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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 nUgZ

North Carolina

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a black color with a half finger head nice lacing.

S: Roasted malts, smoke, slightly sweet and a little hoppy. A little subdued.

T: Smokey and slightly hoppy. A little coffee flavor hidden in there as well.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Pretty smooth.

O: Not bad at all. It's a little less complex than the Black IPA's I really like, but I'm very glad I tried this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 00:52:19 | More by nUgZ
Photo of brewtus


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

A- pours jet black with a single finger light tan head that doesn't stick around much

S- smell is hoppy,piney, smokey, some sweet dark fruits.

T/m- starts with a dry smokey flavor that opens up to a little bit of hop bitterness. It tastes pretty dry. There's a nice coffee taste to it too.

O- this was enjoyable but bit super complex you decide whether that's good or bad but I liked it. Definately worth a try, but not the BIPA I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 01:29:31 | More by brewtus
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

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

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a very dark amber-brown into black coloring with a frothy, filmy, low profile, light tan head that quickly disipates across the surface. Aromas of roasted grains, citrus highlights of grapefruit and tangerine, and a resiny, rich hops presence. Not overpowering on the nose, and very well balanced. Flavors of roast and hops hit the palate at the same time, with a bitter campfire balancing the bitter, floral, and tree sap punch of the hops. Some of the citrus shines through on the mid-tongue, allowing a break from the more intense flavors you get on the first sip. The aftertaste is more bitter, and slightly tangy, with the citrus and hops now taking the driver's seat. Smooth bodied, with a clean, slightly drying finish. Very tasty brew!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 23:21:24 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of brother_rat

New York

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

A: The beer pours out very dark, a thin black, with a lumpy brown head that reminds me of boiling caramel. The head had lots of very irregular bubbles, and highly pronounced lacing. 4/5

S: When opening, the beer smelt very citrusy and hoppy. After the head died down, the citrus smell was still fairly obvious. 3/5

T: Very interesting--a very hop-forward opening melts into a malty, nutty aftertaste. Lemons and apricot at first, then more of an oaky, caramel, coffee-ish sweetness. 4.5/5

M: Very smooth, and mildly carbonated. Couldn't ask for anything more. 5/5

O: I liked this, as it was almost two beers in one as the hop flavor melted into more of a brown ale. I do not like overhopped ales, and this one had a quick-hitting hop flavor that dissipated pretty quick. I found this very drinkable, and yet another smooth offering from Otter Creek. I will definitely try again. 4/5

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 01:03:43 | More by brother_rat
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 20:56:44 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Guden


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 00:07:45 | More by Guden
Photo of TheSarge


3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this brew into a 12oz pilsner glass, and the brew makes a three finger thick milky brown head, with good retention. The body is black and opaque with reddish hues on the outsides of the glass.

The aroma is cola, coffee, dark chocolate, metallic, and mildly earthy.

Taste wise it's leaning more towards coffee, and a little subtle hint of dark chocolate.

Feels medium in body, and dry to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 00:17:09 | More by TheSarge
Photo of mpedara429


4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Color was similar to cola. Poured into a glass it gave about a finger's worth of head with a very small amount of lacing that were spread out into a few small dots around the side of the glass.

S: At first, there was a robust smell of citrus, primarily grapefruit, and pine. In the background I got some light roasted coffee and malt notes.

T: Very much in tune with the smell. Some bitter hoppiness but not too much. It wasn't too malty either. It felt truly balanced for the style.

M: Medium body that finished clean. No harsh aftertaste. Not super sweet giving it a bit of a dry feel. Medium carbonation.

O: A very good and affordable black IPA. It's not the best, but for the price it is a steal. This has the potential to be a "go-to" beer or something that can be drank for an entire evening, not just one or two.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 16:39:58 | More by mpedara429
Photo of GuyIncognito


4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my new go-to beer. Very reasonable at $8.50 per six-pack. It is as black as a trojan horse at midnight, with a beautiful coffee colored head. Malty attack, with a nice dry hoppy finish. Wonderfully balanced, with enough intrigue to keep you coming back for more. In an age of extreme beers, this one has just the right blend of restraint vs. excitment. I could drink this beer everyday (and I just might).

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 03:19:50 | More by GuyIncognito
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 duracell

Quebec (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a tulip glass. 6% ABV.

A - Pours a black color with walnut hues. Beautiful, large, brown, rocky head with a good retention and a limited lacing. 4/5

S - Excellent balance between the hop (herbal and piney) and the malt (roasted, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, a hint of bunt). Nice and complex! 4.5/5

T - Flavor starts with aromatic hop to derives to roasted notes of malt. Dark chocolate completes the experience and lingers next to a hint of spiciness from the alcohol. A complex, delicate and sofisticated blend. 4.5/5

M - A bit thin on the palate but very smooth mouthfeel. 3.5/5

O - Really solid black IPA, well thought out and with an excellent drinkability. Seek it out! 4/5

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2012 00:37:23 | More by duracell
Photo of mikem0487


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

A-Poured into a standard ale glass. Gives a nice 2 finger brown head that contrast nicely with the pitch black body. Some lacing going on in the edges of the glass. Looks appealing!

S-Milk chocolate, dark toffee, malty-goodness. Get some citrus notes coming through from the hops. Somewhat subdued hop presence from a IPA variant but otherwise smells great!

T-Sweet roasted chocolate, mild bitterness in the back end. Earthy citrus definitely comes through from the hops. Like the aroma, the hop profile is subdued but goes great with the overall presence of the malt bill.

M-Good unfiltered mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

O-Highly enjoyable and drinkable beer. Fuses two of my favorite styles, Ipa's and Stouts into one great beer. Would get a higher rating if the IPA part of the name would come through more in the overall aroma and taste. Great beer none the less.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2012 00:22:05 | More by mikem0487
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Totowa last week as this was the only Otter Creek offering in stock that I hadn't tried yet. While this wasn't memorable, it was a decent example of the style and probably the most easygoing Black Ale/Black IPA that I've rated, as this almost reminded me of an Irish Dry Stout.

Of course, the pour was dark to this to the point of just a few shades away from being black. The head was tan, somewhat large, and quick to dissipate. Not a lot of lacing here and the nose was of a smoky, burnt feeling with some pepperjack cheese thrown in for good measure. The roasted aspect took hold in the taste, backed up with lots of malt and a creamy mouthfeel. The aftertaste was somewhat weak with just a bit of earthy and metallic hops and stickiness to it, but nothing too heavy or strong or boozy.

This had a slight kick to it but nothing that would knock anyone over. Even though I only bought one bottle, I could probably down a few of these at once, since this was quite drinkable. I like beers of this style to be a bit more bold since this is a groundbreaking category of sorts but anyone who has never tried something of this nature before would be well versed to start with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 20:32:18 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 08:18:37 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of SouljaSaia17


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Im just starting to experiment with Otter Creek, since I had their Spring Bock a couple of weeks ago. Now I get to try their Black IPA!

A: Good smoke, pours a lot like a dark stout with a black body and a caramel creamed head, which is constant at about 2 inches depending on your pour.

S: Initial aroma is of apricots and grapefruit, Followed by a citrus and pine zest.

T: Taste comes off with a bit of pine and caramel surprisingly. Followed by the apricots, grapefruit and a hint of honey at the end.

M: Mouth feel is very unique for this IPA, no noticeable carbonation. Very smooth and tangy at the same time.

O: Never had a Black IPA before but it seems to blend well the characters of an IPA with a dark porter or a light stout. Very pleasant surprise from such an underrated brewer!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 03:46:23 | More by SouljaSaia17
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 01:05:03 | More by tdm168
Photo of 57md


3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with two fingers of fluffy beige head. The head left some nice lacing behind as it slowly dissipated down the glass. The nose has only a light essence of hops. Dark malt and hops are both present in the flavor profile but in lighter doses than the top beers of this style. The finish is dry and slightly bitter.
This is a good, but not great version of a black ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 05:32:42 | More by 57md
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 Bung

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. An excellent looking beverage out of the bottle, basic black with a near 2 finger tan head.

Aroma, pretty evenly balanced roast and pine/floral hops.

Taste, pine and citrus up front, roast malt. Not overly bitter. Kind of a citrus roast coffee finish. Bitter roast lingers a bit.

Just to the right if light bodied. Drinks easy enough. I'd call this a pretty good middle of the road for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 01:30:59 | More by Bung
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 TubaManJack


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

A nice beer that fills the session hoppy dark gap thats missing in the area. The nice bit of this beer is the balance that it has. The roasted malts are in line with the piney hops. The pair are very balanced and still allow you enjoy any thing you are eating. This also is a common beer that I bring to cook outs.

Where this beer tends to fall in the average category is the nose and appearance - nothing wrong it just doesn't really stand out enough to pour it out into a glass. It's the balance and tempered nature of the brew that keeps it in my rotation.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 00:46:07 | More by TubaManJack
Photo of MDDMD


3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown black color with a nice big tan head and great lacing

S-roasted malt with some hoppy aroma and slight herbal notes

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, charcoal, mild hop bitterness and finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a decent drinking beer, but needs better balance asmalt dominates more than I would like

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 23:46:52 | More by MDDMD
Photo of CraftBeerTastic


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

Ba Review #160
Served On: 04/29/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 6.0%
Date/ Code: 3116101411

This was from a 24-bottle case I bought at Self Serve Beverage in York, PA - on sale for $19.99!

Look: The pour was black color with a nice creamy tan head. The sticky lacing was evident almost immediately. The head stuck around for the duration.

Smell: Aroma was a roasted herbal note with hops being predominant. Some juniper mixed with a slight toffee scent.

Taste: First was an almost dairy quality mixed with a gradual hop bouquet. The middle had a nice earthy bitterness that certainly justified the IPA component. The finish consisted of juniper berries and more bitterness.

In conclusion this is a solid Black Ale. There were many similarities to the 2011 Sierra Nevada Beer Camp#16 Juniper Black Ale which was almost a 4.0 rating in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 20:26:27 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of magine


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

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a near black with ruby edges. Good lace, decent pinky thick head remains. Nice layer remains, good patchy lace clings all the way. Good looks.

Brew smells of roasted malts, cocoa, and lingering hops. Good nose.

Brew is full bodied and has nice initial roasted malts, cocoa, and nutty flavors. Has some real good dry roasted malts backed up by some real nice oily hops. Very good complete flavors here, working well to make a full bodied brew. Finishes a little sticky and dry. Very good stuff here.

Brew is one of the best black IPA's I have had. The lower ABV makes this one you can drink all night. Great stuff here.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 01:09:52 | More by magine
Photo of irvan

New York

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six-pack at Tri-Boro Beverage in Astoria.

A - Nice brown two-finger head, subsided quickly, small-bubble lace. Very deep brown, almost black

S - Strong caramel, coffee, almost porter-like, subtle hop aroma

T - The porter flavors come through strong, with lingering roasted dark malt, toasted grains, a bit of caramel. Pleasant, balanced, but definitely would not label this an IPA. Some bitterness, but not as much as expected.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, a little chewy

O - Enjoyable enough, pleasing balance, but more a lighter-bodied porter than anything else. Would buy again if I was in the mood for a darker session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 00:00:35 | More by irvan
Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 663 ratings.