Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alaskan Black IPA review

Alaskan Black IPAWhen the days are long and the sun stays up late, I occasionally reach for a beer from up north. I've enjoyed having beers from Alaska distributed here and when I spotted a single bottle of Alaskan Black IPA I thought it would be a good one to review. This is the 6th beer from this brewery that has made its way to the Centennial State and I was in the mood for something dark and hoppy.

Alaskan Black IPA comes in 6-packs and weighs in at 6.4% ABV and a respectable 65 IBUs. The beer color is graded at a full 100 SRM. The Black IPA is considered their Spring seasonal release. Good thing I spotted one just before summer hit. This beer has 8 different malts and is dry-hopped with Centennial, Calypso & Cascade hops.

Black IPAs seem to be getting more popular in this region and I for one have become a fan of them. I've certainly enjoyed Alaskan Brewing Company's other beers, especially their Smoked Porter and was eager to try this one.

Appearance: Alaskan Black IPA certainly poured like it was named. It was extremely dark, yet when held up to the light I got some dark mahogany edges around the glass. The bottle opened up with a nice hiss and seemed decently carbonated. The pour yielded a nice thick creamy head and kept its head well afterwards. Swirling the beer easily built up another fine head and left a nice clingy lacing.

Aroma: This brew certainly smelled like an IPA. There was a nice complex hop aroma including citrus and resiny pine. Mixed into the air was a slight hint of roast, perhaps some chocolate or coffee tones, but the hops were the star of this sniff session masking most of the dark malts.

Taste: While the hops dominated the aroma, the rich caramel malts took center stage on the taste. It reminded me of a rich dark porter, but with a big hop bitter finish. I could pick up on some coffee and chocolate taste. It started out semi-sweet and then hit me soon after with a resiny hop bitterness later. The beer seemed full bodied and nearly chewy. Just what I was expecting in this type of beer. The beer also had a nice creamy mouthfeel and slightly coated the back of my tongue.

Overall: Right from the start I enjoyed the smell and the taste of this brew. Even on a warm Spring evening I enjoyed drinking this dark ale. I'd wager this beer would be good both in cold months as well as warm ones. I tip my cap to Alaskan Brewing Company and am glad I can buy this beer here in Colorado. Now if I could only get my hands on one of those limited edition Imperial Stouts then I'd be all set. Definitely pick this one up, especially you hop lovers. Porter lovers would enjoy this one as well.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer as part of a build-your-own 6-pack at my local store.

Video showing the pour of an Alaskan Black IPA:

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Related articles:
- Alaskan IPA review.
- Alaskan Smoked Porter review. (2008)
- Alaskan Summer Ale review.
- Alaskan Pale review.

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