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 RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose on this one really struck me as more malty and chocolate-y than I would expect from this style. The flavor is a bit different than what I'm usually getting from the black ales. But this is an okay version of the style. Perhaps it's an issue of preference. This one works and is certainly no trainwreck, but the finer points of others win me over just a bit more.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Im just starting to experiment with Otter Creek, since I had their Spring Bock a couple of weeks ago. Now I get to try their Black IPA!

A: Good smoke, pours a lot like a dark stout with a black body and a caramel creamed head, which is constant at about 2 inches depending on your pour.

S: Initial aroma is of apricots and grapefruit, Followed by a citrus and pine zest.

T: Taste comes off with a bit of pine and caramel surprisingly. Followed by the apricots, grapefruit and a hint of honey at the end.

M: Mouth feel is very unique for this IPA, no noticeable carbonation. Very smooth and tangy at the same time.

O: Never had a Black IPA before but it seems to blend well the characters of an IPA with a dark porter or a light stout. Very pleasant surprise from such an underrated brewer!

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Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - black with a half an inch of brown, soft head that fades quickly

S - faint lemon peel and citrus over roasted malt aromas

T - faint chocolate, roasted malts, a hint of coffee, citrusy hops with a faintly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent Black IPA. It's malt forward but there's an obviously heavy hop presence. The hops are a bit at odds with the malt however. The malt is bitter and roasty and the hops are citrusy. A bit of balance would be nice. I wouldn't turn this down. but I won't seek it out again.

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Photo of 57md
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with two fingers of fluffy beige head. The head left some nice lacing behind as it slowly dissipated down the glass. The nose has only a light essence of hops. Dark malt and hops are both present in the flavor profile but in lighter doses than the top beers of this style. The finish is dry and slightly bitter.
This is a good, but not great version of a black ale.

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Photo of Brewsky29
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out black with an inch of tan head.

Smell is of roasted malts.

The taste is good more roasted malts and some bitterness in there.

It is smooth light carbonation.

Overall nice beer not as good as other black ipa's. The taste is a little off for the style more stout or porter like. Still a good beer though.

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Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. An excellent looking beverage out of the bottle, basic black with a near 2 finger tan head.

Aroma, pretty evenly balanced roast and pine/floral hops.

Taste, pine and citrus up front, roast malt. Not overly bitter. Kind of a citrus roast coffee finish. Bitter roast lingers a bit.

Just to the right if light bodied. Drinks easy enough. I'd call this a pretty good middle of the road for the style.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Having a small yet growing appreciation for the Black IPA's, I came across the Otter Creek Brewing (OCB) edition while "making" a six-pack for the weekend. First taste was actually a little rough as the hops actually flew out of the bottle and assaulted my poor taste buds. Drinking straight from the bottle, about a quarter of the way in, the taste softened a bit (or my tongue was numbed) either way, the OCB was evolving into a very drinkable beverage. Not quite sure what the aftertaste reminds me of but it is pleasant and does not leave the harsh wash some IPAs do. I imagine it would go well with a peppered cheese snack if you’re into that kind of thing. Overall, an above-average entry and one I wouldn’t hesitate to enjoy again!

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

A nice beer that fills the session hoppy dark gap thats missing in the area. The nice bit of this beer is the balance that it has. The roasted malts are in line with the piney hops. The pair are very balanced and still allow you enjoy any thing you are eating. This also is a common beer that I bring to cook outs.

Where this beer tends to fall in the average category is the nose and appearance - nothing wrong it just doesn't really stand out enough to pour it out into a glass. It's the balance and tempered nature of the brew that keeps it in my rotation.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown black color with a nice big tan head and great lacing

S-roasted malt with some hoppy aroma and slight herbal notes

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, charcoal, mild hop bitterness and finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a decent drinking beer, but needs better balance asmalt dominates more than I would like

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

Ba Review #160
Served On: 04/29/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 6.0%
Date/ Code: 3116101411

This was from a 24-bottle case I bought at Self Serve Beverage in York, PA - on sale for $19.99!

Look: The pour was black color with a nice creamy tan head. The sticky lacing was evident almost immediately. The head stuck around for the duration.

Smell: Aroma was a roasted herbal note with hops being predominant. Some juniper mixed with a slight toffee scent.

Taste: First was an almost dairy quality mixed with a gradual hop bouquet. The middle had a nice earthy bitterness that certainly justified the IPA component. The finish consisted of juniper berries and more bitterness.

In conclusion this is a solid Black Ale. There were many similarities to the 2011 Sierra Nevada Beer Camp#16 Juniper Black Ale which was almost a 4.0 rating in my opinion.

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Photo of magine
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a near black with ruby edges. Good lace, decent pinky thick head remains. Nice layer remains, good patchy lace clings all the way. Good looks.

Brew smells of roasted malts, cocoa, and lingering hops. Good nose.

Brew is full bodied and has nice initial roasted malts, cocoa, and nutty flavors. Has some real good dry roasted malts backed up by some real nice oily hops. Very good complete flavors here, working well to make a full bodied brew. Finishes a little sticky and dry. Very good stuff here.

Brew is one of the best black IPA's I have had. The lower ABV makes this one you can drink all night. Great stuff here.

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Photo of irvan
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six-pack at Tri-Boro Beverage in Astoria.

A - Nice brown two-finger head, subsided quickly, small-bubble lace. Very deep brown, almost black

S - Strong caramel, coffee, almost porter-like, subtle hop aroma

T - The porter flavors come through strong, with lingering roasted dark malt, toasted grains, a bit of caramel. Pleasant, balanced, but definitely would not label this an IPA. Some bitterness, but not as much as expected.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, a little chewy

O - Enjoyable enough, pleasing balance, but more a lighter-bodied porter than anything else. Would buy again if I was in the mood for a darker session beer.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a dark black with a two finger mocha head. Beautiful lacing and nice retention.

Smell: dark malts, maybe a little coffee, and a nice little scent of hops.

Tastes to me like a hoppy porter not a "black IPA". Roasted dark malt, a little chocolate, and a nice dose of piney hops but not quite enough to really make it an IPA.

Mouthfeel is good- medium body, kinda thick, moderate carbonation. Definitely would get again- but again tastes more like a porter.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an impressive solid black colour with a small light brown head.

Smells sweet and malty as well as hopy and grapefruit like.
There also a woody tobacco like smell.

The taste is roasted malts,coffee,clean with a little bit of bitterness.

The mouth feel is smooth,medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall an interesting beer,to me tasted more like a porter than an ipa but this is probably the best black ipa I've had so far.

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

I bought an Otter Creek snack pack tonight.... we shall see.

Served in a FFF shaped glass.

A: Pretty much black as coal, with a majorly sticky, icky, gooey off-white head that stuck to the glass and then some.

S: I got more char than actual hop here, but it actually smelled pretty good.... sorta like a burnt hot dog with citrus relish.

T: This teetered on the verge of being a porter, but not quite. To be honest, I dug that quality about this one. I got just enough citrus in the to dictate to me the style.

M: Great carbonation here, and more lacing than you can shake a stick at. My palate was stained with charred mandarin orange afterwards.

O: I'm usually not a big BIPA fan, but I dug this one quite a bit. The best in the Otter Creek snack pack IMO.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thank to Greg (Reagan1984). Served in an Alchemist pint glass. I'm guessing there's some kind of meaning to the code printed on the neck - 3182011712. Perhaps this is from mid-January?

A - Nice two fingers of creamy tan foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind plenty of glass-coating lace. Body is a very dark brown that verges on black, with the faintest hint of transparency at the edges.

S - Nice blend of pine, roasted malts, cocoa, caramel, and perhaps a hint of floral hops as well. Quite nice, particularly if you let it warm up for a few minutes.

T - The taste isn't quite on the level of the aroma, but it's still quite good. There's a tad more bitterness than I prefer from this style but it's still at the low-to-moderate level. Pleasant cocoa, grapefruit, pine, sugar cookie, light roast, and the faintest hint of smoke in the finish.

M - Carbonation is medium-high and zesty - definitely tingles the upper lip. Resinous hop oils coat the mouth, with a bit of dry roastiness to the texture. Medium body is plenty ample for the listed 6%.

D - Really well done Black IPA that avoids the major pitfalls inherent to the style. Maybe not at the sublime level of Hill Farmstead's offerings, but pretty excellent for a beer available in six-packs at the local store. Would happily drink this one again.

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

12oz bottle purchased at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a black body with slight ruby-red highlights and and an impressive inch or so of khaki-colored head with some decent lacing. Espresso bean and grapefruit share the aroma fairly equally. Espresso hits the palate first with grapefruit and lemon hitting soon thereafter to balance. Medium in body and carbonation. A bit more malt-forward than other examples of the style I've had, but it's good. The roasty malt and citrissy hops compliment each other quite nicely. Terrific.

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

A classic of the Black IPA style. Black & active with foamy, tan head. Piney aroma w/plenty of roasty malts. Wish the smell were stronger.

Nice blend of hops, roasted malt, malty sweetness, and hints of toffee. Medium bodied, mildly bitter finish. Glad they finally decided to brew this one year-round.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very unique smell. But first off pours a deeo hazy brown with a thin off white head. Resinous citric and earthy hops battle with deep roasted malts and coffee in the nostrils.

Moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Chewy roasted malt upfront followed by citric and piney hops finishing with a bitter black coffee taste. A very complex brew.

The malt body is prominent enough to present some bold flavors while holding everything together just long enough to give the hops a moment to shine as well. Really gets your tongue thinking. Coffee, roasted barley, burnt toast, citric and flowery hops with a touch of pine. It's all there in one deep swell of a sip. Interesting and enjoyable.

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Photo of sayyad
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall: I thought this was a very well balanced, toasty and pleasant beginner IPA. None of the characteristic features were overly accentuated.

Appearance: Greyish brown head with a thin small-bubble lace. Pitch black color.

Smell: Toasted grains, a little bit of sweet malt, and piney hops. Overall pleasant but light smell.

Taste: Toasty nuts and grains really come through. The classic IPA bitterness is very indistinct and hence provides an opportunity for improvement.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and thickness of the liquid is well balanced. This feature is a plus for drinkability. The lack of bitterness would make this IPA along with its texture a good match for a lighter flavored food pairing than the usual IPA recommendations.

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

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Pitch black in color with a 2" tan head.

S - Pine, citrus hops mixed with sweet roasted malt.

T - Lots of sweet malt up front, followed by a subtle piney hop flavor. Ends with a pleasant roasty, almost coffee-esque flavor.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, dry finish. Some bitterness from the hops but not much.

D - The hoppy nose was rather deceiving, as the roasted malt was dominant all the way through. But it's still an enjoyable brew, and highly drinkable. I haven't tried many black IPAs but this one leaves a good impression of the style.

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