I love Black IPAs. Love, love, love them. Some may think they are gimmicky, some may not know what to call them. (Cascadian Dark Ale, anyone?) All I know is, what’s not to love? Rich velvety maltiness, with a snappy hop kicker? Come on! Besides, if the GABF thinks enough of them to make them a category, that’s plenty good enough for me.
Speakeasy’s Butchertown Black Ale is an excellent example of the style. Jet black in color (duh), with an earthy, musty nose, it has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The mocha, coffee-tinged bitterness is immediately chased by the spicy hop finish. It registers 8.2% on the alcohol scale, but wears it well with little detectable heat.
Overall, I think this made-in-San-Francisco ale is a fine beverage to enjoy while cheering your favorite team to victory. I think they’ve really struck Gold here. This beer’s a real Catch. In a word, it’s just Super.