Beer Tasting: Fade To Black IPA

20161226_211618My first-ever black IPA has been kegged for about a month. So, it’s tasting time!

  • The Basics
    • Original gravity = 1.065, final gravity = 1.016, abv = 6.5%, estimated IBU = 67
  •  Aroma
    • Herbal/piney hop aroma, with a touch of toastiness behind that for the malt. Hop aroma has definitely diminished substantially over time. I probably should have dry-hopped it a few more days before cooling.
  • Appearance
    • This is a very clear, black beer that is chocolaty brown (with a slight reddish tinge) when viewed edge-on. The head is full when first poured, subsiding to an exceptionally persistent, fine beige blanket, with excellent lacing on the sides of the glass. Absolutely beautiful in appearance overall!
  • Flavor
    • Hop-forward, and the hops are primarily earthy/piney in flavor. The malt is grainy and toasty in flavor, with a slight roasty coffee note behind that; the roastiness comes through a bit more prominently over time as the beer lingers on the palate.
  • Mouthfeel
    • A medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a medium-dry finish. Mouthfeel overall is about right where I want it.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • It’s a good enough beer, but needs a bit more hop aroma to really satisfy me as a black IPA. I might up the late hop and dry-hop percentages so that they stand out a bit more. The types of hops are in the right ballpark; tropical/fruity ones would be completely inappropriate. I wonder if Simcoe wouldn’t make a nice addition to the hop bill, to up the piney qualities. The malt character is maybe a bit strong on the toast and roast. Not a bad first go at a black IPA, but I’ll probably try a different recipe the next time around that I want to aim for this particular style. All that said, this batch is an absolutely delicious winter beer on its own merits. I don’t mind a glass or two on cold nights!
  • Overall
    • 7/10
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