Thursday, December 27, 2012

Adirondack Black Watch IPA

I’ve often said a beer doesn’t have to be complex to be good if the flavors that are there are pleasant. That’s the case with Adirondack Black Watch IPA - a beer that’s heavy on the hops and light on the malts, but still tastes really good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (777) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 27, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Opaque black body with ruby red/brown highlights. Forms a big, white, frothy head which retains and laces the glass extremely well.

Smell: A perfumey bouquet of pine needles and light citrus-flavored sherbet. Sweet and inviting.

Taste: It seems like I haven’t had a genuinely hoppy beer in a long time. Maybe because it’s the winter and those types of beers aren’t in season now. But it was nice to be reminded of just how powerful the hop can be, which is what the first swig of Adirondack Black Watch IPA did to my tongue. Strong bitterness right away in the more eastern piney/resiny/astringent style (Chinook hops tend to do that).

I notice a subtle chocolate flavor riding shotgun, though that’s about it as far as the malts go. There’s some roasty character here, too, but it’s difficult to differentiate its bitterness/flavor with that of the hops. There’s a dank resiny character on the finish and lingering aftertaste with a quick orange citrus tartness as well. It’s actually a really flavorful palate overall, even though it’s essentially the same one-two punch ad infinitum.

Drinkability: While it may not have a ton of stout characteristics as far as taste, Adirondack Black Watch IPA at least has the drinkability of one. The mouthfeel is relatively thick, but crisp with the smoothness of a pub-style stout. The hops definitely linger on the tongue making for a dry aftertaste, though it’s fairly tolerable. At 6.8% ABV it has the weight and strength of a strong beer if not something even bigger. 
Grade: 8/10

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