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 mschind
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle dated 1-9-12

A- Pours a dark translucent mahogany with a one inch foamy mocha colored head.

S- Nose is hops and carmel malt with some biscuit.

T- Expecting some stout like bitterness, it is there but very muted. Mild citrus hops, some toasty malt with consistent mild hop bitterness across the palate. Definitely qualifies as hoppy. Not sure what I was expecting here. Not as crisp as a standard IPA, the dark malt adds a different note and perhaps a bit more richness.

M- It has more body than I expected and I would agree with the description on the bottle; it is smooth, dark and hoppy.

O- This one is a genre bender, never heard of a black ipa before. I like it. It isn't an over hopped stout or a burnt tasting ipa. Unique and tasty.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Half finger head on a deep amber body with nice lacing but poor head retention.

S: Nutty, vanilla, oak, bourbon and overall sweet. Nice aroma.

T: Flavors are more hoppy with mostly pine and lighter on the roasted malt than I expected.

M: smooth, a little thick and moderate carbonation.

Overall: For me this is more like a Black IPA; Hoppy with roasted malt as oppose to a roasted malt beer with hop notes somewhere in the background.

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

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is, naturally, black in color. My pour produced a nice thick light tan head about 1 inch in height. The head has some good staying power, remaining a solid cover on the liquid, and left good, thick, lacing down the glass.

Smell: A solid mix of malt and hop aromas. Seems like an even balance of roasted malt (burnt cocoa and roasted nuts) with some piney and citrus hop aromas.

Taste: The taste follows along with the scent. It begins up front with the roasted malt (taste same as the scent except it is perhaps more coffee bean than roasted nut). There is a strong hop bitterness on the finish that lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a low carbonation. A bit of a slick oiliness on the tongue as well.

Overall: I am not overly familiar with a "Black IPA". Listed here as an American Black Ale. This has a good balance of malt and hop, both in ample quantities. Purchased a 4-pack on "close-out" for $3; well worth that price.

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Photo of rangerred
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger off'white head with great lacing and head retention.

There is a nice roasty aroma with some hints of coffee. There is a slightly unpleasant metallic note along with some spicy floral hops.

The flavor is very nice with some roasted malt, lightly roasted coffee and milk chocolate. Maybe a touch of dark fruit in there as well. Some floral hop flavor leading to a moderate bitterness. Mouthfeel is quite silky and smooth.

Overall I really like this beer. It is smoother than a lot of American black ales in that there isn't a lot of tannic bitterness from the malt. A really good effort and something I will pick up again.

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Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another nice find at The World of Beers in Fort Myers, Florida, this black IPA has a solid black color with a big tan layer of thick bubbles on top and really impressive lacing. The nose detects piney hop delight with citrus edges and just a touch of swampy malt. Very much what the doctor ordered. The flavor offers a minty pine/herbal/citrus medley of hop goodness with a touch of bread pudding sweetness. It’s medium bodied with a smooth midland feel that includes a healthy carbonation. A very solid black IPA that I enjoyed.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, citrus hops and a mellow grapefuity citrus. In the taste, mellow citrus hops and a small roast. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hop and roast in the aftertaste. A nice hop presence, with a small roast presence, quite smooth and nice.

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

Out of a bottle this beer was a nearly opaque, dark brown color with one finger of khaki-colored head. The retention was good and it left lacing in chunks and then, later, bands. The aroma was of toasted and roasted malt, anise, molasses balanced with pine, grass and resiny hops. The flavors were quite enjoyable and appropriate for the style. I tasted all the elements from the aroma with the roasted malt and sweet notes being in harmony with the bitter elements of the piney hops. Well balanced and I really enjoyed the light chocolate and coffee notes that ‘filled out’ and added to the traditional IPA flavor profile. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body medium/full and the carbonation soft. A very good example of an American Black Ale/Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale and if you’ve never tried one (though it is a little more pricey) I’d recommend picking up a four-pack.

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle bought from Oasis Micro Pub in Rockford, IL.

A - Opaque black, small amount of brown, pearly head. Dissipates fast, but leaves some nice lacing.

S - Cascade hops dipped in bitter cocoa and burnt vanilla. Spot on the a black IPA. Smells great.

T - Up front smokey, malty, dark cocoa, with a lead-up to grapefruit bitter-sweetness. Wow, what a fantastic black IPA, probably the best flavor profile I've had for this type. Very well balanced.

M - Low carbonation, kind of flat and oily on the tongue. Could use some work, but not displeasing.

O - A great, great black IPA, and a personal favorite in the style. If you would like to explore the newfound world of black IPAs, seek this one out. If you're a hophead, I would recommend trying it if you see it. Not for the new, pretty complex stuff.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this as part of an M&M 6pk from Everett's in South Beloit for $9.99 in early 2012.

Pours a pitch black color with a slight but quickly disappearing head but with rather good lacing. Only scent I'm able to pick out are hops yet the scent is rather mild. The texture is quite full and thick. First you get a taste of chalky malts and robust flavors which turn into a crisp bitter finish. Great overall taste a highly drinkable. A rather good and reasonable sipping beer.

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Photo of AMiz602
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer to eat with a nice juicy steak or burger.

It pours almost complete "stout" with its "Pitch Black" (but not quite) into the glass and leaves a nice creamy, frothy beige head that has some intricate yet bulky lacing.

It smells nutty, with a strong scent of molasses or maple to it.

This beer tastes in 2 parts. First (after proper warming Please!) it has a rich, creamy burnt cocoa flavor. There is a slight hint of caramel malt in there, and towards the back end takes on a walnut sort of toastiness. Second, after going down it bitters up into a mild, pleasant, dry hoppiness with a grapefruity (Cascade) tanginess.

A very complex and worthwhile beer, especially if you want the best of both worlds, a dark stoutish beer with IPA hoppiness.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep brown color. The head was foamy looking and had a tan color to it. The smell of the beer gave off some lively hops on the nose with a bit of roasted malts underneath that. The taste was fairly well balanced I thought between the citrusy hops with the roasted malts. The mouthfeel of the beer was sharp and yet smooth at the same time. Overall I thought that this beer was pretty good and wouldn't mind drinking it again someday.

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Photo of tgorgz
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Into a standard pint glass from a 12 oz. Not a bad pour, a little crema coloured head and minimal lacing.

A: As the name would imply, it is indeed 'pitch black'. Few bubbles coming up, and little movement after agitation.

S: Good balance of the caramel malty sweetness and the slightly bitter hops. However, the former definitely hits first.

T: As is so often the case, tongue follows the nose. Excellent balance of sweet and hoppy.The sweet hits first, followed by a rather subtle bitterness. This is definitely not your typical IPA, though.

M: Distinctly thick, and rather creamy in comparison to what I'm used to from IPAs. A refreshing difference.

O: Solid beer right here. These Portland hipsters know how to do their brews.

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Photo of Chris1272
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Nice off white head with good lacing.

Aroma: Not overwhelming but nice resiny citrus

Appearance Beer is not pitch black yet a beautiful deep mahogany.

Taste a little toasty malt on the front end with sweet citrus notes from the hops on the back end. The beer has a very nice mouth feel and has a solid malt back bone to balance the hops over all a great shot at the style.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color from a 22 oz bomber, with ABV and the date of bottling marked on the label.

Nice one finger off-white head that dissipates very slowly and leaves behind some very nice visually arresting lace.

Aroma up front is mildly hoppy with notes of pine and some grapefruit coming through. As the beer warms up, the roasted malt notes come through.

Taste, however, is more on the malty side. The hops which are prevalent in the aroma are completely buried in the taste. Burnt, roasted malt flavor comes through with just a hint of bitterness in the finish. The finish leans towards the drier side. I have to mention the lace again, there is just so much of it, and it only makes this black IPA look even better.

Overall, I think this is a very nice black IPA. Although, I do wish I had a fresher bottle. Would be nice to compare a fresh bottle to this one.

Definitely worth a try and comes recommended.

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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 feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Widmer Pitch Black IPA. "Always Bet On Black." 6.5% ABV. "Embrace the Dark Side." Smooth, dark, and hoppy. Series 924. And so on, and so forth. Let's crack this open.

Indeed, it is pitch black in color, roasty tan head, mmm, enticing.

Aroma: there we go, grassy, piney, hovering over black malt, cocoa and coffee. Ah, hoptastic, it is, big time.

Tasting it, …there we go. Black malt, dark and tasty, low roast, minor toast, some chocolate happening. The hoppy buzz keeps on top of the palate.
After all the black IPAs/black ales I try, I'm still not 100% crazy about them. A big so what, is how I feel. I don't want grassy hops over a dark ale. And if I yearn for something hoppy, I don't want the dark malts. Peanut butter in my chocolate, that sort of thing.

Earthy, malty, and tasty. But, eh…not the sort of thing I'm going to turn to, again and again. Just doesn't thrill me. I hope this fad dies off soon, actually.

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Photo of mikechance
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A --- deep black with a nice 1/2" head

S --- malts, raisins, grass

T --- caramel, coffee, roasted malts

M --- light body, watery, light carbonation

O --- Disappointing. Compared to all the other solid Black IPAs on the market this one doesn't measure up. It's closer to a roasty Porter than an IPA. Not crazy about it.

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Photo of kencarman
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Did I get a different bottle than everyone else here? Black? Yes. Head: pillow with at tad rock and nice white. Garnet highlights. Nice Centennial-like nose with some malt: grapefruit. So far so good. Taste? Grass: pure grass with some medium body dark malt background. I LOVE fresh hops. But this is pure grass without the fresh taste. Dominants. Becomes ANNOYING and astringent.

A bad bottle? Possible, but not likely. No cardboard, no sense of infection: no defects other than the hop problem here. Phenolics? No. DMS? No. It really tastes like someone boiled the hell out of the hops, or used funky hops. Did they get bad hops for this batch of Pitch? Could be, I suppose.

I do not recommend this, and that's unfortunate. Less of a hop boil might help. No indication this is fresh hops, but if so: the boil is probably still off. The hopping ruined it. It could have been damn good. Get a better brewer: one who knows how to use hops.

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Photo of stercomm
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Dark brown bordering on black, 2 finger tan head that recedes quickly, leaving a medium lacing.

S - Initial smell is of piney, floral hops, also get some malt and maybe a hint of chocolate, but the hops are what hits you the most.

T - Strong pine notes on the front end,moving to roasted malts and some licorice finishing with some cocoa flavors. licorice seems to linger after all the tastes have disappeared.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, maybe a little oiliness from the hops.

O - I like this brew, great flavor profile, leans towards the hops but puts forth a smooth taste.

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Photo of jsanford
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA.

Pours a very dark brown with reddish edges and a thin white head that settles to a slight haze and ring. Pungent aromas of resinous hops, coffee beans, and a touch of chocolate. Taste is similar to the nose, more citrus and pine hops with a lightly bitter roasted malt profile. Mouthfeel is fairly light and crisp, with a medium body and good carbonation. Maybe a touch on the watery side. Overall a very easy-drinking Black IPA, but nothing special. I'll stick with Sublimely Self-Righteous.

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Photo of mltobin
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the Ginger Man a few weeks ago, from notes.

Appearance is black with a thin tan head. Its` nose has resin hops, roasted malts and some notes of chocolate. The taste contains piney hops, general earthiness, malts and a bit of black licorice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a nice, clean finish to it. All things considered, a pretty good black ale, but nothing worth seeking out imho.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is also very hoppy, considerable bitterness, followed by some roasted malts.. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a decent brew.

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

I picked this up in the mix-a-six cooler, enjoyed chilled from a Duvel tulip.

The color is deep black and opaque as promised with a thick fluffy beige cap from a vigorous pour. There is a tight bead and lace sticks like a film. The smell is worty-again with Widmer's IPA aroma, very malty smell with a piney note in the background and slight sweet blend of caramel fruitiness with subtle dark brown sugar and fig-like earthy notes. Ther is a slightly woody essence which hints at alcohol in the ester.

The feel is somewhat full in body with a moderately sweet texture and moderate bitterness, overall well balanced with semi-dry middle and mild carbonation for the style with clean mildly oily finish. The taste is very good with nice blend of plum-like fruit and toasted grain with light herbal notes in the hops with pine and bittersweet chocolate flavors adding some earthy elements in the finish.

The overall vibe from this is more of a stout than a hop-forward black IPA, the balance is what makes me say that which I like, I just think it could be a little more dry and bitter. If you like less malt flavor in your IPA's you may enjoy this less, I like it for what it is which is a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip. Pours a slick bright black, if that makes sense, with a two inch sticky light tan head, that settles into a fluffy coating of film, and lots of lacing. Smell is pineapple, roasted chocolate, coffee, and pine. Taste is all all of those, with a wonderful balance, nothing dominates. The body is a bit thin considering the look, but that helps with the drinkability. Plenty of life and lush, as apposed to dry. This is a very solid and sessionable black ipa. Date clearly marked Oct 10 11.

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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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