Wisdom Seeker
Black Raven Brewing Co.

Wisdom SeekerWisdom Seeker
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #401
ABV:
8.9%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,591
Avg:
4.2 | pDev: 8.81%
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
198
From:
Black Raven Brewing Co.
 
Washington, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  52
Gots
  19
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Wisdom SeekerWisdom Seeker
Notes: Folklore and mythology present the raven as an omniscient creature with special powers and abilities. The Wisdom Seeker Double IPA gets its special powers from an enormous amount of hops and malted barley. Brewed in the West coast Double IPA style, this bold brew features massive citrus and herbal hop additions and a full hop aroma. Seek your wisdom cautiously; this hop feast packs a punch. Released annually in the Spring.
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 198 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Now that I have begun really diving into the Bottle backlog here at Chez Woody, I am unstoppable! Yes, it means suspending The CANQuest (tm) for the moment, but the thought of being rid of these pesky bottles for once & for all is so heartening that I almost do not have words. These next bunch were all purchases through Tavour & as I have said repeatedly, I have no real beef with them. It was their inflexible local shipper + the continual adding to the backlog that led me to part ways.

From the Bottle: "Double India Pale Ale (IPA)"; "Limited Release"; "Drink Fresh/Do Not Cellar"; "Our Limited Release series brings you special beers from our local taproom."; "Bitter * Herbal * Hoppy * Bold"; "Ales of great distinction and character"; "Brewed with Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra, Nugget and Chinook Hops."; "Wisdom Seeker Double IPA gets its special powers from enormous of hops and malted barley. This bold brew features massive hop additions and a full hop aroma. Seek your wisdom cautiously."

I Pop!ped the cap & started up with a slow, gentle C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. I watched in rapt fascination as it foamed up, forcing me to back down & off. I was left with two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with very good retention. Color was a tea-like solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was like hop tea - a mellow mélange of pine, citrus, light caramel and somewhere, probably in a corner, naughty Simcoe the kitten was doing her catty business! 8=O Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy & light for the style as a result. The taste was a riotous throwback to the PNW days of ~ 20 years ago, when AIPAs like these were the norm & I came to realize that I was a dyed-in-the-wool hophead. In this one, it was the pine that was particularly pungent. Man, it was truly minty, cool, resinous and with a woody quality that I noted in a previous beer. Here, it was less oaky than simply wooden, like pine bark with some sap. 8=O This was clearly no playin' around! The other flavors - grapefruit, cattiness, orange/tangerine were present, but relegated not just to the back, but into the rumble seat! The intensity of the pine was causing my eyes to water in response. Phew, but this was gaspingly dry! I was at my asthma inhaler like it was a life saver with me in the ocean. Wow. YMMV.

Apr 09, 2020
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beergoot from Colorado

4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep copper hued body; immensely dense and thick head; sticky rings of foam climb down the glass. Big grain and pine aroma mixture; caramel. The taste encompasses malt sweetness and earthy, bitter hops. Heavy body; crisp and prickly on the palate; bold residual sugar presence; mainly dry mouthfeel throughout.

A fine double IPA, balanced and heavy with malt presence. The hop element provides a nice counterpoint to the grain sweetness. Nicely done...

May 30, 2019
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a clear reddish orange with a billowy off white head.

Aroma is orange and bubblegum a little bit of a weird mix but works.

Taste is a piney orange with hint of bubblegum at the end. Delicious.

Mar 29, 2018
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into a tulip. There is no date on it. The appearance is a clear amber to light red in color. There is a fluffy white one and a half finger head that dissipates within about a minute in spots but maintains a lumpy sort of look in other spots. Decent carbonation is seen rising at a moderate pace. The smell has a fair amount of honey flavored citrus hops with a decent herbal to earthy dank aroma combining and backing it all up into a nice tight fulfilling quality. Very nice! The taste is combined well between the citrus hops and the honey to showcase a very nice bittersweetness. The aftertaste is honey sweet with a quick dry sweet finish. On the palate, it sits about a medium in body with a decent sharpness from a normal DIPA but still leads me on with a nice "West Coast" maltiness that is somewhat smooth and ends up coating my mouth and tongue with a touch of honey. Overall, I get it. This is a very nice West Coast DIPA that is very reminiscent of Hopslam but in the West Coast sort of way. By all means, I would have this again in a heartbeat.

Jun 25, 2017
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Floral, citrus, malt. Split a bottle three ways with friends. Amber pour with nice clarity; solid tightly packed head with good lacing. Aroma of pine, resin and fresh cut citrus beneath the bottle cap. Taste is a heavy dose of hop-driven tropical and pungent fruit flavors with piney and pithy undertones. Prominent caramel and sweet cracker malt base comes to the fore. More balanced than what I expecting. The malt and alcohol-warmth adds a heftiness to the feel of the beer. Drinks clean and crisp with a slight lingering bitterness. Good beer.

May 07, 2017
Photo of woemad
woemad from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Mid-Columbia Wine & Spirits in Kennewick, WA, for $8.95. No freshness date, and the label is completely different, and incidentally states the abv is 8.9%, for whatever that's worth.

Poured into a Mad Bomber pseudo-IPA glass, this was a moderately clear, orangey amber color. There was a big, fluffy white head that took it’s time dropping. Lots of lace.

Big, citrusy, bitter, grapefruity nose to this.

The taste starts out as a grapefruity blast to the palate. Midway through, things get decidedly piney and bitter, and finish with a dry zap to the tastebuds. Good, but somewhat one-dimensional.

Medium bodied, with a resiny, oily mouthfeel.

Yet another Black Raven beer that does everything it’s supposed to, yet nothing remarkable. It did look great, but it’s one dimensional bitterness doesn’t make me feel like going out of my way for it in the future, and didn’t justify the price.

May 15, 2016
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Rogerlb from California

4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

By the way I got a different bottle design, darker green bg on the label with more hand-drawn line drawings with than the one pictured here.

Pours a nice orange/amber with very little head. Lacing is spotty and alcohol legs throughout the drink. Aroma is a rich hop bomb, with citrus and some malt. Taste right along those lines, mostly hops at the onset, bitter is there but not overload. Dank, pine, lemongrass, and oily resin. Very nice. Booze in there too. Finish goes a little sweet, malt, mostly sequeing back to a dank hoppy pine and soap (not complaining).

Resiny and oily, booze is warming without too much heat. Feel is great. A solid and quite fine imperial IPA.

May 14, 2016
Photo of cavedave
cavedave from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed 4/15 with DrunkinYogi,. Thanks again for the amazing beers, kemoarps. From notes.

Cloudy dark gold with a thin off white head. Has that classic west coast look.

It's a full on citrus blast and hop funk party for the nose with this baby. Hop. Funk. Yes. Please.

Well why not have a citrus and hop funk party on palate? Indeed, it is a great party, with some righteous herbal pine bitter to dry it out. I mean, of course, DRY it out.

Medium carb., med. viscosity, clean, dry as a bone finish, what more can man ask?

Spectacular beer. Highly recommended. Get you some.

May 02, 2016
Photo of RJLarse
RJLarse from Washington

4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I bougth a bottle of Wisdom Seeker in a Kirkland Grocery store. Poured in to a tulip glass.

Pours a rich copper gold color with a thick white head.

Smell is faint, an acerbic wet grain aroma.

Taste is a balance malt and hop flavor, sweet bread up front woth a bitter pine finish.

Mouthfeel is remarkably clean for the style, with a dry bitter finish not cloying at all.

Overall a nice dry IIPA. Well done by the folks at Black Raven.

Apr 25, 2016
Photo of gandres
gandres from Philippines

4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap to glass @ brewery tap [email protected] Redmond, WA
Appearance: Golden light amber, long lasting white head, lacing
Aroma: strong scent of hops
Taste: Sweet, low bitterness
Feel Palate:
Overall: very good beer good to repeat and to look for
Drank April 5, 2015 9pm

Apr 07, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice orange pour, 1/5" white head. All the dry hopping citrus aroma going on. Taste kept kicking down those tangerine, orange and grapefruit notes. Kept the bitterness from becoming a distraction.

Good light body, hides alcohol, not overly caramel or bitter. This is what upper echelon ipas/dipas do, and this one does it well.

Surprised you don't hear more talk about this one, then again, every region has an adequate substitute for this beer.

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of Pauken
Pauken from Ohio

4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry west coast guys but I've yet to run into any "west coast" IPA's that really compete with what's happening out east these days... Tree House, all the VT stuff, Pipeworks, Half Acre, Hoof Hearted and the rest of the Ohio stuff... Pliny is in the ballpark...

Mar 15, 2016
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps from Washington

4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep russet clear crisp amber body with a mountain of off white head. Gorgeous.

Nose brings light fruity and floral notes. As it settles in the spicy more blunted (dull not dope) side of the hops comes out. Malt compliment is rich caramel initially but then cedar and neutral notes take over.

Flavour brings classic west coast style with rich juicy hops supported by a thick caramel base. Bitter but not overwhelmingly so. Hops are spicy pepper and juicy citrus. Definitely pithy, and I don't mean it gives good dialogue. Finish is like a slowly tightening grip that lulls you in with the balance and accessibility of the body of the beer, but slowly peels away layers until you're left with an herbacious bitter finish that lingers. Burps bring some of the juiciness back.

Good body, appropriate carbonation. Yum yum!

Mar 13, 2016
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hreb from Washington

3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in pint glass. This year's bottle claims 8.9% ABV. Immediate, massive pine-hop aroma emanates as soon as the bottle is opened. I think there might be some dry hopping here. Peer pours pale golden in color, not quite clear, with a healthy white head. In addition to the resinous pine there's also a tropical fruit thing going on. Flavor is BIG West coast IPA, aggressively bitter. My mouth is filled with sticky, resiny flavors of pine and citrus, with hops seeking out every corner of my palate. This is not an IPA for anyone with reservations about West coast IPA. Nor a session DIPA (ha!).

Apr 19, 2015
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden yellow in color. Clear in appearance. Drinks light. Bitterness on the back end. Hops don't jump out at you. Grapefruit, pine and orange zest.

Mar 27, 2015
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mabermud from Washington

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber/gold body. The look is reminiscent of an IPA. Light in color, crystal clear. Uninspiring smell. Wet socks. Faded orange and old 7-up. If the smell was uninspiring, the taste is inspiring. Balanced tropical flavors that are mushy...soft. Maybe I should say, the flavors are intricately woven together. Nothing explodes, no 500lb bomb...this is a cluster bomb with juice. Mellow flavors. Laid back Imperial IPA. The feel is right there, on target. Nice carbonation throughout, easy body.

Overall - Excellent. Nice look, decent smell, great taste, awesome feel.

Mar 20, 2015
Photo of lochef81
lochef81 from Michigan

3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up as a wild card in a recent west coast buy. It pours a golden amber color with a decent white head that leaves little lacing. The aroma is a nice west coast hop aroma. Notes of pineapple, red grapefruit, and pine are prevalent. There's also a very generous amount of malt present in the nose. The mouthfeel is medium to full and sticky. I feel like it could actually use just a touch more carbonation. Flavor is a nicely balanced blend of bitter hops and sweet malt. Its good, just a little sweeter than I like my dipas. Glad I tried it but not one I'd go out of my way to get.

May 31, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.22/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to rudzud for giving me this bottle to try.

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med to slower pace, nice soapy lacing, long rings of lacing, semi hazy but mostly clear honey golden color.

Nose is a mix, some nice hops and some not so nice, starts with a little citrus and tropical notes, little juicy tangerine and papaya like, but that quickly gives way to the bad, some rancid hop oils, lots of hop oils and resin, some piney earthy and a little musty cat piss, lots of forest floor pine and herbal tea like hops. Under that is a little candy malt note, little sweetness.

Taste is also sweet, candy malts come right out, little syrupy and some candy sugar, even a touch of a maple syrupy like note but not really a mapley flavor. With that is a touch of booze warmth, and some phenolic notes. But the real player is the hops again, big earthy herbal hops, again that cooked vegetable like note and rancid hop oils, quite an unpleasant hop chracter I think, with some chewy spicy like hops, forest floor pine and earthiness, like chewing on the moss and pine needles, mushrooms, etc, on the floor. Quite bitter overall, that even brings a little briny taste, and booze with some esters. Finish is sticky sweet, more booze warming through with a little ester, lots more hops with chewy herbal forest floor flavors and cooked hop oils.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent but lighter carb, mild warming booze, little sticky sweetness.

Overall not good, malts are OK, booze is OK, but the hops are just bad I think, it's like you take the worst profiles of most hops and throw them together in this beer. The initial quick attempt at citrus was so quickly smashed I almost forgot I even got it in the first place.

May 30, 2014
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear golden straw hue with a two finger rocky white head that faded to leave light side lacing and a thin blanket. Possibly the clearest DIPA I've seen.

S - Aromas of softer malts and hops, faint herbal tea notes, light caramel, candi, pine.

T - Taste is quite bitter / astringent. Pine is there, same with grapefruit pith. The bitterness is almost clashingly so, and I think it makes the alcohol stand out more. Definitely feel the ABV,
light caramel malt, faintly sweet, herbal hops. Really bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit lower carbonated, really does not help to hide the alcohol.

O - Overall, this one threw me for a loop. Was expecting something really stellar but yeah, the alcohol was a bit much.

May 22, 2014
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FalconOne from Ohio

4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am very grateful to my lovely wife for bringing back four bottles of this excellent DIPA from Black Raven Brewing Company, from her was on a business trip to Seattle last week. The aroma is truly outstanding and the taste is what one would expect from a remarkable West Coast DIPA.

May 21, 2014
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled (repeatedly) the other day at the Washington cask festival. Described in the program as "extra wise and firkenized."

The beer pours a somewhat hazy peachy amber color with suprising good head retention and consdirable sticky, creamy lacing all around. The nose is quite lovely in this beer, with a considerable amount of tropical fruit (smells like there's a lot of mosaic hops in this bad boy), but with noticeable citrus and pine as well. This smells like a serious DIPA, something that I was able to quickly verify on the palate. The flavor profile deliverys a lof of apricot and peach in this beer, but with a considerable back bone of orange citrus and pine as well. The finish is quite long and bitter in this excellent DIPA, and the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile.

Excellent beer, and one I'm very glad I finally had the opportunity to sample.

Mar 24, 2014
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: golden hue with a haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head is a thick finger of frothy ivory foam with decent retention. Quite good!

Smell: citrusy hop character with a grainy malt underneath. Enticing and well-balanced, but not mind-blowing.

Taste: sweet malt with a dank, citrusy hop character. A little bit of graininess and astringency comes in at the end. The finish is a little more syrupy than bitingly bitter. It's a tasty brew, but doesn't have the crazy-good character of a great DIPA.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big, well-integrated carbonation and a very good creaminess for the style. Kudos.

Overall: a very tasty and drinkable DIPA. Sweet with a nice fruity hoppiness, and not overwhelmingly bitter. I'd definitely have this again.

Nov 25, 2013
Photo of Justin_Neff
Justin_Neff from Ohio

4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 4/16/2013.

A: This one is a beauty. Completely translucent light golden body with a silky, thick, bright white head that leaves nearly a full layer of lacing on the glass.

S: Tons of pine and citrus. Smells like strong fruit and hops.

T: Dank. The bitterness lingers. Tons of hops and sprucey pinecone overpower what normally sticks as a citrus strength. The taste and bitterness of lemon and grapefruit peel finishes the mouth wonderfully. The balance is really nice.

M: Full body, but surprisingly drinkable for a DIPA. Oily. Sticky. Medium Carbonation.

O: Wow, was I pleased with this one. Great west coast DIPA. The balance is incredible for being so hop forward but also pretty sweet and resinous. So happy I got to try this one.

May 16, 2013
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123 from Indiana

2.69/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours clear orange-ish color with a good cap of creamy white head. Good retention and a touch of lacing.

Very pine and resin forward. A bit of candied grapefruit as well with some floral notes. Good sticky and dank aroma.

And now the let down. Definitely leans west coast style although there is a bit more malt than in most in that classification. Starts out with a touch of citrus before it's enveloped by bready malts and pine. A weird sweet bread flavor clashes with the hops. Very astringent finish and every bit of the 9.0% ABV shines through then some. Booziness is overwhelming by the end.

Sticky medium body with medium to low carbonation. As mentioned, does nothing at all to hide alcohol.

Not sure why this beer is getting glowing reviews. In my opinion, it's a decidedly below average DIPA. The aroma is very intriguing, but the taste is an absolute mess. 9.0% feels like 12.0%. I've never had a DIPA that seems to add ABV before. There's also a weird sweetness that clashes with the alcohol. Decent hop profile, but is lost behind the booze. Ended up pouring some down the drain as it got to be too much. Very let down by this one.

May 07, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou from New York

4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, split

Served in oversized Karmeleit glass - fairly light bodied with a huge sticky white head. The alcohol is omnipresent as is a permeating sweet citrus flavor. Moderately bitter, big grapefruit hop bite, pine, sugared ruby red. Quite good, but a bit rough around the edges.

May 07, 2013
Wisdom Seeker from Black Raven Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 198 ratings