Blue Hills Brewery makes a variety of ales and lagers from their brewery in Canton, MA. Named after the hills on the South shore of Massachusetts, they run tastings out of their brewery on Fridays and Saturdays, plus you can find their beer in bottles and on draft. Black Hops is a black IPA, one of the few styles of beer that was completely invented and developed by American brewers. Black IPAs mix the dark, roasted grain bill of a porter or stout with the hop profile of an IPA. When done correctly a black IPA has a nice balance of dark malt flavors (coffee, chocolate, smoke) and hop bitterness and smell. Black Hops is a hybrid ale, using top fermenting ale yeast and a warmer primary fermentation, followed by a colder lagering process for the secondary fermentation. This two step process gives a full flavored but smooth beer with a unique flavor profile.
Black Hops Black IPA pours a very dark brown with a sustained tan head. The first smell gives a mixture of earthy hops and roasted and coffee flavors from the malt. The taste has a similar interplay between hops and malt, the hop bitterness is very evident at first, pine and grass flavors, nice and strong without being overpowering. The dark malt flavors complement it well, coffee, roasted barley, a touch of chocolate and caramel. At 6.75% ABV it is a substantial beer without being over-done. Very tasty and easy to drink, perfect for chilly fall nights. To be perfectly honest I haven’t tried many Blue Hills beers, but if this is the standard of quality for their brews I will definitely pick up some more. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.