As part of the 5 types of beers that Garrison released around Christmas 2011, Garrison Black IPA was my least favorite beer.
At one point in time, I believed an Indian Pale Ale (IPA) could only be a light or blonde beer because of the pale. I guess like many, the “pale” in IPA threw me off. So in case you are wondering, let me explain how an Indian Pale Ale can be dark. Actually it’s quite simple, the only thing pale about IPA is that it is brewed from pale malt. In the case of a dark or black IPA, it is brewed using dark malt which results in a dark color beer. In theory, it really should be called an IDA for dark ale and a few brewers have started using this acronym. The fact that IPA has become such an important description for the beer type, outweighs the discrepancy between pale and dark. It’s an hybrid beer consisting of everything IPA, except for pale malt. So why not a stout or a porter? Well, it’s about balance. Dark IPAs don’t use as much dark malts like stouts and porters and stouts or porters are not hop based.
Look: I poured this Gold awarded beer in an ale glass; a medium size glass. Had I known I would have poured it in a Stout glass; long and taller as I would with an English stout. It’s a dark color with generous beige head.
Smell: The aroma consists of roasted coffee, chocolate and hops. It smells like the perfume trail of a beautiful woman as she walks by you with a chocolate croissant in a coffee shop.
Taste: The first taste was that of dark chocolate with a nice toffee feel. As I drank on, the taste of hops really took over, maybe a little too much in fact.
Finish: Unfortunately in my opinion, finishing this beer was not as much fun as the first few sips. For some reason, it became a little too much of a potpourri of flavours. The citrus and hops flavours lingered on with bitterness yet there was enough sweetness to reward my last few sips.
Feel: Creamy and well carbonated. A little dry towards the end.
Context: Right on.
Repeater: Yes but not necessarily a go-to.
Pairing: Asian and Indian cuisine. Desserts like fruit pastries.
Availability: All year round.
Beer type: IPA
Country / Region: Nova Scotia.