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

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Otter Creek Black IPA
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very good

824 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 824
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 58 | 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: BeerKangaroo on 01-10-2012

60 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 824 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nhindian
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by CharlieMurphy, thanks a lot!

A - Pours fairly dark, a few shades lighter than black and has some deep chocolate highlights. There is a light tan head on here, 2-fingers in height, that has nice retention. When it fades it leaves a thick cap that still continues to obscure the darkness beneath. Lacing is very nice as well, with thin strands of foam covering most of the glass.

S - The smell I get at first is a slight roast with caramel in it. This is quickly contrasted with bursts of citrus and grapefruit. Smells pretty hoppy, but I feel that the two smells clash a bit and leave you hanging somewhere in the middle of both styles.

T - The taste comes together much more smoothly than the aroma and is a breath of fresh air after having numerous examples of both of these styles lately. The hops give off a nice orange flavor that when combined with the roast, gives a flavor similar to drinking a coffee with an orange sorbet or orange-flavored creamer. It's well-integrated and smooth, especially when getting the toffee and caramel as well. It's fairly resiny, and the finish is almost pure hops with a bittersweet chocolateness to it.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with good carbonation. It leaves a lasting bitterness that is part roasty and part hoppy. Definitely an interesting feeling.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. For my first beer in the style, I have to say it came off a bit better than I was expecting. Smelling a dark beer and getting crisp hops is definitely a strange feeling, but I just see it as taking the hoppy stout to the next level. I will definitely be seeking out some other Black IPAs now!

Photo of farrago
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, close to three finger head, rich mix of varied bubble sizes, even dissolve without much dimpling, dark tan in color, lacing more along the lines of broad splotches than streaks, very good stick, barely moves long after the head settles. Liquid color certainly lives up to its billing, black and opaque, even if not “dense” in appearance, thin orange rust influence at the glass bottom. The nose is a pleasing mélange of malts and hops with cocoa powder, mocha, ginger snaps, walnuts and then tangerine zest, green hay and grass, wildflowers and a glance of apricot, red apple, cherry fruit scents, good stiffness and length. Medium-bodied, too tightly woven to be heavier, plus the carbonation has a steady, lifting quality which prevents too much soaking in. More overt roast here, at once plays up its overall bitterness while emphasizing mocha, cocoa, molasses, dark chocolate. That tangerine to white grapefruit element keeps the energy high while adding a bit of needed sweetness. Pepper and clove spice keep it lively, the herbaceousness stays in check. Not as floral here, however, the apricot, peach, apple fruit a tick higher. Dry finish with good grip and palate coverage. Excellent example of a category growing in popularity.

Photo of gabedivision
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler to a standard Otter Creek pint glass.

This fine brew pours a solid black with big frothy head, this looks very delicious and tempting, has the look of a big time stout. The distinct smell of fresh bittering hops blasts through the nose and teases the brain with delight. Very sweet and mild malts mixed with a bit of roasted malts. Taste big citrus hops with a big toasted malty over tone that ends with a nutty and/or chocolate finish. Lite to medium mouth feel, watery, a tad bitter. Overall, this is a really nice black ipa, a nice mix of almost a porter/stout and a ipa. A fine blend.

Photo of koolex11
4.83/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is awesome. Truly the best of both a stout and an IPA.

Starts like the tastiest of chocolate dark roasted stouts, but finishes slow with a strong kick of hoppy goodness.

From beginning to end, it is really like drinking two completely different beers. This is one of the most creative brews I have tasted, truly a masterpiece.

If you only feel like having one beer, but can't decide on malt or hops, definitely reach for this one. But good luck having only one!

I do not work for Otter Creek or its affiliates :)

Photo of devinoconnor
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice take on the dark IPA from Otter Creek.

Pours a pitch black, stout color yet reeks of hops you'd expect with an IPA.

Taste is hoppy, citrus orange, and subtle malts.

You'll like this beer even if you don't like 'dark' or 'heavy' beers. Easy drinking and very enjoyable.

Perfect example, don't judge a book by its cover. Tastes nothing like it looks.

Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/17/10

Pours near black as the name implies with a creamy beige head that hangs around for a while. Man, this beer looks fresh. Polka dotted lacing sticks to the glass and when held up to the light one can see it's unfiltered.

Roasted malts and citrus hops, nice.. Aside from that, not much else in the aroma.

Bitter chocolate gets the party started however in the end the generous amount of hops have the last word. Pretty well balanced and low on the sweetness scale.

Smooth with a lite to medium body and average carbonation. As it warms, it takes on a more bitter and dry character but still very pleasing.

This style is fast becoming a favorite of mine and this is a solid example. Low on the alcohol but rich in the flavor. Dare I say almost sessionable ;)

Photo of ggilman
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Funky Red Barn in Bethel. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Almost solid black with a mocha tinge around the edges. Very little head, most likely due to the way it was poured.

B - Roasted coffee grounds, hops in the background

T - Coffee beans, molasses, with a hard to find hop finish. I've had this bottled before, and the hops were more present. An inconsistency between batches maybe? Would've liked a stronger hop presence. No bitterness. Some spicy notes, along with a hint of alcohol.

M&D - Creamyish and very smooth, light bodied, and strong carbonation. Not exactly what you'd expect, but it's decent. I'd order it again. Not a style I have a lot of experience with, but something I think I'd like with a bigger hop bite.

Photo of JayQue
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with absolutely no light showing through except a sliver at the bottom of the glass. Big pillowy light tan head with good retention and thick sheets of lacing.

Good hoppy aroma, strong and very pleasant.

Good bitter taste up front and then a roasted malt presence. Beautifully blended malts and hops.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. A real easy drinker.

Overall a good solid beer. Very drinkable with a big flavor. A bit high octane for a session beer, but I could see myself drinking a few of these. This is a really good every-day type of beer.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head. The colors are very interesting, because the body is not black (like the bottle indicated it would be), it's like a dark dark dark brown, it's very close to being black, but it is brown. I say the color is weird because the head is pretty dark, I usually only notice dark heads in pitch black beers, oh well. The head has faded a little bit now, it looks like it's leaving good lacing though. It looks like a very yummy beer, I would like a bigger head, but whatever. Man, I love black IPA'S, this beer smells like it has just a perfect balance of hops and malts, as perfect as you can get, they smell just so well blended together, no aroma dominates. On some sniffs you get that chocolate malt smell, and on other sniffs you get that crisp hop smell. I'm excited to taste this because it smells so good, but then again, most black IPA's smell good. The only thing not great about the smell is that it's not too complex, but who cares? It smells great. The first thing I notice is a nice big mouthfeel on this, I love it when my beers have a big body and mouthfeel on them. Is it the biggest mouthfeel ever? No, but it's an IPA, so a good mouthfeel, however big it is, is impressive. I then notice the taste, which is just like the smell, perfectly blended hops and malts, really really tasty. I mean it's very simple, but it's just really well done. I can't give it style points, but I can give it plenty of brew points! There is absolutely nothing wrong with this beer, at all. If it were a little more complex, I would consider giving it a few 5's. As it is though, great beer, great flavor, super well done!

Photo of claytri
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured black with a tan head. The aroma was of sharp floral hops, while simple it was very enticing. The taste is of lightly toasted malt with a nice floral hop overtone. The feel is medium and wet. This was a most pleasant beer, and one I will seek out in the future.

Photo of Casey10
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a nice brew I was not sure what to expect when I picked it up was quite happy I did. If some one had said this was a american stlye stout like caddilac mtn stout it would not surprise me either.

Nice flavorful beer nice mocha colored head with a dark body with lots of lacing on the side.

Full resiny taste come with a mouthfeel of dark chocolate.

Overall I thought this was a really good beer.

Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of alexkeil
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a tan, mocha colored head that did last along the edges. The aroma is a muted American hop bouquet. It seems like the roasted malts keep the aroma down a tad. The longer the beer sits the more the roasted malt comes through. The inital taste is the American hops: slightly piney, some grapefruit. The finish turns to the roasty malt and chewy sweetness much like a porter. The mouthfeel is medium with too much carbonation and too much alcohol warmth. I love the idea of this style but I haven't had one yet that I thought really brought everything together with the IPA hoppiness and roastly malt finish. I think this would be improved with English hops and a less attenuating yeast.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got as an extra from younger35. Thanks man. Poured into my Firestone pint glass.

Pours a nice black with a nice tan head. Head dissapated to a film with nice lacing.

Aroma is nice. Nice hoppyness with the roastyness. Smells great.

Taste is good. I like the roastyness with the hop profile. Nice and dry.

Mouthfeel is good. Nice carb and dry like I like my IPA's.

Overall an awesome black IPA. I personally like regular and double IPA's but this black one is pretty good.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of seeswo
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours blackish with a small tan head that goes quick. Smells like almost nothing. I'm not even kidding. A vigorous thrashing gives me just a touch of roast, I guess. Moving on...a touch of roasted malt accompanies a generic IPA. There are some hops and bitterness that was not detected in the nose. It makes me wonder what people would think of the style if they had it with their eyes closed, totally blind. It often tastes to me like a cover for a crummy IPA. But what do I know. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with the flavor of the beer, but it doesn't do too much for me. The mouthfeel is fairly thick for the ABV with a pretty solid carbonation. I think they got this part right. Drinkability, errr...overall...well, this beer is what I like to call a generic craft beer. It is fine, made correctly and I would have no problem drinking it, but it doesn't do too much for me. Solidly average.

Edit: I was a bit too harsh.

Photo of stewart124
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with some brownish hues. Nice centimeter of dark tan head.

Huge nose of big American hops. Slight roasted notes and a bit of caramel.

Very tasty roasted character with a big bitterness. This has a huge malt character with some chocolate and dark caramel notes adding to the bold citrus and pine from the hops. Mouthfeel is on the high side of medium but very smooth. Some nice residual body and sweetness.

This is a very nice Black IPA and one of the better ones I've tried recently. Lots of resin and oily hop characters to add to the mocha, chicory and and almost licorice taste from the malts. Just a very nice and complex beer. I could easily drink a couple of these.

Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, dark brown/red in color, clear

Smell: roasted malt and pine hops

Taste: follows the smell--lots of pine and roasty malts

Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation, light body, sweet start bitter middle, with a less bitter end

Overall: Very good and not overly bitter American Black Ale. I could have several of these and this is one of the better examples in the style I have found so far. I like the pine flavors.

Photo of SamuelJackson45
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black chocolate in color with a light tan head with a thin lace.

S-Smell of roasted chocolate malt and hops.

T-Taste of bittersweet chocolate from the malt and hops.And ends with a warm boozy feel.

M-Semi dry with warm strong hop flavor but with a velvet fell from the the chocolate malt.

D- Pretty good beer. Would drink it again.


Photo of ShogoKawada
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz into Beastie Boys pint glass.

A- Big huge surprisingly gigantic head, 5 fingers with a slow pour. Almost overkill. After it settles a bit it's a bit more manageable. Beer is dark brown, head is sany beach tan.

S- Aromatic hops and a healthy dose of roasty malt.

T- Grapegfruit pith and pine sap, although not a terrible amount of bitterness. Cocoa comes through but not as stong as in the nose. This is an APA with food coloring, lol. Not too heavy on the 'black' part of the black ale.

M- Lighter bodied than expected, making this one easy to throw back. perhaps a bit too much carbonation- took a while to pour and settle.

D- Moderately high. I'd blow through a few of these in a row. Pretty tasty and drinkable. Worth trying, at least. Would think that this could use an increase in the malt bill to beef it up a bit flavor-wise, but it's pretty drinkable as-is. Just doesn't do much to stand out from the crowd.

Photo of thain709
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer has a black body with some ruby highlights...a one finger, light brown head forms and shows some retention...nice lacing

S - The aroma is nice and it goes back and forth...first I picked up the hops...they were bright, fresh, and had some citrus to them...next whiff brought some chocolate and roasted malt

T - Things kind of come together more in the flavor...as you drink this beer cold the IPA side shines through...it jumps out with citrus hops and ends with some bitter, piney hops...as you let this beer warm the malts come out in the middle...you can really pick up the roasted malts as the roasted characteristic stays through to the finish...chocolate is also lingering in the background

M - Medium bodied...once the beer had sat the finish became bittersweet

D - This is a nice Black Ale and I'm happy to see one in a 12 oz. bottle...if you want to get the real feel for this beer let it warm up...if not, drink it cold and get the full hop effect

Photo of THECPJ
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: black with a redish hue and a 1 finger off white head

smell: hops, malts,

taste: caramel malts, hops,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

drinkability: one of the better black ipa's I have tasted. Otter creek is producing some good beer.


The cpj

Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of daliandragon
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My brother and I were talking about Black IPAs today and we agreed they were good and all but part of me can't get over the idea that it's just a schwarzbier injected with west coast hops. Is that stupid? Probably. Anyway, this Otter pours a jet black color but the tan head has almost no staying power. Nose is hoppy to start, but the grainy roasted malt starts taking over as it starts to warm.

The taste is similarly front loaded with hop flavors but the malt kicks in later. Roasted and coffee and baker's chocolate versus citrus and pine oil. I'd like to say it's well balanced but it sometimes seems as if the flavors are fighting each other instead of cooperating. Mouthfeel is adequately stiff and a touch overcarbonated. Smooth in texture as expected. Not my speed I guess but you could certainly do much worse.

Photo of BeefyMee
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pure black. I'm not getting any light penetration at all, which I would assume is what they're going for. Healthy tan head that leaves behind some nice lacing.

S: Extremely roasty on the malt side with an almost equally strong hop aroma. Seems complex at first but when you really dig your nose in it starts to get one dimensional.

T: Still big and roasty, now verging on more of a coffee flavor. The hop presence is there but just not too exciting. There's something missing with this one, like it's technically good but lacks soul.

M: Not bad but some unwanted astringency brings it down.

D: Pretty good but for some reason I just don't want to drink too much of this. Maybe I'm not a fan of the style.

Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 824 ratings.