Kicking off Cinco de Mayo with a Black IPA?

10 May

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With Miranda still groggy from sleeping off the Blue dot she had the night before, I sat down with a pile of avocados to make the guacamole for the Cinco de Mayo party. While I was working, Brian handed me half of an Alaskan Black IPA. Sure, a Modelo would have been a more appropriate beverage for this party, but the day was young, and there was always room for a Mexican beer or two.

I quickly noticed with this beer the dark malts dominated the nose and the hop was present but quite subdued. I expected more hop, but if the beer was not dry hopped (the bottle doesn’t say), this isn’t surprising. With this in mind though, the taste revealed what I expected; this black IPA is more of a hoppy porter. The beer is very rich, and ever so slightly sweet to start, with a somewhat hoppy finish. The beer is not big, but still, the 6.4% alcohol was completely hidden. Adding to the richness of the beer was its big body, again very porter-like.

Before anyone gets the sense I did not like this beer, this was a good beer. Once I set aside the Black IPA designation, I quite enjoyed this beer as a unique porter. I would drink it again. For me a black IPA, CDA, or whatever you want to call it, should have a forward hint of the dark malts before the hop washes over my tongue and finishes strong. For this beer to move next to other excellent, readily-available Black IPAs, such as Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous ale or Pyramid’s Discord ale, Alaskan brewing is going to have to put a lot more hops in the kettle and maybe a dry hopping for good measure.

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