Fill It or Spill It

Daddy’s Little Helper Black IPA

In Orgeon on December 11, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Black IPA? When I first saw one I thought it was a misprint or maybe I was having a stroke, but luckily I was wrong on both counts.  Among beer nerds, there is some controversy as to the term “black IPA”, but I am not going to get into it because I think it is a little silly.   I wanted to try one out of curiosity, so I did.  Rogue is a good brewery that makes some tasty beers, so why not try their take on a the infamous black IPA.

Of course, the beer was black and I didn’t see much carb action.  It did have plenty of tan head, which I liked.  The art work on the bottle was cool to me.  It’s a picture of a guy with a black beer in his glass, nothing overtly fancy, but an image that reminds me of hard-working, blue-color guys like the men in my family.  The ABV on it was 7% so a good ABV, not too high, but not too low either.  My dad would definitely approve of the ABV.

The aroma was a mind freak for me.  The beer had a nice floral hoppyness to it, which was what I would expect from a quality IPA.  On the other hand, there were also some chocolate and coffee notes which is expected of dark beers.  The mix of hoppyness was really cool with the chocolate and coffee notes; not something you come by everyday.  It is a weird idea, but it worked; very well-balanced.

The taste was interesting just like the aroma.  Again, you get the hoppyness of an IPA along with the dark, malty flavors of chocolate and coffee.  The body was good, I’d say a medium bodied beer, that bordered on the full-bodied side.  I expected this to be a lot heavier, but the beer was relatively light, wwhich made this black IPA easy to drink.  The balance of chocolate with hops was different and enjoyable… chocolates with salt on them (a random analogy but semi-appropriate).

Verdict: Fill It! I liked this beer.  I haven’t come across too many of these black IPAs; this is only my second ever.  My first black IPA was a sample at a beerfest, so I did not really the opportunity to really savor the subtleties of a beer like this.  I like Rogue and the brews they put out.  I’d try this beer again.  If you were like me and had never tried a black IPA, you should pick this one up.  It’s from a good brewery and the beer is good.  I’m going to be on the look-out for more of these bad boys.


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