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Black Oak Ten Bitter Years | Black Oak Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
72 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
172
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
14.35%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
Black Oak Ten Bitter YearsBlack Oak Ten Bitter Years
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Black Oak Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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.

Added by Sammy on 11-26-2009

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 172
Photo of peensteen
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How have I not ticked this yet?

Hazy pale orange colour, ring of white head with lots of white lace all over the glass. Smell is bursting with piney hops, some citrus and grapefruit, some toasty malt and biscuit present as well. Taste is full of bitter hops, more pine and some orange flavours, pineapple, sopme malt in the finsih as well, lightly sweet witha a dry finish. Light, dry carbonation, medium full body, fairly oily. Great stuff and a consistant DIPA from Ontario, something I would gladly drink on any ocassion.

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Photo of Rutager
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Thanks TheSevenDuffs!

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Photo of SebD
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy orange/amber color to it. It has a nice thick head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrus and grapefruit, (tropical smell), with some piney hops, and light caramelly malts in the back.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice juicy hop character bringing out citrus, grapefruit, mango and more. Piney hops balance it out nicely and the malts, although hiding in the back, give it a light caramelly note.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas. Definitely one of the best beers i've had from Ontario.

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Photo of cmadd
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The body pours a orange and rusty straw colour with two fingers of head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Almost exclusively piney and citric hop aromas with a malt backbone. Edit: grapefruit aromas develop as the beer warms.

T: Upfront again with the citrus and the pine, the middle is dominated by a nice balancing malt, and the finish is a strong pine bitterness. There is definitely a brashness to the hops that works nicely here and fits the name well. I don't love this style, but I appreciate that it's well done.

M: Great body with perfect carbonation. Not much to report, solid.

O: Before the advent of Witchshark IIPA from Bellwoods Brewery this was likely the best IIPA brewed in Ontario. Now I prefer Witchshark, but I chalk that up a stylistic preference not quality; this is an excellent brew. It's a shame it's so limited and sells out so damn quick. Everyone should get a taste of this.

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Photo of
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Gambrinus in London, Ontario.

Dark amber in colour with a thick, creamy head. Aromas of West Coast hops dominate the aroma - pine, grapefruit, and tropical fruit blend with rich caramel malt. The flavour brings more of the same, an explosion of West Coast hops on the palate with toffee malt flavours and a perfectly integrated balancing bitterness.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo as part of Black Oak Tap Takeover.

Poured into a nonic. Ruby amber, good frothy head, nice lacing.

Rich hoppy nose - notes of citrus, pine, grapefruit, malt sweetness.

I tip my cap to you, Black Oak - this was bloody terrific. The perfect melding of hoppy and malty sweetness made for one damned enjoyable sipper. Almost chocolately was the malt, but the hops certainly held true. Great stuff. Moderate carbonation and body, slight creamyness.

Run, don't walk to the bar if you see this on tap.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Ken's Bitter" = an absolute epic Ontario hop blast. An institution that I am delighted to see come out for a second year. (and should have rated earlier).

Beautiful clear amber with decent head, lacing and carbonation Lacking the oiliness I respect (but dislike) from the typical higher ABV hoppy brews.

Citrus aroma with pine, grapefruit and all things hop-magnificent. Caramelized malt sweetness at the start of the taste yields into a well rounded & balanced flavour explosion of malts & west-coast hops. Pleasantly bitter lingering finish.

This is a benchmark Ontario beer - which I have enjoyed on both draught and bottle whenever an 8% ABV is feasible. Thank-you Ken!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fellow BA liamt07 for sending me 2 bottles of this brew. I was looking forward to tasting this one.

Copper color beer with some reddish notes on the edge. Nice cloudy head which sticks very well to the glass. Nice looking beer. The aroma is hoppy (citrus). Not very intense. I get some bitterness in the aroma. Cool. Lets dive in... WOW! First sip is very surprising. I was like... wow, what the hell I'm getting here... Lots of stuff in there. Second sip, I calm down and are able to pick up different aspect of this complex beer. It is very bitter, almost acid but still sweet! The bitterness is strong and lingers in the mouth for quite some time. Woody on the taste too. Light notes of fruits there too. The 8% is well hidden here.

Superb and a very excellent beer. Cheers Liam for sending me 2 bottles! Awesome.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber with a light cover of foam.

S - Soft, floral and fruity aroma. Hints of citrus and grapefruit in the back.

T - Bitter for sure. Light sugary sweetness, apples, raisins and pine.

M - Slightly astringent and lightish in body. Sharp carbonation.

D - Not bad. A different balance on the DIPA. Could definitely use some smoothening out.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Chancey Smith's.

A - Rich looking amber colour. The head was reasonable, decent retention that ends up as a thin but steady film. The lacing was decent, I think it would have been better if the glass it was served with wasn't moist.

S - Very nice smell. Grapefruit was the main hop aroma, but pine notes also came through. These hop smells were matched by citrus and spices.

T - Much the same as the smell. The beer has a nice bite to it from the spices and generous hops. The citrus notes back up the beer and balance it off very nicely.

M/D - Not as smooth as many DIPAs, but the mouthfeel was certainly nice. It was surprisingly light and easy to down, and despite the slight harshness it was a pleasure to drink. I would gladly have a few of them.

Too bad that this is a limited brew, I would love to have more since it is so close. I definitely want to try it again before it disappears.

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Photo of BBP
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Amber with slight yeast, decent carbonation and head.

S- Hops and fruitiness as well as a bit of spice.

T- Complex and very tasty. Sweet fruit and grapefruit. A bit spicy. Great balance without being too sweet or bitter. The citrus/grapefruit was balanced well by the fruitiness to it. Very hoppy, but balanced so well that the hops didn't feel too strong for a second.

M- Medium full body. A bit creamy. Good carbonation.

D- Good drink. Light and easy, but flavorful and potent. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Good blend. I would definitely recommend this to anybody. Drinks far easier than most normal IPAs. Is almost the definition of easy drinking especially for a DIPA.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of korguy123
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into DFH Signature Glass
Courtesy of TheSevenDuffs.

A- Slightly hazy, deep rich copper pour. Half inch white head that quickly shrinks to a thin white ring. Lacing is wonderful!

S- Holy merciful crap! Is this a Stone beer? There is no way this came from Ontario!. Sweet heavenly hops, fresh tangy citrus. Slight candied sugar. Subtle strawberries. All aromas are potent but far from overpowering. All blending very well.

T- Bitter hop bomb of the gods! You sure this isn't a Stone product? Really? It's from Ontario?! This is actually borderline enamel ripping. Fresh floral hops. Citrus tones are much more subdued than the nose.

M- Juicy and wonderful. Very clean aftertaste with a quick dry finish. Medium bodied.

The 8% is invisible. I could drink this all day long (until I passed out of course) It's just so damn good.

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Photo of kjyost
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very fresh, received through trade with TheSevenDuffs. Thank-you!

A: Orange red with a light white cap atop it. No major lacing. A bit light for a DIPA IMO.

S: Spicy hop aromas with a bit of an earthy undertone and a matly sweetness playing into it. I always look for a DIPA dripping with juicy hop aromas, and this isn't doing it for me, although it is stylistically fine.

T/M/D: My first thought was that the beer itself seems watery. A nice warming beer with low carbonation that plays well leaving sweetness and earthy pine hop atop it, with a few citrus notes coming through. Would be a good, though not great DIPA if it would be a little thicker in the mouth...

I hate to be so harsh on this, but it isn't doing it for me. I am going to go downstairs and have a Hummulus and compare now...

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this beer.

A 341ml bottle that states; "brewed with reverse osmosis water" written on the side of the bottle. Poured into a pint glass, a copper/orange brew with a foamy white head.

A nice light smell of citrus hops and malt, the smell is not powerful but it's there.

Taste is great, all sorts of hop flavours, citrus and pine. A nice balanced taste, no part of the taste is overbearing. A nice bitter finish that lingers.

A perfect medium mouthfeel.

This is one easy drinking DIPA and it's from Canada!!! Don't go into this beer expecting a big tongue wrecking DIPA, you will be disappointed. Instead expect a well balanced and easy drinking DIPA. Too bad this is hard to get.

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Photo of mrnobody
4.52/5  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.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.62/5  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!

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Photo of Weebay
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of papat444
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Black Oak Ten Bitter Years from Black Oak Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.