In writing my last post, I feel like I may have given the impression that I was lukewarm on Black Cap's beers. I assure you, this is very much not the truth. Regarding the three beers I reviewed on Monday, the Cream Ale is intentionally a fairly basic ale, and Saisons are not necessarily at the top of my list for preferred beer styles. Of the two Saisons, I liked the Rye better than the seasonal Saison de Gui.
Today's final two Black Cap beers are really quite excellent, including a Porter that may have been the best beer I had while I was up in Pennsylvania. But we begin with an IPA.
The Hop Scramble IPA matches my own personal palate very well. It is a clean IPA, with moderate bitterness from dank hops, a bitterness which tended to hang around in my throat as I continued to drink and/or the beer got warmer. This wasn't a bad thing, but it's not something I experience often. I was also getting some spicy or perhaps pepper notes. Overall, a very good IPA that doesn't go overkill on the hop bitterness.
The final beer from Black Cap is the General Gates Porter. As mentioned above, I tasted more than a dozen local microbrews during my time in Pennsylvania, and this was probably the best I had. The beer is straight forward with lots and lots of chocolate and cocoa notes that make it truly a delicious beer. Other tasting notes include a hint of coffee and roasty and maybe somewhat smoky malts. Nice body to this beer, as well. Overall, very well done.
I also had a chance to taste their Imperial General Gates Porter. While I tried some side-by-side comparisons, I didn't really have enough of the Imperial to make a lot of judgments, other than notably increased boozyness.