Trafalgar India Ink Black Pale Ale | All or Nothing Brewhouse

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Trafalgar India Ink Black Pale AleTrafalgar India Ink Black Pale Ale
28 Ratings
Trafalgar India Ink Black Pale AleTrafalgar India Ink Black Pale Ale

Brewed by:
All or Nothing Brewhouse
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unusual ale combines the hoppy character of an India Pale Ale with the richness of a dark, malty beer. Five different hops and premium imported dark malts went into the recipe for this innovative beer from Trafalgar.

Added by bryehn on 10-24-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by PhatMatt905:
Photo of PhatMatt905
3.07/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nice ruby red colour with a nice medium brown head that sticks around. Aroma is of cirtus and pine hops. With faint roasted malts in the back ground. Strong bitterness that is present throughout. Has nice orange hop flavours that go well with the tiny bit of coffee flavour. Some caramel present as well as piney hops but they are muted. It is water with a lingering bitter finish. It was also pretty flat, but enough to keep me interested. Reminded me of cask ale. Overall a decent brew that i may pick up again to see what i think. good work trafalgar.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Inoffensive member of the style,just not very exciting nor very drinkable. Thick black appearance, Cascadian hop, big roasting, orange peel. Would like it more balanced. Like a herbal tea with coffee grounds, and didn't like the bitterness which was marginally astringent. Fresh bottle from LCBO.

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Photo of traumaqueen
2/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.57/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with almost no head with limited retention. Aroma of stale hops and watered down malts is quite bad. Taste is also a disappointing mix between some stale hops notes with a grainy unrefined malt taste that is undrinkable. Body is quite light for the style with low carbonation. I haven’t had such a bad beer in a long time – this was a total drain pour for me.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.23/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before April 2013. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Pours dark brown and settles almost black with half a finger of light brown head that quickly receded to a few bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S - Citrus, pine and a pungent hop bitterness up front. The roasted malt aroma is very faint and hides in the background. The hops definitely dominate the nose and completely overshadow the roasted malts that I know are there.

T - A huge hop bitterness hits the tongue right away and brings citrus and pine flavours that are especially noticeable in the finish. The roasted malts are here but you have to search a little bit to find them. A coffee/chocolate presence is evident in the finish and lingers in the dry, bitter finish.

M - Medium body with a bit of a chew and light carbonation.

O - A more pronounced malt profile would really enhance this beer but it is still a decent example of the style.

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Photo of ThinkAgain
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of liamt07
3.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from the LCBO, Best before April 2012 (?) - notched somewhere between 2012-2013. Into a tulip.

Pours a cola brown, light beige head that's a bit thin and dissipates quickly. Light lace and minimal retention. Nose is fairly hopping, and surprisingly, not bad at all. Light citrus and pine, with roast and coffee squeezing through and becoming increasingly prominent with warmth. Some caramel and lightly oily hops as well. Taste drops the ball in typical Trafalgar fashion. A poor reflection of the nose but everything is a bit more muddled and thin. Hops become a bit more one-dimensional and the nice roast and coffee notes turn acrid. Some diacetyl which upon revision comes through more in the nose as well. Body is thin and has a consistency just greater than that of water. Really all not that bad but suffers from a lack of body and complexity on the palate. Fails to hit some basic marks and keeps this from being anything more than mediocre.

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Photo of SebD
3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It has a nice almost ink black color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a nice beige head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of roasted malts, coffee, pine and citrus.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a piney and citrusy hop character with roasted malts and coffee. Slight bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: It has a light carbonation with a thin and watery overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from the LCBO; best before April 2013. I am a little confused as to how a beer can be both black and pale, though.

Pours a dark, mostly opaque chestnut-brown colour with some red tinges under the light. Generates a half-finger of soapy light-beige head that vanishes within a minute, leaving behind a soapy film on the surface. Decent lacing on the sides. Grapefruit citrus and pine needles are the first and basically only major things I can pick up in the aroma; the roasted malts are very much in the background here. Maybe a bit of a coffee bean vibe, but not much else going on.

Pretty hop-forward taste; more of the same grapefruit/bitter orange citrus and pine sap notes from the aroma, with the bready roasted malts being overshadowed a little. Kind of buttery, with some coffee grinds and burnt malts lingering in the aftertaste. Light-medium bodied, with mild carbonation and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Decent brew, certainly one of Trafalgar's better beers but there is nothing that makes this worth seeking out. A stronger malt profile would put this into 'solid B' territory, but as it stands this is a pretty run-of-the-mill ale without a lot going for it. Worth a try I guess, but not something I'd recommend as a good example of the style.

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Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of bryehn
3.62/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm unsure of the availability on this one. I just started seeing it show up (650 mL) in mid-October 2011 and there is no information on the brewery website, so I classified it as a Fall seasonal. Will update if appropriate.

It isn't quite an opaque black, but more of a dark brown and ruby colour similar to a cola. Small tan coloured head that burns off in a flash, but leaves a frothy collar. No lacing.

Has a very familiar diacetyl and wet grain aroma common to this brewery's efforts, though this time there is also a pleasant cherry-like fruit tone and a hint of roasted chocolate.

There's a lot going on in the taste. Lots of roasted, chocolately malt with a very deep and bitter black cherry tone. The finish is dry, chocolatey and has a hint of smoke and wood to it.

The mouthfeel is watery at first, but feels like dry, heavy grains on the tongue. Unfortunately the aftertaste reverts to a salty diacetyl tone.

Trafalgar is moving in the right direction and playing towards their strengths here. This basically tastes like their smoked oatmeal stout mixed with a bit of black oak porter and whatever pale ale they've been brewing lately. If only they could ditch the microwave popcorn smell and taste.

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Photo of SnatchyMcPants
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of oldp0rt
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of andrenaline
3.48/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've been hoping for a brew from Trafalgar that's worthy of a trade with my BA partner out in Calgary, but they continue to produce sub-par offerings. This is no exception.

A - Pours a dark ruby red colour, thumb of soapy beige head, solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Mild soapy hops, touch of burnt toast malt and earthy citrus on the finish.

T - A tad metallic, bitter citrus hops dominate, some nutty malts, leather and burnt cigar notes, hint of espresso and some leafy hops on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness; no complaints here.

O - Maybe they have developed a stigma, whereby I'm overly critical, but these guys never seem to get out of the 'average' range. The flavours need to be amped up, as they come across mild and muddled. For the style, a bit more espresso and chocolate to balance out the bitter citrus would've helped. Guess this one won;t be making the westward trip.

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Photo of Pmicdee
2.25/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of korguy123
3.16/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black pour with thin egg shell head. Lacing is spotty.

Slight floral and pine hops. Fresh roasted black coffee.

Pine hops with strong black coffee. Very one dimensional.

Thin bodied, light carbonation, lingering bitter aftertaste.

Decent beer, should have been hopped up and made into a Black IPA. Probably the best beer Trafalger has to offer.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Expectations were very low, but were definitely exceeded.

Clear and very dark amber with limited cappuccino coloured head, no lacing. Mouthfeel is light and lager-like, but decent carbonation and not thin. Aroma of roasted chocolate malts and I don’t smell any hops. However the taste is surprisingly flavourful for its 5% ABV. A variety of chocolate and coffee roasted malt notes with a pleasant hop bitterness at the finish. None of the citrus or "west-coast" hop flavours I'd typically associate with an "American Black Ale" - but a surprisingly enjoyable dark beer.

I am surprised to say that I would purchase this again. There is hope for Trafalgar yet!

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Photo of bylerteck
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really, REALLY hoping this would be good. Come on Trafalgar, I hope you can do it.

A - Pours with a really creamy mocha head at one finger. Dark red, allowing light through. Some medium carbonation coming up. Good rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Coffee and roasted malts. Not really any hops to speak of. Citrus comes out with some digging and blends in well with the coffee notes. Not bad.

T - Coffee, roasted malt, a heavy chocolate grain (?) note. Hops are subdued but there in the form of citrus, but not present enough to make this cross the border to Black IPA (or whatever you wanna call it) territory.

M - A definate bitterness follows good carbonation and a creamy, but seemingly thin body.

O/D - Not bad for Trafalgar. Not exactly what I expected for the style, but hell, at least it didn't suck. Gettin' better guys, but still a ways to go. Drinkable, but not sessionable.

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Photo of fostachild
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of slitherySOB
2.82/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Who put squid ink in my pale ale? This beer pours an inky black, with next to no head whatsoever. Smells primarily of roasted malts and floral hops. Tastes piney and minty, with some coffee undertones. Even a bit of mint. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonated. Left me a bit gassy. Overall, one of Trafalgar's best brews. But that ain't saying much. A below average black ale.

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Photo of bigox420
4/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.11/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Maybe it was morbid curiosity. Maybe it was interest in the style. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. But whatever the reason, I did something I swore I never would do again. I bought something brewed by Trafalgar. So help me God.

The cap pries off way too easily with nary a hint of a whisper of pressure being released.

The pour is flat and murky dark brown with zero head and practically no carbonation.

Oh boy.

Aroma is mild roast.

The taste is roasty, grainy, watery, burnt and disgusting with a lingering bitterness in the finish. Tastes like a watery flat porter.

The mouthfeel is watery. There is no carbonation. Which renders this beer undrinkable.

Um. At least the label isn't completely terrible?

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Trafalgar India Ink Black Pale Ale from All or Nothing Brewhouse
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 28 ratings