Close-up of beer label showing Black Raven logo

BeakTweaker

Black Raven Brewing | Redmond

July 12th, 2019

Style

IPA

Availability

Seasonal

ABV

6.5%

Built on a firm base of barley and rye malts, the BeakTweaker features bold citrus flavors and aromatics. A firm bitterness combines with citrus hop characteristics accented by the addition of black lemon, orange peel and lemon peel.
Black Raven Brewing

I had this beer during last year’s release, and remember really enjoying it. I’m a big fan of citrus IPAs in general, and can’t wait to try it again. Let’s get into a glass of the 2019 release!

Appearance

BeakTweaker pours a beautiful golden yellow color with brilliant clarity and just a hint of haziness. I can clearly see my hand on the other side of the glass. The thing I’m noticing the most is the tight carbonation bubbles – there are absolutely tons dancing up the sides of the glass, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

My only criticism would be the lack of head, as I noticed a very small amount to start with (less than ½ a finger’s worth), that dissipated very quickly. It is a nice, fine, frothy white color, and this is such a beautiful beer that I can’t let the amount of head lower its perfect appearance rating.

Rating: 3/3

Aroma

The first thing I’m noticing on the nose is an intense burst of tangerine and orange notes. Tropical fruits and a bit of pineapple surround quickly, followed by a nice citrusy hop aroma.

The aroma is very intense in strength, leaning more on the sweet side but not lacking in sharpness. I’m getting a slight hint of pepperiness, like a white pepper, but it’s very subtle. The smell overall is very complex and interesting, while remaining pleasant.

Rating: 10/12

Flavor

The first thing I notice in the flavor is how much more intensely the pepperiness comes through in comparison to the nose. The spice has a flavor of rye and pine, which initially threw me off but is actually really nice once you get hits with the other flavor notes.

In the middle I’m getting more of the expected citrus hops flavor and tropical fruit, followed quickly by a lingering fruit rind flavor that has citrus notes but is not as sweet as I would expect. It’s a really interesting ride – this isn’t like any other citrus IPA I’ve tried. Starting out spicy, followed by a less-sweet finish and aftertaste, while still staying citrusy. It’s very unique and in my opinion, tastes great all the way through.

Rating: 17/20

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is definitely more on the dry side for a citrus beer. The carbonation is my favorite part – very lively and bouncing around my tongue just as it did on the sides of the glass.

I’m getting a light-to-medium body, with just the right amount of astringency for an IPA. Very nice mouthfeel.

Rating: 4/5

Overall Impression

I’m a big fan of this beer for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it pushes my expectations for the style while still being delicious. That’s a hard line to ride.

You can tell a lot of craftsmanship has gone into BeakTweaker. It tastes extremely fresh, and suits my personal taste incredibly well, while still not being what I expected. I also love that I’m still seeing lively carbonation bubbles dancing up the sides of the glass as I’m finishing this review – they just don’t stop!

I highly recommend giving Black Raven a visit and trying this beer out.

Rating: 8/10

Black Raven Brewing | BeakTweaker

84 - Excellent

Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.

Bottle of BeakTweaker IPA next to a glass

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R.J. LaCount

I’m a web developer, homebrewer, and super-nerd in Seattle. I love rain, tattoos, craft beer, highfaluting coffee, and your dog.

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