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

Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

663 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 663
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
60 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerKangaroo on 01-10-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 663 | Reviews: 259 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AgentZero


1.7/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Black beer with a tan head. Bottle was a slow gusher, not a good sign, particularly on a 12 oz bottle.

S - Might smell like a black IPA, if it didn't smell infected. There's some crystal malts, and some hops, but infection overwhelms.

T - Tastes infected. Fuzzy infection taste, some black IPA characteristics. Not going to drink much of this though.

M - Over carbonated, medium bodied.

O - Well, I'll re-review if I ever get a better bottle. The infection kills this one. It tastes bad, and that's why.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 23:49:35 | More by AgentZero
Photo of woodychandler


2.35/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This Black kick is thanks to tone77 who wants to see me keep my bottle numbers in line with The CANQuest (TM). I postulated in my last review that an addictive personality such as mine might have difficulties with the adage "Once you've had Black, you won't go back" and sure enough, here we are! I'm doomed.

From the bottle: "A rich and delicious Black India Pale Ale featuring a pronounced hop aroma followed by darkly roasted malts topped with a mocha head."

I wonder why these black beers have such a propensity to created such a big, dense head. Here, it was two rocky fingers of deep-mocha head with enviable retention. Color was ... talk about truth in advertising ... jet black. There was no light penetration whatsoever. That's OK since some of my friendliest beers are Black. They CAN come over to my house any time. In fact, some of them are really liked by my sister. She's into Black. Nose was initially bursting with piney hops, but a second whiff gave me smoke and dark chocolate. This is what bothers me about the style - it is like the old Reese's commercial - "Hey, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter! No, man, you got my peanut butter on your chocolate!" with the tag line being "Two great tastes that taste great together." Yeah, well, keep your roasted malts OUT of my AmeriCAN IPAs, dang it. Mouthfeel was medium but there was a fistfight on my tongue. Smoke then bitter then chocolate then more bitter until the melange tasted like a hangover morning. This is NOT my bag, baby! What happened - some genius got bored and thought that this would be a good idea? Epic fail! The finish left me gasping for breath and not in a good way. It tasted like the fire in the hops plant that caused the dry spell a few years back. Jeez-O, man. Color me not a fan.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 22:51:20 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Kitt


2.53/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep, dark chocolate, with a thin brown head. Weak but persistent lacing.

Aroma, thick, rich, humid, and heavy malt with a licorice undertone.

Stout-like more than IPA-like. Heavy malts. A slight bitter linger.

Full bodied and heavy, goes down slow.

This is a stout beer with some extra hop kick. This is not an IPA. Let's stick to stouts being stout and IPAs being IPAs. Please don't try to mix -- each is terrific in its own right, but they aren't made to be married. The flavor just isn't doing it for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 02:42:22 | More by Kitt
Photo of brewcifix


3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Otter Black IPA pours black-brown with an ample, fluffy off-white head.

S- The nose is pretty much espresso and SUPER piney hops.

T- Nice coffee, and piney hops play nice. Espresso lingers.

M- Medium carb and light weight make for easy drinking.

Overall, this is a nice Black IPA. Nothing "swept me off my feet", but, it was still very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 16:15:56 | More by brewcifix
Photo of MrOH


3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A five month old bottle, so I'll be gentle.

black with a two-finger tan head. Streaks of lace.

Grapefruit, pine, and some chocolate and coffee. Nothing too bold though.

Grapefruit, weak coffee and milk chocolate. Not too pleasant. Nothing really too gross, the flavors just seem to clash a bit too much for my tastes.

Medium bodied, good carb.

It was better fresh on draft when I had it a few months ago. Now, just kinda "meh".

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 00:56:07 | More by MrOH
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown in color, with a little bit of a tan head at the top and no lacing at all.

S: Roasted malts, a bit of hop notes and not much else, slight scent of coffee.

T: Almost exactly like the nose with a bit of booze up front, and some chocolate notes.

M: Smooth, mid carbonation.

O: This beer was OK, nothing to brag about. It tasted good but was very watery and not to hoppy.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2012 20:25:36 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of AdamBear


3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-black, light tan head

S-smells like sweet hops, not as malty as the other "black" IPAs that i've had. there is some mocha in there as well.

T-i'll be honest...for this style...this is not a winner. its not too great at all. the hops presence is minimal and weak at best. other than that, the main taste that i'm getting is a blast of molasses sweetness. over all this is a disappointment.

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a dry finish

D-well its not that bad but i kinda want it be gone already. its just not a beer i can drink a lot of. as i will put it...it tastes weird...

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 06:33:48 | More by AdamBear
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger khaki head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light medium carbonation and medium bodied. Pine hop nose and flavor is resin/pine hops that the malts almost balance, ends with a slight bitter aftertaste. $1.25 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 22:55:25 | More by jdhilt
Photo of MusicaleMike


3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Consumed on 1-29-2011
Presentation: 12oz. bottle with no indication of alcohol % or freshness date.

The beer is black. Ok, it lives up to its name. I give credit for that, however, I can tell this is a murky, muddy brew. There are lighter chunks of yeast sediment floating around in the bottom of the glass, so pourer beware! The head was also a big letdown. If this is a hoppy beer, I expect the most from the head retention, but the foam on Alpine Black IPA just didn't want to hang out for the party.

The smell is good. Hops are dominant and in your face. Robust smell of pine right after pouring into the glass. The aroma is spot on, with a strong background of dark, heavily roasted malt that has a prominent coffee smell. It could only get better by having some more complex aromas within the style guidelines.

The taste is not the best, and it is certainly not the worst. A good balance between hops and malt is met, and the resulting flavor is pretty much where I think a Black IPA should be at a minimum. Bitter hops meet dark roasted malt...isn't that the point? I find notes of coffee, pine, and it seems a bit chalky to me.

Mouthfeel is soft, supported by lively carbonation. Excellent body for the style; though some people might want a heavier body for this style, I think the thinner body allows this beer a more quaffable quality.

Unfortunately, though I love the smell, I don't think I would really have another one. I liked it when I was drinking it, but I have found other beers far more memorable, and I think I will just keep looking for better Black IPA's out there. I'm sorry....American Black Ales.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 20:52:09 | More by MusicaleMike
Photo of Brewsky29


3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out black with an inch of tan head.

Smell is of roasted malts.

The taste is good more roasted malts and some bitterness in there.

It is smooth light carbonation.

Overall nice beer not as good as other black ipa's. The taste is a little off for the style more stout or porter like. Still a good beer though.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 00:44:22 | More by Brewsky29
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Keep in mind that I openly hate the style.

4.25 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is good and lots of lacing is left.

3.25 S: This isn't as hoppy as most of its brethren. It's still hoppy, but it doesn't have the major clash between citrus and roast that most have. Hops give a combination of floral, herbal, and citrus. Light coffee roastiness from the base. Not too exciting, but not offensive either.

3.0 T: The taste is pretty much like the nose. Citrus, herbal, and floral hops clash with coffee and roastiness of the base. Like others of the style, the flavors don't work together. However, in this neither side of the flavors is overly powerful, so it's at least a little less at odds. In any case, it's still kind of boring.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy. Good enough here.

3.0 D: I guess I was wrong about the black IPA thing just being a fad. It pains me to see "now year round!" on this label, but that's okay, I'll just pass over it year round at the beer store.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 00:31:13 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of greenengineer


3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

n.b. -Bottle does not say "Alpine"
12 oz bottle in my Paddy's Shillelagh Shuffle Pint Glass
A - Robust, thick head. Opaque black color. Looks darker in the glass than it did in the bottle
S- Not much there. faint wisps of hops and malt. You'd be hard pressed to say there's beer in the glass, if you couldn't see it.
T - malt and burnt malt taste, with a little hops bitterness on the finish. Slighty nutty taste stays with you.
M - good fizz, slightly sticky.
O - decent, wonder why they call it an IPA - I expected more hops. Instead it's closer to a porter, I think.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 19:36:09 | More by greenengineer
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.19/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from The Lazy Dog
Pours a solid dark brown with faint garnet highlights at the edges and a decent sized creamy beige head that persists for a good long time before sticking lots of lace to the sides. Aromas of roasted coffee with a hint of caramel and some light earth and citrus notes. The flavor follows the aroma to a T. Roast and light chocolate and caramel with a light earthy hop flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost gritty mouthfeel. Virtually non existent hop aroma makes me want to call this a porter or dry stout. The flavor has some hop to it, but the beer in this bottle is either old or there aren't enough hops in here to call this an IPA. MEH!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 03:01:09 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of alcstradamus


3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours black with a finger of quickly dying head. Aroma is hop forward with a citrus and floral mix. The flavor is toasted malt and a strong pine/floral hoppiness. A bit of a clash in flavors. The body is light and carbonation is a bit too high. Overall this is a decent offering in the style, meaning an average beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 00:45:09 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Brad007


3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Somehow, I managed to miss out on reviewing this Black IPA.

Pours a dark brown/black color with a brown head that leaves lacing on my glass. Colorwise, it leans more towards a porter than a stout.

Juicy hop aroma punctuates the nose. A bit of cocoa, dark coffee as well.

Toasty with a weak citrus hop bite. Malt shines through more. Not very memorable.

Ditto for the mouthfeel. It's missing anything other than the remnants of the hops and the toasty malt bill.

I think my tastes either changed over time or I grew tired of this newer style. This bottle came out of a mixed 12 pack bottled in early January. Either way, don't let my opinion stop you from trying this beer. It's a great start for those who wish to explore American Black Ales.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 22:57:00 | More by Brad007
Photo of seeswo


3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours blackish with a small tan head that goes quick. Smells like almost nothing. I'm not even kidding. A vigorous thrashing gives me just a touch of roast, I guess. Moving on...a touch of roasted malt accompanies a generic IPA. There are some hops and bitterness that was not detected in the nose. It makes me wonder what people would think of the style if they had it with their eyes closed, totally blind. It often tastes to me like a cover for a crummy IPA. But what do I know. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with the flavor of the beer, but it doesn't do too much for me. The mouthfeel is fairly thick for the ABV with a pretty solid carbonation. I think they got this part right. Drinkability, errr...overall...well, this beer is what I like to call a generic craft beer. It is fine, made correctly and I would have no problem drinking it, but it doesn't do too much for me. Solidly average.

Edit: I was a bit too harsh.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 04:07:36 | More by seeswo
Photo of TheRougeBastard

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Having a small yet growing appreciation for the Black IPA's, I came across the Otter Creek Brewing (OCB) edition while "making" a six-pack for the weekend. First taste was actually a little rough as the hops actually flew out of the bottle and assaulted my poor taste buds. Drinking straight from the bottle, about a quarter of the way in, the taste softened a bit (or my tongue was numbed) either way, the OCB was evolving into a very drinkable beverage. Not quite sure what the aftertaste reminds me of but it is pleasant and does not leave the harsh wash some IPAs do. I imagine it would go well with a peppered cheese snack if you’re into that kind of thing. Overall, an above-average entry and one I wouldn’t hesitate to enjoy again!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 03:14:14 | More by TheRougeBastard
Photo of Ryan011235


3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 11/24/10

Medium brown color that's pretty dark in the glass. Highlights of ruby. One & a half fingers of light tan head. Retention is thin & bubbly; pretty good lace remains.

Earthy, piney & faint hints of citric hop aromas. Solid roasted malt backbone of coffee beans, notions of unsweetened & a slight breadiness. Balanced, maybe leaning toward the malt side.

Piney bitterness greets the tongue with an air of earthiness. Maybe a touch of orange peel. The malts are as with the nose: roasted coffee & a hint of cocoa powder. Similarly, the balance is shifted such that this is comfortably in hoppy porter territory.

Medium bodied with carbonation of the crisp-but-not-overly-prickly variety. Finishes dry with roasted residuals.

Pretty good overall but since it's more of a hoppy porter, it doesn't quite whet my appetite for a CDA/Black IPA. Not bad for what it is but I have to dock it a bit for style.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 01:22:02 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of mikereaser


3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a pitch black with an inch of tan foam that seemed to stick around for quite a while.
S - picking up roasted malts, hints of chocolate, and light earthy hops
T - bitter roasted malts, bitter chocolate, finishes with a very burnt malt flavor. Its not bad until the finish, it just has a charred flavor. The hops try to fight through but only show a hint of flavor.
M - medium bodied with a bit of creaminess, nice carbonation with a bitter finish
D - The flavor starts out good but finishes somewhere I don't want to go. It just has a charred flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 03:14:00 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Smurf2055


3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Trade thanks to TWStandley.

Pours dark with about a finger of off white head.

Smell is malt forward, slight coffee hints.

Rich and roasty flavors in the taste. Coffee is present, and hops are pretty strong. No real malt sweetness.

Easy drinking and medium bodied. Pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 06:14:29 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of begforme4484


3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black unless pierced by light. 2 fingers of tan head and decent lacing.

Good amount of hops in the nose. Citrus, floral, and earthy.. much stronger as it warms. Lots of roasted malt in there too represented by a caramel and roasted coffee scent.

Flavor is pretty good. A tad mild and watered down. Decently bitter with earthy and pine hops notes coming through. Smokey and bittersweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat under medium carbonation. Doesn't linger long.

Drinkability is good for the taste to price ratio. 8.99 a sixer, and still pretty good taste. Low abv allows more consumption if you feel like it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 01:36:01 | More by begforme4484
Photo of mountsnow1010


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

rev from notes

A - Dark, nice appearance with a minimal head.
S - Smells of - surprise - hops and toasty malts. This beer delivers the basics. Not much complexity though
T - Same as smells - not particularly bold or complex which is what I expect from a black IPA. Bitter and toasty.
MF - Very clean body - not a strong aftertaste or mouth-coating feel.
D Could easily throw back a sixer of this.

Very nice beer but nothing to write home about. I would work on the hop profile primarily - this pales (hah) in comparison to the Hill Farmstead James for example...

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 03:54:35 | More by mountsnow1010
Photo of andrewm190

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's only the second black IPA I've tried, and for the second time I'm not overly impressed. A fine beer I suppose, but I don't think its particularly brilliant. It kicks around some hops here and there, and is a little more strong on the roasted malts. This is also my first time with Otter Creek, I think. I got it pretty cheap at Trader Joe's, so not the massive investment that comes occasionally with some others. In general I'd say it more or less met my expectations, but I'd have been a little happier with something a little stronger and a little bolder. It's now advertised as year round; I'll probably look elsewhere though for some variety.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 03:43:03 | More by andrewm190
Photo of ChugsMugs


3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A beautiful dark black beer with the slightest red hue when held to light. A large tan frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving sticky lacing. Lacing coats the glass with every sip. Really, and impressive looking beer.

S- Mostly of strong IPA's, presence of grapefruit sweets florals. Slight undertone of malty sweetness.

T- Again largely IPA dominant with a subtle roasted malt finish.

M- smooth, enjoyable, hardly carbonated with strong malty finish.

D- surprised by how much it seemed like an IPA other than appearance and finish. An enjoyable beer and I would buy more.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 22:34:02 | More by ChugsMugs
Photo of ggilman


3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Funky Red Barn in Bethel. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Almost solid black with a mocha tinge around the edges. Very little head, most likely due to the way it was poured.

B - Roasted coffee grounds, hops in the background

T - Coffee beans, molasses, with a hard to find hop finish. I've had this bottled before, and the hops were more present. An inconsistency between batches maybe? Would've liked a stronger hop presence. No bitterness. Some spicy notes, along with a hint of alcohol.

M&D - Creamyish and very smooth, light bodied, and strong carbonation. Not exactly what you'd expect, but it's decent. I'd order it again. Not a style I have a lot of experience with, but something I think I'd like with a bigger hop bite.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2011 03:55:58 | More by ggilman
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Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 663 ratings.