I understand both of these reasonings. If you're not a fan of the roast and the hops combo, you choose not to make it black at all. I just don't get not liking the combo of roast and hops and just make it black to make it black.
IMO, there IS no point in making it black. If you get roastiness, it conflicts with the hops. If you don't, what's the point of just making it black?I'm with Denny on this one. I have had a few examples that I greatly enjoyed, but I just can't get behind this style overall. Absolutely nothing against those that are into this style.
It's one of my favorite styles and one of the best beers that I brew.
Agreed. Personally, I don't think that hops necessarily conflict with roast. It's like garnishing espresso with a strip of lemon peel. Another example - many of the best chocolates out there have fruity undertones that go great with a balanced roast character (Madagascan terroir often shows up as a bright lemonade flavor). The thing is - it's all about balance. A pound of Roast Barley and 100 IBU of Chinook sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Personally, I prefer the roastier beers in the style as long as the hop character leans towards the citrus side with moderate bittering. Heavy Seas Black Cannon and Widmer Bros Pitch Black come to mind.