Brewery: To Øl
Type: Black IPA
Been looking forward to this one ever since I heard about it. As some readers might know, I love the idea of a black IPA. My two favorite styles, stout and IPA, together. Unfourtunatly I have never found that perfect one that gets it right. Mikkeller's Sort Guld came the closest, but not perfect. To Øl's Black Maria sounds like it could have cracked the code. It also has lactose in it! So technically a black milk IPA. Sounds awesome.
Pours dark, slight tinge of light on the edge, but certainly living up to the "black" part of the name. Has a pretty massive tan head, dissipates quick but leaves a tan surface on top of the beer, and big time lacing. When I first poured the beer I got a massive hoppy aroma. If I had my eyes closed it would have been a near perfect IPA smell. Nice big piney and lemon peel scent, with some more exotic stuff in the background. As the beer warms a bit in the glass, the smell changes almost completly. More dark maltiness comes through, bitter chocolate and roasted notes. The taste is a riot of roast and bitterness. Most of these black IPAs have either to much malt, making them just a hoppy stout, or an abundance of bitter hops making them a muddled mess. This strikes a nice balance. Roasted malts dominate the taste up front. Mostly a roasted taste, owing to very little chcolate malt in the recipe. This might be the answer to the overpowering malt taste. Hops take over the aftertaste of this beer. Bitter, and floral/pine finish. This is a bitter beer, and I think the bitterness really goes well with the roasted taste. The lactose sugar acts as just a little hint of sweet and mysterious that wiggles around somewhere behind all the other flavors. This is so close to a perfect black IPA. Awesome hop aroma, beautiful roasted taste and bitter bite. I think To Øl may have just made the best black IPA I have ever had.