Pitched Blue: Black & Blueberry Ale

Nebraska
United States
Pitched Blue: Black & Blueberry Ale by Empyrean Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
86
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20
Description 

Navigate the cosmos and awaken your senses to fresh blueberry and biscuit malts with subtle, stimulating dark notes.

Profile

ABV: 
5.5%
IBUs: 
24
Served at: 
40 - 50º
Hops: 
Galena
Malts: 
2-Row, Munich, Caramel 60, Honey Malt, Carafa III, Flaked Barley
Judges Review 
Nelson Crowle's picture
Judges Rating:
86
Aroma:
20 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

Evaluated as a BJCP2015 Style 29A (Fruit Beer), with the underlying style of 'Black Ale' for which BJCP2015 doesn't have a category, but it sounds like American Black Ale (Style 72 in the GABF2017 guidelines).  The beer pours a deep ruby red tinted dark mahogany with a huge poofy head of tiny tan bubbles that persists and leaves Belgian lace on the glass.  There is quite a bit of roast in the aroma, but more like the smoother debittered type.  There are hints of toast and bread crusts, along with a moderate amount of floral hops (and a bit earthy), and a slight blueberry character.  The flavor brings out a huge blueberry note along with confectioners sugar and cotton candy.  A moderate roast (but not astringent) supports the fruit well, along with medium floral hops and a slight earthy note that could be either from the hops or the malt.  Medium low hop bittering keeps the fruit as the main attraction in the flavor.  There's a bit of carbonic bite, fairly high carbonation, and a medium full body.  The combination of blueberry and not-quite-chocolate-not-quite-coffee roast would pair nicely with cedar plank salmon on the grill basted with honey.