Monday, August 15, 2011

Peak Organic Brewing Company Hop Noir

Hop Noir is a black IPA from Peak Organic Brewing Company. The name is a play on the cinema genre, film noir, meaning gritty, dark, and secretive. The name is appropriate for this beer, and for the brewery, as the former is gritty and dark, and the latter secretive.

I’ve talked about Peak before, but never the secretive nature of their business. I was passing through Portland, ME a few weeks back, and since Peak is brewed in Portland, I thought I’d pay a visit and see where the magic happens. They list an address on their website, so I went to said address, and what did I find? The Peak brewery? Surely I did not. I found a UPS store. I thought I had written down the wrong address, so I had my Dick Tracy of a friend do some sleuthing online, and I had the correct address. I went inside and asked the UPS employee (not dressed in brown by the way) if they had heard of Peak, and they said they probably had a PO box here. A ha! So the address was correct, if only for a mailing address.

I wasn’t going to give up that easy, so I called the 800 number for Peak and found myself listening to a long list of phone options, with no mention of a brewery. I was able to punch in a number to talk to someone, so I picked one at random and found myself talking to the Western Massachusetts sales rep. Not the ideal person, but it was a human being employed by Peak. I inquired about a brewery in Portland, and possible tours or at least a store that sold their beer and schwag, but I was out of luck – no such things existed. He wouldn’t disclose the location of the brewery, but was happy to hock their Pomegranate Wheat Ale.

So what does all this mean? Either Peak is super secretive about their business and they don’t want to say anything about their brewing process, or they are a bunch of ass-clowns who run a shabby enterprise and are embarrassed to have visitors. I totally think it is the former, as their beers are distinguished and classy and that makes me doubt that they are ass-clowns. I would love to see their brewery someday though, if it exists!

The Hop Noir IPA is a black IPA, similar to the one reviewed previously. It’s made with lots of hops, and black malt to give it a black color (a super duper black color, I don't think even light can escape its blackness). Even though it is labeled as an IPA, it sure as hell smells, tastes like, and sits in your belly like a stout. I would call it a hoppy stout instead of a black IPA. But who cares about semantics, this isn’t English class. With a 8.2% ABV and 98 IBUs, this baby has a potent as hell taste. Due to all of the alcohol, IBUs, and black black black malt, it sits like a rock in the belly and you aren’t gonna have more than one. I got a 22oz bottle for $5 in New Hampshire, and haven’t seen it before here in NC.

This is a neat beer to drink and will totally impress at a gathering. I wouldn’t recommend it to any die-hard IPA or stout fans, as it is too much in the middle and doesn’t commit either way. But if you want to try something different that tastes different, and will get you drunk fast, this is the way to go. Make sure to wear your fedora and brush up on your Cary Grant films first though.
Drinkability: 3/10
Taste: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 5.75/10

Other Peak beers reviewed:

No comments:

Post a Comment