Stargazer Black IPA

Stargazer Black IPA, Land-Grant Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
90
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

Land-Grant Brewing Company to honor astronaut and Columbus resident, Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, as well as the 30th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, with its sixth annual Space-Grant Black IPA release, Stargazer.
The beer itself varies slightly from year’s past in its notable addition of Crimson Cup Kenya Kanake coffee: “We do a small coffee version of our Space Grant IPA series every year, and they always are a brewer’s favorite, so we were really looking forward to being able to do the whole batch with coffee this time around,” said Dan Shaffer, Head Brewer at Land-Grant Brewing Company. “ Brandon and Joe at Crimson Cup led us through a line up of really stellar and interesting coffees, but we all agreed the tropical, lime and caramel notes from the Kanake were made for an IPA. The combination of Citra, Cashmere and Sabro hops has tangerine, tropical, melon, and coconut aromas that meld with the coffee. The process has really influenced my idea of what coffee is and how it can be utilized to enhance a beer.”

Profile

ABV: 
7.8%
IBUs: 
40
Served at: 
45º F
Hops: 
Chinook, Cashmere, Citra, Cryo-Sabro
Malts: 
Craft Master Two-Row Blend, Midnight Wheat
Judges Review 
Nelson Crowle's picture
Judges Rating:
90
Aroma:
21 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Stargazer Black IPA by Land-Grant Brewing Co. was judged as a BJCP 2015 style 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer with the underlying base style of 21B Specialty IPA (sub-sub style of Black IPA). As such, the 21B Black IPA should be identifiable with coffee added. This beer pours an opaque very deep brown color with reddish highlights, and a large dark tan head (probably indicating inclusion of more roasted malt character and flavor than expected for a Black IPA) of tiny bubbles that leaves Belgian lacing on the glass and is persistent. The initial aroma is of fresh cold brewed coffee and moderate coffee/chocolate roastiness. There is a medium hop aroma that is mostly earthy with hints of tangerine citrus. Flavor follows the aroma with fairly high notes of coffee and some coffee bitterness (not cold brewed) and astringency. The flavor hops are again earthy (which might be being disguised by the added coffee) with orangey citrus notes, and are at a moderate level. Hop bittering is moderately high (as appropriate for a Black IPA). This is a full-bodied beer (quite a bit more body than expected for a Black IPA) and could quite easily pass for an American Stout (BJCP style 20B). Carbonation is relatively high and very pleasant when presenting the beer's aroma, flavor and mouthfeel -- almost creamy but offset by the coffee and hop bitterness that lingers into a long off-dry roasty finish. There is a clean alcoholic warmth to this beer, and it seems to be close to verging on imperial strength of around 8 percent ABV. Overall a quite drinkable and tasty beer, but those expecting a Black IPA might be surprised by the full-bodied roastiness. In any case (style discussions aside), this is a great beer to put in a blender with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or serve it with a chocolate-based mole chicken for a nice set of complementary flavors.