Third review of IPA Week 2011. It’s been a great week so far and after really enjoying the Baird IPA, I’ve bought it back to Victoria (the state where I live), for the Kooinda Black IPA. I am not a fan of beers that ‘subvert’ the colour paradigms. Not that I don’t want to, or am a purest or whatever, I just have never had a Black IPA (also known as IBA, or Cascadian black Ale or whatever) that I want to drink more than a regular one. I will admit to enjoying a black lager on occasion, but I’m not a huge fan of lagers at the best of times. But I’m nothing if not open minded, so here we go.
Coming out of Victoria, this is a fairly small brewery, not hugely well known, but one that has a lot of respect from drinkers who have tried their beers.
As mentioned, this a black IPA, weighing in at 7% abv in a 330 ml bottle. I got it at Slowbeer in Hawthorn, but their beers are widely available around Victoria, and some other parts of Australia. Check availability here: http://www.kooinda.com.au/stockists
The bottle is simple, black and white, cursive font and a sketch of some hops under the Kooinda ribbon.
In the glass it’s not quite jet black, with some dark cola coloured edges and an a creamy brown head that dissipates, not disappearing entirely, but rather leaving a thin layer on top as you drink it.
How does it smell/taste
The 7 days of dry hopping, mentioned on the bottle, come through in the nose of this, but they don’t dominate. The dark malts are also present, giving the hops what I would call ‘a nice winter jacket’.
Taste wise, it comes in a little bitter at first, but only very quickly before the hop flavours take over and leave some really nice kiwifruit, before it lengthens out to a long bitter aftertaste. Right at the end… and I’m talking way after you think it’s done, it leaves a lovely dark chocolate aftertaste. This pleases me.
When to drink it?
If the Bling IPA was a great beer to start on, and the Baird IPA is great for a Vietnamese green mango salad, then this is definitely what you will be having with your desert. Now if the next two IPAs, in IPA Week 20011, suit a main and a night cap, I think we have ourselves a dinner party.
I didn’t expect this coming in to the review, but I think this is one of my favourite beers. It’s hoppy, bitter, with some really complimentary kiwifruit and dark chocolate flavours in the mix. Everything that I love in beer is present and it’s really changed my mind on the ‘black’ versions of typically lighter coloured beers. It’s really damn good.
Check out my other IPA Week 2011 reviews here: