Libertine Black Ale
Brewery: Brew Dog
Type: Black IPA
I love hops, anyone who has taken a look around the blog can see that. I also love dark beers. The black IPA os a type of beer that appeals to no end with me. Combining my two favorite things, big hops and dark malts. While the style sounds amazing on paper, to me I think it is one of the hardest to balance. I have tried quite a few black IPAs, ranging from slightly too hoppy stouts, horribly unbalanced mouth killers, to the closest to perfection (in my opinion) I have yet tried, To Øl's Black Maria. So when I got the chance to order Brew Dog's Libertine Black Ale, I jumped at being able to add another beer to my search for dark hoppy perfection. Pours very dark, certainly living up to it's name. Tiny tinge of light at the corners, but black ale none the less. Stupendously huge tan head that stands like whipped cream on top. Sticks around forever and leaves thick pillowy lacing on the glass. The smell is a very balanced mix of beautiful simcoe hop and just a touch of roasted malt. Like a tropical fruit spread on a dark bread. The taste is very hop forward, which i am not going to complain about as it is my favorite hop. That juicy unmistakable simcoe flavor creeps through everything. A mixture of fruit and resinous pine flavor with an undertone of dark malt. Not a lot of roast gets through but a little dark coffee tone makes it through. I am impressed with the amount of hop character that makes it through, while still allowing you to feel this is a dark beer. More warmth brings a bit more dark malt and a tiny bit of booze. Not overly bitter, just bitter enough to invoke the IPA in the style, but not too bitter as to muddle the roasted aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel that is deceptively light for a 7% beer.
I really liked this beer. It has rocketed high into my top 5 black IPAs. Nicely balanced, but with an emphasis on the hops, which I think is where it belongs in a beer with IPA in the style title. (yes I know Cascadian Dark Ale, that name lost out a long time ago). Supremely drinkable and a beer I would pick up a case of, if that was a possibility. Check it out if you are looking for a good Black IPA, or are looking for somewhere to start on the style.