Pitch Black IPA | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

very good
802 Ratings
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 802 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of MaltRoomAssoc
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of honkduh
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of iguana1010
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of SMM0606
5/5  rDev +31.9%

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

Pours a woodsy brown with some ruddy highlights. Not black.

Smells faintly of grapefruit hops, more strongly of random bitterness I can't put a name to. No malt aromas.

No malt flavor, either. Huh? Guess I'm not sure what this style is supposed to take like. Bitter with some grapefruit and maybe some pine mush, but this is almost more ESB-ish than IPA/ish. Pleasant enough, but no real strong flavors and the flat bitter finish gets wearisome.

Good mouthfeel.

 466 characters

Photo of CoryR
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of I2uss
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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

Appearance: It pours a nice, tight two finger head with a root beer float quality. The color is a turbid cocoa brown. It is being served chilled in a standard pint glass.

Aroma: There is an essence of cocoa powder and oily hops. Roasted malts flow in and out. The fragrance is potent enough to emit whiffs even sitting away from the glass.

Taste: The first sip is smoky in the finish with a floral hop presence in the front. It sticks to the glass nicely. There are almost oak like notes, a woodiness. The mouth feel is creamy. It is not a super hoppy IPA but expresses good flavor. The taste is more like a black lager.

 622 characters

Photo of cestlavie
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of projhex
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of rrock44
4/5  rDev +5.5%

4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark black, not quite pitch black though, with a tan colored head. Head has pretty solid retention and left some nice layered lacing.

S- Smell is a touch of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. A touch of piney and citrus hops too.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Quite a bit of roasted malts, followed by a bit of coffee bitterness and then the hops come through.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

O- I liked this one thought it was pretty solid.

 473 characters

Photo of nitro0292
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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 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.

 357 characters

Photo of bobhits
2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2


Pours deep mahogany and turns black in the glass. There's a nice tan head with great lacing and a lot of body.

Well hopped, a touch of burnt malt, and a hint of chocolate.

This is where the beer starts to underwhelm. A good citrus hop finish and start but it never really reaches that intense level. The malt here comes off watery, certainly adding in some darker flavors and caramel sweetness. This beer just never really comes together. It just feels watery.

the watery flavor or lack there of is here in a big way. The beer tastes nearly flat which is amazing given how nice the head was.

I'm not sure why this beer is 9+ for a 4 pack as it isn't big, it isn't bold, and it isn't impressive. Perhaps this beer is a bit old 4 months is a long time for an IPA, but this is just showed up here so it wasn't available fresh.

 862 characters

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

Pours very dark, almost black, with a solid head of foam. The aroma is a well-balanced blend of smooth roasted amtls and floral, resinous hops. The flavour is just as balanced, with notes of dark fruit and cocoa, strong bitterness, and citrus. Finishes malty and bitter, but dry.

 279 characters

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

Poured into my crystal mug, the color is almost black, held into the light, deep mahogany red shades are visible.
The head is a creamy tan, building about three fingers high, with great retention and good lacing.
The nose has flowery hops and fruity notes.
Tasting the beer those fruity flavors are up front, changing little until the end, where a slightly bitter finish balances the beer.
Nice and easy drinkable medium to light bodied IPA.

 441 characters

Photo of Absumaster
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black or maybe a very dark brown/burgundy beer with a reclining head.

Smell has a nice aromatic citric and resiny hop. Maybe some grapefruit and lemon. I find it hard to describe the influence of the dark malts. The smell is not abundant, I get some light roast and maybe even a little diacetyl. I do like the smell a lot.

Taste is bitter, but not like some IPA's. The bitterness is high after swallowing and lingers,but it is not mouthnumbing. The hoparoma with the citric, lemons and grapefruit combine well with the light roasted taste of the malts. This is roasted but more in a dark chocolaty way than coffee. Does that make sense? It is a mild, unaggresive, maybe a little acidic, low burning roast and it compliments with the bitter and hops. Mouthfeel is perfect for this kind of beer. I enjoyed this very much!

 825 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown to black. Very much looking like a Porter in the glass with a good inch of head.

Aroma is citrus and tropical fruits along with some hints of vanilla and orange peel.

First sip and I realize that the beer has some body and some complexity. Quite a bit of mouthfeel along with a Creamsicle sort of profile. Plenty of citrus hop flavor with a smooth finish and not the "bite" that I'm used to from anything hoppy. I really like it.

Overall, this is a smooth drinking dark ale with a nice hop aroma and flavor without a lot of the harshness one might expect from an IPA or ABA. Good stuff - well done Widmer.

 633 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark black with faint reddish brown hues. There's 1/4" of dense, cappuccino head with great retention. The nose has notes of roasted malts and pineapple-like, citrusy hop aromas. The taste is rich, roasted malts with a hint of chocolate followed by notes of pineapple, citrus, and pine. The mouthfeel is medium bodied though a little thin at times; great carbonation and very smooth.

Overall, this is a good black IPA. It toes the line between black IPA and hoppy stout. It does come across a little thin at times, but it's balanced and smooth. It's worth looking into.

 584 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.