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Is anyone else 'over' black IPAs?

I had one while watching the Packers game on Sunday, and it is from a local brewery (3 Heads), and I remember the beer simply being awesome from the last time I had it.

This time, it was not quite an American stout, not quite an IPA, kind of shooting for the middle. Just really found it kind of ‘meh’. Its possible they slightly watered down/changed the recipe.

Maybe its just that I moved away from Maryland, where Black Cannon (Heavy Seas’ best beer IMO), was readily available, and I drank a lot of it!)

Someone mentioned here recently about going thru stages with our taste buds. I’ve been hot an heavy about something for awhile then back off it. What I’ve done is let it go then come back to it later. Sometimes it’s better than before. One thing for me, it’s broadened my range in tastes.

never liked em. too much of a stretch to create a new style, when allI had to do was pour astout and an ipa together and drank

This…I can be over them because I was never into them. Always seemed like a “because I can” kinda thing.

Although I will give credit to commercial examples in this style that I come across that are well made, I have to say that there isn’t a single one on the market that I really go out of my way to find, and there definitely isn’t one on the market that, for me, rivals the quality of the best traditional IPAs. I agree that it’s really trendy, and I don’t like how it’s become a “must have” staple beer in most microbrewery’s lineups these days. As a homebrewer, I’m still focused on perfecting more traditional styles, not that there’s anything wrong with experimenting. What I really don’t understand, though, is why anyone wants to brew a dark beer that has no roasted flavors at all. I just don’t get it. It’s like brewing a “coffee table” beer, one that’s meant just to grab people’s attention and give them something to talk about, without delivering a product that’s really satisfying and drinkable. What’s even more confounding to me is how some people will shell out money for expensive malt-based coloring additives to achieve a dark color in their beer just to conform to medieval beer purity laws. That, to me, is just dumb. That having been said, I will say that it’s not an easy beer style to get right, and if you can make one that really balances hoppiness and roastiness, and makes you want to drink more than one, you’ve definitely accomplished something. I just haven’t come across one that I would say really fits that bill…yet. I’ll keep on trying beers in this style from time to time, but as it stands right now, I’ll take a good old classic IPA over a new generation IBA pretty much every time.

I never cared for them either. Same for the “Belgian IPA’s.” The high hop flavor and aroma with belgian yeast just doesn’t work for me.

I find it depends on the yeast for me. Something phenolic like WY3522 I think really complements the hops. Fruitier yeasts like 1214 or 1762 I don’t care for in combo with the hops.

See if you can get your hands on some Houblon Chouffe (preferrably on tap). It’s pretty amazing stuff and might change your mind. The Saaz flavor really shines through and plays well with the phenols. It’s not over the top bitter and has a very clean aroma and taste. Easily the best I’ve had of this style.

I was never into them, either. When I first saw one, I thought it sounded like a great idea, but in practice, they always seem out of whack to me. I love stouts of all stripes, and am a hophead, but I’m not a fan of the combination of hop flavor and roastiness, especially if the roastiness has any astringency to it (and if you can’t taste the roastiness, then the grainbill is needlessly complex, imo).

Not being a big drinker of Belgians, the Belgian IPAs aren’t my thing either (my beer taste follows a pretty clear English-American pattern).

But I’ve never had trouble finding something interesting to drink at a good bar, and the more commercial brewers use flavor/aroma hops, the more hop growing tilts toward the varieties that I love to use, so I’m a fan of Black IPAs/CPAs and Belgian IPAs in principle, even if I’d rather drink something else.

See if you can get your hands on some Houblon Chouffe (preferrably on tap). It’s pretty amazing stuff and might change your mind. The Saaz flavor really shines through and plays well with the phenols. It’s not over the top bitter and has a very clean aroma and taste. Easily the best I’ve had of this style.[/quote]

Ha! Matt we have similar tastes. I was about to type this very thought, though I thought Houblon used some American hops (C’s?). Its the best example, largely because it was the also the first IIRC. In the Belgian beer bars I’ve gone to, a 750ml of Houblon is usually priced way more reasonably than a few standard pours of whatever they have on tap (which isn’t saying much because most of those places are crazily overpriced).

[quote=“Pietro”]
Ha! Matt we have similar tastes. I was about to type this very thought, though I thought Houblon used some American hops (C’s?). Its the best example, largely because it was the also the first IIRC. In the Belgian beer bars I’ve gone to, a 750ml of Houblon is usually priced way more reasonably than a few standard pours of whatever they have on tap (which isn’t saying much because most of those places are crazily overpriced).[/quote]

I believe it’s dry hopped with Amarillo but the saaz is what really stuck out to me. Maybe mostly cause the first time I had it I wasn’t expecting it. Most of the Belgian IPA’s I’ve had before were all American hops.

I’m lucky enough to be 15 miles from this place in Cleveland Bier Markt Cleveland
http://bier-markt.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/bier-markt-bottle-and-draft-list-for-web.pdf
. They currently have Houblon Chouffe on tap as well as some of my other goodies like St Bernardus Abt 12 Quad and Gulden Draak. The food is also very very good as well. If you are ever in the area, check it out. It’s on the same block as Great Lakes Brewing so you can do a nice tour of beers without having to drive anywhere.

I was a fan early on, but have not found many commercial offerings that I like. Wooky Jack is just fantastic as well as my local Iron Hill Brewery’s version (forget the name). I like the recipe I make, but recently I’ve been more into lighter colored pale ales with big late hop and dry hop additions as apposed to IPAs. I’m more into the hop flavor and less into the bitterness now.

Of course, a year ago I would not have said this. So, I guess in the next year I could be right back on a big bitter IPA hop bomb kick.

+1 to this! Most commercial versions have WAY too much roast flavor. IMHO, a black IPA should be like a regular IPA, but with just a hint of roast flavor… and black of course.

I tried several and was never impressed with any of them. Belgian-IPAs I do like though as long as they have the right balance. I think Clown Shoes brewery has got a good handle on them with their Muffin Top and Tramp Stamp.

I don’t drink them very often but I like the style. The level of roast character definitely makes or breaks it. Often they taste too much like a hoppy stout or porter. I’ve brewed one before, a smaller version based on Babalu’s Darkness IPA recipe, which turned out great. I just brewed my second attempt last weekend, with all of the color/roast character coming from Midnight Wheat.

I like Deschutes Hop in the Dark and Alaskan Black IPA pretty good. The Full Sail version was only okay for me. And Wookey Jack is pretty stellar. :cheers:

Just brewed one, so I guess I can’t be over it until the keg kicks. Mine is way closer to IPA than stout.

I like the style - although I agree that’s it’s difficult to make a good one. I recently brewed one here in Eugene that I’m fond of. Midnight wheat is my preferred color malt for a CDA.

And yes. I call them CDA’s :blah:

[quote=“Pietro”]I had one while watching the Packers game on Sunday, and it is from a local brewery (3 Heads), and I remember the beer simply being awesome from the last time I had it.

This time, it was not quite an American stout, not quite an IPA, kind of shooting for the middle. Just really found it kind of ‘meh’. Its possible they slightly watered down/changed the recipe.

Maybe its just that I moved away from Maryland, where Black Cannon (Heavy Seas’ best beer IMO), was readily available, and I drank a lot of it!)[/quote]

If you are talking about the 3 Heads located in Rochester, NY, the beer is actually brewed by Craft Brewers (formerly Custom Brew Crafters). After speaking with both the brewer and the owners of 3HB, they pretty regularly tweek recipes, so it may not be the same beer at all.

As far as my take on Black IPA’s, I could certainly live without them. The ones with no roast seem pointless and the ones with too much are just American Stouts, IMO. The number of IBA’s that I’ve been impressed by is too few to make the style worth seeking out and those that I did like were because they were good IPA’s with a little roast character. I probably would have liked them better without it.

I always saw them as a fad more than anything else. More hype than substance. We don’t need to chuck pounds of hops into everything just because we can.

I have, however, had a few commercial examples and one homebrew example that I really liked. Wookey Jack is fantastic. So is Boulevard’s Grainstorm (they’re releasing it again in April this year as part of their Smokestack series. The homebrewed example that I really liked was supposed to be modeled after Deschutes Hop in the Dark, but I thought it was better than the Deschutes version. He cold steeped the roasted grains and used dark Belgian candy sugar.

[quote=“S.Scoggin”]I like the style - although I agree that’s it’s difficult to make a good one. I recently brewed one here in Eugene that I’m fond of. Midnight wheat is my preferred color malt for a CDA.

And yes. I call them CDA’s :blah: [/quote]

+1! Midnight wheat for color and just a touch of either chocolate malt or roasted barley for a bit of roast flavor. I also call them Cascadian Dark Ales, but more recently saw the name American Black Ale, which I kind of like.

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