Beer of the Week: NW Peaks Black Eldorado

By Iron Chef Leftovers

NW Peaks is a nano-brewery located in Ballard, literally inside of a converted trailer. They are a brewery with a small production system and are only available on tap at their brewery and a few select locations (check their website for details). What they lack in size, they make up for in flavor, brewing a number of the styles that you would expect (Pale, Stout, Saison, etc.) as well as a few interesting beers for their Mountain Beer Club (check it out here), in an ever rotating tap list. One of their recent beers was their take on a CDA which they called Black Eldorado (their beers are named after mountains).

From their website:

The name. The mountain. Eldorado is a majestic mountain and stands at8,869′, the 25th tallest peak in the state. Many hikers will be intimately familiar with cascade pass trail at the end of the Cascade River road. The commonly used climbers path leaves the road about 4 miles short of the cascade pass trail head. The relative burly trail climbs several thousand feet through forest, talus, and rock leading to the Eldorado glacier with great views of the summit and the rest of the cascade river basin. While these views are excellent the real treats come at the top of the eldorado glacier where you get views of the Klawatti-Inspiration-Mcallister icecap and is knife-edge summit ridge.

The Beer. We took our pale ale recipe, a nice light pale with citrus notes, and threw in some Blackprinz and chocolate malts to it to add some color a a slight roast note to play off of the citrus hops. Black Eldorado presents itself as a light, nicely balanced version of a cascadia dark ale. Light on the palate with a nice combination of light hops and roasty malts.

Malts: Pale, ESB, Wheat, blackprinz, chocolate. Hops: Apollo, cascade, chinook, centennial ABV: ~5.25%

This beer pours brownish-black in color with a short, white head. Lots of roast and chocolate with a floral citrus hop background that hides itself nicely behind the stronger aromas of the beer. The initial taste yields a good amount of roast malt and overtones of chocolate lingering nicely on the palate before yielding to the hops. There are light notes of grapefruit and citrus peel appearing magically after the initial roast fade and they continue to linger for a long while before finally yielding to a pleasant bitter ending. More roast and malt flavors with less hops than most CDA’s but a delicious treat to enjoy when it is on tap. Incredibly well balance and easy to drink, it has all of the hop character of a big IPA, the roasted qualities of a dark and the drinkability of a pilsner coming together in a beer that you could easily knock back a few.

Black Eldorao self-arrests at a final rating of a perfect 5 Ice Axes out of 5.

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