Black IPA
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Black IPABlack IPA
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American Black Ale
3.73 | pDev: 13.14%
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black IPABlack IPA
Notes: Harpoon brewer Matt DeLuca took over the brewhouse for our 40th 100 Barrel Series offering. A newly released specialty malt from Briess called Midnight Wheat gives this beer an almost stout-like appearance without the overly roasty attributes often associated with traditional dark malts. Flaked barley is also used in the malt bill for head retention. An intense yet diverse hop addition schedule is executed during the boil that results in a well balanced offering.

On top of the Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra hops is an ample addition of Ahtanum hops that provides a fruity aroma to complement the earthy, spicy bitterness of this dark ale.

67 IBU
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 328 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by PDXHops:
Photo of PDXHops
2.14/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a Maudite snifter. A smallish tan head tops the deep brown body, but it's fairly tenacious and isn't shy with the lace.

Pretty tame nose for a CDA, chocolate roast with earthy undertones. A punch of earthy hop flavor somewhat ups the 'oomph' factor, but the limp finish and bland malt profile fall flat. On the positive side, there's a hefty dose of bitterness. A blast of bitterness without any other flavors really being fleshed out any other fully developed flavors doesn't have much appeal, though. I love the CDA style, but this particular example misses the mark.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of sendbeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of SawDog505
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a slick black, with a fluffy 3 inch cream colored head, with lots of lace, and nice retention. Smell is piny hops, citrus, hints of chocolate, and some bread. Taste is all of that with citrus and chocolate the dominant flavors, with a burst of pine in the finish. Body is medium, very easy drinking, plenty of life, and really lush for the style. I was really excited to find this today and be the first to review. A very nice version of a style I love.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A Dark brown in color, almost black, a nice tan head at the top that goes away very quickly, a slight lacing present.

S: Up front nothing but chocolate and coffee, slight notes of pine.

T: A bitter taste up front, nice notes of chocolate and coffee. Slight hints of honey on the tail end.

M: Full bodied, slight carbonation, goes down smooth, a nice black IPA.

O: A nice pleasant brew, I enjoyed this brew right next to the fire at the stirling hotel in NJ.

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Photo of rallyr32
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by 5/15/2012. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange, pine, herbal, citrus rind, roasted malt, biscuit, toast, and earthy spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, orange, herbal, floral, grass, dark roasted malt, char, citrus rind, chocolate, and earthy spiciness. Fair amount of spicy bitterness on the the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, toast, grass, roasted malt, chocolate, char, and earthy spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of roasted malt with hop flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a really nice and quite robust Black IPA. Nice balance of citrus and piny hop flavors; with a very nice and prominent roasted malt backbone. Really well done, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of TheBigBoy
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of bigpoppa67
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of tdm168
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - blackish brown with reddish edges; soft, brownish head that fades quickly

S - roasted malts, pine, citrus, chocolate

T - huge, intensely piny hops dominate that front end; smooth chocolate and roasted malts follow through to the end; intensely bitter; some faint citrus and sweetness throughout

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a really nice black IPA. It has an amazingly forward hop character that should please any hop head. It also has a nice, well rounded malt character that balances nicely. It's also a very easy to drink beer that refreshes. It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of greenengineer
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into Notch 0.5L glass. First beer of the Blizzard of '13

A- dark brown pour with a creamy CO2 charged head
S- Malt more than hops
T-toasted malt with a bitterness after, nice balance. Hints of burnt malt, but a lot of sweetness is retained. Hops are there, but not out front. Almost a porter. Tastes a bit like the East India Porter Pretty Things made in their historic series.
M- a little sticky and chewy, maybe a little flat
O- very drinkable for 7.0% ABV, I could have a few more. In fact I will.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of WhitmansNiece
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Part of the Adventure IPA mixed 12-pack
Enjoy By 04/15/13

A: Pours a dark ruby/mahogany color with a fingers worth of tan head

S: Has a dark malt/coffee overtone, with plenty of citrusy goodness underneath. The malt has its way over the hops, though

T: Mor balanced than the nose, the hops shine a little more here. Starts off with dark malts again, but the hops come in and provide a nice earthy and spicy character. Some fruitiness also come through. Finishes with a slightly ashy maltiness with a light coffee character. Bitter throughout

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Again, slightly ashy

O: A nice black IPA without too much roast character but enough of a dark malt presence to make it into a good ABA. After the nose, this definitely leans more towards the IPA side which is a good thing. Solid brew, glad they brought it back

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Photo of eoreilly
5/5  rDev +34%

Photo of de322
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Boitnott
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of raythealeman
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of mttaylor1066
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a lightly hopped IPA with a dark coffee look and taste.

This seemed a little flat-tasting for an IPA, even for a black IPA. Perhaps it is the hops the brewer chose. I drank this 6 weeks before the expiration date stamped on the neck.

Overall, it is a pleasant ale and worth drinking. But it is no "knock your socks off" representative of a new style.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.14/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice dark cola body. Bone-white head has nice retention and great lace.

S - Strange nose of brown sugar, damp herbal twang, mineral, and a touch of toffee.

T - Dry herbal char, thyme, bitter earthy hop.

M - Light to style. Sub-par carbonation.

O - Nice roast character and an interesting bitterness. The profile isn't common, but not necessarily complex.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is black, with ruby highlights when held up to light. A thick, frothy, foamy, one inch head that is off-white and big bubbled. The head clings all over the glass as you move the beer around a bit. Aromas are rich cedar and pine, with a slight roasting and a decent resiny presence. The beer's flavors are dry, with a hoppy blast of pine tree and earthy notes, as well as a steady tang of citrus throughout. The beer has a roasting character throughout it, and that transitions directly into the aftertaste, along with an earthy and grainy profile. The finish is quick, with only a slight linger to it. A bit astringent at the end from the hops, cleaning the palate. Good beer.

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Photo of troysoy2
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, picked up at the brewery.

Two fingers of bubbly, tan head sit over a black body, with just the slightest bit of deep rust color shining through. Decent retention, but the lacing pretty much ended halfway through.

The smell is of very floral, almost fruity hops, with caramel.

Not bad, and reminds me a bit of the Leviathan Imperial IPA in its hop profile, although more balanced out by some dark, burnt malt. Citrusy and fruity, with an almost berry flavor hiding in there. Sweet, with some caramel. Mildly dry on the finish. A hint of alcohol heat peaks through. Pretty tasty, but I'd like to see some of the flavors brought out a bit more. The mouthfeel is a tad on the lighter side, but nicely carbonated. Not too prickly, but not quite creamy either.

Overall, I'm happy to have grabbed a bottle of this during my visit. A very drinkable, uniquely hopped take on the style.

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Photo of videofrog
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jaffers
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. After being disappointed by other black IPAs, I almost gave up on the style. Seems like not many brewers can nail the balance just right and Harpoon did that, pushing it out of the category of a porter without blasting you with hops. Great beer, highly recommended.

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Black IPA from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 328 ratings