When is a pale ale no longer pale? Well, when it becomes a black IPA it is definitely no longer pale. I am of the opinion that this style of beer should be called just black ale or American black ale. I think the whole black IPA name is a marketing gimmick to get IPA hounds like myself a little inducement to pick up a can.
Indeed Brewing—whose beers we have reviewed before—offers a black IPA called Midnight Ryder:
If you want a really dark—dare I say black?—beer with a lot of malt coming forward, a prickly backbone of hops, and an inky aftertaste then this is the beer for you. For me? Not my cup of tea.
The hop profiles—Willamette, Cascade, CTZ, Warrior, Summit, and Glacier—get totally lost in the malt body and the multiplicity of hops. The bitterness is there to balance the malt body and alcohol, which is generally a reversal from an IPA where the hops are the forward element.
There are people who look for the darkest or the strongest beers as a badge of pride, if you are one of those people then this beer might be something you drink on a regular basis. It may be representative of the black ale style but I have a hard time considering ever opening another can:
See what others are saying about Indeed Brewing Midnight Ryder Black IPA @ Beeradvocate.