While over in Helena this week we had a chance to try a pint of Bozeman Brewing Company’s Black IPA which had just been put on tap at Bert & Ernie’s. The bartender said we were the first to order it, continuing our string of lucky beer timing. It’s been years since we’d had some Bozone brews, finding the early offerings to be good, if unremarkable. Bozone’s Black IPA represents a serious step forward in character and depth.
This beer is black to very dark brown with an off-white head that disappears quickly. Aromas are of some citrus hops and a roasted character. A moderately high hop bitterness with traditional American IPA flavors (primarily citrus) dominate the initial flavors, followed quickly by smokey, roasted, chocolate malts. The hop bitterness stays prevalent throughout the flavor profile. The roasted malts are sharp, too, but the medium-bodied beer stays very drinkable with its excellent blend of IPA character and roasted malts. Underlying it all is a slight caramel malt base providing a bit of balance.