Joseph Formanek's picture

Black Circle

September, 2015
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
35 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Southbound Brewing's Black Circle Double Cascadian Dark Ale is a well-balanced, approachable brew that should find fans even amongst those beer connoisseurs who do not prefer this particular style. This deep brown to opaque brew with ruby highlights has a solid tan creamy head along with an inviting, dank resiny hop aroma as is expected for the style.  The flavor exhibits a wonderful balance of moderately roasty dark malts along with a very assertive hop bitterness and moderate dank hop flavor.  Very little of the acrid character typically seen with the use of heavily roasted malts is evident.  The fermentation character is quite clean with few esters noted.  A moderate level of alcohol is present, but this marries well with the other flavor components that are exhibited.  The medium body and somewhat low carbonation levels of this brew complement the malt flavors well, delivering a rich mellow character.    

Overall, while perhaps a bit on the light end of flavor impact for a Double Black IPA, this is still a very clean and extremely quaffable interpretation of the style.