Finch's Sobek & Set Black IPA

Another beer from a brewer I've never heard of. It seems like this situation happens a lot, but I'm never more likely to find a good beer than when I... decide to open one, I guess. A black IPA, like a black lager, is a strange beast that is really, really hard to get a handle on. I take each beverage as they come, though, so let's dig in.

The dark caramel colored beer sports a thin tan head that leaves lacing as an after thought. The aroma is more malty than hops, and that belies the claim that this is an IPA. They know more about brewing beer than I do, I'm sure, so I'll take their word for it. I only know about drinking beer, and that's what I plan to do.

First sip is roasted malt and caramel dreams. It's nothing like an IPA - nothing like the previous black IPAs, either - there's almost no hops whatsoever. That doesn't make it bad, as it's just not what I was prepared for. It's a good sip. It has a bit of a bitter twang at the downslope of the sip, and maybe that's what I'm getting from the hops. I dunno. I guess I need to swig it.

Tip in is caramel malt and carbonation tingle. The middle is gobs of chocolate malt and swarming with earthiness and bread. It's a sweet, somewhat milky goodness. If you told me at this point that this was a mild porter or VERY gentle milk stout, I wouldn't disagree. But, I think black IPA might be for the best. The finish brings a bit of bitterness and flowers. It's a great ending to a great beer.

Bottom Line: A very good beer with a bite that doesn't take away from the smoothness.



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