IBA | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 272
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice and easy to drink black ale. The hop tones are there and stay pretty smooth. It's not all up in your face. Could have a few less wrinkles in the profile, but no matter. This is a nice drinker. Always happy to try something by Lakefront.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled 22 oz. bomber poured into a shaker pint. No notches on the label, so I'm not sure how old it is.

Look- Deep brown, no trace of the deep red hue common in black ales, four fingers off off-white head that sticks to the sides of the glass and leaves speckled lacing. Falls to a lumpy cap that looks like a partially melted frozen cappuccino drink.

Smell- Surprisingly citrusy, dry aroma, light biscuit. Cocoa and vague woodiness. Very nice, clean, simple but extremely appealing.

Taste- Follows the nose- starts nutty, woody, mild citric-esque bite towards the middle, almost guava-like. Finishes with dark roast and a touch of black pepper. Light burnt/toasted woody flavor builds over time as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, moderate carbonation. Fairly crisp, clean, and much drier than expected. Easy drinking.

Overall- A pleasantly light and crisp ale, more balanced than expected. Stays away from the treacly sweetness many dark American ales suffer from. Well balanced, and each element has its turn to shine. Recommended.

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Photo of TSJ4000
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured the Lakefront IBA into a wine glass because that was all that was available to me at the time. The result was a new-found love. The manilla colored head poured perfectly and the glass allowed for a wonderful bouquet to emit from the glass. Lakefront's IBA is no hop bomb but a delicious balance of subtle hops and approachable black malt. At 6.5% it is still sessionable enough to consume on a hot hot day. At the same time it leaves a hoppy resin on the back of the palate. Will buy again. Cheers Lakefront.

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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 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 drpimento
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not bad. Poured at a good temperature with a decent tan head that lasts a little whie and good lace. Color is perhaps clear to slightly hazy depending on the width of the glass and a dark garnet. Aroma is hop, malt, dark ripe fruit, roast. Flavor's somewhat like nose where I pick up those qualities, but also a whole set of complementary characteristics as well - a bit smoke, fairly dry, good carbonic tang, earth. Body is odd but good and carbonation is spot on. Finishis is like flavor, a little long and astringent.

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Photo of BadgerBeer
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a Bomber at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee.

Really wish they sold this beer in 6 packs, I absolutely love their take on the IBA. This beer hit the spot, I will definitely be on the lookout for more of this beer. They are definitely one of the leaders of the pack in this style in my book.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with some visible light passing through. Small head, but decent lacing. Aroma is a combination of piney hops and licorice. Decent amount of carbonation gives it a lively mouthfeel. Flavor is a good balance between the spicy/citrusy hops and the molasses tinged sweetness. Nice bittersweet finish.

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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 Durtdiggler
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle poured into snifter glass.

Dark, rich black with creamy 3 finger head. Alot of lacing and retention. I am a sucker for dark beer with thick, creamy brown head that wants to stand out.

Smell is mellow mix of the hops and roast grains, neither stand out to over power each other. Very subtle espresso like, trying to be unoffensive. The aroma is well blended but a bit muted.

Taste is very well balanced, the flavors come together extremely well between the coffee, citrus overtones. It finishes very clean, limited hop bitter after taste.

Mouth feel is the lighter side of medium, soft water, smooth.

It could have gone farther, which might mean more ABV. Feels like they were trying to make sure the combined beer style would go together very well. This beer is very easy to drink given the profile and flavor. They did a great job with this one. Definitely worth trying but don't expect an aggressive approach. The more I got through the bomber, the more I started to enjoy it and the flavors and aroma started to show. LFB is in my back yard and reasonably priced, will be having some more.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber of this as it was on sale at Argonaut in Denver and it's my favorite style - why not?

A - The beer was poured from the bomber to a pint glass. It pours a very deep mahogany/brown color, it isn't black, but it's dark and opaque. Reddish brown on the edges. A nice 2 finger cream colored head with decent retention and nice lacing.

S - A faint trace of the citrus and earthy hops, but its not all that strong. A bit of malty sweetness. I could use more nose.

T - Similar to the nose the flavor isn't overpowering and seems a bit subdued. It certainly isn't bad just not powerful. It starts with a mild bitterness and sweet malty character along with a bit of hop resin: floral, citrus, pine, grass. I wish it had more hop character. The beer finishes clean and crisp.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good drinkability.

Overall, this beer didn't knock my socks off but was enjoyable. As there is no freshness date I wonder if more hop character would be prevalent if fresh? I'd buy it again though for sure.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-12-2011 19:34:22

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Photo of avalon07
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, creamy, off white, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A very muted aroma of hops, coffee, and some malt.

T: Tasted of coffee, a little chocolate, hops, and a bit of malt in the finish. Not quite as assertive as some other ABAs, but a pretty solid, likeable flavor nonetheless.

M: A highly-carbonated beer with a silky finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A bit uneven in spots, but still worth a look. Drinkable.

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Photo of shand
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Hoping this will keep up the streak of Lakefront's 22oz bottles being far better than their core lineup (minus the IPA and Fixed Gear, which they just [deservedly] started putting in sixers). Pours a nice deep brown color with two fingers of off-white head. Aroma is full of citrus hops, with a bit of roasted malts in the back. The taste is very good, it's got a very strong hop presence that separates this from the "hoppy porters" of the world, with some highly roasted malts and coffee providing a bitter supporting role. The mouthfeel is very IPA-like, with just a bit more body than the average one would have, and the drinkability is very good. Another great one from Lakefront. If they keep putting out great new beers, they are going to go places in the craft world.

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Photo of JRdaSconnie
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: bottle shared with my wife and friends Neil & Jen. Bottle courtesy of Neil. Bomber pulled out of fridge and allowed to warm 30 min. Served in Jack Daniels sipping glass.

A: jet black, high SRM. Thick tan head, short lasting.

S: Cascade hops, roast malt. Piney, mild citrus.

T: very similar to smell. Prominent bitterness and flavor from U.S. hops with roast malt bitterness/pleasant astringency. Definitely hop forward brew but well balanced with roasted malt backbone.

M: just right amount of carbonation. Adds to bitterness but not annoyingly fizzy. Nice medium body helps to make roasted malts more robust.

O: very nice beer. Good example of the black bitter beer, whatever you want to name it. Tasted in series with my homebrewed BIPA and this is the beer I'd like mine to be.

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Photo of ChimRichels
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Incredibly foamy head leaves a metric shit-load of chunky lacing all the way down. Body is black. Pure darkness.

S - Smells of earth and intense citrus hop resin. The aromatics really mask any of the malt from coming through at all in the nose.

T - The roasted malts really come through, and the hops are holding their own as well. Lots of big,intense flavors. Dry on the finish. I think the hops win the aroma battle, but the charred malts dominate the flavor.

M - Slick and creamy. Very much full-bodied.

O - A really good black IPA, and an exquisitely balanced one at that.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #55 (August 2011):

Perhaps the fastest-growing beer style to date, the American Black Ale. Lakefront did not play around—black as black, with a killer lacing. Slight roast in the nose with a thick blanket of soft hop resin and faint ripe fruit. Minty and tobacco aroma. Moderate-sized body, more than enough smoothness to go around. Smacks of hops, but with a smat- tering of roasted grain and ripe fruit, this beer is more complex than just darkness and hops. The hops do, however, provide a pretty intense trail for the taste buds to follow. Minty hop finish with some lingering roastiness. The brewer definitely has a firm grasp on this style.

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Photo of pBRale
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes 10-27-11
Poured into a warbled mug.

Appearance: Darkest of dark brown with deep amber highlights and a light cocoa head that settles fairly slowly and has a small bit of head retention that leaves a thick web of lacing.

Smell: Wonderful hops--grapefruit, massive floral notes, nice fruity esters, and a faint crystal malt backbone.

Taste: Lots of the aforementioned hop aromas come into the initial taste, along with a toasty malt backbone. Then, a robust coffee flavor comes in and lingers beautifully. The aftertaste is bitter and coffee-like.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body, with carbonation that is on the lower side of medium, with a smooth, bitter coffee finish.

Overall: A very solid beer. Wonderful balance of floral hops and coffee grounds. I didn't think those two flavors would be compatible, but Lakefront Brewery seems to have mastered it. A unique and Outstanding beer!

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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 cdkrenz
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dark brown allowing a mere hint of light through at the base of the pint. The head is substantial at two plus inches and maintains some very nice lacing.

S - Nice citrus and pine hops aroma with a hint of roasted malts.

T - Light hoppy flavor that allows a bit of the coffee and chocolate flavors to peek through in the finish.

M - The feel is bit coarse in the middle while it starts out and ends rather soft. Even the finish resonates a bit of the coarse texture, only it's more toward the back of my tongue.

~ This is a very drinkable beer. I would certainly recommend it to friends, and for the price ($5/bomber) you can't beat it.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. the brewer doesn't the great thing of putting a spot on the bottom of the label for the Week, Month, and Year of the date of bottling. but it's not notched or marked!

appears black and opaque, with nice thick 1/2" cream colored head. good retention, some lacing.

it passes the "close your eyes and it smells like an IPA" test. aroma of earthy hops. taste is a nice balance of subtle roasted malt that blends with the hops. fairly creamy body. nice smooth carbonation. neither thick nor thin.

overall, one of the better examples of this "new style" that I've had.

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Photo of rembrant
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Near Black but a bit of light gets through. Slight tan head.
Aroma is a bit roasty for a black IPA....a hint of coffee with some hoppy.
Taste is rich and fuller than the usual Black IPA, a bit more tilted to the Malt side,almost reminding me of a cold Storm King The hops are snappy but what's interesting is a rather full flavor and ody,malts, bready,substantial,a bit roasty and a little chocolate. That said, the flavor is hard to pin down.

Mouth seems rich for a Black IPA and yet it's not thick, the dark malts just make it seem to have more robust.

Drinkable, crisp the hops brighten it but the flavor are a little muddied giving a sense that this was close to being a top tier beer but just missed

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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 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 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 flyfisherfinn
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got the chance to try this one. Very dark pour, with a good, creamy head to finish it off. The malty aroma and taste kept the hops from becoming overpowering. This was a very smooth beer. The hops/malt combination in this beer made for a very pleasant offering from Lakefront.

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