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Black Raven Brewing Company

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Some friends and I got together at Black Raven Brewing. I’ve been wanting to go here forever, because of the amount of good press it’s gotten. We went Wednesday night, which was cask night, and it was jam packed. But we finally got a table and I was able to get the sampler and the cask. I tried to make a few notes on the beers, as best I could with the distractions (which is why I don’t normally review when I’m out). I’ll get to the cask in a minute.

The sampler consisted of 6 beers and I tasted them in this order: Sunthief Kristallweizen, Totem Northwest Pale, Trickster IPA, Second Sight Scotch Ale, La Petite Mort, and Morrighan Irish Stout on nitro. This ended up being a terrible way to taste these beers. The pale and IPA destroyed the palate and made the scotch and Belgian taste like candy. The stout was very light and tasted like water by the time I got around to it. For future reference, do the Kristal, stout, scotch, Petite Mort, and then the pale and IPA.

The Sunthief was pale yellow, with lots of citrus on the nose. Lemon comes through a lot. Nice crisp, clean mouthfeel. The palate was full of tropical fruits with a grainy malt flavor. Very tasty beer, very sessionable. It’s about a 90 point beer for me.

The pale is so “American” it’s almost an IPA anyways. Copper in color, didn’t get too much on the nose, but the tasting glasses don’t help that. Perfect body. Lots of hops on the palate with citrus and pine. It’s almost sticky, and the flavors don’t leave the palate easily. I do get a bit of a green, vegetal sort of thing on the finish, as well. Most of my friends hated the pale and IPA because they are heavy on the hops, including bitterness. But very well made beer. Trying to taste between the pale and IPA was difficult, but they didn’t seem all that dissimilar. Both beers are in the 90’s for me.

I literally didn’t even try to review the Petite Mort and Scotch after those because they just tasted like syrup.

Like I said, the stout ended up tasting like water after all those beers, so I ended up getting a pint of it. Creamy nitro head. The nose is tremendous with a huge vanilla aroma mixed in with chocolate, smells great. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, like you’d expect. Palate is chocolate, vanilla, and the roast is very light. This was a crowd pleaser. The very light roast with the chocolate and vanilla thing will appeal to many palates. This one would probably be high 80’s for me.

I almost forgot the cask! On cask was La Petite Mort with oak chips soaked in rum and kahlua. Definitely not my style of beer. It was big and boozy with lots of sweetness. It was rather cloying, and I didn’t get much of any “Belgian” aspect to the beer. The boozy-ness probably came from the rum, but that sucker runs at almost 9%. It did have some coffee, chocolate, toffee, and lots of raisins. But the booze and the sweetness just didn’t do it for me. That one would probably run mid 80’s for me, just due to the complexity.

I can’t wait to go back and try some more of their beer. I have to say that it’s some of the best that I’ve had from Washington, and the hype I’ve been hearing is legit.

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  1. Deenis
    July 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I agree that the tasting order is very important.

    • atattooedtale
      July 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      For sure. Can’t wait to go back and give the beer a more proper review. Man, was that a good IPA.

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