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Wisdom Seeker - Black Raven Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wisdom SeekerWisdom Seeker

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

149 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 48
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Black Raven Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: boogyman on 11-25-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 39
Photo of hreb
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in pint glass. This year's bottle claims 8.9% ABV. Immediate, massive pine-hop aroma emanates as soon as the bottle is opened. I think there might be some dry hopping here. Peer pours pale golden in color, not quite clear, with a healthy white head. In addition to the resinous pine there's also a tropical fruit thing going on. Flavor is BIG West coast IPA, aggressively bitter. My mouth is filled with sticky, resiny flavors of pine and citrus, with hops seeking out every corner of my palate. This is not an IPA for anyone with reservations about West coast IPA. Nor a session DIPA (ha!).

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinks light. Bitterness on the back end. Hops don't jump out at you.

Photo of mabermud
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber/gold body. The look is reminiscent of an IPA. Light in color, crystal clear. Uninspiring smell. Wet socks. Faded orange and old 7-up. If the smell was uninspiring, the taste is inspiring. Balanced tropical flavors that are mushy...soft. Maybe I should say, the flavors are intricately woven together. Nothing explodes, no 500lb bomb...this is a cluster bomb with juice. Mellow flavors. Laid back Imperial IPA. The feel is right there, on target. Nice carbonation throughout, easy body.

Overall - Excellent. Nice look, decent smell, great taste, awesome feel.

Photo of lochef81
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up as a wild card in a recent west coast buy. It pours a golden amber color with a decent white head that leaves little lacing. The aroma is a nice west coast hop aroma. Notes of pineapple, red grapefruit, and pine are prevalent. There's also a very generous amount of malt present in the nose. The mouthfeel is medium to full and sticky. I feel like it could actually use just a touch more carbonation. Flavor is a nicely balanced blend of bitter hops and sweet malt. Its good, just a little sweeter than I like my dipas. Glad I tried it but not one I'd go out of my way to get.

Photo of jlindros
3.22/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to rudzud for giving me this bottle to try.

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med to slower pace, nice soapy lacing, long rings of lacing, semi hazy but mostly clear honey golden color.

Nose is a mix, some nice hops and some not so nice, starts with a little citrus and tropical notes, little juicy tangerine and papaya like, but that quickly gives way to the bad, some rancid hop oils, lots of hop oils and resin, some piney earthy and a little musty cat piss, lots of forest floor pine and herbal tea like hops. Under that is a little candy malt note, little sweetness.

Taste is also sweet, candy malts come right out, little syrupy and some candy sugar, even a touch of a maple syrupy like note but not really a mapley flavor. With that is a touch of booze warmth, and some phenolic notes. But the real player is the hops again, big earthy herbal hops, again that cooked vegetable like note and rancid hop oils, quite an unpleasant hop chracter I think, with some chewy spicy like hops, forest floor pine and earthiness, like chewing on the moss and pine needles, mushrooms, etc, on the floor. Quite bitter overall, that even brings a little briny taste, and booze with some esters. Finish is sticky sweet, more booze warming through with a little ester, lots more hops with chewy herbal forest floor flavors and cooked hop oils.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent but lighter carb, mild warming booze, little sticky sweetness.

Overall not good, malts are OK, booze is OK, but the hops are just bad I think, it's like you take the worst profiles of most hops and throw them together in this beer. The initial quick attempt at citrus was so quickly smashed I almost forgot I even got it in the first place.

Photo of rudzud
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear golden straw hue with a two finger rocky white head that faded to leave light side lacing and a thin blanket. Possibly the clearest DIPA I've seen.

S - Aromas of softer malts and hops, faint herbal tea notes, light caramel, candi, pine.

T - Taste is quite bitter / astringent. Pine is there, same with grapefruit pith. The bitterness is almost clashingly so, and I think it makes the alcohol stand out more. Definitely feel the ABV,
light caramel malt, faintly sweet, herbal hops. Really bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit lower carbonated, really does not help to hide the alcohol.

O - Overall, this one threw me for a loop. Was expecting something really stellar but yeah, the alcohol was a bit much.

Photo of FalconOne
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am very grateful to my lovely wife for bringing back four bottles of this excellent DIPA from Black Raven Brewing Company, from her was on a business trip to Seattle last week. The aroma is truly outstanding and the taste is what one would expect from a remarkable West Coast DIPA.

Photo of John_M
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled (repeatedly) the other day at the Washington cask festival. Described in the program as "extra wise and firkenized."

The beer pours a somewhat hazy peachy amber color with suprising good head retention and consdirable sticky, creamy lacing all around. The nose is quite lovely in this beer, with a considerable amount of tropical fruit (smells like there's a lot of mosaic hops in this bad boy), but with noticeable citrus and pine as well. This smells like a serious DIPA, something that I was able to quickly verify on the palate. The flavor profile deliverys a lof of apricot and peach in this beer, but with a considerable back bone of orange citrus and pine as well. The finish is quite long and bitter in this excellent DIPA, and the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile.

Excellent beer, and one I'm very glad I finally had the opportunity to sample.

Photo of flagmantho
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: golden hue with a haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam with decent retention. Quite good!

Smell: citrusy hop character with a grainy malt underneath. Enticing and well-balanced, but not mind-blowing.

Taste: sweet malt with a dank, citrusy hop character. A little bit of graininess and astringency comes in at the end. The finish is a little more syrupy than bitingly bitter. It's a tasty brew, but doesn't have the crazy-good character of a great DIPA.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big, well-integrated carbonation and a very good creaminess for the style. Kudos.

Overall: a very tasty and drinkable DIPA. Sweet with a nice fruity hoppiness, and not overwhelmingly bitter. I'd definitely have this again.

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 4/16/2013.

A: This one is a beauty. Completely translucent light golden body with a silky, thick, bright white head that leaves nearly a full layer of lacing on the glass.

S: Tons of pine and citrus. Smells like strong fruit and hops.

T: Dank. The bitterness lingers. Tons of hops and sprucey pinecone overpower what normally sticks as a citrus strength. The taste and bitterness of lemon and grapefruit peel finishes the mouth wonderfully. The balance is really nice.

M: Full body, but surprisingly drinkable for a DIPA. Oily. Sticky. Medium Carbonation.

O: Wow, was I pleased with this one. Great west coast DIPA. The balance is incredible for being so hop forward but also pretty sweet and resinous. So happy I got to try this one.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.69/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours clear orange-ish color with a good cap of creamy white head. Good retention and a touch of lacing.

Very pine and resin forward. A bit of candied grapefruit as well with some floral notes. Good sticky and dank aroma.

And now the let down. Definitely leans west coast style although there is a bit more malt than in most in that classification. Starts out with a touch of citrus before it's enveloped by bready malts and pine. A weird sweet bread flavor clashes with the hops. Very astringent finish and every bit of the 9.0% ABV shines through then some. Booziness is overwhelming by the end.

Sticky medium body with medium to low carbonation. As mentioned, does nothing at all to hide alcohol.

Not sure why this beer is getting glowing reviews. In my opinion, it's a decidedly below average DIPA. The aroma is very intriguing, but the taste is an absolute mess. 9.0% feels like 12.0%. I've never had a DIPA that seems to add ABV before. There's also a weird sweetness that clashes with the alcohol. Decent hop profile, but is lost behind the booze. Ended up pouring some down the drain as it got to be too much. Very let down by this one.

Photo of dirtylou
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, split

Served in oversized Karmeleit glass - fairly light bodied with a huge sticky white head. The alcohol is omnipresent as is a permeating sweet citrus flavor. Moderately bitter, big grapefruit hop bite, pine, sugared ruby red. Quite good, but a bit rough around the edges.

Photo of draheim
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz (bottled 4/16/2013) into a tulip. Pours a crystal-clear copper color with a big frothy white head. Lazy carbonation rises from the bottom.

Aroma is a big burst of clean citrus and pine. Smells like Pliny.

Taste is dank, sticky, and resinous. Tons of hop oils, held together by a solid backbone of clean pale malt. More pine and citrus. Alcohol is well-hidden. Great balance.

Mouthfeel is oily and sticky, about right for a big DIPA. Nice bitterness on the finish, but this one is also pretty sweet.

Overall this is about exactly what I hoped for and expected. Wisdom Seeker is world-class, about as good as any other DIPA out there. The real deal.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a fine two finger white head with great carbonation and chunky lacing. Aroma dominated by piney and citrus hops with grapefruit and light caramel malt. Flavor is a great balance between caramel malt and herbal, piney hops and mild mixed citrus. Medium body with some creaminess and nice active carbonation. It was a long wait to try this, but it was worth the wait. A very well balanced IPA that starts out nicely malty with light citrus fruit and then slowly develops a great herbal hop presence that lingers. Lives up to its hype and I look forward to greater availability. This is one of the great PNW breweries.

Photo of bifrost17
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a FW Teku glass. Bottled only two days ago!!

A: Pours exactly like you'd expect for the style. Super clear dark golden/orange color, nice finger and a half fluffy white head. Nice webby lacing. Super clean, inviting looking beer.

S: Hoppy, citrus fuit, piney goodness. Slight hints of that 9.1% abv coming through in the nose.

T: Follows up the nose. Finishes with a pleasant lingering bitterness.

M: Nice and smooth, moderate carbonation. Super sticky. My only slight gripe is I wish it was just a little bit more on the dry side in the finish, but that's a very minor gripe.

O: Black Raven makes some pretty damn amazing beer, but unfortunately the bottles are very limited, but I'm hoping with their upcoming expansion it will make it possible for me people to be able to experience it. I'll just be happy for now that I'm fortunate enough to be able to drink their beer on tap on a consistent basis. Wisdom seeker isn't the best DIPA I've ever had, but it's certainly in my top 10 and could easily contend with any of the more well known and "hyped" DIPAs. Seek the wisdom seeker!! You won't be disappointed.

Photo of standardcherry
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle produced on March 21st 2013. Drank on April 8th.

A: Almost transparent gold color. A nice white head with very nice lacing. Good looking beer!
S: Blast of hop resin and pine! Also has a big candy-like aroma. Strange but good. Followed by a slight citrusy character and some toasted malts.
T: Just like the nose. Big piney/grassy bitterness with a bit of orange zest. I usually prefer my IIPAs to be more fruit-forward but this one is great. Lots of caramel malty backbone in there supporting the super piney hops. A bit of spiciness in there. Strange candy flavor just like the smell. Very interesting and tasty, just not something I would expect in a IIPA.
M: Medium bodied with soft, creamy carbonation. A bit of an alcohol bite.
O: This is a great beer, glad I got to try it!

Photo of visualweasel
4.81/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got to try this for the first time. On tap at the brewery in Redmond.

A: Beautiful, clear bright gold color, about a finger of white head, leaving behind lovely and abundant lacing.

S: Mouth-watering hop resin, pine, and citrus (in that order). Makes you want to stick your nose right into it!

T: Follows the nose and delivers more. Wonderful west coast hop essence. Not profoundly bitter, but the hops contribute to the nose and the flavor in big, big ways. Very balanced. Reminds me of a cellared Dogfish Head 120 in flavor, but more like a Dogfish 90 in other ways, and easily its match. This is a DIPA to spoil you for others.

M: Medium-bodied, appropriate carbonation for the style. Very satisfying on a beautiful day.

O: Up there with the best imperial IPAs I've had. Hard to find for anyone outside of Western Washington. If you see it, don't miss it.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a transparent deep yellow color with good carbonation leaving a moderate white cap and bubbles but th lacing is light islight and head retention is minimal

S: Melons, grass, orange peel and grapefruit

T: Immediate sordove astringent and bitterness with a lemongrass note followed up with a light toasted grain, orange peel, grapefruit and a tough of melon. The finish has a light booze sting, a little slick but has a dry sordove feeling and taste to it

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, a nice amount of lingering bitterness remains on the palate

O: Very good. Easy to drink, tastes wonderful. The appearance could use some legs and the nose could use a boost.

Photo of CliffBrake
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to coreylag for the opportunity to taste this one. Cheers!

Light orange color, slightly hazy with a one finger head that leaves very delicate lacing. Carbonation shows as remarkably fine bubbles.

Nicely aromatic with apricot and orange marmalade on toast. The citrus aroma carries over into the flavor, which is balanced by pine and spicy hop notes. Great hop flavors sit on a firm malt backbone, with a bit of sweetness that does not detract from the hops at center stage. A light, sparkly bitterness finishes things up.

Heavy bodied and a bit syrupy. Yes, I know it is 9% abv, but it seems like a bit more carbonation might help lighten things up a touch.

Overall, an outstanding DIPA that deserves a place among the best in the style (many of which receive a lot more hype than I have heard about this one). If you are smart, you will seek this one out!

Photo of bstave
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into my New Belgium tulip snifter

A- Translucent copper with a finger of white head. Lacing is nice. Very nice looking.

S- Smell is gorgeous with BIG fruity and pine hops. Smell is spot on! WOW!!! I think I will sit and smell this for a while.

T- Taste follows the nose. This is VERY fresh! One of the best tasting IIPAs I have had. I had this last year on tap and this is significantly better even though it is out of the bottle. Big oily hops up front and solid caramel malt backbone. Cannot taste the alcohol. Well done!

M- Carbonation is perfect contributing to a spot-on creamy medium mouth feel. Rolls down very nicely.

O- My favorite beer of the year. Too bad they don't bottle this more often. Well done!

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ramnuts for this. 22oz bottle poured into a white wine glass. No bottle date.

Appearance- Light orange color with a small amount of haziness to it. Strong white head, and good lacing. 4.5/5

Smell- Very good. Fruity and piney all at once. I didn't think that was possible since I would figure one would cancel out the other. Not sure here. I took the time to keep smelling before a sip. 4.5/5

Taste- The taste is a lot more balanced than the smell. The malt comes out a bit more here. There is some heavy orange and tropical flavors. 4/5

Mouthfeel- It's a bit heavy here. I expected that due to the style, but thought differently when I saw the color. 4/5

Overall- I am very happy to have had a taste of this. Good beer that I would seek out again if given the chance. 4/5

Photo of jpbebeau
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second and final bottle of my recent allotment; to tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful translucent golden orange, with a finger's worth of fluffy soap-bubble head, which dissipates rather rapidly. Moderate lacing reveals itself, like it's left behind as the tide goes out.

S: Ruby red grapefruit—citrus hoppiness with a really enjoyable hint of a mixed fruit cocktail's syrupy sweetness. A bouquet of flowers I can't quite place. Lilacs?

T: Tastes how it smells, sans sweetness (at first). Hops initially dominate, but don't intimidate...they're artfully restrained. Balances with warmth.

M: Gives the impression that it tips the scales on the heavier side of middle-weight, but goes down easily with a carbonation that percolates throughout the mouth and clings to the palate well afterward.

This is an excellent DIPA.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of psiweaver in the Good People/No Rules BIF. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a slightly-hazed peach color with a good white head and loads and loads of lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose brings a bit of alcohol and malt plus some citrus hops and a light bit of pine. Flavor takes a further turn toward the malt, though there's quite a bit of hop bitterness in the background. Medium body with a bit too much alcohol. Slight chewiness. Decent DIPA.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by Mike. Thanks!

A: Pours a hazy reddish-orange body with a pinky finger of well-retaining off-white head. It collapses into a moderate collar of large bubbles. Some trails of sticky lace are deposited down the sides. I like more clarity and lacing in my IPAs, but this is not terrible.

S: Wow, this is a good nose. I didn't expect much, as I hadn't heard of these guys, but the bouquet here is an aromatic blend of grapefruit, melon, lemon zest, and pine resin. Small caramel malt foundation. It could stand to be more aromatic; it takes a lot of swirling to bring out the particulars. But the profile here is well-chosen and quite nice.

T: Hop-forward, as the nose implied. Citrus flavors -- grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, melon -- dominate the front end, while caramel fleshes out the mid-taste. Candied pine and grapefruit coalesce in the finish, leaving a mild, lingering bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied, with good carbonation for the style. Some bitterness in the aftertaste; I prefer my DIPAs on the cleaner side of the spectrum, and I would agree that this falls in that range. The booze is fairly undetectable; I assumed this was a single IPA and was a bit surprised to see it is 9.5%. Only the mildest burn in the finish reveals its potency. This may be because the finish falls off a bit fast (giving the impression of hop juice); I think with a tightened up finish, this could be a real juggernaut.

O: This is quite a good beer. I'd put this on the level of Heady Topper; my first taste of Wisdom Seeker brought HT to mind. I prefer the slightly fuller body of this one (comparing against the Heady Topper bottles), though HT wins slightly on nose and flavor.

Photo of djbreezy
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at By the the Bottle in Vancouver, WA. Served in a 12 oz. glass.

appearance - amber in color, excellent transparency with some mild cloudiness, great lacing that lingers on the glass

smell - big citrus and pine hop nose

taste - strong hop profile. citrus and pine. alcohol well hidden. just the right touch of a malt base as to not distract from the hop forward profile.

mouthfeel - full bodied beer, some slight dryness from the hops but overall very smooth and drinkable

overall - really impressed with this beer. amidst fresh hop season, the brew easily held it's on. very dank and piney. strong hop profile.

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Wisdom Seeker from Black Raven Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.