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 BhamBeerLover
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much of a malt profile for a "pitch" black IPA. Would've expected some roasted notes or at least something in the darker category. For a fan of the dark cascadians this beer left me wanting on that subject. Otherwise this beer was good and I would drink again but cannot say I would choose it over some of the other options out there. I look forward to more brews coming out of the Widmer brothers operation.

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Photo of McD0uche
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark black/brown color that lets little to no light in. The head is barely noticeable and quickly subsides into a few frothy bubbles. Lacing is nonexistent. Nothing extraordinary here.

S: A complex mix of malts, hops, grapefruit, chocolate, and cherries. Not overpowering or lasting, but enjoyable and appealing.

T: Grapefruit, tangy, malts, a hint of chocolate. A bit too sweet for my liking, but overall good.

M: Tart. Feels a little acidic on the tongue. Oily finish. Definitely not the best feeling on the palate.

O: Well, this wasn't too bad, but I wasn't impressed with it either. The mouthfeel sort of killed it for me. There are probably better black IPAs out there. No memorable qualities come to mind for this beer and I doubt I'll remember it for too long. 3/5

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Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$9 something for a 4 pack. Better than paying half that for 1 bottle at the Old Chicago.

It's a pitch black pour with a small tannish head of foam. Not much lacing.

A very good smell here. I get grapefruit from the hops, roasted malt and some malt sweetness, done in a very balanced way. I came in not expecting much but the aromas of Pitch Black are darned good.

The taste is just as good. All 3 flavours are there and are just as balanced as what I got from the smell. A very nice roasty/hoppy finish that makes me want to open another bottle. From Widmer? Really? That's a new experience for me.

Nothing wrong with the mouthfeel either...medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how well this beer turned out. Especially as it was not at what I'd call a bargain for a 4 pack. Kudos to the brewer!

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Photo of scvance
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a pitch black color (no surprises there) with a small creamy tan head. Looks to me like a porter. Smells of caramel and roasted sweetness. Slight herbal and citrus aroma. Taste is great, there's the dark roast qualities of the darker malts along with a nice bitterness with a crisp finish. Slight citrus character in the taste as well. Medium carbonation, with a medium body, this beer goes down easily.

This is a very good beer, I just don't think it has quite enough hop character in it to truly be an IPA. I think it tastes more like a strong porter with slightly more hops in it than normal. Still, good nonetheless and it will stay on my list of beers I'd like to have again.

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Photo of NicoDuval
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Like the name says, pitch black, poured into a mug with about 3 cm of creamy foam. Looks great.

S- Light malt and caramel. Not nearly as much I had anticipated.

T- Lightly malted at first, then a little bitter hops. An interesting aftertaste of dark chocolate and burnt caramel once the hops fades. A few minutes after a drink, I get a bad pill taste for about 10 seconds.

F- Smooth with a slight bite at the end.

O- Back and forth on this one, one sip is ehh, but then the next is pretty good, then there is that bad pill taste. In general, probably won't be trying this one again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint glass. Pours a very dark brown appearing black in the glass, with a half finger light tan head with decent retention. Aroma was piney hops with light toasted malt. Flavor follows, with light pine and citrus hops and toasted malt, light singed coffee. A fairly understated black ale, but maybe I've been spoiled by black IPAs. Light to medium bodied. A satisfactory black ale, but nothing really stands out about it.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown to black in color with a light tan head.

Smell is piney hops with some malt character. Alcohol presence too but not unpleasantly present.

Taste is sweet malt up front. Pine hoppiness with mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Very smooth.

Overall this was better than expected. Better than other black IPAs I have tried.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a deep drown beer with a one-half finger white head. The head had great retention, but eventually faded to give decent lacing..

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of hop. A nice dose of citrus and pine are mixed with aromas of roasted malt and a light chocolate smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice blend of roast and hop. A chocolate and roasted malt flavor mixed with some citrus and pine notes. As the flavor advances to the middle the roasted flavors get stronger while the hop remains the same. At the same time a light char flavor comes to the tongue as well, complementing the roasted flavors well. The roast and char flavors, at the end, begin to lose ground to some sweeter flavors as well as more hop. Some semi-sweet coffee and citrus grapefruit hop flavor combine with the rest to nicely round out the taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side with the carbonation the same.

Overall – A pretty decent dark IPA. It has a good hop and roast flavors. While not the best out there, as it’s transitions and complementation of the roast, sweet and hop flavors are not always smooth, it does have decent individual flavors..

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the tap at The Half Pint Pub in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a Pabst Blue Ribbon pint glass, and showed a deep brown coloring throughout. It held a half finger tall tannish head, showing okay retention without any noticeable lacing. No sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared average. The aroma gave citric hops, caramel and light coffee malts to balance with some sweetness, and light steel and yeast. Our first impression was that the malts are nicely deep, with big bready yeast and metals on the back. As we sipped, biting grain of coffee malts, yeast, syrupy sugars, fresh juicy and grassy hops, and citric rind to bitter started things off. The middle showed adjuncty bite to the peak, with more bread, yeast, and burnt caramel. We finished with full on char mixing with a big hoppy balance of citrus and nectary peach fruitiness. It was much more sweet than bitter, at least at the end. The aftertaste showed booze, charred coffee beans, peppery alcohol, and grassy aromatic hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium to high, prickling down the hard palate. The tongue was coated in hop oil slickness before a drying bite of finishing booziness cooled the mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the hop freshness through the taste. The nose, however, was comparatively weak. Following in the taste, we wished there was a better balance throughout, as we felt the malts were underdeveloped, and the hops were left without any real good match.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a puffy mocha colored layer. It is pitch black color with no clarity. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: roasted and chocolate malts, citrus notes, and burnt notes too. Interesting.

Taste: citrus up front, mocha, raosted and burnt notes in the rear. Some lingering bitterness in there too.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, a bit watery, light to medium bodied, and a bit smooth too.

Overall: I like certain things about this beer, but it seemed a bit light and watery on the palate. I have enjoyed more of this when on draft, but will still drink in a bottle.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz beer poured into pint glass

A: Poured an opaque black with a good 2 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice think layer. Wonderful lacing from start to finish. Great looking beer..

S: Wow, hops right out of the gate.... followed by some burnt malt and a touch of vanilla.... Smells great !!

T: OK taste is a little opposite of the smell.... I'm getting a smokey burnt malt right up front with a strong grapefruit bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is a little bitter for my taste.

M: Mid bodied with pretty low carbonation.... Hops are pretty oily.

O: OK, let me say I'm not a big hop head.... and this beer is not over the top hoppy but a little on the sticky hoppy side. A good representative for a Black IPA. If you like black IPA give this one a try.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Real nice nose on this one. Has that fruity tone to it you'd expect from the style. Flavor is pretty good, though it doesn't really live up to the fragrance at all. Pretty easy to drink, but not really bringing a mass of complexity. Just hits ya in the mouth, and it's good. Just not overly memorable.

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Photo of Kooz
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap and served in a snifter, the beer is, as the name aptly states, pitch black with a light tan head that has some staying power. Looks appetizing.

Smells faintly burnt with some stronger hops notes, but not overpowering. Nice.

Tastes bitter but not overly so, and slightly smoky with a hint of sweetness at the final finish. It's fairly complex, with notes rising above others at different point in the sipping process. It's got a nice flavor; not overly hoppy--perfect amount of hop taste, in my opinion.

Full-bodied with explosions of flavor when swished. It's crisp and refreshing (even though you don't expect it from looks alone).

Overall it's very nice--I' happily order this again.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks a bit like cola. Almost opaque brown with a thin head, sandy white in color. Nice to see a blac IPA that looks more like an IPA as opposed to a stout that happens to be hoppy. The aroma is like chocolate covered hops; rich ganache with a hint of coffee, citrus, honey, and lavender. A touch of dark raisiny fruit is there as well, making this a nice balancing act between the malts and the hops. A nice sprightly carbonation keeps this pretty easy to drink in spite of its rich flavours, as does an overall dryness. The general impression is one of balance; there are some good juicy citric-tropical hop flavours here, but they share the stage with the chocolatey, kind of licoricey flavours of the malts. This isn't a beer that has me totally engrossed in its nuance, but it is a damn tasty sipper and a great example of the style.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It pours almost black and forms a 1/2 inche tan head that slowly reduces leaving a nice lacing.

The aroma is a solid hit of pine and citrus with roasted maltiness coming through. Just a bit light.

The taste is a good blend of the pine/citrus hops with a solid coffee/roasted malt bitter sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly lacking carbonation. It is fairly smooth and a minimal dryness lingering.

Overall, this is a good beer. It's an easy beer to sit and drink while not ruining the palate and providing solid flavors.

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Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Brewed on Apr 10, 2012.

Very dark ruby brown. Seems clear. Finger of thick, dense, creamy, dirty sandy brown head. Nose of roasted coffee, dark fruits, and a little smoke. Oh, and a nice contingent of hops: minty, piny, and herbal.

Roasted, charred bitterness up front. Coffee and dark chocolate malts settle in, with a meaty, smoky edge. Slightly fruity. Herbal, piny, minty hops complement the malt nicely. A little spicy. A little drier in the finish, with lingering charred malts. Medium body with a slightly creamy feel. A nice black IPA.

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Photo of mrfreakybig
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, nearly black. Really smells great. I grabbed a couple of bottles of this at a nearby store, and was really looking forward to it. It’s not a bad beer, malty and hoppy all at once, with a really nice roasty taste to it, but I felt like there was something missing from it. The flavor was a bit too smooth. Something was just not quite there. It’s not a bad beer, but it’s not quite a great one either. Certainly worth a try, though.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Finger of tan head and (surprise!) pitch black body.

Citrus aroma, strong. Picking up a little bread too.

Milk taste, pine, lemon and more pine.

Softer body, moderate carbonation.

I enjoyed it and probably will again. No weaknesses here.

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Photo of estlinska
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at the J. Clyde in June 2011. Pours a flat black color that eats up the light with a very moderate chestnut tones at the edges of the glass. Creamy, khaki head with decent lacing overall. The nose was light on hops, mostly pine and lemons, and heavy on the roasted malt. The tast was full of oily hops, very pine driven and low key on the malt; more the opposite of the nose, which was a little off for me. Overall not a bad beer, but maybe could have produced a more harmonious interaction between malt and hop.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with light penetrating only the thinnest edges to reveal a brown edging. Head is light tan and 2 finger thick, great retention, and the resulting lace is thick and clings to the sides like Spider-man.

Smell - Prominent pine hop aroma, with notes of citrus and some roasted coffee malt notes.

Taste - Surprisingly, the roasted malt is at the forefront, with coffee and a slightly bitter chocolate getting their share before a pine and citrus hop comes in to balance things out. Finishes with a harmonious balance of flavors riding it out into the depths of the abyss, then a touch of smoke makes an appearance, clouding up any trace of the previous character as it fades to the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Somewhat creamy. Very little bite from the carbonation.

Overall - Not big on the pine hop character, but the citrus is there to keep it in check. Great malt/hop balance for a CDA. Not sure I could drink more than a few of these at a time, but a standout amongst it's contemporaries in a fairly new style of beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from Whole Foods Las Vegas NV for 1.99$

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate/coffee, grapefruit, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with coffee/chocolate and hops. There is also a bit of a grapefruit flavour and a touch of a smoke. It ends with a chocolate/hop aftertaste with some lingering bitterness.

Overall - This one was a little more on the stout side of the style in my opinion. It still had some nice hop bitterness but only during the aftertaste. I'd also like a little more of a grapefruit presence. Still a very good beer that I would have again.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big citrus, tangerine, lime, grapefruit, and a whole mess of tropical notes too. This smells fantastic! I wish it was a bit maltier on the nose.

Its quite dark at first glance, but highlights around the edges are brown, and when held to the light it becomes brown with ruby highlights. The head was really non-existent, and lacing is spotty at best.

I'm picking up some roast in the taste, as well as a bit of the hops coming across as the tropical fruits. Its somewhat toasty and doughy, but not overly such.

It's a tad astringent but mostly okay. Medium body and carbonation with a moderately dry finish. Overall this is a good beer, but not a great beer. I would probably try it again, however.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a goblet at South Park Abbey in San Diego, Calif., on May 5, 2012. About two fingers of head. Color was espresso. White lacing that lasted for the entirety of the pour. Lots of film across the glass.

Smelled smoky spices up front, followed by sharp and wet hops. Roasty coffee notes as well.

Tasted just a bit hoppier than the smell. I want to say tangerine hops first. Also some pine, roasted nuts and a small hint of coffee notes.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

Really enjoyed this beer. Would love to pick up some more.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wouldn't go as far as saying pitch black IPA but widmer brothers brewing comes very very close. Think deep brown that is so rich in color that it's downright inky with ruby highlights only in the thinnest of areas. The head is a frothy cap of yellow khaki foam. Very even with some lasting power.

The nose is rather pleasent with more of a roasted grain scent then a hoppy wiff. The cones are there though and please the olfactory glands with light citrus. Mild nose all together but all the pieces are in the right place.

This is a solid black IPA with again the strongest flavor coming from the grains. Sweet, roasted grains with caramel notes, subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. The hops fade into the background and take more of a supportive role here in flavor town.

My favorite part of this brew is the way it feels in your mouth. The carbonation is smooth with small bubbles but adds a nice crisp texture to the brew. Also the hops have a nice presence here with a clean bitterness balanced by the sweeter malts. A really good beer and a great cheap find at costco. Well worth checking out.

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Photo of goldennectar
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark amber to black with light brownish head that slowly fades

Smell: Malty, piney hoppy, and a hint of roasted coffee

Taste: As it smells, only better. Very well balanced I think between the hops, malt and blackness

Mouthfeel: Medium and light carbonantion, Very very smooth

Overall: A very fine beer and one that I look forward to again.
Definitely worthy of anyone trying it.

Thank you sir may I have another

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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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