Pitch Black IPA | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Pitch Black IPAPitch Black IPA
Liked This Beer
3.79 w/ 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

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Ratings: 802 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of Mako82
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

A - Very dark in color, pretty much black. Brown foamy head that left a nice ring around the glass.

S - Nice smell of hops, picked up some spice, malty, slight hint of citrus (not as much as a reg IPA)

T - Medium taste of hops and spice, picking up a subtle hint of chocolate type malts, fairly bitter aftertaste that lasted quite long

M - Fairly dry feel, medium carbonation

Definitely has a different look and taste from most IPAs I have tried. Pretty unique.

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

This beer is pretty much what a Black IPA should be, if you added a little more hops. It was very hoppy, don't get me wrong, but I think it could've used a little more to put it over the top. I was impressed with the malt base though. It was dark, as it should be, but not too roasty or harsh. I picked up some chocolate to go along with the bitter hops and it finished nice and dry as an IPA should. A surprise find at a bar I wasn't expecting much from.

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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 harrymel
2.64/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

June 3 bottle date

A: pours a coffee ground black with excellent clarity where allowed. Less than single finger off white head all but disappears to a scattered sheet of the same. Spot lace.

S: Nice and woody with pine and resin aromas. Nothing special.

T: Nice and bitter. Not very flavorful, but wood, yeast, cocoa and coffee grounds (just the grounds, no coffee). Interesting.

M: thin and bubbly with a dry finish.

O: okay beer. Last time I'm likely to drink.

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Photo of beeragent
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A - pours a medium brown, forming a 1/2 inch tan head. Medium rings of lace on the glass.

S - floral hops dominate the aroma with a hint of the roasted malts.

T - the roasted malts dominate the palate so that the hops are not even noticeable until the finish, even then, very week. This tastes more like a porter.

M - medium bodied with average carbonation. Very smooth and clean. No harsh hop finish like expected.

D - not a bad beer by any stretch, however this doesn't really hit the style profile. Taste and body are more like an English porter and nothing like an IPA or cascading ale. A tasty beer but not what I had in mind.

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Photo of BB1313
2.66/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Freshness date noticeable. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours pitch black, hence the name. There's a nice foamy off-white head, which disappears pretty quickly; decent lacing. The aromas are all chocolate malt, the hops aren't really present in the aromas. The aromas also are pretty faint, overall. Wow, the first sip was pretty unimpressive. The flavors just fall flat, with an awkward aftertaste. Lots of chocolate running wild, and finally the hops are noticeable. There's nothing fruity about this one. The mouthfeel isn't bad, it's pretty light and creamy, maybe a little too fizzy. Overall, it got better as I drank it, but I'm not really too impressed. Bad bottle maybe?

I'm a big fan of Black IPAs, but this one really didn't do it for me. Maybe I'm being harsh, but I've been enjoying alot of Black IPAs lately. This one isn't worth the price of admission.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank this with elrogish up in WA last week, thanks bro. Can I call it light black? Easy enough to see through, average viscosity, average stuff. Aroma was pretty plain, didn't come across hoppy or fruity.

Taste, just right down the middle. Bitter, hoppy, but pedestrian. No major discernable flavor, but no off flavor. Not roasty, coffee, chocolate, don't taste them. Maybe a mild toffeeness to it. Would put the ibus around 45. Dry finish, yet smooth enough for easy drinking. A decent beer at a good price. Kind of a go to for people new to the black ale emerging phenomenon.

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

This beer pours dark brown, almost black with amber hued edges in the light. There is a thin half inch frothy head sitting on top that gently receeds leaving a touch of lace behind.

The aroma is great. It is exactly what I've come to expect from a decent IPA. There is the familiar aroma of hops which are quite citrusy in this case with a touch of pine. Outside of that I pick up a hint of malty sweetness and not much else.

The taste is decent. Again, hops. They are lightly citrusy and piney. They are not overwhelming which I can appreciate. Then there is a nice presentation of dark malt which offers a roasty grain taste, almost burned. I find it enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. It's got a quick tickle that fades to nothing by the swallow.

The drinkability is relatively high. This beer has IMO, a great flavor profile, a nice nose, and with 6.5% abv it's got a nice punch but still easily drinkable in small quantities if desired. I think it's a solid beer and I'd be happy to have another or pleased to share it with a friend.

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Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, "Feb 2 11" on the label, bottled on date??

Pours real dark brown, dark mocha head. Nice fine lacing. Earthy nose with some lite citric hop notes.

Easy drinking dark ale, hops are mutted, nice smooth chocolate notes, more earth.

Pleasant and nicely balanced. Quite smooth over the tongue.

Nothing real special going on here, but this is a well crafted and quite sessionable brew.

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Photo of avaldivia
2.09/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle dated march 3 2011. I know old, but I work at a grocery store and a rep for Widmer gave this to us today to convince us to carry this product. We will not.

A: Good look. Nice head but very little retention.

S: A bit fruity and roasty but vey light. Watery.

T: Wow, boring. The hop is there but very light. I think this would have been better if we had been given a bottle. This tastes watered down. I feel like I would be given this at a dive bar that waters down it's drinks.

M: Surprisingly carbonated. Very light, hardly any body.

O: I feel bad because I got an old bottle, but this is just bad. Not flavorful or interesting. I don't understand why a rep would give us an old bottle when he wants us to bring this in. I will give this one more try if I find a fresher batch, but am hesitant as to the quality of this beer regardless of age.

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Photo of shanblur
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Varsity Liquors in Evansville, IN. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown to black with a nice fluffy head and great retained lacing.

S - Floral hop notes dominate with minimal malt undertones. Not overpowering

T - Taste is well balanced between the hops and malt. Not a ton of flavor but well balanced and enjoyable

M - Feels fairly dense with the right amount of carbonation.

My first from this brewery. I am glad I picked up a four pack. Good representation of this style.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours well, pitch black. A nice creamy looking light tan head with really good retention and good lace.
Smell is floral and hoppy with a resin presence and some malt hiding in the back. Balance is good.
Taste is piney hops and floral with some malt and a note of alcohol.
Medium bodied with a medium effervescence. Aftertaste is where the malt is mpst noticeable, balancing the hops nicely. This is, fortunately, not one of those over-hopped IPAs we get so often these day. A well-rounded brew from start to finish.

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

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is jet black, with chestnut highlights and a frothy, skimpy head that clings to the glass. The nose is heavy of roasted malt/caramel, with steady hop presence, citrus notes, and a slight milk chocolate character. Flavors are smooth dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with a dark, wet, resinous hop profile that balances, but doesn't overpower. Take a chocolate orange, melt it in a coffee pot, and hop the shit out of it. Slight bittersweet aftertaste, with a dry, astringent finish. Delicious!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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

Look: Beautiful dark purple color with a 3/8 inch kakhi foam head with very little lace

Smell: Sweet chocolate malts are topped off with a piney hop note

Taste: Much the same as the smell, first you get some chocolate followed by a bit of burnt toast and roasted malt then just a hint of citrus on the back end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a little carbonation and an almost buttery feel on the palate

Overall: Very enjoyable black IPA. I am becoming a fan of this style and this one is definately a nice compliment to the style

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Photo of atowle25
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lives up to its name, pours pitch black, not much head or lacing, but definitely a dark beer. Smell is pure hops, huge amounts of grapefruit and citrus. Not much of a malt/chocolate smell at all, but I did smell a little bit as it warms up. Taste is just like the nose, with the chocolate malts showing up more on the finish but dominated by the big hop flavor. This is a very hop forward black IPA. If that's how you like them, then this one is a damn good example. Body is on the lighter side, and also more reminiscent of an IPA. Easy to drink, very refreshing and just a downright excellent beer from a brewery that doesn't get much credit these days.

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Photo of Dope
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown pour with a nice mocha head. Lacing is excellent and the beer is see-through.

S: Some chocolate and some earthy hops. Not very strong but it's there.

T: Pretty nice mix of hoppiness and the roasted malts. Earthy hops hit first followed by roasty/burnt flavor which makes for a bit of bitter overload for a moment. Smooths out with some chocolate and some more roast on the way down.

M: Quite bitter and drying. Otherwise pretty light bodied and good carbonation.

O: Not bad, the bitterness overload from the hops + burnt flavor at the same time can be a bit much. Would go great with some food (BBQ). Pretty light and clean beer otherwise. Probably the best Widmer beer I've had.

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

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/3 finger of cream colored hed with good retention. Clear, very dark brown liquid. Nearly opaque. Great for the style.
S: Tropical fruit and PNW hop! Hops float on a wave of cold masked other aromas, that I neglected to reflect on as the beer warmed...
T: Very bitter immediately following intense roast that vanishes only to return as char/black patent malt in the aftertaste. Not overwhelming with flavor, but quite good. The best tasting beer I've had from Widmer to date. A tad empty tasting, maybe too clean?
M: Bitter and slightly dry. Bitter feeling in a white fir needle way. Slightly syrupy while being a tad thin.
D: I'd order another and buy 6. This is the 2nd best CDA I've had to Stone 11th Anniversary/SSR

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Not quite pitch black, but a very dark and nearly opaque brown. One finger of medium tan head with some retention and lace.

S: Nice peach aromas backed by a bit of grapefruit and sweet malt.

T: Interesting. Malt notes are chocolate and a little sweet roast. Some piney/citrus hops on the finish. Good flavors, but not what I expect from something calling itself an IPA. However, as the beer warms, the citrus flavors assert themselves and poke through the chocolate a bit more-- yes, it is an IPA after all, and this combination is pretty nice, orange and chocolate. Later in the glass, the chocolate starts to persist further into the finish as well. After that, a little floral/lavender quality joins the mix. Unexpectedly complex, very good indeed.

M: A bit on the heavy side of medium with a blend of creamy and soda-like feel, faint bit of oil on the finish.

O: I like this, it's quite tasty. Good choice for a cool spring evening where the chocolate keeps you warm and the hops speak of the promise of summer yet to come. Will buy this again.

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Photo of gopens44
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black is a good description. Thin mocha colored head accompanied the pitch blackness.

S - Earthy hops, nice roasted malts and creamy sweet in the nose.

T - First taste was that of the pine flavored hops followed by an odd earthiness. The sweetness in the nose was never really fully developed on the tongue, but it did make an attempt at a delicate sweetness in the malty finish.

M - Well carbonated, dry and little aftertaste.

O - Not bad at all. Could have used a bit more balance or boldness, but still nice.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely opaque sable with a minimal head - but this may have been an artifact of the pour. Aroma is not strong but invitingly hoppy with a bit of a smoky hint. Flavor is hoppy and rather bitter with a malty undertone and just a hint of unsweet chocolate. Texture is fairly smooth, yet lively and tingly. If you like both IPAs and stouts, I’m sure you will dig this one.

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

Good, lasting head and excellent ring lace. Not quite "Pitch Black", more dark brown where a touch of light passes.

Nice balance of some black patent and (I believe) chocolate malt on the initial smell. There is some hop in the background. It's even behind a mild alcohol presence.

Better hop bite in the taste, but it's not up to the IPA levels one would expect. Nice darker malt flavor--mostly semi-sweet chocolate. Appealing but thin bodied. Low carbonation as well.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two fingers of tan head over a black ale with brown edges. Good retention and lacing. Aromas are prominent and quite nice, with roasty malts but also distinct Northwestern hops...florals to boot. Flavors fall a little flat. There's a metallic note underlining each flavor. Sweet breadiness from the malt, and also roasty bordering on burnt. Loved the aromas, but disappointed in the flavors not being more balanced.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.96/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A. The same color as a Guiness. The head also mimics a Guiness, one finger thick sandy tan made up of millions of tiny creamy bubbles.

S. Okay, this is bugging me, why is this even called an IPA? To me an IPA speaks of fruity scents, which are absent from this beer. Instead the hop scent is entirely floral and light. Very subdued nose. I totally agree with this site classifying this beer as an American Black Ale on the evidence of the nose alone. Besides the small bouquet of flowery hops, there are some vaguely acrid charred malt smells. I mean that in the best way possible. Still, I think that there is a hell of lot of room for more complexity in there.

T. Burnt unsweetened chocolate with earthy hop tones which fall apart a bit too rapidly for my liking, leaving me with alone with a bit too much astringency. Than it turns into subtle leathery flavor tones that I do enjoy. It is difficult to tell where the bitterness from the malt and the bitterness from the hops separate.

M. Not nearly heavy enough, and yet it is too oily. The biggest downfall of this brew.

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Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 65.6% out of 100 with 802 ratings
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