Black Raven IPA
Olde Hickory Brewery

Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA
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Style:
IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #408
ABV:
7%
Score:
85
Ranked #30,976
Avg:
3.78 | pDev: 11.9%
Reviews:
74
Ratings:
213
From:
Olde Hickory Brewery
 
North Carolina, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  10
Gots
  31
SCORE
85
Very Good
Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 213 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 4 February 2021 stamped on the label.
Pours near black with an attractive clear ruby body showing when held to the light. Good beige head.
Well crafted with an unusually (for a Black IPA) harmonius and balanced mix of dark malts and hops. While the hops are bit more piney than I prefer I know others will like this characteristic. Lingering aftertaste with bitter grapefruit peel, coffee, burnt toast, black bread and a hint of roasted nuts.
Feel. Well carbonated,, full, smooth body.

Mar 06, 2021
Photo of BradtheGreat7
BradtheGreat7 from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly fantastic black ipa. 12 oz brown bottle with a quality label. Pours a dark black ruby color that resembles Pepsi. Head has nice size and settles to a fluffy blanket of a head. Poured into an American pint glass.

Sweet black malt aroma with hints of toasted bread. Ripe dark fruit balances the hop profile. Flavor wise is where this shines. Solid roasted malt backbone with sticky sweet candied dark fruit notes balancing dank hop and spices.

Good body and balance makes for an easy drinker. Texture is sticky and allows it's flavors to shine.

Overall Black Raven is a very good ale. It's more of a balanced black ale rather than the ipa the name suggests. This is one of the easier black ales I've ever had. Maybe not the hop profile I look for, but it packs balance and a big shot of quality. Olde Hickory have a solid black ale with this offering.

Jun 18, 2017
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, dated 11/3/2016, poured into a tulip glass. Pours pitch black, with a half finger tan head. The aroma is chocolate, cocoa, and orange/citrus. Hints of vanilla and nuts. The taste is somewhat muted, hints of smoke, dry cocoa, not much semblance of hops other than in the grapefruit/bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium. The carbonation is medium low, and is somewhat dry. This almost drinks like a porter, due to some hop fade? Will have to try one younger to see how it compares. Worth a go if you like the style.

Feb 12, 2017
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Label says Bottling Date: 11/25/2015.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Great malt/hop one-two punch with the hops being decidedly more earthy and herbal.

T- The hop bitterness and roast bitterness commingle very well and leaves the palate with a nice drying sensation. The bitterness lingers as the hop flavor mixes with the coffee and slight char notes from the malt.

M- Somewhat sharp with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A great take on a black IPA. Has lots of balanced flavor that sticks with you to the last drop.

Jan 22, 2016
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kenoshagirl from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that started me on my journey to exploring IPAs. I know it's a blended beer, but it is my favorite from OHB. It's almost like having a black and tan in a bottle. I recommend this brew for anyone who is starting to venture towards hoppier brews.

May 13, 2015
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a frothy black with some beige foam. Smell is burnt coffee, dark chocolate, robust malt, caramel and herbal hops. Overly bitter in taste, some chocolate and caramel break it up, but the big problem is the smoky/metallic aftertaste that is so distracting. Feel is a carbonation is a bit high, but nice hop and robust textures in feel.

Oct 10, 2014
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark, almost black coloring with chestnut highlights around the edges and a low profile, dense, clingy, cream colored head. Aromas of smoke and roast forward, with a rich backbone of peat and earth, and subtle bitterness overlays. Flavors are very roast forward, with bitter coffee notes and hints of dark chocolate. Hops resin highlights throughout, with very subtle hints of citrus, but the palate is mostly taken over by roast and bitter notes. Smooth and slightly effervesced body due to the carbonation levels, which helps bring levity to the heavy bitter and roast characteristics. The aftertaste is a lot of coffee bitter and roast, as well as some earthy notes. Slick, clean, slightly dry finish. Tasty beer, heavy but drinkable. I like it.

Dec 15, 2013
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy from Florida

4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown into my tulip with large dark beige head. Roasted grain and pine abound from the nose with some raisins and grapefruit mixed in. Nice crisp hops up front with a surprise chocolate flavor. Lingering roasted flavor. Thr hop-to-chocolate profile here borders on porter. But too much bite for that. Pretty rich but maintains a crsipness through medium-strong carbonation and finishes dry. I think this is very well done, and I am pretty mixed on black IPAs. I would drink this again for sure.

Oct 16, 2013
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blackie from Oregon

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pint glass serving at Barley's in between Moogfest shows, essentially black in color, sporting a deep mocha head with average retention

s: heavy roasted barley - nearly charred with aromas of dark coffee bean, earth, and charcoal, some slight aromas of darker sugars underneath, heavy pine and citrus peel hops - resinous and dense, nice start

m: body medium, nicely weighty but still easily drinkable, with moderate carbonation

t: dual assault of a big, dark roasted malt body and heavy pine and citrus pith hops, grain flavors pushed near the point of burn but still tolerably "smooth", some darker sugar sweetness underneath, but fairly dry and pungent, hugely bitter with a very long finish

o: really liked this black ipa, I'm fairly picky about the style, but this one for whatever reason avoided the roast-hop acid clash that I stay away from, maybe it's the slight underlying sweetness to smooth things out a bit, definitely worth a try

Apr 06, 2013
Photo of nUgZ
nUgZ from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a three finger head and very nice lacing.

S: Roasted malts and a hint of piney hops.

T: Plenty of roasted malts, espresso, and some nice bitter hops. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O: This is a very enjoyable Black IPA. Well done Olde Hickory!!

Mar 24, 2013
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic from Florida

4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Glenn for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a CCB pint glass.

A: Very dark, essentially black, and not quite opaque. Forms a big (4 finger) tan head, with almost no visible carbonation.

S: Grassy, pine, and dank hops, with some roasty malts.

T: Follows the nose. Nice hoppiness, tasting the grass, pine and dank with some citrus character as well. This actually manages to become hop-forward over the dark roasted and a bit coffee malts.

M: Almost chewy, sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol is well-hidden, and plenty of carbonation sensation.

O: This is an excellent beer. First beer I've had from Olde Hickory - need to seek out more. Recommended.

Feb 11, 2013
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon from Texas

4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 2/5 with March drink by date.

Black and opaque. Huge head, probably too much. Great retention and nice sticky lace. Aroma: Dark chocolate, resin, slight smokiness. Bittersweet chocolate up front. Dried fruit, earthy. Medium bitter finish. Medium-light carbonation. Some mild acidity. Is this a black IPA or a hoppy porter?

Feb 05, 2013
Photo of akorsak
akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Asheville treat - figured I need to queue up these hoppier ones first.

A: The IPA is black as a raven, a moonless night, an ebon abyss. An offwhite head, eggshelly, ruffles up to half a finger and laces as it recedes.

S: Deep stout aromas, coffee and black malt, immediately register. The hops? Not so much but they are everpresent in the taste. Only gradually do the citrus flavors crawl through, finally matching the intensity that comes through in the taste.

T: Stout again up front, roasted with a mild sweetness running through it. The citrusy hops are right alongside the malts, they just need a little heat to get kickstarted. Once rolling, their grapefruit and pine flavors are a sweet combo, biting against the acrid flavors of the stout. Quite a bit of flavors coming out of this, as it warms the hops become stronger. Hop bitterness, that citrus, returns and dominates the finish, crowding out the stout. Well roasted with a burnt thickness that lingers. The hoppiness, while present, isn't up to the task.

M: Far more stout that IPA. The mouthfeel follows suit.

Jul 09, 2012
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27 from New York

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, dark black walnut with a two-inch, long-lived, creamy, chestnut head that leaves distinct rings on the pint glass.

A strong aroma of fresh cut pine is accompanied by orange zest. Quite refreshing. Warmth brings out the roasted malt.

High bitterness with subdued malt flavors. As noted, it is hop forward with a light toasted malt. Warms well, bringing out some citrus – perhaps lime. Leaves a long, lingering, bitter finish.

A medium body with modest carbonation. A bit slick, dry with a light touch of alcohol.

This is a decent, sit-down beer, and was well worth the drive to North Carolina.

Jun 24, 2012
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Opaque, black

SMELL: Dank hops, charred toast, ripe dark fruit, alcohol, perfume, herbal

TASTE: Dry, roasty, coffee, charcoal, hop oil, warming esters, more char, burnt raisin, spice, mildly astringent, bitter

The roastiness certainly comes across, perhaps too much. Hops don't seem to mesh with the rest of the flavor profiles. A good sip, and this is what is so much fun with new styles … beers that may define or defy it. Too drawn to roasted and dry characteristics; a tad more malt backbone would do this one good.

May 02, 2012
Photo of Chaney
Chaney from District of Columbia

3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a bomber of this in my hotel room in NC after my wife's indoor drumline judging gig.

Served in a Duck Rabbit snifter.

A: Poured a pitch black color (or lack of), with a massive 2 finger head that was fairly light in color.

S: Sort of a grapefruit juice - porter, black and tan.... with the visual cue from the tan. This was fairly potent and very fresh.

T: I got tons of bitter ash on the finish that was bitter in an unpleasant way. There was a sillhouette of citrus, but overall this was just a very hoppy porter. I wish there was more apricot or mango to add more fruity sweetness. This was unbalanced and one-dimensional.

M: Well carbonated, yet dry and bitter. Seriously, this was almost into cigarette butt territory. Ridiculous lacing.

O: I'm not a big black IPA fan to begin with, but when that style is on, it is REALLY on. This one was the former.

Apr 16, 2012
Photo of Naugros
Naugros from New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Black" raven? Not really..."Dark Brown" Raven is more like it. And it's not even my usual complaint about a "black" beer being really just extremely dark brown (just check the edges of the beer). In this case, it really is just dark brown...like an English porter. But it is one of the darkest "black" IPAs I've ever seen. Still, the pigment misnomer does not take away from the looks of this one. A huge head stands atop, with large bubbles forming a base to support a creamy cap that sticks around for quite a while.

Piny and spicy hops dominate in the nose. With it being as dark as it is I truly expected to get a lot of roasted malts as well, but not that much...you need to search for them.

Serious, head-shaking bitterness. In normal IPAs the malts act as balance to the hops, but in this case they're in cahoots to torch your taste beds with waves of bitterness. Think about the most bitter stout you've ever had and then toss that bitterness into a DIPA and you get the idea. The flavors comes off as pine tar and you'll get a sensation of chocolate in the background.

All that bitterness is hard to clear out of your mouth and I wouldn't attempt drinking another, less aggressive beer after this one. If you're one of those that like this, then look for this one...you'll love it. For me, it's a bit much.

Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent example of style, though over-representing roasted character. Thick black pour with lots beige head, significant lace left down the glass. Above average mouthfeel, some smoke in aroma and taste. As big roasty, not for everybody. I liked it now, maybe not as much in the hot summer.Thanks Doug.

Mar 30, 2012
Photo of delapowicz
delapowicz from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

great aroma, very malt in the front of the nose and ending with not much hops. They come later. The beer tastes more like a 5% alcohol beer. So balance is good. The bitterness of the roasted grain comes out and almost hits you as it disappears into the hop bitterness. And that draws out until you must have another sip, or mouthful as I was apt to do.

Good beer, for the locals in NC.

Busy Bee in Raleigh doing us right with the CASK!!!

Mar 02, 2012
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Deschutes tulip/snifter glass. There is no bottle date. I have had this for about 2 weeks.

A: Pours a deep dark brown. About a half finger of tight bubbled tan head that leaves quickly. There is some lacing bits and I see some alcohol feet.

S: I get pine, roast, and milk chocolate. Maybe Amarillo hops and mild milk chocolate. There is some citrus but I am getting mostly pine.

T: Everyone is entitled to there I opinion, but I guess I am off from a lot of recent reviews of this. I actually thought it was solid. Now this is want from my black IPA. Really nice piney bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Sharp bite. Then that bitterness leads into the middle of the mouth where you get some of those roasty malts and chocolate notes. The finish is nice and crisp for a beer that doesn't appear that way.

M: Medium. Definitely drinks like an IPA.

O: Really enjoyed it.

Feb 27, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf from Indiana

2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to derandscott for this one! Drink by May-2011.

A: Pours black with a 1.5 finger foamy, tan colored head. Nice head retention with sheets of lacing down the glass. Actually, one of the best looking ABA's I have ever seen.

S: Initially it was all hops, lots of juicy citrus and pine, but as it warms, most of the citrus actually disappears. Eventually, the aroma consisted of a bit of orange and some roasted malt.

T: Extremely roasty and burnt. A little bit of chocolate and rather chalky flavor. Not much hop presence at all.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely dry.

O: For a beer that started off strong, it ended up falling flat for me. It looked great and the initial aroma was extremely inviting, but the hops seemed to faded once the bottle was opened. The chalky flavor/mouthfeel was a big turnoff. The first miss for me from OH.

Feb 19, 2012
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a medium-small, beige head.

Smell: A sharp snap of heady roast of lackluster, burnt coffee, dogged by notes of prune skins, resins, chimney soot.

Taste: An expected opening of roasty tasting roasted malts, but with some accompanying ashy char character. Dovetails into the resiny, soapy, very faintly citrusy floral hops adding its bitterness to the grainy astringency. Dark fruits buried under the roast and hops. A little alcohol showing. Roasty, bitterish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A bit crude and rough around the edges. Though I've liked the bulk of Olde Hickory brews I've tried this was not one of them.

Jan 18, 2012
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Cyberkedi from Georgia

4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is hoppy with a firm yeasty undertone, a hint of fruit, and a smoky whisper. It pours an opaque chocolate brown with a thick and rather persistent light tan head. Flavor is downright lip-smacking - hoppy and smoky, having notes of grass, citrus, burnt wood and coffee with just a hint of caramel and - could that be molasses? Smooth texture has above-average body and a good amount of fizz.

Jan 08, 2012
Photo of VaterRoss
VaterRoss from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into tumbler, best by date March 2012.

Appearance is a brown/black coloration with a beautiful brown head, tenacious lacing throughout the drink. First smell to hit is that of citrusy hops with some roasted malt, a very nice smell. In the taste the roasted malt is far more prominent than the hops, although they can be detected. Mouthfeel has some creaminess to it.

This is a bit too stout/porter like for my tastes as I was really wishing the hops would come out a bit more. Despite this, I found it to be a most interesting beer and preferential to a regular stout/porter.

Jan 05, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from paper notes... Izecold88 aka Manny made this one possible.

Pours clear deeeep brown... not black ... but brown... off white head sticks around for a bit but leaves no real lacing.

Aromas are pretty roasty and slammed with a huge pine hoppiness....

Flavor begins big and bitter but thankfully the bitter bite drops off leaving a nice mildly sweet cocoa maltiness and thick resinous pine hoppiness... teeth coating piney hops.. lingering hoppiness on the finish combines with some coffee notes... very well done.

Body is a good medium and has all the bubbles you would hope for.

3/4/4/4/3.5

Dec 27, 2011
Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 213 ratings