St-Ambroise Black IPA – McAuslan Brewing

IPA Noire – 6.5% – De Montréal, QC.

Black IPA – 6.5% – From Montréal, QC.
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75 = 3.49/5

Black opaque color. Creamy bubbly brown 3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with good legs and swirl reaction. Flavors of walnuts, coffee, cocoa, dark grains, liquorice, prunes, and herbal hops. Silky and creamy medium body with a moderate crisp. Strong strength, light dark fruity feel, chalky with moderate spiciness and leafy hops, while deeply roasted like biting coffee beans. The hops are more herbal and less tropical, makes a less interesting mix that is quite bold for the ABV but still remains decently fresh. Overall very good quality craft.

Disruption – Category 12 Brewing

IPA Noire – 6.7% – De Saanichton (proche de Vancouver), Colombie Britannique.

Black IPA – 6.7% – From Saanichton (near Vancouver), British Columbia.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75 = 3.63/5

Almost opaque dark brown color with a copper hue but no visible activity. Fluffy and creamy beige 3 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, with good legs and swirl effect. Flavors of dark grains, coffee, cocoa, grapefruits, orange, plums, raisins, and herbal hops. Light slick and slightly oily medium to full body with prickly carbonation and a soft crisp. Gets more tender as it warms. Strong strength finish, roasted while a bit chalky and earthy with a leafy hoppy final that coats the tongue. Nothing excessive, the balance is there and the freshness is decent. The hops are dominantly herbal and less fruity, which I find less interesting, a barrel effect would have been nice and add to the complexity. Still a highly enjoyable brew. Overall very good quality craft.

Houblon Libre – Microbrasserie Du Lac-Saint-Jean

IPA noire légèrement fumée en barrique, 7.7%, ressemble beaucoup à un barleywine ou stout impériale russe. De Saint-Gédéon.

Black IPA, 7.7%, from Saint-Gédéon, Québec.
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4 = 4.03/5

Opaque deep brown/black color. Thick creamy brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with generous legs and a strong swirl effect. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, plums, pine, orange, caramel, soft liquorice and molasses, barley and herbal hops. Smooth and creamy medium body with moderate carbonation. Strong finish, slightly chalky and quite earthy, tropical fruits, clovey, dark roasted malts, ends with leafy hops and a bit smokey (rauch style). Although it’s a long and heavy unaccessible spruce tongue coat. There’s a barrel aged flavor turning the malts similar to a barleywine or Russian stout. Robust while still enjoyable, yet the freshness takes a hit. Nicely balanced, very tasty and warming. Overall very good quality craft.

Pénombre – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

IPA Noire Forte, 6.5%, de Montréal, Québec.

Strong Black IPA, 6.5%, Montréal, Québec.
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75 = 3.63/5

Almost opaque dark brown with a ruby shade, a yeasty coat, and slightly active. Thick creamy and frothy brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 15-20 minutes, with a bit of legs, good lacing and swirl effect. Flavors of pine, coffee, dark chocolate, plums, cherries, orange peels, black liquorice, wild yeast, wet barley and dry leafy hops. Milky medium body with soft crispy carbonation. Extra strong finish, deeply herbal and coarse, dense tongue coat of thick grass and earth mixed with straw and dark malts. Chalky while sharp. Soft barrel aged feel of whiskey. Nice smooth and tender body. Lack balance and accessibility, overwhelming finish. Although for those looking for very bold IPAs will be well served. The quality is really high, but I’m a little disappointed. While the flavors are quite tasty, the finish really kills my throat.

L’Éclipse – Microbrasserie Le Castor

IPA Noire, 6.8%, de Rigaud, Québec.

Black IPA, 6.8%, from Rigaud, Québec.
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5 = 4.41/5

Opaque with a very dark brown color. Creamy brown 3-4 finger sparkling head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with soft legs and good lacing. Pure inviting smell. Flavors of rich cappuccino, cocoa, pineapples, orange, peach, mangos, light pine, slight molasses and plums, wood, dark malts, with grassy and leafy herbal hops. Slick and silky medium body with crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength earthy finish, some clove and peppercorn dryness, nice tropical feel, with notes of oak. The tongue coat quickly dissipates. Incredibly well balanced and intensified. Very good interpretation of a black IPA, with a bit of barrel aged effect. Delicious and accessible. Good complexity and freshness. Top notch stuff from Castor as usual, great fine quality overall.