You Best Keep The Best To Yourself

Brewery and Country of Origin: Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company) of 30 Germania Street, Boston, MA, 02130, USA

Date Reviewed: 4-20-12

As a consumer, it can be frustrating to see the prototypes for new and upcoming products (such as a concept car, or the newest Droid), only to find out that they're never going to be mass produced. People often find themselves thinking, "they really should make this," or "what was wrong with that?" Sometimes product makers don't give any explaination. Sometimes they make market research mistakes. Perhaps the manufacturer didn't have the capital to cover the Cap Ex needed to produce the good. In this case, none of those things apply. Sam Adams has made a (yet to be released) black American Pale Ale (similar to Harpoon's Black IPA) which we believe is, plainly said, very good. Maybe they're waiting for some perfect moment to release it to the public. Either way, they know they have something special on their hands and most others will agree. Darker IPAs are something of a rarity in the US and they always manage to excite when they come around. We were fortunate (or lucky) enough to sample this at a Sam Adams open house. And the biggest problem we have with this beer is that you have to have to attend an open house at the brewery to even have a chance to get it.
Date Sampled: 4-19-12 At: Sam Adams Boston Brewery, Boston, MA, USA
Beer Style: American Dark IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 4.50%
Serving Type: Cask Conditioned, 5 oz Plastic Sampler Glass
Rating: 3.71


The Black Ale features a dark reddish/brown color that appears opaque, a characteristic which can be attributed to this being a slightly unfiltered beer with a cloudy appearance. This beer features a thin foam head with very minor lacing around the glass.


This beer has a malty and slightly hoppy combination of aromas. Being a dark IPA, the hops are definitely present in the flavor and aroma, but more pressing is the use of dark, roasted malts to give this a characcter somewhat similar to an English porter. Nothing terribly strong here.


A full bodied beer, this delivers a solid feel (almost chewy) with a medium viscosity, a light amount of carbonation, and an internal warming effect.


This beer delivers a malty, roasted, earthy, and almost metallic set of flavors, all derived from the use of darker malts. There is also a noticeable amount of bitterness from the IPAesque use of hops. The beer finishes with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

Our Take

So like we said earlier, this is a very good beer. Everyone on staff at the brewery was drinking it at the time. Solid taste, unique characteristics, great feel, and an awesome bitter finish. What Sam Adams needs to do is make the decision to distribute this fermented masterpiece to the rest of the world, because it is something that deserves more attention. This is a beer which would go great with a hearty meal, a cool summer evening, or next to a roaring fire during the winter time. Unfortunately, we say "would go great." Until the Black Ale is made available to people who don't have the ability to take the time out of their lives to visit the Sam Adams brewery during visiting hours, it can only remain in the status of a hypothetical situation. If this is eventually released, any IPA fan should definitely give this winner a try. Once again, a hypothetical situation. Shame.