image of The Alchemis / Ninkasi / Stone More Brown Than Black IPA courtesy of our Flickr page Every once in a while we venture outside of our Northwest comfort zone to enjoy a beer made not from the Northwest to remind us that there is good beer everywhere. This time around we elected to enjoy a Stone Collaboration in More Brown Than Black IPA. Produced by The Alchemist Pub & Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing, and Stone (natch) we thought we would try it out.

Brewery Description

Stats: 7.4% abv, 80 IBUs

Malts: Maris Otter Pale, Light Munich, Carafa III Special Dark, and CaraHelles

Hops: Super Galena hop extract for bittering, Nelson Sauvin and Delta for flavor,  dry-hopped with a blend of Citra and Galaxy.

Tasting notes, provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele

Appearance: Deep brown, a bit hazy, with tan foam.

Aroma: Whoa! This beer is all about, resiny, piney, dank and citrusy hops! The first shot is intense blend of pine and orange rind, and then as your sense of smell just starts to recover, the dankness and resiny herbaceousness come through with hints of grapefruit.  This is a powerful hop blend!

Taste: The hops also dominate the flavor of this beer. Orange and grapefruit rind take center stage in the flavor, followed by, you guessed it: piney / resiny notes. The beer has a modest body…not sweet at all…and has a lingering bitter, drying end. Beyond the bitter end there are light hints of roasted malt and chocolate in the finish.

Overall: The hop character in this beer is unique and very pronounced.  Galaxy is a newer hop variety from Australia that we think has strong tropical fruit and stone fruit characteristics. Citra and Delta are newer American hop varieties — Citra possesses strong citrus and dank flavors, while Delta has a milder profile with melon and berry notes. And of course Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand has its intense namesake’s white wine notes along with—surprise!—more dank notes. They all blended together well in this beer, a tribute to one of our favorite styles.

Our Thoughts
You Should Try It. In the world of Black India Pale Ales, American-style Black Ales and Cascadian Dark Ales, it's easy to forget about the diversity that exists even today amongst those in the Black India Pale Ale / Cascadian Dark Ale crowd. For some reason we feel this beer would work well with some dank cheese (blue, brie, etc.) or a BLT with pepper-bacon. But hey we could be wrong.

More Brown Than Black India Pale Ale starts normal enough with its inch and a half of off-white foamy head, resting on a dusk filled ocean of darkness. Warming up over a short period the cap of foam collapses leaving behind only a ragged, tattered, curtain of lace behind.

Giving the glass a swirling 'once over' I smell notes of pine and simcoe-like spiciness, as well as grapefruit citrus, and a definite roasted malt character. Sipping on this it's easy to pick up strong notes of simcoe-like spiciness, pine bitterness, as well as citrus (orange & grapefruit). Overall More Brown Than Black leaves behind a thin layer of stickiness on the tongue which produces the impression of a medium bodied ale.

At over $3 for 12 ounces, it's easy to see why some people might be a bit nervous to grab a bottle of the shelf. But this hasn't stopped reviewers on popular rating websites from sharing their thoughts. Released around mid December (19th) this beer should still be around. But like many of their Collaborations beers, this won’t be around for long.

Thoughts by your Colleagues

Bottle purchased at The Last Drop Bottle Shop in the Lake City Way / Maple Leaf neighborhood, in Seattle.


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