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