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Beer Club 22: American Black Ale

Black IPA Beer Club

This month’s Beer Club is brought to you by the Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/India Black Ale/American Black Ale or whatever else you want to call it. Regardless of the name, there was some kick-ass beer in this tasting. I actually designed the order by using the average of review scores. I used my own scores, BA, and RB.

To begin the tasting, we actually started with my homebrew. It gushed, and went back into the fridge. Oops.

The Laughing Dog Dogzilla might be my first beer from Idaho. I really don’t have much to say about that beer. I’m glad it was at the beginning of the tasting.

Next up was the 21st Amendment Back in Black. I actually like this beer. It’s not over-the-top with the hops and had a nice balanced flavor with quite a bit of caramel.

The Sam Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA was a new one for me. It’s brewed as a lager. It was oddly sweet and oddly obnoxious.

One of my favorites of the tasting was the Alaskan Black IPA. Theirs isn’t real hoppy, but man, it’s a tasty beer. I’ve been a fan in the past and it held up well in the tasting.

My friend actually brought a beer for us to try, which was the Beer Valley Half Mast. I stuck it into the tasting here, and have no idea what the ratings are on it. I thought this one was a pretty good example of the style.

Another beer that I’ve been a fan of in the past, was the Oakshire O’Dark:30. Gave it a 90 on this blog and I still liked it.

We had the Widmer Pitch Black after. Nothing of note about this beer. Tasted like water to me.

Our only Washington competitor was the Fish Swordfish out of Olympia. I gave this one a pretty high rating, and enjoyed it in the tasting. It was a bit more aggressive than the others we’d have at that point.

You can’t do black IPAs without one of the greats: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous. Probably the most aggressive beer, but the balance is fantastic. It’s what you’d come to expect from Stone.

Probably my favorite Black IPA is the Seccession by HUB. I still love this beer. It’s the perfect marriage of piney and citrus with the chocolate. My favorite.

This tasting was the first chance that I got to try the Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker. I guess there is a reason it’s the most highly rated beer in the tasting. Exquisite balance. It’s a beer I need to review on it’s own.

That’s it folks. It was a fantastic tasting and more user friendly than I thought it would be. Some folks just don’t enjoy the hops…yet. Next month hefeweizens at a lake house. Jealous?

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