Black Raven IPA - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

195 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 9
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 07-23-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 70
Reviews by Auslander:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial pint glass a deep dark brown with ruby highlights peaking thru,a thinner but well defined tan colored head atop.Aromas were a bit mild with herbal hops and roast sticking out the most.Flavors were surprising in a real good way,herbal and pretty spicy like a heavy dose of German hops mixed with roast and big earth.This beer really grows on ya,the hop profile is unexpected and goes well with the roast and earth,well done here.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Opaque, black

SMELL: Dank hops, charred toast, ripe dark fruit, alcohol, perfume, herbal

TASTE: Dry, roasty, coffee, charcoal, hop oil, warming esters, more char, burnt raisin, spice, mildly astringent, bitter

The roastiness certainly comes across, perhaps too much. Hops don't seem to mesh with the rest of the flavor profiles. A good sip, and this is what is so much fun with new styles … beers that may define or defy it. Too drawn to roasted and dry characteristics; a tad more malt backbone would do this one good.

Photo of PatLarsen
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay this is the real deal right here. Had at Duckworths in a pint glass. It's a dark brown color with a good tan head. Roasted malt and caramel with citrus. Love this thing. Drinking it all in. One of the few Black IPAs that I can really get behind. Taste follows smell in the best way. Great body with good carbonation. I really like what they have done with this beer. One of the better black IPAs out on the market.

Photo of lanamj
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into an old hickory pint glass.

A- Nice black beer with a light brown head that thins out to a minimal lace around the glass

S- Nice bitter hop aroma, balanced by sweet roasted malts. I get some dark fruit as well as citrus. Very nice balance.

T- Lots of bittering hops not much else. I do get some roasted malt and coffee at the end but rather one sided.

M- It has very nice residual hops bitterness that sticks to the palate. Kind of on the watery side.

O- A good black IPA kind of one sided but still good for the style. Also the drinkability is very approachable making it a good beer for anytime.

Photo of mdaschaf
2.96/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to derandscott for this one! Drink by May-2011.

A: Pours black with a 1.5 finger foamy, tan colored head. Nice head retention with sheets of lacing down the glass. Actually, one of the best looking ABA's I have ever seen.

S: Initially it was all hops, lots of juicy citrus and pine, but as it warms, most of the citrus actually disappears. Eventually, the aroma consisted of a bit of orange and some roasted malt.

T: Extremely roasty and burnt. A little bit of chocolate and rather chalky flavor. Not much hop presence at all.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely dry.

O: For a beer that started off strong, it ended up falling flat for me. It looked great and the initial aroma was extremely inviting, but the hops seemed to faded once the bottle was opened. The chalky flavor/mouthfeel was a big turnoff. The first miss for me from OH.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Funny how this style is so new that even brewers are mislabeling their product. I'm sure someone has picked this up without reading the fine print on the label, just seeing that big "IPA" out front, and being utterly shocked upon pouring. Speaking o' which, let's pour...

Definitely black in color, or insanely dark brown, with a tan ice cream float head that's firm and creamy. Simple and gorgeous.

So okay, despite my little rant, a blind sniff test would definitely bring IPA to mind. Citrusy hops, like Cascade or Amarillo, come to the nose rather strongly. But then there is that hint of deeply toasted grain that leans toward the burnt end of the spectrum. Very much true to style, if favoring the hops quite a bit.

Strong flavors from opposite ends of the ABA sphere: the north pole a lot like nothin'-special black coffee grounds, though not harsh, and the south pole being a green, tangy, citrus fruit sort of brightness. Very much "night and day." Do they meet at the equator? Just barely enough to provide a harmonious enough experience. My only complaint is that a mineral steeliness comes into play in the middle somewhere. Tart and almost puckery in the finish, which finds the hops winning out in the end.

Carbonation is fairly aggressive, although the body itself is of a soft, round, smoother sort, so you get a kind of struggle in the texture...which you also get in the taste.

Not a bad take on the style at all. Black ales like this are tough, you've got what are two rather opposing characteristics (heavily toasted/burnt grains vs. bright fruity hops) trying to not only coexist, but work together in harmony. This isn't the best version of the style (I still think Southern Tier's Iniquity is king) but enjoyable and pleasant enough.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent example of style, though over-representing roasted character. Thick black pour with lots beige head, significant lace left down the glass. Above average mouthfeel, some smoke in aroma and taste. As big roasty, not for everybody. I liked it now, maybe not as much in the hot summer.Thanks Doug.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one.

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with very little head. The nose has notes of chocolate and roasted malts and piny hop aromas. The taste is roasted malt and chocolate malt up front with floral, citrusy, and piny hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth; decent carbonation.

This is a solid drinking Black IPA. I'll definitely have it again.

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap duckworths ballantyne

appearance: really cool label it appears - alas, I had it on tap...shaker pint, ebony body, creamy chocolate head.

smell: rich bakers chocolate, lots of pine, hops and roasted malt on display

taste: I think I have a soft spot for this style that many other seem to dislike - the hops come fight through the mess and pierce with a great force of pine and bitterness but the chocolate and roast won't back off. I liked this one a lot - brought back memories of the fantastic stone 15th anniversary

mouthfeel: creamy and rich - very nice

overall: would order again

Photo of mikey711
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks Matt for you generosity in sending me this one

A: Deep brown, near blac with a fluffy off white head. nice lacing and decent head retention

S: Chocolate, caramel and toffee are very present up front with some floral hoppiness comething through in the background

T: Again the chocalte notes are most dominate but the hoppiness is much more present in the finish. the hoppiness is very piney. the bitterness offsets the sweetness of the malts nicely

M: Nice creaminess but there is a slight buttery feel that is a bit off putting

D: Very nice Black IPA that i am very happy to have been able to try.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First nitro-tap review! Served from nitro-tap at Appalachian Vintner while shopping around into an Olde Hickory shaker. Poured a deep dark dark brown with a one finger light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, slight chocolate, subtle hop, and smoke. The flavor was of roasted malt, citrus hops, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice and smooth Black IPA. Definitely glad I got to try this. It had a very nicely balanced flavor along with a very nice aroma as well. This one is a must try for any Black IPA fan out there.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to mullenpc for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark black with a slight mocha colored head that dissipates slowly leaving some nice coating.

Smell – Lots of roasted malts, slight hops, a hint of citrus, and chocolate.

Taste – Orange peel, bitter and charred malts, slight chocolate, and some earthy herbs.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, good carbonation, a hint creamy.

Overall – A decent Black Ale, though a bit too bitter honestly.

Photo of Bung
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shaker pint at The Wineshop at Rivergate. From notes.
Black/ruby pour with a cream head. Good head retention and a nice amount of lacing.

Aroma, resin hoppy and nearly burnt malt. Pretty straight forward.

Taste, some pine then blasted with the roast. Dark chocolate, cocoa and a nice blend with the herbal and citrus hop profile. A dry roast coffee finish.

Near medium body and goes down super smooth. Almost creamy. Alcohol hidden, could drink a bunch of this.

This was a home run for me, but I can see this not being to the hopheads liking.

Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Asheville treat - figured I need to queue up these hoppier ones first.

A: The IPA is black as a raven, a moonless night, an ebon abyss. An offwhite head, eggshelly, ruffles up to half a finger and laces as it recedes.

S: Deep stout aromas, coffee and black malt, immediately register. The hops? Not so much but they are everpresent in the taste. Only gradually do the citrus flavors crawl through, finally matching the intensity that comes through in the taste.

T: Stout again up front, roasted with a mild sweetness running through it. The citrusy hops are right alongside the malts, they just need a little heat to get kickstarted. Once rolling, their grapefruit and pine flavors are a sweet combo, biting against the acrid flavors of the stout. Quite a bit of flavors coming out of this, as it warms the hops become stronger. Hop bitterness, that citrus, returns and dominates the finish, crowding out the stout. Well roasted with a burnt thickness that lingers. The hoppiness, while present, isn't up to the task.

M: Far more stout that IPA. The mouthfeel follows suit.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from paper notes... Izecold88 aka Manny made this one possible.

Pours clear deeeep brown... not black ... but brown... off white head sticks around for a bit but leaves no real lacing.

Aromas are pretty roasty and slammed with a huge pine hoppiness....

Flavor begins big and bitter but thankfully the bitter bite drops off leaving a nice mildly sweet cocoa maltiness and thick resinous pine hoppiness... teeth coating piney hops.. lingering hoppiness on the finish combines with some coffee notes... very well done.

Body is a good medium and has all the bubbles you would hope for.

3/4/4/4/3.5

Photo of jmarsh123
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque black with a small tan head.

Some light roasted malts with some citrus and pine hop presence. Pretty well balanced and no one aroma dominates.

Starts out with just a slight orange hint. Quickly recedes into some roasted malts. A little coffee dominant, but notes of dark chocolate peak in a bit. Finishes with a piney hop flavor that combines with the roasted malts to create a bitter pretty dry finish.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are good. Fairly substantial body, but not too thick.

Usually not a style I enjoy much, but this one is pretty well balanced. The intense bitterness in the aftertaste may limit drinkability a bit, but for just one of them, I enjoyed it. Nothing extreme or awesome, but a good solid brew.

Photo of wedge
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoy Before: F/12

Pours a very dark brown color with a thin, but very creamy off-white head that last awhile. Aromas of piney and orange-y hops and a dark underlying maltiness to even things out. Much more malt in the flavor...delicious semi-sweet chocolate roast and hoppy pine notes. Some citrus. Very balanced and tasty overall. Bitter, medium body and slick. I liked this one quite a bit...

Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops.

Photo of wcudwight
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black with a nice large khaki colored sticky head. Good retention. Wonderful aroma of bitter dark chocolate and hop goodness. Pine and citrus fruits. Delicious beer one of the best of this new style. Chocolate cake, roasted malts and an enormous amount of hoppy bitterness. Despite the color of the beer this one leans more toward IPA and less toward your typical dark styled beers. Carbonation is good that the mouthfeel is full and sticky. Easy drinker but it does feel like it's a bit more than 7% abv. I highly recommmend this one. OHB is doing some good things in Western NC.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pint glass serving at Barley's in between Moogfest shows, essentially black in color, sporting a deep mocha head with average retention

s: heavy roasted barley - nearly charred with aromas of dark coffee bean, earth, and charcoal, some slight aromas of darker sugars underneath, heavy pine and citrus peel hops - resinous and dense, nice start

m: body medium, nicely weighty but still easily drinkable, with moderate carbonation

t: dual assault of a big, dark roasted malt body and heavy pine and citrus pith hops, grain flavors pushed near the point of burn but still tolerably "smooth", some darker sugar sweetness underneath, but fairly dry and pungent, hugely bitter with a very long finish

o: really liked this black ipa, I'm fairly picky about the style, but this one for whatever reason avoided the roast-hop acid clash that I stay away from, maybe it's the slight underlying sweetness to smooth things out a bit, definitely worth a try

Photo of devilben02
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown/black, with a dense yet foamy chocolate-milk-colored head that clings to the glass. The aroma is hop forward, with characteristics of pine and fruity citrus. The flavor is more complex, with an almost ashy roasted malt character that builds on the bitterness provided by the fresh and lively hops. The result isn't a powerful bitterness, though, but rather is more of a dull, lingering ache on the tongue. The light carbonation doesn't get in the way but simply helps things glide along.

Overall, this is one of the best attempts at a black IPA I have had yet, with the different components complementing each other rather than competing with each other. Stated otherwise, many beers of this style come across to me like a rowdy biker bar with loud rock music encouraging a raucous crowd to chug their pale lagers and pick a fight with the little guy that's wearing the wrong colors on his jacket. In contrast, with this beer, although there are a number of bikes parked out front, the clientele inside is enjoying some local craft beer while discussing the finer points of international copyright law.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 22 oz glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark brown, with some reddish hues. Three fingers of off-white head that sits there and lingers for quite some time. Tons of lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and grassy hops right away, but those quickly fade. The dominant smell is quickly replaced by sweet, chocolatey malt, with a hint of citrus in the background.

Taste: A strong, almost generic bitterness, with the malt coming through as well. The malt comes and goes quickly, and the finish is long and bitter, with just a hint of sweetness. Very, very mild citrus note, not nearly as prominent as they were on the initial nose. As the beer warms, the bitterness and sweetness become much more balanced.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer from a local brewery. I had this once before, awhile back, and remembered the hop flavors being more prevalent. Still, a beer I'd have again.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a newly acquired Old Hickory pint glass. Enjoy before September 2011, so this is a fresh one.

4.5 A: Pours black. Two fingers of creamy tan head with very good retention and tons of lacing.

4.0 S: Smells more like a hoppy porter than a black IPA. Anyway, this starts out with a light roasty burntness then the hops kick in and add citrusy and earthy components. Subtle chocolate notes worth well with the citrus giving the impression of orange flavored chocolate. Not bad.

3.5 T: Like every other black IPA I've had, the flavors compete instead of complement. Good bit of roastiness to start again with a light burntness. Subtle chocolate and caramel notes. Hops are strengthy and contribute citrus with emphasis on orange. Slightly more than moderate bitterness. Roasty aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. A bit lighter in body than I'd like. Could also be creamier.

3.5 D: Not bad for the style (which is one I can't get into). I'm not sure if I'll ever love drinking a black IPA, but I'm not going to give up just yet. There has to be some combination out there that will please me.

Photo of jpmclaug
2.81/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into my New Belgium globe

Black body with a nice sized off white head. A light citrusy hop aroma, maybe a hint of roast in there but not much, maybe some smoke as well? dark roasty malts and a floral hop aroma mix to make a kind of disjointed flavor. Pretty bitter overall, I dunno not the best ABA I've had. Mouthfeel is medum body, slightly sticky. Overall I'm not too impressed with this one, a bit more bitter than I'd like and the flavors don't mix the way I think they should. I wouldn't buy this one again.

Photo of nUgZ
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a three finger head and very nice lacing.

S: Roasted malts and a hint of piney hops.

T: Plenty of roasted malts, espresso, and some nice bitter hops. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O: This is a very enjoyable Black IPA. Well done Olde Hickory!!

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Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.