Moor: Agent Of Evil (England: Black IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Black and opaque. Two inches of brown froth mounds of a head that leaves a sud rim.

Nose: Bitter coffee and coca dust. Slight ash tray. Empty, used coffee cups. Sour dough. Wholemeal flour. Light peppermint and chives.

Body: Milky chocolate. Chocolate cake. Crushed peanuts. Charred bitterness. Brown bread. Roasted character.

Finish: Bitter chocolate cake. Dry roasted peanuts. Charred bitterness. Ash. Earthy hops. Slight choc lime. Peppery. Ground spice. Bitter coffee.

Conclusion: This is definitely taking the hopped stout like interpretation of a Black IPA. I will admit I generally prefer the the opposite take – the fruity hopped dark malt style BIPA. Even with that said, considering the dearth of new Black IPAs around here recently I welcome a new entry into the style.

So as the hopped stout like take of a BIPA, this seems to be doing a very British hop take on that – earthy and spicy in how the hops come across with solid bitterness but pretty much no bright notes. Very robust, and nothing too fancy. Earthy and peppery early on with some more prickly spice notes in the finish. So, fairly simple in the hop use – dark, charred, almost all bitterness and earthy spice. So, I guess it will be up to the malt to provide the contrast.

Actually, the malt is, well, still fairly grounded. A mix of bitter coffee and cocoa, done in a quite roasted and robust way. So, definitely feeling very stouty. There are slight milky touches, but mainly goes with bitter chocolate in a bitter chocolate cake kind of way. With very little sweet character this ends up a fairly hefty beer. The only concession to sweetness is a slightly creamier chocolate cake centre that shows up if held.

It’s not a top of the range BIPA, but for all its heavy character it is still pretty darn drinkable. It feels like an earthy British IPA meets British Stout meets Black IPA. A worthy entry and makes me wish even more that more people were turning out new Black IPAs at the moment.

Solid, not a game changer but solid.

Background: So, I want new Black IPAs. This, while not new new, is mostly new to me. I had it on tap in the Moor Tap Room a while back. They also do a standard IPA- Guardian Of Peace, which I really should do notes on at some time, as if my memory serves me right, it is a bit tasty. Anyway, yeah Moor are very reliable in turning out decent brews, and I wanted a Black IPA, so I grabbed this from Independent Spirit. I went with the ultra optimistic ( I may be lying about that bit) History Of Guns album Acedia to listen to while drinking.

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