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Black Oak Ten Bitter Years - Black Oak Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Oak Ten Bitter YearsBlack Oak Ten Bitter Years

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 11
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Oak Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our 10 Bitter Years has been voted Canada’s best Imperial IPA. For us it celebrates a decade of survival in the craft brewing industry. It was first brewed as an anniversary beer when Black Oak turned ten. Categorized as a Double IPA, it has perfect balance between caramel malt body and hop bitterness. Double dry hopping, using three different varieties of hops, creates lots of flavour and hop aroma. You’ll smell pine, grapefruit, mango and pineapple. All that malt and hops balance it’s exotic character and provides just enough alcohol warmth to enhance the flavour. The exact ingredients are top secret and we are sworn to secrecy. It’s so popular we can’t keep it in stock (Please take smaller sips).

We hope you enjoy our special edition anniversary beer.

PS Ken’s still bitter.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 11-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrnobody
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into an oversized tulip.

Well in this case, "believe the hype", if an Ontario beer can truly be hyped! ;) This is an outstanding DIPA. Strikes me as a Red Racer on steroids with a lot of the same aroma and flavour characteristics. Huge tropical fruit and pine in both the smell and taste. There is some malt there somewhere (with the massive amount of hops, there has to be) but it is never the focus here. Also, the 8% ABV is nowhere to be found making this scary drinkable.

mrnobody, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

tbeckett, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of yesyouam
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black Oak Ten Bitter Years is a very clear, solid golden ale with a dense and foamy, yellowish off white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a bright, fresh, hoppy aroma with notes of pine (maybe spruce?) and some orange. It's pretty full bodied, very smooth and soft. The finish is clean and dry. It has a nice, bright, piney bitterness that's well balanced with the dry malt. There may be a touch of peat. This is delicious. It's incredibly sessionable for 8% ABV!

yesyouam, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Weebay
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a super fresh bottle in to a Duvel tulip

A - Pumkin coloured with a cream-coloured head.

S - hops hops, wonderful glorious hops. Smells of pine and citrus fruits.

T - A nice bitter hops flavour up front with notes of pine, grapefruit, and orange. there is a good malt backbone to balance it out.

M - medium body lightly carbonated.

D - This is the best beer brewed out of Ontario that I have ever had. I would put this beer up against the best the US has to offer.

Weebay, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

TheSevenDuffs, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of papat444
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***1st batch***

Thanks to grub for this one. Paired with my supper, turkey sandwich with potato salad.

Appearance: Pours an amber body, very hazy especially with the sediment. Head takes awhile to form but settles at a strong 2 fingers.

Smell: Very resiny with a good dose of hops and either mango or grapefruit.

Taste: Starts out with lots of fruit, peach and grapefruit then gets a little sweet in the middle with something akin to caramel but not quite and ends with a nice bitter edge. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Never overpowering and a great balance.

Drinkability: Easy to drink for a DIPA. Not a sipper that's for sure.

Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer despite its age. Lots of rich flavor to go around and never a chore. Though the hops are on the decline, this is still a great brew. Worth grabbing a few for sure.

papat444, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Volo, arrives a slightly cloudy orange/amber, some nice foamy head with a little retention.

Nose is the best part of this beer, hands down - smells like hops! Fresh grapefruits, floral arrangements, oranges, pine resin, tropical fruits, backed by a nicely present sweet caramel presence, hint of spice perhaps.

Hops don't dominate the malt like it does in the nose but still provide a nice citrus, pine, floral, pineapple presence and a light, balanced hop bite in the finish. Caramel biscuit malt body is fairly beefy but not so much to dominate, just enough to make this feel oh so drinkable. Which, at 8% it really isn't the beer you want to be drinking pints of - the night before I guess the regulars went to town on the keg and there was a lot of cabs called. Easy down but with the higher ABV you want to watch out!

One of the better Ontario brews I've had the pleasure of trying, if this was around more often I would order again. Very drinkable, though it's no DIPA. Brewer's didn't designate a style but I'm sure a DIPA was not the intention.

Bottle (30/04/10): 2nd Batch: Bit beefier malt base, a little sticky and sweet, feels a little more like a DIPA. Hops nice and citrus-y, hint of flowers - not overly bittering but pretty damn drinkable. Most certainly the best IPA to come out of Ontario, still not entirely certain it's a DIPA but who really cares. Please make more.

Bottle (21/09/10): 3rd batch: Released today, fresh as fresh can be! Just terrific juicy nose, sweeter than I remember part iterations to be. This is a true IPA in the West coast style, piney and citrus, pleasantly bitter, fresh and resiny - this needs to be an Ontario regular. Malt body seems more in line with the first batch, a tad light - This is no DIPA and probably should be changed, but it is one screaming IPA. Score represents this latest batch.

ritzkiss, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
I got this one from someone (???) at DLD 2010. Thanks to someone whose name I can't remember.

Pours a nicely clear, medium shade of amber. A head of leass than a finger of beige foam sits on top. It fades away to a surface covering film with some craggy conglomerations of sorts. The lacing is in thin strands, but is nicely sticky.

Loads of citrus/tropical hop notes dominate. Lots of grapefruit and pine resin. Good notes of citrus peels. Strong hints of pineapple and a light touch of papaya. Totally biscuity yeast presence. Mild traces of caramelly maltiness.

Slightly more balanced than the nose suggested, but still hops dominated. Flavor follows the nose, very well. Good level of hops bitterness and a cutting sharpness. Malty sweetness is buried, fairly deep.

This is full-bodied and has a light level of carbonation. Lightly smooth, to counter the bite of the hops, with a hint of creaminess.

It's good, but a bit too out-of-balance for me to rate it all too highly.

coldmeat23, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Derek, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of IronDjinn
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

IronDjinn, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of BitterOldSalt
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After 6 weeks of working in downtown Toronto I finally found a really great beer. Big thanks to "C'est What?" for being an oasis in this beer desert of a town. (My apologies to Torontonians who know better. Forgive me and help me slake my thirst for hoppy, top-fermented brews?)

For me the smell was the biggest part of the win for this beer. I shit you not, that I involuntarily closed my eyes and whispered, "Mmm, that's nice." Lucky for me the only person who witnessed this display was the bartender who responded with a heart-felt, "I know, right."

I'll agree with other reviewers that the head retention here was weak. The flavor and drinkability improved as this glass warmed and I have to wonder if this wasn't a beer that would have been best drawn from cask.

The hop aroma was complete--full, fresh hop smell with none of the volatile nuances boiled away. Hop bitterness was forefront, just shy of assertive. The malt did not fully balance the bittering hops as is desirable for this style. The mouthfeel was slightly thinner than expected, but again, for this style I think that is a reasonable, refreshing option. Copper-colored with a slight haze.

Here's to hoping you all get a share of what I gather is a one-off batch--provided I still get more than my share, that is.

Cheers!

BitterOldSalt, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of biegaman
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

biegaman, May 31, 2010
Photo of liamt07
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

liamt07, May 15, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Thanks Alex!!

Reagan1984, May 13, 2010
Photo of mintjellie
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orange toned copper in colour; capped by off-white foam that, here and there, clings to the walls of my glass in small patches. Ten Bitter Years smells citric and tropical, also showing notes of bread and cedar. It's a laser guided tangerine bomb aimed straight for my taste buds, leaving behind an aftermath of citrus pith, pine, and lingeringly embittered taste buds. Mildly sweet. Medium bodied and smoothly carbonated. Feels oily, resinous, and a little bit sticky. Sadly staring at my empty glass, I wish I had more of this extremely moreish drink. It's a damned shame this is a one off.

mintjellie, May 10, 2010
Photo of WeedKing4
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle pours a dark golden clear orange. The taste is very bitter with a nice piney hop background. It goes down quite smooth and very damn easy to drink. Its average in the pack compared to american ipas and iipas as this is in the middle. But considering this is from Ontario, wow. A very damn good offering for the style. Finally, its a start. Lets hope we get some more in this shitty province for beer.

WeedKing4, May 05, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

canucklehead, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of bobsy
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

bobsy, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

MasterSki, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

kwjd, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of clockwerk
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6 pack from the brewery on day 1, so this stuff is FRESH. And damn, it's good too.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper orange. Forms a nice light, white, foamy head that recedes to a
clearly defined ring leaving a sudsy lace in it's wake.

Smell: Hops. First and foremost. Citrusy goodness all around. It's your typical grapefruit and pine combo, but it does it well.

Taste: Nice caramel sweetness up front that leads into an assertive grapefruit character. Bitterness comes in beatifully on the back 9 of the palate. Some mild alcohol notes through out that play well with the hops and malt creating a satisfyingly complex experience.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is spot on. I'll call it medium bodied. Doesn't dry you out too much.

Drinkability: As it's on the lighter side of the ABV spectrum for DIPA's at 8%, but I think this does it justice. 2 to 3 bottles can be consumed comfortably in a session without getting "plastered".

This beer is a big success for Ontario. Ken and Adrian should be proud of a job well done. Hopefully it sets the tone for more to follow and shows the Ontario brewers out there that craft drinkers like their big beers.

If you can get your hands on some, it's defintitely worth trying.

clockwerk, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of pootz
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Decants a turbid orange-amber color with a frothy white cap. Decent lacing.

Aroma Is big on citrus and pine resins, some exotic fruit tones and a whaft of malt.

Mouthfeel is oily,

Flavor gives a big blast of hop mixture throughout the profile; piney resinous, leafy, citrus rind...very bitter but without a sharp delivery ...just enough malting to keep the bitterness from becoming overly astringent. Semi-dry finish alcohol shows...long lingering metallic bitterness.

Sure is a hop bomb but if it were a tad better balanced it would be a great DIPA.

UPDATE: On tap Second batch: Taps a clouded gold-amber with a billowy puffy 3 finger cap which rides out the drink. Massive aroma of citrus, passion fruit rich toffee lalts. Tastes about how it smells with a long drying finish with fruity esters and citrus-pine hops battling it out on the palate. Best West coast styled DIPA I've sampled in this market. Bottled version doesn'r do it justice

pootz, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of cratez
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Multiple bottle samples at the Black Oak Beer Dinner at Chancey Smith's in London, ON. Ken and Adrian were kind enough to bring this beast down three weeks ahead of the official second release. Thanks guys!

Pours a hazed amber/orange with one finger of cream white head and speckles of webbed lacing all over the shaker. Smell is a strong bouquet of flowery hops, pine needles, citrus, and herbal aromas. Taste is pink grapefruit, mandarin oranges, lemon, toasted wheat cracker (a little buttery), sweet caramel malt, slight woodiness, and alcohol. Finishes with a bright, fruity, and citric hop bitterness that sticks to the palate for quite some time. Medium mouthfeel is juicy and acidic with a bold and spicy hop bite and mild dryness to end. A beautiful beer, and no doubt one of the best in Ontario. Can't wait to grab some more of this in mid-April!

EDIT: even better on tap, with mango, tangelo, and pineapple on the nose and palate. Truly excellent stuff.

cratez, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of eat
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo. Very nice appearance. Clear and dark-amber in colour with a finger of off-white head. Wicked lacing, though the retention could be improved.

This smells American! Pineapple, grapefruit, flowers, tangerine, candy malt. Tons of hops. Ridiculous smell, for a Canadian IPA.

This is one of the most American Canadian IPAs I've had. Tons of hops: pineapple, grapefruit and grass along with some wheaty cracker. There's enough malt to serve as a good base, but the hops definitely outweigh it, like many of the great American IPAs. Not balanced...in a good way! The ABV wasn't listed on the chalkboard at Volo and for some reason I didn't think to ask, just assuming it was in the area of 5%. I didn't think twice about this, going to show how well the extra ABV is covered up. There was no style listed at Volo, so I'm not quite sure what to review this as. I wouldn't say it's a double IPA; more like a strong regular IPA, somewhere in the middle of the two.

Great medium body and lightly carbonated. The feel pairs very well with the flavour.

Maybe an evening of sampling good-but-slightly-disappointing beers biased this review, but I definitely think this is an awesome IPA. Pretty much as good as any I've had. This could very well be the best Ontario-brewed beer I've tried. It really tastes like it was brewed somewhere else, not in meek little Ontario. These hops are not polite. Hopefully other Ontario brewers take Black Oak's lead.

eat, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint at Chancy Smith's in London. Described on their menu as an Imperial India Pale Ale, and possibly one of the best beers brewed in Ontario. They might just be right.

Pours a golden amber with a nice, tight head and thick walls of lacing. A thin but even head retains nicely.

Aroma is nicely sweet, mildly caramel and toasty, with a nice big bouquet of grapefruit and pine. Wonderfully citrusy.

Caramel malt meets a piney grapefruit pith bitterness along with some nice grapefruit flesh flavor and a underlying steely, herbal bitterness coming out as things progress. Tastes like a poorly peeled sweet juicy mandarin with lots of pith left on. Really just a nicely balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of smooth carbonation.

It's incredibly easy drinking for an eight percenter. Really, a very quaffable beer, and no surprise there; Black Oak seem to excel at making their beers moreishly drinkable.

Since the brewer hasn't defined the style I can't fault it for being a toned down version of a DIPA. Still, this is Ontario and the fact that anyone has brewed a beer of this caliber is pretty remarkable.

MeisterBurger, Dec 14, 2009
Black Oak Ten Bitter Years from Black Oak Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.