Every once in a while a beer catches my attention on the shelf; maybe it’s the label, maybe it’s the name… Trafalgar’s India Ink Black Pale Ale is one of those. I stopped by the LCBO on Kingston road on my way up to Montreal yesterday and upon my arrival in St-Sauveur made sure it made it to the fridge so that I could review it on Saturday. Sure enough, haircut, gardening, raking and lunch out of the way it was 4:00pm when I was finally able to sit down and review this beer.
India Ink Ale pours dark brown with hints of rust and copper. The head was delicious looking; very creamy and spoon inviting. Leaving behind some nice lacing on the glass it retained its foamy head quite a while. The smell was that of an IPA except maybe a little more earthy; hops, wood, pine and malty. Contrary to other opinions, I didn’t get much citrus. It was more like green apples to me.
India Ink’s taste is bitter right away. It hits you with a strong pine and bitter hops taste from the very first sip then stays with you for most of the consumption. Hints of coffee and roasted malt eventually reveal themselves but overall the flavor maintains a pretty steady consistence. The after taste is a little salty and difficult to wash down, as if you just smoked a cigar. It leaves you wanting another sip like you need to hydrate the back of your mouth or wash down the cigar coating. Sounds worst than it is but that’s what I felt. The mouth feel was pleasant however, good carbonation and medium feel.
Look, overall, Trafalgar is an average brewery with good ideas but the execution leaves us thirsty for a more sexy punch. A lot of work was put in to this IPA with the use of 5 different hops and such but like their Maple Buck, which I will review next, it’s another great idea that ended up being average.
Good beer, but if you are looking for a good black IPA, it’s pretty easy to come across a better one… sorry Trafalgar.
Beer type: Dark India Pale Ale
Country / Region: Ontario, Canada