Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Otter Creek Black IPA | Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
269 Reviews
Read the review
Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 201-225 | 226-250 | 251-275  | next → last
Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 860
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.


 753 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, dark brown as it pours, once in the glass it is pitch black. Weak head but it sticks around, the aroma is all hops and pine. Good lacing, taste is an unique blend of malts and hops. I expected the taste to be more on the hoppy side considering the aroma was full of pine/hops, but it is a smooth blend with the malty flavor. Nice lacing and mouthfeel is very silky and smooth. Delicious and unique beer. Definitely worth trying... one of the better brews from Otter Creek.

 500 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour reveals a nearly black body with brown hues and a mocha head that leaves a very consistent lacing clinging to the glass.

The hop aroma wafts from the grass with its earthy notes including pine, wood, and grass but also floral. Further inspection reveals the roasted malt.

The flavor is very similar to the aroma and the balance of malt and hops is impressive. Similar earthy hops exist, but the roasted malt is much more noticeable in the flavor. As it warms the flavor even becomes a bit smoky.

Medium to lighter in body with medium carbonation and fairly smooth.

Overall this is a very enjoyable beer with great play between the malts and hops. It also seems appropriate as a winter release.

 706 characters

Photo of Homebrew35
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$1.75 for a single.
Black body with deep red edges when held up to the light. Off white two finger frothy fluffy head. This fades to a nice white cap, big and small bubbles. Smells of one or two American citrus hops, chinook and maybe Columbus but it's just a guess. Taste is quite complex. Citrus, clean hop bitterness, roasted malt, piney notes,'tobacco, leather, black tea. Quite bubbly and prickly going down. Very balanced even though it feels thin bodied. I'd definitely pick this up again. Give it a try.

 511 characters

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

Fresh growler filled at Beverage Barm in Garden City Park, NY. I served this beer in a standard pint glass.

L - black with a creamy khaki colored head that stayed around and left a thick sheet of lacing.

S - very good smelling beer, roasted malts and citrus hops share the aroma.

T - nicely balanced taste the rich, roasted malts and bitter citrus hops are a compliment to one another.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - very good drinkability, all around very good as well.

 489 characters

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

Pours dark brown, almost black; very nice lacing and some pretty looking bubbles under a decent head.

Smells like roasted malt, very porter-like. There's a citrusy hop character here that blends in nicely with the malts.

Great dark, faintly chocolate-y malt flavor atop some American hops. They blend well together, and the hops don't really shine through like an IPA probably should, but I like this. Honestly, I've drank this straight from the bottle while camping and it tastes hoppier. It's in a glass this time, though.

Smooth, medium mouthfeel.

Relatively light drinking, as are most Otter Creek beers. I like this quite a bit, and it's far easier to drink than a lot of other examples of black IPAs. Nothing to intense here, and not a crazy ABV.

 756 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Pig's Eye Pub pint glass.

A: Very dark, mahogany, amber color with a two-finger head of mocha-colored foam. Carbonation is fierce, lacing is good and ruby highlights shining through are excellent.

S: Roasted, bittersweet chocolate and herbal, semi-citrusy hop leaves.

T: Nice, dark, mellow roasted malt flavor up front, with a rich, bittersweet cocoa and coal flavor permeating through an herbal, bitter, floral bitter hop finish. Very smooth, somewhat creamy and lingering in a bitter, balanced finish.

M: Medium-full bodied, a bit creamy and nicely balanced with a full, sweet flavor and bitter finishing bite.

D: Out of the blue comes another American black IPA, this time from Otter Creek. Thankfully, it's well-balanced, smooth and tasty. At 6% ABV, this is a good, cold weather IPA with the hybrid, bitter malt roast to satisfy those searching for the warmth of their porters and stouts. Well executed and I'd grab it up again this season.

 987 characters

Photo of ChugsMugs
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A beautiful dark black beer with the slightest red hue when held to light. A large tan frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving sticky lacing. Lacing coats the glass with every sip. Really, and impressive looking beer.

S- Mostly of strong IPA's, presence of grapefruit sweets florals. Slight undertone of malty sweetness.

T- Again largely IPA dominant with a subtle roasted malt finish.

M- smooth, enjoyable, hardly carbonated with strong malty finish.

D- surprised by how much it seemed like an IPA other than appearance and finish. An enjoyable beer and I would buy more.

 583 characters

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

On-tap 11/15/2010 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, dark caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a balanced burst of grassy hops bitterness and dark fruit. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in along with a mild but complementary sweetness to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice beer to drink for a long time.

 755 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, product code ending 092910 which I take to be the bottling date.

Pours a dark, dark brown with rich, chunky tan head resembling melted ice cream.
Floral hop nose with grapefruit note and a slightly roasted edge.
Floral hops meet a roasted charcoal coffee flavor, residually fruity-sweet, with a hint of pine.
Full body, deliciously creamy in the mouth.

The jury's still out on the Black IPA style, not sure I even like it myself. Still, there's no denying this is a wonderfully crafted version; the best of the style I've had yet.

 545 characters

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...

 869 characters

Photo of SickPythons
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into my favorite goblet.

Appearance- Black in color as titled with a thin sandy head. Not much strength as it disappears into the darkness.

Smell- Pronounced floral hop smell most likely from classic APA hop varieties (cascade, centennial, columbus?)

Taste- Opposite the aroma, the malts hold more bearing here. Dark roasted malts incorporate some burnt coffee flavors. Not much bitterness from the hops at the end makes for a pleasant interval between tastes.

Mouthfeel- With only a light carbonation present, the beer settles down and stays a while. After each sip I noticed myself searching for some extra caches of flavor.

Drinkability- A bit thick overall but without a heavy lasting bitterness, I could easily chain these together.

Final Thoughts- An interesting combination of styles that I believe deserves a spot in the winter lineup.

 862 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle no visible Freshness Date. This is my first Black IPA and I'm not quite sure what I'm in store for. Pours a nice black color with a medium sized head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing. Nice piney hop aroma. Some mocha as well. The taste is a nice blend of mocha and the pine flavor of the hops. Not as big a hop flavor as indicated by the smell. Roasted malts flavors at the end. A good introduction into this style of beer. I'm hoping this shows up in one of their mix 12 packs. Might seek out a 6 pack of it on it's own though.

 544 characters

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

12oz bottle

Pours a black color, not opaque by any means, a good sized brownish head sits atop. Hop forward nose, roasty malt takes a back seat. Big hop driven flavor, excellent balance. Medium bodied, well carbonated and very easy to drink. Otter Creek continues to impress with their new offerings.

 301 characters

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

Not quite a hoppy porter, but not quite a black IPA - somewhere in between - CDA? ;-)

Melange of dark malt, orangy, and herbal aroma is nice but could use more hop aroma to move it into the IPA realm. Sweet up front with chocolate, prune, orange, and cattail like herbal flavor that yeilds to elongated piney hop flavor and some bitterness. Well crafted and way too easy to drink. Like a winter warmer but uses hops instead of spices - although I would like to see it tipped more to the IPA side with more hop aroma and flavor - I like it and will buy more.

 558 characters

Photo of thespaceman
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Otter Creek World Tour pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a awesome looking deep brown, basically opaque.. very nice size tan head slowly builds up the glass here, excellent head retention and leaves behind a fair amount of lacing.

Smell: Up front I get alot of citrusy hop florals, very light and fruity, with a building aroma of some malt spice. The hops blend nicely with the malt here in the nose, nothing overtaking the other. Bits of pine come through in the hops, grapefruit, and a touch of mango.. with some sweet coffee and chocolate like flavors emerging through the malt backbone.

Taste: Upon the first sip you get a basic IPA conjunction.. fresh hop flavors like mango and some orange pairing together beautifully with some darker malt elements. The hop flavor is very light yet doesn't get drowned out by the kick of malt towards the finish. Malt properties consist of a small dose of coffee, caramel and some toasted malt spice. Balance between the two is on point for a Black IPA, both show their stuff and do it well.

Mouthfeel: This beer is medium bodied, sits nicely on the tongue without too much carbonation. Slight bitterness is drowned out a bit from the bigger malt properties but can still be felt.

Drinkability: Very surprised by this offering, coming out of the gate and being a seasonal, Otter Creek did a splendid job of blending together a perfectly flavorful IPA with the big malt properties that alot of us crave during the colder months. Black IPA's are getting pretty popular in the past year and OC nailed this one pretty nicely. At 6% ABV, this one is a fairly easy sipper and pretty interesting to keep around on a colder night. A great attempt at a style that will get more popular as the years go by.

 1,772 characters

Photo of PileOwnz
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown, nearing black, but not quite opaque. Light comes through around the edges of the glass. 2 Fingers of a nice tan head, which recedes into a nice lacing.

S - Slight orange with a pine backbone. The dark malt comes through barely, just enough to quiet down the hops intensity to a reasonably balanced aroma, but perhaps too muted.

T - The darker malts come through at first, slight roasted characteristics, but nothing overwhelming. The profile moves quickly into orange rind and is over taken by pine. Finishes leaving a roasted malt bitterness. A nice clash of flavors.

M - Full mouth feel, but as it warmed it seemed to get thinner. Piney resin lingers for sometime, it's been about 5 minutes since my last drink and I can still taste it.

D - Reasonably drinkable. Enjoyed it, but nothing I will be craving in the future.

 884 characters

Photo of far333
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany brown, nearly opaque, with a big fat frothy head of light brown foam that lingers long and send ringlets of lace up the sides of the glass.

Bright and inviting aroma of tangerine and oranges, just a tad piney, not picking up any dark malts.

Initial flavor of toasty malt, not too dark, followed quickly by orange rind and pine, then moving back to understated nutty and cocoa malt. Some honey notes ride beneath. Moderate bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel is full and rich and creamy, very satisfying. Overall seems more IPA than black, but a very tasty and drinkable beer. Seems like most Cascadian Darks are big and robust, whereas this one is a more quaffable version.

 687 characters

Photo of jlpower
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours with less than a finger of head that disappears very quickly leaving a thin ring around the edge of the glass. More or less what is to be expected from an ipa.

In the glass, you would have no idea that this was an ipa. Just to look at it I would say it looks more like a porter. It is very dark. Only with a light behind it does it reveal its medium brown hues.

The smell is what you would expect from an ipa but just a bit more muted. Not being a very big drinker of ipa I found this to be a plus. The first thing that came to mind was evergreen. Aptly named!

The taste of this beer in my opinion is above average. Earlier in the day today I had Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil and a Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge so my standards for today have been set pretty high. While this can't rivel those two, I'm pleased to say this is the best ipa I have had yet. Overall the hop flavor is rather subtle compared to most ipa's I've had. The bitterness more reminded me of a stout kind of bitter rather than an ipa bitter but still tasting like an ipa. It's a little sharp at first, but behind the hops is a rich toasted malt taste. As far as ipa's go I would say it has a fairly complex flavor. The hops providing a nice citrus note mixed with smooth malty caramel. Afterwards you're left with a mild hop after taste that isn't either pleasant or unpleasant. The mouth feel is very smooth with plenty of carbonation. Overall this is a slightly heavy beer but not so much it's over the top.

My overall impression with Otter Creek is mixed. Like other Vermont based breweries it's either hit or miss. This is a hit for sure. The flavor is complex but not so much so you can't hone in. The biggest compliment I can give is that you can have several servings in a sitting and it doesn't become too much, as is the case with a lot of ipa's. I am interested in trying out some more black ipa's to see how this compares but I was indeed pleasantly suprised!

 1,949 characters

firstprev| 201-225 | 226-250 | 251-275  | next → last
Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
3.86 out of 5 based on 860 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!