After really enjoying Ishmael, delighting in Daymark and reveling in Ursa Minor, how could I not be excited about the next release from Rising Tide? I figured that considering winter has arrived early, it would be a great one to open. A “Black Ale” described on the label as “smooth and hoppy with a whisper of smoke” sounds like the perfect complement to the bizarre weather going on this weekend.

Weather note: Thankfully, after 6 inches of wet snow, I only lost power for a few hours last night, though some of my New England neighbors are still without power or heat. :-/

Atlantis pours very thickly black, with a brown and springy head that stays for quite a while and makes pouring a slow, yet worthwhile endeavor. Aroma is a combination of strong hops and chocolaty roasted malts – it has a hint of smokiness but mostly smells like a delicious hoppy chocolate stout (if something like that actually existed). I was happy that the armoa is not bacon-esque because I’d be disappointed if the smokiness overwhelmed the beer.

The taste is not like a black IPA, but rather like an oatmeal stout with some nice bitter hoppiness. The bitterness almost fools you into thinking that is has some notes of coffee, but it is really something that sticks with you. Each sip yielded a little something different, but the roastiness was done just right.

I am quite pleased to report that it doesn’t taste like bacon or a campfire, but tastes like an excellently roasted meal. It is complex and still hoppy, so the bitterness of the hops works with the the slight smokiness in a very playful way, and it’s fun to keep sipping it. I would love to pair this with some kind of lamb stew or chili, but I think it would go just as well with a summer barbeque.

They’ve set the bar even higher with this brew. While it is hard to pick a favorite among the Rising Tide lineup, they’re making my job harder with every new brew that they put out of this quality and depth.