I like my beer like I like my men: the Blakkr the better. And because my main squeeze borders on the light side (Jedi-style), I’m forced to seek out blackness in the only other way I know how: by drinking copious amounts of dark ale. Luckily for me, Surly Brewing Company, Three Floyds Brewing Company, and Real Ale Brewing Company have teamed together to make this task a little easier by brewing Blakkr, a double black IPA.
There are a few things you will notice about this beer even before you taste it. First, you will be surprised by the lack of vowels in the name, but don’t let this discourage you. Unlike a rave, the quality of Blakkr is not compromised by the absence of “E.” Second, from the looks of the can, there is no doubt that this is one of the most metal beers on the market. *Note that being a metal beer is very different from being a beer that tastes like metal. Blakkr is certainly the former.
Pairing a very metal beer should not be a difficult task. One must simply pair it with a very metal band. But therein lies the dilemma. See, most people have these stupid things called “opinions” when it comes to music, making it nearly impossible to find the perfect complement to a musically-minded beer such as this one. And with my knowledge of metal pretty much maxing out at that plate in Pete & Pete’s mom’s head, this becomes even more of a challenge. Despite all odds, though, I believe I’ve found a match.
I choose to pair Blakkr with Spinal Tap. No, unlike the band, there’s nothing funny about this brooding beer, and I know some of you might be rolling your eyes at this pairing, but I promise, the comparison is valid. For instance, there is no denying that the talented trio that brewed Blakkr is very similar to the three frontmen of Spinal Tap; David St. Hubbins, Derek Smalls, and Nigel Tufnel. Real Ale is obviously Nigel; quirky but very gifted, and deeply dedicated to their art. Surly and Three Floyds are David and Derek in that I don’t know much about them, but they seem like pretty cool guys who we all admire because they have armadillos in their trousers.
As far as taste goes, for a double black IPA, Blakkr is well-balanced without losing body or strength. At times, the roasted and hop flavors are powerful to the point that they make your tongue feel like a very small-scale version of Stonehenge which is in danger of being crushed by a dwarf. Overall, an inexplicably awesome feeling.
Because it is black in color and in flavor, there is no denying that Blakkr is aptly titled, but it is also deeply black where it really counts: In its hardcore metal soul. (That is, if it’s possible for beers to have souls, which if you love beer as much as I do, then yes, this is not only possible, it’s been proven with numbers and smart people). All the blackness of Blakkr reminds me of Spinal Tap’s album, Smell the Glove, a visual response to The Beatles’ White Album. I have a feeling that if Nigel had a swig of this most excellent metal brew, he’d describe it the same way that he described his own album. To quote him directly,“It’s like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.”