Recently, I have had one or more at Rock Bottom Brewery, TommyKnocker Brewery, and Dry Dock Brewing Company. I tried a bunch at GABF. I loved them all. The good-old American hoppy goodness with the complexities of darker malts really blend together into a flavor that I completely enjoy. And, every Black IPA that I've had has been awesomely made.
That being said, my favorite of this style is still SheppyBrew's Stone Soup IDA. I know that makes me sound a bit (or maybe more than just a bit) of an Arrogant Bastard, but it really is true. And, yes, there may be something to the fact that I made it and so of course I love it. But, there is just something about the Stone Soup IDA that I think makes it better than all the rest. It might be the dry-hopping. It might be the slightly fuller body. It could be the significant amount of wheat malt extract in the recipe. It might be the brown sugar or the honey. It could be that little bit of cinnamon in the brew. It might be a combination of all-of-the-above. But bottom line, I like my IDA better than all the other Black IPA and/or Cascadian Dark Ales I've tried. It is, of course, one of the beers that I refuse to share with anyone, so I cannot get an impartial third party confirmation, so you'll have to trust me (would I lie to you?). It's the best.
I drank my last Stone Soup quite awhile ago, and have not gotten it back into the brewing schedule. Obviously, I need to make a another batch soon. It should be a big batch so I won't run out. Actually, recently, Connor (my 5 year old son) has requested that I brew it again. He has actually requested and re-requested a few times. I'm not sure if I should consider this cute or if I should be worried (I'm going to go with cute for now). The reason he wants me to brew it is because he made a label design change he wants on the new bottles. Both my boys helped me design the original label, but it was mostly Connor's idea. Unfortunately, his design change is pretty specific to Christmas, so it might be inappropriate by the time I actually get it brewed, but we'll see.
Anyway,whether or not I use Connor's new label design, I need to get it brewed again.
|GREAT, wonderful, fantastic, glorious, awesome, beer.|