that interacts with a light pine hopping. Funny as the nose was fresh and green offering little in the way of roast, while the flavor was quite the opposite. The hops pick up a bit upon warming, while the dark chocolate malts are lush, dark and creamy with a rich roasted nature picking up as well. On the finish was the slightest touch of burnt grains.

M: Medium fullness, burnt roastiness coats the tongue with a quiet carbonation. Syrupy feel of burnt roasty coffee on the finishing take. Pretty edgy, nice level of roastiness, though the hops get overshadowed unless fairly warm.

D: Big time drink, limited in volume of consumption, a bomber can be adequately split with a friend and still leave you with satisfied.

 1,262 characters

Photo of Schmittymack
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Poured a pretty dark brown with a small head that lingered for a couple minutes. Aroma of malt and bitterness (I could tell it was going to be a bit bitter on the palate). Taste was a lot of sweeter malt on the front with a nice hoppy bitterness at the end that stayed with me a minute or two. Would love to try this on tap; will do this one again.

 405 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.31/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a frothy creamy brown head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is bitter, slightly charred, roasted malts with a little black licorice and chalky alcohol.

The flavor is a little sweet chocolate and heavily roasted malts with a big harsh charred bitter bang in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, too much harsh charred bitterness, with not a lot redeeming for me. This was a bit more balanced and pleasant on draft.

 515 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new one from FCB I think. Haven't seen it before and it comes in a bomber.

Black pour, no ruby or rusty highlights. Still a bit glossy, not a pitch black as, say, Abyss, but it's not the same style. Nice tan-ish head, creamy, dense and somewhat rocky. Lacing is splotchy.

Aroma is sharp hops up front. Citrus and resinous, some earthy pine. Baked dark chocolate and hints of espresso.

Taste is almost spot on for an IPA that's black, but just a bit heavy on the resin. Alcohol cuts through the chocolate and coffee too much. Although it doesn't provide much of an obstacle to enjoyment, it does come through as boozy a tad.

Sharp feel to it, but again the booze is a bit more like nail polish remover as it warms.

 719 characters

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. This was actually handed to me right out of the case from the FCB Rep, which was pretty cool. Into a DFH Signature Glass.

Brewery lists this as 9.5%ABV on the website. "The Incredible Hop is a series of four high gravity, highly hopped, impeccably crafted brews to be released throughout 2011." According to the site this is the first of 4.

A: Pours incredibly dark, imperial stout dark, with almost an inch worth of light brown, dense head that recedes to a film of bubbles, and a ring of lacing all the way around the glass. Completely opaque. Nice looking beer.

S: Initially an enormous amount of west coast "C" hops, resinous, piney hops that smell exactly like a super fresh DIPA. Underneath that is a serious amount of roast and coffee as well. A few notes of caramel and burnt sugars linger quite a while. Surprisingly not much booze. Enjoyable.

T: Once again a huge amount resinous piney hops in this one, huge hop resin oils blast the tongue and fade into a substantial bitterness. Bitterness is aided by a huge roasted, but not quite burnt malt profile. Coffee and hops is an appropriate way to describe this. Unfortunately there is a bit of a harsh booze flavor at the end that is somewhat reminiscent of Popov vodka, which is the only thing really holding it back. Booze strengthens the bitterness. Lingers on the tongue for quite some time.

M: Medium body with a little bit stronger than I would like carbonation. Finishes really dry, and pretty hot ass well, but not too bad for a 10% beer, its too bad that the flavor of the booze is so present, because the warmth is about right.

D: Its a big, roasted, hoppy, boozey monster of a beer, and is pretty enjoyable. . High IBUs and high ABV are a potent combination, but I would enjoy every minute of drinking another bomber of this if I had one. Nicely done imperial version of the Black IPA.

 1,916 characters

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap Monday afternoon at the Fort Collins Brewing Company in Fort Collins. Poured a midnight black color, with ruby highlights and a nice brown head on top. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate and hops. Medium bodied and smooth, with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and hops. Very good.

 315 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Incredible Hop Imperial Black IPA from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.75 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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