Beer of the Weekend #807: Black Squirrel Ale

Unlike the last two Decembers, I am not reviewing a different beer each day this month. Though I may do something special, I just don’t feel like drinking every night. I don’t sleep well when I drink , even just one beer (alcohol, after all, is a stimulant), so I’ll leave my beer drinking for Friday and Saturday night. Or at least the majority of my beer drinking…

It’s been one of those weeks at work, so I bopped down to the Iowa City Brewlab yesterday and filled my mini-growler with Black Squirrel Ale.

The color is black and I assume it is non-opaque. (I don’t feel like bothering with the light test.) A finger of luscious, tan, dense, buttery, bubbly head settles slowly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma features resin and sharp citrus, though it is not astringent or nose hair–singing. It is also toasty and roasty, too, with a strong note of dark chocolate. The flavor features a pleasing bitterness that bites and holds onto the taste buds. It is more bitter than tasty, though there are flavors of citrus (I can’t pin it down), roasted malt, and dark chocolate. It is arboreal and resinous, though it is far from being a liquefied pine tree.

Fun facts about Black Squirrel Ale:

• Style: Black IPA.

• Price: $9 for a 32-ounce growler fill.

• Alcohol content: 6.8 percent ABV.

• IBU: 45.

• According to the beer’s description, Black Squirrel Ale is brewed “for our friends at Black Squirrel Tap in Swisher, IA.”

• Black Squirrel Ale is brewed with an experimental hop variety called HBC 682.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B-.

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