Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
Brew: Naked Hopularity
Their Take: Hopheads go to great extremes in their lupulin quests. It’s a worthy endeavor, but fraught with falling across the event horizon in a hoppy stupor. With swirling flavors from both dark malts and the crisp body from pilsner grains, our limited release black IPA will take you to the center of a hop explosion and back, without all the crushing gravity.
The Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale, or American Dark Ale, or Hoppy Tar, has quietly become one of my favorite styles of this summer. I find myself giving anything with Black IPA written on the label a shot, the latest of which being Slumbrew’s Naked Hopularity.
The beer pours as black as the universe depicted on the label, absorbing all light thrown at it, not even turning deep brown next to a lamp. It had a fluffy, tan head that hung out with me throughout the entirety of the beer. The usual BIPA aromas were there, more piney and resiny than the plain Jane IPA, lacking most of the citrus that style is known for. Naked Hopularity had an earthy feel too it, a unique scent (possibly coming from some black patent malt?), yet I couldn’t help but notice a bit of a medicinal smell to it as well.
The malt dominates the initial taste, again what I think was black patent malt stealing the show, though I could be way off there. It had a taste similar to my own brews that has only come when I’ve used that particular grain, so it leads me to think this way. It tasted deliciously over cooked, not charred, but burnt just enough to enhance the flavors. It was crisp, like roasted coffee, hold the cream and sugar. There was some bitterness at the end and on the after taste, the IPA part of the name coming through, but the hops used complemented the malt bill, blending seamlessly with the roastiness originally tasted. I wish the hops had shone bright from start to finish, but they held up at the end, and finished off what I found to be a rather delicious beer. I know the Black IPA can be a contentious brew, what are your thoughts on the style?