Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black Lightning (DuClaw Brewing Company)

I thank the Beer Club for hipping me to yet another brewery I probably should have investigated before now. DuClaw Brewing Company started in Bel Air, Maryland in 1996 and now has four brewpubs in the eastern part of the state. Their distribution is still limited to Maryland (minus the Eastern Shore), parts of D.C. and Northern Virginia, but I find that at least one of their beers, Black Lightning, is definitely ready for prime time.

It has quite a lovely appearance in my glass: opaque black with tiny-bubbled, tan foam that leaves behind some lacing. The aroma carries minty and herbal hops with roasted grain undertones.

There is a lot going on in the taste. In the main body I get sweet, smoky molasses, prune and espresso -- a lot of stout-like characteristics, actually, but with more hop flavor in the balance. There is some detectable alcohol as well. The body is medium to heavy, and mouthfeel is quite substantial. The finish is roasty and mildly bitter.

I find this beer wonderfully complex. It doesn't seem like just another contestant in the black IPA trend, but more like a style that deserves its place in the spectrum with schwarzbier, porter, and stout. Thumbs up from me, and recommended to lovers of dark things.

By the way, Morgan Schell from the marketing department at DuClaw tells me that the brewery has expansion plans that could bring their product to Delaware, Pennsylvania, and beyond in the next year or so. When I hear more I'll post an update.

From the bottle's label:

This medium-bodied American Black Ale is a stormy balance of thunderous roasted malt flavor and the aroma, bitterness, and electrifying finish of American hops. Pop it off, and get ready to... ride the lightning!

Featured beer:
Black Lightning

No comments:

Post a Comment