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

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Otter Creek Black IPA
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very good

813 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 813
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 46 | 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:
60 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerKangaroo on 01-10-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 813 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
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 whiff brought some chocolate and roasted malt

T - Things kind of come together more in the you drink this beer cold the IPA side shines jumps out with citrus hops and ends with some bitter, piney you let this beer warm the malts come out in the 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.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike3865 for the bottle!

Poured into a tulip pint: Deep brown body you can round up to black, with deep ruby highlights around the edges. Four fingers of khaki head, fluffy & lumpy, leaving some webs of lacing.

Nice pine & grapefruit hop smell with some toasty biscuit, even coffee-ish aftertaste. Actually, each sniff yields one or the other, without really integrating. Good, though.

Hop-dominated in the taste, with more grapefruit & pith. Not huge, but definitely bitter. Funny - the first sip was more porter-like with some toasty malts, but now they seem to be buried by the hops. There's still a nice little biscuity character holidng it up, & some roasty bitterness shows up later. Spiced orange.

Medium-full-bodied with alternating sugary & roasted feels.

Overall a bit schizophrenic, but tasty nonetheless - not just a "you got chocolate in my peanut butter," but actually like alternating different beers. Good stuff.

Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty much almost black with a mocha tan head. You can definitely smell the hops which give a citrus aroma with some earthy smells from the malts and the hops as well. From the first sip you get an unsweetened almost chocolate roasted malts that almost give a coffee like malt finish and then you just get the hop oils and the citrus/pine bitter bite at the end. Definitely as hoppy as some of the regular IPA's that I've had.

The roasted coffee malt taste just mixes in with the bitterness of the hops extremely well. What I like most about this beer is that not only can you get the earthy hop taste you get in most darker IPA's to balance out the roasted malt but you also get the citrus/pine hop taste and bitterness as well. This is exactly what I'd ask for in a Black IPA. Maybe a sweeter malt taste? But I definitely see why they made it not as thick so the hops stick out more but still maintaining that roasted coffee malt taste too.

This beer reminds me of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout but obviously with more hops and more of a bitter bite which it should because that's just a stout and they claim this to be an IPA.... which it is. First beer from Otter Creek and it stands up with the best of the craft breweries yet only 7.99 a 6 pack.

Photo of mclaughlindw4
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my beer glass. Looks like a thin black. Poured a nice head that dissipated but leaves patches of lingering lacieness. Mostly hops in the aroma. I didn't think I was going to like this but I do. I find a sweet maltiness up front with a bitter finish. It's a decent beer. Probably won't buy it again though. Would be good with some stinky cheese.

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

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness indication

Pours black, with a mocha head that goes to a thick film, then blotchy foam, and leaving plenty of scattered bits of lace.

I'm getting mostly dark malts in the nose with a hint of spruce infused hops.

Hopped up ale, plenty of dark malts, dark chocolate, and some smoke. Hops dry things out, but dont leap out all over the malts. Balance is the deal here and I'm liking it. Nice job here by the Otter Creek crew.

Photo of sprucetip
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black upon initial inspection, but not thick like a stout. Translucent with some reddish color when backlit. Good clarity, active, with thick tan head, good retention, and patchy lacing.

Smells primarily of floral, earthy, and fruity hops. Some mild roast and malty sweetness sneak in there, but stay in the background.

The flavor is hop driven as well, with floral and earthy/grassy hop presence playing the lead. But there is also a slight fruity hop element, and the mild roast is a subdued player. Mild to medium hop bitterness reminds me that this is an IPA.

While this aspect faded later in the sample, there was a burning sensation from the strong carbonation that detracted from the feel. Otherwise it had a light/medium body, mild warming, and a pretty clean finish that was slightly bitter.

This is a good beer and a good take on the style. It's a relatively light, easy drinking brew that sells for a very affordable $8 a sixer.

Photo of mikeg67
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a thick, creamy, long lasting head and much lacing. Aroma is of citrusy hops with some hints of milk chocolate. Medium, tangy body. Citrus fruit and peppery hops dominate the palate with chocolate, roasted malt and hints of vanilla and cocoa provide some balance. Not a bad brew at all.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Looks pretty decent. I get a solid black color and a half inch of head that laces and hugs the glass for a pretty looking ring.

S - Smells kind of good. Slight roast, hops, and a bit of sweet malts.

T - Slight roast with a touch of citrus hops and a bit of sweet toffee malt. Better than expected!

M - Light to medium. Easy drinkin.

D - I would consider getting a six pack. Otter creek has earned my respect on this since it is a fairly good black IPA. Roasty and piney good!

Photo of jdhilt
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger khaki head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light medium carbonation and medium bodied. Pine hop nose and flavor is resin/pine hops that the malts almost balance, ends with a slight bitter aftertaste. $1.25 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

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

The bottle poured out a dark brown body with light brown highlights and a one finger high head. The head dissipated into a sticky lace that remained to slightly coat the top of the beer. The initial aromas were dominated by a very distinct pine and resin smell, with a light citrus. The scent progressed to a super light roast and a hint of sweetness. The initial flavors were dominated by a heavy upfront hop attack of pine, resin and light citrus. Following the attack were the malts adding a light sweetness to the finish. The brew was slightly dry and slightly bitter while maintaining a medium body with light carbonation.

Overall this is a good brew. I think there is too much hop on the initial nose and palate. The flavors seem slightly off balance by coming in contact with two extremes of hops and then malt. There doesn't really seem to be much middle ground there. However, given that this is a progressing style, it is an interesting take on it.

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this 12oz single yesterday for $1.50 at Green Mountain Boys in Rutland VT. Code LOT2859122710... possibly date = Dec 27, 2010? Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

A: Pitch black brew gives only a faint red glow around the edges when held to a light. Frothy but stable mocha-colored head settles from 1" to a thin whispy layer that revives itself with each sip and leaves decent lace on the glass.

S: Smell leads with a big dose of soft piney hop which soon mellows to a more well-rounded resiny mix of pine and various citrus rinds. A bit of starchy roasted grain adds body to the nose. Also a hint of vanilla and/or caramel.

T: Leads with a big bite of fruity berry tartness on the front half of the tongue that morphs to a bitter blend of citrus pith in the back. Citrus and pine hop linger in the finish and are joined by a bit of roasted grain. The "black" part of this black IPA is practically non-existent until making a humble showing in the finish.

M: Brew is mostly dry but some oily resins give it a slick feel and finish. Carbo is appropriately on the aggressive side. I discern a bit of EtOH heat lurking in the finish.

D: Decent, I'd have it again. But not spectacular, not really anything special. I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Based on taste alone I might've taken this to be a regular IPA. The hops mostly cover up the dark stuff.

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pourede from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops, some hints of citrus. Taste is also very hoppy, some citrus notes. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a pretty solid brew.

Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 813 ratings.