Beer of the Weekend #573: BLAKKR

Remember that special (and expensive) four-pack I mentioned on Friday? Well, it’s time to crack open one of the cans. So without further ado, I give you BLAKKR, brewed by the Surly Brewing Company of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Why is this four-pack so special? Because I bought it in Iowa. That’s right: Surly is now in Iowa — albeit on a very limited basis until it is released on a larger scale after Surly opens its new “destination brewery.” It is, I will say, an odd way to enter a state. Instead of offering their solid year-round line-up, Surly sends a possible one-off? I’m glad Surly has decided to expand into Iowa, and that I got a chance to try BLAKKR (I have no clue when I will be in Minnesota next), but I am not sure I see the reasoning behind a year-long tease.

Serving type: 16-ounce can. The “CANNED ON” date printed on the bottom of the can is “03/18/14.”

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is non-opaque black. A finger of dense, tan head dissipates very slowly, leaving an uneven froth, ring around the edge, and an even coating of lacing along the glass.

Smell: The smell is enticing and floats to my nose from an arm’s length away. Chocolate, toasted malts, and roasted malts commingle with grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple. Molasses and singed maple syrup sneak in after the beer has warmed.

Taste: The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Much like the aromas, the flavors blend together perfectly. Chocolate, toasted malts, and some roasted malts are complemented by grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple. There is also a large dose of hoppy bitterness and pine resin, which lingers on the taste buds after each sip. Despite the 9.99 percent ABV, there is only a light hint of alcohol (a warming sensation on the tongue) after the beer has warmed.

Drinkability: Stellar stuff that is simple and very tasty. It is definitely worth the price.

Fun facts about BLAKKR:

-Style: Surly calls it “Imperial Black IPA.”

-Price: $18.99/four-pack at New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City. I am pretty sure I was the first person ever to buy Surly at the Co-op and maybe even in Iowa City. (I got a four-pack before they were placed on the shelves.) A commemorative plaque is in the mail, of course. (Not!)

-Alcohol content: 9.99 percent ABV.

-IBU: 85.

-Color: The Surly website pegs the color at 4.5º SRM. I think they mean 45º.

-BLAKKR is a collaborative effort between three breweries: Surly, Three Floyds, and Real Ale. Each brewery is represented by a head on the three-headed demon on the can. (Or at least that’s how it looks.)

The Quiet Man’s grade: A.

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