Friday, 9 December 2011

India Ink Black Pale Ale

Trafalgar Ales & Meads hails from Oakville, Ontario.  I've been keeping my eye out for their brews ever since a former boss recommended them to me.  Trafalgar has a pretty interesting looking roster of brews--lots of things I'd jump to try if I ever saw them in the liquor store. 
Such was the case the other day when I came across the India Ink Black Pale Ale.  I was immediately drawn to this brew by its stark and stylish black and white label and its large bottle (650mL).  India Ink weighs in at 5% alcohol.  It pours very dark--not black like a stout or a porter, but a dark brown with faint red highlights.  It has a nice, round aroma with notes of toasty nut.  The initial flavour reflects the aroma--it's roasty, toasty and nutty.  India Ink contains an interesting mix of sweet and bitter.  For lack of a better word, this brew tastes gloomy.  However, for such a dark beer, the flavour was considerably more mild than I expected and nowhere near as hoppy.  It features a sharp, bitter aftertaste.  I thought I could detect notes of licorice, though on reflection, that might be due to my expectations for such a dark ale.

My experience with black ales is limited, so I didn't really know what to expect from this brew.  I found it left me reasonably satisfied and interested in exploring other beers in this category.  It was a bit on the thin side, but I enjoyed the way the gloomy colour matched the gloomy flavour.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

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