This summer, I really got turned on to IPA's and hop-strong beers. As much as I like Garrison's products and IPA's, I wasn't entirely won over by theirs (I'm sure something must have gone wrong... a second try would yield better results, I'm sure). Having never tried a black IPA before, I couldn't wait to get my lips on this one. It's supposedly a blend of the Martello Stout and their IPA.
I had to pour this one in a couple of stages. Lots of cream-coloured head sits on top with a creamy and dimpled surface. Retention of the head is solid, and so is the lacing. There are just hints of reddish brown at the bottom of the glass. It really is dark/black.
The smell is all hops. Pineapple, some grapefruit and orange peel... bitter fruits. Only just a hint of anything malty.
Taste-wise? Whoa... it's all hops and IPA. You get that open, airy feeling in your throat from the flavours and bitterness. Some undertones of roasted/malt flavours, perhaps some coffee, but it's a stretch.
The feel is great. Bitter, with a medium body. Subtle, but ample carbonation. It's much lighter and like their original IPA than the colour would suggest.
Overall, this brew's pretty fantastic. It's light enough to be refreshing... with strong flavours, but not so bitter as to stun your taste buds.