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

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

857 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 9
Gots: 85 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 275
Photo of thedoubler55
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.

Photo of duracell
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
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

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.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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.

Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.23/5  rDev +11%
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!

Photo of tdm168
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.

Photo of 57md
3.77/5  rDev -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.

Photo of Brewsky29
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of Bung
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.

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
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!

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.

Photo of MDDMD
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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

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.

Photo of magine
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of irvan
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a dark black with a two finger mocha head. Beautiful lacing and nice retention.

Smell: dark malts, maybe a little coffee, and a nice little scent of hops.

Tastes to me like a hoppy porter not a "black IPA". Roasted dark malt, a little chocolate, and a nice dose of piney hops but not quite enough to really make it an IPA.

Mouthfeel is good- medium body, kinda thick, moderate carbonation. Definitely would get again- but again tastes more like a porter.

Photo of Dave1999
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an impressive solid black colour with a small light brown head.

Smells sweet and malty as well as hopy and grapefruit like.
There also a woody tobacco like smell.

The taste is roasted malts,coffee,clean with a little bit of bitterness.

The mouth feel is smooth,medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall an interesting beer,to me tasted more like a porter than an ipa but this is probably the best black ipa I've had so far.

Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought an Otter Creek snack pack tonight.... we shall see.

Served in a FFF shaped glass.

A: Pretty much black as coal, with a majorly sticky, icky, gooey off-white head that stuck to the glass and then some.

S: I got more char than actual hop here, but it actually smelled pretty good.... sorta like a burnt hot dog with citrus relish.

T: This teetered on the verge of being a porter, but not quite. To be honest, I dug that quality about this one. I got just enough citrus in the to dictate to me the style.

M: Great carbonation here, and more lacing than you can shake a stick at. My palate was stained with charred mandarin orange afterwards.

O: I'm usually not a big BIPA fan, but I dug this one quite a bit. The best in the Otter Creek snack pack IMO.

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of microbrewlover
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours black, looks very dark brown when held up to the light. It has a one finger kaki head and minimal lacing.

The smell is a nice clean floral hop scent with lemons and grapefruit in the forefront with coffee and chocolate in the background.

The mouthfeel is light and little chewy.

The taste first gives the drinker floral hops with a lemon and grapefruit taste, coffee and chocolate then malts on the back end. One the brew warms up a little, toasted grains can be tasted.

Overall this is a good tasting IPA; very good for those who would like to try an IPA but might be put off by the bitterness of some IPA's. Well flavored and balanced.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a black body with slight ruby-red highlights and and an impressive inch or so of khaki-colored head with some decent lacing. Espresso bean and grapefruit share the aroma fairly equally. Espresso hits the palate first with grapefruit and lemon hitting soon thereafter to balance. Medium in body and carbonation. A bit more malt-forward than other examples of the style I've had, but it's good. The roasty malt and citrissy hops compliment each other quite nicely. Terrific.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this up at Sunday River, ME on tap and loved it. Called Tully’s on the way back to Boston and picked up a six pack. As good in the bottle. One of my top two Black IPA’s. Excellent beer.
A gorgeous looking beer. Deep brown in color with some light entering at the edges. The head is a dull tan color and is thick and creamy. Rises above the rim, shows excellent retention and also leaves clumps of lace all over the glass.

Aroma hints to a nice balance between an assertive hop presence and also a wonderful dark roasted bounty. More pine comes through as well.

Balance, Balance. Nice assertive pine hop flavors and then to a nice dark roasted malt. Not burnt or ash like at all, but smooth, dark and inviting. Then the blend of the two with some dark chocolate laced in between.

Very smooth, but not creamy… A touch of substance in the mouth feel.

I just love this beer. It’s a great departure from a standard IPA and/or Stout. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? This fits the bill. I will get this whenever I can.

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

A classic of the Black IPA style. Black & active with foamy, tan head. Piney aroma w/plenty of roasty malts. Wish the smell were stronger.

Nice blend of hops, roasted malt, malty sweetness, and hints of toffee. Medium bodied, mildly bitter finish. Glad they finally decided to brew this one year-round.

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unique smell. But first off pours a deeo hazy brown with a thin off white head. Resinous citric and earthy hops battle with deep roasted malts and coffee in the nostrils.

Moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Chewy roasted malt upfront followed by citric and piney hops finishing with a bitter black coffee taste. A very complex brew.

The malt body is prominent enough to present some bold flavors while holding everything together just long enough to give the hops a moment to shine as well. Really gets your tongue thinking. Coffee, roasted barley, burnt toast, citric and flowery hops with a touch of pine. It's all there in one deep swell of a sip. Interesting and enjoyable.

Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.