Hop Centric Black | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Hop Centric BlackHop Centric Black
Hop Centric BlackHop Centric Black

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 100
Photo of BRami127
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had at the Two Brothers Brewery yesterday. Poured into a snifter

A: Dark brown, almost black like a stout. Nice creamy brownish head.

S: You can smell the piney, floral, hops and roasted malt used in making this beer.

T: Hoppy in the front, almost stout-like on the finish with the malt and essence of bitter chocolate. Tastes like it's more than a 9% ABV beer.

O: Surprisingly good. I didn't think I would like dark IPA style beers, but this changed my perception. I would definitely have this again next time I'm around Warrenville.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks, Todd. No one at a bottle share decided to touch the bottle I brought of this, so I immediately called a friend soon after and asked if he wanted to have a go at it. He accepted, so we gleefully tackled this in spite of prior consumption of lots of beers on our part. Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Let's hope this held up well.

This has to be the most opaque black ale I've seen to date - blackened, with minor brown (or apparent ruby) tinges when held against the light, but otherwise would fool anyone that this was a stout or something at an initial glance. What gives it away, I suppose, is the light khaki head, which is frothy, thick, and appetizing looking. Lasts the entire time, and leaves behind tons of sticky residue and some strong legs. Really an excellent looking black ale, and one of the best I've seen to date.

The aroma is nice, and doesn't really show any signs of fading even after all this time - tons of citrus and spices, with a nice semi roasted backbone from the dark malts. Lots of orange peel, pine, sage, and fennel, alongside a good amount of black pepper, light tobacco, earthiness, and some caramel and semi-roasted cocoa nibs at the finish. It's relatively sweet, but it's filled with a nice, earthy, floral hop punch that makes this essentially a good quality IPA, save for the malts. In fact, I'd say it's more interesting for it as it brings out firm notes of licorice and leather the more it warms up. Really mellow, and well paced, but definitely ahead of the pack in certain respects.

While I've had mixed feelings about past beers from Two Brothers, this one pretty much brings together what I'd always felt that their beers could strive to be - robust, thick, yet with an assertive bitterness from the hops and malts, as well as a unique yeasty profile and assortment of flavors throughout. At first, you get this pine bomb of a beer, coated with some citrus peel of sorts, as well as sage and light anise. Then, the roasted notes back up the bitterness with a semi-sweet malt profile resembling chocolate and caramel, and making this seem like a citrus infused truffle of sorts (much like Wookey Jack, but sadly lacks the crackly spiciness of that beer). Really well carbonated and refreshing, and while it's a little robust at the finish, we easily finished a bottle together and wished we had another.

This is great - my favorite black ale from the Midwest that I've had so far, and ranks up there with ST Inequity and FW Wookey Jack as perhaps my favorite black IPAs in the country. Most breweries miss the point of these beers, I feel - they aren't meant to fight each other, but rather compliment each other by showcasing the best bittered aspects of intense hops and intense roasted malt characteristics, while melding them throughout. I really enjoyed this, and I hope to try more of Two Brothers' best when I get the chance.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 version aged 10 months in fresh cabernet sauvignon barrels. 10.2% abv and 106 IBU. Look is black with a light tan head and lingering lacing. Smell is citrus, cocoa, pine and vanilla notes. Taste is hop froward with vanilla, chocolate, pine resin and citrus fruit flavors. Feel is full in body with a creamy finish.

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Photo of Jaycase
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: dark, dark, dark brown. crazy thick mocha colored head

s: piney hops, very slight touch of citrus. roasty malts. caramel

t: starts off with very mildly bitter piney hops and finishes with a nice chocolatey, slightly coffee tinged malted flavor.

m: creamy. low carbonation.

o: This was quite enjoyable and from what I've had from Two Brothers, my clear favorite. It's not mind blowing certainly but a very solid offering nonetheless. Mouthfeel is great and the roasty chocolate/coffee finish is well done. Will pick this up again next year.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with one finger frothy tan head, really nice looking beer. Head has small bubbles and great retention. Nearly no light makes it through.

Nose has a really nice hop presence. Slight hints of tropical fruit and pine play nicely with the rich toffee notes of the dark malts. Almost gives it a scent of grilled pineapple.

This is a nicely balanced black ipa. Hops are the first to hit the palate with a slightly piney bitterness which is followed closely by the rich roasted malt with hints of roast coffee. Bittering hop are last and make a nice transition from the robust malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is great. Rich body with a good hop stickiness the give it a smooth feel. Carbonation is not overdone.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pearl with a one inch mocha merengue head. Lacing throughout.

Coffee roasted hop aroma with a bit-o-mint patch. A mildly sweet malt flora bouquet.

A bright roasty hop flavor with a citrusy back. Malt balances superbly.

Creamy mouthfeel with just enough hop potency to numb the tongue.

The past three years nothing has changed in this brew. I look forward patiently to this once a year limited release. Since this is the Stanley Cup playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks I have to say this brew is a hat trick.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with an herbal hop flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but has a better smell in my opinion.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into tulip pint.

So I rather *wanted* to dislike this beer.
1). It's a black ipa.
2). It's just do fun (and usually easy) to take a shot at 2Bros...

But I'll be damned, because... I actually... kinda... like... this beer.

Oh well. Better to not dwell on it.

Great 3 finger head upon a dark blackish body-- sounds a bit like a stripper I saw once... Nice retention, very nice lacing-- sticky webs of interwoven lace with a very pleasing aesthetic to it.
The wheel weaves as the wheel wills.

Smells and tastes roasty, slightly sweet, nicely bitter, and I get a touch of citrus hops that hide behind a a grassy floral note.

Feels spot on-- medium body, good roast, mild but firm bitterness, oily hop residue feel lingers well after each sip an leaves just a touch of grittiness on my teeth.

Overall-- this is a pretty tasty and enjoyable brew. I would actually drink this again-- in fact, I drank this entire bomber. That really doesn't happen too often (i would say I drainpour 82% of the beer I open).

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Photo of Duff27
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Inch tall ligh mocha head in a black body. Good head retention and lacing.

Sweet cocoa.

Tastes like a dipa :p Hardly much roastiness at all. Some cocoa.

Medium thin mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Average ABA. No flaws just no wow flavors. Thanks egrace84/kawilliams81.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber, many thanks to EdwardFortyHands! Poured into Hunahpu snifter. Fairly fresh, I believe Hop Juice Fest was earlier this month.

A- Pours a mostly opaque dark purplish, brown black that lets a little bit but hardly any light through. About a quarter finger of light creamy mocha brown head that fades fairly fast leaving very little head and spotty lacing around the sides of the glass. About average carbonation, definitely more then the regular Hop Juice.

S- Complex and fruity (orange, pineapple, mango- similar to regular Hop Juice) with roasted malts. Not the most aromatic, but I definitely loved the complexity between the fruit and roasted malts- what a black IPA should be like. Nice balance between the two.

T- Similar taste to the regular Hop Juice- pineapple, orange, mango, bannana, etc. mixed with darker tastes of roasted malts and a little bit of cocoa mix. Definitely not as bitter on the finish as Hop Juice, but still has a sweet fruity aftertaste mixed with a little bit of sweet cocoa. Again a little bit lacking on aroma and sweetness, but pleasant.

M- Very smooth and drinkable, alcohol very well hidden, well balanced, medium bodied, not too much carbonation. Overall a very nice feel.

O- This was a very well done Black IPA, one of the better ones I've had. I definitely enjoyed this one a little bit more then the regular Hop Juice. I loved the increased complexity between the well-balanced fruity flavors and hops and the darker qualities of the cocoa and roasted malts. The more I drink it the more I appreciate it. Thank you again EdwardFortyHands for adding this, I wish I had more bottles!

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Photo of dlello2
3.39/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased at the Hop Juice Fest and enjoyed later that day.

A - Like hop juice but black.

S - Hoppy and citrusy. Smells sweet.

T - Malts and bittersweet chocolate hit first. Tastes is smooth and clean. No alcohol bitterness. Middle of the tongue is mildly hoppy, ending with another hint of chocolate malts. The taste isn't huge, but definitely pleasant.

M - Good carbonation, smooth with a medium body.

O - A pretty average black ipa. I may have been spoiled recently with the likes of Wookey Jack... This is clearly steps below.

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Photo of CHickman
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle-N-Hum in NYC on 9/30/2011: pours pitch black with a small creamy tan head that left very good lacing as it went down.

Aroma was sweet and hoppy with floral hops, piney hops, sweet malt, caramel, citrus hops, light grains and light grapefruit; smells real sweet and juicy, on par for an IPA or black ale.

Tastes like it smells with floral hops, piney hops, sweet malt, caramel, citrus hops, light grains or biscuit, grapefruit, orange peel, a hint of toffee and light spices; this was smooth and balanced, with a medium body, creamy mouthfeel and enough citrus and piney hop flavor to hide the ABV.

Too bad I had several beers before this that night, as I would have liked to given it a better and more thorough review, but I did really enjoy it and thought that it was highly drinkable and very enjoyable.

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Photo of sixthglass
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep deep deep brown color with a fantastic head that fades into a one finger head. Wonderful lacing.

S- Malts, Hops, Citrus, Pine, Burnt/Char.

T- Malt, Citrus/pine hoppy flavor, with some burnt sugar.

M- Good mouthfeel, coats and sticks, leaving a good after taste.

O- Grreat brew, lucky to have tried it. Would buy bulk amounts if I could find it in my area. Two brothers Hop Juice taken to a fantastic new level ! Would highly recommend to anyone !

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tear drop glass.

A - Well the name says it all...black. A nice off-white, almost mocha but not quite head. The head is pretty thick and leaves lacing as it disappears.

S - Rye, hops, and a hint of coffee almost though I'm pretty sure that's not in here. Those piney hops really come through as it warms.

T - A smooth rye taste rounded with some hops. A dark almost mocha feel to this beer. But at times has that hint of the citrus flavors from the Hop Juice creeping in. The hops along with that dark mocha feel linger giving this beer a lasting finish. Very enjoyable taste that accentuates the black flavors and leaves the hops of the Hop Juice to compliment those and make those flavors pop.

M - Medium bodied and borders on the heavy at times. Carbonation is good, and still quite drinkable.

O - Probably one of Two Brothers best offerings since Red Eye Porter (bring it back!). They really nailed the dark flavors in this beer and made it quite delicious overall. Hoping they have this again next year because I would get this again.

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Photo of vande
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This has got to be one of the darkest IPAs I've ever seen. Pours crayola black, with a dirty, gritty, thin lacing along the circumference of my pint glass

S: Hops immediately with dark, roasted malts...this nose does not let the soon to be drinker understand near as much about what they're going to be experiencing...

T: Woah... Was kind of expecting Hop Juice with "black flavoring" and was pleasantly surprised. Definite hops..but there's a quick blend of dark, rich chocolate and roastiness that causes the hops to not be so upfront.. along with a little splash of vanilla intertwined.. Kinda unique. I like.

M: This one feels viscous as you drink. Sounds weird, but it has a nice texture to it.

O: Pretty good. Funny, there were rumors that it would show up eventually on the retail market...which were apparently NOT true.. I'm glad I swung by and picked up a few bottles. Think I have 2 left. Yum!

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz snifter.

A- Pours pitch black, no light shows through at all. Nice tan head with good lacing on the glass.

S- Roasted malts, some vanilla, and pine hops.

T- Chocolate malt with, hint of coffee and vanilla. Nice blend of citrus and pine flavors from the hops.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Beer trickles down your throat after the finish.

O- Great beer! Combines the quality of a good stout with a magnificent blend of citrus and pine hop flavors. Abv is hidden well. The 2 bottles I have left will not tide me over until next Hop Juice Fest!

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Photo of weatherdog
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz snifter served on tap at Two Brothers Roundhouse

Pours pitch black with an off white head that sticks around for a whole. Sticky lacing covers a good amount of the glass.

The nose is assertive in its hoppiness but not pungent. Grassy hops dominate, with just a hint of orange. Not much roastiness at all

The roast comes out in the

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Nate for picking this bottle up for me at the festival.

Color is black with a brown head. You would not know this was a DIPA until you taste it.
The aroma is toasted bitter grain. Charred malt aromas with spicy citrus and pine notes as well. Very inviting, bitter smelling aroma.

Full on roastedto burnt malt mix. Blend that with a strong earthy, spicy, and citric hops bitterness really balances everything out. This is a unique and enjoyable DIPA. The zest but smooth palate made this 22 ounce bomber a great sipper worth savoring.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Hop Juice Fest 2011 a couple hours before they sold out!!

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip

This pours a dark burnt molasses color and settles pitch black, allowing barely any light to enter the edges. Two fingers worth of greyish tan head sits for a while. Spotty lacing clings the glass. The nose is clean and hoppy. Fresh floral and citrus hops blast my nostrils. Nice scent. The taste holds a pretty decent balance. The floral and citrus hops noticed in the nose are playing well at first and subside to a smooth, roasted malt taste contributing a bread like taste. Quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel is very smooth, more so than regular Hop Juice. Creamy in texture and pretty viscous, Hop Juice black is a treat on the palate. Overall, drinkable, tasty and smooth, this brew is great.

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Photo of vespahulb
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hop Juice Fest.

Upon first whiff, a blast of dank, piny hops. Actually more raucous hop aroma than regular hop juice. No roasty aromas, which was surprising.

In the mouth, this was a fun beer. It really drank like a regular IPA, which is nice to see BIPA that holds to the style. Lot's of piney and pithy citrus bitterness, followed by a nice dark roasted malt background.

A really nice and straightforward BIPA. It's massive and delicious, but not overwhelming. I actually liked it more than regular Hop juice!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was at the Hop Juice Festival yesterday when the release of the Black version of the Hop Juice occured. A significant sized crowd was present prior to the opening in anticipation of the release. I am guessing at this time that this is a limited release, but it may be popular enough to make the rotation as the original HOP JUICE did. The appearance is quite nice....dark and opaque, cannot see through it. The nose is dominated by hop, pine, and some citrus. Not a lot of roast present in the aroma that I could pick up. There was a slight breeze that made smelling a bit difficult. The taste was very similar to the original HOP JUICE at the start, full bodied, pine and citrus undertones that mask the abv. As the beer clinges to the pallate a nice roastiness comes forth as hangs giving the beer a nice complexity. The mouthfeel is good, it would be tough to session a beer of this magnitude, but boy is it a good one!

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Hop Centric Black from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 100 ratings