I am a big fan of Alaskan Brewing Co., I have sampled a number of there beers and I toured the brewery a few years ago. I had tried their Imperial Black IPA about a year ago and thought it was exellent and it was also weel-received by beer reviewers. When I saw they changed the spring release to a Black IPA (6.4% ABV and 65 IBU), I had to try it.
American Black Ale – “Also referred to as a Black IPA (India Pale Ale) or Cascadian DarkAle, ales of this style range from dark brown to pitch black and showcase malty and light to moderate roasty notes and are often quite hoppy generally with the use of American hops. Alcholo can range from average to high depending on if the brewery is going for a “double/imperial” version. “ BeerAdvocate
Appearance – This is easy – pitch black with a two-finger dark tan head.
Aroma – Some roasty / toasy notes and citrusy hops – American NW hops.
Taste – Exactly like it’s aroma, there is a nice (but not over-the-top) roast / toast taste from the malt with perhaps just a hint of coffee and then firm citrus (grapefruit) bitterness from the hops.
Overall – B+ This is an excellent, well-balanced Black IPA. One thing with Alaskan Brewing Co.’s beer is balance and they do a great job of combining the ingredients for a beer that does not emphasize one component. Is this hop-forward, yes – but the hops play well with the malts.
Website description – “Alaskan’s spring seasonal release is a new beer experience created from a combination of traditional beer styles. Alaskan Black IPA has the appearance of a porter or stout but combines the roasted malty characters with the refreshing flavor and bright aroma of an American IPA. Alaskan Black IPA is made from glacier-fed water, generous additions of Cascade, Centennial and other Pacific Northwest hops, and an array of eight different pale, caramel and chocolate malts. ”