Monks, priests, rabbis, shaikhs. Spiritual leaders we go to when seeking Wisdom. Their words are insightful, thoughts are comforting, and often they leave enlightening ideas in our head. However, Black Raven Brewing out of rainy Washington is hoping that we see them for some wisdom. Their Wisdom Seeker Double IPA might fill the void we’re in search of. Will it be beyond its years or will the magic 8-ball show it up. Time for them numbers…
Appearance: Very light in color with an off white head that stuck around for a bit. Nice lacing as I drank and the second pour was more murky than the first with a tad bit of yeast coming out to play.
Smell: The most tropical smelling IPA I ever stuck my nose in. Holy crap, it smells exactly like a mango. Pineapple is going on, fresh strawberries, ripened peach, and berry yogurt. Unreal smell.
Taste: First impression is that this brew is far more bitter than the smell would suggest. I got no overpowering hops from the smell, but the taste is very piney and lacerates the sides of your tongue with hop acidity. The brew does a pretty good job of carrying over some elements of the gargantuan tropical smell over to the taste of this brew. You get sweet mango and berries with a nice, assertive grapefruit finish. I also find that Wisdom Seeker has a nice grainy characteristic to it as if you just stuck your head into a mash after 60 minutes. There is a lot going on in this DIPA and it all comes together pretty well.
Mouthfeel is quite full bodied despite the lack of color in the brew and the carbonation is on point. One reason I contribute to the fuller body of this brew is it’s ABV. It’s quite high at 8.9%, but it generates no heat and is pretty easy to get down. The flavors in this brew are the star of the show, and the alcohol is just there to encourage them on. That’s when you know you made a successful DIPA.
Overall: What I really like about this DIPA is that there are a lot of elements in this beer – they all harmonize well, however you can taste the distinctions. Just like you can make out the cello, violin, bass, and brass in an orchestra, you can make out the parts of this brew but when conducted properly, they come together better than a Beatles song. The brew gets an A- and is one of the better DIPAs I’ve had in recent memory. For 8.9% ABV, it’s truly a pleasure. Monks, priests, rabbis, and sheiks all walk into the bar for this.