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

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

270 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 270
Hads: 858
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 9
Gots: 89 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 270 | Hads: 858
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (257 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a thin creamy brown head that has good retention properties and left lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: There are light aromas of citrus hops in the nose along with some hints of roasted malts.
T: There is a medium amount of bitterness in the taste, which has flavors of caramel, citrus and roasted malts along with some hints of pepper.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable; I could easily have a few of these in one sitting. (594 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is better than most, a rich and decadent brew, now available year-round. it has a nice chalky dark brown color to it with a fluffy lighter brown head and a nose of chocolate malts, cocoa, bitter hops, and oatmeal. the hops balance but do not dominate as they usually do in this style, and I find this to be a real nicely put together beer, very approachable. my palate is greeted by warming chocolate notes from the malt long before I get any hops, which in the end turn out to be more bitter than flavorful, which I think works well with the dark roasted barley. full bodied creamy feel to this, thick and delicious, down easy for what it is. one of otter creeks better beers, I was impressed by this one from the first sip. (730 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

started my day off with this one and what a solid beer it was indeed. poured into a pint glass and drank during lunch in what would be a long, long day.

the pour was a nice dark brown, nearly black in color with a nice head of off white, tan color on top that really just showed how nicely this one was put together. a wonderful aroma of thick roasted malts and crisp piney hops then came up and cleared the air, really making its presence known. huge aroma with warming bringing caramel and brown sugar to the front. nice smooth hop presence with a rich malty back bone that was beyond smooth. really just wonderfully done.

overall a very solid beer, great for the style and one of the best i have had. (705 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black, with 1 ½ fingers of rich and frothy looking mocha head. This retains with a VERY creamy ½ finger that absolutely DRENCHES the sides of the glass with heavy thick lacing. Great look to this. The aroma is floral, citric, and overall bright smelling in the nose and even a little dank, leafy, and peppery as well. Smokey malts rise up underneath the hops, with chocolate sweetness mixing with that aforementioned citrus flavors and roasted coffee character to impart a bit of an astringent tang up your nostrils. Just a touch of light warmth is present.

The taste is moderately bitter but is coming off as more flavorful in the hop department, with grapefruit, citrus rind, and leafy herbal tones all making an impression. A mix of chocolate and roast underneath gives the profile a nice underlying smoothness that works well with the hops. This is good, being flavorful but not overly abrasive. This finishes with some leftover green leafy bitterness and a touch of roast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft creaminess to the carbonation that falls right along with the more mellow aspects of the profile. Pretty darn easy and almost silky feeling for the size with some well hid alcohol being a bonus.

This was nice and I think that Otter Creek really hit the nail on the head for this style, with the roast and sweetness taking the more aggressive edges off the hop profile and really melding this into a flavorful and mellow affair. Really well done new seasonal here that I will continue to come back to. Kudos to Otter Creek! (1,591 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big frothy 2 finger head rises and fades at a medium pace, over very dark hazy essentially black colored beer. A ring of lacing.

Nose was wafting out on the pour, bringing some roast and coffee aromas, actually quite a bit of fresh roasted coffee, some dark crystal malts, as well as a touch of chocolate and some earthy dark malty aromas, with all that comes some hops as well, plenty of earthy hops, lots of grapefruit, a bit of pine, and more citrus fruits like tangerine.

Taste is similar to the nose, but a little more subdued. Some malts hit first again, and again loaded with coffee, fresh roasted coffee, some roasted malts, a bit of chocolate and earthy malt flavors, very similar to the nose. The hops also bring more of the same but even less subdued in hop flavor, but adding some bitterness, again bringing a bit of grapefruit and tangerine, touch of pine and some earthy hops, and a musty hop resin. The bitterness comes through at a decent rate at first, and increases a bit as it finishes. It dries on the finish a bit too, leaving plenty of coffee flavors, and some tangerine and grapefruit. It's like breakfast without the oatmeal, bringing my grapefruit, orange juice, and coffee together. I gotta say normally I wouldn't think these flavors would combine, but they seemed to go well here. If I could call this anything, I would say it's like a black and tan with a nice coffee porter and great citrus fruit IPA.

Mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation, pretty smooth.

Drink is decent, not quite sessionable with the bitterness and coffee flavors lingering, but a decent dry finish and goes down well. (1,632 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (755 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (1,139 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always loved this local brewery but the release of this one slipped right past me, time to buy a case and catch up! Pours a very dark brown (not quite black) with great head to it. Tons of lacing left on the glass.. glorious. Nice roasty/hoppy aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied and full of flavor, but is well balanced and smooth. This beer goes down way too easy and combined the best parts of an IPA and a brown ale. Super drinkable, delicious, and only $13.99 for a 12 pack? How can you go wrong, pick some up you won't be disappointed (540 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (745 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose on this one really struck me as more malty and chocolate-y than I would expect from this style. The flavor is a bit different than what I'm usually getting from the black ales. But this is an okay version of the style. Perhaps it's an issue of preference. This one works and is certainly no trainwreck, but the finer points of others win me over just a bit more. (371 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (674 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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. (981 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black where a minimal amount of light makes it through. Leaves a good blanket of lace on the glass. The beige head starts well and settles to a thin dome.

Smells like burnt toast--harsh and charred. The only other smell is a faint level of "band-aid".

Tastes like a thin stout with an extra dollop of hop oils. The taste is a continuation of the burnt flavor. Close to being a one-trick pony due to the large amount of black patent malt. There may be hop but it is lost. The flavor is short-lived after the swallow. (528 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thank to Greg (Reagan1984). Served in an Alchemist pint glass. I'm guessing there's some kind of meaning to the code printed on the neck - 3182011712. Perhaps this is from mid-January?

A - Nice two fingers of creamy tan foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind plenty of glass-coating lace. Body is a very dark brown that verges on black, with the faintest hint of transparency at the edges.

S - Nice blend of pine, roasted malts, cocoa, caramel, and perhaps a hint of floral hops as well. Quite nice, particularly if you let it warm up for a few minutes.

T - The taste isn't quite on the level of the aroma, but it's still quite good. There's a tad more bitterness than I prefer from this style but it's still at the low-to-moderate level. Pleasant cocoa, grapefruit, pine, sugar cookie, light roast, and the faintest hint of smoke in the finish.

M - Carbonation is medium-high and zesty - definitely tingles the upper lip. Resinous hop oils coat the mouth, with a bit of dry roastiness to the texture. Medium body is plenty ample for the listed 6%.

D - Really well done Black IPA that avoids the major pitfalls inherent to the style. Maybe not at the sublime level of Hill Farmstead's offerings, but pretty excellent for a beer available in six-packs at the local store. Would happily drink this one again. (1,328 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (693 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (1,177 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear very dark amber to dark brown in color (almost black) with some lighter reddish brown hints when held up to the light and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of charred wood with some dark roasted malts. In addition, there is a light to moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit and pine hops as well as coffee.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted malts with just a hint of caramel sweetness. Notes of charred wood/oak and coffee. The finish has solid grapefruit/citrus and pine hops which lend some bitterness that fades eventually.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Clean with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: While the taste is not quite as complex as the smell, this is a very enjoyable beer - nice roasty malts with not overpowering IPA hops. Relatively easy to drink and a great deal considering how inexpensive it was... (1,085 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (553 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent along with a bitter, citrus hop nose. It's unlike most black IPA's that are just black in color. This actually has an authentic roasted/black malt character. The taste is good as well. It has a fresh citrus hop flavor that melds well with black and roasted malts. The hop flavor is really well pronounced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a damn good black IPA. It's bitter and roasted with lots of both malt and hop character. (629 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for gifting me with one of these. Poured into a shaped pint glass, this brew dark brown in color with slightly more than 2 fingers worth of tan head. The cap is creamy in consistency composed of rather large bubbles that slowly fades leaving some webbing pattern of lace on the glass. When held to the light, some brown and reddish clarity is seen through the edges.

The aroma showcases immediate hoppy notes of pine and some herbal dank and grassy notes overtop of a roasty base. The roasted grain character imparts some notes of coffee, earth and tobacco. There is a little bit of mineral element throughout which does a decent job of blending the hoppy character into the roasted notes. A lot of offerings in this style offer up a fruity accent that really seems displaced to me. In this case, that is absent which I find enjoyable.

The taste is fresh and hoppy with an herbal component that blends to grassy and dank flavors. Very weedy tasting throughout with almost a cooling menthol flavor that is minty and unique. All of this flavoring resides inside the mouth before the underlying roasted grain bitterness picks up more of a presence. The grain imparts it's own unique bitterness tasting of char, earth and minor coffee suggestions. The linger aftertaste is mostly dank with herbs and a slight nod in the direction of pine flavoring.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. For 6% the alcohol is well integrated. For a style I normally dont totally get, this one was pretty enjoyable because of the balance of flavors and uniqueness. If I had to drink this style, I wouldn't mind having this again. If you really dig this style though, this is one to seek out. (1,717 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (555 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
2.44/5  rDev -37.3%
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. (1,784 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Red Hook glass. Black in color with a thin, frothy tan head. Nice head retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has some juicy, citrus hops mixing with a bit of a chocolaty, slightly roasty flavor.

The taste shows more of a dry, roasty character mixing with some herbal, citrus rind bitterness. A little bit of a juicy hoppiness is there as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little creamy. Overall it was a pretty solid beer of the style. The hops definitely stood out in it, but the roasted malts definitely were evident as well. (568 characters)

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Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
87 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.