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IBA | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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very good
94 Reviews

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerFMAndy on 01-06-2011

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 272
Photo of Cresant
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. No date on bottle or the label. A hard pour created a large tan head with a light haze in the cola colored body. The lumpy head left sheets of lace.

The smell was spicy hops, very aromatic. Really nothing more than the spiciness was noticeable.

The taste was lighter on the malts than expected. Moderate bitterness and more grains as it warmed.

The mouthfeel was thinner than expected but it had adequate carbonation. Just a bit hollow.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was super excited to try this. This is my hometown brand who does a killer IPA, Strong Ale and a host of other excellent local favorites. I wanted to be in love with this after just one sip...

I am not in love.

It poured a dark brown, not black. The aroma has a promising hoppiness, but it lacks any good malty roast characters that I would most associated with the style.

The tastes are the same. Decent hop (although a bit too subtle), no roast. My brother was apt to say, "it tastes like a weak version their IPA", which i wholeheartedly agree. When I think of a black IPA I think of a porter bursting with hops & deep roasted flavor. They may as well call this a slightly hopped brown ale.

I am keeping in mind that this is inaugural release. I am confident that by this time next year Lakefront will have worked out the kinks in this recipe and I will be editing this review to reflect a beer that I can enjoy with pride.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.21/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lakefront 88 Sampler Pack - $19.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body, ruby-hinted at the edges when held to the light and capped with a tall, frothy, beige head.

Smell: Florals and a cutting pine note arrive ahead of the roasted malts smelling of chocolate bars and coffee.

Taste: Small snippet of sweetness for the tastes of coffee and chocolate, though the initial malt flavors aren't particularly bold here, like watery coffee and stale, forgotten cocoa. Low chalkiness. Pine needles and fresh, sliced oranges with a robust bitterness. Some modest grapefruit juice additions. Low acidic qualities. Modestly malt, faintly bitter, but thinning out on the finish (thinnish?).

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation. Feels somewhat hollow passing over the tongue.

Overall: For me, it seemed a bit muted, a bit muffled, and just held back from its potential, in terms of malts, the hop flavor, and even the body.

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Photo of crossovert
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml bomber.

It pours a dark brown with a fluffy off-white/tan head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell is hoppy and chocoaltey. The hops are real good.

The flavor is a bit lacking. It wants to be hoppy and roasty and malty at the same time but it is an off-balance.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin.

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Photo of Strix
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Deep brown, pours with a frothy head and leaves generous lacing.

Pine, grapefruit, caramel and coffee in the nose.

Stale piney note atop caramel and roasted malt. Flavor is all right but not very interesting. Could be an overhopped porter.

Mouthfeel felt undercarbonated and thin.

I really like this style, whatever they decide the name will be, and I had really high hopes for this. Unfortunately this is lacking the complexity the style requires to pull it off. You need an IPA and a dark flavor component to both present themselves in time, but this was one dimensional throughout. It was drinkable, but the flavors seemed muddled and muted to me.

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Photo of tkepx182
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ap: The is a clear beer that and the beer is a black tint to it

Au: The beer smells of smoke, like the liquid smoke used for cooking.

Mouth and Taste: This beer has a crisp mouth feel to it. The smokiness of the beer comes trough with the taste, as well as the mild hoppiness.

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Photo of 9InchNails
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The head erupts on the pour. Khaki colors mixing with some brown in the head, crimson body color. Interesting looking beer.

Hops are the main focus with the aroma. Citrus and pine are most noticeable. Some chocolate and roasted notes come in as well.

I've had some pretty tasty Cascadian Dark Ales or American Black Ales, whatever you want to call them but this really falls short of them; it is very watered down. The citrus and piney hops that I got from the aroma are weak with flavor; only slightly bitter and out of place. It leaves with a annoying metallic aftertaste as well. The malt tries to show up but I only get a watery roasted flavor with a hint of chocolate.

Light to medium body, carbonation is noticeable. Nothing really that great going on here.

Overall, really bland flavors that don't do anything for me. Weird annoying aftertaste, with mediocre flavors, makes this nothing more than average. What a shame, I was really looking forward to this, too.

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Photo of Auracom
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap in the matching Lakefront IBA pint glass at Kelleher's on March 19th, 2011.

A - Good visuals. Very opaque, black coloring. I guess they didn't mislead us here. Nice 2 finger head with excellent retention that lingered until I finished the drink. Ditto on the lacing.

S - Standard IPA affair. Mostly citrus and floral with a little pine mixed in.

T - So-so malt/hop balance; more hop bitterness on the front and more caramel malts in back. There is more pine flavor than was present in the nose and slightly less citrus.

M - Medium/light-medium body that is a bit thicker that I'd have expected. A slight milk stout-like creaminess that is pretty nice. Moderate carbonation.

D - Not bad. I like the mouthfeel and there's little ABV presence. The smell and taste are a bit straightfoward and basic.

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Photo of akolb
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Dark brown, thick amber head. Average retention.
S: Roasted barely, some chocolate. Hops obscured behind the malts. Smells less malty than a stout, less hoppy than an IPA, and less interesting than either.
T: Bitterness up front stays for the ride. Alcoholic warmth.
Roasted flavors. Bitterness without much flavor.
M: Moderate carbonation, a slightly light body. Small creaminess.
O: A beer that seems confused. The bitterness would be welcome in a true IPA, but here it seems to clash with the other flavors.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out like a porter almost. The head was creamy tan in color and the beer itself was a dark brown. The head on the beer leaves a pretty good lacing down the glass. The smell isn't overly hoppy or anything. It's got some roasted malts in the back ground. The taste is nice, it's got a pretty decent amount of hops and malts working together. The mouthfeel was nicely carbonated and had a good drinkability for the most part. Overall this beer was pretty good, not the best black IPA out there but worth checking out.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours brilliantly clear very dark brown with a mahogany glow when held to a light and a sticky, thick off-white head. The aroma is highly hoppy -- mainly citrus, pine, and floral. The flavor is much like the aroma, strong hop flavor--pine and citrus zest with solid hop bitterness. The malt presence is detectable, mainly bittersweet and very subtle roast, but certainly is second fiddle to the hops. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and the beer finishes with lingering nutty malt and citrusy/piny hop flavor, especially as it warms. The carbonation and body are both moderate. Overall a solid offering, could there be tweaks to make it incredible, like a tad more body, sure, but I won't complain!

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Feb Wk 2 on side of Bomber into pint glass
A – A very dark brown but not black color with a very creamy looking tan 1+ finger head that leaves nice lacing as it subsides 3.5
S – Primarily hoppy floral scents, there is something musty/wet dog smelling about this also, slight notes of toasted sweet malts and coffee 3.5
T – Very nice balance, but a brew that in this sample has mild hoppiness to call it an IPA style, a very interesting mingling of slightly sweet malts and hops on this beer but the idea is not completely sold. Orange citrus smoothly transitions a malt body with a bitter coffee notes finish. Mild earthy/musty funk is a distraction. 3.5
M – I enjoyed the mouth feel of this brew; the carbonation is spot on with a nice creamy medium body that I would classify as “light syrup” 4.5
O – Drinkability is very good, hops and malts balanced well and both in play nicely, the musty/earthy factor is not appealing to me. 3.5

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Photo of brdc
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one from their large bottle sample pack, 4 large ones for under $15.

Poured into a pint glass, it is dark but not quite black, with a nice but short lasting tan head. Minimal retention.
Aroma is pleasant if not powerful enough, it takes your nose in there to appreciate it to the full extent; piney hops, chocolate, coffee, with the hops upfront and center.
Medium to light bodied, flavors are on the hoppy side, piney and grassy, with some chocolate, but mostly bitter and hoppy.
It is not bad but feels like something is missing, perhaps a bit more malts and hops as it all feels a little watered down.

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Photo of vitrael
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New offering from Lakefront!

A: Black coffee color, slightly transluscent, with a cream-colored head with moderate retention and lots of lacing.

S: Sweet malts and strong hop nose, a little musty or yeasty.

T: Very smooth coffee and chocolate flavors counterpointed by the strong bitter hop character of the beer. Cannot accentuate enough the smoothness, which is belied by the smell. Weird, different, enjoyable. This is my first IBA. I enjoy the palate on the whole, but at the end of the draught I'm thinking "Hop bitterness and chocolate malts--are these two flavors we really want to fight for dominance?" Maybe this just isn't my style, but it's hard to imagine a "great" IBA right now.

M: Smooth and creamy, perhaps slightly undercarbed. Similar to the Guinness stout.

I'm a big fan of Lakefront and the beers don't come any fresher than here in Milwaukee, but this one leaves something to be desired. I'll say again that by no means is IBA a style I'm an expert in--on the contrary this is my first--but it seems to me to be a little counterproductive. Maybe it's an aquired taste? I'll just have one more bottle...

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Photo of chefelf
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

IPAs (or, in this case IBA) are not my preferred style of beer but I found this beer pretty enjoyable. Overall I've been happy with all of Lakefront's offerings.

This particular beer was very dark, malty, and had a nice bitterness even to someone who is not all that into bitterness in their beer.

Maybe these beers are available in smaller bottles but I've only ever been able to find the large 650 ml bottles. This is a beer I would rather take in 12 oz. increments.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is rather hoppy and has a yeasty undertone. It pours a barely transparent chocolate brown with a respectable, if not persistent, beige head. Flavor is hoppy, slightly bitter, slightly honey-sweet, with a smoky hint. Texture is fairly smooth, a teensy thin and only a little bit fizzy. Overall, nothing special, but not too shabby and worth a try.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured into pint glass, this brew is a deep and rich looking mahogany/coffee color with a healthy amount of butter hued head. After fading it left quite a bit of lacing around the glass.

S-The nose is a malted hop combo as to be expected, with a toffee citrus feel. Somewhat muted, but pleasant.

T-The aroma is a good indicator of what is to follow, as this drinks as a pleasant mashup of mild malted toffee and muted citrus hops. A slight bit of peppery middle as the two main characters meet.

M-Light-leaning medium body, decent balance.

O-Very drinkable and refreshing. For the style, I take it almost as a Lite beer in as nice a way as possible.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had never heard of this brewery before, but my local store had a variety pack of four of their beers in tall bottles. At a very good price, I decided to give this brand a try.

I am typically sceptical about the IBA or various other mixed types. Typically they really lean much more to one type than the other. Often this is consistent with the brewers' past... let's see how this bottle does.

The beer pours with coloration like a black, but it is thin like an IPA. There is a lot of carbonation and I get a three finger head off the pour.

All I smell is hoppiness, like an IPA. I don't get any of the dark malts in the aroma.

Initially I get a lot of IPA in the early tasting. As I progress, and the beer warms, I get a lot more of the dark flavors.

This is a pretty good beer. I'm happy to have tried it. I wouldn't say that it is one of the greats, but it was a good deal when the four pack was only $16.

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Photo of beerman207
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Never heard of lakefront till my trip to Seattle, WA so had to grab a bomber of it.

A: Pour is one of beauty. It is a nice cola color with a tan head that's 3 fingers high and lays on top like a root beer float. Lacing left around the glass. Fantastic!

S: Nose is malt, citrus, and almost a faint skunk smell in the back.

T: taste is hops and malt, deep roasted malt, perhaps a bit of raisin, crisp

M: Carbonation is right on, beer is wet

O: Nice offering. Can't say that I'm wowed by this one but I like it. I'm excited to try some more Black IPAs in the future.

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Photo of emerge077
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled JAN11
Didn't realize the bottle was dated until after pouring it...

Into a small tulip, IBA billows with a sticky crop of tan foam that laces in sheets down the walls of the glass. From the bottle it pours a light brown, and in the glass it looks black. Oddly enough, when backlit it glows a transparent ruby with hazy micro-sediment.

Muted aroma, ghostly whiff of citrus rind and faint toasted malt. Though I expected more hop aroma, this bottle is potentially 4 months old, and the dry hopping may have already faded.

Stouty impression at first, dominant black roasted malt, with lingering herbal bitterness and citrus rind. The dark roastiness and citrus peel bitterness mesh well, finishing clean and dry. The hop bitterness lingers momentarily in the aftertaste, as do the roasty elements. Best at room temperature. The body is lighter, yet the stouty roast malts give it some heft. I'd really like to try a fresher bottle of this, as it has potential, though falls a bit short of the "genius" claimed on the label...

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: not exactly sure what a black ipa is supposed to look, but this is sure black and attractive. Impressive fat head, that recedes after a few minutes leaving soap sud like lacing.
Smell: Bright, fruity and floral. Nice.
Taste: The start is much like the nose with a slightly bitter, in the right amount, finish. Nicely done.
Have to admit I was ready to jump on the oxymoron bandwagon. Didn't think I was gonna like this but I do I do.

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Photo of beer2day
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, with a decent amount of light getting through. 2-fingers lighter than expected head, but a full finger still left midway through the glass.

Nose is less hoppy than hoped for. Molasses and caramel are there, with faint citrus hops underneath. Dried cherries and apricot coming through, too.

Taste is a bit disappointing. Again, missing out on the aggressive hop profile I was expecting. Getting coffee grounds, a light whiff of hops, and a bit of roast malt and chocolate. Not bad, but not what I was looking for.

Feel is about right for the style. Not too rich and balances well with the flavors.

Overall, probably not one I'd get again.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Abe's for $4.50 and split it with a fellow hophead. Gotta say, while this is a fine example of the style, it doesn't stand out. I feel like I've had this beer before from other brewers. The beer is dominated by a dry, spicy cocoa malt and citrus hops mixture that's satisfying, but could be deeper. It comes in a big flavor hit instead of slowly developing from start to finish.

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Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have seen these Lakefront bottles in my local store for a few months now, figured it was time to give one a try.

Pours a dark cola brown color, with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are pine like, with hints of dark cocoa, cola, and baked bread.

Taste is crisp, bready and kind of spicy up front. Some creamy cocoa, heavily roasted malts, and light coffee. Finish is earthy and with some pine bitterness.

Mouthfeel is decent, but a bit on the thin side.

Overall, this is pretty good and worth trying. There is something about the flavor that is odd that I can't put my finger on though. Maybe it's the spiciness... Still pretty tasty though.

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Photo of Snow81
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark hazy Brown almost black

Smell: malty, sweet pine, and caramel

Head: Dark Tan, two finger, lace hangs on the sides of my glass

Taste: Bitter hop but the maltyness is sweet like earthy, bark or mossy

Weight: Medium to Heavy

Finish: Malty hops stick around for a bit

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IBA from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.87 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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