Thursday, May 31, 2012

Arcadia B-Craft Black IPA

 This came on tap at 8th St. Grille last week. It took me a while to getting around to reviewing it as black IPA's aren't my cup-O-tea. In anycase, I'm familiar with Arcadia and know of their beer making skills, so this was worth the taste. 4 Oz sample served

Appearance: First impression was the large puffy dark cream colored head with strong retention and dense consistency. The color was dark (obviously) but not to the extent that it didn't entirely blot out the light. Dark brown  - a-typical of most of the "Blakc IPA's I've found on the market. Still, the color makes visibility and acknowledgment of what is happening within, difficult.
Aroma: Pine and tropical deciduous fruit make up the majority of the scent profile. Pineapple and toasted barley are extremely faint. Primarily, the aroma is quite simple, revolving around the fruity based pines and hop contributed character.
Taste: The start is brief and sweet, with notes of bread and caramel. The flavor swiftly morphes into a bit from Citra based hopps with an acidic bite and a tropical taste. In conjunction, there is even notes of chocolate that reign through lightly on to the finish. Byproducts of tart berry fruit and pineapple make up the majority of this acidic, hop based bitter character that dominates the middle of the beer. The finish is faintly of pine, but quick to leave the palate. As the beer warms, hints of licorice and molasses are subtle to emerge after the palate has been numbed to the rich flavor.
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied and fluid, especially with the addition of the hops, which encourages a very light texture. Carbonation is on the lower end, and if allowed, briefly tickles the front of the tongue.
Overall Impression: As it warms, I feel the beer develops more of a balance. The hops mellow, the malt emerges and the acidity dies into a familiar, palatable sweetness. Drinkable with a note of alcohol at the end.

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