The Great Dismal Black IPA | O'Connor Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
The Great Dismal Black IPAThe Great Dismal Black IPA
Very Good
The Great Dismal Black IPAThe Great Dismal Black IPA

Brewed by:
O'Connor Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Great Dismal Black IPA, named after the wildlife refuge.
The Great Dismal Swamp, in Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, once used as a part of the Intracoastal Waterway, is a dark, full bodied ale, extensively hopped both in bittering and aroma.
"Great with bold hop flavor, Dismal in color, Delicious all around" ~ 7.5% ABV 65 IBUs

User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 222
Photo of BJB13
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a villibecher.

Nice black ale. Pours dark and murky with an inch of solid tan foam which leaves good lace. The aroma is malt forward, roast, caramel and bread. Hop aromas are subdued. Taste is similar, bitter and roasty with small hop character. The medium body has (in my opinion) a satisfying feel for the style, smooth, a bit soft and creamy with low astringency. I am hoping to get a fresh six of this and revisit.

 445 characters

Photo of Nephilium
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is heavy with roast and resin, pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a thin tan head. Roasted notes come through first, fading to a nice lingering bitterness. There's a hint of bittersweet chocolate, and earthy notes from the hops. Moderate body, and quite good overall.

 279 characters

Photo of paging12
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great look, jet black, tan head, about a half-inch, retreating to a thin lacing coating the glass.
The smell is average, nothing too remarkable. Good balance between hops and malt.
The taste is smooth, again, good balance between hops and toffee malts. There is definitely a lingering hop bitterness.
Heavier mouthfeel, coats the mouth.
Overall a decent beer, very drinkable, good balance between hops and dark malts.

 421 characters

Photo of Djoneil
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught pint at DuClaw "The Mills" in Anne Arundel. A bit warmer (60s), so I went a little lighter (vice my usual "Bad Moon" Robust Porter). There seems to be some disagreement in the reviews as to whether this is more hoppy or more malty/roasty. I'm going to agree, unfortunately,with those who argued hoppy.

 309 characters

Photo of hman43
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours dark brown with a tan head. Head retention is low.

Smell: It has some stone fruit and citrus notes to start out with. There are some very low background roast notes. There are also some moderate fruity esters.

Taste: It has a sweetness in the initial flavor that is somewhat candy like. In addition there are some citrus, caramel, and stone fruit flavors. There is also a very slight coffee note in the background.

Feel: It has a moderate body with slight creaminess. The alcohol warming in noticeable, but pleasant.

Overall, this is a fruity, sweet IPA with the dark malts being in the background.

 621 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear but almost opaque dark cola brown in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly along the edges of the glass and moderate chestnut brown + faint amber colored highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense sudsy foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a medium sized finger tall pillowy cap surrounded by a large patch of thick film covering the remainder of the surface and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Just shy of moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of lightly roasted malts with hints of chocolate + caramel malts and a light amount of caramel sweetness. Light to moderate aromas of earthy + herbal + pine/resin + citrus/grapefruit pith hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of lightly roasted malts with hints of chocolate + caramel + charred malts and a light amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of earthy + herbal + pine/resin + citrus/grapefruit pith hops which impart a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink due to the lightness of the body and the well hidden alcohol but not sure I would grab this one again - I like my Black IPA (American Black Ale) to have a little more hop presence to match up with the roasted/charred malts and this one was not quite intense enough in the hoppiness for my palate.

 1,484 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a snifter.
Pours dark brown, looking near black and nearly opaque in the glass.
About half the tie black IPAs strike me as instances of a clash of contrasts as opposed to a harmonious melding of flavors. This version falls in the favored, latter style, with medium bitterness, and obvious hop presence and a substantial dark grain bill.
Overall: bolder and improved with some warming. Recommended.

 424 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm trying this at the Norfolk Tap Room in Norfolk, Virginia. It was from a bottle and it poured a nearly opaque deep rich mahogany with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent had fresh hop presence with touch of pine. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink....probably more hoppy than toasty. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

 399 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Opaque black beer with a big tan head that leaves behind a ton of lacing. Smells very malty with brown sugar and toffee. Tastes sweet and malty with molasses and char. Pretty solid beer.

 186 characters

Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, pine, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of resin. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong roasted malt, hint of alcohol, hint of grass, pine, sweet malt, hint of caramel malt, and a hint of resin. Overall, good appearance and better blend than most Black Ales, but also a little more subtle of body.

 519 characters

Photo of vwbus7
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Exceptional Black IPA

On draft at The Point in Buxton Nc

Liked it so much we got a 5gal keg
I'm thinking this is more in 8.5 abv range.
It hits pretty hard but that's just me.

 179 characters

Photo of mpyle
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very black to opaque. Pale tan head, creamy and long lasting

Slightly sweet and slightly earthy. Smells weird. Slight roast character.

Dark malt sweetness with a good bit of roast in flavor. Some big earthy hop flavors as well. Nice soft bitterness. Some ashtray in the finish...unpleasant.

Medium body and carbonation. No astringency, a bit of alcoholic warming.

Much more dark roast than hop character in my view. A little too roasty. Hop choice might not be best.

 478 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: A decent aroma of hops, light fruit, malt, and some coffee.

T: Tasted of light tropical fruit notes (mango, in particular), a bit of coffee, a fair amount of hops, roasted malt, a hint of citrus (grapefruit, it would seem), and light chocolate as well. An interesting flavor for the style, with a maltier backbone than most. Not bad.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a super dry, almost chalky, finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solid beer for the most part. Definitely easy to drink and likable.

 698 characters

Photo of T-34-85
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice dark malty presence in both the taste and the nose. Not as bitter as most black IPA's but I found that to be a positive surprise (may not qualify as too much of an "IPA" though, based on the sample I tried).

Overall I liked this brew and would have it again.

 265 characters

Photo of ChrisMon02
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Lagunitas mason jar. Thanks Will for bringing this back for me.

Very dark color with an off white head that holds up decently-smells of dark roast malt, hops and a kiss of anise. Taste follows the nose. Simple but works. Quite balanced and the moderate carbonation yields a soft, drinkable beer. I would have this again and glad I got to try it.

 373 characters

Photo of delta490
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown, murky. Like swamp water looks black but is really brown. There is a foamy tan head that melts off leaving just a ring and a few bubbles on the surface. The aroma is a little light but has some nice tropical fruit notes. The taste is more malt forward, with much more emphasis on the dark roasted notes a just a hint of earthy hops to balance it. As it opens up, a little pine hops start to show up on the finish. The body is lighter feeling with a little carbonated tingle.

 493 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very dark amber color with reddish hue and thin off white head and good lacing. Aromas were feint. Slightly dry feel with medium hop and lingering bitter, but not very much in the way of outside flavor. A fairly standard Black IPA. Good, but nothing particularly noteworthy.

 279 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown/black in color with a large tan head.

S: Chocolate and coffee come out first with a little bit of an earthy bitterness after.

T: Coffee with an earthy bitterness. The hops are a bit subdued at first but start to come out more in the finish.

M: Medium in body, with a fairly high carbonation.

O: Not too bad, but not astounding either.

 361 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark brown with 1/2 inch head and moderate carbonation. Taste is pine, dark chocolate, and cream. Overall the beer is slightly hoppy with a medium body. Tasty and worth seeking out. This is right up there with my favorites from this brewery.

 257 characters

Photo of uvachief
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. No bottled on date. Aggressive pint glass pour results in huge white head that lingered forever. Nice dark purple brown color. Little light filters. Smell is hops but not overpowering. Taste is hops upfront but surprisingly not bitter. Smoother than I expected. Wouldn't say exceedingly hopped. Not north of 75 ibus I would guess. Love the black cherry tea color. Head just stays forever. Taste something sweet offsetting the bitter like licorice maybe. Unique. Not gritty or sandy like a lot of black ipas. Really smooth actually. Want to say some tobacco in there as well. Interesting complex ipa. Try if you get the chance.

 650 characters

Photo of rjs246
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've tried black IPAs over and over and am almost always disappointed. This was a pleasant surprise. Very tastes with an almost porter like malt. Lots of hops balanced nicely. Really good.

 188 characters

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid black ipdea had it from bottle pours black smells of IPA and malt taste is that of a poor man's founders black rye which was a nice surprise definitely a nice black IPA worth a try

 188 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great brew from my Dr. friend.

This ale pours a nice dark mahogany brown with a very nice light tan head that has true staying power, and solid lacing. Nose of chocolate, spicy hops, toffee, and earthy undertones. Flavors exceed the nose with a great chocolate/toffee malt back bone that gives way to lightly piney and spicy hops flavors that are not overbearing in any way. A SOLID brew that maintains balance through to the last sip with moderate carbonation, smooth lightly creamy mouth feel, and a light bitter finish. Outstanding. First brew I have tried from this company----looking forward to trying more.


 634 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.27/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours of very brown to black in color. Charred malt, toasted barley, grapefruit pith and pine. Thinner body and good carb. Eh, black ipa. It's serviceable.

 157 characters

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark, earthy IPA with a decent head and good, roasted malt tones. Taste and mouthfeel are both solid, and overall, this is a solid offering by O'Connor.

 160 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Great Dismal Black IPA from O'Connor Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 222 ratings