Black Oak Ten Bitter Years - Black Oak Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -10.5%
Enjoyed on-tap at Rhino's. This beer is the rage, and a rare DIPA in the Ontario market, worth the try. Pours cloudy grapefruit with sitting pretty white crowning head, and a sheet of lace. Hop aromas. The taste is big bitter, with malting to tame it somewhat. A DIPA all the way, and alcohol is well hidden. Full mouthfeel.
Had on cask at Volo's, and the aroma came through a little stronger, the drinkability better, however the appearance and mouthfeel were not the same. Just as good, overall, on cask, which is saying a lot.
11-26-2009 05:10:53 | More by Sammy
3.63/5 rDev -13.4%
Thanks to Viggo for this bottle. Reviewed from notes.
Pours a dark orange with a nice off white head and some sticky bits of lacing. Nose brings a hefty dose of malty sweetness underneath some citrus and pine notes. The taste is a bit sweet, although the bitterness kicks in here as well, though the actually hop flavors from the nose aren't particularly well represented. Feel consists of a medium body with low to moderate carbonation. Not quite a standard DIPA, but straddles that line with American Strong Ale or American Barleywine, and was a nice beer to try.
10-15-2010 10:19:21 | More by Thorpe429
4/5 rDev -4.5%
Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney hops is quite dominant with some light spicy notes (some rye malt maybe). Taste is also dominated by powerful citrus and piney notes with some bitterness with light spicy notes and a dry malt backbone. Body is average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and very enjoyable. Glad they kept making this anniversary beer.
07-05-2013 19:50:02 | More by Phyl21ca
4.08/5 rDev -2.6%
Huge thanks to Jason for picking these up from the brewery, and big thanks to Eric for schlepping them down to Dark Lord Day. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip. This can't be more than a few weeks old.
A - Pours with two fingers of creamy off-white foam that leaves behind glass-coating lace as it recedes to a thick cap. Transparent dark copper-gold color.
S - Pine, citrus rind, light tropical fruits. Definitely hop-forward, with a slightly spicy and bready backbone. There's a bit of catty pungency too.
T - The taste is a bit disappointing compared to the smell. The malt character is more sugary than spicy, and the hop character is one of bitter grapefruit, pine, and only light sweetness. Aftertaste gets pretty intense bitterness-wise after half a bottle. This is probably a 3.75 but I'm going to invoke "homer" bias here.
M - Carbonation is a little higher than I like, but not harsh. Medium body that is sufficient for 8%. Finish is more sticky than dry. Not what I prefer in a DIPA, but still solid.
D - At 8% this is on the lower end of the ABV spectrum of DIPAs. However, the aggressive bitterness and so-so feel keep it from being super session worthy. It also has the misfortune of being consumed a few days after the incredible Kern River offering.
All that being said, this is the best beer of this style that I've had from Ontario. Kudos to Black Oak for brewing an East Coast American-style DIPA that I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve to my American friends. Look for this on the Canada Top 25 any day now.
04-26-2010 03:36:49 | More by MasterSki
4.28/5 rDev +2.1%
On-tap at C'est What?, in Toronto.
For a ten year anniversary you're suppose to give tin or aluminum, but from the looks of 'Ten Bitter Years', Black Oak went with copper; the contents of the pint glass resemble brand-new electrical wiring or a mint penny. This lustrous brass is capped by a filmy lather that carves into the glass scratch marks like you'd see on a prison wall.
True IPAs have aromas that speak for themselves; just one sniff of it and you know that this beer doesn't care to be your friend. It is loud and bright and obnoxious and it is plenty-full of dank, rotting citrus and resiny pine. This is a pungency so probing it could shiver the walls. I wonder: Did Black Oak find a liquidation sale on hops?
And it really starts picking up speed in the taste where all those hoppy flavours of grapefruit, orange, lemon, guava, pine and spruce clash into this toasty, hard toffee-like taste of gooey malts in a battle that belongs in the movie '300'. As good as that aroma is, the flavour is truly the eye of the storm. Although it's still a little more malty than many American IPAs it's no worse off for it and still tastes like a many good number of them.
It wouldn't be enough to just brew a beer that smelled gluttonously hoppy; if this brewer wanted to make a mean, obnoxious American-style IPA he'd have to make the bitterness so razor sharp that it cut and scraped like bits of broken glass passing down the throat. Mission accomplished. This potion of semi-cloaked alcohol and pithy resins drinks like a poison hemlock that twists your larynx, trachea, stomach and liver inside out. Perfect.
I'm not the first to say it but I'll say it anyways: nice! For too long there has been a hole in the Ontario (and Canadian, for that matter) brewing scene where gluttonously hopped IPAs are supposed to go. Although this wasn't conceived expressly as such, we can consider it that so as to have a stick to beat it with. And as such, it matches up pretty well against its American counterparts - now if only the brewery would keep making it!
05-31-2010 16:11:26 | More by biegaman
4/5 rDev -4.5%
On cask at Volo.
Pours a hazy orange/amber, thick off white head forms, drops to a solid layer on the glass, good lacing, looks nice.
Smell is neat, big grapefruity hoppiness, some pine and floral, caramel sweetness, a bit spicy, alcohol comes through but is well hidden, more grapefruit, a bit yeasty, some toasty bite to it.
Taste is nice too, brown sugar and caramel, a bit sweet, nice grapefruit, yeasty, toast, earthy, pine, big herbal bitterness, alcohol, but still well balanced, yeastiness is throwing me off though.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, goes down too easy for 8%. I've heard this is better on tap, so I'll have to check that out. It was a little muddled on cask. Still a great accomplishment for a brewer here to make a beer this in your face.
*Had this on tap a bit later and it was quite nice. Very clean compared to the cask version. Pretty drinkable stuff as well, its like an 8% session beer!
11-30-2009 15:20:50 | More by Viggo
British Columbia (Canada)
4.13/5 rDev -1.4%
Sort of a strong ale or between a DIPA and an IPA and a half, so it's a little hard to rank to 'style'.
On cask this was phenomenal, but I didn't take notes. :(
A: Copperish-bronze with an off-white head, some retention, good lacing.
S: Apricot, sponge toffee, fruity ale esters, marmalade & hints of pine & resiny hops.
T: Sponge toffee, piny hops, grapefruit rind, nice fruityness, slightly resiny, plenty of bitterness, alcohol is subtle.
M: Moderate body has a very dry, crisp finish.
D: A good drinker for its weight.
07-08-2010 00:03:35 | More by Derek
4.33/5 rDev +3.3%
On tap at C'est What, served in a pint glass. Pours a clear golden amber, with a markedly white head, which settled and fizzled out real quick. Lacing like drapes in my living room and minimal head retention. As soon as I got this, instant nostalgia. Smells like every Christmas tree I've ever had as a kid, pure pine and evergreen in the nose, hoppy and kinda sweet from the malts I'd gather. Taste is fairly similar, with the piney flavours being really upfront and sharp and a huge tangerine/orange explosion that follows. Again, quite sweet to but the carbonation is just right. Brew overall isn't too bitter and easily drinkable in my eyes, a great anniversary beer and unfortunately a one-off! Gotta have this a few more times before it's all said and done.
05-15-2010 14:30:44 | More by liamt07
4.1/5 rDev -2.1%
341ml bottle poured into tulip nov2 2010
A clear bronze with only a couple bubbles feeding a thin film that leaves decent lace
S pine with a little grapefruit and tangerine decent smell perhaps a little pineapple in there too
T now some malt comes out too play with some caramel and bread on top of what I smell, a little surprised that it's not as tropical in the mouth
M bitter like the name would suggest, more carbonation then what was visible and leaves a little behind in your mouth
D for 8% this one went down pretty quick and it's pretty well rounded not lacking in any area
nice example of a DIPA and Canada needs more of them, thanks liamt07 for knocking this one off my want list
11-03-2010 05:06:41 | More by wordemupg
4.53/5 rDev +8.1%
Poured a fresh bottle in to a Duvel tulip
A - Light to medium amber colour with one finger of creamy cream-coloured head. Appears to be completely filtered (not cloudy at all).
S - The nise is bursting with fresh, juicy citrus hops. There are hints of tangerine, grapefruit and some tropical fruit. There is also a slight pine nose from the hops. The malts are there but are very subdued in the background. A truly wonerful nose.
T - A nice bitter hops flavour up front with notes of grapefruit, tangerine and pine. The bitterness is just right - not overpowering but definitely the dominant taste. The malt profile is present but lurks in the background providing a light sweetness to this hop-bomb. The nice citrus bitterness lingers in the finish. A world class DIPA.
M - Light to medium body with a nice chew. Lightly carbonated.
D - A truly excellent DIPA. I can't believe this was brewed in Ontario. What a pleasant surprise.
09-24-2010 00:48:37 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5 rDev -6.9%
Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6.50
Appearance - Clear amber colour with an average size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for 4-5 minutes.
Smell - Hops, malts, caramel
Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, hops, and caramel. There is also some toffee notes and some resin and a touch of a fruitiness. It ends with a malty sweet fairly bitter hop aftertaste.
Overall – A good dose of hops, but lacking the fruit flavours I like in my IPA/DIPA's. More of a east coast tasting brew rather than the citrusy/tropical fruity west coast versions.
06-10-2013 00:51:43 | More by spinrsx
4.6/5 rDev +9.8%
Big shout out to TheSevenDuffs for sending this to me to try. Bottle says the water used goes through reverse osmosis. I know between nothing and very little about this process but from what I understand, minerals and other things present in the water are removed. Considering this is made very close to Toronto that might be a good thing. Zing! On to the beer.
341mL bottle poured into a snifter. Been out of the fridge for about 20 minutes.
A - Extremely carbonated, copper in colour. A nice one finger white head that clings to the side of the snifter, leaving a bit of lacing and a nice cap throughout the experience. Bright.
S - Huge hop slap in the face upon opening the bottle and a nice juicy aroma when I put my nose to it. Good combo of pine and citrus in the snifter. Slight caramel aroma there as well but the hops dominate, the compliment from the malt is nice. The aroma is mostly dominated by wonderfully juicy hops, grapefruit and mango seem to come to mind but I'm most likely missing others.
T - Hops are dominant but aren't out of balance. There is enough malt backbone to back it up. Hops are there all the way through and are again nice and juicy but the caramel champs through as well. Lingering bitterness, but again, not overpowering. A bit tame for a DIPA but maybe this is just Canadian sensibility.
M - Heavy carbonation. Full bodied. Sort of chewy.
D - Big drinkability on this. Doesn't push the 10% mark like some DIPAs and has good enough balance to bomb you with hops but provide the necessary balance.
10-08-2010 21:42:48 | More by tbeckett
4.1/5 rDev -2.1%
Big thanks to Masterski on this one. We exchanged some beers on a recent visit to Chicago. Great guy and BA.
Straight amber color with excellent clarity. Finger + of white head that forms and fades rather quickly. Some sticky lacing clings to the glass.
Aroma is pretty well balanced and leads me to believe this will be a balanced DPA. At first there as a bright citrus aroma but then this settled and you got much more of the toasted malt and some deep fruit tones.
Pretty interesting flavor and pretty much as the aroma led me to believe. Fruit, toffee and pine. Some bready tones. You certainly know the abv is kicked up, but the fruit flavors really help to round this out. Not hot at all. Some definite spicy notes here and a deep sweetness that balances with the strong hop notes. As it opens up further, the malt flavor becomes more caramel like and sticks with you for some time.
Medium body with an oily finish. Carbonation is light and correct for the style.
A good effort and the hoppiest Canadian beer I've ever had. Very glad to have had the opportunity to try this.
05-13-2010 22:51:11 | More by Reagan1984
British Columbia (Canada)
4.25/5 rDev +1.4%
Thanks to Meisterburger for this one:
Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. This is on the darker side for a DIPA. Nose has a heap of hops coming off it ( especially for an Ontario beer). Beer is smooth and well rounded with notes of vanilla showing up with the hops. Would never know that this is a 8% beer as it drinks very well. Not as hoppy as some West coast DIPAs ( even double Hophead is bigger in the hop department ) but still a fantastic beer that ranks among the best I have had from Ontario
04-29-2010 01:53:06 | More by canucklehead
4.43/5 rDev +5.7%
A - Pours a nice copper colour, thumb of fluffy/soapy head, solid retention and nice chunky lacing.
S - Sweet pine, citrus, hints of cotton candy and mangos, with caramel on the finish.
T - Sweet citrus off the top with bitter rind lingering. Solid caramel malt backbone and an ABV that goes completely undetected.
M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.
O - There's a reason this brew is top rated. They've nailed the balance, making an extremely easy drinking, full flavoured DIPA that is sure to please even the harshest critic.
10-18-2013 21:36:31 | More by andrenaline
4.28/5 rDev +2.1%
On tap at Volo.
Pours a clean orange, with a large thick white head, that left some good lacing and had nice retention. Lots of hop in the aroma, with an emphasis on grapefruit and pine, but with a light malty base underneath. This is a surprisingly hoppy beer for Ontario, and there's a nice focus on grapefruit, pine, floral and herbal notes. You really don't see this much hops in this province, and its nice to see them take centre stage here. That said, at no point does this beer lose its balance, and there's some nice caramel malt to help even things out and prevent it from becoming one-dimensional along with some delightful vanilla. Doesn't really drink like an 8% beer. Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation that helped pick up the bitterness a little.
An excellent effort, which only really suffers in comparison because I'm drinking it side-by-side with a Hopsickle, which adds a percentage point, a bucket more hops, and hand Black Oak its ass on a plate. Nonetheless, a damn good beer and a nice way to celebrate one of our best breweries. Cheers to Ken, Adrian and all the staff down the years!
Re-review: Tried again from the bottled run, and the appearance and aroma are both improved, so I upped them a notch. I've also drastically upped the mouthfeel, which is now wonderfully creamy. Really nice stuff, and a great price at $2.50!
04-29-2010 01:10:11 | More by bobsy
3.93/5 rDev -6.2%
Thanks to Viggo via CanBIF6. From a 341 ml brown bottle, says "Ken's Bitter" on the back of the label. Pours out a bright clear copper hue, tall frothy off-white head that eventually settles to a thin creamy cap with a thick frothy ring.
Mostly citrus hops on the nose, leaning more towards bright tangerine and mandarin, some pine, spicy, some dry earth, some alcohol warmth.
No real discernable malt in the flavour, all hops. Citrus rind, earthy, spicy notes, more pine and herbal on the finish, some warmth in the aftertaste with lingering dandelion greens. Dry, bready malt comes out in the middle as it reaches room temperature.
Medium-full mouthfeel, assertive carbonation, quenching.
One-dimensional leaning towards the hops, however the hops have a variety of character to keep things interesting. If you're looking for bitter then this one delivers with several facets, with a good quenching mouthfeel. Yet in the end it didn't leave me craving more.
06-13-2010 11:02:52 | More by IronDjinn
4.33/5 rDev +3.3%
sampled on cask at volo nov 29/09.
pours hazy orangey amber with a small off-white head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves lots of spotty lace behind.
aroma is good. big juicy citrus - tangerine, mandarin orange, bit of blood orange, bit of grapefruit. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. touch of toasty and woody character.
taste is great. again the big juicy citrus hits - mandarin orange, tangerine, blood orange, light grapefruit. bit of pine. just over medium bitterness level with a nice lingering but pleasant finish. slightly toasted white bread. bit of cracker and biscuit. touch of caramel. bit of tropical fruit in the background too - pineapple and mango mostly.
mouthfeel is great. just over medium body. silky smooth medium-low carbonation level. semi-dry finish.
drinkability is great. 8%? drinks more like 4 or 5%. great balance. nice malt presence. excellent hop character and depth. although the brewery refuses to classify this in any particular style, i'd probably call it an american imperial ipa - ontario's first commercial iipa too! i wish this was a regular offering!
12-02-2009 00:22:54 | More by grub
4.13/5 rDev -1.4%
Got this one from kv84 in some summertime trades. Thanks for hanging out man!
From a bottle into a snifter.
APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, white head with good retention. Perfectly clear burnt orange body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good film. A film and ring remain until the end leaving dots of lacing down the glass. Pretty good looking double.
SMELL: Bigger nose of pale malts, caramel, and lots of piney and citrus hops. Lemon and grapefruit notes, with splashes of orange peel in there. Very bold and fruity for sure. Quite enticing.
TASTE: Pale malts, some caramel malts and buttery notes, and a good dose of bitter pine at the swallow. Big, bold and persistent aftertaste of caramel sweetness, bitter pine and hops, with some citrus notes in there as well. Grapefruit and orange peel are in there to accompany the piney bitterness. Lots of bold flavors that pack a punch. Great stuff.
PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Light and semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine with some heat at the swallow and finishes slightly dry on the palate. While not problematic, the alcohol burn could be toned back some for an 8% brew.
OVERALL: This was excellent! An Ontario DIPA that I would gladly drink on a regular basis. It would be nice if they made this a regular offering, or at least brewed up another comparable beer to have regularly in their lineup. Can compete with some of the other big boys out there. Give it a shot if you have the opportunity. Thanks again for bringing one of these along kv84. Recommended.
08-15-2011 10:33:21 | More by Jeffo
British Columbia (Canada)
4.3/5 rDev +2.6%
Appearance. Pours a nice looking hazy orange-gold with half a finger of cream coloured head that leaves some nice bands.
Smell. Toasted malt and sweet caramel, Some pine sap and alcohol with a little yellow grapefruit rind.
Taste. Wow!. Big citrusy, piney and a little bit grassy hops and bitter yellow grapefruit juice and rinds, some roasty toasty grains. Good, lasting oily bitterness. Really nice.
Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, medium-low carbonation.
Overall. Wow! A really great dipa here. I would love some more of these some time!
06-17-2012 19:12:54 | More by Rutager
4.45/5 rDev +6.2%
Pours a deep copper-orange colour with a nice cloudy white head. Tons of lacing and nice head retention. The smell was just coming at me before I even poured it into the glass. Tons of citrusy and piny hops, with some melon maybe. Taste is a load of hops and bitterness. There is also a lot of fruity sweetness in here, but it isn't like the some of the east coast DIPA's that I find the sweetness overpowers the hops. It has a little bit oily mouthfeel. I only bought one case of 24 and I wish I bought more.
I absolutely love this beer in bottle, on cask and on tap. It is my favourite Ontario beer. A note to Black Oak, if you read this: Please keep brewing this beer! We need this in Ontario on a regular basis.
04-25-2010 20:34:44 | More by kwjd
4.33/5 rDev +3.3%
Pours a caramelly amber colour. Translucent. A small white head sits atop and sticks around.
Smell took awhile to come alive for me- at first it was quite faint. Eventually. it was lots of hops and grapefruit, as well as a bit of soap. A nice smell. Got quite used to it and as the glass went by!
Taste is like the smell. Cirtusy, grapefruit taste. Quite bitter, especially in the finish. Quite juicy. Very nice.
Mouthfeel is good as well. A nice medium/full bodied beer, with moderate to high carbonation. The carbonation is nice, in that the bubbles are quite small, and give off a nice tingle rather than an irritating annoyance.
Overall. a very nice DIPA and probably my favourite Ontario beer. Wish it was around all year!
07-21-2011 23:54:40 | More by jrenihan
Black Oak Ten Bitter Years from Black Oak Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.