It’s Day 4 of Providence Craft Beer Week, and my last post before I venture into Beervana tomorrow for…*ahem*…important research (I’ll post on that later). So for my fourth post in my blogging binge, I decided to bring things back home to Rhode Island with Revival: Double Black IPA. I think Black IPAs (or Cascadian Dark Ales if you’re a style snob) are very underrated and underdone. Quite truthfully, I wish there were more of them because, when they are done correctly, they make for a very flavorful beer. Black IPAs combine the roasted malt attributes of a stout and the hop flavors and bitterness of an IPA into one beverage. I would say think of a “hoppy stout”, but I also don’t want to oversimplify things. Revival’s Double Black IPA is probably my favorite beer in their lineup, so for this next post, I thought I would share this beer with you. Check it out:
Beer Name: Double Black I.P.A.
Brewery: Revival Brewing Co
Brewery Location: Providence, RI
Beer Style: Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale
Double Black IPA pours deep black and opaque with an off-white, cream colored head that, despite the alcohol strength of this beer, manages to follow the glass down as you drink it.
Medium roasted coffee is the first thing that I pick up on the nose. I do detect some herbal and piney notes in the background of this beer, however I think they play more of a supporting role to the roasty character of this beer. Contrast this to a regular IPA where the hops are the star, this beer brings the hops back into balance with the malt character while still being a “hoppy” beer.
Taste & Aftertaste
Just as was perceived in the aroma, a distinct roasted-coffee-like flavor is the star of this beer with some hints of chocolate to compliment. There is an ashy quality to this beer that is reminiscent of a stout and provides some bitterness, but I think a lot of the bitterness in this beer actually comes more from the hops (and the bitterness, as in any good IPA, is very assertive in this beer). Just like in the aroma, the hops are present, but again, they play more of a supporting role to the malts. I pick up more of those grassy and herbal flavors that I got from the aroma, but I also pick up a faint lemony fruitiness that I did not get from the aroma, which is a really nice compliment to the coffee character of this beer. There is a little bit of alcohol warmth, however it does not come across as overly boozey and, actually, if you’re not paying attention, the alcohol is actually dangerously well hidden. Just as dangerous is how dry this beer finishes- I don’t get much sweetness on my tongue with each sip, which means that I want to take another sip of this beer (and another, and another…). The alcohol in this is not crazy high, but the dry finish and great flavors make this highly crushable (meaning that alcohol will catch up to you quick).
Overall, this is an excellent example of what a Black IPA should be. This particular beer actually balances the hop character with its strong malt character while, at the same time, still being a “hoppy beer”. The coffee and chocolate notes pair well with the herbal, piney, and faintly fruity flavor of the hops. This beer drinks like a hoppy stout and while I think this is a very “niche” style of beer, it’s definitely worth trying at least once- especially if you can appreciate a good IPA and a good stout wrapped into one beer.