Wednesday, November 24, 2010

433. Alaskan Double Black IPA

Another non-porter beer from Alaskan Brewing Company; this one is part of their Pilot Series, which is their Limited Edition Specialty Series—the same one that their Baltic Porter is from. Previously, we’ve tried Amber, Baltic Porter and Smoked Porter, making this our fourth beer from ABC.

Double Black IPA pours a deep rich chocolate; in the glass it looks black, but when tilted you can see that it is really more of a dark chocolate. The head is a burnt cream that is initially creamy, but quickly reduces to a ring with an island left in the middle—we’ll call it the Island of Burnt Cream, which is like the Island of Dr. Moreau, only with the animals turned into desserts and tasty alcoholic beverages. Ah, to find that island. Aromas revolve around roasted malt, chocolate, and spicy hop bitterness—the roasted malt and chocolate cancel out most of the hop aromas (we’re assuming that there are hops, since we can taste the bitterness), leaving just the spicy component. All three components blend nicely in the nose, but it smells more like a stout than an IPA. Flavors open with caramel sweetness and roasted malt; the middle dries out and is bitter with chocolate. There is a light return of caramel sweetness and roastiness in the finish coupled with a bit of creaminess and dryness, ending with a light touch of chalkiness. With a medium body and a medium carbonation, Double Black IPA is smooth and even; the roastiness and bitterness mix well together. While we’re sticking with the “it’s not so much an IPA,” it is still a delicious and tasty beer that gets better as it warms—the chocolate and roastiness merge better with the bitterness than at the beginning, and the body opens up on the palate. I just wish we could find some more of that Baltic Porter...

From the Alaskan website: “Alaskan Double Black IPA is a combination of traditional beer styles, with a flavor profile most similar to an Imperial IPA and the dark black color, rich flavor and light chocolate head usually found in heartier stouts and porters. The aroma of Alaskan Double Black IPA consists of fresh, citrus notes from Northwest hops and the heavy, dry bouquet of roasted grains. Brewed with an array of dark malts, Alaskan Double Black IPA features the distinctive flavors of coffee and bitter chocolate with a subtle toasted sweetness. Large hop additions late in the boil, and dry-hopping after fermentation, lighten and refresh the overall perception and flavor of the beer. It finishes with a dry palate and lingering warmth and bitterness. The Black IPA, also called ‘Cascadian Dark Ale’ or ‘American-style India Black Ale,’ is a relative newcomer to the craft beer world. We may not know what to call it yet, but we do know it’s dark and it’s hoppy and we can't get enough of it.”

ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 70
OG: 1.087


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