The ever prolific 4 Pines put out this beer last year as part of a Keller Door (non-core range) black beer series in 500mL bottles called the Black Box of Dark Ales. Along with the Black IPA, came a Schwarzbier (yet to try), a Russian Imperial Stout and a Coffee Porter. They’re all pretty good.

It’s black alright. The black writing on the black label is so black I can’t read it. It pours oily black, with a cappuccino coloured head that dissipates to a thin film and a medium level of lacing. Roasted malts dominate the aroma, with hints of cocoa and resinous pine hops. It’s a tough beer to nail down in terms of flavour. Initially bitter grapefruit and pine hops work towards a sweet chocolate mid palate and long, roasted coffee finish. A huge hop level (77 IBU’s if you don’t mind) underpins the entire beer though, meaning the sweetness doesn’t get out of hand.

My favourite of the Black Box to date.


Appearance 4/5
Aroma 7/10
Flavour 7/10
Palate 4/5
Overall 14/20