Coaster Critique: Noonan Black IPA

It seems like every time I make my way south my friend Jim has something fun from Smuttynose for me and this last trip was no different.

Noonan Black IPA is named in remembrance of the late Greg Noonan, Owner and Brewmaster at the Vermont Pub and Brewery, who with fellow brewer Glenn Walter brewed the first black IPA in 1994. The Vermont Pub and Brewery is one of my favorite stops when I’m in Burlington, I can remember sitting on the patio having lunch and seeing Greg out and about talking to patrons. I can honestly say sampler flights at VPB were some of the first to influence me on the road to my craft beer obsession.

Name: Noonan Black IPA

Brewed by: Smuttynose Brewing Company

ABV: 5.7%

Noonan pours black, only faint hints of light show through when held up to the light. Pour produced a short khaki head that suck around for the whole glass.

At first sniff I’m greeted with a burst of earthy hop aroma that is quickly followed by a husky, dark roasted grain matiness, I’m also picking up some notes of coffee as well.

Noonan Black IPA has a nice roasty malt profile, some light chocolate and coffee flavors up front in the taste followed by earthy, piney hops. All of flavors in this beer are very balanced and complement each other nicely. The beer is medium to full in body with a light carbonation and finishes dry with a slight lingering bitterness.

Overall an excellent Black IPA that is super balanced, complex in flavor but very drinkable. Black IPA is a style that’s popular but I find to be hit or miss, Noonan Black IPA hits the mark and is worth a try. I got this beer before it was actually released, but keep an eye out!



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Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.