Brew Review: India Ink

4 Oct

Brew: India Ink

Brewed by: Vine Park Brewing (St. Paul, MN)

Style: Black IPA (??% ABV)

Another review from the nice local brew it yourself brewery. Got a growler and actually finished it in a day because it was just too good to put down. I had read about this one online, apparently they had made a batch earlier this summer and it was a huge hit so I kept an eye out for the next time they brewed it and filled some growlers up for us, the masses.

The brew poured out like a like a thick rich porter. It was black with tons of roasted grains that kept the brew black with some deep red floating around in there. There was also a small tan head.

The aroma is a classic black IPA smell, there are hoppy spicy hops that burst out at you. The cascade’s don’t totally overpower the hint of yeast that shows up as well. The roasted grains also have a decent presence in this brew, which they should as they have turned this beer in a black beauty.

The taste of this beer can be summed up in one word, smooth. The spicy hops roll out on to the tongue, with the smooth richness from the roasted grains present themselves with a little bit of chocolate and coffee. For the most part this is a really balanced Black IPA, the hops aren’t over assertive, which isn’t something I have had before with this style. For example the Sublimely Self-Righteous puts an emphasis on the hops, so does the Hop in the Dark beer from Deschutes. Vine Park really mellows this temptation and keeps the brew in line.

When I went out to get the growler I actually got to talk with one of the brewers for a minute about the beer and his opinions on this beer. He said that the first attempt at the beer was good but this 2nd one he said they got a more mellow beer that was more subtle which he enjoyed. I respect the mellowness and the subtly of the beer but I really truly enjoyed Self-Righteous and its hoppy blast of bitterness. With that being said the brew really presents itself well and really hits all the right notes. I think Vine Park really does that with all of their beers, they take the style that they are going for and really put out the best quality product within the limits of the traditional style. Granted when that style is a Black IPA, one that is relatively new for a beer style, they still seem to produce a brew that leaves you thinking, “that’s really how a (insert style here) should taste!”

Final Grade: B+


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