It's #FloridaBeerFriday, when we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft-beer movement of Florida.
This week, we're taking a look back up to the northern part of our reader area, to Tequesta Brewing Company and their Oak Aged Black IPA.
Yes, we talk about Der Chancellor quite a bit here, if only because it's such a solid core Florida-styled beer. Tequesta does a lot more than that, and just like any hyped up craft brewery, go the extra mile for a bit of flavor.
First off, what is a black IPA? It's a style that emerged from the Pacific Northwest, through a surprisingly laborious process. In 2010, there was a beer symposium to discuss a new beer style being brewed there. Brewers and beer writers gathered to discuss this new style. The idea of the meeting was to come up with the parameters to describe what this new style would be and how to implement it within the Brewers Association, the Great American Beer Festival, and the Beer Judge Certification Program. During the symposium, 19 different examples of the black IPA were evaluated. Because of the location of all of this, another name was born:
Cascadian Dark Ale.
What's the difference between a black IPA and, say, a really hoppy porter or stout? The black IPA uses traditional hop bittering profiles and schedules (making them as important an aspect of the recipe as an American IPA), low roasted malt, and a drier finish than traditional darker beers.
Stone Brewing Company's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Firestone Walker Brewing Company's Wookey Jack, and Victory Brewing Company's Yakima Glory are all major commercial examples of this style.
Tequesta's Oak Aged Black IPA is a variation on this Cascadian dark ale theme, taking a black IPA and aging it on wood to bring out another dimension of flavors. It is brewed to be 7.8% alcohol by volume.
The beer pours a dark brown that advances towards cola-colored and deep ruby red along the edges. There's a nice off white crown of foam that dissipates at a medium pace. Aromas of mild earthy pine-heavy hops join forces with bitter coffee and dark cocoa. It has an almost American porter-like richness to the body, but without any of the sweetness associated with such a thing: just a base to bring about the bittering characters of the hops. The beer finishes with a hit of dry woody oak that lasts and lasts and lasts long after you've finishing taking a drink.
In other words, an aged black IPA to the 'T'.
The base black IPA, from which this beer was produced from, is available from time to time at the brewery's taproom. We were able to sample this aged version of the beer during Due South Brewing Company's Trench Day festivities.
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Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Instagram.