1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 663 | Reviews: 259 | Show All Ratings:
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 dedrinker


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

Black color with a light tan head.

Aromas of roasted malt (coffee) and piney resinous hops.

Flavors mostly the same with a medium intensity compared to Stone's version, but still good (yes I am biased toward Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous).

Medium-to-full body with a roasty and hoppy finish.

This is a worthy addition to the style, but not my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2012 04:43:14 | More by dedrinker
Photo of datalager


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a pint off tap earlier this evening, at one of our family's favorite pub/restaurants.

It was an attractive black pour, with a translucent reddish edging. The off white head dissipates quickly, but leaves moderate lacing in its path. An overall attractive dark ale.

Smell is full of quality odors, easily accessible even when cold. In this freshly poured stage, mint and roasted malt greet the nares. As the glass comes to room temp, additional scents of mild pine and coffee reveal themselves.

Flavor is a bit reversed, with a rich roasted malt up front, giving way to a medium bodied bitter and floral style hop with reasonable aftertaste. With warmth comes stronger roast, opening up the coffee flavors just a tad.

Mouthfeel has good crisp characteristics, and a slightly dry finish.

Overall I was impressed with this beer, given my first foray into the style. I look forward to enjoying this again in the near future.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2012 00:02:06 | More by datalager
Photo of beerbiatchMD


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Boda in Portland ME.

A: dark black brown with light brown head with about one finger head, good lacing.

N: nicely hoppy and citrusy up front, some roasty malts, pine. Actually smells like an IPA even with being so dark.

T: starts out with piny hops, citrusy, middle with a nice malt balance, finish with a bit of coffee bitterness.

M: nice and smooth. Well carbonated, no complaints.

O: this is a very good Dark IPA. The only other I've had is Hop in the Dark by Deschutes and this one is way better. Highly recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2012 23:59:59 | More by beerbiatchMD
Photo of Slatetank


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Anthony's Micro pub in Harrisburg PA, review taken from notes. Served chilled in a willybecker.

The color is black as advertised with an opaque clarity, sandstone cap and tight bead. The IPA has pretty decent retention and rings of lace cling. The smell is slight sweet floral nose with a mild toasted grain odor and slight pine accent. The smell gets more roasted and coffee-like when warm. The feel is mostly dry with moderately high carbonation and semi high bitterness level wtih low sweet impact on the palate with mild spice and low roasted tinges with gentle oily texture with mild astringency and gentle alcohol on the palate.

the tast has a mild bitter taste with slight pine accent up front and mild toasted grain which has low roast notes and slight peppery quality. The actual hop flavor is pretty nice with kind of comes off as grassyy with mild flavor of stone fruit from the yeast adding to the overall sweetness and the finish is somewhat dry. Overall a pretty solid beer with no lack of hop flavor. This beer doesn't stand out in the style for me it is a good choice but still just above average.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2012 18:02:39 | More by Slatetank
Photo of akorsak


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Champions.

A: The black ale is, quite appropriately, black. Sitting like a grandiose stout in my glass, it supports a two finger head, barely off-white, that laces is rings all around the glass.

S: Roasted malts, dark and burnt, are met with a fresh citrus hop bite. Where the two intersect, the sweetness and the acridity are very pleasing - biting but sweet, not very smooth.

T: The stout body brings roasted malts and lactic sweetness, a rich milky flavor that begs for the hops to tame it. And those hops don't disappoint, a citrusy grapefruit bite that stands up admirably to the malts. Neither the hops nor the malts go overboard, remaining nicely in balance. All in all, the malts win up front, the hops in the end, although equal parts bitter and roasted linger on my palate.

M: The mouthfeel is quite good, bringing both flavors im more-than-ample proportions. Well-roasted and super-citrusy. I ended up having two glasses.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 21:38:06 | More by akorsak
Photo of neophilus


3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, black draft pour, short but creamy tan head on top. There is a fresh hoppy smell, floral pine hop aroma and a light roasted scent in the background.

Smooth, firm bitterness up front with a gentle roasty flavor, the hop bite is sharply contrasted with the raosted espresso flavor which I guess is the hallmark of this style. The roasted portion of the flavor profile is not acrid or burnt tasting which is keeping it from clashing with the more floral hop notes.

I have to admit I don't get the Black IPA style, the hops and the roasted flavors seem to be struggling against each other. In most other Black IPAs I've tried this contrast of flavors doesn't really work well for me, but Otter Creek seems to get the balance right. If you want some roasted flavor to back up your IPA then this is the beer for you.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2011 16:46:13 | More by neophilus
Photo of mdaschaf


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 20:53:39 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap tonight at Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or head retention.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, fruity hops and malts. A little sweet, and more going on in the nose than just roasted malts, which I like.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and citrus hops. Some bitterness, and a small step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a nice Black IPA. I liked the nose a lot, though I thought the taste was a little bit one dimensional being very roasted. Would give it another shot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2011 01:52:00 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Blackish-brown, transparent, but not by much. Coffee-cream looking head.

S: Battle between smokey malt and pine, citrus hops.

T: Burnt hops, does that make sense? Roasted malts met immediately with pine hops, bitter. Backing of smokey brown sugar and citrus hops.

M: Medium body, lower carbonation, bitter and a touch acidic.

O/D: Really solid offering, a beer much better on tap. A style I'm really starting to enjoy, and you should start here.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 02:47:23 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of BLove

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at Rupununi in downtown Bar Harbor, ME. I've only had a few of this new style, but all have been delightful.

A. Deep-dark black, thick creamy tan head fades rather quickly
S. Intense hoppy, citrus/pine aromas; surprisingly little to no roast aroma
T. Big citrus, pine resin, grassy hop flavors throughout. Then mild roast aftertase.
M. Thin-Med mouthfeel, overall thinner than I expected
D. I thought it was very good overall. I would drink this again..and again. :)

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 19:22:16 | More by BLove
Photo of PhageLab


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

Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Deep brownish black hue, opaque. Poured a violent head of froth, took the poor girl a few minutes to fill the glass. Eventually settled to a thin layer and left some spotted lace.

S - Hoppy, and yet also sweet, almost candy-like.

T - Blackberries, toasted malts, a good hop bite, and yet well balanced. Or rather, I should say both are present, but they don't work for eachother. There is a sharp bitterness and a cloying sweetness together, nice flavors, but slightly distracting.

M - Creamy medium body, dry finish leaves some roasted malt characteristics behind.

D - Pretty good, other than a few flaws. Nothing that would prevent me from having another though. I like this emerging style we have here.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 12:07:59 | More by PhageLab
Photo of Rifugium


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Mmm...love this beer, and this relatively new style of beer. Looks like a black lager, tastes like an IPA.

Pours black-hole black and hazy, with a nice off-white head that recedes to just a thin layer. Big pine hop scent up front, with roasty malts in the background. Taste of bitter, piney hops up front...if you weren't expecting such a dark ale to be hoppy, you will be surprised. Mild essence of citrus zest just noticeable, pine resin, grass, and a good malt roastiness to follow, but with the hops ever-present throughout. Rich and flavorful, medium mouthfeel, and very drinkable, mainly if you like your hops, which I do.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 17:30:39 | More by Rifugium
Photo of SummitVA


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black pour casts a reddish glow along the sides of the glass. Light, frothy head that lingers.

S - Citrus hop character is fantastic--big grapefruit, especially. Some dark malt character, but hops are the order of the day here.

T - Solid citrus-y hop flavor with fantastic malt complexity. Breadiness and chocolate blend exceptionally well with this, making the beer still drink very "dry" overall. Nice crisp hop finish, as expected.

M - Light bodied.

O - Don't know what I was expecting with this, but I was thoroughly impressed. Nice big, citrus-y Black IPA. Will definitely seek this out in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 21:41:33 | More by SummitVA
Photo of devinoconnor

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice take on the dark IPA from Otter Creek.

Pours a pitch black, stout color yet reeks of hops you'd expect with an IPA.

Taste is hoppy, citrus orange, and subtle malts.

You'll like this beer even if you don't like 'dark' or 'heavy' beers. Easy drinking and very enjoyable.

Perfect example, don't judge a book by its cover. Tastes nothing like it looks.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2011 16:52:09 | More by devinoconnor
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
Photo of claytri


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured black with a tan head. The aroma was of sharp floral hops, while simple it was very enticing. The taste is of lightly toasted malt with a nice floral hop overtone. The feel is medium and wet. This was a most pleasant beer, and one I will seek out in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2011 04:03:31 | More by claytri
Photo of gdrydenc


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at O'Hara's in Newton, MA. Reviewed from notes.

A - Black. Thick, dark brown head, looks like a stout and served in a Guinness glass!

S - IPA smells with a bit of roasted malts, like a stout.

T - Tastes much like it smells but fruitier. Fruit with a lot of malt character.

M - Creamy and delicious.

D - For a bolder beer, totally drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2011 05:06:25 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of Neecee513

New York

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Hop Devil Grill in NYC

A: Deep brown, nearly black I suppose. The bartender served my beer alongside my friend's Keegan's Mother's Milk and they looked nearly the same beer. Slight head. Lacing on the glass.

S: Piney hop aroma, did not distinguish another scent.

T: Roasted malt backbone, slight hop bitterness.

M: Moderate-low carbonation, thin body, slightly dry on the finish.

D: This beer smells much more hoppy than it tastes, so I was surprised by that. The roasted malt character is more prevalent, so balance leans much more this way. If I saw it again on tap or in the bottle, I'd have another for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2011 18:55:33 | More by Neecee513
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visited some friends in VT recently and sampled many drafts on tap in Burlington. This was my favorite beer that I was able to try.

A - Very dark brownish black with a two finger creamy head. Good retention and lacing on the head.

S - Plenty of citrus hops with toasted malts. Hints of coffee in the nose as well.

T - Roasted malt and floral hops galore. The hops really dominate and I was pleased with the level of malt (I have sampled other black IPAs that have been too malty in my opinion). Slightly bitter and dry in the finish.

M - Creamy and silky smooth with slight carbonation.

D - Dangerously drinkable but flavorful enough that I made sure to enjoy each sip.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 02:06:33 | More by BeerPhan86


4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted the pilot batch at Burlington Brew Fest and subsequently since it came to market.

Huge hop nose, very floral with some hints of citrus.

Very crisp and surprisingly light for it's appearance.

Low hop bitterness considering (60 ibu's) well balanced sweetness in the middle and a very earthy, roasty finish.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2010 12:34:18 | More by VTCRAFTSALESREP
Photo of bishopdc0


3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2010 01:09:27 | More by bishopdc0
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2010 03:26:00 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 11/15/2010 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, dark caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a balanced burst of grassy hops bitterness and dark fruit. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in along with a mild but complementary sweetness to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2010 22:13:28 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of fscottkey

New York

4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Whoa! I did a non-aggressive pour into a 20 oz nonic pint producing 5 fingers of head and a near foam over. I had to cease pouring before I got all 12 oz. That being said it is a nice black color. The head is foamy tan - but excessive in size. (After reading other reviews I have to assume the head was an anomaly - perhaps there was something in the glass).

S: hops and fruit smells. Some citrus and pine.

T: Really pleasant taste - no bitter at all. Hops and light pine up front and a hint of cocoa on the finish.

M: Very smooth. Carbonation is just right. Highly drinkable and easy on the palate. No lingering dryness or aftertaste.

O: After the disaster of a pour I expected things to continue to be bad for this one. However, everything is in balance. Nice balance of hops, low bitter, some smoky cocoa on the finish and really smooth mouth feel. I would like to drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 03:26:11 | More by fscottkey
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 663 ratings.