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Black Raven IPA - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

181 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 9
Gots: 19 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 07-23-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nUgZ:
Photo of nUgZ
4.41/5  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!!

nUgZ, Mar 24, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

oberon, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of Spaten454
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Spaten454, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

BeerAdvocate, May 02, 2012
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -14%

SmellsofMahagony, May 04, 2013
Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Mantooth, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of PatLarsen
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

PatLarsen, May 07, 2011
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Cynic-ale, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of lanamj
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

lanamj, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of whitekiboko
2/5  rDev -47.1%

whitekiboko, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
2.9/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

mdaschaf, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Metalmonk
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Metalmonk, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Sammy, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

tdm168, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
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

dirtylou, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Damian74Shensky, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of mikey711
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

mikey711, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of dailyminefield
4/5  rDev +5.8%

dailyminefield, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Kegatron, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

thagr81us, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of sonofliberty2
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

sonofliberty2, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of SpdKilz
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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.

SpdKilz, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of TheSamKuehn
4/5  rDev +5.8%

TheSamKuehn, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of Bung
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Bung, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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.

akorsak, Jul 09, 2012
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Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.