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Copperhead Black Venom by Nick B

 

Black Venom

Copperhead Brewery

Conroe, TX

Imperial Stout with dark brown sugar

ABV: 10%

IBUs: 50

Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Bottles

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Copperhead’s Black Venom recently slithered its way onto the shelves in 4 packs. I previously had Black Venom at their Night of Terrors event, but couldn’t remember a whole lot about it because King of Terrors made everything seem mediocre for a week after the event (if you can get your hands on a bottle of KoT, it is more than worth it)! So I figured I should revisit Black Venom and see how it goes.

When it comes to Black Venom, or any other beer in Copperhead’s lineup for that matter, the artwork on the label is just amazing. Hats off to Helen at Uncanny Designs for all of their labels because they fit the beers perfectly each time. Black Venom’s label features the skeleton of a snake bearing its venom soaked tongue and fangs as it rises from a black abyss of a swamp. The black gives way to dark purple to pink as it looks like a sun sets on the swamp. “Black Venom” sits in the upper right of the label with the letters dripping. The drawn type for the beer name is what I expect to see on the side of a metal single.

After milking Black Venom into my Teku glass, it’s color was jet black with a coffee tan head and the beer had a semi-thick viscosity to it. The nose had coffee and sweet molasses in a very fine balance with hints of dark chocolate. I imagine that adding dark brown sugar into your beer can be tricky, as it may make the beer too sweet due to the molasses content, but it was neither too sweet nor too bitter on the nose here.

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Black Venom had a full body with a thick, chewy mouthfeel like you are eating a dark chocolate candy with a sweet filling. That mild sweetness in the flavor, offset perfectly by the bitterness, was the venom for me. That’s where this beer sank its teeth in and kept me drinking away at this stout (maybe it’s the alcohol content too, but hey, don’t judge me). Black Venom had such a great balance in the flavor to compliment that aroma.

When I asked Seth, the brewer/co-owner at Copperhead, for the name of their label artist, he said, “It’s my job to make sure the beer is as good as the label arts. Sometimes that’s tough.” In my opinion, he has matched this one pretty well and I am giving it 4.5 stars and would like to be bitten by this beer again and again.

You can find Black Venom in 4 packs around the city (I would hurry and grab some though), or on tap at the brewery which I highly recommend as the method of obtaining it. The team seems to think that the crew over at Copperhead is doing a great job with their offerings so we are curious… Do you enjoy drinking the venoms as much as we do?¬†Beers to you, Houston.

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Nick B
nick.b@beerchronicle.com

Nick is originally from the Corpus Christi area, but found himself in Houston as of 4 years ago. You can spot him wearing a Hooks hat and drinking a glass of craft beer around the city. He typically prefers his beers to mirror his taste in music: complex, heavy, and dark.

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