Wisdom Seeker - Black Raven Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wisdom SeekerWisdom Seeker

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

151 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 48
Gots: 13 | 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: 151 | Reviews: 40
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 HopHead84
2.78/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2/20/2011

Huge thanks to pranaferox for grabbing me a growler. This was a long time want. Poured into a snifter. This was released about a week ago and traveled in the cold so it's very fresh. Growler opens with a soft hiss.

A: Perfectly transparent dark orange with a creamy off white head. Nice color. Retention is pretty good and lacing is scattered.

S: Pine resin, grapefruit, and a slightly sugary caramel malt foundation. There's a little orange flesh and subtle perfumey floral notes. It's not super aromatic, and it requires a lot of swirling and coaxing to bring out the hop notes. Muted and inexpressive.

T: Well balanced, almost tilting in favor of the malt. It's a decidedly Northwestern style Double IPA. Pleasant moderate bitterness, with pine and somewhat muted citrus that could be described as orange and grapefruit flesh. There's a lot of caramel malt and it's approaching bready at times, and it gives off a little sweetness. Alcohol is unabashed, and every basis point of the 9.00% can be tasted. The finish is quite boozy, with a lower moderate bitterness and lingering orange notes and alcohol notes. The alcohol wares on the palate and becomes detracting.

M: Medium in body with a lower moderate level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky, though somewhat heavy and onerous.

Overall: This is just an okay beer. It's not that it's overly malty, but that the hops are muted and fail to hold up their end of the bargain, not really providing much in the aroma or flavor categories. Also, the booze flavor isn't at all masked. I appreciate the chance to try it, but not a beer I'd recommend seeking out. In the verdant landscape of IPAs and Double IPAs that is the west coast, this one falls short. I'm quite puzzled by the glowing reviews.

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 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 youradhere
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

South Sound Tasting Notes

Appearance is light gold, crystal clear with no lacing. Smell is initially pine and toffee, followed by a slight presence of mellon. Flavor is a malty toffee with pine hops, some mango sweetness followed by citrus notes; a mellow flavor for an IPA, mostly dominated by pine notes. Mouthfeel is medium with good healthy carbonation. Overall decent but lacking any distinguishing features to set it apart from the pack IMHO.

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 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 beertunes
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean golden-yellow color with a thick, fluffy white head that had very good retention but not as much lacing as I anticipated.

A very strong pine hop aroma greets the nose. I didn't get any other scents and certainly no malt or sweetness. The flavors were similar, there must be malt in here because there is alcohol, but none show up on the tastebuds. Those pine flavors are the dominant flavors.

The body was on the thin side, more of a "hop juice" than a regular beer body. Drinkability was pretty good, depending on how you feel about piney hops.

Overall, a good beer that's worth some effort to seek out.

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 hawks10
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler sent to me unexpectedly from ScreamForMe...poured into a pint glass...

Pours a clear dark golden amber, two fingers of soft, marshmallow "fluff" style head which sticks around for a while and leaves some nice lacing behind...

Piny hops stick out above a strong, sweet caramel malt aroma...hops become a bit more pronounced, and citrusy around the third glass...not terribly aromatic with just a touch of booze in the end...

Well balanced, piny and bitter on the first few sips, but a very heavy dose of caramel malt adds lots of sweetness. Much like ruby red grapefruit, slightly citrusy but bitter, like the skin. Finish is clean and citrusy...

Medium bodied and very creamy. Smooth and quite pleasant. Well balanced with just a touch of lingering bitterness in the finish. Very nice.

Overall a pretty enjoyable DIPA. There are so many variables with a growler, especially one shipped cross country, that you never truly know if you are getting the beer the way it was intended to be enjoyed. However, I did like this one, I am working on finishing it all in one night after a 12hr day of work...

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 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 Florida9
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber. Forms about a half inch of thickish white head that slowly reduces down to a thick and stable surface coating. Leaves a nice bit of lacing on the way down.

S: A moderate amount of caramel malt forms a the backbone to the more pronounced grapefruit citrus and pine aroma.

T: More caramel malt. Light sweetness. Moderate pithy bitterness. Some citrus and some pine and a little resin, but nothing is overpowering and everything is in balance. Alcohol presents itself on the nice long bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied, moderate bitterness, softer carbonation.

O: A very nice, very well balanced beer. A bit on the lighter side for a Double - if this was listed as a straight up IPA I wouldn't second guess it - but still a quite enjoyable beer with loads of flavor and hoppy goodness.

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 grittybrews
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a vivid, slightly dark orange with a finger of bright white head. Big aroma of juicy grapefruit, tangerine, pine, and caramel.

Moderate carbonation and a full, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Grapefruit and pine up front with an almost-overpowering caramel sweetness and a hint of boozy warmth. Not too astringent on the finish.

A really nice double IPA with a hoppy bite that holds up to the sweetness. Really enjoyed this one.

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

Reviewed from notes taken during GABF 2011.

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 Beerandraiderfan
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Hopfest! Seemed to be very popular that day. A dark yellow pour, approaching light orange, the slightest amount of foam. Killer dry hopped citrus aroma.

Taste, more grapefruit and tangerine hop feel, the key component of this beer. Not super bitter, just hops. Would love to see this at next year's dipa festival, it would do well. Doesn't at all give off that its a dipa, you would think single given the lack of detectable alcohol and bitterness, the lightness of its body.

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 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 drumrboy22
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a GIF from jconrick1. Poured from a growler into a Bell's tulip glass. Beer was a clear, dark orange color with a one-finger, off-white head. Moderate carbonation and little lacing around the glass.

Aroma was citrus hops, grapefruit, malt and pine. Smells fresh and fantastic.

Taste was bitter hops, caramel, malt, melon and some pine. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering. Not as complex as the aroma, but still very tasty.

Vibrant, bitter finish. Very nice beer. I had never heard of this, but am pleasantly surprised. I think if this got a wider distribution and some more reviews, it could rank pretty high in the DIPA category. Big thanks to jconrick1 for the growler!

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 HuskyinPDX
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle sent to me from Hopburster.

A - Pours a slightly hazy, medium-oragne with a one finger light tan head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Super strong pine hits you hard, then some orange, and then a unique candy smell, almost like cotton candy.

T - Pine, grass, very earthy - then sweet citrus and candy follow.

D - Perfect balance here. Good carbonation and body.

O - I really love this one. Try it if you can.

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Wisdom Seeker from Black Raven Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.