Otter Creek Black IPA - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

857 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 9
Gots: 85 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jlpower on 10-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Traditionally untraditional, Black IPAs—also known as Cascadian Dark Ales or American Black Ales—originated here in Vermont under the auspices of American craft brewing pioneer Greg Noonan. This rich, delicious brew fuses pronounced hop aromas and darkly roasted malts in a style born in the Green Mountains.

60 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 275
Reviews by dpgoblejr:
More User Reviews:
Photo of pbechtel
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer! Started this snowy night with a taste of this thick, dark IPA. Sweet, but not too sweet. Smooth, but just enough flavor. Nice aroma. Looks good enough to drink poured in a clear pint glass. Overall, I would easily recommend this beer to others and drink it again.

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iam 50/50 on American black ales,some I have really liked,some didnt work very well for me,this was great.Poured into a stansard pint glass a deep cola color with a thinner but retentive beige colored head.Aromas of black malt and a big grapefruit rind shot,not much sweetness was detected.A real nice mix of in your face citric hops and unsweetened bitter chocolate,I was surprised at how well the dry chocolate held up to the hops,the malt profile is quite dry.With the big hops and sweetness in check this a very drinkable and very well made beer,I really liked this one.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm still not sure what to make of this style; it seems schizophrenic to me. However, I do like beer, and this is a likable beer.
In a pint glass the beer is so very dark brown it's nearly black. Some red at the sides when held up to the light. A small mocha head with a bit of lace
Roasted malt aroma. Both floral and citrus hops. Peppery in the nose.
Kind of a nutty caramel taste. Hops came through nicely, both pine and grapefruit.
A little thin in the mouth, but still an enjoyable beer.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful black color with great head that forms with a tan color and lace very well

The aroma is intriguing nice earthy and sweet flower hops with a slight chocolate and coffee but the hops are the star

The taste is mild it has a earthy hop taste to start a citrus and flowery hop taste follows with a mix of roasted undertones.

Its body is mild but the mouth is smooth and its taste is full of flavor making it easy to drink

Photo of Guden
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Jet black with no light shining through. An off white creamy head fades into some big bubbles.

S- Lots of strong smells: charred wood, licorice, alcohol, medicinal/tape, and a bit of caramel.

T- Not nearly as complex as the nose, but the medicinal off flavor also doesn't carry over. Starts off with a bit of hops and caramel, which gives way to woody bitterness and a touch of roasted coffee flavor.

M- A medium bodied with some carbonation, not quite IPA characteristics but I like this in a black IPA.

O- This is a touch roastier and a touch lower in hop aroma and flavor than I would have liked but all around this is a nice black IPA. A style I enjoy and one of the better ones in the style that I have had.

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In the mixed 12-pack, no freshness date.

Head reaches four fingers high and nearly spills over but it has the integrity to hold strong and not dribble down the side of the glass. A shade or two away from complete darkness. An ever so soft nose of roastiness meets a thicker hop resin minty smell. Smooth and creamy with a lush medium body. Oily hoppiness to kick things off, mild roasty / toasty maltiness brings cocoa, chicory and bread crust to the palate. Hop bitterness gives a quick sting though the flavor seems to blanket the palate with a more subtle oily coating. Finishes bitter and a little sweet with that long linger of hop oil.

A good run at this new-ish style, slightly above the middle of the pack IMO and I am glad I tried it.

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness indication

Pours black, with a mocha head that goes to a thick film, then blotchy foam, and leaving plenty of scattered bits of lace.

I'm getting mostly dark malts in the nose with a hint of spruce infused hops.

Hopped up ale, plenty of dark malts, dark chocolate, and some smoke. Hops dry things out, but dont leap out all over the malts. Balance is the deal here and I'm liking it. Nice job here by the Otter Creek crew.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$1.75 for a single.
Black body with deep red edges when held up to the light. Off white two finger frothy fluffy head. This fades to a nice white cap, big and small bubbles. Smells of one or two American citrus hops, chinook and maybe Columbus but it's just a guess. Taste is quite complex. Citrus, clean hop bitterness, roasted malt, piney notes,'tobacco, leather, black tea. Quite bubbly and prickly going down. Very balanced even though it feels thin bodied. I'd definitely pick this up again. Give it a try.

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown/red in color, clear

Smell: roasted malt and pine hops

Taste: follows the smell--lots of pine and roasty malts

Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation, light body, sweet start bitter middle, with a less bitter end

Overall: Very good and not overly bitter American Black Ale. I could have several of these and this is one of the better examples in the style I have found so far. I like the pine flavors.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tall pint glass.

Pours a dark almost jet black with a nice thick and creamy dark brown head that turns into lots of nice light lacing all the way down the glass. Nose is very nice, fresh and hoppy - lots of piny notes.

Taste was also quite hoppy and a bit grainy but nice. Lots of that pine resin flavor along with a good malty backbone. Really solid and very drinkable.

Photo of alexkeil
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a tan, mocha colored head that did last along the edges. The aroma is a muted American hop bouquet. It seems like the roasted malts keep the aroma down a tad. The longer the beer sits the more the roasted malt comes through. The inital taste is the American hops: slightly piney, some grapefruit. The finish turns to the roasty malt and chewy sweetness much like a porter. The mouthfeel is medium with too much carbonation and too much alcohol warmth. I love the idea of this style but I haven't had one yet that I thought really brought everything together with the IPA hoppiness and roastly malt finish. I think this would be improved with English hops and a less attenuating yeast.

Photo of far333
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany brown, nearly opaque, with a big fat frothy head of light brown foam that lingers long and send ringlets of lace up the sides of the glass.

Bright and inviting aroma of tangerine and oranges, just a tad piney, not picking up any dark malts.

Initial flavor of toasty malt, not too dark, followed quickly by orange rind and pine, then moving back to understated nutty and cocoa malt. Some honey notes ride beneath. Moderate bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel is full and rich and creamy, very satisfying. Overall seems more IPA than black, but a very tasty and drinkable beer. Seems like most Cascadian Darks are big and robust, whereas this one is a more quaffable version.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my trusty becker pint glass; beautiful jet black with a fluffy dark brown head that fades relatively slowly but leaves lots of lacing. Smell is malty, with coffee and chocolate; smells more like a stout than a cascadian dark ale. Only some slight grassy/herbal hops in the background. Hopefully the taste will be a little more balanced towards the style...and it's not. While this might be able to fall under the category hoppy black ales are put on here, this is certainly not any sort of IPA as the bottle says. No hop flavor at all, save for a very slight grassy/minty/herbal flavor in the aftertaste. Other than that, you could tell me this was a stout/porter and I'd believe you. It's almost like they put one of their stouts in the wrong bottle, that's how off this tastes.
It's not a bad beer, but it is no Black IPA. The fact that Black IPAs are put under the style American Black Ale on here muddies the waters even further. I'm wary of falling into the trend of calling every hoppy beer "India ___," but there really needs to be two separate styles; if it were up to me, I'd call any regular black ale an ABA, and call hoppy black ales Cascadian Dark Ales.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ebony deep black body with no ruby highlights seen through the glas, solid even coating of tan head lacing as it dwindles down. Aromatics are nice, a combo of dark chocolate and subtle herbal/citric hop attacks colliding into an almost chocolate mint/pine combination. Mike the brewmaster formerly of DFH Rehoboth location, knows how to combine the dark malts in the hops this version is really nice. Strong bitter dark chocolate with herbal/mint/citric/pine flavored hops going on, finishes nice and dry a very well meshed combination of different flavors. The best Otter Creek offering I've had in quite some time, I'm looking forward to trying their Kolsch this spring. Medium bodied smooth carbonation, I noticed a good amount of yeast sediment. Natural bottle conditioned beer gives this beer an edge. Drinkability is very nice a sessionable hop head satisfying, cool weather dark beer that I really enjoyed. Will get a whole sixer if I see it out and about.

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle; code may indicate Sept. 2012 bottling.
A: Pours clear, very deep and dark mahogany in color, looking almost black in the glass. There’s a very short-lived tan head that reduces to some very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. A bit of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Some sediment in the bottom of the bottle (mostly added to the pour).

Aroma: Very dark roasted malts and fruity/earthy hops fight for dominance. Hints of chocolate, charcoal, peat, and citrus fruit: Complex but, like most black IPAs, lacks integration and finesse.

T: Loads of dark and very dark roasted malts with a trace of smoke. Hints of dark chocolate, pine, grapefruit, caramel malt, and bitter chocolate. Mild bitterness ramps up a bit, but is well controlled, in the finish. A rather pleasant smokey-earthy-grapefruit aftertastes lingers on and on, with hops and dark malts in good balance.

M: Medium+ body and carbonation. Clean with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: A tasty black IPA featuring more darkly roasted malts, yet with only a limited and quite acceptable burnt quality. Rich and moderately complex, this is a very big beer for 6% ABV.

Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/17/10

Pours near black as the name implies with a creamy beige head that hangs around for a while. Man, this beer looks fresh. Polka dotted lacing sticks to the glass and when held up to the light one can see it's unfiltered.

Roasted malts and citrus hops, nice.. Aside from that, not much else in the aroma.

Bitter chocolate gets the party started however in the end the generous amount of hops have the last word. Pretty well balanced and low on the sweetness scale.

Smooth with a lite to medium body and average carbonation. As it warms, it takes on a more bitter and dry character but still very pleasing.

This style is fast becoming a favorite of mine and this is a solid example. Low on the alcohol but rich in the flavor. Dare I say almost sessionable ;)

Photo of Brenden
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out dark brown in my glass, forming a light brown foam and nothing more. Swirling will consistently bring up more head, but a foam is all there ever is (though it remains all the way). Enough thin, spotty lacing is left to make for an average appearance. I don't know how all these reviewers are pouring out a 4.5, but both of my fresh bottles stored at the proper temperature and drunk after a day of storage in my fridge don't do it.
The rest of the beer really does come together. A strong roasted malt, extremely earthy with a touch of smoke and some peat-like notes blend nicely with floral and piny hops aromas. A touch of wood is evident as well.
It all meets very well in the flavor, balancing rather than clashing. Raw hops initially hit the very back of the throat, then give way to the more floral and pine hops flavors which blend with the smoke and barley, giving way to a finish that's a lingering mix of charred woods and pine.
There's just a touch of crispness at first, then this brew goes pretty mellow and smooth in a firm, medium body with light carbonation.
This is a good beer. Again, I'm not sure how everyone's getting such a great pour, but for me everything else is solid.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had at a Pickled Pig beer dinner.

A: This beer is a dark brown with small tan head on top. Not much retention and minimal lacing.

S: Slight roasty malt, a little bit of a floral aroma, as well as some pine.

T: Similar to the aroma with some roasted malt, a bit of chocolate, and a nice transition to some pine and grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied but rather smooth with medium carbonation.

O: I nice little black ale here. Nothing out of this world (though I am yet to have a beer in this style that is), but gets the job done.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown color, nearly black with a substantial dark-cream foam topped head, moderate disipation with a crispy and healthy look.

A big hop aroma, fresh hops, citrus, floral and earthy with semi sweet and slightly smokey malt underneath.

The flavor of hops is deep with really fresh, whole cone or wet hoppiness, juicy, citric with Otter Creeks constant jazzy, zippy and earthy yeast balance. the malt is wonderful with dark wheat and slight roastie notes in a subtle but effective way and is a bigger presence overall than with the standard IPA style.

a crispy, livley feel that becomes medium-heavy, smooth with a slightly dry, crispy finish.

Seems just right for the holiday season and 'ol Black Peter.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle doesn't include the word "Alpine" anywhere, but otherwise looks very similar to the bottle pictures, same ABV, same style. I'll assume it's the same thing.

This one has it in the looks department, "it" being a nice chocolate/root beer brown color, glassy and with lots of bubbles marching in neat rows up to a fluffy, long-lasting, mocha-cream/ice cream type head. Mmm mm mm, sista.

Aroma-wise, it leans on the weaker side for the style. Sometimes these black ales' hops vs. malt struggle ends up smelling rather chemical/mineral, and this one does that. A stony smell. Maybe the taste buds will sort all this out...

While tasting slightly chalky, there's a good balancing act done here between malt and hops. The malt is very roasty and smoky, almost like a porter, but never overtakes the hops, which are citrusy but hardly West Coast Citrusorama, and they remain complementary as well. Some grapefruit/citrus peel does peek through, though.

A fairly dry beer, gives a bit of a pucker with some pronounced chocolate notes hanging out in the finish, and that mild grapefruit personality lingering.

Not overwhelmingly amazing, although enjoyable enough if you like this style.

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask at Rattle 'N' Hum second day. Medium mouthfeel. Hoppy dark cascadian hop.Also Apollo and other hops. Unfiltered, Good drinkability, though a tad of stringency. A little chocolate and roast. Dark coloured body.Another good one recently from Otter Creek.

Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - black with a half an inch of brown, soft head that fades quickly

S - faint lemon peel and citrus over roasted malt aromas

T - faint chocolate, roasted malts, a hint of coffee, citrusy hops with a faintly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent Black IPA. It's malt forward but there's an obviously heavy hop presence. The hops are a bit at odds with the malt however. The malt is bitter and roasty and the hops are citrusy. A bit of balance would be nice. I wouldn't turn this down. but I won't seek it out again.

Photo of mclaughlindw4
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my beer glass. Looks like a thin black. Poured a nice head that dissipated but leaves patches of lingering lacieness. Mostly hops in the aroma. I didn't think I was going to like this but I do. I find a sweet maltiness up front with a bitter finish. It's a decent beer. Probably won't buy it again though. Would be good with some stinky cheese.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got as an extra from younger35. Thanks man. Poured into my Firestone pint glass.

Pours a nice black with a nice tan head. Head dissapated to a film with nice lacing.

Aroma is nice. Nice hoppyness with the roastyness. Smells great.

Taste is good. I like the roastyness with the hop profile. Nice and dry.

Mouthfeel is good. Nice carb and dry like I like my IPA's.

Overall an awesome black IPA. I personally like regular and double IPA's but this black one is pretty good.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a dark black with a two finger mocha head. Beautiful lacing and nice retention.

Smell: dark malts, maybe a little coffee, and a nice little scent of hops.

Tastes to me like a hoppy porter not a "black IPA". Roasted dark malt, a little chocolate, and a nice dose of piney hops but not quite enough to really make it an IPA.

Mouthfeel is good- medium body, kinda thick, moderate carbonation. Definitely would get again- but again tastes more like a porter.

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Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.