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 TheBrewo
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the cask at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a house becker glass, showing the color of cola. It held a one and a half finger head of light brown bubbles. This showed awesome retention, with eventual spots of lacing left around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared low. The nose gave roasty chocolate malts, cooling and sugary vanilla, melon, black cherries, passion fruit, charred woodiness, raw cocoa nibs, drying chalkiness of grain, and a finishing touch of light grassy hops. Our first impression was that there was big complexity to the taste, which was much fruitier than expected for the style, but not following that nose. As we sipped, tropical fruit of passion fruit and pineapple started things off sweetly. Mixing in were lactic and sour cranberry notes, dark chocolate and coffee malts, and a tangerine flesh sweetness. The middle peaked with charred coffee malts, a flash of metallics, white sugar sweetness, plastic bite, and a leathery twang. We finished with more of that smoke and leather, some more chocolate and coffee from the malts, and another plastic flash. Things did, however, lighten up right at the end, with final washes from plastics, drying chalky malts, and lactic sourness of cream. The aftertaste breathed of dark chocolate truffles, grassy hops, fig, dried wood, cashew nuttiness, and light smoky coffee. The body was light and almost watery, with that very cask-like drying bite. Carbonation was very light. The mouth was left wet and satiated, with that light chalky dryness all over. Slurp and smack were okay, but there was little in the way of cream of frothiness to the sip. The abv was fine, and the beer drank easily .

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the wily fruity inclusion in the nose and taste. It really reminded us of Stone’s 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA in its sweetness, but here we found much more plastic, leathery, and chalky cocoa bite. This beer was certainly intense, and it will probably take you by surprise, but not necessarily in a bad way.

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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 Sotbas
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall I think of this as the best black IPA I have ever had. Granted, I haven't had a ton, but I love this one. It has a sharp, pungent aroma that is unique amongst black IPA's... it is very reminiscent of a porter/stout actually.

What I really want to add to these reviews is this... a couple of days ago a opened a bottle that I have had sitting on a shelf for over a year which I purchased directly from the brewery (I live in the area). All I can say is WOW! I always enjoyed this beer but never realized how much it actually improved with age. It was creamier and brought out all of the best flavors in the beer. Really quite fantastic. If you have the means, pick up some 22 oz bottles, have patience, and let them sit for a minimum of a year. You won't be disappointed.

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

On tap at the Cambridge House in Granby CT.

Look- Dark, just about black with a thick tan head that lasts a bit and leaves plenty of lacing.

Smell- Very sweet and more on the malt side. A little vanilla and caramel maybe.

Taste- Surprisingly hoppy, didnt expect that from the smell. A little bight from the alcohol but not in a bad way, the alcohol taste is blended in nicely.

MF- Heavy body, warmth from alcohol, decent amount of carbonation.

Overall- Unique beer, glad I tried it. It tastes like a very hoppy stout almost. I know that sounds like an oxymoron but thats the only way I can think of to sum it up.

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

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a stanard pint a deep cola color with a 1/2 finger tannish colored head atop.Dark roast and earthy tones with mild bitter chocolate upfront in the nose,piney hops come into play late and linger well.Dry and roasty on the palate mixing with piney hops,light bitter chocolate as well,like others have said it seems more like a hopped up porter.It's not bad but again it seems more of a porter than a IA in my opinion.

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Photo of thain709
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a black colored body and chestnut hues towards the bottom of the finger, white head retained to a ring and a wispy spider web...some lacing was left

S - Dominated by citrus hops...the roasted malt does not come out until it has a chance to warm up

T - The flavor flips around from the nose...without having a chance to warm, there is already chocolate and roasted malt notes all around...the chocolate is adding some bitterness to the beer while the hops are adding their bitter part as well...the hops are providing an earthy and fruity flavor while leaving the palate fell prickly

M - Medium bodied...oily resin, bitter with some chocolate roast coming in

O - Overall this was just another average Black IPA...not too many can hit the nail on the head...this showed a hoppy nose, but more of the roast came in to play on the palate

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a reddish hue with a thin lacing of head. The nose has notes of chocolate and faint roasted malts. The taste is very malty with notes of chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. The hop character is light, earthy, but not on par with an IPA. It's full bodied, rich, smooth, and well carbonated.

I have been looking for this beer in my area for a while and then finally found it in an area. It's rich, delicious, smooth, but in my book not an IPA. Good nonetheless.

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

Picked up a $5 bomber at Euro Market in Queens. I thought it was a great example of the style. It wasn't too heavy, but I could still enjoy both the dark, dry cocoa malts and juicy, citrus hops. The barley is on par with schwarzbier, a little less roasty than a porter. The hops mostly in the aroma, and not much bigger than a good pale ale. I need to find more of this.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this at the Mondial Bier Fest in Strasbourg, France. Deep, dark mahogany, almost black pour with two finger head, with good retention and lacing. Roasty, herbal nose nicely balanced with hints of pine, caramel, espresso, and chocolate. The taste follows suit with with toasty, malty, toffee and resiny pine with hints of caramel, burnt espresso, molasses and a touch of chocolate. The mouthfeel is not as thick and chewy as most of the black IPA's I've had, but it's smooth with a nice bitter, dry finish. The drinkability is off the charts! I'm kicking myself for not buying more of these! This was my first experience with Blue Point, and I enjoyed everything from them that I tasted at the fest. Hopefully they'll be back next year so I can stock up!

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Photo of BeerdedEric
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light brown head almost beige in color. While held up to the light a dark cherry like color with lots of noticeable carbonation. As the head settles down, it leaves a nice creamy film. I didn't think it was going to leave any lacing but it turns out it left some very foamy lacing on the glass.

As far as the aroma goes -- caramel, chocolate and a slight smokiness. I also get a scent of some dark fruits.

The taste is absolutely delicious! Chocolate and caramel with roasted malt seem to take center stage but in the middle dark fruits come in like cherries and some grape flavors. At the very end -- the true bitter IPA flavors come in alongside with citrus and pine; there is also just a hint of alcohol noticeable.

The body is creamy with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth, slides right down, it feels really nice.

Wow! One of the best tasting "black IPA's" I have ever tried and this beer genre is one of my favorites. Almost, perfect except for some minor flaws. This is a must pick-me-up if you see this. On top of this being incredibly tasty, you will be helping out a great cause.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask from the eponymous Cask Republic a while back, just getting back into reviews ago. From notes.

Pours a fairly dark brown, opaque from the darkness. Head is only about a finger, it's very 'quiet'.

Nice rich aromas of molasses, chocolate, and roasted malt intertwine in the glass.

Very malty beer, the cask certainly allowed for some hop fade, there must have been no dry hopping here. Lots of smokey roasted malt, epsresso, chocolate, molasses, and even a touch of anise in the middle; really spectacular.

Surprisingly very light mouthfeel makes this one quaffable.

Would love to get this one again, maybe I'll even stumble on an old bottle one day, who knows... great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – A great looking brew. Gemstone mahogany with ruby highlights. Thick, creamy, bone-white head lasts a lifetime leaving sheets of lace throughout the drink.

S – Roasty malt with a delicious, smooth, earthy hop character.

T – Char up front rolls seamlessly into a bold woody hop flavor. Strong roast flavors carry through a semi-bitter finish. Not overly complex, but what’s there is delicious and well executed.

M – Full body has a great smoothness.

O – Best example of the style I’ve had to date.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a roast of coffee and a mellow citrus. In the taste, coffee like roast to start with a mellow orange citrus in the end. A hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry citrus to pine hop in the aftertaste. Coffee roast big in the front and a nice citrus hop in the end, kind of like a El Camino!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blue Point : Toxic Sludge

Pours a dark brownish black color, with an off white foam collar and lace. In the aroma, piney hops and roasted malt. This follows through to the flavor, with piney bitterness, roasted malts, brown sugar, and faint coffee. There is a piney hop bite that lingers with bitterness as well. Medium bodied, crisp, and smooth. Overall, a nice American Black Ale, dig the hop presence and the toasted malt notes. Good.

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Photo of sholland119
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Station Taproom, 8/24/11.

A-Pour is a medium to dark brown with some nice mocha froth and decent lacing.

S-Lots of malt, plenty of milk chocolate sweetness and light roast. A little more roast and a bit more sweet would please me more.

T-More roast than in the nose but still a bit unbalanced toward sweetness. Perhaps cask is not the best presentation for this beer.

M-Medium bodied, moderate bitterness lingers.

O-Not bad, decent, ok are words that come to mind.


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Photo of HopeinHop
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up bottle from the brewery, love going to their small eccentric nook of a tasting room.

Hadn't tried a Black IPA before but this was an exciting introduction to the style.

Poured into my Blue and Grey hefe glass...

A: Darker than a porter but still a little translucent..nice fluffy (caramel creme color) head with a vigorous pour

S: Nice hops, piney, earthy with sweet roasted malt

T: Was wondering if I'd like the darker malts mixed with pronounced hops and I really do with this Bluepoint brew. It's light enough but I like the added flavor and abv of a medium dose of malts

M: Medium bodied with creamy feel and hop bitters left over

D: I'm in the midst of completing this 22 oz. Ate it with a bowl of soup that I had made cheesy..yum! It's not too heavy so if this is your style then drink away, I'm pleased with the one bottle.

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

Enjoyed this beer on tap at the Golden Rail Ale House in Newburgh, NY. This beer pours black with medium body consistency. An off-white to tan head which is roughly one finger with nice lacing all the way through. Definite floral and piney aroma up front with a hint of chocolate. Citric and Piney hop notes with a nice roasty, coffee malt balance. @ 7% this beer is nicely balanced and is an enjoyable Black IPA. I would definitely recommend this beer because its very drinkable and also helps a good cause.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a thin off white head that died down and left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing in the center.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of citrus.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts with notes of citrus and hints of molasses. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather drinkable because it isn’t overly bitter or dry.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Easton Beerfest last fall. They had this one on tap and I heard people asking for it so I wanted to see what the hype was. This poured out as a dark muddy looking blackish brown brew. The head was thin and the lacing was weak. The aroma was nice though, plenty of hops and roasted malts on the nose. The taste followed along with the nose, it wasn't overly complex but still had a good flavor to it. The mouthfeel of this beer was a little light, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it was a little more like the oil that they're trying to stop from harming these animals. Overall it's still a pretty good beer and worth a try.

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

Toxic Sludge is a smooth, easy drinking ale. Mocha in color, it has appreciable notes of caramel malt and chocolate balanced by grassy hops with a slightly bitter finish. There’s a hint of citrus fruit in the backbone, such as grapefruit, that compliments the caramel and chocolate. Has a somewhat lighter feel to it compared to others in its style, but nevertheless is a enjoyable black ale.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Beenitty for this awesome extra from our recent trade. I've never heard of this one, so here we go:

Poured into my dfh snifter. pours a pitch black color, medium body consistency. Crazy oatmeal color foam fills the top of the glass quickly, and hangs around forever. more than 10 minutes after the pour, it still holds about 1.5 fingers of cloudy head. superior head retention. Smell- chocolate, citrus bitterness, chalky milk chocolate. Pretty standard for the style. Taste- chalky bitterness, nice chocolate presence, roasty bitterness. One of my issues with this style has been that I can't really tell the difference between this and a stout/porter, but this one is uniquely an IPA that has a roasted malt backbone. Overall, I'm pretty impressed. Mouthfeel- nice and creamy, but at the same point not too thick.

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

Got a growler of this from my local distributor, poured into a Blue Point pint glass.

A: Pours a dark dirty-oil color, small one finger head that is tan in color.

S: Initial smell reveals hops, mild yeast smell, and piney and chocolately malts.

T: Initial hop burst with pine notes, and a roasted malt flavor from the middle to end, and ending primarily piney.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation, nice and smooth.

O: Excellent beer with very good drinkability! The taste is not what you would expect when you pour, drinks alot lighter than it looks. And above all, its for a good cause! Go find some and drink it!

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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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