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The Great Dismal Black IPA - O'Connor Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The Great Dismal Black IPAThe Great Dismal Black IPA

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

133 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 7
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
O'Connor Brewing Co. visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Great Dismal Black IPA, named after the wildlife refuge.
The Great Dismal Swamp, in Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, once used as a part of the Intracoastal Waterway, is a dark, full bodied ale, extensively hopped both in bittering and aroma.
"Great with bold hop flavor, Dismal in color, Delicious all around" ~ 7.5% ABV 65 IBUs

(Beer added by: blackie on 11-20-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of riotinmyskull
5/5  rDev +26.9%

riotinmyskull, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of stanielstein
5/5  rDev +26.9%

stanielstein, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of spunktrunk
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been drinking this beer on tap at Cogan's Pizza in Norfolk for awhile. I've also had it in a bottle and I'll have to say on tap is much more delicious and you can actually get some good coffee aromas from it.

The only thing that is slightly misleading about this brew is the taste. Don't get me wrong its delicious, but its more of a stout with a hint of coffee. To me its lacking the tartness that makes a good double IPA.

spunktrunk, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Miamilice, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of guitarb
4.9/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times, most recently on tap from Baron's pub in ptown in a 32 ounce mug.

When I first tried it, this beer went immediately to my top 5. It pours a dark black. Friends joked I was drinking 10w-30 motor oil. Very drinkable. I actually had two 32 ounce mugs last time I had.

If ever given the chance, enjoy this brew!

guitarb, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of jl55378008
4.88/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared a pitcher at the new Green Leafe in Williamsburg, VA.

I'd never heard of this brewery before, and I was very impressed by this offering. It drinks very much like a good stout. The flavor and mouthfeel were the most impressive aspects of this beer. Not heavily carbonated, and the bubbles are very small, to the point of almost being creamy. It reminded me of drinking Old Rasputin on nitro, in some ways.

It's got solid a hop profile, and the bitterness is present but not overwhelming. Just enough to balance the dark roasted malt flavors, without overpowering them.

I'll definitely be having this again. I look forward to trying some of their other beers.

jl55378008, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of Mbriggs23
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Great blend of ipa and porter with nice finish. I was hesitant to try, great fall beer.

Mbriggs23, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of gleemonger
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

gleemonger, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of rudolphjacksonm
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dark reddish brown when held up to light, black otherwise with a tan head that dissolves into a little smokey residue layer on top. Not very much lacing to speak of. 4.0

S - Strong hoppy, floral notes up front with subtle smoked malt and firewood scents supporting it. Really interesting and unusual compared to what I'm used to, but it works really well! 4.5

T - Deliciously malty but not too sweet on the tip of the tongue, followed by mellow citrusy (citric acid? lemon zest? can't tell) flavors in the middle, and then a strong hop kick at the end. Really well-balanced. Simply put, I think the taste is fantastic and really well-done. 5.0

M - Light bodied with little carbonation tingle. I think this is fitting for the beer and works well with the taste. 4.5

O - The Great Dismal Black IPA is yet another example of Virginia breweries crafting cutting-edge brews. It's a brilliant cross between a porter and an IPA, and if you like either one I'm sure you'll enjoy this. 4.5

rudolphjacksonm, May 11, 2012
Photo of Dirrk
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Dirrk, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of pagardner
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

pagardner, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of jryanj927
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

jryanj927, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of AndrewMichael
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

AndrewMichael, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of sairvin
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

sairvin, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of odualum13
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

odualum13, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of whitemomba
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this hand bottled for me from miamilice (thanks man) in a recent trade.

A - Vigorous pour leaves about 2 fingers of tan colored head. Nice amounts of lacing. Black/dark brown in color.

S - Mostly roasted malts and coffee. Lots of hops as well. Smells very good.

T - Sweeter then i thought actually. Nice coffee/malty taste up front followed by a very nice hop bitterness. Very nicely balanced beer.

M - Very easy to drink. Not overly carbonated.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. I split the first bottle i got with a few friends and they really enjoyed it as well. Im a big fan of black IPA's.

whitemomba, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of wollefdoogylloj
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really have a hard time reviewing beers for a couple of reasons. First, being new at this I don't provide the standard review but figure as long as I'm honest that's all that matters. Second is that I've not much in the smell department. I guess I can blame that on 24 years in the military.
Anyway, this beer is a wonderful deception. I've drank enough IPAs to know what to expect as the nectar breaches my lips to coat my tongue. It's DARK - polar opposite of pale. This feels and tastes much more like a very nice stout, one that I'd put up to the best out there.
The head was quick to rise and slow to dissipate, with Klingons all around the glass for the entire consumption. Nice smoky aftertaste mixed with coffee and maybe a wee bit of chocolate. The hops are there from start to swallow. Very nice if you're not after the typical IPA or want a little breakaway from the same-ol'-same-ol'.
Looking forward to visiting the brewery for Father's Day! I'll see if they'll let me take a photo or two to post.

wollefdoogylloj, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Jayli
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at Buffalo Wind Wings in Harborview, VA 10/9
Served in a pilsner glass

A: This beer pours an opaque, deep brown with light brown hues around the edges when held to the light. Two fingers of khaki colored, foamy head that retains for some time. Big sheets of sticky lacing are left on the glass.

S: Nose is burnt malts, bitter chocolate, and orange zesty hops.

T: Taste is roasted malts at t he forefront, bitter baker's chocolate and coffee. Burnt notes come through mingled with lingering coffee notes and orange, citrus hops.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp at first and then creamy.

O: Goes down easy, very tasty, somewhat filling, nice kick, excellent representation of style. If we hadn't gotten the last pints of this, I would have drank it all afternoon. By and far, this would be a go to beer for me!

Jayli, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of stckhndlr
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at A.W. Shucks in Norfolk, VA

A- Pitch black w/ a 2 finger thick tan foam head. Thin lacing all down the glass as you drink.

S- This one was very complex. Every sniff presented a different aroma. Espresso coffee, caramel malts, vanilla, fruit, cream, dark cinnamon, and some spices.

T- Flavor of chocolate and dark roast coffee, good hop flavor, some caramel with some bitters on the back with a long finish.

M- smooth with a creamy medium body. Clean finish

O- Has the look and flavor of a stout with the carbonation and bitterness of an IPA. What a wonderful beer. By far one of this brewery's best.

stckhndlr, May 12, 2011
Photo of KomodoDragon
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Black but not a black out - light will make it thru. Small cream head, with the hops doing their thing and providing wonderful lacing.

S - I pick up so very little in the smell - perhaps some subtle coffee, but all very faint

T - A nice subtle transfer from roasted malts to bitterness. Presence of burnt grains, and milk chocolate feel.

M- Creamy and light

Ideal representation of the style. Properly balanced, yet full. Wonderful job allowing the ingredients to shine thru.

KomodoDragon, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of joedon
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took a chance on this beer and was very pleased. Dark brown to almost black with a very thin head.

Dark, roasty malt smells with a bit of fruit.

Big flavors: lots of malt, hop bitterness, dark fruit and bread. This beer is almost like a hybrid between IPA and imperial stout.

Good, chewy mouthfeel and lingering flavors. Quite drinkable for a big beer.

Might like to brew one of these at home.

joedon, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of Immortale25
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 3/4 inch tan head that bears great retention time before slowly falling to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a solid sheet of surface foam. Frothy, resilient lacing clings to the glass.

S- Very sweet aroma with some brown sugar, heavy caramel and mild anise notes. Very enjoyable actually but has little hop character which is surprising.

T- The sweetness continues but now the dark roast of the malt steps in and shows itself. There's a considerable amount of bitterness but the forceful roast and sugar flavors win in the end. Quite drinkable for a 7.5 percenter.

M- Slightly thick with a small afterbite from the hops. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- My first beer by this brewery and I have to say I'm quite impressed by the sweetness it exhibits. Also nods for the ABV-to-drinkability ratio. American Black Ale is definitely a better label for this one than Black IPA. Either way, thumbs up.

Immortale25, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of mjh0527
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

mjh0527, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of syntheticwings
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

syntheticwings, May 13, 2012
Photo of jeffy_two_times
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

jeffy_two_times, Oct 12, 2013
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The Great Dismal Black IPA from O'Connor Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.