Black IPAMarch 1, 2012 Juneau, AK
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Available: AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, WY
Alaska has a rich history of brewing. From the explorers of the 1700s through the Gold Rush, many a thirsty Alaskan has been able to enjoy locally made beers. In 1986, Marcy and Geoff Larson reignited that tradition when they opened the Alaskan Brewing Company, the 67th brewery in the country and the first brewery in Juneau since Prohibition.
Original gravity: 1065
I have a problem with black IPAs, a “style” that has no historic justification: the “P” in IPA does stand for Pale! This 6.4% version is far from black – more deep amber going on ruby. The aroma has a big burst of hops, roasted grain, burnt fruit and nutty malt while the palate is intensely bitter but with a good balance of roasted malt and chewy burnt fruit. Rich roasted malt hits back in the finish, stopping the hops from overwhelming the senses, with a continuing contribution from dark fruit. Coming from Alaskan it’s a fine beer but I’m troubled by the title.
- Roger Protz
Well, don’t get me started on the “Black IPA” moniker—we’ll be here for an hour. The beer is almost black, though, and that hop aroma is mighty nice. The brisk hop attack is deftly combined with a solid roast bite to create a bracingly snappy palate up front. Caramel malts play through, but the whole affair stays dry and rides out to a smooth, flinty finish. This is skillful work—this style is rarely done this well. Call it what you like—I call it tasty, especially with char-grilled beef tacos.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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