Alright kids; number two from my beer trade is a black IPA. Black IPA sounds odd to many people. What it means is that it is a beer that keeps the “integrity” of an IPA, but also has the malty profile of a dark beer. Black IPAs come in many different shapes, sizes, and flavors. For me, the key to a quality black IPA is having the hop-forward flavor without losing the dark color of the beer and the sweet malt flavor of a dark beer. Some will go too many hops or too little hops. The key is balance (kind of ironic in an IPA). Imperial Oak Brewing Company offers us a black IPA weighing in at 90 IBUs (pretty average for an IPA). Anyway, here’s the flavors!
Appearance: Black, nearly opaque with tan head
Aroma: Hops and biscuity
Taste: Roasted malts in the front – mixture of coffee and bitter chocolate, followed by strong hop flavor. Hop bitterness holds throughout, balanced by the roasted malt flavor. Slight notes of caramel in the back end.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
Overall: Definitely an above average black IPA. The flavors are well thought-out and keep me wanting more after each sip. Has the definite profile of an IPA with the roasted malty flavor typically coming from such a dark beer.
Endless Rating: 4.25/5 Suds
Cheese: Buttermilk Blue with crustini, grapes, and dried apricot
Appetizer: Buffalo Wings
Entree: Grilled pork chop with spinach and acorn squash
Dessert: Chocolate cake
Cigar: CAO Sol