I do like a decent IPA and if any brewery can produce a decent beer it is Black Sheep Brewery. However Cry Wolf IPA is not just your run of the mill IPA, this one is black. I have been quite content with the normal colour of IPA, but hey ho lets have a black one. Is it a decent beer?
Cry Wolf IPA is okay, but it is a long way from decent. It pours totally black with a one finger off white head. On the nose it is roasted malt and coffee followed by some citrus notes. The taste is roasted malt and bitter coffee with a fruity citrus kick. Basically a porter with a little hoppy kick of IPA citrus, no no no, it gets a score of 3.8 out of 5.0.
I like porter and I like IPA, but I wouldn’t mix them in a glass.
Table Of Contents
Cry Wolf IPA Review
Cry Wolf Black IPA sits in a large 500ml brown bottle. On the label is an angry looking wolf’s head with its large teeth about to sink into something.
It looks like a beer with attitude, and it says to expect the unexpected, a gnarly beer with a fierce bite.
It gets you excited and sets you up for a top beer experience. And because it’s a Black Sheep beer you expect it to be a great beer.
However it only set me up for a fall, I am slightly disappointed, my expectation is crushed with an underwhelming beer experience.
What went wrong?
It pours as you would expect from the description of Black IPA, it is indeed black with a one finger off white head. The head does fade to just a thin cover and leaves a suitable lacing as it goes down.
On the nose it is roasted malts with a coffee kick, in the background there are hints of citrus fruits.
The taste is more of the same with a smoky roasted malt background, a slight hint of bitter coffee and then a hoppy grapefruit citrus hit.
It’s a session fence sitter at a straight 5.0% ABV, so a second is okay, although I am not sure you would want to.
Rate Cry Wolf IPA
I guess it delivers what it is supposed too, it’s a black IPA. Basically a porter IPA hybrid, but does it work?
In my opinion, no, I like a nice rich porter or stout, and I like a nice hoppy IPA. However breeding the two does not make for the best drink.
It’s the same with black lagers, in my opinion they don’t go well together. But I guess these hybrid beers appeal to some beer drinkers.
I think all you get out of a black IPA is a watered down stout that has lost its deep richness and gained some hoppy citrus.
Cry Wolf Black IPA is okay and if you like to mix your porter or stout with an IPA, then this is probably right up your street.
For me it is a no no and gets a rate my beer score of 3.8 out of 5.0.
M’Lady quite liked it saying “Not your typical IPA, a bitter coffee taste with a hint of citrus and dark fruits. I like it, but it’s a one off beer.” Lou scores it 4.0 out of 5.0.
Sorry Black Sheep, but your Cry Wolf Black IPA just made me cry.
Black Sheep Brewery
I am a fan of Black Sheep Brewery and have enjoyed their beers for many years. I haven’t manage to date to get through all their beers, but their Best Bitter, Black Sheep Ale and Milk Stout are personal favourites.
The Black Sheep Brewery was founded in 1992 by experienced brewery man Paul Theakston. Once part of his families brewery Theakston’s, Paul left after disputes and a buy out.
The result is Black Sheep Brewery, which has seen growth over its lifetime, that is until recently. In early May 2023 after the current climate and the backlash of Covid19 the brewery decided to go into administration.
However it was saved by the Breal Group in London who acquired several drinks based businesses in 2023. Including Brick Brewery and Brew By Numbers.
Thankfully all 150 strong employees jobs are safe and the brewery will continue to operate as normal.
It is a shame that the brewery is not longer an independent family run business. However at least it is a brewery saved.
Black Sheep Beer Range
Black Sheep have a decent range of beers from lagers, ciders, pale ales, IPA’s, bitters and stouts. They brew traditional style beers alongside more modern craft based beers.
It will be interesting to see if they stay with this traditional and modern mix now the brewery is under new ownership.
Anyway, here are a few of the beers on offer at present.
Side Quest is a hazy pale ale with bold tropical aromas, a soft mouthfeel and a juicy tropical hoppy flavour.
Brewed with Chinook, Citra, Mosaic and summit hops it sounds like it could hit high on the hopcast. At a straight 5.0% ABV it just sits on the high end of session. So a couple of these may be just the right beer after a hard day.
Described as easy drinking and refreshing I’m up for a side quest.
Monty Python’s Holy Grail Beer
A golden ale inspired and first brewed in 1999 to mark the 30th anniversary of Monty Python crew. And it is still around with its malt base and fruity and zesty palate pleasing bite.
A beer I have been meaning to try for a long time, but keep forgetting. At 4.7% ABV it’s a perfect golden beer for a summer barbecue sesh.
Or perhaps with a spam sandwich.
Imperial Yorkshire Stout
This is another beer from Black Sheep that is on my beer hit list. A rich powerful stout with dark roasted coffee and chocolate flavours spiked with red fruits.
Sounds divine, but does pack a hefty punch at 8.5% ABV, so just the one then. It’s the type of beer to sip and savour on its own or perhaps with a cheese board.
Unfortunately it is only brewed once a year, so is a limited edition beer.
It is a shame to hear about Black Sheep’s troubles in 2023, a brewery that on the service seem to be going well. However under the surface things were falling apart, but at least with the new investment it has a new lease of life.
Like I said earlier I am a Black Sheep fan, but I guess you can’t like all the beers a brewery makes. Cry Wolf Black IPA is one such beer.
It’s okay, but nit a beer I will look for or drink again, unless of course it was the only beer on offer.
What do you think of Cry Wolf Black IPA?
If you have tried it, then do share your thoughts below, let me know if your a fan or a critic.
Rob is a passionate home bar and pub shed enthusiast with a passion for craft beer. With hands-on experience in designing and building his own home bar, Rob shares his knowledge, tips, and inspiration to help fellow enthusiasts create their own perfect space. Alongside the world of home bars and pub sheds, Rob also explores the diverse and exciting realm of craft beer, providing honest reviews to help you discover your next favorite brew. Join Rob on a journey of flavor, design, and craftsmanship right here on Home Bar Kit.