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 mltobin
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from a variety pack that I got in Killington, VT.

Appearance is a very dark brown, not quite black, small head.
Smell has dark malt, some hops. Alpine BIPAs taste contains coffee, more dark malt, hops and pine. Its MF and carbonation level is medium. Drinkability is pretty good for the style. This is a solid beer from Otter Creek.

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

Poured into my "balloon" glass, this is what Black IPA's are all about. Looks like a stout but smells like an IPA. Some of the Black IPA's I've had before have been lacking in their appearance, looking more like a brown ale and rather light. However, Alpine Black greets you with a beautiful opaque black body leaving no room for light to come through. A nice light tan colored head fluffs up to about 2 fingers thick but faded just a tad too quickly for my liking.

Aroma is full of a piney and herbal hop aroma. Not as citrusy as many hoppy American beers, but still plenty of glorious hop aroma. Some room is left for a slightly sweet roasted malt aroma to come through, but the hops come right back for a second punch.

Taste is just as the aroma would have suggested, a bit piney and herbal with the hops but the roasted malt has much more of a chance to show off here with light notes of coffee and maybe some caramel. Finishes is with a nice bitter kick.

Mouthfeel has a medium body feel to it with a crisp but smooth presence. Overall, this beer, IMO, has really hit the nail on the head with what this style is all about.

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Photo of ms11781
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a very dark brown color, bordering on black. One finger head that quickly turns into a thin head somewhere between off white and tan.

Aroma is very hoppy, mostly earthy up front with some pine in the background. Some roasted malt character comes through but not much.

Taste is much of the same, good hop flavor, much more earthy with less pine and possible citrus notes (not getting the citrus each time). Only difference between the nose and taste is much more pronounced roasted flavor, definitely some coffee notes as well.

Very smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation that seems to dissipate quickly.

Very easy to drink. The roasted character in the nose and taste may tell your brain that this one is heavier than it is but it ends up being pretty light. That being said the flavors seem to fade pretty quickly. With each successive sip they run together and nothing ends up standing out.

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark opaque black color with a solid tan colored head with plenty of lacing. The aroma says skunk cabbage herbal hops and yeast. The flavor brings a beautiful blend of charred oak and lemon hop malt. It's medium bodied with pleasant carbonation and brings the same skunky ale sort of flavor that seemed evident in the aroma. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Good stuff.

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

This ones good,

pours a thick dark brown, nice head that doesn't last long but leaves heavy lacing

smell is reminiscent of coffee and hops, strong enjoyable aroma

taste is strong but nice, again that coffee sort of flavour comes through

lightly carbonated, somewhat thick in the mouth but easy to drink

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Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scored a 6-pack today at Jasper's ($8.99) and I'm opting to dive right in...

My pint glass is now filled with a dense, opaque liquid, the color of which is a deep, deep mahogany. The head is tan, creamy and rich, though short, at about 1/4" and ebbing fast. Lacing is nice nonetheless. Aroma has a robust hoppiness to it, with the expected roastiness relegated to the background. Body is solidly medium, and the bier itself is fairly even over the tongue.

The flavor picks up all the slack in the roastiness department that the aroma sloughed-off on. There's a pleasing bitterness accompanied by some dark choco, cocoa powder and espresso-like notes. Hopping is solid, with lots of rindy, pithy citrus, which lingers long and hard on the palate. Had heard good things about this one through the grapevine, and I was not let down. A solid, tasty, pleasurable version of an emerging style that I'm growing more fond of by the day.


look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with an off white lean head that leaves some decent lace. Nice.

Big pine aroma with some nice coffee scents.

Big pine cone flavor up front, leading to a sour twang and french roast coffee. Not overdone in the hop department, which is nice. Lingering pine, dark malt, and coffee finish. Very decent.

Medium body with decent carbonation. I liked this as it wasn't extreme. Some simplicity aided in drinkability. A harder style to session, in my opinion, but this would be the one to buy if that were the case.

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Photo of nopucophop
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -- this is very dark with just a glimmer of light coming through on the very edges of my glass. Nice head that dropped to just a sliver but left tons of lacing.

S--dark malts balanced with a hop aroma. Nothing overpowering

T-- is much like the smell with more of a hops presence. Kind of a toffee flavor. It is really balanced. Leaves a lingering chocolate creamy taste in the finish. The hops are present but don't really stand out as much as I was hoping for.

M-- smooth with a little carbonation ting.

D-- extremely easy to drink. As I hemmed and hawed I didn't realize I sucked it down quick.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black unless pierced by light. 2 fingers of tan head and decent lacing.

Good amount of hops in the nose. Citrus, floral, and earthy.. much stronger as it warms. Lots of roasted malt in there too represented by a caramel and roasted coffee scent.

Flavor is pretty good. A tad mild and watered down. Decently bitter with earthy and pine hops notes coming through. Smokey and bittersweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat under medium carbonation. Doesn't linger long.

Drinkability is good for the taste to price ratio. 8.99 a sixer, and still pretty good taste. Low abv allows more consumption if you feel like it.

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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 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 assmandugle
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nice with small head. Has very pleasant citrus almost soothing cool smell to it. Starts out with a citrus taste into and ends with an almost apricot finish and a milk dud after taste.

It's a drinkable beer a nice twist on an IPA I'm impressed with it I'd buy it again.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful black color with great head that forms with a tan color and lace very well

The aroma is intriguing nice earthy and sweet flower hops with a slight chocolate and coffee but the hops are the star

The taste is mild it has a earthy hop taste to start a citrus and flowery hop taste follows with a mix of roasted undertones.

Its body is mild but the mouth is smooth and its taste is full of flavor making it easy to drink

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

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black, with 1 ½ fingers of rich and frothy looking mocha head. This retains with a VERY creamy ½ finger that absolutely DRENCHES the sides of the glass with heavy thick lacing. Great look to this. The aroma is floral, citric, and overall bright smelling in the nose and even a little dank, leafy, and peppery as well. Smokey malts rise up underneath the hops, with chocolate sweetness mixing with that aforementioned citrus flavors and roasted coffee character to impart a bit of an astringent tang up your nostrils. Just a touch of light warmth is present.

The taste is moderately bitter but is coming off as more flavorful in the hop department, with grapefruit, citrus rind, and leafy herbal tones all making an impression. A mix of chocolate and roast underneath gives the profile a nice underlying smoothness that works well with the hops. This is good, being flavorful but not overly abrasive. This finishes with some leftover green leafy bitterness and a touch of roast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft creaminess to the carbonation that falls right along with the more mellow aspects of the profile. Pretty darn easy and almost silky feeling for the size with some well hid alcohol being a bonus.

This was nice and I think that Otter Creek really hit the nail on the head for this style, with the roast and sweetness taking the more aggressive edges off the hop profile and really melding this into a flavorful and mellow affair. Really well done new seasonal here that I will continue to come back to. Kudos to Otter Creek!

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

12 ounce bottle (bottled on 10/16/10) poured into a straight pub pint glass.

Dark brown to black espresso colored with a nice frothy tightly beaded mocha head.

Aroma is a nice blend of fresh crushed french roast coffee beans, orange peel, pineapple and blue spruce. No funky esters or alcohol heat. Nice and clean fermentation character. Some woody notes as it warms.

Flavor is a wonderful blend of juicy citrusy hops, orange and lemon peel with roast coffee notes in the finish, nice medium bitterness with a sweet touch of tropical fruit and cocoa to balance.

Medium light bodied with a semi-dry finish. Extremely drinkable with nice balance of hops and malt, just enough roast to give it character but keep it in style.

Drink it extremely fresh or you will lose out on the hop character is my guess.

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

A-Pours porter-esque with a tan head that retains and with bubbles that run up the side of the beerglass. Leaves lacing.

S-Roastiness combined with some nice pine hops along with a bit of cirtusy hop as well. Smell is not very pungent but nicely aromatic.

T-I find it to be better than the nose. Hops are evident, and a roasty coffee flavor lasts and lasts. Alcohol is hidden. Well balanced, one of the better Black IPAs i've had.

M-Mouthfeel is not as creamy as expected but still pretty decent. Stays fairly bitter.

D-I don't find Black IPAs to be super drinkable but this one is quite the easy drinker in my opinion.

Worth a try.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into Ommegang glass

A - Pours a pitch black with half a finger of light brown head. Bubbles are fairly active. Head retention is average. Nicel lacing.

S - Hops! Piney and a bit bitter. Crisp. Just a hint of roasted malt in the nose.

T - Hoppy pine up front with a mild malt back. Some slight coffee flavor.

M - Light to medium body. Good carbonation. Dry finish.

D - I could drink these all night. A good take on the style. At around $1.30 per bottle, this is a boon to the relatively young Black IPA market, which is usually fairly expensive and exclusive.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Brothers, black valor is on our side." - The Black Dahlia Murder

Opaque black with a coffee ice cream colored head. Solid foam layer of retention leaves lacing aplenty.

Gorgeous, stanky hop nose. Soft cocoa and roast malt emanating from under prickly, mildy grassy citrus hops.

Taste is pine needle citrus hop with a big frumpy bitter in a bitter chocolate and soft roast malt stew. Website says Apollo, Centennial and Citra. I get the Centennail but the Citra is lost to me.

Mouthfeel is somewhere between ultra clean and a little soapy - if that makes sense.

Good stuff. When I think of Otter Creek hops don't immediately come to mind but they did a good job with this one.

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Photo of mavbrew
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Only fitting to pour it into my Otter Creek Mug.

A: Pours a deep brown that looks jet black until holding it up to light where you see the brown edges. Has a finger thick head that is light tan in color that dissipates into a thin ring.

S: Smells of floral hops with some hints of citrus, also has slight notes of roasted malts.

T: The upfront taste is a quick burst of the hops which flows into the nice robust flavor of the roasted malts.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation and finishes smooth and dry.

D: Highly drinkable, the ABV is on the lower range and this Black IPA goes down nice and smooth. This is a great beer from a great brewery. If you ever find yourself in VT definitely make a stop at Otter Creek!

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a thin creamy brown head that has good retention properties and left lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: There are light aromas of citrus hops in the nose along with some hints of roasted malts.
T: There is a medium amount of bitterness in the taste, which has flavors of caramel, citrus and roasted malts along with some hints of pepper.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable; I could easily have a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 11/24/10

Medium brown color that's pretty dark in the glass. Highlights of ruby. One & a half fingers of light tan head. Retention is thin & bubbly; pretty good lace remains.

Earthy, piney & faint hints of citric hop aromas. Solid roasted malt backbone of coffee beans, notions of unsweetened & a slight breadiness. Balanced, maybe leaning toward the malt side.

Piney bitterness greets the tongue with an air of earthiness. Maybe a touch of orange peel. The malts are as with the nose: roasted coffee & a hint of cocoa powder. Similarly, the balance is shifted such that this is comfortably in hoppy porter territory.

Medium bodied with carbonation of the crisp-but-not-overly-prickly variety. Finishes dry with roasted residuals.

Pretty good overall but since it's more of a hoppy porter, it doesn't quite whet my appetite for a CDA/Black IPA. Not bad for what it is but I have to dock it a bit for style.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh beer growler picked up at OCB in VT and transported back to CT. Served in a pint glass.

Pours dark black with substantial off white foam. Resides for great length of time.

Wow - grassy pine smell. Huge smell bursts out of the glass. Nose is all IPA.

Dark malt taste with some coffee notes, citrus hop mixed in, and bitter at the very close. Lingering hop taste.

Strong hop, but very smooth and really drinkable. Quite tasty to boot.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-black, light tan head

S-smells like sweet hops, not as malty as the other "black" IPAs that i've had. there is some mocha in there as well.

T-i'll be honest...for this style...this is not a winner. its not too great at all. the hops presence is minimal and weak at best. other than that, the main taste that i'm getting is a blast of molasses sweetness. over all this is a disappointment.

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a dry finish

D-well its not that bad but i kinda want it be gone already. its just not a beer i can drink a lot of. as i will put tastes weird...

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tall pint glass.

Pours a dark almost jet black with a nice thick and creamy dark brown head that turns into lots of nice light lacing all the way down the glass. Nose is very nice, fresh and hoppy - lots of piny notes.

Taste was also quite hoppy and a bit grainy but nice. Lots of that pine resin flavor along with a good malty backbone. Really solid and very drinkable.

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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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