Brewed By: Widmer Brothers Price: $6.95
Location: Portland, Oregon ABV: 6.5%
Style: Cascadian Dark Ale
Dark 22oz glass bottle. To be honest, I barely paid attention to the label because the invitation to try a “Pitch Black” drew me in pretty deep. This just sounded intriguing. I poured it into a pint glass and was rewarded with a thick, cream colored head. Not much in the way of being subtle here: this beer is black. There are noticeable hops and roasted malts in the nose. However, I have to deduct some points because the image at the bottom of brothers Rob and Kurt happily clinking glasses reminds me that I am drinking alone tonight.
Remember the first time you heard Leonardo DiCaprio try to talk with a Boston accent? At first it kind of threw you off, but then it kinda grew on you, and after awhile you didn’t even notice it. That’s what drinking the Pitch Black IPA is like. With a beer this dark, I was expecting a very complex, full-bodied taste, which I typically don’t like in an IPA. But it couldn’t have been further from the truth. The initial sip hinted of coffee, but immediately pulled back. It’s very smooth – the hops grabbed me, but didn’t bite. Hints of cocoa are found at the end. Head retention was impressive throughout. It’s very easy to drink – again, you would think that with such a dark beer, it would be heavier. The darkness betrays you, but in an acceptable way, like how Lando betrayed Han to save all the others. It kind of all works out in the end.
No one ever fully forgave Lando, even after he destroyed the Death Star. His betrayal was too great. That’s how I feel about this beer. I appreciate its smoothness, and the way it combines the different styles, but after awhile they all kind of run together. The more the beer opens up, the more of the little nuances I was able to pick up and enjoy in the beginning disappeared. With that in mind, I drank the second glass quicker, and enjoyed it considerably more.
I would. This was an enjoyable, somewhat surprising beer. I usually like more complex beers, but this threw in enough character to warrant a second try. Some of the taste was just a little more subtle than I would have liked.