Here’s another 750ml bottle taking up space in my fridge and has got to go. This one is another gift brew, this time it’s from my bro and fellow TGBOAT staff member, Rafi. This is my first brew from Grand Teton Brewing Company as well as my first official American-Style India Black Ale or more commonly referred to as Black IPA. It amazes me that there has been such debate over the naming of the style and its origins. I have to agree that it is a contradictory term to say “BLACK India PALE Ale”, as there is nothing black about pale. I have to agree with the regional originality as I really think that term should be Cascadian Black Ale but no one really cares about my two cents. So here it is, Grand Teton’s Trout Hop Black IPA is poured and ready.
Grand Teton Brewing Company classifies this brew as an American-Style India Black Ale and their website describes Trout Hop Black IPA as, “Trout Hop Black IPA is a spicy and bold American-Style India Black Ale, with notes of fresh pine needles and spruce tips. Brewed with Idaho 2-Row Brewers’ Malt and German specialty malts, this ale has a deep rich color and roasted finish but does not have the thick and rich body that often accompanies malty brews. Kettle hopped and dry hopped with Pacific Northwest hops, the resulting bitterness is bold and pronounced, the aroma piney and zesty. The full body and dry finish create a refreshing autumn ale, perfect for any crisp afternoon or cool evening.” Trout Hop Black IPA is a part of Grand Teton’s 2010 Cellar Reserve Releases series and is worth noting that this is a bottle conditioned beer. In addition, the tag affixed to the neck of the bottle has a date of July 29th 2010.
Trout Hop Black IPA pours a pitch black color with a 2” light brown head. The aroma is a mixture of citrus hops, roasted malts and a very earthy smell that I can’t quite place.
I have to admit it and say that I am highly confused. It’s as if this beer is searching for an identity, it can’t decide whether it wants to be an IPA or a roasty dark ale. My taste buds are freaking out! What I can’t tell is whether this is a good beer or not, maybe it’s just me but I’m not feeling it. Trout Hop Black IPA may be good but in my opinion, it’s not my cup of tea. There are some flavors that I like in this beer but not in combination with each other. This just may be another one of those beer styles that I don’t really get but that’s not to say that you won’t. For me, it’s a catch and release beer at best.
Consumed: New Belgium Globe Glass
Verdict: Buy A Six Pack