Black IPA’s – or should that be an ‘IBA’ – are currently one of the most popular beer styles. And we think our Dutch friends have done a great job with their take on the style.
It pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a tan head. The smell is all IPA – citrus, pine needles, ripe summer fruits. There is a background of roasted malt, but the hops dominate.
The taste is also all about the hops, with punchy grassy and floral notes and a little tropical fruit sweetness. If you close your eyes, you may not think you have a Black IPA at all. The roasted malt body is there, and provides enough backbone to balance up the hop character. Notes of chocolate and a little coffee are also to be found – but only if you look hard.
There is a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Not overly bitter, just fragrant, alive and delicious!
About the style: as for all new styles, it is the result of brewers pushing the boundaries and experimenting. American brewers claim credit for this style, which is also referred to as an American Black Ale, or Cascadian Dark Ale.