El Segundo Pine Tar Incident

El Segundo Brewing Company - The Pine Tar Incident Black IPA

Brewed by: El Segundo Brewing Company

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: IPA
  • Variation: Black, Cascadian Dark Ale
  • Limited: Yes
  • ABV: 7.1%
  • IBU: N/A

Notes: Won gold medal for American-Style India Black Ale at 2015 San Diego International Beer Festival.

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Whiffs of pine and spruce lead you in to the glass, where you find bitter cocoa and candied oranges. A touch of roast permeates throughout, but the hop expression wins over in the end. Dry and lively but with a creamy feel. Enough hops to be under protest, but we rule it a home run.

Hops: N/A

Malts: N/A

More El Segundo The Pine Tar Incident Images

First Impressions

Artwork: Umpires are standing in a replica of old Yankee Stadium with a bat and ball at home plate. “The Pine Tar Incident” appears on a KC Royals-like crest.

Color: Pitch black.

Aroma: Dense, fresh pine.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 22oz. Bottle

Served in: Short Tulip

When we learned about El Segundo’s release of The Pine Tar Incident, we immediately considered this beer to be a potential triple play in the making. A black IPA? Check. Brewed by the LA’s power hitters of hops? Check. The beer was baseball themed, and named after a prolific event in the sport? Check.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, the “Pine Tar Incident” refers to a 1983 baseball game between the visiting Kansas City Royals, and New York Yankees. With 2 outs in the top of the 9th inning, George Brett hit a 2 run homer, giving his team the lead. After Brett rounded the bases, Yankees manager Billy Martin demanded the umpires inspect his bat for excessive application of pine tar not allowed in the MLB rule book.

The umpires called him out and took the home run away, making the Yankees the winner. George Brett went absolutely bonkers and sprinted out of the dugout like a possessed maniac after the umpires, almost swallowed his chew, and had to be physically restrained. You can see a video of the incident here.

As soon as the bottle hissed open, the scent of fresh pine was in the air, and we knew The Pine Tar Incident would be a great beer. Obviously the aroma only intensified in the glass, where this IPA took on notes of a freshly trimmed pine tree, or you know, a pine tar rag. Well, it wasn’t THAT intense, but we also picked up an edge of booziness, along with a hint of dark roasted malt.

The Pine Tar Incident poured a tan colored cap on top of its pitch black body. Some black IPAs can have an eruptive head, but this one was fairly tame, and died off after a few minutes. Plenty of lacing caked the glass from its thin coating of froth, and bubbly ring around the edge of the glass.

On the palate, The Pine Tar Incident was very well balanced. Up front, the dark roasted malt played centerfield, with an extra creamy body. Heading around third base into the finish, its sticky, resiny pine washed over the robust maltiness. Its drying pine finish transitioned to another layer of lasting dark roast, almost like the beer was smoked.

“An undisputed hops home run” for sure. The world needs more baseball-themed beers, and tasty Black India Pale Ales, so this beer was definitely a win-win.

Final Score: 4/5

4 Stars

With The Pine Tar Incident, El Segundo created a well balanced black IPA with plenty of deep roast for dark ale fans, and sticky pine for the hop-heads. Just like George Brett on that historic day, El Segundo Brewing Company knocked it out of the park.

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