Dark Vine Black India Pale Ale | Ithaca Beer Company

very good
48 Reviews
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Dark Vine Black India Pale AleDark Vine Black India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A hoppy black IPA bursting with so much flavor that you might think you’re tasting double. Intensely floral nose, surprisingly light body, and strong bitter finish.

Added by MisSigsFan on 10-17-2013

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 285
Photo of jameswaldo
4.79/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I got three of these spooky black bottles in a beautiful 12-pack Box of Hops at the Brookton Market in Brooktondale on a bike ride yesterday. I love the wood-grain theme on box, and as I'm a long-time fan of IBC's Flower Power, was really glad to see it with 3 new companion ales. The Creeker and Double Zilla had quite a bit of sediment on bottoms, Flower Power just a trace, so I figured this Dark Vine would have it too, though the brew is so dark and opaque I couldn't see any, even with a 100 watt floodlamp shining through it. Swirled the bottle just in case yeast is hiding in the brown bottle glass, and poured high to make an inch head bulging perfectly over the brim of a pint glass. Head is tan-brown, brew so dark that the spotlight shining through it looks violet-red. Lacing hangs on down the glass like a coffee-colored curtain, fine head film hangs on top for the 20 minutes it takes to sip this rascal.
Smells funky strong hops and fruity black cherry. Cherry? Maybe because the light shining through it turned that weird dark cerise?
Tastes at first strangely hollow, the dark color doesn't seem to come from dark malts. Hops are exactly where I want them, though, so the next sips I mash around in my mouth more before swallowing. As I get over the surprise of the first few sips I start to find the missing center to a fine dry hoppy mouthfeel that makes my mouth water after each swallow. The only piece missing to this great puzzling black beer is a bit more roasty dark malt flavor, but maybe that's just a problem with my expectation from such a stout-looking brew.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

And now, the end of my latest horizontal, this one of Ithaca offerings, as a part of the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody.

From the bottle: Nada. I am not a fan of their no longer putting the ABV on the labels. I dig the minimalist look of the new labels, but less is not always more.

Okay, I am not a big fan of these Cascadian/Dark/Black IPAs for the same reason that I did not really like Java Cask - something, in this case, the malts, gets in the way of the hops. Still, I remain hopeful & the only way to know for sure is to begin with a Pop! of the cap. I do enjoy the way that these dark beers almost always have a pseudo-cascade going and this one was no exception. It settled into two fingers of dense, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose had a charcoal-like roastiness that is pretty much the standard for the style. Mouthfeel was full and creamy, which was a pleasant surprise. My bottle had a little bit of age on it, but it was great! I really got a lot of cool mintiness from the hops to go along with a dark chocolate roastiness. It was like a liquefied Thin MInt or a liquefied Peppermint Patty! Man, I was getting a sensation, that's for sure. Finish was dry, minty, roasty and probably one of the better (best?) examples of the style, IMHO. I'm going to start aging all of my ABAs from now on! It can't hurt.

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Photo of stjjoseph87
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love the black ipa style. This is by far the strongest black ipa I've had and may be the reason for the distinctive flavor profile. Poured into a Left Hand glass, smells like an ipa, tastes like a dark, smokey ipa with a hint of alcohol bite. First sip was very disappointing, however the warmer the beer gets, the better it becomes. I suggest drinking it five minutes after pouring and don't judge it till you're half way through.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours a deep dark mahogany with some ruby high lights when held to the light. It has a thick, clumpy, caramel colored head that leaves a trail of lace.

Smells of bright citrus and floral with earthy undertones. It also has some roasted malt - caramel - and plumb in the nose.

It is a sweet hoppy meld in my mouth. I get bitter grapefruit and lemon along with sweet orange. It rounds out into a malt mouth with caramel notes and plumb in the background. The myriad of flavors is complex and smooth keeping it interesting and delicious. It also goes back and forth between bitter and sweet so as it not to be off putting or cloying. This is an excellent brew.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: December 30, 2014... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... OCCASION: celebrating Shan's new holiday--New Year's Eve Eve... APPEARANCE: jet black body with gray uneven head that simmers to a marshy top; post-trailing is tangible... AROMA: extremely floral with vanilla, citrus and bubblegum; complex... PALATE: immediately effervescent, with bubbles coalescing on the tongue; warming, stoking at the throat; at 9.5% ABV, devilishly subtle...TASTE: intense hops blunt slightly sweet, almost milky hints; malts lend a smoky appeal to the chunky dark body; coffee is secondary, but smoothly infused... OVERALL: a BIG beer that requires sipping for appreciation; in the Box o' Hops, a third to the Creeker and Flower Power, but that is not an insult, but that's the company it keeps...

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Photo of Altrurian
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Vine has a rich mahogany color, is nearly opaque, and has a head that, while initially undistinguished, coats the glass as the beer reveals its surprising viscosity. The aroma is pretty good, tending toward an almost sweet scent of pine resin.

While the beer's label designation as an IPA is warranted, its taste is on the mild side of the genre. There's a certain sweetness at its center, with an appropriate--though unchallenging--bitter finish. The hops are there, but comprise a sedate, dignified presence. The beer's texture is mellow and smooth. I'm not sure what Ithaca has in mind for its "Box of Hops" selections, but this is one I wouldn't mind returning to.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into DFH signature glass; pours clear brown, black in the glass with rising carbonation feeding a nice finger-thick cream-colored head that descends slowly leaving sticky rings of lacing.
Smell; I could smell it as soon as I opened it. Gotta love fresh hoppy beers...in the glass, you'd never know it was a black IPA if it weren't for a slight dark cocoa-like malty smell behind the hops. Hop smells have lots of citrus and floral aromas, with some lighter pine behind that. The sweeter smells fade after a bit, leaving some sort of sharp, metallic odor. It's almost ammonia-like; perhaps this is what people are talking about when they say hops smell like cat urine. It's odd, but not a bad thing for some reason.
Tastes exactly like you'd imagine a black ipa would; like a porter mixed with an ipa. Smooth, clean dark cocoa malt flavors blending with fruity and citrusey hop flavors, moving smoothly into a bitter finish with lightly piney hop bitterness melding with the slight roasted bitterness from the darker malt.
Mouthfeel is medium-light, like a lighter porter; smooth and clean, finishing slightly dry and bitter.
Overall, a very nice cascadian dark ale (the term I prefer). Fresh hop flavors blend nicely with dark malt very well. Another winner from the Box of Hops.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost completely opaque save for some mahogany hues at the edges of the glass. Sports a tan head of foam that is tall, thick and lasting. Leaves outrageous rings of lace and a thick cap and ring.

The nose on this is terrific. This one smells like a stout with a bold roasted malt character, coffee, a bit of chocolate and a sweet underpinning. It has a bright hop floral and and plenty of earth. No alcohol on the nose. Some orange to the delight of the nose as it warms.

The taste on this one comes right up to a stout. it has an intense roasted malt character. Blackened but not burnt. It has coffee and a bit of sweetness that makes it rich. There is a texture to the mouthfeel and it's not smooth at first it's grainy, then it's smooth. The hop bitter and the bold roast flavors come together for a lingering bitter that has a life all it's own. The malt is a little nutty in the drink after it warms and the alcohol creeps on to the nose. There is a warmth to the drink that you don't really notice until the glass is half empty. Light taste of orange or tangerine permeates the drink and adds a delightful light flavor to all the darkness. The hops and their tremendous floral keep it uplifted and bright.

This one came so close to a stout but the malt stopped just short of heavy enough to be considered a stout. It stayed supple and smooth even amidst all the taste texture of the roasted qualities. You might never guess that it's almost 10% abv.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle courtesy of utopiajane. Thanks, Maria!

This looks black to me and the pour brings a 2 finger head of foam. Once that settles down, I'll check on the lacing.

The nose is very IPA like; loads of floral hops, grapefruity notes, some pine, some sweetish malty tones. I don't get any roasted malt but that's okay.

The taste, well, it's hoppy as hell! Best before Jan so it's a fresh son of a gun I'm dealing with here. The floral hoppiness gets me some rather surprisingly bitter notes. Grapefruit backs that up to the hilt with some pine playing a minor role. When I swish the beer in my mouth..that's when I get some light malty sweetness and a small roasted malt character.

Further sips in and the roasted maltiness has a bigger showing and is welcome. Yum.

Medium bodied with a medium light level of carbonation, the mouthfeel is fine and the alcohol doesn't show much of itself. Very smooth drinking brew.

I really dig this fine offering from the gang at Ithaca! Oh and yes, there will be lacing.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black with brownish tint. Nice foamy 1 inch head with tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Very floral and herbal, plums, raisins, grapes, pine, some smokey malts, added sugars.

Taste - This brew starts out with some piney hops mixed in with some smokey malts, and a little coffee and chocolate flavor. Has a nice bitter fruit kick in each sip. Loads of plum, raisin and grapefruit. Some added sugars provide a little sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Dark bitter fruits coat the tongue along with some malts. Palate gets more fruits, along with some added sugars and a little coffee bitterness. The aftertaste is bittered, malty and dry.

Overall - What a great, tasty beer. Has a lot of flavors, balanced well, and is rather easy to drink for being near 10% alcohol. Another winner, hope they package this in 6 packs, will drink again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark cola appearance, light tan head forms thick with thin speckled lacing. Aroma hints of dark chocolate, herbal hop notes. This is a great smelling beer, herbal hops hints of pine, mild citric notes amongst a dark roasted malt backbone, the beer really works better than most failed attempts at Black IPAs. Flavor brings big hop bitterness hints of dark chocolate and herbal mint character from the hops mild citrus hop accents. Overall you have to think of one of the Andes mint chocolate when you drink this beer. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied moderate natural carbonation slightly oily resinous hop components glide across the palate. Nice dry finish keeps this beer drinking great with every sip, I need some more of this stuff.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle as part of the Box of Hops pack.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a 1.5 inch head, and nice globs of lacing down the glass.

Smells like dark roasted malt, some piney hops, a little bit of citrus.

The taste is pretty similar, with some light powdery cocoa flavors, dark roasted malt, burnt pine needles, and some grapefruit and orange. Pretty delicious.

Medium bodied, sticky, but creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation. Very drinkable for the ABV.

Not quite as good as The Creeker, but miles better than the abomination that was Double Zilla.

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Photo of Kendo
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Dark brown on the pour, but black in the glass with a small (half-finger) khaki head on top. Leaves behind a nice thick ring of lace up top, then some splotchy "legs" of lacing on the way down the glass.

S: Nice nose - roast, charcoal, pine, leafy tobacco and citrus.

T: Roasted barley foundation that brings to mind charcoal, smoke and ash on the finish. Juicy hops are there: citrus earlier on, then pine at the finish. Lingering bitterness on the palate. Does not drink like a 9.5% ABV beer at all, as there's no heat on the palate early (more as it warms however) and only a modest warming sensation in the belly.

M: Medium-to-full-bodied. Carbonation is modestly active but not obtrusive.

O: Quite good, though a bit too much char/ash to meet my ideal ABA.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Grapefruit, tangerine, citrus, herbal, pine, caramel, chocolate, nutty, toasted, and roasted malts.

Taste: Still little alcohol detected. So smooth and balanced. Lighter bodied than expected for a higher ABV dark beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, slight slight bitterness, a little chewy, and medium carbonation.

Overall: It's hard to think this beer is 9.5%. Alcohol is well hidden and this beer drinks do smooth. Will Revisit this one again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/19/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a snifter pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild burst of hops bitterness that is quickly followed by some mildly sweet flavors of citrus, coffee and chocolate. The malt character is hearty and provides a good balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before January 2014 notched on the label.

A: Pours a clear dark brown appearing black in the glass with a dense slightly tanned head. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Quite a nice hop aroma on this one, citrus and fruitiness blend nicely with an earth tone. Roasted malts are present but take a backseat to the hops. Bit of dark fruitiness to it as well.

T: This is a very tasty black IPA. The hop profile provides a lot of bitterness while the roasted malts round it out with a bold chocolate quality.

M: Full body with medium to low carbonation. Has a nectar like mouthfeel that I find desirable in IPA's. Booze are warming but not too hot.

Overall I'm enjoying this beer. Strong yet it remains easy drinking due to the great flavor. If youre a fan of hops seek this one out in the Box of Hops.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Such a deep dark brown with just a 1/4 inch of mocha head that fizzes out to just a mild mocha ring.
S - Smells piney and roasty with not much bitterness to the nose. It smells mild at this point not sure when bottled.
T - Ah there it is the touch of acidic hops I expected. Mild with not too much overwhelming bite but constant with every sip. Malty edge of burn hops and coffee roasts with just a bit of bitterness on the back palate. Its quite good.
M - Wow where is the ABV? It does hit you pretty hard but doesn't drink like it. God I love when that happens.

Overall I was quite impressed with this beer not too bitter or roasty very balanced reminded me of the 15th stone Black IPA but less bitter. Worth picking up paid 3 bucks for the single.

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Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Black as night, capped with tan foam. Impressive head retention and lacing. Aroma is of intense C-hops, very citrusy and pungent. In the background is a faint whiff of roasted malt character, a bit of char.

Big flavor, hops at the forefront. As the brewer's description states, it's got a "surprisingly light body." In a truly blind tasting, you might not notice this is a black IPA. There's some malty sweetness appropriate for a 9.5% ABV beer, but the roasted malt character is hidden by the intense hoppyness.

This a big, bold, and intense IPA, and the alcohol is well-hidden. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of FLima
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color with a thin thick beige head with medium retention.
Aroma with predominant notes of sweet red grapes, mild spices, mint undertone, some citrusy, licorice and caramels.
Hoppy flavor with notes of pine, black fruits, tea bags, roasted malts, coffee beans, resin, licorice, spices and oatmeal. Dry and increasingly bitter aftertaste.
Medium to full body with mild carbonation. Alcohol of 9.5% abv is incredibly well hidden.
Flavorful, complex and robust Black IPA. Piney grapes, in two words if you will.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a very dark brown color. Thin head, nearly nonexistent. Head leaves grooved lines of tan foam.

S-Roastiness and fruity, citrus hops. Hops shine through and give you some complexity, which doesn't always happen in this style of beer. A bit minty, too.

T-The flavor is pretty neat. The hops, again shine though far more than most Black IPAs. Lighter roast. Floral hops and citrus with pine. I find that pine always comes through in Black IPAs.

M-Definitely has some body to it. Soft, buzzing bubbles. Very dry. Bitterness is pretty high.

O/D-I've grown to slowly dislike Black IPA but every one and a while a brewery takes a pretty sharp take on the imperfect style.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color of rosewood coated in black lacquer, with a faded khaki, 1.5-finger head. The head has great retention, and a nice fluffy texture. A very good amount of lacing, and overall very pretty to look at.

S: Hops mixed with burnt caramel and a bit of citrus juice. Thick pine aromas blend well with the toasted malt underneath. Aromas of oak, coniferous stands, dirt, grass, and a touch of caramel.

T: A good mixture of toasted malt and sticky hops lands this beer right in the middle of both camps. flavors of dark fruit up-front with a hoppy ride through the swallow, and a dry/alcoholic aftertaste. Notes of prunes, pine cones, creme brulee, alcohol, with a slight orajel aftertaste.

M: Fluffy in, syrupy down, hollow after. It's a warm and comforting beer, but a lot of that comes from it's higher abv. It puffs up on the initial sip, then sticks on the back of your tongue on the swallow, which is a little odd. The afterfeel of boozy esters and hollow dry hops leaves something to be desired. Overall, however, for a 9.5% abv beer, it's pretty smooth.

O: The Black IPA is a fantastic winter beer to those who can't stomach the malty/spicy offerings usually found on offer in the darker months. That being said, it's a style that is still young and developing constantly. This particular beer could be a fine example of the style with a bit of tweaking. It's the first Black IPA I've tasted from Ithaca, so perhaps they're still experimenting, but it's a strong start to an exciting style.

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Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a nice dark brown color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls to bubbles hugging the rim of the glass.

Smell: pine, hop bitterness, and a bit of earthiness comes through to the nose.

Taste: slightly roasted malt goodness with pine, grapefruit, raisins, and an earthy hop bitterness wrapped in a mild alcohol blanket.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish with some dryness late.

Overall: this was an enjoyable Black IPA, slower sipping but mildly refreshing. Defintely worthy of a try.

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Photo of jhawth
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a DFH snifter. Pours a solid black with a beige, creamy looking two-finger head. Decent retention, nice lacing.

Aroma: Awesome. Big fruity and herbal hop notes backed up by a big sweet malt presence.

Taste: Nice hop bite initially, but robust sweet malts notes quickly take over. Slight roastiness. Nicely balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, light carbonation, wonderfully smooth and easy to drink.

Overall: Excellent big Black IPA. Too bad this one isn't regularly brewed.

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Photo of IronLover
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick, billowy beige foam with nice staying power. Foam reduced to a thick cap that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Black in color down the middle with dark brown shades on the edges. Dark roasted malt, floral and light citrus aromas with occasional pine hop and a light medicinal, band-aid smell at the back end. Medium bodied with assertive, but delicate carbonation. Burnt malt flavor up front followed by citrus hop bitterness into the middle. Pine hop bitterness and espresso flavors from the middle to the end. Finishes with a lingering pine hop and charred malt bite along with boozy notes as this warmed up.

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Photo of cavedave
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thin ring of light tan is all that remains of a thin layer of foam. Crazy ass lace wallpaper clings.

Light/med.aroma features burnt sugar and roast against a backdrop of citrus and herbal hops. Even lighter caramel sweet shows through.

Taste is medium strength, with the roast showing the way for some nicely complimentary hops. It is very bright for a beer that is basically a showcase for the more bitter aspects of malt and hops, surprisingly delicious and interesting. The sip ends with the roast going up to, and not exceeding, the line between bitter and acrid. Dry.

Light in the mouth, low carb. medium viscosity, and a finish that could be a bit cleaner, but is nice.

A decent take on the style, will definitely appeal to those who like BIPA to feature bitter and roast.

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Dark Vine Black India Pale Ale from Ithaca Beer Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 285 ratings.
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