Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beer Review: Widmer Brothers W '10 Pitch Black IPA

Well two for Tuesday today, and yes I know it's a beer from a brewery that I reviewed last week but it was staring at me from the fridge just saying drink me...DRINK ME!! I find that a lot of beers I have never tried talk to me, or maybe I just drank a barley wine too fast. Plus not a better time to review when the new issues of BYO Magazine and Zymurgy have articles about the emerging style of Cascadian Dark Ales, which basically translate to black IPA.

Our Brewmasters' Release - Pitch Black IPA is a Pacific Northwest twisted tribute to an IPA style of beer. It is almost a traditional IPA but it is instead brewed to the emerging style of Cascadian Dark. We add a modest amount of a specially made debittered black malt to give this IPA a very dark color but without the characteristic dark malt flavors. Pitch Black IPA is hopped generously in the brewhouse and then again later during the dry hopping process. Hopheads of the world will certainly enjoy this dark version of IPA, as will beer drinkers looking for something new and experimental to fill their pint glass.
The "W" Brewmasters' Release Series is from Widmer Brothers. A new beer every year. Built from the ground up by our hardworkin' brewmasters. Traditional, experimental, anything goes. Here's to trying new things.
January - April
65 IBU
alcohol by volume:
original gravity:
Two Row Pale, Caramel 10 L, Special Roast, Carafa Special II
AROMA: Alchemy, Cascades
DRY HOP: Cascade T-45
goes well with:
smokey and spicy type dishes that tend to be richer, Steak with blue cheese butter (black and blue combo), Spicy Mole, Chili, Smoked and/or spicy cured meats, BBQ ribs

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany in the light but appears black when out of the light. Thick off-white head lingers awhile with great full glass lacing.

Aroma: Citrus hops leaning towards grapefruit, with no roasted character evident until the beer warms a little. A tiny bit of caramel sweetness. 

Flavor: Upfront with grapefruity citrus tones leading to a tiny bit of roast and caramel sweetness. Slighty astringent but barely noticeable. Finishes dry on the palate. As the beer warms some roasted character comes through which really plays well with the hops.

Mouthfeel: Low to medium body with low carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall: All I can say is that it is different. The color really throws off what you are tasting. This is a very tasty IPA with just a hint of roast which plays well with the hops and slight caramel sweetness. Very drinkable but will catch up with you if you have a few of them. A new style that will likely take on with the craft beer world. The style was probably derived in some homebrewers kettle. If it does well I could see Widmer Brother's making this an everyday offering or at least a seasonal one. As of now it is part of their yearly brewmaster's release so pick one up if you see it, you may only have the rest of this year to try it out.  

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