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Black Raven IPA - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

70 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 70
Hads: 199
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 20.16%
Wants: 10
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States | website

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 (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Raven IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 70 | Hads: 199
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to holden303 for sending me this one as part of the N00B BIF 6!

Best before December 2011.

Pours an opaque black with dark brown highlights around the edges and a 2 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some pine and citrus zest hop aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt and pine and citrus zest hops up front. The aftertaste brings about cocoa and coffee ground flavors. There is a medium amount of bitterness in the middle before the cocoa and coffee flavors kick in that slowly fades after each sip. The mouthfeel on this one is a bit flat with a medium body. Overall, this is a solid example of the black IPA style that is easy to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown color with a firm tan head; nice retention and some streaky lace is left behind

Smell: The roasty malt and burnt caramel sugars are dominant, but the pithy citrus and coffee tones are not far behind

Taste: The pithy citrus and burnt toast flavors complement each other right from the outset, with a coffee character adding complexity by mid-palate; the battle between the malt and hop elements continues after the swallow, with the bittering elements of the coffee and citrus finally emerging in control of the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Olde Hickory is producing some very tasty beers and this one is no exception; really like the balance here

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for sharing this one. Sampled side-by-side with Peak Hop Noire. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A half-finger of off-white foam settles to some wispy bubbles, thin collar, and leaves behind tiny spots of lace. Dark brown body that is lighter at the fringes.

S - Molasses, chocolate, roasted malts, and some oranges. Not sure of the age on this one, but it's definitely on the roasty and dark side of things. More like a porter with more hops.

T - Again, roasted malts, chocoalte, some char and burnt flavors, and a late-appearing moderate herbal bitterness. Not much in the way of hop flavors beyond the finish.

M - Medium-bodied, chewy, with medium-low carbonation. Minimal alcohol warmth, although I didn't expect any at 7%.

D - A decent but largely unexciting Black IPA. Needs more late-addition and dry hops to go with the bitterness. I also don't understand why every Black IPA has to have a least some char and black patent astringency.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with mahogany highlights and a decent head that fades to a cap and a leaves some nice lacing. Smells roasty and nutty in turn with some spicy hop notes and a bit of creaminess. The taste is similar, with lots of piney bitterness, some roasted grain, and a long very nice bitter finish. Big and bitter in the mouth without being chewy. Quite a solid version of the style. I enjoyed this.

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Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber received in a trade with McNuts. Thanks again Keith! Best by 7/11.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 1.5 finger frothy light beige head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with lots of earthy hops and subtle citrus notes. Hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, oatmeal and caramel along with earthy pine and citrus rind. A bit malty for my preference but standard for the style.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry and bitter earthy hops that linger throughout over the deep roasted malt flavor into a long dry finish. The hop presence is much more prominent than the aroma suggest with lots of dry earthy pine flavor and subtle citrus notes. Very dry and bitter with slight sweetness to balance things out. This is balanced by a deep roasted malt profile with hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, oatmeal, caramel, toffee and coffee/espresso bean. Very complex and well balanced and although it has plenty of roasted malt it is still plenty hoppy and can still be considered an IPA. Complex and easy to drink with a well masked ABV.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of Bung
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
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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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Label says Bottling Date: 11/25/2015.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Great malt/hop one-two punch with the hops being decidedly more earthy and herbal.

T- The hop bitterness and roast bitterness commingle very well and leaves the palate with a nice drying sensation. The bitterness lingers as the hop flavor mixes with the coffee and slight char notes from the malt.

M- Somewhat sharp with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A great take on a black IPA. Has lots of balanced flavor that sticks with you to the last drop.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid black in color with a big frothy tan head and plenty of lacing to go with it. The nose picks up chocolatey-charcoal malt and odd herbal seaweed hops. I like it. The tongue finds more charcoal and malt over a nice bitter herbal/citrus. Solidly medium bodied with pleasant carbonation this is fairly drinkable though it has some stick-to-your-ribs feel, smooth and silky. This seems like a bit of a cross between a good stout and a good IPA. Either way, it’s good stuff. Nice job!

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to jrallen34 for sharing this one.

A - Black beer with a slightly tan head that left a lit of spots. Looks brownish in the light.

S - A lot of roasted malt with unsweetened chocolate and some hops.

T - I don't like this. Tastes like unsweetened chocolate malts, ash, and bitterness. Really not a good combination, and doesn't have a particularly full flavor. Finish is pretty dry too, which isn't good after the bitterness and ash taste.

M - Medium carbonation, dry finish, active carbonation.

O - Wouldn't drink this again, it's not a beer that I really enjoyed. Black IPAs are kind of a bastard style. Definitely would pass on this one.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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

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Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.