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 jzeilinger
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark brown color and creates a pinky thick layer of roasted toffee colored head that sticks to the side of the glass. Very sticky lacing.

S - Dark roasted malt, vinous herbal, and some citrus in the background (but not much).

T - Follows the nose with dark roasted malt leading the charge but then mellows and allows the bitterness to take the front seat midway through with nice bitterness with a floral,citrus pine character and finishes by leaving a coating of resiny pine and citrus in the mouth (not what I expected)...the hops totally wash away any chocolate malt presence that may have been left behind.

M - Medium body, somewhat sticky on the lips.

O - The ABV is incredibly well hidden and I had no idea this beer was sitting in the 9% range which makes it dangerously drinkable. Speaking of which, I'm not a fan of the style and I didn't enjoy this at all in the beginning but several sips in it started to grow on me with some really tasty hop resin which I never expected. I purposely avoided this one in the Box of Hops and it turned out to be way better than I anticipated - don't care for the aroma but the taste makes up for it.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark Vine BIPA
12oz, BBD Jan 2014
DFH IPA glass

A: Pours a slightly deep reddish brown color. Very well carbonated. Tight bubbled. Light tan head. Two full fingers. Leaving sticky lacing.

S: Pine like hops. Roasted malts. Some chocolate leaks through. A little malt.

T: Flavor is better than nose. Not as good as Wookey Jack by a long short. Wanted more hop character. Some pine hop first. Some chocolate malt. Eh. Finish is somewhat dry.

M: Round medium leading to fuller side.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stemless wine glass

A- pours black with a one finger tan head. Sticks around for awhile, very solid. Looks nice, a little better than par for the course

S- slight roast, some citrus. Very mild, standard aromas for a black IPA

T- little bit of juicy citrus, minimal roast. Kinda bland IMO

M- medium bodied, just kind of there. Alcohol is hidden very well though

O- not a bad beer, just nothing outstanding. Below average for a black IPA

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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 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 Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: naturally, black ale with a tan head a few fingers high; left some lace

S: musky hop aromas amid sweet molasses and dark chewy malts

T: roasted dark malt underscores the resinous and earthy hops, mixing in suggestions of anise, molasses, and dark chewy bread

M: slick, medium-bodied, somewhat sticky, mellow bitterness, some coating

O: a good black ale, featuring most of the elements common to the style, but augmented by a dark hop bill to boot

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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 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 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 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 timmy2b
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle into a goblet. Pours a very dark black (almost as dark as a stout) with a small cloudy white/tan head. Does not have much of a smell to it at all, very mild and I am almost getting a light nutty scent. Started out tasting fairly light with a bitterness that lingers. As I got through the glass the alcohol taste became a lot more apparent. Very mild hoppy kick. right after the sip.

This is a typical black IPA/Cascade Dark Ale. It is smooth for the alcohol percentage, but it is not hidden very well. Was expecting a little more balance, but this is a drinkable beer.

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Photo of BB1313
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours very black with just the slightest amount of light getting through; fluffy khaki head that fades slowly and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are somewhat subtle with hints of grapefruit and pine. Lots of malts, but not too roasty. The flavors have subtle alcohol notes, but it's not hot or boozy. Lots of pine needles. Some hints of citrus. Finishes with some grapefruit and the roasy characteristics starts to appear. Very earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and has active carbonation. It's ultimate a smooth drink. Makes a nice brew to sip on, but it's still easy to drink.

This is a solid "Imperial Black IPA". It's well-crafted, but it's really nothing too exciting and leaves me wanting more. Too many alcohol notes in the nose and flavors. But once again, it's not hot or boozy.

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Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown color, cola like. The tan head is short, dense and creamy. The head left a small wall of lacing.

The aroma is of piney/resiny hops. Not very strong but noticable. Subtle roast notes with a hint of scorched caramel. Not too much there.

Substantial piney hop flavor and bitterness hits upfront. Some citrus pops through. This is followed by a fairly smooth coffee/roast note. Which is then followed by an acrid roast bitterness. The beer hits the style notes well. Its not too bitter from the roast, which is preferrable to me.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. A good balance between sweet and bitter, but bitter does win out in the finish.

A good example of the style. Its not my favorite style so it is slightly reflected in my score. Well made.

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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 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 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 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 micromaniac129
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer started off with so much promise, but I found it to be very disappointing.
The aroma was quite nice. It was very hoppy smelling with floral and pine notes. Roasted barley lay just beyond with some roasted malts as well.
The appearance was good too, dark and menacing with a tall light beige head making a nice contrast.
The disappointment came in the taste. Which was like a shell to the aroma meaning if it tasted like the nose we would have a winner but it doesn't
Instead we have a beer that tastes watery with a brash bitter acidic taste.
The characteristics of the nose are missing. The floral hops which smelled so fresh are absent as well as the roasted maltiness.
The beer drinks thin and watery with an abrasive charcoal finish before a massive bitter ending.
The things I like about black IPA'S are the fresh hops and roasted character. These two things are absent.
What would be nice would be a blend of flower power with a roasted porter, thats a black IPA

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Photo of jhartley
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass/goblet glass.

Pours a dark black body with a fingers worth of fluffy tan colored head. Body shows a cola like color around the edges when held up to the light.

Smells of pine and hops, there's a burnt smell of some sort that I could not quite pin down. An almost sour smell. Wasn't really appealing.

Tastes way better than it smells. Definitely a hoppy beer! Still on the fence withe whole black IPA thing, but this is pretty tasty. Grapefruit/citrus dominates followed by a smoky malt sweet finish.

Very easy drinker, smooth and easy. Smokiness from the malts and bitter bite from the hops. Pretty well balanced beer.

Wasn't super impressed, but really liked how easy this was to drink. Wasn't overly impressed with the aroma, but the taste and drink-ability more than made up for it. Unlike the first beer I had from the Box of Hops (The Creeker) this one can easily be a one and done brew.

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