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Black Raven IPA - Olde Hickory Brewery

Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA

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

169 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 169
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.94%


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)
View: Beers (44) |  Events
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Ratings: 169 | Reviews: 68 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark, almost black coloring with chestnut highlights around the edges and a low profile, dense, clingy, cream colored head. Aromas of smoke and roast forward, with a rich backbone of peat and earth, and subtle bitterness overlays. Flavors are very roast forward, with bitter coffee notes and hints of dark chocolate. Hops resin highlights throughout, with very subtle hints of citrus, but the palate is mostly taken over by roast and bitter notes. Smooth and slightly effervesced body due to the carbonation levels, which helps bring levity to the heavy bitter and roast characteristics. The aftertaste is a lot of coffee bitter and roast, as well as some earthy notes. Slick, clean, slightly dry finish. Tasty beer, heavy but drinkable. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 20:38:20 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown into my tulip with large dark beige head. Roasted grain and pine abound from the nose with some raisins and grapefruit mixed in. Nice crisp hops up front with a surprise chocolate flavor. Lingering roasted flavor. Thr hop-to-chocolate profile here borders on porter. But too much bite for that. Pretty rich but maintains a crsipness through medium-strong carbonation and finishes dry. I think this is very well done, and I am pretty mixed on black IPAs. I would drink this again for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 00:43:37 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

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

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2013 19:57:26 | More by blackie
Photo of nUgZ
nUgZ

North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +17%
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!!

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 21:52:37 | More by nUgZ
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Glenn for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a CCB pint glass.

A: Very dark, essentially black, and not quite opaque. Forms a big (4 finger) tan head, with almost no visible carbonation.

S: Grassy, pine, and dank hops, with some roasty malts.

T: Follows the nose. Nice hoppiness, tasting the grass, pine and dank with some citrus character as well. This actually manages to become hop-forward over the dark roasted and a bit coffee malts.

M: Almost chewy, sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol is well-hidden, and plenty of carbonation sensation.

O: This is an excellent beer. First beer I've had from Olde Hickory - need to seek out more. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 03:51:40 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 2/5 with March drink by date.

Black and opaque. Huge head, probably too much. Great retention and nice sticky lace. Aroma: Dark chocolate, resin, slight smokiness. Bittersweet chocolate up front. Dried fruit, earthy. Medium bitter finish. Medium-light carbonation. Some mild acidity. Is this a black IPA or a hoppy porter?

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 22:55:55 | More by LittleDon
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 00:37:23 | More by akorsak
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

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

Pours clear, dark black walnut with a two-inch, long-lived, creamy, chestnut head that leaves distinct rings on the pint glass.

A strong aroma of fresh cut pine is accompanied by orange zest. Quite refreshing. Warmth brings out the roasted malt.

High bitterness with subdued malt flavors. As noted, it is hop forward with a light toasted malt. Warms well, bringing out some citrus – perhaps lime. Leaves a long, lingering, bitter finish.

A medium body with modest carbonation. A bit slick, dry with a light touch of alcohol.

This is a decent, sit-down beer, and was well worth the drive to North Carolina.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 21:08:21 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 03:53:55 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a bomber of this in my hotel room in NC after my wife's indoor drumline judging gig.

Served in a Duck Rabbit snifter.

A: Poured a pitch black color (or lack of), with a massive 2 finger head that was fairly light in color.

S: Sort of a grapefruit juice - porter, black and tan.... with the visual cue from the tan. This was fairly potent and very fresh.

T: I got tons of bitter ash on the finish that was bitter in an unpleasant way. There was a sillhouette of citrus, but overall this was just a very hoppy porter. I wish there was more apricot or mango to add more fruity sweetness. This was unbalanced and one-dimensional.

M: Well carbonated, yet dry and bitter. Seriously, this was almost into cigarette butt territory. Ridiculous lacing.

O: I'm not a big black IPA fan to begin with, but when that style is on, it is REALLY on. This one was the former.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 02:59:01 | More by Chaney
Photo of Naugros
Naugros

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Black" raven? Not really..."Dark Brown" Raven is more like it. And it's not even my usual complaint about a "black" beer being really just extremely dark brown (just check the edges of the beer). In this case, it really is just dark brown...like an English porter. But it is one of the darkest "black" IPAs I've ever seen. Still, the pigment misnomer does not take away from the looks of this one. A huge head stands atop, with large bubbles forming a base to support a creamy cap that sticks around for quite a while.

Piny and spicy hops dominate in the nose. With it being as dark as it is I truly expected to get a lot of roasted malts as well, but not that much...you need to search for them.

Serious, head-shaking bitterness. In normal IPAs the malts act as balance to the hops, but in this case they're in cahoots to torch your taste beds with waves of bitterness. Think about the most bitter stout you've ever had and then toss that bitterness into a DIPA and you get the idea. The flavors comes off as pine tar and you'll get a sensation of chocolate in the background.

All that bitterness is hard to clear out of your mouth and I wouldn't attempt drinking another, less aggressive beer after this one. If you're one of those that like this, then look for this one...you'll love it. For me, it's a bit much.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 01:58:18 | More by Naugros
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 20:25:55 | More by Sammy
Photo of delapowicz
delapowicz

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

great aroma, very malt in the front of the nose and ending with not much hops. They come later. The beer tastes more like a 5% alcohol beer. So balance is good. The bitterness of the roasted grain comes out and almost hits you as it disappears into the hop bitterness. And that draws out until you must have another sip, or mouthful as I was apt to do.

Good beer, for the locals in NC.

Busy Bee in Raleigh doing us right with the CASK!!!

Serving type: cask

03-02-2012 01:48:48 | More by delapowicz
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Deschutes tulip/snifter glass. There is no bottle date. I have had this for about 2 weeks.

A: Pours a deep dark brown. About a half finger of tight bubbled tan head that leaves quickly. There is some lacing bits and I see some alcohol feet.

S: I get pine, roast, and milk chocolate. Maybe Amarillo hops and mild milk chocolate. There is some citrus but I am getting mostly pine.

T: Everyone is entitled to there I opinion, but I guess I am off from a lot of recent reviews of this. I actually thought it was solid. Now this is want from my black IPA. Really nice piney bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Sharp bite. Then that bitterness leads into the middle of the mouth where you get some of those roasty malts and chocolate notes. The finish is nice and crisp for a beer that doesn't appear that way.

M: Medium. Definitely drinks like an IPA.

O: Really enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 16:12:30 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 02:03:29 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a medium-small, beige head.

Smell: A sharp snap of heady roast of lackluster, burnt coffee, dogged by notes of prune skins, resins, chimney soot.

Taste: An expected opening of roasty tasting roasted malts, but with some accompanying ashy char character. Dovetails into the resiny, soapy, very faintly citrusy floral hops adding its bitterness to the grainy astringency. Dark fruits buried under the roast and hops. A little alcohol showing. Roasty, bitterish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A bit crude and rough around the edges. Though I've liked the bulk of Olde Hickory brews I've tried this was not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 16:44:50 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is hoppy with a firm yeasty undertone, a hint of fruit, and a smoky whisper. It pours an opaque chocolate brown with a thick and rather persistent light tan head. Flavor is downright lip-smacking - hoppy and smoky, having notes of grass, citrus, burnt wood and coffee with just a hint of caramel and - could that be molasses? Smooth texture has above-average body and a good amount of fizz.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 23:30:47 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of VaterRoss
VaterRoss

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into tumbler, best by date March 2012.

Appearance is a brown/black coloration with a beautiful brown head, tenacious lacing throughout the drink. First smell to hit is that of citrusy hops with some roasted malt, a very nice smell. In the taste the roasted malt is far more prominent than the hops, although they can be detected. Mouthfeel has some creaminess to it.

This is a bit too stout/porter like for my tastes as I was really wishing the hops would come out a bit more. Despite this, I found it to be a most interesting beer and preferential to a regular stout/porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 02:23:47 | More by VaterRoss
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 07:10:07 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of matttttYCE
matttttYCE

Arizona

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you very much to McNuts for sending this! Definitely one I've been wanting to try since you told me about it so long ago, Keith!

Poured into a pint glass. The head is about a finger high, tan colored, and creamy. Fades relatively quickly. Lacing is minimal, but a few spots around. The beer is a deep opaque black.

The aroma is filled with rich roasted malts and some hoppy goodness. Roast, dark chocolate, nice piney and citrus hops, and maybe some coffee in the background.

The taste is much like the aroma...plenty of roasted malt character and dark chocolate, hints of coffee, piney and citrus notes combine to make a nice hop presence. Solid.

Consistency is smooth, carbonation is medium, maybe on the low side, body is light-medium, and the finish is moderate, maybe a bit lingering (in a good way).

Overall this is a solid American Black Ale. Is it my favorite? No, unfortunately Stone Sublimely and 15th Anniversary are pretty damn hard to beat. But still a very good ABA.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 06:27:34 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 23:26:51 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 03:26:30 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

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

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2011 05:29:57 | More by dirtylou
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 03:24:54 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Jenkster4
Jenkster4

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly jet black with a nice frothy head. I picked up bit citrus notes on the nose with a roasted malt character lingering in the background. The first thing that hit me in the taste is the citrus hops up front then you get some of the chocolate malts in the back of the tongue. More of a hop forward black IPA, however it's pretty damn tasty. Maybe sitting this one down for a year (even though it's not recommended because it's an IPA) would do the darker qualities more justice. Overall a damn good beer for the price.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 22:05:51 | More by Jenkster4
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Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.