Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Capricorn Black Ale

Capricorn is an American Black Ale or IPA from the Rubicon Brewing Company of Sacramento, CA.

Black IPAs are an emerging style of beer. The intent is to put some west coast hop love into dark beer. Black Ales are not a historical term. Typically a black ale is a porter or a stout.

I bought this at Tower Liquor in a 22oz bottle for $4.99. It has an ABV of 6.5%

The beer pours black and opaque with a good size, milk chocolate head. The head sticks around as a thing ring around the glass and leaves sticky lacings.  The aroma has a sweet, assertive blend of floral and citrus hops with some notes of dark fruit and whiffs of roasted malts.

The taste has the floral and citrus hops up front, roasted and chocolate malts act as a backbone and carry from start to finish. The citrus/grapefruit hop lingers in the finish, but its not overpowering. The mouthfeel feel is medium bodied, perfect carbonation for a dark beer, starts out dry but finishes smooth and creamy finish.

Overall I really like this beer. I think this is my favorite Black IPA so far. It's hard to get Black IPA's right. You have to manage the bitterness from the amount of hops it takes to balance all the malts and manage the bitterness from the dark malts.

Compared to another great Black IPA, Stone's Escondidian 15th anniversary, this is a close match up. However, I do remember Stone's being just a hair over the line on my preference for hop bite. Also, the mouthfeel is great, with a creamy wave that rides through to the end. This  is a Must Have It.

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