Friday, January 20, 2012

VT Pub & Brewery - Blackwatch IPA

Pioneered by Vermont Pub & Brewery's founder Greg Noonan, the Blackwatch IPA started what the Brewer's Association calls a Black IPA. The style is not yet officially recognized by the BJCP. Consistent of a very complex malt character and loads of hops since 1994.

Alcohol Content: ~5.7%
IBU: 100
Malts: British (none specified yet)
Hops: Cascade

Price: $4.00 for a pint
Medium: Served in a pint glass

Aroma: Malts and hops are both strongly represented at the same time, which makes for picking away at all of the layers of mouth-watering aromas. Can be described as very bold, roasted malts with an underlying bittersweet chocolate and a very citrusy/ floral hop profile dominated by Cascade.
Appearance: Black/ opaque making the carbonation impossible to tell. Poured for a thick, fluffy mocha/ tan head and great retention throughout the entire experience. Lots of lacing and large bubbles on the surface.
Flavor: Bittersweet caramel & toffee notes hit the pallet first with a subtle chocolate character. Roasted malts play a role mainly in the mid-taste and continues into the aftertaste - some husky attributes. The bitterness is as expected; an assertive citrusy & floral hop profile hits about mid-pallet and continues with a somewhat tart/ grapefruit-like finish. Aftertaste is slightly dry. Overall deep roasted malt complexities with a strong balance of hops.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body that is slightly creamy. Carbonation was moderately low and also consistent with the last two beers sampled at the pub (not necessarily bad). Interesting dryness from the hop finish is also mouth-watering in that I immediately wanted to take more sips, probably because the hops are so tasty. Minimal degree of alcohol warmth and some degree of astringency, but not deterring.
Overall Impression: Although better than Otter Creek Black IPA, they possess similar characteristics and especially in the mouthfeel. Great for hop-heads trying to broaden their horizons and go for something bold. Again served at an appropriate temperature that allowed for a great experience.

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