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: 857
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 5.66%
Wants: 9
Gots: 86 | 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: 857
Photo of brewcifix
3.04/5  rDev -21.9%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured chilled in ribbed ale glass

A: solid black; one-finger head; avg carb action
S: sweet molasses, oak; pepper; borders on porter aroma
T: semisweet chocolate, roasted barley; nicely hopped to give it complexity; booze is hidden well

Not a bad black IPA (259 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 Omnium
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours black, not dark brown, absolute pitch black. thick two finger khaki head, lacing all through the glass.
S - Roasted caramel malts, some coffee beans, toasted hazelnuts, earthy dark hops, some grilled pineapple.
T - Big robust dark flavor up front with some hop bite that follows, rich feeling, not super hopped up but just enough.
M - Creamy smooth texture, well carbonated, sticks to your mouth, hops come in at the end and leave you with just the right bitterness.
O - This is a great blend for a Black IPA, while this could use more hops, its one of the better Black IPA's I've had. This is extremely drinkable, and full of good flavors. (673 characters)

Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dead black IPA. One of the darkest IPAs we've reviewed. Decent head. Hoppy IPA aroma. Hoppy, chocolate, toasted caramel notes in taste. Mix a porter and an IPA. If you love IPA and wish it was darker this is the beer for you. Really strikes as a dark pale ale or IPA. Would go great with a cannoli or a sweet dessert. Would definitely not work historically, however is a great dark variety. (390 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a huge mocha head that reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: roasted, chocolate, and Smokey malts. Some piney and citrus hops in there too.

Taste: Same as above. The malts are the dominant flavor on the palate with the hops bringing up the rear. Some lingering bitterness in the end from the ash, smoke, and hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, and a little bitterness.

Overall: Pretty nice black ale. Will look for more of this in the future. (659 characters)

Photo of nUgZ
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (434 characters)

Photo of brewtus
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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! (797 characters)

Photo of brother_rat
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
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 (886 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 Guden
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (719 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (826 characters)

Photo of GuyIncognito
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
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). (413 characters)

Photo of thedoubler55
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
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. (385 characters)

Photo of duracell
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (698 characters)

Photo of mikem0487
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (1,205 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 SouljaSaia17
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
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! (794 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 57md
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (390 characters)

Photo of Brewsky29
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
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. (327 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (405 characters)

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