IBA | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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272 Ratings

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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Ratings: 272 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of emerge077
3.59/5  rDev -7%
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 beerman207
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
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 drizzam
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An aggressive pour produced a dark brown body topped by a thick three finger khaki head. Very good head retention and nice chunky lacing down the inside of my glass.

S - Hops are right out front in the aroma. The hops are of the citric variety and smell delicious. They are accompanied by a slight sweet malt aroma just to add a hint of complexity. The malt definitely takes a back seat to the hops though.

T & M - The malt comes forward a little more in the taste than it did in the nose. Dark black malt blends nicely with grapefruit and piney hop tastes. Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Finishes with a slightly bitter hop aftertaste, but actually fairly clean considering the style.

D - This is a well crafted and very well balanced brew. I think this could very easily be a daily drinker...I would stock it as such in my fridge anyways. Worth a shot if you can get your hands on it!

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Given the color, India-Style Dark Brown Ale would be a more appropriate name. The liquid is barely opaque, with highlights of scarlet and orange. The good-sized, sandstone colored crown has a marvelous moonscape surface and is doing a fine job decorating the glass with sticky lace.

Gotta go with India-Style Dark Brown Ale when it comes to the nose as well. Cascade and Columbus hops are front-and-center, with a background mid-range maltiness that barely keeps IPA comparisons at bay. This musky-herbal, ganja-like vibe is present in Lakefront IPA as well.

On the palate, IBA finally... finally... tastes more like a black ale than a brown ale, albeit one that takes its hops much more seriously than its malts. Hopheads, including this one, don't see that as a problem. On the hand, it does keep the flavor score from the next highest number.

Although lacking (just a little) in flavor fireworks, IBA is wonderfully drinkable. It must be, because the first glass is already gone and the second is being eyed eagerly. Grapefruit zest, wacky tobaccy, pumpernickel toast and hints of cocoa are the specifics.

Tough call on the mouthfeel. In the end, it would have needed a little more ballast and a few more energizing bubbles to have truly impressed. It does, however, further aid ease of drinkability (which is no longer scored, per se).

Like many craft breweries, Lakefront is all over the map when it comes to quality. Holiday Spice Lager, Riverwest Stein Beer and IPA on the top end. Pumpkin Ale and Cherry Lager on the bottom end. IBA is almost as good as IPA, which makes me glad that it's available locally.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -6%
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 Cresant
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
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 GilGarp
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber (part of the '88' four pack) served cold into a goblet.

IBA is porter-like dark brown color on the pour but looks black in the glass. The head is thick and slow to settle leaving a nice sheet of lace.

The aroma is evident from a distance and has a wonderfully fresh hoppy quality to it. Lots of great floral and citrus hops, it's very much like opening a bag of pellets while brewing at home.

Flavor is also impressive. Sweet stout up front leads to hoppy bitter IPA in the middle. A little smokey on the finish which is interesting. Great balance of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Very balanced, like I said.

Another impressive beer from Lakefront. In fact, this is one of the few black IPAs to successfully marry the elements of a good porter and a good IPA together. Well done.

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Photo of Auracom
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
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 mdwalsh
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Yup, it's black, with a nice, maybe a little to large head that is tan and made of small, tightly packed bubbles. I am extremely impressed with how black this beer is.

S: A very nice hoppy aroma, very piney. Just a slight roast, but I don't even know if I would call it a roast. I'm very impressed.

T: The taste is a little less impressive. The roast comes through a little more, which I like, but the hops come across a little more harsh than in the aroma and together this makes the beer sharp, but not bright. Something just isn't jiving for me in this beer.

M: Good, could perhaps have a little more body, but otherwise quite good.

D: Very drinkable, perhaps dangerously so a 6.5% ABV

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Photo of wmtxbb
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: thick sticky head on top of a coal black brew.

Smell: Chewy dark malts that mesh with pine hops, ends with a clean cream scent.

Taste: Medium, to low body. Hits upfront with a wave of pine/spicy hops; follows with a burnt malt character, bitterness, an interesting popcorn flavor, and ends dry with a lingering spicy character from the hops.

Drinkability: 50 IBUs, a medium body, and tons of hops make this brew a great way to end the night.

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Photo of vitrael
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
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 Snow81
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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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Photo of emmasdad
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if I've had any Lakefront beers in the past, but this one caught my eye at Argonaut Liquors the other night (maybe the $5 price tag?) Poured a deep mahogany color with a good three fingers of khaki head on top. Good hoppy aromas up front (grapefruit, orange, pine) followed by some roasted malt. Medium bodied, with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and earthy hops.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerFMAndy for giving us something non sour to drink. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Dark brown black, huge two fingers of beige head. Tons of sticky lace, solid cap.

S: Nice hoppy blast. Green resinous hops and mild citrus fruit. The dark side gives it a roasty earthy backbone. Like someone dropped a shot of fuel cafe in my Lakefront IPA.

T: Sharp citrus hops greet my tongue first. This gets smoothed out by a heavy dose of dark roasted malt. Earthy. Again this reminds me of a black and tan.

M: Medium body with average carbonation.

D: Easy and satisfying drinker. No problem grabbing more of this around town.

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

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 TheDTrain
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Pure Milwaukee Genius of Lakefront Brewery strikes again...A very pleasant Black IPA with great drinkability. This brew is a very nice balance of hops, citrus, earthy, and is lead by some outstanding roast dark malts. Unique and adventerous good brew from Lakefront!

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Photo of bound4er
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first black IPA.

A. Sudsy light tan head with good retention. Dark brown appearance with ruby red highlights reflecting off bottom of glass.

S. Pretty shy on the nose with some grain and soapiness. I expected some hops - maybe it needs to warm a bit.

T. Really drinks easily - nice roasted malt, hints of coffee and then a pretty nice kick of piney/resiny hops on the back end.

M. Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D. Sky high in drinkability. Goes down easily and is very satisfying. I could see myself finishing off two bombers without a problem. This is a beer that would work well year round - not overly heavy for summer drinking but still packs enough body and flavor to work in cold weather. Well done - up there with IPA in terms of flavor and drinkability.

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Photo of cokes
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, translucent mahogany brown with a thick rise of khaki suds that only slowly recedes, leaving the glass dirtied with lace.
Woody and resinous pine aromas, with bitter herbal and floral flourishes. Malt adds burnt toast, and cocoa powder, which materializes further towards dark chocolate as the beer warms.
Malt lays down chocolate and roast as it hits the tongue. Backed with roasted nuts, and small, sweet nuances of caramel and vanilla. The hops carry it home from here. Curiously, pine, so large in the nose, is only a role player here(though progressively builds as it warms). Lime peel and dried flowers stand up taller in the mouth. Overall, hop flavor seems a bit muted, but the bitterness is relatively high.
The mouthfeel has an overall airiness, but gains enough traction in the mouth to give itself substance and definition. It's on the low side, alcohol-wise, of the style, and drinkability is, without a doubt, its strong suit. It's assertive in its flavor, but not aggressive. Hoppy, but balanced. Basically its a hopped-up brown ale even though that's not the trendy way to label it. Regardless, it's got some charm and it's damn drinkable. I'd like to see this in sixpacks, as it demands that sort of mass consumption.

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Photo of BierFan
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big light tan head and a dark brown, almost black, body. Decent head retention and good lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit from the hops and some sweet dark malts. A little roastiness comes through in the smell.

Taste: Roasty malt and hops. Simple flavors but it's tasty stuff. I could drink glass after glass of this all night long.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled in January 2011. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours almost pitch black. Has some reddish brown highlights. Produced a nice cap of a grayish tan head with decent retention. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A nice dry fruity citrus of lemon and lime with some very subtle bready malts.

(T)- Almost identical to the smell. A good dry citrus and subtle roasted malts.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A smooth feel with a mild bitterness. Good citrus fruits.

(D)- Definitely a solid black IPA. Not overly bitter or hopped; has a nice feel and smoothness to it. Well done Lakefront!

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
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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IBA from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 272 ratings