Friday, November 29, 2013

581. New Glarus Black Top Black IPA

More New Glarus. Which is always special. And as with the last large influx of New Glarus beers, I have Veronica to thank. Which I do. Profusely. We’ll add this one to an ever-growing list that includes Cherry Stout, Staghorn Octoberfest, Saison, Raspberry Tart, Belgian Red, and Fat Squirrel Brown Ale. Here’s to former students that reward me with beer.

Black Top pours a crystal clear chocolate brown with a creamy eggshell head that has excellent retention; there are also garnet highlights from the light through the glass. In the nose, there is evergreen and the fresh, bright pine sap of newly-cut Douglass fir, followed by a hint of creamy roast and bread crust. Flavors open with chocolate, brown sugar, and toast before the pine and evergreen assert themselves in the middle. There are also hints of roastiness, licorice, and molasses in the middle and onto into the finish, which features a lingering spicy resin bitterness along with a soft twang from the roast malt that leaves an almost minty feel on the back of the throat. The carbonation is bright but gentle; it rounds the beer on the tongue, and carries the roast malt flavor from the middle into the finish. The citrus in the nose that the first couple of bottles had has fallen by the wayside, but I think I like it better without it: the evergreen, roast, and dark sugar flavors play well off one-another, creating a delightful beer just short of aggressive. This is one of the more approachable and enjoyable Black IPAs I’ve had—I would happily drink this all evening long. The bitterness is prominent enough to clean the palate with each sip, and yet still allows the myriad of other flavors to play across the profile of the beer. Excellent job, New Glarus.

From the bottle: “We invite you to discover this newest beer style Black IPA. Political debate rages over the origins of this jet black beer as both coasts feel they deserve credit. Our Black Top is a pleasant road connecting Villages and Communities statewide on a ride of Black IPA discovery. Expect this beer to pour a hop forward jet black brimming with aromatic bitterness. Brewmaster Dan skillfully weaves molasses and chocolate malt undertones with a soaring rush of clean citrus and pine hop notes, to deliver a drinkable Black IPA. Savor Black Top, like Wisconsin’s miles of licorice ribbons of ink that meander through armies of corn and bovine fields. Enjoy the journey on a road less traveled.”

ABV: 6.9%

Oh, Robert Frost.


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