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

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

777 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 777
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 8
Gots: 38 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Otter Creek Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 777 | Reviews: 265 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aerozeppl
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Black in appearence but really super dark brown when held up to the light. A quarter finger of brownish white head. Quite a bit of lacing as well.

S: The nose is a wonderful mix of roasted malt with a touch of chocolate to it and a slight citrussy aroma of oranges. Unlike most other beers of the style it is not just a dark colored IPA.

T: The taste is a nice mix of roasted malt. A touch of coffee and just the slightest hint of the hops. Perhaps a little too astringent but the balance between the two elements that make this beer what it is are impressive.

M: The only area I can really knock this beer. It is a little on the watery side. The carbonation is good though.

D: Really nice drinker and it cannot be beaten for the price. Probably the most balanced example of the style out there.

aerozeppl, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of alcstradamus
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours black with a finger of quickly dying head. Aroma is hop forward with a citrus and floral mix. The flavor is toasted malt and a strong pine/floral hoppiness. A bit of a clash in flavors. The body is light and carbonation is a bit too high. Overall this is a decent offering in the style, meaning an average beer overall.

alcstradamus, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of RyanWo
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very drinkable black IPA served from the bottle into a pint glass, not too hoppy, not to roasty, not too strong and not too malty. It's aroma is of pine and citrus, and the appearance is black. Moderate carbonation, and good balance. Very easy drinking beer.

RyanWo, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big frothy 2 finger head rises and fades at a medium pace, over very dark hazy essentially black colored beer. A ring of lacing.

Nose was wafting out on the pour, bringing some roast and coffee aromas, actually quite a bit of fresh roasted coffee, some dark crystal malts, as well as a touch of chocolate and some earthy dark malty aromas, with all that comes some hops as well, plenty of earthy hops, lots of grapefruit, a bit of pine, and more citrus fruits like tangerine.

Taste is similar to the nose, but a little more subdued. Some malts hit first again, and again loaded with coffee, fresh roasted coffee, some roasted malts, a bit of chocolate and earthy malt flavors, very similar to the nose. The hops also bring more of the same but even less subdued in hop flavor, but adding some bitterness, again bringing a bit of grapefruit and tangerine, touch of pine and some earthy hops, and a musty hop resin. The bitterness comes through at a decent rate at first, and increases a bit as it finishes. It dries on the finish a bit too, leaving plenty of coffee flavors, and some tangerine and grapefruit. It's like breakfast without the oatmeal, bringing my grapefruit, orange juice, and coffee together. I gotta say normally I wouldn't think these flavors would combine, but they seemed to go well here. If I could call this anything, I would say it's like a black and tan with a nice coffee porter and great citrus fruit IPA.

Mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation, pretty smooth.

Drink is decent, not quite sessionable with the bitterness and coffee flavors lingering, but a decent dry finish and goes down well.

jlindros, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of birdyone
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with little no no head, no visible carbonation, very dark, almost back. Nothing too exceptional

The smell!!! I haven't had much to say about the smell of a beer in a while, and thought I was just loosing my sense of smell. My nose has been awakened! The wonderful citrusy smell of an IPA, but a subtle mellow tone. It was a surprise; the color of the beer totally threw me off.

Taste was great! I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Some IPAs can have a very bitter finish, but not this case here. Other times a less bitter IPA lack flavor, but again not the case. Just great.

Mouthfeel is better than average, but it's not overly special.

Great drinkability. Smooth, great taste. Otter Creek isn't always the easiest to find, or cheapest to buy though.

birdyone, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of birderbeerer
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black/dark brown with an off-white, almost tan, frothy head. Persistently sticky lace.

Aroma is sweet, fruity hops. Tropical fruit and floral aroma. Mango, pineapple, and citrus. Little pine in the background but dominated by a tropical scent.

Very hoppy. Taste is less juicy and more bitter than the aroma indicated. Still, quite sweet. Tropical flavors persist, but citrus is most dominant. Sweet malt flavors (subtle molasses) back up the hop. Syrupy and sticky texture and the carbonation is a little sharp.

Great beer.

birderbeerer, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice black with an off-white head and sticky lacing. Smells good w/ alot fruity hops; subtle cocoa aromas. Tastes tropical mixed in with some chocolate.. balanced equally; finishes dry. Mouthfeel is slighty over carbonared and pretty fizzy, although the more I drink, I become accustomed to it. It still maintains a richness and creaminess which is enjoyable. Drinkability is good, easy to put a few back. This one also has a very pleasant aftertaste.

This is a very flavorful and easy drinking beer at 6% abv. This is a very good Black IPA.. recommended.

BB1313, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of edwardhenry
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

first Beer Advocate review. Bear with me as I get the terminology down.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance is impressive. Not a ton of head, but the color is great: truly black. Apart from the slight lacing, it looks just like a porter.

Smell is muted but really pleasant. A strong whiff of hops, but it fades away quickly.

In fact, the taste matches the smell: you get a nice hit of hops early, but it then fades into dryness that lingers pleasantly. Not a massive hop flavor: the beer sacrifices that for a more calm flavor that gives it a better mouthfeel (no oily coating in your mouth--but then that's one of my favorite aspects of drinking imperial IPAs...)

The drinkability is where this beer really shines. I could easily down 4-5 of these in a night, which is more than I can say for a lot of IPAs.

Overall, I like this style and I think it has a lot to offer. It doesn't compare to the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, or the Back in Black by 21st Amendment, both of which I was crazy about -- but it's a strong beer and one I'd buy again, especially to try on tap.

edwardhenry, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ebony deep black body with no ruby highlights seen through the glas, solid even coating of tan head lacing as it dwindles down. Aromatics are nice, a combo of dark chocolate and subtle herbal/citric hop attacks colliding into an almost chocolate mint/pine combination. Mike the brewmaster formerly of DFH Rehoboth location, knows how to combine the dark malts in the hops this version is really nice. Strong bitter dark chocolate with herbal/mint/citric/pine flavored hops going on, finishes nice and dry a very well meshed combination of different flavors. The best Otter Creek offering I've had in quite some time, I'm looking forward to trying their Kolsch this spring. Medium bodied smooth carbonation, I noticed a good amount of yeast sediment. Natural bottle conditioned beer gives this beer an edge. Drinkability is very nice a sessionable hop head satisfying, cool weather dark beer that I really enjoyed. Will get a whole sixer if I see it out and about.

WVbeergeek, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of BeerCon5
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a almost black in color with a very thin beige head, no retention.

The scent is of roasted malts, some coffee notes, also a little citrus.

Taste is of coffee and some dark chocolate, roasted malts are strong too, moderately bitter piney hops.

Full bodied, smooth and a little chewy, moderate carbonation.

This was a decent beer, nothing too impressive but the flavor was good and was relatively easy to drink.

BeerCon5, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black at a glance more deep brown with mahogany when held to the light. Head is big and fluffy falls slow and laces well khaki in color.

Aroma is nice lots of resiny pine notes on a light roasted malt base smells kind of like weak coffee with hints of coco.

Taste is roasted malts lots of coffee notes some light sweet chocolate underneath. Carbonation rises as do the hops for a lingering pine bitterness that lasts along with coffee notes.

Mouthfeel is almost medium with good level of carbonation.

Drinkability is good, enjoying this one bunches. Haven't been overly impressed with this brewery before but find this brew very enjoyable. Light easy drinking plus roasted malty and hoppy all at the same time.

mntlover, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always loved this local brewery but the release of this one slipped right past me, time to buy a case and catch up! Pours a very dark brown (not quite black) with great head to it. Tons of lacing left on the glass.. glorious. Nice roasty/hoppy aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied and full of flavor, but is well balanced and smooth. This beer goes down way too easy and combined the best parts of an IPA and a brown ale. Super drinkable, delicious, and only $13.99 for a 12 pack? How can you go wrong, pick some up you won't be disappointed

oriolesfan4, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- black thoughout with a nice mocha head

Smell- excellent. blast of fresh hops to start, somewhat citrusy.

Taste- malty and hoppy, great contrast. roasty and almost a hint of coffee with a nice hoppy bitterness that stays around until the next sip

Mouthfeel- smooth at first sip with a chalky lingering afterward. did i say this is smooth? smooth.

Drinkability- i could drink this all night. hoppy enough to satisfy my IPA need and warm and malty to keep me intrigued and wanting more.

Gushue3, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of BeerPhan86
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visited some friends in VT recently and sampled many drafts on tap in Burlington. This was my favorite beer that I was able to try.

A - Very dark brownish black with a two finger creamy head. Good retention and lacing on the head.

S - Plenty of citrus hops with toasted malts. Hints of coffee in the nose as well.

T - Roasted malt and floral hops galore. The hops really dominate and I was pleased with the level of malt (I have sampled other black IPAs that have been too malty in my opinion). Slightly bitter and dry in the finish.

M - Creamy and silky smooth with slight carbonation.

D - Dangerously drinkable but flavorful enough that I made sure to enjoy each sip.

BeerPhan86, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Brenden
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out dark brown in my glass, forming a light brown foam and nothing more. Swirling will consistently bring up more head, but a foam is all there ever is (though it remains all the way). Enough thin, spotty lacing is left to make for an average appearance. I don't know how all these reviewers are pouring out a 4.5, but both of my fresh bottles stored at the proper temperature and drunk after a day of storage in my fridge don't do it.
The rest of the beer really does come together. A strong roasted malt, extremely earthy with a touch of smoke and some peat-like notes blend nicely with floral and piny hops aromas. A touch of wood is evident as well.
It all meets very well in the flavor, balancing rather than clashing. Raw hops initially hit the very back of the throat, then give way to the more floral and pine hops flavors which blend with the smoke and barley, giving way to a finish that's a lingering mix of charred woods and pine.
There's just a touch of crispness at first, then this brew goes pretty mellow and smooth in a firm, medium body with light carbonation.
This is a good beer. Again, I'm not sure how everyone's getting such a great pour, but for me everything else is solid.

Brenden, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, pine like hops and roasty coffee, quite porter like. In the taste, pine hops and coffee like roast in the end. A small hop bit e and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, fresh hop and small roast in the aftertaste. Nice, but it is like a hoppy porter. I would consider it more a porter across the board, although, I enjoy it.

OWSLEY069, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Onenote81
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome thoughtful extra received from steve8robin a trade recently! Knocked it off my wants...

Bottled-on code printed on the side - 10/4/10.

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a deep dark black with faint brown edges. A thin tan head rests atop. Light lace left behind. I love the darkness of this one! The nose is bursting with pine, pine, and more pine! But through the forest scent, I catch whiffs of chocolate on the finish. Superb!

Moderately full mouth, complements the style well. Ample carbonation. The hops in this beer are ripe and full of flavor. Bitter? Yes. But more than that, they are juicy, piney, and full of sweet citrus flavor. Mild roasted finish which I would expect. This brew is very well-made, and the best from OCB I've had. Quite drinkable.

More, please.

Onenote81, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of TangTKE402
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard issue pint glass. A nice, cream-colored 3-finger head with great lacing persisted. Dark, almost black in color.

Smells of woodsmoke, burnt caramel malts, raisins and some light hop notes are dominant.

Taste is dominated by charred wood, dark fruits, and big roasted malt characters. Some hop dryness on the swallow, but not much in the way of aromatic hop flavor. I've only had one other black IPA, and this one mas a similar flavor profile to their stovepipe porter, only more robust

The mouthfeel is well-balanced: light and fluffy enough to drink, but substantial enough to take a bite out of. The aftertaste leaves a very parched quality in your mouth.

Drinkability is fairly high for a black IPA, as this is a nice balance between malty and hoppy, giving it a even-keeled presence. One could easily see oneself imbibing a few after a nice winter activity like snowshoeing or skiing.

TangTKE402, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear black with hints of ruby lingering around the edges of the glass. A two-inch khaki head rests atop the beer. Retention is modest, and sticky lacing coats the glass before eventually settling into patchy blots.

S: A very floral and citric hop profile immediately tempts the nose. A soft perfume-like rosiness and a slight green scent are inviting. Tropical scents of orange, melon rind, and bitter grapefruit further tantalize the nostrils. A subtle charcoal roasted malt character can eventually be coaxed out from underneath the hops.

T: A quick bite of citric hops is brushed aside briefly by sooty, charcoal-like roasted malts. The hops soon return with force and grab the palate's attention. Tropical fruit and green floral flavors ride alongside each other. Bitter grapefruit is the most prominent, but oranges, pineapple, mango, and that green shoot-like plant taste are all noticeable. The charcoal taste returns to dry out the finish, and lingers for a short time with some tropical and slightly bitter hop tastes.

M: Rather light in body, smooth, and a bit silky. Both the hops and the roasted malt seem to contribute to a slight astringency.

D: Almost perfect in drinkability. Big on taste, but very light in body. I would love to session this beer.

Notes: This beer has totally changed my perception of what the new Black IPA style can be. It isn't just another insanely hoppy porter, like most breweries are churning out these days. It seems more in the vein of a tasty, drinkable IPA that makes good use of some subtle roasted malt flavors. A very good beer. This will become a regular in my fridge.

ryan1788a5, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Darkest of browns with an off white head and some lacework gracing the glass. Aroma is certainly hoppy, with floral, pine and citrus notes. In the flavor department, this is a hop forward ale. Nice bitterness, and the dark roasted malt is a bit overpowered by the hops. Some char in the background even alittle peaty. I enjoy this semi-new style of beer, and Alpine Black is a good example of such. If you closed your eyes and drank this you would almost assume its a standard IPA, but then the roasted flavor comes in. Good stuff.

Stinkypuss, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of mountsnow1010
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

rev from notes

A - Dark, nice appearance with a minimal head.
S - Smells of - surprise - hops and toasty malts. This beer delivers the basics. Not much complexity though
T - Same as smells - not particularly bold or complex which is what I expect from a black IPA. Bitter and toasty.
MF - Very clean body - not a strong aftertaste or mouth-coating feel.
D Could easily throw back a sixer of this.

Very nice beer but nothing to write home about. I would work on the hop profile primarily - this pales (hah) in comparison to the Hill Farmstead James for example...

mountsnow1010, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of hosehead83
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a nice two-inch head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malt, coffee, faint citrussy hop note
Taste-Roasted mallt, citrus zest, coffee, nice lingering hop bite. Decently balanced and pretty drinkable. a nice example of the style.

hosehead83, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Hautacam
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This isn't a style that I liked until I had one of these.
Black with a tan head. Smells of piney hops.
Taste is a great combination of flavors..chalky, roasted malt and piney-citrusy hops. Bitter, but not ridiculously so. The mouthfeel is pretty creamy and smooth...a good amount of carbonation.
the ABV is just right. Very, very drinkable.

Hautacam, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of modernartblues
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

A: black, hints of brownish red, 1/2 inch head, off white to brown head, that recedes to the thinnest of layers...wisps of lacing that are not substantial

N: initially roasty, hints of C-hops in background, perfect for the style, easily the highlight of this beer

T: similar to the nose, nice roasty porter followed by citrusy hop finish with little bitterness

M: a little light for either an IPA or a porter, disappointing feel

D: high, very sessionable at 6%

this doesn't touch Sublimely Self Righteous, which is still the high water mark for the style imo, but its a quality offering from the sometimes overlooked Otter Creek

modernartblues, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of IPAIPA
4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a pleasant surprise. Picked up a 6 pack to try something new and have since purchased every time I needed to replenish the fridge. Pours a dark almost Stoutlike color with a fantastic aroma. Nice citrus/piney scent with a finger width mocha head. Very pleasant taste and hop linger. Could have slightly more ABV but that is the only complaint. A great seasonal beer which I would love to see sold year round! Congrats Otter Creek!

IPAIPA, Dec 31, 2010
Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
86 out of 100 based on 777 ratings.