Black IPA is still a style that I don’t really understand. I have had a few and the only two that are memorable are Ted Bissell’s homebrew and Foster from Hill Farmstead. The rest are not all that memorable and the Noonan Black IPA falls into that category. This is a nice beer and a good example of the style but nothing to get too excited about.
Color is black with a thin tan head, aroma has more roasted malt, coffee, chocolate than hops but there is some piney/citrus hops in there. Taste is about the same with plenty of hops to start and then the chocolate, roasted malts take over. Still seems an odd combination of flavors for me.
Overall this is a fairly easy drinking black IPA but it is not a style I would drink on a regular basis.
Alcohol Content: 5.7% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Smuttynose Brewing
Brewers Description: Black IPA doesn’t quite seem to make sense, does it? How can something that’s black also be described as pale?
Noonan is our interpretation of a New England original, the Black IPA. Dark like a porter, but hoppy like an IPA, this seemingly contradictory beer style originated in 1994, in Burlington, Vermont by brewer Glenn Walters and under the watchful eye of Greg Noonan. Greg was many things, a brewing pioneer and author, founder of three brewpubs, 2005 Russell Scherer award winner and genealogist. When Greg passed away suddenly, Smuttynose’s brewing team wanted to brew a beer in his memory and this was the result. We hope you find it a worthy tribute as well.
Noonan (the beer) looks like an ordinary porter or stout, until you get the pint up to your nose. You can’t avoid the big whiff of piney, herbal and citrusy American hops, but there’s virtually no roasted character. Ponderous, huh? When you take a sip, you’ll notice that the beer doesn’t taste a lot like a porter either. Instead of the expected astringency imparted by dark grains, you’ll find a depth of caramel malts and more American hops. Don’t worry that’s by design; it’s also what we love about the beer.