Otter Creek Black IPA | Otter Creek Brewing

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Otter Creek Black IPAOtter Creek Black IPA
Very Good
862 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 862 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am definitely a fan of this style and I enjoyed OC’s somewhat middle of the road take. Not too big but nicely balanced and definitely tasty. Brownish black color, opaque. Tan, two finger head that has decent retention, good sticky lacing. Very nice nose of piney hops and roasted malt, which continues in the tasting. Well balanced, appealingly bitter. I love the combination of roastiness with the hops, has more than a little note of bitter black coffee in there too. Again, the hop flavors are on the piney side rather than the citric.

Good mouthfeel with medium carbonation and a touchy of creaminess/tongue coating oils. Very drinkable. Lingering bitterness in the finish, but not overly long. If you enjoy this style this is certainly one to try.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap tonight at Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or head retention.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, fruity hops and malts. A little sweet, and more going on in the nose than just roasted malts, which I like.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and citrus hops. Some bitterness, and a small step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a nice Black IPA. I liked the nose a lot, though I thought the taste was a little bit one dimensional being very roasted. Would give it another shot.

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Photo of barleyroad
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK. As black IPA's go. Nice appearance, and the smell has a good nuttyness. Hans Loves this beer, says if you like IPA you will like this black IPA.
Taste is over all a 4.0 and we think this is a great tasting beer. Mouth feel is a little sticky and lays a while, but this is not in a bad way.
Overall, we say get it, drink it and enjoy it. Will go well with a cheese, swiss, blu, or sharp.. Oh.. try it with a good hotdog... really!

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Photo of andrewm190
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's only the second black IPA I've tried, and for the second time I'm not overly impressed. A fine beer I suppose, but I don't think its particularly brilliant. It kicks around some hops here and there, and is a little more strong on the roasted malts. This is also my first time with Otter Creek, I think. I got it pretty cheap at Trader Joe's, so not the massive investment that comes occasionally with some others. In general I'd say it more or less met my expectations, but I'd have been a little happier with something a little stronger and a little bolder. It's now advertised as year round; I'll probably look elsewhere though for some variety.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich chestnut brown from the bottle comes off a flat black in the glass. A bready 1 finger mocha colored head is fair retention wise with a frothy coating for lace.

S: fresh with hoppy pine, tree bark, dry citrus set against a soft dry roasted malting. Decent level of hops, enough so to get you interested, smoothly balanced and not over whelming, rather complimenting to the dark grain base.

T: The flavor is as smooth as the nose, dry roasted nature with dry pine and citrus coming through. Good level of hoppiness, again enough to warrant your attention, but smooth and eloquent in delivery, with a polished sense. Dry chocolate with a soft campfire minerality comes on close. Roasty with a good mix of pine, nicely balanced between the malt and hops.

M: The body is medium, with a roasty warmth and rich hopping of pine and citrus coming through on the tongue. Nice bubbly and creamy texture leaving a gentle hoppy roast fade.

O: Very drinkable, reminds me of a sam adams in a way that things are nicely balanced, solid flavor and makes for a very smooth drinking experience. While others strive for brute force this finds a good niche among the crowd who enjoy balance and smooth drinkability. A few of these can definitely go down no problem at all.

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Photo of nezelrac
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle - no longer "Alpine", but notes that it is now available "Year Round" - into a shaker pint

A - big pale mocha head rises two fingers and settles slowly; some nice lacing; nearly black

S - floral and citrus hops push into minty; rich malt aromas with some caramel/butterscotch and roasted notes; fruity notes - baked peaches and apples - as well

T - plenty of hoppy flavors swirl through a palate that lets them stand up front; roasted malts begin to grab on in the middle and move to prominence by the finish; hops are still sort of minty on the back end

M - good medium weight; CO2 is generous and promotes a creamy texture that stays light on its feet

O - a good Black IPA that begins to lean towards hoppy porter but stays well shy; well done

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Photo of mpyle
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks like Alpine has been dropped from the name.

App - Opaque color, pours a big tan head that is creamy and long lasting.

Aroma - Some citrusy hop smells, but slightly subdued (or hidden under the head!) Also a roasty, almost smokey dark malt aroma.

Taste - Some bitter chocolate, and other roasty bitter flavors. Hop flavors are secondary. Stays roasty and bitter into the finish. Flavor doesn't distinguish itself from a Robust Porter.

MF - Medium body and carbonation. A surprising amount of alcohol warming for a 6% ABV beer, but think I've noted that in other Otter Creek offerings. Definitely a flaw.

O'all - A big flavorful beer, but too roasty and without a big, bright hop presence as would like to see in the style. Fans of big porters likely would like this one as well.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Blackish-brown, transparent, but not by much. Coffee-cream looking head.

S: Battle between smokey malt and pine, citrus hops.

T: Burnt hops, does that make sense? Roasted malts met immediately with pine hops, bitter. Backing of smokey brown sugar and citrus hops.

M: Medium body, lower carbonation, bitter and a touch acidic.

O/D: Really solid offering, a beer much better on tap. A style I'm really starting to enjoy, and you should start here.

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

Bottle is the final beer enjoyed and reviewed from the Otter Creek Variety Case.

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - A a totally opaque, deep brown, almost black color. A decent size (1-2 finger), beige colored head on the initial pour. Fades within a minute or two to a light skim on top of the beer. Good amount of sticky lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - An aroma of burnt or roasted malts.

T - A really good beer. The beer has a combination of burnt malts and maybe even some coffee notes. There also seems to be a faint hint of chocolate. The hops make this beer slightly bitter but there is enough sweetness to offset it. The alcohol is slightly noticeable once it warms up a bit.

M - A good amount of carbonation. The beer is on the thin to medium consistency. A slightly bitter aftertaste.

O - I really liked this beer. Of the four beers from the Otter Creek Variety Case, I have to say this is my favorite. The beer goes down really easy and isn't too heavy. You could enjoy several of these without a problem. I would seek this out again which is my indicator if a beer is good or not. Recommended.


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

A nice opaque black beer with a great tan head that is nice and dense and sticks around for a looong time. Lacing is superb!

Wow a great aroma, hops and roasted malts meld together very nicely to be very inviting. Bitter, fruity and and robust...really the aroma of this beer and the style in general is what is making it one of my top 5 favorite styles. The flavor really just extends this...chocolatey and roasty, some hop bitterness that really compliments the roast malts. A little touch of alcohol in a not-so-warm way, only adding to the pleasantness of this beer.

A nice smooth medium bodied beer, nice carb level and just a great tasting easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of powellmg
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served @ 40F in a pint glass.

Poured clear and black with a fizzy brown head that dissipated quickly. Spare lacing. Nice pine and citrus aroma. Taste was hoppy like the aroma, but with the addition of burnt notes and a faint sweetness. A little harsh, with a bit of an acrid mouthfeel. Moderately high carbonation.

I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this was an enjoyable version.

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Photo of droomyster
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the most beautiful beers I've ever seen. It pours a nearly impenetrable black with a big brown head that is at first billowing and frumpy and then settles into a thumb-thick layer with outstanding retention. Aromas are delightfully hopping, with lots of citrusy and evergreen needle notes, with a good amount of charred character. Good flavors that consistent with the those but more complex due to a sweeter, toffee taste on the mid-palate. Lingering notes of coffee and orange zest. A very tasty beer. Almost as good as Black IPAs that cost 3 or 4 times as much, making this an excellent value.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to SFLpunk for this one

Look: Black in color with a 1 inch head and good retention and spotty lacking

Smell: Piney hops upfront chocolate malt and hints of coffee

Taste: Roasted malt traces of coffee and there is this funky candy sugar flavor that I cant put my finger on really interesting. The backend carries some piney hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation and a dry finish

OVerall: The taste of this beer is quite interesting to say the least. It's kinda funky and kinda sweet at the same time just like a hippie from Oregon

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Photo of beer2day
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark ruby pour with a pillow top 2 finger tan head. Very nice retention and excellent lace.

Nose is burnt citrus and toast. Mix of chocolate malt and a bit of vanilla underneath that. Decent balance of hop and malt character.

Smoky porter feel dominates the taste. Getting lots of vanilla and tannins on the back end. Smoke comes in with the initial draw and stays through the finish. Starting to get a bitter feel in the finish 1/3 of the way into the glass. Citrus and bitter chocolate combined. Molasses coming out later in the glass, right up front. All the way through, though, that smoke really dominates.

Feel is very light for the flavor. Hard to get used to that in this style of beer. Getting a bit chalky towards the bottom of the glass.

Overall, not bad and probably decent for the style.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle doesn't include the word "Alpine" anywhere, but otherwise looks very similar to the bottle pictures, same ABV, same style. I'll assume it's the same thing.

This one has it in the looks department, "it" being a nice chocolate/root beer brown color, glassy and with lots of bubbles marching in neat rows up to a fluffy, long-lasting, mocha-cream/ice cream type head. Mmm mm mm, sista.

Aroma-wise, it leans on the weaker side for the style. Sometimes these black ales' hops vs. malt struggle ends up smelling rather chemical/mineral, and this one does that. A stony smell. Maybe the taste buds will sort all this out...

While tasting slightly chalky, there's a good balancing act done here between malt and hops. The malt is very roasty and smoky, almost like a porter, but never overtakes the hops, which are citrusy but hardly West Coast Citrusorama, and they remain complementary as well. Some grapefruit/citrus peel does peek through, though.

A fairly dry beer, gives a bit of a pucker with some pronounced chocolate notes hanging out in the finish, and that mild grapefruit personality lingering.

Not overwhelmingly amazing, although enjoyable enough if you like this style.

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Photo of jtingue
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an american style pint glass.

Appearance. Pours a deep black with no light passing through. The head on this beer is gorgeous, thick and creamy with a hazelnut color. Retention is great, as is lacing.

Smell. Roasted barley and nuttiness are present, but not overwhelming. The nuttiness is reminiscent of some yeast esters found in other styles of beer, though I can't say that is the source. Very little hop aroma.

Taste. Huge roasted barley up front, as well as a smokey malt presence. This if followed by a pleasing hop bitterness. Not much hop flavor though.

Mouthfeel. Nice heavy body with the perfect amount of carbonation.

To be truthful, I did not enjoy this brew the first two times I had it. This third time, though, I really appreciated the equally considered malt and hop characters.

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Photo of RyeIPA
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Came in a summer sampler 12 pack. Poured dark with a good about of head. The color was near pitch black and the head was a brownish color. As a black IPA the IPA taste came first, hoppy, but a stout-coffee-type taste came after and lingered much longer. Never seen this style before so was curious but a very good choice and glad that I got it.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 2/28/11

Appearance: Very dark brown/nearly black, with some hints of red around the edges when held up to the light - head starts off on the thin side, and lacing is good, but not really impressive

Smell: Burnt malts and bitter, citrusy hops - some floral hops, too - very on-par for the style

Taste: A good mix of flavors - hops are grassy and citrusy - malts are burnt, bitter chocolate malts - some sweetness - the flavors are good, but they are a bit on the weak side (I wouldn't say "watery," but it's not a stretch)

Mouthfeel: Smooth, on the light side, well-carbonated

Overall: A good, but not great, example of an American Black Ale/India Dark Ale

While this is not particularly exciting, it's not bad. It's definitely worth a try. Very drinkable, and it's kind of sad that it is only available in the winter.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks much for all the otter creeks SFLpunk

the appeal of a good porter with a over hopped fruit to it. there is some back note of chocolate and coffee that are blended with the front of mouth hop dryness. not tannin sticky. sort of has a quick finish with some porter notes that fade faster than a porter. a hint of grass. a hint of chocolate.

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Photo of MrOH
3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A five month old bottle, so I'll be gentle.

black with a two-finger tan head. Streaks of lace.

Grapefruit, pine, and some chocolate and coffee. Nothing too bold though.

Grapefruit, weak coffee and milk chocolate. Not too pleasant. Nothing really too gross, the flavors just seem to clash a bit too much for my tastes.

Medium bodied, good carb.

It was better fresh on draft when I had it a few months ago. Now, just kinda "meh".

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Photo of Kitt
2.59/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep, dark chocolate, with a thin brown head. Weak but persistent lacing.

Aroma, thick, rich, humid, and heavy malt with a licorice undertone.

Stout-like more than IPA-like. Heavy malts. A slight bitter linger.

Full bodied and heavy, goes down slow.

This is a stout beer with some extra hop kick. This is not an IPA. Let's stick to stouts being stout and IPAs being IPAs. Please don't try to mix -- each is terrific in its own right, but they aren't made to be married. The flavor just isn't doing it for me.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otter Creek Alpine Black IPA
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink #2954041511
Served in a hotel mug

Pours a pitch black with a khaki colored head on top. I see some trails of sticky lace.

Pleasant nose with whiffs of dark malts, sweet dairy and hops.

Dark roasted malts with some chocolate and coffee flavors. Nicely robust and flavorful with a significant malt backbone. The finish showcases a nice hop snap with hints of pine, black pepper and citrus.

This is a tasty brew from Otter Creek. One of the better offerings that I've had from them in recent memory.

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

Picked up a sixer at the Francestown Village Market yesterday for $8.99.

Brew poured black with a nice cola brown head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is fresh citrus hops and roasted and slightly smoked malts.

Taste is roasted malts, hint of bitter chocolate and coffee, finishing with a strong citrus hop.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat creamy, leading to a smooth finish.

Overall i really like this brew, the roasted malts and the strong amount of hops play well together. This is not for every palate but give it a shot if you like the above qualities!

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Photo of BeerdedEric
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light brown fluffy head dissipating relatively quickly. Black body from the center and the edges are the darkest of crimson red. The head turns into a brown film as it sits.

Very nice balance of roasted dark malts like chocalate and some coffee, citrus and piney hops. Smells quite nice.

That's a very nice taste! Much like the aroma, dark roasted flavors mixing with the citrus. Slightly bitter from the hops and roasted chocolate. Tasty.

Approaching medium body, carbonation is noticeable, it feels okay going down; its lacking feel.

Overall, tasty brew; I am really becoming a fan American Black Ales, Black IPA's, whatever you want to call them. It doesn't appear many BA's seem to favor this style. I love Porters, Stouts and IPA's and what's better than a beer that represents all those styles? I get a very nice balance of those styles in this brew; I have had better of course but certainly worth checking out this Black IPA.

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Photo of BLove
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at Rupununi in downtown Bar Harbor, ME. I've only had a few of this new style, but all have been delightful.

A. Deep-dark black, thick creamy tan head fades rather quickly
S. Intense hoppy, citrus/pine aromas; surprisingly little to no roast aroma
T. Big citrus, pine resin, grassy hop flavors throughout. Then mild roast aftertase.
M. Thin-Med mouthfeel, overall thinner than I expected
D. I thought it was very good overall. I would drink this again..and again. :)

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Otter Creek Black IPA from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 862 ratings
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