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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 70
Photo of kenoshagirl
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that started me on my journey to exploring IPAs. I know it's a blended beer, but it is my favorite from OHB. It's almost like having a black and tan in a bottle. I recommend this brew for anyone who is starting to venture towards hoppier brews.

Photo of Spyderpunk828
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Great IPA great taste great bite all around great beer

Photo of GarthDanielson
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.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.11/5  rDev +9%
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.

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 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!!

Photo of macrosmatic
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of LittleDon
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
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?

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 SLeffler27
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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 Chaney
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Photo of Naugros
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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 delapowicz
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
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!!!

Photo of inlimbo77
3.92/5  rDev +4%
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.

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 ChainGangGuy
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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of VaterRoss
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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 matttttYCE
3.92/5  rDev +4%
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.

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 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 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

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