Pitch Black IPA | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

very good
319 Reviews
Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

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

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Alchemy, Cascades
Dry Hop: Cascade T-45

Added by JohnGalt1 on 11-21-2009

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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 802
Photo of tkdog
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this last night with a friend on tap at the local. I hadn't heard of it, but readily accepted the bartender's recommendation.

Nearly as dark as a porter, but with the mouth feel and hops of an IPA. Good complexity, all in all a fine seasonal ale.

I've just found a six pack at the store and will be trying the bottled version tomorrow.

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Photo of aeminter
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Almost pitch black...there are some garnet hues around the outside when held to a light. The head is thick and moussy coffee color with excellent lacing.

S - Mmm, intense hoppyness...citrusy, perfumey hops.

T/M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Complex, but not as hoppy as the aroma would suggest. The malts are a bit darker and more to the forefront than in a traditional IPA. There is a little roastyness and sweetness, but the hops still make their presence known.

So, it's not a traditional IPA. It is still a great beer.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The label on this beer reads “Smooth, Dark and Hoppy.” The beer, itself, is also referred to as Cascadian Dark Ale. This version, Pitch Black IPA, comes from Portland, Oregon, which is a well-known beer destination that, itself, is known by other names (Beervana and Brewtopia, to name two) and is fine example of this “recent” style.

Pitch Black begins amid a massive beige froth, one that takes time to subside. The color is black (well, duh); the body, deep and foreboding with nary a speck of light shining through. There is a moderation of lacing along the glass rim. The nose detects heavy swaths of chocolate mousse that is imbedded with specks of cocoa powder, some plum, mint and a bit of vanilla: a veritable candy store in a glass.

The palate is awash in a velvety blanket of molasses with a subtle hoppy finish. This is a very pleasant quaff, whatever it is called.

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Photo of smares2
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not being a huge IPA fan, but generally a fan of darker bitter beers, this selection caught my attention. It did not disappoint.
Appearance: pours smooth, decent amount of head but more thin and airy than most dark beers. The beer itself was deep brown-black like a porter. Impressive. The sort of beer that makes Bud Light defenders wince just looking at it.
Smell: I'll be honest, I didn't take an intentional smell until the beer was mostly gone. Nothing struck me by that point.
Taste: great hop/malt balance. The full taste palate seems to endure, rather than having stage 1, stage 2 effect. The maltiness lingers hand in hand with the hops. Strong roasted barley presence.
Mouthfeel: more lively than it looks; a bit more active than a porter it resembles visually.
Drinkability: smooth on the tongue, good aftertaste balance makes it a fine slow sipper. Overall taste makes you happy to tip more often.

A definite winner. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark ales, porters, and hops.

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Photo of mjryan
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive been really diggin this beer. Black pale ale, hilarious! Pretty much what I would expect. Very hoppy in the nose, with some roast malt character. Hops carry on in the finish and mingle well with the slightly sweet and reastrained roast malt profile. I really like it. Easy to drink and covers lots of bases.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! Pitch Black IPA made its way to Denver! I remember putting this to the face at Great American Beer Fest last year as it was one of my absolute favorites. My favorite style without a doubt. Picked up a 4 pack at Lukas. Poured to pint glass immediately upon getting home. Bottled Feb 2, 2011 09:32 WA.

A - The beer pours what appears to be deep black however when held to the light you can see it's actually a transparent deep dark mahogony/brown color, though appears black. A nice 1.5 finger tan colored head with decent retention and lots of lacing. Looks good.

S - Yes the sweetness of the malts along with a nice subtle roasted character and those cascadian hops! Citrus and pine and floral.

T - The beer starts with the malty sweetness and hits the corners of your mouth with a little pucker. Next comes a wave of the citrus hops which blends nicely with the light roasted malt character. Well balanced, the hops are present as is a medium bitterness, but it works well with the roasted malt. Very good. The beer finishes with a dry malty bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Yes. Hides the alcohol well. If my kidney and lover could handle it I'd drink this all day.

Overall, I think this is a great representation of the style. So many American Black Ales are so in your face with hops and malt and alcohol. This is nice and smooth and gentle, lighter than the beasts. Highly recommended. Wish it came in a six pack.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-14-2011 23:11:54

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Photo of BeanBone
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A nearly black body with ruby-red laser beam highlights. Up top, a finger and a half of creamy, tan-tinged head that leaves great sheets of lace.

Aroma: A bright blast of citrusy and piney hops over a sweet and mildly roasty malt body. Thoroughly appetizing.

Flavor: Up front, it's citrusy, piney, and mildly tropical-fruity hops. Underneath, the malt backbone is a particularly rich and roasty caramel with just a hint of coffee. Balanced exquisitely. A citrusy and biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-full carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Highly quaffable, I could drink this all night long and never be bored.

Verdict: This is essentially a solid, highly drinkable American IPA with just a little more malt intensity. Imminently satisfying, there's something about this beer that I just love.

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Photo of cvoss
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with lots of head that disappeared quickly. Long lasting lacing.

S - Hops and a piney smell that is to be expected with an IPA

T - Great. Citrus upfront and a hoppy bitter finish. A great tasting beer.

M - It has a light mouthfeel. Maybe the dark color made me expect something thicker

O - Great taste and light enough to session. Will definitely buy again.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of a four-pack purchased at McKinnon's. Pours a nearly opaque black body with slight ruby-red highlights and a thin film of khaki-colored head. Grapefruit, pith, chocolate, coffee play equally in the aroma. Grapefruit, pith, orange, lemon, chocolate, and a bit of espresso. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Hoppy but balanced with dark malt flavors. Really good. One of the best Widmer beers I've had. I'd definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark mahogany, great clarity, tan fine-beaded foam that recedes to a thin crown, some lace

Aroma: lush hop scent of pine and citrus underpinned with a hint of roasted malt

Flavor: balanced malt profile with subtle roastiness and loaded with luscious hop flavor (passion-fruit and pears) and a smooth grapefruit rind bitterness; finishes semi-dry with a roasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine carbonation, crisp

Other comments: Love this beer! Should be one of the hallmarks of the burgeoning Cascadian Dark Ale style.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last beers of the day...weekend...Widmer Pitch Black IPA...SCHWING!!!! This is a great beer....and I dont care who you are!!!! This beer pours "pitch black" with thin good ecru head that is lacing nicely. The smell includes fresh hop, pine and subtle citrus. The taste starts as an ipa pine bitterness and a little citrus. Then the after taste is malt with a semi sweet kicker. The mouthfeel is awesome, I am glad they didnt get too crazy with abv...really makes for a great session ale!!! Good Job Widmer Bros!!! Good job!

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Photo of sweett3k
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Stout IPA? You bet. My favorite two beers on two different levels come together in some strange jungle fever way. Great creamy head, lacing and dark brown color looks like a stout. Then wait give it a whiff and it's an IPA. A magical IPA! Mellow easy on the nose aromas of hops, nuts, and coffee. The taste is light and complex of hops, coal, metallic and a citrus nut after taste. One of the best and strangest beers I have ever had. Love these outside the box beers. My favorite that the Widmer Brothers make. Love it.

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Photo of dzyneguru
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review... I'm pretty new to the craft beer scene. I'll give it a try. Thought I'd make my first one a unique beer.

A- Pours a dark brown, almost coffee colored. Nice thick two finger head on a moderate pour into a standard pint glass.

S- The standard citrusy smell you find in a good IPA. Without looking, you'd never guess it would be this dark in color. Good, but nothing extraordinary.

T - Very good. A nice hop-forward flavor without being overpowering. A slight malty flavor follows with a slightly dry aftertaste. Nice.

M - I like the body... a nice coating without being too thick, a nice crisp, perfectly carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable IMHO, I could have a few of these. The alcohol is masked very well, so if you have to throw back the last 1/3 of your pint because your wife is complaining that you're going to be late for a movie, it's doable.

I recommend the W '10... Cheers!

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Photo of Docer
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first 6-pack of this, and definitely not my last.

- Nice dark brown brew poured into a pint glass... can't see through it... nice off white head down to a bit of sticky lacing all about.

- Wonderful Cascade Hop aroma... semi-sweet malt and grain... oaty.. zesty... fruity.... good.

- Perfect hops... blends extremely well with a sweet chocolate and oatmeal-like malt that isn't thick and syrupy... not at all a malt bomb which I love about this... and the zesty fruity and pine cascade hops are seriously great.

- Really a light bodied dark beer... little sticky, but that lingering zesty sweet sticky fruit hop is bliss.

- Overall this beer is the best I have ever had from Widmer, and wish this was year around. This is certainly my go to beer for as long as it can be.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mug poured tonight at the Front Door.... Great tan head... nice lace and retention... the brew is perfectly black until you get to the bottom and see a crystal clear deeeep brown with deep ruby highlites.

Nose has quite a bit of citrus hops and some sorta fruity hoppiness too.. lite dusting of dark malts and mild dry cocoa.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a nice bitter bite at the front of the palate ... there is more roasty maltiness than the aroma suggests... quite a bit of bright citrus hoppiness... finish is a little dry with the roasted malts adding some minor astringency.

Lite/medium body.... pretty drinkable... I really like this one.


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Photo of EkimGram
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 120z bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Colour is oil black with a half-finger head that fades to a thin film.

Smell: Burnt and roasted malts mix well with floral, bitter hops.

Taste: A well balanced mixture of roasted or toasted malts and bitter hops. Rich and dry finish, malts linger nicely in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, creamy, and soft. Gentle bite from a modest carbonation, finishes sticky.

Overall: I love this style and I'm definitely enjoying this brew. Not as thick and chewy as I had expected but then again, this isn't a stout or porter. I see myself definitely drinking more of this.

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Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint a deep dark brown with a one finger beige colored head that never really settles completely.Wow love the big resiny/prickly hops in the nose,molasses and roast out the profile out,very nice.Dry and roasty with a healthy doe of resiny hops on the palate,a little molasses-like sweetness comes into play as it warms,but it stays on the dryer side.I think this a great ABA,its Pacific northwest in its big hop notes,a damn good beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours fairly black has some amber hues with a hefty two inches of foamy tan tinted head lacing is mild but sticky

S - Wow I guess I didn't expect such a piney hit on the nose with notes of toffee and bits of roast.

T - A medley of flavors. Starts off with bitter pine then ashy kind of roast that turns to a bit of coffee then toffee and finishes with a piney twang that smooths the finish. Doesn't really stick to the tongue which is nice.

M - Light to medium. I found it balanced and tasty.

Overall I didn't expect much from this but remembered that I did like their hefeweizen so I figure it would be a good effort. Pleasantly surprised with a very drinkable Black IPA. Give it a try!

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Photo of psuKinger
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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

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Photo of chugalug06
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fluffy swirly straw colored head. Pour is nice and slow. Brew is black with some browns and reds.

S - Very tropical! Amazingly unique scent. Lots of orange, lemon, and banana. Very unique.

T - Very tropical taste too! Some mild chocolate and heavy roast. The flavor packs a mean punch. Worth the price of admission.

M - Light and enjoyable. Very smooth with near perfect carbonation. Awesome mouth spread.

O - Great brew, this one has about a year on it and is drinking wonderfully. No bitterness and all flavor. Wonderful summer brew. I'm not an ABA fan , but f they all tasted like this one, it would be my favorite style. Super unique. Happy 4th of July!

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Photo of ElGordo
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a dark brown with chestnut highlights, crowned by a small, creamy, off-white head. Aroma of roasted dark malt balanced by a nice, hoppy bitterness. Notes of cocoa powder, pine resin, and grass float in the background.
Palate is somewhat bitter up front, both from husky malt and from assertive, grassy hops. Notes of pine, cocoa, and a touch of grapefruit, along with a flourish of sweetness from the malt right before the swallow. Finish is a lingering hoppy bitterness.
Body is full and a tocuh creamy, especially on the swallow. Overall, a great example of the Cascadian Dark Ale style. Now if they'd only put that description on the bottle...

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Photo of davidexactitude
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every brewery should use this CDA as a guideline for all future "Black IPA" endeavors.

This is a hop forward brew with a well-balanced toastiness...perfect for the winter or cold weather. Pairs great with a spicy bean stew and/or a severe snow storm.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Bryant lake Bowl on tap. This pours bright black with a ½” off-white to tan foam collar. Citrusy, grassy hops in the aroma and taste. Not a lot of roast flavors, more dark malt, some unassertive chocolate and a lingering sweetness are met by a mild hop accent. Medium body and carbonation. Does not push any boundaries but is very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep black with a decent amount of carbonation that forms a grayish head. The bubbles retreat revealing just a little bit of lace work and quarter-inch collar of foam. Complex aroma of cocoa, more subtle chocolate along with a touch of cedar and leather. Very smooth and thick on the tongue. Tastes nicely chocalately with some piney hops before a bitter finish. Hop bitterness lingers. I've liked hoppy and bitter dark ales since having my first Sierra Nevada Stout. I sort of see this beer as an IPA crossed with a schwarzbier and the result is tasty.

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Photo of barleyroad
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is Dark, pitch black, nice. Smell is well, toastymalty, is that a word? Seriously this is a nicely balanced beer. Mouthfeel is very clean and crisp, leaves the mouth nicely. Taste, lovely, malty with and slightly hoppy flavor; notes of coffee or smokey flavor. Overall this beer is fridge worthy, enjoy. This will go nicely with some smoked pork.

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Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 802 ratings.
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