Otter Creek Black IPA | Otter Creek Brewing

very good
270 Reviews
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Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Traditionally untraditional, Black IPAs—also known as Cascadian Dark Ales or American Black Ales—originated here in Vermont under the auspices of American craft brewing pioneer Greg Noonan. This rich, delicious brew fuses pronounced hop aromas and darkly roasted malts in a style born in the Green Mountains.

60 IBU

Added by jlpower on 10-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 861
Photo of vtblackdog
4.95/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Almost black as night, nice head

S - Awesome in the hop category, has some balance though

T - Balance is in check for my preference, at the brewery yesterday, this will now be a year round brew.

M - Not heavy but easily down the hatch.

D - One of my favorite beers.

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Photo of koolex11
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is awesome. Truly the best of both a stout and an IPA.

Starts like the tastiest of chocolate dark roasted stouts, but finishes slow with a strong kick of hoppy goodness.

From beginning to end, it is really like drinking two completely different beers. This is one of the most creative brews I have tasted, truly a masterpiece.

If you only feel like having one beer, but can't decide on malt or hops, definitely reach for this one. But good luck having only one!

I do not work for Otter Creek or its affiliates :)

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Photo of GuyIncognito
4.73/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my new go-to beer. Very reasonable at $8.50 per six-pack. It is as black as a trojan horse at midnight, with a beautiful coffee colored head. Malty attack, with a nice dry hoppy finish. Wonderfully balanced, with enough intrigue to keep you coming back for more. In an age of extreme beers, this one has just the right blend of restraint vs. excitment. I could drink this beer everyday (and I just might).

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Photo of HomebrewNurse
4.71/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a very nice silky black but upon further examination is actually a very dark brown. Whitish tan head is one finger that quickly dissipates to merely a ring. Good lacing.

S - Obvious roasted malt is the initial here with a very nice backup of spicy, piny hops. My nose says roasted coffee.

T - Roasted coffee flavors prevail but as in the nose, the hops prove to be nicely balanced with the malt, not what I would expect from an IPA, but as this is my first black IPA, I am becoming a believer.

M - Medium to slightly heavy bodied with very nice carbonation for the style, not too much, not too little. Very smooth.

D - Again, my first endeavor into the black IPA world, small as it may be, and I am very impressed. Only have one bottle of this as a sample from my favorite beer store, but after this one I am thinking I should have just bought a sixer...

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Photo of ckollias
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with mild amber highlights. Has a thick, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates leaving a nice trail down the glass and ending in a solid persistent lace.

S: Strong hoppy aroma with a great toasted malt background..

T: Hops meets toasted malts!

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: I loved this black IPA. Really enjoyed the combination of hops and malts.

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Photo of birdyone
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with little no no head, no visible carbonation, very dark, almost back. Nothing too exceptional

The smell!!! I haven't had much to say about the smell of a beer in a while, and thought I was just loosing my sense of smell. My nose has been awakened! The wonderful citrusy smell of an IPA, but a subtle mellow tone. It was a surprise; the color of the beer totally threw me off.

Taste was great! I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Some IPAs can have a very bitter finish, but not this case here. Other times a less bitter IPA lack flavor, but again not the case. Just great.

Mouthfeel is better than average, but it's not overly special.

Great drinkability. Smooth, great taste. Otter Creek isn't always the easiest to find, or cheapest to buy though.

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Photo of mttfrog13
4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a = Black. You can't even see through this when put up to a light. Nice yellow/tan tint to the foam.

smell = earthy, malty, with a hoppy background note to the smell

taste = Tastes just like it smells but with a hint of fruitiness that I couldn't make out in the smell. This isn't a traditional "IPA" in the amount of hoppieness to the flavor. It is amazingly well balanced to be such a dark beer. Starts with an earthy maltiness and goes to a full flavor full of spices and a bit of fuitiness as it fills your mouth, and ends with the floral/hoppy notes at the end.

mouthfeel = smooth yet full bodied

overall = my favorite beer. If you drank this blind folded, you wouldn't know it was a black beer. This beer is the perfect example of how people generally move from lighter to darker beers as their palette becomes knowledgeable. To be honest, this is my first and only beer of this style (american black ale), and there may be others out there by different breweries that I would actually like more.

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Photo of Kyrgyzbrewer
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color – Deep brown. A great color. Starts with a nice yellowy lacy head

A- An interesting blend of hops and roasted notes.

Taste- A balanced flavor that starts with roasted notes and finishes with a grapefruity hop flavor.

Overall- This is the gold standard of black ipa’s as far as I am concerned. If you have never had a black ipa, this one will tell you what they are supposed to taste like. It is not merely an ipa in dark clothing. Instead it takes the hop and malt notes of a good ipa and combines them with the roasted notes of a good porter.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this up at Sunday River, ME on tap and loved it. Called Tully’s on the way back to Boston and picked up a six pack. As good in the bottle. One of my top two Black IPA’s. Excellent beer.
A gorgeous looking beer. Deep brown in color with some light entering at the edges. The head is a dull tan color and is thick and creamy. Rises above the rim, shows excellent retention and also leaves clumps of lace all over the glass.

Aroma hints to a nice balance between an assertive hop presence and also a wonderful dark roasted bounty. More pine comes through as well.

Balance, Balance. Nice assertive pine hop flavors and then to a nice dark roasted malt. Not burnt or ash like at all, but smooth, dark and inviting. Then the blend of the two with some dark chocolate laced in between.

Very smooth, but not creamy… A touch of substance in the mouth feel.

I just love this beer. It’s a great departure from a standard IPA and/or Stout. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? This fits the bill. I will get this whenever I can.

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Photo of Richardberg
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - bottle to pint glass. Very cola looking: near black but slightly translucent. Small head is nonetheless thick, dark, and lasting.

S - big hoppy smells! Mostly in the earthy department; plenty of grapefruit too; some pine; floral notes too. Dark malts poke through occasionally. Not sure if this is my first "black IPA" but it really sticks out in my memory. Enough that after having it at a bar, I went out and bought a 6-pack. Which I never do.

T - all of the aromas stay on the tongue. Add a healthy dose of dark chocolate, a little espresso, and bitterness -- you've got something really tasty. Finish is very dry. Aftertaste is pleasant -- doesn't turn bitter like really strong IPAs often can. No alky burn at all.

M - surprisingly oily & smooth for a 6% beer.

D - fantastic blend of strong flavors, yet absurdly easy to drink. Not to mention affordable. Might be my new favorite session beer...and I don't even like IPAs.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ebony deep black body with no ruby highlights seen through the glas, solid even coating of tan head lacing as it dwindles down. Aromatics are nice, a combo of dark chocolate and subtle herbal/citric hop attacks colliding into an almost chocolate mint/pine combination. Mike the brewmaster formerly of DFH Rehoboth location, knows how to combine the dark malts in the hops this version is really nice. Strong bitter dark chocolate with herbal/mint/citric/pine flavored hops going on, finishes nice and dry a very well meshed combination of different flavors. The best Otter Creek offering I've had in quite some time, I'm looking forward to trying their Kolsch this spring. Medium bodied smooth carbonation, I noticed a good amount of yeast sediment. Natural bottle conditioned beer gives this beer an edge. Drinkability is very nice a sessionable hop head satisfying, cool weather dark beer that I really enjoyed. Will get a whole sixer if I see it out and about.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours black, looks very dark brown when held up to the light. It has a one finger kaki head and minimal lacing.

The smell is a nice clean floral hop scent with lemons and grapefruit in the forefront with coffee and chocolate in the background.

The mouthfeel is light and little chewy.

The taste first gives the drinker floral hops with a lemon and grapefruit taste, coffee and chocolate then malts on the back end. One the brew warms up a little, toasted grains can be tasted.

Overall this is a good tasting IPA; very good for those who would like to try an IPA but might be put off by the bitterness of some IPA's. Well flavored and balanced.

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Photo of bpw28
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Three finger dirty white head, very deep brown on the sides and black in the center (Sides are about a 37 SRM, Middle is about a 40.), very nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops, Piney hops, light sweet dark fruits, black cherries, honey graham cracker, very light roasted coffee.

Taste: Solid roasted malt profile, light coffee undertones, doughy yeasty tail, citrus hops on the mid, pine on the tail. Amazing balance. Nothing shouts over each other. Chewy, full body. Hop bite isn't in your face, lets you know its there then backs off. Oddly, pretty clean for an black ipa.

Final Thoughts: Probably the best black IPA I've had so far. It's a simple black ipa, but its done totally right. Worth a buy for sure, I only got a single in a pick-a-six but I could get a full sixer and not be bored with this one. Very well put together, very nicely done. Will surely keep an eye out for Otter Creek in the future.

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4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted the pilot batch at Burlington Brew Fest and subsequently since it came to market.

Huge hop nose, very floral with some hints of citrus.

Very crisp and surprisingly light for it's appearance.

Low hop bitterness considering (60 ibu's) well balanced sweetness in the middle and a very earthy, roasty finish.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear black with hints of ruby lingering around the edges of the glass. A two-inch khaki head rests atop the beer. Retention is modest, and sticky lacing coats the glass before eventually settling into patchy blots.

S: A very floral and citric hop profile immediately tempts the nose. A soft perfume-like rosiness and a slight green scent are inviting. Tropical scents of orange, melon rind, and bitter grapefruit further tantalize the nostrils. A subtle charcoal roasted malt character can eventually be coaxed out from underneath the hops.

T: A quick bite of citric hops is brushed aside briefly by sooty, charcoal-like roasted malts. The hops soon return with force and grab the palate's attention. Tropical fruit and green floral flavors ride alongside each other. Bitter grapefruit is the most prominent, but oranges, pineapple, mango, and that green shoot-like plant taste are all noticeable. The charcoal taste returns to dry out the finish, and lingers for a short time with some tropical and slightly bitter hop tastes.

M: Rather light in body, smooth, and a bit silky. Both the hops and the roasted malt seem to contribute to a slight astringency.

D: Almost perfect in drinkability. Big on taste, but very light in body. I would love to session this beer.

Notes: This beer has totally changed my perception of what the new Black IPA style can be. It isn't just another insanely hoppy porter, like most breweries are churning out these days. It seems more in the vein of a tasty, drinkable IPA that makes good use of some subtle roasted malt flavors. A very good beer. This will become a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Black in appearence but really super dark brown when held up to the light. A quarter finger of brownish white head. Quite a bit of lacing as well.

S: The nose is a wonderful mix of roasted malt with a touch of chocolate to it and a slight citrussy aroma of oranges. Unlike most other beers of the style it is not just a dark colored IPA.

T: The taste is a nice mix of roasted malt. A touch of coffee and just the slightest hint of the hops. Perhaps a little too astringent but the balance between the two elements that make this beer what it is are impressive.

M: The only area I can really knock this beer. It is a little on the watery side. The carbonation is good though.

D: Really nice drinker and it cannot be beaten for the price. Probably the most balanced example of the style out there.

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Photo of timtim
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled 10-11-11, so just about 1.5mos. old. black (of course) with a tan head. attractive enough, but on to the good part... nose is a blast of pine that seems to mingle very well with dark chocolate, roasted malt and some sweet caramel/brown sugar notes. some citrus folded in as well. very nice. actually had the first one from the bottle at thanksgiving dinner, and the aromas were coming out of the neck something fierce. smuggled two home and tried again with a glass. taste exudes really good balance, and pulls off exactly what they were going for. a piney snow coating over dark malty flavors to create a new landscape. nicely intertwined citrusy fruit peeking out here and there as well. medium body with a slick and almost wet (if that makes sense) feel. no bad aftertastes, barely any heat, and pretty well defined (not muddy). not a hops smack, but a well-balanced and well done, easy drinking brew. choco-roasty-pine-fruit sends an impressive message from otter creek. more good things in store?

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a red tinge. Great foamy thick tan head that quickly goes down to s very thin patchy lace.

An amazing pine forest hits you and after a couple deep breathes the fruity roasted layers show through.

The texture is milky smooth, full bodied, toasty. The pine forest comes through again. Real Woodie. and after a couple of seconds blends to the slight citrus/earthy hops that go great with the dark malt finish.

Leaves your mouth a little dry and wanting more. The hops linger for a long time and they almost shine more the longer you wait for that next sip.

This is the best Otter Creek I have tried.

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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big frothy 2 finger head rises and fades at a medium pace, over very dark hazy essentially black colored beer. A ring of lacing.

Nose was wafting out on the pour, bringing some roast and coffee aromas, actually quite a bit of fresh roasted coffee, some dark crystal malts, as well as a touch of chocolate and some earthy dark malty aromas, with all that comes some hops as well, plenty of earthy hops, lots of grapefruit, a bit of pine, and more citrus fruits like tangerine.

Taste is similar to the nose, but a little more subdued. Some malts hit first again, and again loaded with coffee, fresh roasted coffee, some roasted malts, a bit of chocolate and earthy malt flavors, very similar to the nose. The hops also bring more of the same but even less subdued in hop flavor, but adding some bitterness, again bringing a bit of grapefruit and tangerine, touch of pine and some earthy hops, and a musty hop resin. The bitterness comes through at a decent rate at first, and increases a bit as it finishes. It dries on the finish a bit too, leaving plenty of coffee flavors, and some tangerine and grapefruit. It's like breakfast without the oatmeal, bringing my grapefruit, orange juice, and coffee together. I gotta say normally I wouldn't think these flavors would combine, but they seemed to go well here. If I could call this anything, I would say it's like a black and tan with a nice coffee porter and great citrus fruit IPA.

Mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation, pretty smooth.

Drink is decent, not quite sessionable with the bitterness and coffee flavors lingering, but a decent dry finish and goes down well.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always loved this local brewery but the release of this one slipped right past me, time to buy a case and catch up! Pours a very dark brown (not quite black) with great head to it. Tons of lacing left on the glass.. glorious. Nice roasty/hoppy aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied and full of flavor, but is well balanced and smooth. This beer goes down way too easy and combined the best parts of an IPA and a brown ale. Super drinkable, delicious, and only $13.99 for a 12 pack? How can you go wrong, pick some up you won't be disappointed

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Photo of rembrant
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks Yep,it's opaque Porter looking brew with a tan head that's a rich froth,settling to 1 finger with both lacy and viscosity film on the glass.

Aroma Nice whiff of grapefruit with some hints of pineapple andother hoppy goodies. A trace of caramel and roast is there also.

Taste Nice stuff. The malts do open the show with a bit of toasty and caramel/toffee. That soon shifts to a hop zing,featuring mostly the grapefruit + pineapple. a touch of pine forest joins the fruit bowl at the finish.

the malt side,despite te color,can't dominate the big hop bill but nicely delays it,interacts to bring up some complxities,also tones down the biterness to let the hops display flavors

Mouth Really,quite ample,which is a target for a Dark Cascadian. Hoppy and creamy are not usually merged this well. The finish lingers,but is not so intense it would not pair with a meal.

Drinkability....way up there. It brings that refreshing hops zip,some sense of substance,some complexity,yet is not overbearing or boozy. Black IPA is a format where a brewer can add dimensions to a hop forward beer and Otter Creek did so rather neatly. Compared to some one-trick grapefruit bombs,here's big hops in a context,and it keeps it's identity as beer.

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

was not sure what to expect but here we go.

nice big voluminous head that had nice retention. leaving a chunky lacing down glass.

Great nose of grassy fresh hops.

Taste was truly sublime right from beginning. hitting on so many levels. Hop smack right up front but by no means overpowering. Grapefruit rind then spicy with a thin pine finish. Malts were roasty and dry on the tongue but offered up a nice malty sweetness that totally balances out this beer.

Mouthfeel is perfect and one of the reasons I loved this beer. It is actually very quenching for a beer with so much flavor and my much heavier expectations. very sessionable.

Must say this is an excellent beer with both the ipa hops and the stout like roastyness that i love.


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

started my day off with this one and what a solid beer it was indeed. poured into a pint glass and drank during lunch in what would be a long, long day.

the pour was a nice dark brown, nearly black in color with a nice head of off white, tan color on top that really just showed how nicely this one was put together. a wonderful aroma of thick roasted malts and crisp piney hops then came up and cleared the air, really making its presence known. huge aroma with warming bringing caramel and brown sugar to the front. nice smooth hop presence with a rich malty back bone that was beyond smooth. really just wonderfully done.

overall a very solid beer, great for the style and one of the best i have had.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Boda in Portland ME.

A: dark black brown with light brown head with about one finger head, good lacing.

N: nicely hoppy and citrusy up front, some roasty malts, pine. Actually smells like an IPA even with being so dark.

T: starts out with piny hops, citrusy, middle with a nice malt balance, finish with a bit of coffee bitterness.

M: nice and smooth. Well carbonated, no complaints.

O: this is a very good Dark IPA. The only other I've had is Hop in the Dark by Deschutes and this one is way better. Highly recommend.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iam 50/50 on American black ales,some I have really liked,some didnt work very well for me,this was great.Poured into a stansard pint glass a deep cola color with a thinner but retentive beige colored head.Aromas of black malt and a big grapefruit rind shot,not much sweetness was detected.A real nice mix of in your face citric hops and unsweetened bitter chocolate,I was surprised at how well the dry chocolate held up to the hops,the malt profile is quite dry.With the big hops and sweetness in check this a very drinkable and very well made beer,I really liked this one.

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Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing
3.86 out of 5 based on 861 ratings.
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