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

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87
very good
55 Reviews
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The Great Dismal Black IPAThe Great Dismal Black IPA
BEER INFO

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

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

Added by blackie on 11-20-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
183
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
20.62%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
45
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 183
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Cheers

 634 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

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

Pours a dense brown color with ruby highlights showing throughout. Cream color medium size head fading to a covering of the glass. Filmy lacing on the glass.

Pleasant aroma of roasted malt, caramel malt and some floral hops. Tastes a bit like a barleywine light. The big flavor of malt, toffee and floral hoppiness is there without the alcohol bite or harshness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich with the right amount of bitterness.

Tasty and low enough in abv to enjoy a second one!!!!

 487 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a big malt aroma with a hint of coffee. Appearance- This beer is dark brown to almost black, with a small beige head. Taste- Has a big hop and malt flavor, very good. Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Overall- An excellent beer.

 307 characters

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

Drank 3 pints from the tap.

appears almost black, frothy white head that fades. nice hoppy aroma, a bit earthy. Very mild roasted aroma and flavor to balance out the hoppiness. No too bitter or sweet either way. Medium body and carbonation. Overall a nice beer, easy to drink a few of them.

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Photo of malprep
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer in DoG cafe in Williamsburg, NC. Great craft Gastropub. This beer was great to go along with my English themed meal. Great presentation, perfect head, wonderful aroma, great taste and mouthfeel. Perfect to go along with my Shepherds Pie.

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Photo of wollefdoogylloj
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really have a hard time reviewing beers for a couple of reasons. First, being new at this I don't provide the standard review but figure as long as I'm honest that's all that matters. Second is that I've not much in the smell department. I guess I can blame that on 24 years in the military.
Anyway, this beer is a wonderful deception. I've drank enough IPAs to know what to expect as the nectar breaches my lips to coat my tongue. It's DARK - polar opposite of pale. This feels and tastes much more like a very nice stout, one that I'd put up to the best out there.
The head was quick to rise and slow to dissipate, with Klingons all around the glass for the entire consumption. Nice smoky aftertaste mixed with coffee and maybe a wee bit of chocolate. The hops are there from start to swallow. Very nice if you're not after the typical IPA or want a little breakaway from the same-ol'-same-ol'.
Looking forward to visiting the brewery for Father's Day! I'll see if they'll let me take a photo or two to post.

 1,014 characters

Photo of spunktrunk
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been drinking this beer on tap at Cogan's Pizza in Norfolk for awhile. I've also had it in a bottle and I'll have to say on tap is much more delicious and you can actually get some good coffee aromas from it.

The only thing that is slightly misleading about this brew is the taste. Don't get me wrong its delicious, but its more of a stout with a hint of coffee. To me its lacking the tartness that makes a good double IPA.

 425 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.
Sampled at the Chesapeake Grill on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Dark brown with ruby highlights. 1/2 finger light tan head with light but attractive lacing.

Rich malt aroma with good herbal hops.

Tart and bitter with dark roast malts. Rather hoppy.

Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Warming.

An excellent bew. Very rich and full flavored.

 365 characters

Photo of Ri0
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into snifter

A - Dark cola with a 1.5 finger off white head. Fades into a thin collar with almost no lacing.

S - Roasted and sweet malts, with hints of cola. It's somewhat Porter like. I don't pick up much for hops.

T - Starts with roasted and sweet malt with that cola flavor. Hints of bitter chocolate. I get a bit of hop bitter and tang on the finish. It has a very nice flavor profile for a Black IPA as the everything comes together nicely.

M - Medium to light body with decent carbonation. Some bitter on the finish.

O - This was a very nice Black IPA and it drinks easy. There is a sweet and bitter balance that holds the beer together nicely. Thank you Matt for this.

 700 characters

Photo of adevans
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - They said it didn't have a great appearance. The head dissipates quickly.

S - Lots of brown sugar for me, some toffee.

T - Roasted malts, some dry cocoa or chocolate. Pleasant. Not much hop bite, more a slow piney presence.

M - Good balance with the carbonation.

O - I like that this didn't overpower my palate with hops. The beer definitely has a dry-hopped character that melds well with the chocolate notes in the body of the beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 3/4 inch tan head that bears great retention time before slowly falling to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a solid sheet of surface foam. Frothy, resilient lacing clings to the glass.

S- Very sweet aroma with some brown sugar, heavy caramel and mild anise notes. Very enjoyable actually but has little hop character which is surprising.

T- The sweetness continues but now the dark roast of the malt steps in and shows itself. There's a considerable amount of bitterness but the forceful roast and sugar flavors win in the end. Quite drinkable for a 7.5 percenter.

M- Slightly thick with a small afterbite from the hops. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- My first beer by this brewery and I have to say I'm quite impressed by the sweetness it exhibits. Also nods for the ABV-to-drinkability ratio. American Black Ale is definitely a better label for this one than Black IPA. Either way, thumbs up.

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Photo of Merkinstandard
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of the first black IPAs I had the chance to try. I've come back to it a few times and have recommended it to several people.

From the first sip, I knew that dark malt partners with moderate hop bitterness very well. This is one of the best examples, and it is deceptively strong.

 284 characters

Photo of Ysgard
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

They are bottling now. I got this at the local grocery in 12oz 6-pack.

A: Ruby in the afternoon sun, with a head that appears in its own time after pouring.

S: A touch of chocolate, backed by some earthy-hop aromas.

T: Citrus, touch of toasty malts, piney bitter backend, then a porter-esque aftertaste.

M: Balanced, lively carbonation, but the body is slightly heavier than I expect for an IPA, which checks the carbonation nicely. Still, just a bit more body than I want. A bit of alcohol bite on introduction.

I like this more than I expected. I'd heard rumor of a batch that lost that hop character early on in their bottling program, but this is as good as I recall direct from the brewery.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark near-black mahogany, decent head but not super impressive.

Smells like a barleywine--some malty raisins, grassy hops, pretty sweet.

Tastes like slightly bitter coffee, mild grassy hop character, touch of dry cocoa. Decent but not terribly hoppy really.

Decent mouthfeel--carbonation is really good but the body is a tad thin.

Reasonably good but nothing special, a bit disappointing.

6.4/10

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Photo of jvillefan
2.85/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A: It is a very dark brown with a ivory white laced head that disappears very quickly.

S: Not very good. There is old dark fruit (not in a pleasant way) with some stale chocolate malts.

T: There is some indistinguishable dark malt. It doesn't have a specific coffee, chocolate, or toffee flavor available. There is some hop bite but not nearly enough to call it a black IPA.

M: There is some thickness to the body with an excellent carbonation bite.

O: It is an average black IPA, there are many way better ones that are easily available (Sublimely Self-Righteous). Not worth getting.

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The Great Dismal Black IPA from O'Connor Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.
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