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Beer of the Week: Eel River Brewing Onyx Black IPA

The chill of winter is in the air. The comforting flavors of roasted malt help ward off the cold and keep you warm from the inside out. This week’s selection brings the roasted malt flavors of a stout and pairs them with the bright citrus hop flavors of an IPA. The Beer of the Week if Eel River’s Onyx Black IPA. 

Eel River Brewing Company’s newest release in their lineup of high quality seasonal craft beers is the Onyx Black IPA. This Dry Hopped American Black IPA embodies a dark malt backdrop and a light hint of coffee, with the first sip revealing the resin packed citrus flavor and aroma of the Pacific Northwest grown hops.

Like the rest of Eel River Brewing Company’s seasonal selections coming out in 2014, this Dry Hopped American Black IPA originated as a pub only offering and gained traction each time it was released to the locals. Eel River Brewing decided to try its luck with the Onyx as a seasonal offering, thus allowing those outside the local Humboldt County community to try what specialties they have to offer.  After its well-received release in January of 2013 in draft only, Eel River Brewing will be releasing it again in late January of 2014 in draft as well as NEW Screen Printed 22 Ounce Bottles. After being named Onyx for its dark and bold appearance, this 6.8% ABV and 52 IBU hop bomb will leave you feeling warm in the cold of winter.

Onyx lives up to its name with a jet black pour, highlighted by brown and garnet edges when held up to the light. The aroma is of smoke and pine. The first sip greets you with the charred flavor of roasted malt with notes of fresh brewed coffee contributing to a bitter bite on the front of the tongue. The light mouthfeel allows for this beer to be gulped down, leaving the sharp, citrus driven hops to wrap up the experience.

Onyx is an aggressive Black IPA in that the flavors on display are bold and uncompromising. The hops, while not overwhelming in flavor, are resinous and sharp, requiring the beer drinker to embrace the bitterness.

The roasted quality of the beer is no different. While the subtle flavors of berry and sweetened coffee can be found within the beer, the roasted malt leads the way with the crunch of charcoal and fresh coffee beans.

On a chilly afternoon, Onyx is a wise choice to keep you warm and to ward off thirst. The bold roasted flavors keep the palate alert and provide a welcome contrast to the bristly northwestern hops. Try this one while available throughout the early months of 2014.