Pitch Black IPA
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Black Ale
Ranked #335
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
86
Ranked #22,038
Avg:
3.82 | pDev: 12.3%
Reviews:
319
Ratings:
805
From:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  33
Gots
  41
SCORE
86
Very Good
Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA
Notes: Originally brewed as a 2010 one-time release called W'10, now a seasonal called simply 'Pitch Black IPA'

availability: January - April
bitterness: 65 IBU
alcohol by volume: 6.5%
original gravity: 16° PLATO

Malts:
Two Row Pale, Caramel 10 L, Special Roast, Carafa Special II

Hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Alchemy, Cascades
Dry Hop: Cascade T-45
View: Beers
Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 805 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by output01x:
Photo of output01x
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A vigorous pour yields a 1.5 finger tan head that diminishes almost immediately. The body is nearly "pitch black" but does give some crimson red traces when held to light. Lacing appears as curtains clinging to the glass.

Fresh floral hops hit the nose at first whiff. Sweet caramalyzed malt follows.

Strong malt with a slightly hoppy presence is the first flavors on the tongue. Citrus follows but is quicklh swept away by dry bitterness.

Light carbonation helps to prevent the thick body of this beer from becoming too sticky. It coats your mouth well but doesn't overstay its welcome.

The 6.5% ABV seems a little light as this beer is packed full of flavor and body. While the thicker body does detract from the drinkability slightly, the great flavor makes up for it.

 823 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of allengarvin
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite dark for an IPA, inky black unless held up to the light. Not much of a head formed, though. Good aroma, with resiny hops dominating. and a light touch of toasted malt. Excellent flavor. The IPAness is little less than their Broken Halo, but there's still a good amount to be fine. The dry roastiness of the malt really makes it. It's not assertively roasted, but it's a nice contrast that blends well. The finish is very dry, both from the hops and the malt.

Interesting beer. Worth seeking out

 509 characters

Photo of pitasoup
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

thanks to flexabull for this bottle as part of blind bif 5

A: Pours black (very dark brown) with an inch of off white head. A bit of lacing. 4.0

S: floral at first, then pine, american hops. A bit of spruce later as it warms. Also slight oxidation. 3.5

T: hoppy bitterness, probably cascade. Black patent, a hint of chocolate and anise at the end. There is a strange combination of malt bitterness and hop bitterness. At times, it is difficult to distinguish between the two. 3.5

M: medium body, a little bit creamy at first but finishes clean. A little bit alcoholic at the end, but by no means hot. I'd guess this is 6-7% area. 3.5

O: I'm not too familiar with the style but this screams black ipa/cda. The color is pitch black but it's not thick enough to be a stout – and certainly not enough, if any barley malt. Very drinkable – but not as good as a couple others of this style that I've had. 3.0

 911 characters

Photo of powpig2002
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep black with some dark brown edges along with a khaki head that leaves some spotty lacing as it falls. Aromas kick off with some solid roasted malts and a blast of floral and citric hops with Cascades taking their place nicely. Quite enjoyable with a cocoa/coffee undertone.

First sip brings tasty roasted malts upfront with touches of coffee, cocoa and caramel. The hops flow in quickly bringing citric and floral accents along with a nice dose of bitterness. Good balance overall as it finishes with some lingering hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation - just an easy drinking brew overall. A solid black IPA that I was glad I picked up and tried. Hope Widmer keeps brewing this one.

 731 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This black IPA is indeed a very deep brown. I say that because as opposed to stoudts which are like black holes this BIPA has a nice ruby red reflections around the edges.
With a vigorous pour I was only able to muster about half a finger worth of foamy head thats fairly dense and I must say lingers for awhile before fading. Some lacing was left in its weak.

Aroma is weak and not the usual aggressive hop aroma I would expect. Malts are there with a sweet toasted almost roasted aspect.

Taste is balanced. Flavor is weak, not much in line of hop flavor here. There is a little bitterness here but it is balance out with the malts. Very sutle hint of roasted malts and in general seems to tilt to the brown ale side.
Thin almost watery in the mouth with some grainy courseness. This beer seems like it wants to be a souped up brown ale.

 840 characters

Photo of fishguyac
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of nitro0292
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Moderate pour produced a full 2 finger head. Pitch black, like the name states and an off white sticky head. Retention and lacing are above average. Bottle has the date of July 21, 2011. Hopefully that is the bottled-on date and not the expiration date. Considering the availability of this brew listed above, it looks like the expiration date. Meh.

I can smell roastyness and hops. Hops smell of the typical Pacific Northwest varieties.

Taste is mild. Not very roasty, but enough for the style. Sweetness from the malts blends with the bitterness for a nice smooth balanced flavor. I'm assuming most of the hop flavor has passed me by, because although I can detect pine hoppyness, it is a bit watered down. If this were fresh, I'm sure (hopeful) that there would be a more abundant hop flavor, with the accompanying bite and bitterness.

Malt taste is some chocolate and coffee notes with a touch of caramel sweetness. Typical dark beer flavor profile, but watery, like a slightly tastier Guinness (just not nearly as roasted).

Mouthfeel is thin, with low carbonation despite the ample head. I think the relatively thin mouthfeel keeps the hops in play.

Overall this is not a bad beer, in fact it is a good beer all things considered. That being said I have had better ABAs/BIPAs. I will seek out a fresh example.

 1,320 characters

Photo of jtomaka65
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black body with a scant, light beige-colored head depositing some sheer, gauze-like lace on the descent.

Smell: A sprinkling of licorice over energetically roasty malts hit the nostrils firstly, then notes of citrus, well-chilled coffee and a vague hint of muted chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste: Lightly sweetened, thanks-but-no-cream coffee, some subtle semi-sweet chocolate morsels, and, of course, the roasted malts. Very limited hint of dark fruit. A drop of lonely vanilla. Earthy, citrusy hops ricocheting between lemon and grapefruit. A blip of resin. Moderate bitterness. Sweet and fruity on the finish, though there is some encompassing, lingering bitterness present.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's got some punch to it, but it's also still fairly smooth. These beers are going from unique to hackneyed in a real hurry with every brewery racing to produce one.

 929 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Jeffani
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of psuKinger
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at 6-and-Save, poured into a tulip.

A: As the name indicates, pours pitch black, but with a surprisingly light colored off-white head on top that didn't stick around for long. 4.0

S: hoppy goodness is prominent in the nose. Not exactly sure of the variety, if I had to guess I'd go with Cascade, but whatever it is it's very pronounced. 4.5

T: an awesome blend of roasted malt and hop, this is what "black IPA" should be. Roasty malts are present but take a back seat to the hops, which are prominent here. Finishes nice and bitter. 4.5.

M: moderate body, the dark malts add "thick heft" here. Would prefer it just a touch lighter... 4.0.

D/O: Drinks well, an overall pleasant hoppy black IPA. 4.0

 715 characters

Photo of garyford
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Goldfishman
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In the Black IPA vein, this beer takes a more mild approach than most aggressively hopped and malted varieties. Where the drinkability good, the lightness of body shows its limits.

Very dark garnet in color with deep brown low lights, the beer carries a surprisingly white head for it's dark color. Regardless, the beer is not as dark as its namesake suggests. Froathy and creamy, the foam forms heartily, retains very well, and laces impressively- it's what's expected from high-hopped beers.

Toasty aromas fill the rim with hop suggestions of fresh cut grass and tree bark. Slight caramel scents bridge the gap between the dry roast and sharp hop characters.

Medium toast, mild char, and walnuts provide the bulk of flavors that sit on the front of the tongue. A quick transition through mid palate brings less caramel sweetness and more toast. The acrid toast bite welcomes the hop flavors of grasses, hay, and a sharp and earthy flavor that reminds me of grapefruit rinds and pine. Though pleasant enough, the beer has only a simplistic complexity that leaves me wanting more.

Medium weighted, the beer seems to be heavier that it actually is because of the toast character. Early creaminess turns dry, arid, and with a roast bite quickly, inviting a mild grain astringency along with the hop bitterness.

As with most Widmer Bros. beers, this one is on the right track, but better flavored hops and a more malty-rich body would compensate nicely for the aspects of the beer that have unnecessary bite and lack of intrigue.

 1,531 characters

Photo of welldigger888
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful deep garnet, then held to light and it was a nice bright deep garnet, nice. Nice off white head that laced ok.

Roasty toasty malt with a nice helping of hops.

Smooth roasted malty, BAM, nice hop bitterness with some piney hits as well.

Seems a bit thin, shame, because I really like this brew. The carbonation is good just seems that it is watery.

At the right price this would be a go to beer for me, that said $8 a 4pk & the thinness will hold this back for me.

With all due respect, was out in Portland in early 2010 when this was rolled out, seemed better maybe fresher. The $6.99 sixer price was real nice to.

 638 characters

Photo of 6demonbag
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Derek
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dated Feb 02 11

A: Black with a tan head, thin ring of retention leaves some nice lace.

S: Grapefruit, pine, hints of underlying caramel.

T: Pine, grapefruit and rind, tangerine, hints of dark caramel and roasted nut, good bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Body on the lighter side of moderate, light hop acidity.

D: A good drinker, nothing stellar, but it works.

 368 characters

Photo of zachary80
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint.

Nearly black body with small head. Relatively low lacing and head for an IPA. Color is as expected.

Aroma is nothing exciting. Surprisingly malty, less hoppy than expected. Slight hop presence is hard to identify. Light chocolate.

The taste of Pitch Black is like a mediocre IPA with a hint of the darker malts.

Nothing notable about the mouthfeel. Hard to give this a score. Maybe a little light but this isn't a big beer. Carbonation is a little biting to be considered smooth.

Overall it's an okay black IPA. Nothing notable. Definitely one of the weaker Black IPAs or American Black Ales that I have had

 632 characters

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Impenetrable black body. Dense beige head.

S: Bathwater and orange rind hoppiness. Very nice.

T: Dry and slightly smokey. No particularly analogous flavours. As it warms it becomes slightly dank and muddy, which improves it. Has some subtle chocolatey espresso like quality.

M: Slightly too much fizz.

O: Hmm. No quality issues, just not a delicious beer. Nice perfumey hoppy nose but the flavour is dry and boring. Black IPA? Surely it's just a porter. Not the best offering I've had from this brewery.

 510 characters

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Living up to it's name, Pitch Black IPA is...pitch black. Only with a directly light behind it could I get copper highlights on the very edge. Tan head on top that fell with a nice lace. Big hop off the top--Cascade hops, from smell and according to the website. Some malt in the nose underneath, but mostly the hop. Not overly complex hop continues in the mouth with a clean, solid bite. Tastes like the hop addition was fairly early--or at least fairly big for the early hops. Nice roast taste without an bitter or coffee taste. Debittered black malt can account for the lack of bite from the malt--lets the hops stand out from the base of the beer. Grass and roast off the back, dry and clean. Not a bad beer, and, depending where I was, would have another if I wasn't distracted by other choices. Mouthfeel is a bit lacking and watery, but otherwise a good beer.

 866 characters

Photo of RKeyser
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black / very dark red. Great clarity. Just right carbonation with lingering creamy head.

Aroma: Smells like an IPA. Nice, crisp cascade hop smell. Pine and slight citrus, exactly what a NW hoppy beer should smell like.

Hop Taste: Nice side-of-tounge bitter, but not huge for an IPA. Probably mid-IBU range for an IPA. Cascade-y with something else for bitterness. A little 1D but appropriate.

Malt Taste: Very clean roast profile; great roasted / biscuit taste but no burnt or astringent bitterness. Like the browned top of a well made biscuit, without any flouryness or cloying sweetness.

Overall: Very good. Surprisingly very good. It's not wildly complex in terms of hops or malt, but they picked the right flavors to showcase. Good malt flavor that still let's the hop flavor shine through.

 814 characters

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 805 ratings