Carton Epitome

Posted: March 8, 2016 in American Black Ale, Carton Brewing Company, Reviews

One of my favorite parts of Monday nights is that I know I can listen to a beer podcast on the way home. If you haven’t listened to “Steal This Beer,” you absolutely need to. Augie Carton leads the podcast along with a guest and if you’re lucky, he has John Holl on (although some listeners think that he misses the podcast because he’s too hungover from shotgunning cases of Genessee Cream Ale). The guests are awesome and the discussions that ensue are educational and hilarious. Since I’ve talked about the podcast, I think it’s only fitting that I review a Carton beer.


ABV: 10.3%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We don’t have many rules at Carton Brewing and those we have we made up for ourselves. In general though, we strive for drinkability through balance and harmonization of flavors. But even self-imposed rules are meant to be broken. With Epitome we decided to embrace the teenage metalhead in each of us and get discordant with a seriously hoppy, high gravity, black ale. The only notions accepted were to make it bigger, bolder, hotter & faster. A Beast. The ABV had to push past 10, the black had to be ‘none more,’ and the hops had to be American and piled on like a double bass drum kicking faster and harder. Drink Epitome because things worth doing are worth over doing.”

Random: This comes in at 100 IBUs.

This brew poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color that I couldn’t see any carbonation through. The nose started with dank, pine hops and some citrus notes as well. Then, roasted malts and light milk chocolate came through. The taste was intense, yet retained some balance. At first, I picked up the same milk chocolate with roasted malts and a touch of smoke. It seamlessly transitioned into dank, piney hops and grapefruit zest. The alcohol on this was insanely well hidden. It had a thick and chewy body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with pine oil and roasted malts. I don’t recall what I paid for the beer, but there was a two-can limit on it. Whatever the price was, I would pay for this beer. This beer was flat-out amazing. It is one of the best that I’ve had of the style and I would highly recommend this to anyone.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0


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