Toxic Sludge Black IPA | Blue Point Brewing Company

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Toxic Sludge Black IPAToxic Sludge Black IPA

Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
While birds of a feather stick together, their wings should not. We blew our cap seeing images of oilslick seabirds and thinking about what may happen to more of our fine, feathered-friends as they migrate south this fall, so we hatched this flighty idea for a specialty brew called 'Toxic Sludge'.
All of the proceeds will benefit Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research's "Spreading Our Wings" campaign and their efforts to build a Wildlife Response Annex. To learn more, please visit:
In times of crisis (like this) we figure you can either hibernate or participate.
Try this tasty, dry-hopped Black IPA, it's as smooth as water off a duck's back. So everytime you drink one, please let out a loud squawk in honor of our beautiful, beaked brethen.
We hope you can dig deep in your hearts (and pockets) to help support the effort.
Be Well,
Mark & Pete

Added by mcallister on 08-04-2010

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Reviews: 143 | Ratings: 440
Photo of PeterParker
2.37/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours dark reddish brown with a finger of head that vanishes without a trace. While dark for an IPA, I would not consider this black.

Subtle hop aroma first, followed by some malt hints, and a tiny bit of pine at the end. May be detecting some Belgian yeast too?

This may just be too cold since it's right out of the fridge, but this is very lackluster. Not really getting anything discernible except an iota of yeast and a basic hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Extremely underwhelming. Definitely need to give this some time to warm up.

Thin with medium carbonation.

I'm going to let this warm up, but as of now it leaves much to be desired. This is my issue with cans. It's too cold to taste!

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Photo of kneeland
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Toxic sludge is a perfect name for this. This is a very thick IPA, which does not interest me very much.

It is very dark, a whole lot of head with a cream color. Aroma of grassy, garlic-like hops and roasted malt, also some burnt popcorn. It was just way too much.

FYI.... Blue Point will donate 100% of net proceeds from Toxic Sludge to Delaware-based Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research to fund their Spreading Our Wings Campaign and long term efforts to build a Wildlife Response Annex.

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Photo of wedge
2.72/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chestnut with a large, slowly deflating head of dense foam. Vaguely hoppy aromas backed by some chocolaty roasted malt. The hops are primarily of the floral, grassy, leafy variety...the more it warms, the more bittersweet, dark chocolate takes over. Tastes of grassy, dried fruit, earthiness, cocoa, and molasses. The malt seems thinner here and there's not enough hop flavor to justify the bitterness. The cryptic code on the bottom of the can isn't a clear date, so I have no idea how fresh this is. There's something sort of amateur homebrew-ish about this that's pretty disappointing.

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Photo of garuda
2.94/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black, with a sizeable off white head that has great retention, but little lacing.

S - Roasted malt dominates with an underlying sweetness, with only a touch of earthy pine hops.

T - Little hop presence again with the roasted malt in the forefront. Finishes with a stronger hop presence than in the aroma, and with a dark chocolate/pine bitterness through the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth across the palate and finishes clean.

D - Misses the mark as an IPA, since it has little hop character in smell and taste. This came across more as a hoppy porter/stout, but still drinks fairly well.

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Photo of Zodijackyl
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber with no freshness date.

Dark pour, nearly black with a very dark reddish tinge and a light creamy head that sticks to the glass in clumps, not rings. Aroma of smoky malt and dominant tree hops.

Flavor is a mix of bitter hops and smoked malt, mostly barley and wheat. Body has a dark character in addition to the malt , or chocolate (dark cocoa). The bitterness of the body and added chocolate mix well, but the malt is a bit lacking in respect to the cocoa and hops.

Feel is dry and retains some of the dry texture of cocoa powder. Too dry and bitter to drink heavily, though it is alright. I am quite disappointed in this, especially for a bombered IPA from Blue Point.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Gainesville House of Beer. Pours pitch black and smells like its name. Muddled boozy wet dog and burnt grain aroma. Taste follows with a lot going on, none of it which I like. Dirt and booze flavor, a little roast, rather bold, and then more booze. Slightly sweet, and very little balancing bitter. Medium to heavy bodied, low carbonation. Meh. I was disappointed with this one.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

By and large the best thing is how it looks but that's really not a compliment. Dark with a nice light head. The smell was okay with a bit of yeast on the nose and a bit of the hops. The taste was okay with a bit of pine and then a clean finish. I found this beer to be a bit forgettable to be honest. For a black IPA it's very good, but then again it's not a style I point out to others that often. If you're a fan of the style, give it a try and you might be surprised, others may want to try something else first.

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Photo of n2185
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights and two fingers of beige head that fades into a thin cap with pretty decent lacing.

S: Dry piny aromas dominate. It smells almost like a dry Irish or oyster stout with some piny hops aromas. There are notes of roasted malts and smoke in there as well.

T: Similar to the aroma, dry roasted malt flavors dominate at first with some light char and bitter notes. Resin and pine hop flavors bring up the lightly bitter finish.

M: Medium body with mid-low carbonation, this beer avoids being watery, but could use a bit more carbonation.

O: An alright beer, overall, though nothing really special. I'd like more roasted and creamy malt characters along with a stronger hop presence.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.16/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a completely clear, cherrywood hue. The head stands thin with a contrastingly bright color. The cap leaves a flak jacket of lacing.

S-The malt is clearly the winner here. Yes, behind the dark fruits and roast, there is some mild tea-like hoppiness (maybe some candied citrus hops too). But I have to concentrate to really decipher the hop's language here. The hops are far too silent. This really reminds me of an ESB; I would guess it to be said style is I were tasting blind.

T-A lot of metal. Is it the can? It tastes like the can! Something is a miss here. Tea-like hops and some candied citrus hops again. Behind the metal, I still get the flavor of a darkly malted ESB. The hops lend substantial bitterness but they don't really donate any truly intriguing or gratifying flavors. The malt is molasses-dipped pumpernickel bread and a mist of dark fruit.

M-There is some back-end heat. Softer bubbles. The body isn't huge. The bitterness really creeps up on you.

O/D-Even before the metallic flavor, I was not enamored with this beer. The hops are bitter with no finesse; like a 7 foot basketball player without any touch on the ball. The label art on the can is supremely memorable.

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Photo of far333
3.19/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ruby brown with a half inch of tightly bubbled foam that lingers very very long. Very low aroma of faint hops. Initial flavor of dark malt, morphing quickly to grapefruit and orange rind. Very balanced, not too black and not too IPA. Could actually use a little more oomph on both ends of the spectrum. Full mouthfeel, a bit tannic, but satisfying. Drinkable beer, but could use more character for my tastes.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at Georgetown Deli in Wilkes Barre with excellent reviews. Perhaps my expectations were set a bit too high?

Beautifully black and clear, with amber undertones. Very carbonated on the tongue, but a decent or reasonable head. Pleasant aroma including both hops and roasted malts. However I find the taste profile strange : "very sweet" followed immediately by "very bitter".

A pleasingly bitter finish, but overall the flavours aren't as well balanced as I'd hoped. Regardless, an excellent cause and I'm glad to have purchased more than one.

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Photo of Brad007
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Let me just say that I love the title. I can't say that I've seen it used on any other beer and that's what made it stand out to me. No kidding here.

Pours more of a dark burgundy than black color when held up to light. Still dark and plenty of head for those who like that.

Is my nose fooling more or do I detect a whiff of roasty malt? Hops have some citrus and pine characteristics.

Damn, the bitterness is overwhelming by a bit. Lots of caramel, molasses but for some reason, not enough malt character.

Mouthfeel is convincing. Thin, almost flimsy. Some lingering bitterness.

I'm glad I only bought one can. It's interesting but I'm not convinced that it fulfills all the hallmarks of the style.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a dark cola-like brown color with a flufy 2 finger head that slowly settles, leaving sticking lace as it goes down. Vanilla and caramel in the nose with a very slight hoppy character aroma. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet start with a mix of roast and caramel that then transitions to a hop bitterness that lingers on. I love the fact that this beer is for a good cause but as a beer it is really not that memorable. The hop characteristic is pretty laid back and takes a back seat to the roastedness.

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Photo of number1bum
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, nearly black but not quite opaque, with an inch and a half of tan head. Keeps a thin, full lace and some decent webbing on the sides.

Smells of roasted malt and some chocolate up front, with some earthy and leafy hops behind. It's much more malty than hoppy and it's more heavy on the roasted than other black IPAs I've had. I also don't love this hop bill as I'm smelling it so far.

Tastes pretty much like it smelled, with a good deal of roasted malt character and some chocolate and a hint of coffee as well. Like the nose it's much more malty, and roasty in particular, than it is hoppy. Really not much in the way of citrus at all, nor pine, but the earthy, herbal, leafy hop flavors that the nose also had. Some good flavor, but it's a bit out of balance and once again I don't love this hop bill.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite crisp; pretty active carbonation going on. It's pretty smooth and has a decent creaminess.

Among the black IPAs I have had this is easily my least favorite. It's not terribly hoppy number one, and I'm not a big fan of the hop bill number two. Too roasty, not hoppy enough, and not something that I'd be eager to seek out again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to wchollif for this bottle!

Nothing like grabbing a bottle of Toxic Sludge to drink, am I right, folks? It pours a dark garnet-tinged black-brown. The nose is a straight yin-yang of roasted malts, cocoa, pine, and lettuce. The taste takes a similar tack, though the pine sap mixes with a roasted celery sort of character, along with a strangely bitter dark chocolate and mild coffee combination. It does not mix particularly well. The body is a strict medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, not the best black IPA I've had, but it has its moments.

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Photo of ElliotNess
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well at least the beer is helping out a noble cause for the birds of NOLA.

A decent IPA is the blind taste that I had. But I really love a good Black IPA with deep dark smokey accents, and extremely bitter hops. Unfortunately this was just an average IPA with less than standard hoppiness and no smoked feeling. The initial nose of the thick head was a hint of cocoa and light citrus. Yet the taste does not pull through. The hue of this dark beer was a deep filtered sludge. Well at least the name held strong.

Don't get me wrong solid, but disappointing.

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Photo of Ego
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

black ? sludge ? maybe the toxic moniker will come through because the rest is just not a good description...
dark brown with some ruby hues, pretty clean looking in terms of clarity, a good amount of head rises up, around the 2 finger range and you know what? it decided to stay around without even a proper invite (rude bastard)...
good lacing and nice uniform microbubbles make a nice night cap for the top of this beer...
so the look is sort of give and take.

hoppy. in the more herbally-honey variety, almost some dry stout tones in there also, not much else for me to expound on

taste etc...
the carbonation seems a bit much, this drinks pretty smooth, there is some hop character, some malt presence, a hint of chocolate.. and that is pretty much it, mostly hints of this or that, nothing memorable is going on
the hops have a decent bite, and there is some warming from the ABV

this beer is OK, not bad in any sense but nothing special. some nice hop punch and good ABV kick but it just seems to be missing an all around mission.

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Photo of MaxSpang
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.


This beer is a deep, deep red when held up to light with barely any light coming through. The head was a good 3-4 fingers when first poured, and dissipated quickly. There was quite a bit of lacing in along the glass. There was not very many bubbles coming up along the side of the glass.


The first few sips were from the dark side - roasted malt, chocolate, and some slight nuttiness. Then the hops came in - some nice citrus and spicy floral notes. There's a little bit of graininess, too. Overall a very pleasant smelling brew!


At the front of the tongue, some nice sweet maltiness and chocolate notes came through in a big way. Very soon after, the hops hit. This isn't as bitter as other Black IPAs that I've had, but it's got a nice big bitterness that mixes well with the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. It resembles very dark bitter chocolate without much of the chocolate sweetness. There's a slight artificial flavor that hits midway through, but the aftertaste is excellent. This is a really nice tasting beer!


There isn't much carbonation to speak of, but it works in this beer. There is a slight sweetness at the front, but it finishes nice and dry which makes you want to keep on drinking it! The mouthfeel is very balanced, and it's very easy drinking.


Ah, Black IPAs (or IBAs, or whatever they're called) are becoming so popular. I welcome the popularity. This is a nice example of the style. It's not the greatest example, but it's a really well-made beer (especially for a beer called Toxic Sludge!). This was an extra in a trade, so I'm glad I got the opportunity to try it. It's for a good cause, so I say drink up!


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Photo of beerthulhu
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-can. pint.

A: Brazilian cherry pour produces a glass consuming sandy-khaki colored head with a spongy texture of 4 finger magnitude. Carbonation looks scarce with exception of a few isolated stragglers of rising slowly about. The head is porous, especially along the edges with giant voids of air pockets, the lacing is sloppy and chunky, spacious spots visually on the vessel. A giant foamy iceberg of foam sits steadily on the surface, stubbonly remaining for a good portion of the drink. Even in the glass is more of a dark amber/cherry then black coloring.

S: Aroma of dried cola, tree bark, root beer and pine of average regards can be had on the nose.

T: The flavor is piney, with a toasted caramel-cola highlight, sweet speciality grain mention with a hint of chocolate. Back end of warming flowery hop cones, pine, cardamon with a spicy warm nuttiness and toffee dried sweetness. Some cypress and lightly scorched pine wood rounds things out.

M: The mouthful feels a bit light at first, gaining some substance to a light-medium consitency with a oily creaminess texture about it. Fair amount of carbonation, light chewiness with a malty-cola pine warmth off the tongue.

O: Overall a decent black ipa with a warming toasted caramel hoppiness, fairly smooth to drink with an easy rate of consumption, much more so then a name like toxic sludge would let you believe. Wont knock you over with its hoppiness, but has some sweet malty nature to balance. Abv seems very relaxed for 7.00%. Recliner beer.

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Photo of weizenbob
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber received in a trade with JoeyBeerBelly. Thanks Joe. This is my first black IPA. Poured into a pint glass. A gigantic three fingers of sudsy head tops this dark dark IPA. The head burns up in a blaze of large bubbles that leave some lacing on the glass. The brew is a stout-dark deep walnut hue, closing in on black. Up close, a lot of carbonation is visible.

Upon first whiff, the scent is hopped up like an IPA. Closer examination reveals a lush palate of roasted malts, citrus and floral hops, black licorice, raisins and the slightest hint of chocolate. I also smell alcohol.

As this is my first black IPA, I don't know exactly what the stylistic norm is. I do know that my senses are pretty confused. It smells more or less like an IPA and tastes more or less like a porter. The initial attack is roasted malt with a little earthiness. It starts slightly sweet and quickly turns bitter. There's a minor citrus tone that is clashing with a licorice bite that is a little abrasive. I do notice the alcohol. It's not overbearing, though I could wish that it were a little better hidden. The IPA label is maintained in the subtle citrus and lingering bitterness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. It's about right for a porter, but perhaps a bit light for an IPA. It's pleasantly malty in the mouth and the carbonation is good.

The drinkability is okay, but my palate is really confused by the style. Interestingly, the other beer I received in this trade was Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. While I would classify that brew as a hoppy stout, Toxic Sludge is definitely a stouty IPA. Both blurred the stylistic line a bit, but ultimately I don't think it works quite as well on this side of the fence. It looks as though this was a one-time limited release brew (proceeds benefited oilslick bird rescue efforts) so I'm really glad that I got to try this as I may never see it again. The stylistic clashes and slight booziness come off as being a bit harsh but I would still love to get my hands on another bottle to cellar for a bit. I'd be really interested to see what this does with some age if the hops and alcohol mellowed a bit.

Thanks again Joe. This isn't something I'll see every day.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Cuzco for this one!

A: Poured into a pint glass. Very dark black with a frothy two finger mocha colored head. Dissipates down to one finger (pretty vigorous pour), and lasts for a very long time. Sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: At first I really only get some grapefruit citrus, but as the beer warms there is a little bit of roasted malt, and some dark fruit.

T: There is some roasted malt, a little bit of chocolate, and some dark fruit, I think figs and prunes. Not much citrus or pine at all, seems like the hops disappeared, even though they are prominent in the aroma.

M/D: Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. It is on the creamier side. Overall, not great and unbalanced. The nose seemed one sided, being mostly hop driven, and the flavor was malt driven. Too bad, because the appearance is amazing.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 1 pint 6 oz bottle into my Duvel.

A - Black. As. Night. Head was about 2 inches and a creamy brown color.

S - First thing I noticed was a nice mocha smell. Sweetness in the form of chocolate. Nice earthy aroma as well.

T - Sour is the first taste which I am guessing from some citrus. Has a toasted flavor. A good bit of hops.

M - Nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

D - I am not a huge fan of IPA's but this one is decent. You could certainly have a few.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the brand-spankin' new Bentlee's Tavern in Mountain Lakes, NJ ...finally a decent bar in my town!!! Into a pint glass, it poured black, with no hints of carbonation, and two fingers of beige-colored head that retained and laced well. Smelled of orange peel and grapefruit, yet very herbal. The taste was much different...very caramel toffee coffee flavor with a semi-sweet finish, and coffee aftertaste. Medium thickness, and no carbonation. I wasn't expecting as much coffee and sweetness in this 'black ipa' specimen; I'm more accustomed to the earliest progenitors' examples of this style, which are much more citrus in nature. Since the nose hinted that this one would be as well, I was surprised to find that it was not. As such, I say that this is a decent beer, but a little disjointed in style.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a cola brown color with a thick, fluffy tanned head resting on top. Retains throughout most of the pour, leaving patchy and ringed lacing all over the glass.

A spike of piny hops in the nose, quickly swept away by a somewhat sweet malty note. Hints of chocolate and char with a faint warmth.

Bitter up front with a decent hop character. Definitely more on the sticky piny side of the spectrum, with a pretty roasty, solid malt backbone lurking underneath. Bready and toasted with a chocolate sweetness in the malts. Finishes fairly bitter and dry with a little suggestion of alcohol.

Medium body, smoother carbonation, very fluffy and creamy on the tongue. This drinks okay (thanks to the cask conditioning), although I there really wasn't an abundance of memorable flavor here.

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Photo of AnPiobaire
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured deep dark ruby brown with a medium light tan head.

S - My initial nosing was almost nothing until I let the brew sit a little while. That's when the hops began to come through. Mild citrus.

T - Crisp ad dry, not as creamy as the appearance might suggest, but has a very hoppy finish hedging towards grapefruit/citrus taste.

M - I found this to be a crisp and drinkable brew where the malt and hops taking a more segregated existence with the malt taking the roll of opener with hops playing the closer.

Overall a very decent quality brew.

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Toxic Sludge Black IPA from Blue Point Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 440 ratings.
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