Author Topic: Tried my first India Black Ale  (Read 7287 times)

Offline gmac

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Tried my first India Black Ale
« on: September 07, 2012, 05:37:33 PM »
I tried my first one of these (won't get into the naming thing) and it had quite a bit of roast character in it.  Very creamy brown head, clearly looked like a good amount of black patent in the mash.
I didn't think that they were supposed to have much in terms of roast, more just colour with hops like a normal IPA but much darker.  I can't say I really liked it that much so I thought I'd ask if sounds.  It was Dunham Black IPA from Quebec.  Anyway, does this sound right?

Offline nateo

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 09:04:53 PM »
I'm not really sure what to tell you. I know some people say "black IPAs" or "Cascadian Dark Ales" aren't supposed to have roasted character, but other say they are. I don't really understand the difference between a black IPA and a hop-centric American stout/porter.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 09:36:43 PM »
Of the commercial versions I've tried, some are hoppy with just a hint of roast (Victory Yakima Glory, Otter Creek Alpine Black IPA), some are balanced between roast and hops (Heavy Seas Black Cannon, Widmer Bros Pitch Black). Magic Hat Demo is even more roast-forward, and it's really more like a hoppy porter to me.

To me the whole India Black vs Porter categorization is sort of like IIPA vs American Barleywine. There is definitely some overlap in the middle.

Some people don't like it, but I enjoy everything about the combo between roasted malt and hops. I like how the black coffee type bitterness pairs with resiny hop bitterness, and I like how the roast coffee/chocolate flavors pair with citrusy hops.
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Offline majorvices

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Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 05:20:37 AM »
I have never had a black IPA that I thought was worth the glass it was served in. Just a style that clashes in every way to my taste buds.
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 07:37:44 AM »
I have never had a black IPA that I thought was worth the glass it was served in. Just a style that clashes in every way to my taste buds.

Agreed. I've had a number of commercial black IPAs, some with a schwarzbier-like roastiness and others with a robust stout-like roastiness. If there's not enough roast, I feel like I'm drinking a regular IPA and wondering why it's black, but if there's too much I just taste roast and why wonder it's called an IPA. Not to say that they can't be good beers, I'd much rather have a nice American IPA followed by a nice stout.

Offline nateo

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 07:48:06 AM »
I like Avery's New World Porter. They've been making that beer since '97, so it's not like a black IPA is a "new" thing. I'm not sure why adding more of a single ingredient (hops) to what would otherwise be an already established style warrants its own category, when the American-style porter and stout categories have a lot of latitude for the assertiveness of hop character.
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Offline cmclaughlin

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 07:49:05 AM »
If the beer is black, I expect some semblance of roast.

For IBA, this amounts to a minimal (though detectable) roast character that compliments - but does not overpower - the hops.

Others will have their own interpretation. This is one of the reasons I avoid brewing these things for competition.

Offline denny

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 09:06:30 AM »
I have never had a black IPA that I thought was worth the glass it was served in. Just a style that clashes in every way to my taste buds.

Yeah, I feel the same way.  To me, the roast and the hops just aren't a pleasant combo.
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 09:14:03 AM »
I have never had a black IPA that I thought was worth the glass it was served in. Just a style that clashes in every way to my taste buds.

Agreed. I've had a number of commercial black IPAs, some with a schwarzbier-like roastiness and others with a robust stout-like roastiness. If there's not enough roast, I feel like I'm drinking a regular IPA and wondering why it's black, but if there's too much I just taste roast and why wonder it's called an IPA. Not to say that they can't be good beers, I'd much rather have a nice American IPA followed by a nice stout.

+1 and +1
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 10:16:13 AM »
I have never had a black IPA that I thought was worth the glass it was served in. Just a style that clashes in every way to my taste buds.

Agreed. I've had a number of commercial black IPAs, some with a schwarzbier-like roastiness and others with a robust stout-like roastiness. If there's not enough roast, I feel like I'm drinking a regular IPA and wondering why it's black, but if there's too much I just taste roast and why wonder it's called an IPA. Not to say that they can't be good beers, I'd much rather have a nice American IPA followed by a nice stout.

+1 and +1

and +1 more. 
For the most part.

I've tried a few of the so called Cascadian/India Darks.  Personally, I don't even recognize it as a new "style" and don't even get me started on the whole naming brewhaha.
   
Frankly  if I want a hoppier dark ale, of all the commercial examples, Sierra Nevada Porter fills that need quite nicely with a very good balance of flavors...and without the silly controversy about the name.   ;D
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 10:19:13 AM by The Professor »
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Offline repo

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 11:49:33 AM »
Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, I enjoyed this a lot. Name seems appropriate for this discussion. It just messes with your senses like white chocolate. I think that is what they were going for. Also tied for 25th of  Zymurgy's best beers. So someone else likes it too, for whatever that poll is worth. Taste is completely and entirely subjective. There are lots of  beers on that list I wouldn't drink for free. Does that make them bad- NO- well not necessarily.

Offline majorvices

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Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 12:29:39 PM »
FYI: There's no such thing as "white chocolate".
Keith Y.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »
FYI: There's no such thing as "white chocolate".

Agreed. "White chocolate" is just as nonsensical as "black IPA."
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 03:22:45 PM »
[pointless musings] I brewed one expecting it to come out like an IPA with some roasty character and a lot of hoppy resiny piney goodness.  It turned out more like a porter with a smidge of additional hops.  I'm not sure why this happened, but I was still happy with the beer.  If "hitting my target flavor" was the criterion, it was definitely a failure.  However, taste wise it was a pleasant surprise, a pretty darn good brew all the same, so it was a success! 

Having brewed one, I now think that I really like the style, actually in all its crazy forms.  I've had multiple commercial versions and they all seem different.  It's a style with lots of room for variation.  I will try brewing one again sometime soon. [/pointless musings]

I don't really care what it's called, BTW.   ::)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 03:24:41 PM by alcaponejunior »

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Tried my first India Black Ale
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2012, 03:25:41 PM »
Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, I enjoyed this a lot. .

I think this may be the best CDA out there right now.  YMMV