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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 DaPan
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

DaPan, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of Canada_Dan
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Canada_Dan, Tuesday at 09:52 PM
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -28.4%

cfalovo97, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of peensteen
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

peensteen, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of schnarr84
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

schnarr84, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - hazy red copper hue, tall off white head held steady, decent spot lacing
S - peppery and earthy notes with hints of butterscotch and mild pine
T - earthy and peppery hops up front, light grains and caramel, touch of piney hops on the late finish along with alcohol sweetness, nicely balanced for a DIPA
M - almost drinks too easy for a beer of this stature, nice bitterness throughout, crisp dry through the finish
O - this is so well balanced without sacrificing the best aspects of a good DIPA, big flavours and very drinkable, a must try if you are an IPA fan

joemcgrath27, Dec 02, 2013
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 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 allergictomacros
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

allergictomacros, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of SebD
4.48/5  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.

SebD, May 13, 2012
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 CAMRAhardliner
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brass color with a patchy rather shortlived head that manages to muster up a lot of lace. Citrus and pine sap mix with lightly roasted malts in the nose. The taste is assertively hoppy with a pithy, resinous PacNW profile like the nose. Light vanilla, oaky notes mix with the doughy, caramelly malts in the back. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a light to moderate carbonation level. The finish is moderately bitter with a balancing maltiness, The ABV is well hidden throughout.

I pretty decent DIPA, but perhaps a bit anemic in the bitterness and hop aroma departments. Still very complex and drinkable.

CAMRAhardliner, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

chickenm, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of deonreds
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

deonreds, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of hopsolutely
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

hopsolutely, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of mick303
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My 500th beer on here, figured to round out that milestone with a nice Ontario DIPA.

Poured into a tulip glass. A lovely cap of creamy soft tan head, soft and soapy, with really great lacing that lasts till the very end. Colour is a deep orange tan, bit amber. 4.25

S – lots of juicy fruit aromas out of the glass, grapefruit, lemon, apricot, some nice candied pine aromas. Mild nuttiness and interspersed foresty and herbal hop notes, lots of hop character but not oily or bitter. 4.25

T – starts with a piney herbal note, then grapefruit citrus comes through, quite a strong piney note, some light resins, almond, a really dry profile for sure. Has some nutmeg, tropical fruitiness, with some bitter pineapple, citrus pith. A really balanced fruitiness, not all that bitter for the style, with pleasant flavor. Finishes dry with a pronounced herbal bitter kick. 4.25

M – pretty full-bodied, moderate carbonation to let the fruity and pine notes sit on the palate. Very easy drinking with no alcohol harshness, solid dryness and hop character on the finish with just a hint of oily slickness. Develops a nice thick feel. 4

A very pleasant and flavourful DIPA, atouch restrained for the style but a nice balance of lively dry citrus and some solid piney character. Not as juicy or outwardly complex as some but this is still a very pleasant IPA, good balanced profile and remarkably drinkable. Very tasty and worth a try, would make a good introduction DIPA. 4.25

mick303, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of kjyost
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
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...

kjyost, Oct 13, 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 JohnnyBarman
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

JohnnyBarman, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of ZachT
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

ZachT, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of thehyperduck
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled and poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy orange-amber colour, topped with one finger of dense, creamy off-white coloured head. It recedes fairly rapidly over the next minute or two, settling into a generous collar and thin cap, but not before depositing a generous ring of lacing. I am loving the aroma on this one - lots of grapefruit citrus and pine, with additional notes of apricot, mango and lemon. Toffee or butterscotch is also detectable, but the hops steal the show here (and I'm completely ok with that).

Very tasty stuff, and fairly well-balanced for a DIPA. The malt backbone provides some toffee sweetness, but hopheads need not worry because the focus here is definitely the complex hop profile. Fruit dominates right off the bat, mostly of the tropical persuasion - pink grapefruit pith, mandarin orange, mango, apricot and even a hint of strawberry. It becomes increasingly bitter toward the finish, with earthy notes that intensify into a pine resin flavour. Lingering, bitter aftertaste with pithy undertones - almost as if it's begging me to take another sip, or at least have a snack on hand to help scrub the palate. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with a slick, juicy feel in the mouth and mild carbonation levels. Very smooth-drinking; the 8% abv is not really detectable, easily lost in the wonderful astringency of the finish.

Final Grade: 4.5, an A grade. Ten Bitter Years is an awesome Imperial IPA that Black Oak should be exceedingly proud of. It is packed with bold citrus and tropical fruit flavour that will delight hardcore hopheads, yet it remains surprisingly balanced and drinkable for a brew of such significant intensity. 10 Bitter Years is quite possibly my favourite example of this style to date, and is one of the finest Ontario craft beers I've had the pleasure of trying in my 6+ years on BA. Absolutely worth a try, and something that I hope becomes a year-round offering some day.

thehyperduck, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -4.5%

mjtiernan, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev -4.5%

irishkyle21, Sep 05, 2013
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 RedAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

RedAleMan, Jul 07, 2013
Black Oak Ten Bitter Years from Black Oak Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.