Widmer Brothers Pitch Black IPA

Widmer’s Brother Brewing Co.
Portland Oregon
Pitch Black IPA

This is the Brewmaster’s Release: 2010 “Cascadian Dark.” The Widmer Bros have been in the business of brewing for over 25 years and this beer caught my eye: a dark IPA. Most of time, IPAs are golden-amber, but this includes a bit of roasted barley and black malt to darken it up.

When held to the light, the beer is just shy of opaque, with a rich, chocolate brown translucency. The head is very lively and tan. Even after several minutes, there is over a quarter-inch of foam which clings to the glass like it was falling down a well.

The nose is truly amazing – there is a wonderful mix of strong pine and grapefruit from the Cascades, but with a subtle maltiness in the back that turns quickly from sweet to roasty.

The mouthfeel is excellent. In fact, this is a truly rare beer. The initial onslaught of tangy, citrusy hops is undeniable – it’s any hopheads dream – but just as your mouth is being dried out by those sere hops, the roasted barley kicks in ever so slightly to provide a mild dark chocolate breadiness that possesses a tang of its own to join the rush of bitters.

This is one of the most interesting – and best – beers I’ve tried in a while. If you’re a hophead, try it. If you like porter, try it. If you like beer, try it. If you don’t like beer, try it, maybe it will make you a convert. I’d say this beer knows the riddle of steel.


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