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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

115 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | 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: 115 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of n2185
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with creamy chocolate up front with dry pine and grapefruit aromas from the hops.

T: Roasted malts here as well with bitter chocolate, some char, and an earthy, piney, hoppy finish that is lightly bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is nicely carbonated and avoids being too thick or watery.

O: A good black ale overall with a nice balance between the hops and the roasted malts.

n2185, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of teromous
2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is extremely dark. It is completely black, and shows very dark shades of brown when exposed directly to the light. The head stays at about half a thumb. It is colored off-white and nearly tan. The head is very nice looking. There is decent lacing.

S: It has a very interesting smell. There is a light floral hop characteristic, but then there is this distinct oak aged porter scent to it. If I didn't know it was a black IPA I would think it was a barrel aged porter from the smell. There is also a sweet smell to it...kind of like chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. There isn't quite as much of a breadth of hop character as I'd like to smell, but the scent is good.

T: I am a bit disappointed in the flavor. It is barely hoppy at all, and it is greatly overshadowed by the roasted malt flavor. The roasted flavor is very nice, and there is a nice bitterness to the beer. Much of the hop flavor is not present. Some of it comes back after the sip, but not while drinking.

M: The mouthfeel is nice and bitter, fairly dry, with a nice backbone of carbonation.

O: Overall I think this is pretty close to a good black IPA (as the label states) ABA/CDA whatever you wish to call it. I wish it had a more hop-forward presence to the flavor. If you are a stout or porter lover, you will undoubtedly enjoy this. If you are a standard IPA or IIPA drinker, you will most likely find it to be substandard. I feel that I can not give this an average score, because it does not live up to the expectations of an average black IPA where it counts the most...the flavor.

teromous, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of djre4orm
4/5  rDev +0.8%

djre4orm, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I ppoured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The firtst thing you notice is the black color then the Xmas tree smell hits you. Like somebody bottled a spruce tree. The beer poured a okay head. However the taste was just too hoppy for me. If you like high hopped IPA beer this is good beer. I would like to try some more from this Co. since they are only about 50 miles from me. I will not try this one again though.

Minkybut, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into dimpled mug.

This was an extra from lambicking-- thanks man!

Very dark-- virtually black. Kinda cloudy... Some chunks floating around inside... Toffee colored head. Weak lacing, but decent retention.

Pretty full-bodied beer. Firm feel with plenty of carbonation. Oily residue with a coffee-like bitterness.

Lots of roasted malt with some sweetness up front as well. The beer has a strong bitterness that lingers for a good bit. Citrus hops poke through, but herbal/floral notes lead the way.

Overall-- not a bad black ipa. This is a style I would put low on my "list of favorite styles," but I try to be fair in reviewing styles such as this... This is a decent beer, but I don't find it refreshing. It isn't one I would drink or buy again, but it isn't a bad attempt at the style.

AleWatcher, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of odualum13
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

odualum13, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of Mazarate
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Mazarate, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Surprisingly good drinkability and taste though overcarbonated. Pours fast disipitating off-whte head on black body. Roasted malt aroma. More IPA than roast in taste and that worked. Citrus hops are there and most drinkable. Worth seeking out.Thanks Radek.

Sammy, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of derricksmalls
3/5  rDev -24.4%

derricksmalls, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of boyessen
4/5  rDev +0.8%

boyessen, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of JoshSRNA
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

JoshSRNA, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of Kadonny
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Gotten as an extra from a trade with Hanzo.

A: A deep dark brown color with a one finger light brown head. Nice glass lacing.

S: Earthy and herbal hops mix with some dark fruits and slight roastiness. Nice.

T: Roasted flavors start first with some charred wood notes. Some chocolate sweetness and slight coffee mix with dark fruit flavors and sweeten out the hops momentarily until the finish turns back to the earthy and herbal floral hops. Bitter prickly finish is real nice.

M: Medium mouthfeel, perfect carbonation and very little if any alcohol flavor. Again, nice.

O: A very nice black IPA that was not spectacular, but solid. I liked it.

Kadonny, May 23, 2012
Photo of syntheticwings
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

syntheticwings, May 13, 2012
Photo of rudolphjacksonm
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
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 TappaKeggaBrew
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown, with a fat finger of light-tan head. Lacing decent and tenacious.

S: A mixture of toasted malt, molasses, and fruit preserves.

T: Momentarily sweet malt, but with a stronger, longer-lasting tart/fruity flavor coming through. A slight flavor of Colombian coffee graces the middle. The finish is quite bitter, with a burnt flavor mixed in to make an acrid finale.

M: Moist, well carbonated, and a little dry at the end.

O: Decent, but if I'm going to have something so full-flavored, I'd rather go for an Imperial Stout.

TappaKeggaBrew, May 08, 2012
Photo of Hanzo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Hanzo, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of avisong
4/5  rDev +0.8%

avisong, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of jgreenearrow
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a deep opaque brown, nearly black color with a frothy tan head forming at the top of the pour. Some lacing remains on the sides of the glass.

S: Rich roasted malts and molasses dominate the nose. Some piney hop aromas are also present.

T: There is a slight sweetness at the outset with roasted malt and piney hops dominating the middle. The bitterness fades into a malted milk type sweetness in the finish.

M: The beer is light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent beer. It drinks like a porter that is slightly hopped. The hops are definitely not as prominent as I would expect from a beer that bills itself as a black IPA.

jgreenearrow, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of paulginva
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced a 1" light tan foamy head that dissipated slowly leaving good head lacing. Carbonation was moderate in a murky very dark brown body.

AROMA: A complex melange of espresso, caramel, chocolate, some dark fruits, cinnamon and spices plus just a hint of alcohol.

TASTE: Light black coffee flavor with dark chocolate and caramel plus some light piny hops and dark fruits, spices and very light alcohol.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer had a medium body with a smooth texture, moderate carbonation and good body lacing that dissipated slowly. The initial flavor was lightly sweet with a lightly bitter finish with a hint of dryness at the end that lasted for a moderate length of time.

DRINKABILITY: This was sort of like a combination of stout and IPA. It was out of the ordinary, certainly, but very tasty. A nice dry sipping beer that I plan on having again soon. I don't think I'd have more than two in any session unless there were a designated driver available but other than that, it's easy to drink, has an excellent price to value ratio and is really quite memorable.

paulginva, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of legalpete19340
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Came to the bar looking very dark brown, almost black with one finger of dark tan head. Laced like a champ.

S: Piney hops jump out but roasty malt is close behind. Notes of burnt bread. Has a nice bit of grapefruit and roasted seeds in the back.

T: Starts off with a smooth bit of pine and grapefruit then immediately smacked by a pine tree. The malts jump in with toasted oat bread and burnt malt. Everything ends with a strong spicy hop bite.

M: Medium with a good amount of fizz.

O: A strong performer. Impressed me. Had a nice balance of hops and malt. I could session a few of these. This is an exclamation point of a black IPA.

legalpete19340, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of riotinmyskull
5/5  rDev +25.9%

riotinmyskull, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +0.8%

DoctorB2B, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Miamilice, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Jayli
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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 floraday
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hand bottled from miamilice, thanks buddy!

A: Dark brown almost black with nice tan head leading to good lacing

S: Lots of dark malt with faint hop aroma. Definitely the malts are heavy in this brew

T: Dark malts are dominate. Lots of coffee and caramel. Faint bittering hops towards the end

M: Creamy yet very dry. Some tannins for m the roasted malt. Slightly bitter on the palate

O: Nice, but I’m sure the brew lost a lot of its nuances from the tap to bottle. Would love to try if fresh

Thanks again miamilice, keep up the good work!

floraday, Aug 06, 2011
The Great Dismal Black IPA from O'Connor Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.