Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Green Wolf Ravens Black IPA


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1188) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 30, 2014
It’s nice to see a startup brewery using a black IPA as one of their launch offerings. “Ravens” is only my second Green Wolf beer, but it’s much more than solid for the style. A heavy dose of sticky, dank hops and sweet chocolate plus some roasted malt on the end for that stout quality. I like it.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $7 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Jet black color (not surprisingly) with a small, chalky, foamy head which laces and retains pretty well.

Smell: Chocolate syrup and piney/floral hops.

Taste: When it comes to black IPAs, the best hops to use are the ones that create for pine and resin character. Green Wolf Ravens Black IPA mentions Chinook hops in the description, and they certainly are used well here. Right away there’s an intense, dank, bitter sensation of concentrated pine needles. This is quickly countered by a rich, sweet, confectionery-like flavor of milk chocolate, and topped off with the classic roasted malt taste found in a good stout. It’s almost chewy, and there’s a lingering, cloying bitter sensation – yet it’s quite pleasing. This is a Black IPA done right.

Drinkability: Depending on whom you ask, 7.5% ABV can either be huge or average when it comes to weight. In the case of Green Wolf Ravens Black IPA it leans more towards the average as the beer doesn’t seem to have quite the full body that it should. The mouthfeel is a little thin and under-carbonated. However, it does have a silky texture and easy finish – which makes it quite easy to drink. A few tweaks and this brew could be truly excellent (or better). 
Grade: 8/10