Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Summit India-style Black Ale

Summit India-style Black Ale. "India-style"? What's that? The style they make in India? Does India brew anything close to this? Inspired by Indian styles? Are there any?

No, India brews lagers. India Pale Ales refer to the style's invention in the 1700's, when the English were colonizing India. But with the introduction of the hoppy black ale, called Cascadian Dark Ale, by the people of Cascade, aka Oregon and Washington, there arose a conundrum. If you don't call the brew a CDA, as they would want you to, you're probably using the confusing nomenclature Black IPA. Spelled out, that's a Black India Pale Ale. How can something be "black" and "pale" at once? It can't. Personally, I prefer just "black ale." Or "hoppy black?" No one's figured it out yet, and while some are still happy with "Black IPA" we may never get this thing fixed. But, India-style? Nah.

6.8% ABV.

Solid blackness, lush off-white head, lace-leaving.

In the nose: grassy hops, some piney notes, chocolate malts rushing in. Yeah, I can dig it.

In the mouth: Chocolate malt takes command, but the tingly, tasty hops don't waste a minute getting in on the action. Roast-y malt base with hops as spice. I can get into this, although "black IPAs" aren't normally my thing. I recall enjoying the Unchained version, just called Black Ale.

Honestly, though, I'd rather have either a stout or a porter, or an IPA, true, through and through. I'm just never gonna be big on this style.

This one is only available in the new IPA sampler pack, or on tap. I've got one coming for Acadia, in conjunction with an upcoming Summit event. Here are some more words about it from the folks at Summit: Summit India-Style Black Ale

This powerful black ale features roasted wheat and roasted pearl barley, creating
notes of espresso, dark chocolate, toffee and black cherry. U.S. hop varieties Denali and Equinox
produce big pineapple and lemon-lime flavors, along with traces of grapefruit, spicy pepper and
pine. Finally, a Yorkshire yeast strain provides a distinct stone fruit profile — think apricot and
peach — and a hint of minerality to balance out those malts and hops.

“With IBA, we’re trying to showcase the integration of roasted malt flavors with spicy, citrus-
forward hops,” says Damian McConn. Summit India-Style Black Ale finds inspiration among the porters and stouts exported from the UK in the 19th Century — beers that were often heavily kettle-
hopped and then dry-hopped in the cask. “We’re aiming more toward that concept,” McConn
adds, “but with less of the scorched, dry, acrid notes often associated with export stouts.


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