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

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 robhunta
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear brown/black, thin head, lingers & leaves nice lacing.

S - fruity, bitter hops aromas

T - Carmel, toffee, roasted malts & citrusy, bitter hops

M - light & smooth

D - highly drinkable, though the dark malts & high bitterness make it savory, drinkable, but i prefer to savor each sip.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, and bitter hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, bitter hops, and slight caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Pretty nicely balanced with a good flavor and aroma going on. This was a pretty nice representation of the style, but not the best of the style. Worth trying at least once if you can find it.

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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 atsprings
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep almost opaque black with a nice frothy off white head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is dark malts with a hint of citrus hops. The taste is a nice amount of crisp citrus and pine hops in front of a nice dark malt backbone that produces nice cocoa and burnt caramel accents to the delicious hop profile. The beer is on the light side of medium with smooth carbonation. This is a very enjoyable Black IPA, one I would certainly have again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours essentially pitch black, semi rich head with decent lacing.

Nose of dark malts, grassy and earthy as well as a bit spicy and herbal hop.

Taste brings more hops, earthy, grassy, herbal, chewy, spicy hops, with some bitterness, as well as a bit of sweet malts, not a heavy malt taste, but dark malts, a bit of bready toasty malts, a light roasted chocolate. Decent bitter and malty hop finish. The flavors don't combine as well as they could.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is OK, some minerality with the dark malts and bitterness combined, and fairly bitter overall, but not bad.

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Photo of CHickman
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black color (like sludge, well done Blue Point) with a massive 2 finger creamy tan head that faded slowly and left great lacing sticking to the glass; a nice creamy layer stuck around on top.

Smells of floral hops, sweet malt, toffee, grapefruit, toasted grains, citrus hops, herbs, orange peel, light caramel, cocoa and some floral hops; an odd nose that at times seems like an IPA and at other times like a porter - it's an aroma identity crisis.

Tastes of floral hops, sweet malt, grass, toffee and or coffee, grapefruit, toasted grains, citrus hops, orange peel, tea leaf, cocoa, caramel, piney hops or pine cone and almost a charcoal or burnt wood finish. This beer seems lost and unbalanced, but at the same time I like the mix of flavors; hops jump out, then roasted grains, then citrus, then sweet malt, and it's all over the place but still sat OK with me.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and soft on the tongue, with a toasted grain taste which mixes with a hop bitterness towards the finish, which is on the dry side; medium body with little to no carbonation.

This is a very odd beer and sludge is an appropriate name for it. Confusing as hell, but it tastes decent and was drinkable. I'd like to try it again and see how it goes.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Sam's in Durham today from my hometown brewery. It's nice to get Blue Point this far south and a good cause to boot. Pours near perfect black with a sliver of brown at the bottom and plenty of foamy tan head that laces up real thick. Nose is balanced but the hops do show up with citrus and pine parrying the roasted and chocolate thrust.

The flavor is reserved and mellow all the way through, with understated hops providing a cleansing bitterness and some earthy and pleasant malt tones giving the substance. Nothing fantastic but very satisfying. For me, the star is the silly silkiness of the texture. A little oily in the finish but very smooth and easy to quaff.

Overall, very enjoyable and this bomber disappeared quickly for me. I'm not very experienced in the style but I'll be trying more soon.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to djrn2 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a medium brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malt and chocolate. The beer smells more like a porter than a Black IPA because I don't get any hops in the nose.

There are definitely hops in the flavor. In addition to the chocolate and roasted malt, I get quite a bit of pine-flavored hops. Low bitterness.

Medium, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A good beer for a good cause.

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Photo of cavedave
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Toxic Sludge pours a beautiful, clear, thick mahogany/cordovan, topped by two inches of dark beige whipped cream. This lather-like head stays for the whole ride. Nice.

The smell is a light to medium aroma of orangey citrus, hints of chocolate and caramel, light minty/leafy hop scent. As it warms the bouquet gains more chocolate.

Mmm, some clashing, but well balanced, flavors at first, sweet roastiness meeting citrus, chocolate trying to make friends with hints of tart. As the flavors resolve on the palate, the taste begins to come together. Caramel and bready sweet carry the opening flavors into a semi dry finish that is slightly astringent, slightly charry, full of citrus pith, and quite tasty.

Mpouthfeel is medium body, light carb., medium viscosity, and a nice clean and lasting finish. As it warms the finish begins to lose its clean nature to a small degree, otherwise very nice for style.

Drinkability is not as good, nor refreshing, nor interesting as other notables in this style, but better than many so-called BIPA's that are simply over-hopped porters.

Impression: Another fine beer from a brewery that rarely hits a homerun, but always scores. If you like this style you will surely enjoy this. I do, and I did.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours a (big surprise) black color with a small frothy head. Some lacing. Aroma is hoppy upfront followed by some roasted malt and chooclate aromas. Piney. Taste isn't as flavorful as the smell. Pine hops and some roasted malts but its a bit thin. Flavor is more pine than anything else with just a hint of chocolate. This is a pretty good Black IPA that is easy to drink and worth a second look.

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Photo of ArrogantBastage
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Frisco Taphouse

A: Lives up to the name of Toxic Sludge with a nice deep dark color like a reminiscent of a stout or porter. Nice head laced in the glass throughout the session.

S: Dark malt aroma reminding me of coffee. Had some hops lingering in the background as well but hard to pick up.

T: Earthiness up front followed by some residual sweetness of the malt. Hops were present but not too overpowering. Nice balance between the two.

M: Sticky from the hops but also a bit oily as well.

D: Very interesting beer and one of the better black IPAs I've had. Not as heavy as the color would indicate. Definitely would have another.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 22oz bomber in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into an Old Speckled Hen pint glass - thanks fellas!

A: The name says it all - pours black and sludgy, with a fat off-white head, leaving massive amounts of thick lace from start to finish.

S: Man there's just not much there - I get some bitter chocolate and roasted coffee that is pleasant, unfortunately the hop gets completely lost in the dominant sweet roasted grain.

T: Earthy bitter hop up front, fresh baked rye bread, tobacco, grain and sweet roasted malt.

M: Medium-bodied, sticky, good carbonation with a lingering bitterness from the hop.

D: Don't get me wrong, this is a well done ale, but I can't imagine drinking more than a bomber in a single sitting.

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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 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 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 norcar
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep strong black body with an off white two finger head that lingers well. Good lacing.

S: Smells of malts, citrus and slight herbal hints.

T: Balanced yet not extremely complex. slight citrus/hopiness up front followed but smokey coffee middle ending with bitter yet sweet grapefruit notes.

M: Clean with a medium body and a fair amount of carbonation.

D: Not what I was expecting but I would not mind drinking another. More on the porter side of things then an IPA but it does retaing some hop character to place it loosely in the BIPA IMO. Regardless, it is easy drinking and for a cause that is important. Even if you don't like it that much you should tell your friends to buy one to help the cause.

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Photo of Gmann
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a fantastic pillowy beige head that left a wall of sticky lacing on the glass. Settles into a rocky cap. The aroma is of muted tropical fruit hops, honey, perhaps some bread notes from the malt but nothing roasty. The taste is of a honey malt, a slight bitter roast flavor, muted tropical fruit hops which also has some resiny notes. Not a big fan of the hop profile, doesn't seem to be the same as hoptical illusion. The roasted malt comes through more as the beer warms and helps the flavor out. Moderate feel with tingly carbonation; finishes slight bitter from the roast and hops. An average black IPA. The hops should be the showcase and I didn't dig the profile. The roasted malt grew on me as I drank it and was quite nice. Not sure if I would purchase this again.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a 3/4 pint glass.

A: It looks black at first, but when held up to light the body glows with a clear rubious radiance that is truly beautiful to behold. Atop this glorious body is a slightly less stunning half-inch of fine tan head; average retention and pretty strong, super-fine lacing. Lovely.

S: Bright citrus hops really jump out, making it clear that this is definitely a BIPA. Grapefruit, orange, and even some mango give this a nice fruity bitterness, backed up by just a hint of roasted malt. Quite nice indeed.

T: Grapefruit hops and coffee roast hold equal sway at first, with the bitterness of ample hops winning out on the finish. Excellent.

M: Medium body with tons of lively, sharp carbonation. A bit much if you ask me. And I suppose you are.

D: Solid, but not quite exceptional.

Notes: Maybe its the fact that there aren't all that many Black IPAs out there, but this one really, really reminded me of Sublimely Self-Righteous. Now that I'm entering the review, I've looked back at my review of that one and saw that I gave it precisely the same score in every category. What are the odds, huh? This one definitely has slightly more emphasis on and complexity in the hops, as well as a significantly lower ABV; still, more similar than different, and both delicious beers. Another winner from Blue Point.


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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 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 lackenhauser
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the edge of being black-jet brown perhaps? Sizeable tan head. Decent floral and hoppy aroma. Good hop blast upfront flavor wise-nice blend of bitterness and hop flavor. Roasted grains are somewhat faint and in the backround. Very mild anise or licorice tinge. Good body. Very drinkable beer. My 2nd try at this style-works for me.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass. $4.50 at New Beer Distributors.

Toxic Sludge is as black and slick as its namesake, with a small tan head. The smell is a bit faint, but it's a nice burnt aroma with a lot of hop support. It straddles the line between stout and IPA.

While the smell was a bit ambiguous, the taste is firmly on the IPA side of the spectrum. A big dose of pine hops is the main taste here. There's a good amount of chocolate malt, too, to remind you of the "black" part of the black IPA. The balance between the disparate style influences is the trick to a Cascadian Dark, and Toxic Sludge passes the balance test easily.

It's smooth and easy-drinking. It's tasty. It's local, and it's for a good cause. So if you're looking to get into the Cascadian Dark Ale game, make sure to give Toxic Sludge a try.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a plain pint glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: Dark, ruby and root beer colored, near black with red highlights when shone through the light. A creamy, one-finger head of ivory foam settles slowly and leaves a nice ring of lace.

S: Quite potent, skunky, herbal hop resins and earthy malt aromas. Some light spices and grain as well.

T: Medium-roasted, sweet blend of dark grains which throws some coffee and nutty tobacco malt flavors. Leads into a fine, grassy and mildly citrus fruity hopped finish. Lingering sticky malt sweetness is balanced by some resinous, bitter pine hops.

M: Full-bodied ale with enough balance and just the right amount of hop bitterness in the finish. A little cloying at times, but fairly clean overall.

D: A pretty nice concept and a decent stab at a very trendy American style at the moment. The 7% "black" IPA from Blue Point may be thought of as more marketed than well-crafted, but I found it to be a satisfying, blended IPA with porter-like qualities throughout. I'd definitely try it again.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a cask event in NYC was surprised to be able to find a bottle in CT!

A) - Nice almost jet black color...medium head.

S) - This smells more than like a stout so what's next.

T) - Smokey, malty just with a slight hops bite. Is this really an IPA

M) - Medium Carbonation

D) - Very easy

Very happy with this beer. Could drink it all night. I do have to say seems more like an extra hoppy stout to me but enjoyable none the less!

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Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Cambridge House: This one poured a fairly opaque black color. The was a small amount of a tan head on it that left a bit of lacing. This has a nice nose to it. Lots of piney hops, with some grassiness, chocolate and roastiness to it also. The taste is also very good. Piney, chocolate, grassiness. Not quite as bitter as I would expect for an IPA, but still a fair amount of bite. Definitely worth checking out!

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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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