If you said to me at the start of this year: “Black IPAs will make a comeback this year” I would’ve said: “Mate, you are off your rocker”. Yet here we are, June 2019, and there have been stack released in the last few weeks.
Now Two Birds are in on the act with the Solstista Black IPA. It uses dehusked, roasted malt, which differs from traditional roasted malt in that it lends colour without much in the way of astringency, along with a trio of American hops. The result is a smooth affair, with aromas that go into Milo and powdered cocoa territory. There’s dark berry fruit underneath and, if you really go searching, you’ll get kaffir lime and orange. It all flows through to the flavour nicely and at no point are you left thinking it’s all too bitter, or heavy, or palate dominating. It’s a refined combination.
It’s hard to say if this current trend is an anomaly or the start of a black IPA resurgence, but if we are going to do it again then, this is a pretty good place to start.