Half Pints Brewing Co. located in Winnipeg, Manitoba is a fantastic microbrewery best known for its Humulus Ludicrous Imperial IPA and Burleywine. Half Pints also has a fantastic range of session beers including Bulldog Amber, Sweet Nikki Brown, Stir Stick Stout and Little Scrapper IPA. Little Scrapper IPA is of particular note as Half Pints based the Cascadian Dark Ale Black Galaxy on Little Scrapper. Black Galaxy is a 6% ABV Cascadian Dark Ale (aka Black IPA) brewed with Australian Galaxy hops. Galaxy hops are of particular note for their high alpha acid content, big pine and grapefruit notes as well as passionfruit flavors.

Pouring out a purely opaque, dark as night black with a thick inch of foamy tan head and sticky lacing blotches. I can see a few really small carbonation bubbles rising to the surface as the head thins out to a thin cap of a dark frothy beige. The nose is fruity at first glance with sweet resins, grapefruit, floral hops, citrus zest and a subtle pine and earthy note. A deeper sniff and I get a dark roasted malt with a torrefaction coffee note, big pine needle notes and a hint of dark chocolate. Putting the glass down I get a big French espresso whiff off the top on the head. Smells utterly delicious with a nice blend of roasted notes and resinous hop aromas.

Sipping slowly, the middle has a sweet malt with chocolate milk and americano being evident with a hint of licorice. The roast and the hops take over and bring a not overly strong bitterness, but the hop carries on forever in the aftertaste. Mildly dry on the finish with a big roast and tangy grapefruit flavours playing some sort of complex harmony together. The body is a bit thin, but this is a remarkable and truly exceptional beer.  Later on I get a tangy and pine filled palate that lingers on for what seems like eternity. A really complex flavor profile with the big roasted malt backbone and the floral, fruity, piney and astringent hops. The body and mouth feel seem rather thin, but this is a smooth and slightly creamy beer. Overall, this is  a simply spectacular beer. I hope there’s more than just a ‘Half Pint’ to go around.

Grade: A+

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