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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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Otter Creek Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 663 | Reviews: 259 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 02:32:38 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 23:56:52 | More by Dave1999
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 02:41:33 | More by Chaney
Photo of MasterSki


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 03:52:14 | More by MasterSki
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 22:53:49 | More by microbrewlover
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.23/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 02:40:46 | More by MrHurmateeowish
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 21:43:48 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of brystmar


3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:34:23 | More by brystmar
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 05:26:37 | More by jtierney89
Photo of sayyad


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall: I thought this was a very well balanced, toasty and pleasant beginner IPA. None of the characteristic features were overly accentuated.

Appearance: Greyish brown head with a thin small-bubble lace. Pitch black color.

Smell: Toasted grains, a little bit of sweet malt, and piney hops. Overall pleasant but light smell.

Taste: Toasty nuts and grains really come through. The classic IPA bitterness is very indistinct and hence provides an opportunity for improvement.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and thickness of the liquid is well balanced. This feature is a plus for drinkability. The lack of bitterness would make this IPA along with its texture a good match for a lighter flavored food pairing than the usual IPA recommendations.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 23:47:19 | More by sayyad
Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer


4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color – Deep brown. A great color. Starts with a nice yellowy lacy head

A- An interesting blend of hops and roasted notes.

Taste- A balanced flavor that starts with roasted notes and finishes with a grapefruity hop flavor.

Overall- This is the gold standard of black ipa’s as far as I am concerned. If you have never had a black ipa, this one will tell you what they are supposed to taste like. It is not merely an ipa in dark clothing. Instead it takes the hop and malt notes of a good ipa and combines them with the roasted notes of a good porter.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 01:50:14 | More by Kyrgyzbrewer
Photo of mooseo


3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Pitch black in color with a 2" tan head.

S - Pine, citrus hops mixed with sweet roasted malt.

T - Lots of sweet malt up front, followed by a subtle piney hop flavor. Ends with a pleasant roasty, almost coffee-esque flavor.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, dry finish. Some bitterness from the hops but not much.

D - The hoppy nose was rather deceiving, as the roasted malt was dominant all the way through. But it's still an enjoyable brew, and highly drinkable. I haven't tried many black IPAs but this one leaves a good impression of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 03:54:57 | More by mooseo
Photo of ckollias


4.73/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with mild amber highlights. Has a thick, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates leaving a nice trail down the glass and ending in a solid persistent lace.

S: Strong hoppy aroma with a great toasted malt background..

T: Hops meets toasted malts!

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: I loved this black IPA. Really enjoyed the combination of hops and malts.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 02:29:25 | More by ckollias
Photo of DrinkSlurm


3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Pours a black color with slight reddish hue. Thick foamy brown head and lasts the entire drink. Smells of roasted malts and hops; slight citrus.
Smooth mouthfeel. Not very heavy or bitter.
Taste is of roasted malts and slight hops. Taste like a mix between a porter, brown, and pale ale.
Its not bad at all, but I'm not jumping out of my seat.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 01:10:09 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of HopNelius

New York

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

Served out of 12oz bottle and into Irish pint glass.
Appearance- jet black, medium carbonation, small head, some lacing.
Smell- dark malt, notes of burnt coffee and grapefruit.
Taste- notes of coffee followed by stronger notes of grapefruit. Hops and malt are well balanced.
Overall- solid beer, not the best black ipa but worth a taste. I would seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 01:18:37 | More by HopNelius
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 JunkYardJake


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

12oz bottle to pint glass.
Unlike some brews of this genre, this beer actually fits the style. It has good balance in the palate and doesn't seem like a hoppy stout or an IPA with added color. The nose is hop forward with subtle chocolate notes. The piney hops are countered with lighty roasted grain and really seems to all come together on the tongue. A nice suprise from OCB in a style that I typically shy away from. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 12:43:43 | More by JunkYardJake
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 SickGnar


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nearly jet black, just lets a tiny bit of light through with mahogany highlights. Good-size, medium-dark tan that dimples as it settles. Keeps a ring and leaves pretty decent lace.

S: Darkly sweet (with a burnt edge) roast malts comes out just slightly on top of minty/leafy, pine, a& slightly dank hops with just a hint of rind. Neither is as pungent as I would like – especially the hops. And yet the hops come across as sort of old smelling. Cheesy hops?

T: Hoppier than nose, but still without a lot of up front pop. A firm (but not forward) underlying leafy, grassy, herbal & pine hops mix with a bit of dankness. Some citrus hints sputter in and out. Finish is sap & resin & pine. Blends alright with the dark roast malts. Initial scorched sugar sweetness with some toffee and a hint at nutty malts. Quickly goes darkly roast – hint of bittersweet cocoa – but mostly lots of roasty. Finish hints at a burnt edge – even tar & char. Pretty good, but hops seem somehow old.

M: Just a tad over medium body with nicely matched carbonation. Lots of dextrins and tannins. Expansive, chewy, & nearly creamy. Hops eventually take finish drying, but take a fair bit of time to do so. A very nice mouthfeel that makes it seem even bigger & richer.

D: Not as much hop brightness & vividness, but it does have bitterness and character. Similarly, it nails the roasty, but without the malty depth & roundness of some others. Hint more than enough of the right notes to be well within style. And it is rather tasty and drinkable. Good, but not special.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 00:22:50 | More by SickGnar
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a perfect black like oil, pours with a finger of creamy mocha brown colored head that dissipates very rapidly and leaves
S: nice scent actually, citrus hops and a real nice malt character at the end
T: begins with the citrus hops then is backed down by the roasted deep malt character the lingers nicely on the palate
M: smooth and thin, pretty gentle carbonation, leaves the mouth just slightly dry
O: i was really impressed by this one, i find most black IPAs lack the IPA and are just focused on the deep malts, this one has a really nice balance and is really drinkable

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 23:18:16 | More by BigPlay1824
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 SawDog505

New Hampshire

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

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a slick black, with a one inch light tan head, with beautiful lace, and good retention. Smell is, citrus, pine, chocolate, and toffee. Taste is very big, a big hit of coffee to go with all the flavors in the nose. Body is large for the ABV, lots of life, medium dry, and easy drinking. This is a very nice beer and $7.99 a six pack it is the best black Ila for the dollar I have seen.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 21:10:22 | More by SawDog505
Photo of stakem


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 02:00:22 | More by stakem
Photo of Darkmagus82


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

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Black. Very little light seeps through this brew. It forms a nice white head which dissipates slowly over time to leave just a slight amount of lacing.

Smell – Some roasted aromas initially meet the nose. Coffee and some roasted barley/malt. This is quickly followed by some more citrusy hops.

Taste – A wonderful nutty, coffee, and a bit of cocoa hit the tastebuds first. This is quickly subdued by some more sweet maltiness of sweetened chocolate. The hops then enter and take over. Citrus and a tiny bit of pine. A strange taste transition, but very pleasing.

Mouthfeel – A good level of body and a nice level of carbonation both good for the more stout like body as well as the IPA like nature of the beer.

Overall - This is one good beer. The best of anything I have tried with Wolvers/otter creek and a beer that is excellent as a standard go to.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 02:06:34 | More by Darkmagus82
Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 663 ratings.