Appearance: Jet Black as so aptly named. Slight ruby tinge when held up to the light. There is a creamy 10mm head that retains really well, and basically doesn’t budge. It leaves a sticky wall of lacing whatever head does recede. There is tiny carbonation seen bubbling up to the surface maintaining the bottom of the cream head.
Aroma: It’s a lot more subdued out of the can or from the glass than we imagined for this strength of beer. Almost a watery aroma, combining sweet caramels/almost toffee like, some mild honey, roast, mild chocolates, mild coffee, with remnants of juicy tropical hops.
Flavour: Much more intense and rich. Immediate flavours of roasted malts, ash, strong bitterness, espresso, and dark chocolate. As we imbibe we get stewed dark fruits, some raisins, prunes almost. There is even a cognac or port like liqueur hit. The bitterness is now slowly easing after the onslaught at the start. After researching we note the IBU is a measly 111… the same as the alcohol volume. The spirit like alcohol flavour dominates but certainly does not overpower. The fruity hops combine with the roasted malts and booze well enabling a balance that is very palateable.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with good length. Not overly oily on the lips. Certainly some stickiness. Carbonation not overly high..like an ale. As stated the alcohol vol is 11.1%. Again the balance is a real testament to the brewers.
Overall: Very tasty black IIIPA. It’s boozy but very contained. We havn’t had a lot of excellent Hope Estate brews, but we can say that this drop can finally be added to that category. One is definitely enough in a setting. Good beer.