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 BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice black with an off-white head and sticky lacing. Smells good w/ alot fruity hops; subtle cocoa aromas. Tastes tropical mixed in with some chocolate.. balanced equally; finishes dry. Mouthfeel is slighty over carbonared and pretty fizzy, although the more I drink, I become accustomed to it. It still maintains a richness and creaminess which is enjoyable. Drinkability is good, easy to put a few back. This one also has a very pleasant aftertaste.

This is a very flavorful and easy drinking beer at 6% abv. This is a very good Black IPA.. recommended.

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Photo of edwardhenry
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

first Beer Advocate review. Bear with me as I get the terminology down.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance is impressive. Not a ton of head, but the color is great: truly black. Apart from the slight lacing, it looks just like a porter.

Smell is muted but really pleasant. A strong whiff of hops, but it fades away quickly.

In fact, the taste matches the smell: you get a nice hit of hops early, but it then fades into dryness that lingers pleasantly. Not a massive hop flavor: the beer sacrifices that for a more calm flavor that gives it a better mouthfeel (no oily coating in your mouth--but then that's one of my favorite aspects of drinking imperial IPAs...)

The drinkability is where this beer really shines. I could easily down 4-5 of these in a night, which is more than I can say for a lot of IPAs.

Overall, I like this style and I think it has a lot to offer. It doesn't compare to the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, or the Back in Black by 21st Amendment, both of which I was crazy about -- but it's a strong beer and one I'd buy again, especially to try on tap.

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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 BeerCon5
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a almost black in color with a very thin beige head, no retention.

The scent is of roasted malts, some coffee notes, also a little citrus.

Taste is of coffee and some dark chocolate, roasted malts are strong too, moderately bitter piney hops.

Full bodied, smooth and a little chewy, moderate carbonation.

This was a decent beer, nothing too impressive but the flavor was good and was relatively easy to drink.

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Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black at a glance more deep brown with mahogany when held to the light. Head is big and fluffy falls slow and laces well khaki in color.

Aroma is nice lots of resiny pine notes on a light roasted malt base smells kind of like weak coffee with hints of coco.

Taste is roasted malts lots of coffee notes some light sweet chocolate underneath. Carbonation rises as do the hops for a lingering pine bitterness that lasts along with coffee notes.

Mouthfeel is almost medium with good level of carbonation.

Drinkability is good, enjoying this one bunches. Haven't been overly impressed with this brewery before but find this brew very enjoyable. Light easy drinking plus roasted malty and hoppy all at the same time.

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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 Gushue3
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- black thoughout with a nice mocha head

Smell- excellent. blast of fresh hops to start, somewhat citrusy.

Taste- malty and hoppy, great contrast. roasty and almost a hint of coffee with a nice hoppy bitterness that stays around until the next sip

Mouthfeel- smooth at first sip with a chalky lingering afterward. did i say this is smooth? smooth.

Drinkability- i could drink this all night. hoppy enough to satisfy my IPA need and warm and malty to keep me intrigued and wanting more.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visited some friends in VT recently and sampled many drafts on tap in Burlington. This was my favorite beer that I was able to try.

A - Very dark brownish black with a two finger creamy head. Good retention and lacing on the head.

S - Plenty of citrus hops with toasted malts. Hints of coffee in the nose as well.

T - Roasted malt and floral hops galore. The hops really dominate and I was pleased with the level of malt (I have sampled other black IPAs that have been too malty in my opinion). Slightly bitter and dry in the finish.

M - Creamy and silky smooth with slight carbonation.

D - Dangerously drinkable but flavorful enough that I made sure to enjoy each sip.

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Photo of Brenden
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out dark brown in my glass, forming a light brown foam and nothing more. Swirling will consistently bring up more head, but a foam is all there ever is (though it remains all the way). Enough thin, spotty lacing is left to make for an average appearance. I don't know how all these reviewers are pouring out a 4.5, but both of my fresh bottles stored at the proper temperature and drunk after a day of storage in my fridge don't do it.
The rest of the beer really does come together. A strong roasted malt, extremely earthy with a touch of smoke and some peat-like notes blend nicely with floral and piny hops aromas. A touch of wood is evident as well.
It all meets very well in the flavor, balancing rather than clashing. Raw hops initially hit the very back of the throat, then give way to the more floral and pine hops flavors which blend with the smoke and barley, giving way to a finish that's a lingering mix of charred woods and pine.
There's just a touch of crispness at first, then this brew goes pretty mellow and smooth in a firm, medium body with light carbonation.
This is a good beer. Again, I'm not sure how everyone's getting such a great pour, but for me everything else is solid.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, pine like hops and roasty coffee, quite porter like. In the taste, pine hops and coffee like roast in the end. A small hop bit e and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, fresh hop and small roast in the aftertaste. Nice, but it is like a hoppy porter. I would consider it more a porter across the board, although, I enjoy it.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome thoughtful extra received from steve8robin a trade recently! Knocked it off my wants...

Bottled-on code printed on the side - 10/4/10.

12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a deep dark black with faint brown edges. A thin tan head rests atop. Light lace left behind. I love the darkness of this one! The nose is bursting with pine, pine, and more pine! But through the forest scent, I catch whiffs of chocolate on the finish. Superb!

Moderately full mouth, complements the style well. Ample carbonation. The hops in this beer are ripe and full of flavor. Bitter? Yes. But more than that, they are juicy, piney, and full of sweet citrus flavor. Mild roasted finish which I would expect. This brew is very well-made, and the best from OCB I've had. Quite drinkable.

More, please.

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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard issue pint glass. A nice, cream-colored 3-finger head with great lacing persisted. Dark, almost black in color.

Smells of woodsmoke, burnt caramel malts, raisins and some light hop notes are dominant.

Taste is dominated by charred wood, dark fruits, and big roasted malt characters. Some hop dryness on the swallow, but not much in the way of aromatic hop flavor. I've only had one other black IPA, and this one mas a similar flavor profile to their stovepipe porter, only more robust

The mouthfeel is well-balanced: light and fluffy enough to drink, but substantial enough to take a bite out of. The aftertaste leaves a very parched quality in your mouth.

Drinkability is fairly high for a black IPA, as this is a nice balance between malty and hoppy, giving it a even-keeled presence. One could easily see oneself imbibing a few after a nice winter activity like snowshoeing or skiing.

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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 Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Darkest of browns with an off white head and some lacework gracing the glass. Aroma is certainly hoppy, with floral, pine and citrus notes. In the flavor department, this is a hop forward ale. Nice bitterness, and the dark roasted malt is a bit overpowered by the hops. Some char in the background even alittle peaty. I enjoy this semi-new style of beer, and Alpine Black is a good example of such. If you closed your eyes and drank this you would almost assume its a standard IPA, but then the roasted flavor comes in. Good stuff.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

rev from notes

A - Dark, nice appearance with a minimal head.
S - Smells of - surprise - hops and toasty malts. This beer delivers the basics. Not much complexity though
T - Same as smells - not particularly bold or complex which is what I expect from a black IPA. Bitter and toasty.
MF - Very clean body - not a strong aftertaste or mouth-coating feel.
D Could easily throw back a sixer of this.

Very nice beer but nothing to write home about. I would work on the hop profile primarily - this pales (hah) in comparison to the Hill Farmstead James for example...

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Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown/black in color, with a nice two-inch head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malt, coffee, faint citrussy hop note
Taste-Roasted mallt, citrus zest, coffee, nice lingering hop bite. Decently balanced and pretty drinkable. a nice example of the style.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This isn't a style that I liked until I had one of these.
Black with a tan head. Smells of piney hops.
Taste is a great combination of flavors..chalky, roasted malt and piney-citrusy hops. Bitter, but not ridiculously so. The mouthfeel is pretty creamy and smooth...a good amount of carbonation.
the ABV is just right. Very, very drinkable.

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Photo of modernartblues
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

A: black, hints of brownish red, 1/2 inch head, off white to brown head, that recedes to the thinnest of layers...wisps of lacing that are not substantial

N: initially roasty, hints of C-hops in background, perfect for the style, easily the highlight of this beer

T: similar to the nose, nice roasty porter followed by citrusy hop finish with little bitterness

M: a little light for either an IPA or a porter, disappointing feel

D: high, very sessionable at 6%

this doesn't touch Sublimely Self Righteous, which is still the high water mark for the style imo, but its a quality offering from the sometimes overlooked Otter Creek

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date Code of 2808100410 (October 7, 2010)
Poured in to Duvel Tulip

A - Dark black with one finger of foamy light brown head.

S - Bitter hops come through the nose first with some citrus and earthy notes. Some nice dark roasted malts round out the nose and balance the beer out nicely.

T - Bitter hops are the predominant flavour, especially initially. Some citrus and light earthy notes come though from the hops. The malt backbone is definitely evident as well with a somewhat sweet roasted malt flavour (but no specific flavours). A very nice and complex example of the style.

M - Medium body. Somewhat silky and smooth. Lightly carbonated.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 337111710. Sampled on December 27, 2010. It pours a handsome dark brown with mahogany hues when held to the light and a long-lasting half-inch foamy beige head. There is a notable pine sap hoppiness in the aroma. The texture is medium to heavy and on the chewy side. There are many wonderful hoppy sensations mingling together in the taste but never too overpowering. This is very nice.

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Photo of jdflyer06
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. into a snifter. My fourth brew sampled this christmas eve. Great times.

A: Dark brown, chestnut color. Thin head with some slight lacing. Looks somewhat unfiltered.

S: Roasted malt, bitter hops and some dark fruit. Old gym socks. Fairly muddled.

M: Nice carbonation. It very light and dissipates quickly, letting the flavors shine through. Finishes clean.

T: Nice and roasty. Light coffee comes through along with some caramel and burnt sugar notes. The hops are pretty mild in this one. Very bitter on the finish.

O: Not bad, but nothing to write home about. This doesn't do it for me as a black IPA however, and I'd seek others out before this. Just OK.

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Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent along with a bitter, citrus hop nose. It's unlike most black IPA's that are just black in color. This actually has an authentic roasted/black malt character. The taste is good as well. It has a fresh citrus hop flavor that melds well with black and roasted malts. The hop flavor is really well pronounced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a damn good black IPA. It's bitter and roasted with lots of both malt and hop character.

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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 GratefulBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown color, nearly black with a substantial dark-cream foam topped head, moderate disipation with a crispy and healthy look.

A big hop aroma, fresh hops, citrus, floral and earthy with semi sweet and slightly smokey malt underneath.

The flavor of hops is deep with really fresh, whole cone or wet hoppiness, juicy, citric with Otter Creeks constant jazzy, zippy and earthy yeast balance. the malt is wonderful with dark wheat and slight roastie notes in a subtle but effective way and is a bigger presence overall than with the standard IPA style.

a crispy, livley feel that becomes medium-heavy, smooth with a slightly dry, crispy finish.

Seems just right for the holiday season and 'ol Black Peter.

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Photo of FickleBeast
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens snifter.

Pours a nice solid black color with a beautiful finger of mocha foam on top. Foam fades slowly and clings to the glass. Aroma has a nice floral hoppiness to it backed by a kiss of roasted malt. So far, so good.

First sip... mmm. Great hop flavor, citrus, pine, assert themselves. Bitterness is subdued, which makes for a clean finish. Insanely drinkable, and scratches the hop itch for sure. Roasted malts are barely perceptible - but that is fine with me.

This is a good one for sure. Very nice.

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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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