Wild Raven | Thornbridge Brewery

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Wild RavenWild Raven
Wild RavenWild Raven

Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 152
Photo of q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Khyber Pass pub, Philadelphia .

Appearance Is dark black. Medium white head. Lasting legs.
Aroma Is floral, hops, malt.
Taste is toasted malt, almost fruity but not quite. Smoke, ash.

A nice beer. Great way to wash down my fried catfish po boy. Yum.


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Photo of Bruno74200
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Dark brown, but not black, with a two finger white head

S - lots of pine, a bit of chocolate, a bit spicy and some citrus

T - Caramel, chocolate, grapefruit, a nice english hop presence with some spiciness

M - Good carbonation, putting the taste in the center of the stage

O - A balanced beer, getting better at each sip. Not a hop bomb, but the hops brings a good balance to te chocolate and caramel malts.

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Photo of rex_4539
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Jet black color, 2 to 3 finger light brown head, quickly dissolving lacing, high carbonation.

S: Hops, caramel.

T: Sweet, chocolate, slightly bitter and malty on the back end. Really good taste.

F: Great mouthfeel. Full bodied.

O: Superb beer. Would gladly drink on any occasion.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Jet black on tap, tan head, 4/5". Aroma was earthy tobacco, mild roasting.

Taste had plenty of bitterness. Lots of carbonation paired with grapefruit hop bitterness. Hopping blend was interesting. Dry. Staying away from dark fruit notes, stressing roast and bitterness. Good in small quantities but I was ready to be done with it by the end of a pint.

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Photo of Martine
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours semi-opaque hazy brown with a red eclipse into a tulip glass from a bottle. The beer is thick with sediment as it settles out. The offwhite head is 2 fingers high, sparse, and foamy with good retention before it drops to thick surface froth.

The nose is very sweet, with ripe tropical mango and passionfruit, floral grassy notes, sweet nectar, and something akin to elderflower. There's an almost fruit salad/black jack combination going on, those sweet, dank aromas marrying into an anise, dark malty undertone that just sits beneath the surface.

The flavour is very similar to the aroma with more of those big ripe mango and grapefruit flavours on the sip, pith, dank piney grass, treacle malts, anise, and bitter floral aromatic hops on the finish. There isn't much of a pinpoint to when the palate turns from IPA to dark ale, it seems to be all encompassing. This black IPA reminds me of a doppelbock in many ways.

It feels light-medium bodied, carbonated, and pleasantly balanced between wet and oily. There's no hint of dryness, and it's light enough to enjoy more than one.

I enjoyed this ale very much; it provides a sweeter spin on the black IPA, whilst submitting some of the lovely dark flavours we love so much in dark ales. Would recommend.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown with a big head that leaves some lacing. Nose is both piney and malty, giving an impression in-between US and UK styles. Flavor adds in a bit of roasted malt characteristics, but isn't super exciting. Crisp medium mouthfeel, carbonation high. Overall, solid but not mind-blowing.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Rich ckear dark brown colour. Earthy bitter and pine hop aromas with a slight sourness. Tasted very heady and smokey, bitter earthy and piney hops with a touch of citrus pith and a surprising malt presence throughout. Medium to heavy bodied, almost syrupy. Reminiscent of some imperial IPAS.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with a slightly tanned foam head. Aroma is great, hoppy, fresh, fruity and grassy. Taste is complex, great balance between roasted notes and hops, nice example of black IPA. Medium body with low carbonation. Nice beer.

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Photo of Spike
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark. Not black. Dark brown. Massive head, not quite as creamy as a stout. Lots of lacing. No carbonation visible.

Citrus, resin nose. Not prominent. Coffee.

Sweeter than I was expecting. That'll be the malts then. There's also some sourness there. The citrus is not obvious.

Incredibly dry mouthfeel. Can feel it all along the edge of my tongue. Almost espresso, but not quite as bitter.

Lively. Dry. Long head retention. Would prefer the blackness to be accompanied by a little more sweetness.

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Photo of aleigator
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours as dark as the night, with a huge, stable head.

Smells of grassy, wet grass hops, together with roasted, cocoa infused malts. Has a dank, fish scale fortified undertone, with mango shining through. The hops establish a certain dankness, which creates an interesting interplay between the malty qualities of the beer and its tropical fruits.

Has a medium carbonation with a smooth yeast appearance, creating a pleasant mouthfeel. While the beer got a gentle complexity to it, it remains refreshing.

Tastes of grass enriched orange, blood orange and papaya, while an earthy maltiness sets the foundation. A metallic note from the carbonation ties the different flavours together, by providing a sharp metallic bitter whiff, as well as an earthy coppery sweetness. The finish features a dry hop impact, defined by wet grass, accompanied by roasted cocoa nibs, revealing coffee qualities. Its bitterness stays long on the palate, while being accompanied by barky coffee flavors.

Wow, very intense and extremely versatile. The hoppy part of the beer is very prominent, not only providing the typical fruits but also ice-bonbon topped wet grass. The resulting dankness blends well into the malts, due to the noteable carbonation, hops and earthen malts stay on par on the palate, creating a fantastic tasting beer.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really dark brown with reddish hues sitting under an ample head of off white foam.

Big notes of pine and roasted malt in the smell. Some chocolate of the dark variety.

Tastes even better than it smells. I get some pineapple out of the hops that are used.

Gloriously smooth on the palate and very easy drinking.

A marvelous brew!

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Photo of interzen
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Look: Pours very much like a well-known Irish stout - dark brown to black body with a big pile of fluffy, beige/tan head. Some nice ruby-red highlights when held up to the light. Considerable staying power in the head department, and some nice lacing left behind.

Smell: Strongly hopped, as you'd expect for an American-inspired beer. Interesting mix of both resin and citrus hops, with the former definitely dominating. If there's any malt aromas in there then the hops are doing a mighty good job of steamrollering them beyond perception.

Taste: Hops, oddly enough, and .... dark chocolate. Yes, really - bubbling under the hoppiness there's the chalky bitterness that you'd get from a really good quality dark chocolate (think in terms of 85% cocoa). Most unexpected, and contrasts nicely with the other, more malt-oriented and caramel flavours. Whilst it's not nearly as full-on as something like a chocolate stout, it definitely adds a degree of interest.

Feel: Smooth, nicely bitter with a nice, lingering aftertaste and that wonderful hint of chocolate. There's not a lot of carbonation but that just adds to the drinkability.

Overall: Not as in-yer-face as an American IPA but then it doesn't need to be - this stands perfectly well on its own merits. Superb balance of bittering and aroma hops, combined with the malts and that dark chocolate vibe make this an absolute cracker. Thornbridge do some superb beers and this one is right up there with the best of them

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled and sadly missing bottle conditioning
Sublimely well balanced with all the taste sensations of eating a blackjack & fruit salad at same time, Thornbridge's best bottle!

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Photo of fank2788
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite black with some highlights around the edges but in general not much light passes through on top a finger of tiny bubbles falls to a thin layer that laces nicely. The smell is full of piney hops and some citrus hop as well, not much in the way of malt as the hops truly dominate. This is quite tasty as it starts with a good shot of pine and citrus hops which are backed with some caramel and chocolate malt but this is definitely hop focused. Smooth and roasty finish with some lingering hop bitterness, pretty low levels of carbonation that all combine to invite the next sip. I'm not a huge fan of Black ales or black IPAs but do enjoy this one, I'm yet to be disappointed by Thornbridge Brewery.

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Photo of FLima
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black color with red highlights and a thick mushroom head with excellent retention and leaving a wall of laces.
Nice aroma with notes of passion fruit, black fruits and licorice, some Brazilian jabuticaba and a light roastdness.
Flavor with lots of dark fruits, licorice, smooth roastdness, predominant grapefruit citrusy, resin, pines, tea leaves, musk and flowers. Dry and bitter aftertaste with an elegant roasted prolonged note.
Very good Black IPA, super fruity and perfectly balanced with a good deal of citrus hops. One of my top favorites British breweries, which carry some American accent. Don't remember to have let me down. Recommended.

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Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar but upon closer inspection when brought up to a bright light it is clear dark red and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that gradually died down, leaving some patches of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge, a thin head in between, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark and roasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of citrus and pine resin hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is mostly dominated by flavors of dark malts with some notes of burnt, chocolate and roasted malts and has underlying notes of tropical fruits and pine from the hops, the latter of which contribute a light amount of bitterness. The roasted malts particularly linger into the aftertaste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The subdued nature of the hops in this beer fits the bill of this being a Black IPA from the United Kingdom and this could be classified as an "English Black IPA" if there was such a style.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Roguer
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big, tan head with good retention. Brew is black as a solid stout. Nice, sticky lacing. The bottle is beautiful, with an artsy, stately label, and a black-on-gold neck label.

Strong hop notes up front - floral and juicy citrus - against a malt backbone that gives notes of smooth chocolate and biscuit, and hints of dark fruit.

Strong acidic grapefruit hop flavor, as well as an earthier, greener bitter hop bite; some sweet juicy orange or ruby red grapefruit as well; caramel malt and bitter chocolate. Hop-forward; balanced bitterness; appropriately subtle yet present malts.

Fairly dry, medium feel; a little more full than a normal IPA, but the bracing bitterness is more of a factor than any chewiness. Lively with very little sting.

This is a very good Black IPA that is right on the mark. Tons of hop character that is really highlighted, and a roasty malt character right at a perfect level for the style. It's a little bit drier in the flavor than I typically prefer, but I find that is often the case with English IPAs.

If you're a fan of Black IPAs, I'm not sure this would immediately jump right into your top 3, but neither do I think you'll be disappointed.

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Photo of dar482
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a dark brown color.

The aroma has roasted malt, chocolate, a hint citrus, but mostly earthy and piney hops.

The flavor follows roasted malt, sweet caramel, a huge herbal and spice bitternes son the back.

It is easy drinking, though reminds me more of a hoppy porter than a black IPA.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A black IPA in a 500ml bottle from Systembolaget, Sweden.

Clear, black beer with a one finger high withe foam.

Smell of chocolate, orange, pine, grass, tropical fruit and rosted malt.

Taste: Rosted malt, a little bit of coffee, chocolate, grapefruit, peach and hops.

Medium body and small but right carbonation. Great bitterness. A really good beer!

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Photo of hansavijaticar
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Colour: dark brown, bit of red.
Smell and taste: pines, ananas, grapefruit, cocoa; dark chocolate (in the back).
Lingering bitterness, but quite refreshing, surprisingly for the style. Medium body.
Very complex beer, one of my favourite black IPA-s.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.21/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Thornbridge Wild Raven.

Pours with a nice dark brown, almost black color, and a decent beige head.
The strong aroma my nose picked up were roasted malts with some coffee as well.
The taste was likewise roasted plus some coffee. The bitterness was very strong, much too strong for my liking.
Overall, this beer was too heavy, too strong and too bitter. Not really good IMO.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-cask 11/20/2013 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, citrus and hops.

T: The taste starts out very creamy with bitter sweet flavors of chocolate, coffee and citrus followed by a roasted malt character. The hops presence is a bit subdued but still brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

From Beer Cartel. BB 05 2014

A - black with whitish one finger head. Spotty clingy lace.

S and T - similar being a more earthy IPA style than the floral US style backed with the coffe and choc dark roasts. Grape fruits yes but not to the fore. Hint lychee, from a hop I cannot name but I recognise.

M - lightly carbonated and very smooth

O - what you might expect from Thornbridge, as in a more restrained attempt at style and really slap in their style bracket. Drinkability up with zestiness and sharpness down making it all the more drinkable.

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Photo of danieelol
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with good head and lacing.

Smell is glorious pine, jasmine (think that's the Sorachi Ace). Spicy and seductive, the pine is really potent. A slightly rice-y note. A little bit of tangello/blood orange.

Taste has more blood orange and tangello. Nice candied quality.

Mouthfeel is slightly sweet in a good way, piney and mildly bitter and ashen in the finish.

This beer is excellent, fresh and way too easy to drink, like most Thornbridge (I)PAs that I've tried.

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Photo of dangeru
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice. Good hop and roast, with an additional layer of interest coming from an oakiness to the flavor.

The best black IPA that I can regularly get my hands on in the UK.

Not as good as Boneyard Armored fist, but definitely a solid black IPA for those of us across the pond.

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Wild Raven from Thornbridge Brewery
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 152 ratings