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Black Raven IPA | Olde Hickory Brewery

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very good
70 Reviews
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Black Raven IPABlack Raven IPA

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SaCkErZ9 on 07-23-2010

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 204
Photo of kenoshagirl
5/5  rDev +30.9%
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.

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Photo of OregonHopmonster
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from Bruisin' Ales

Seemingly black until held up to the light, then you see it is truly a very dark black cherry color. A bit of a tan head, but it doesn't last. I don't care though because as soon as I smell it I can't wait to taste it. The aroma is fantastic- pine aromas just jump from the glass.

I was surprised by the tons of roast in the flavor, though there are equally large amounts of pine hop flavors. Roast and pine fight but roast really takes hold in the long French roast coffee finish. I prefer the aftertaste to be more hop dominated, but this is still very good.

What makes the overabundance of roast acceptable is that the body is still that of a crisp IPA, with a dry, quenching finish. I am now convinced that this is the true difference between a black IPA and just an overly hopped porter or stout- the overall body and finish. The level of roast, black patent malt, etc. shouldn't enter the discussion.

This is very good and I would drink it often is it was local to me.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
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?

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Photo of wcudwight
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black with a nice large khaki colored sticky head. Good retention. Wonderful aroma of bitter dark chocolate and hop goodness. Pine and citrus fruits. Delicious beer one of the best of this new style. Chocolate cake, roasted malts and an enormous amount of hoppy bitterness. Despite the color of the beer this one leans more toward IPA and less toward your typical dark styled beers. Carbonation is good that the mouthfeel is full and sticky. Easy drinker but it does feel like it's a bit more than 7% abv. I highly recommmend this one. OHB is doing some good things in Western NC.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
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!!

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Photo of Bung
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shaker pint at The Wineshop at Rivergate. From notes.
Black/ruby pour with a cream head. Good head retention and a nice amount of lacing.

Aroma, resin hoppy and nearly burnt malt. Pretty straight forward.

Taste, some pine then blasted with the roast. Dark chocolate, cocoa and a nice blend with the herbal and citrus hop profile. A dry roast coffee finish.

Near medium body and goes down super smooth. Almost creamy. Alcohol hidden, could drink a bunch of this.

This was a home run for me, but I can see this not being to the hopheads liking.

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Photo of PatLarsen
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay this is the real deal right here. Had at Duckworths in a pint glass. It's a dark brown color with a good tan head. Roasted malt and caramel with citrus. Love this thing. Drinking it all in. One of the few Black IPAs that I can really get behind. Taste follows smell in the best way. Great body with good carbonation. I really like what they have done with this beer. One of the better black IPAs out on the market.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown color with a firm tan head; nice retention and some streaky lace is left behind

Smell: The roasty malt and burnt caramel sugars are dominant, but the pithy citrus and coffee tones are not far behind

Taste: The pithy citrus and burnt toast flavors complement each other right from the outset, with a coffee character adding complexity by mid-palate; the battle between the malt and hop elements continues after the swallow, with the bittering elements of the coffee and citrus finally emerging in control of the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Olde Hickory is producing some very tasty beers and this one is no exception; really like the balance here

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Photo of chumba526
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jpwv for this bottle.

It appears almost black. Though it is very dark brown. There is a dark tan head.

It smells of roasted nutty malts. I get a bit of a chocolate malt smell and a bit of a grassy and citrusy hop flavor. There is a bold strong nice flavor to this ale.

It tastes initially rather smoky. There are strong dark chocolate overtones to the flavor. I get a bit of citrus/ fruity hops. The beer then goes into a nice grassy hop flavor that lead to a powerful and strong bitter flavor. This beer has a very nice balance in the beginning there is a strong smooth roasted malty flavor but in the end there is a potent bitter flavor.

There is a smooth moderate low carbonation.

Overall, a very good smooth black IPA. This is one of the best dark IPAs I have had. This is my first beer from Olde Hickory and I am impressed.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of cavedave
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bullywee for another Olde Hickory gem. From notes, enjoyed 2/22/11.

Deep black pour, black raven indeed, topped briefly by a thin beige head. Presently leaves a cap and ring, with some nice lace.

Smell is medium strength, orangey citrus hop in front, nice, burnt sugar sweet, not a lot to it, but man this is alluring.

Woahh, love it when a less vibrant bouquet makes a full flavor into a wonderful surprise. Surprise! A brightly flavored beer, starts burnt caramel, bitter orange, charry roast, and that sets the stage for an encore of all the above giving charge of the sip to piney and charry dry. Much of the taste carries into the finish, stays clean, shines. Alcohol well hidden. Me like.

Light in mouth, low carb., good cling, exc. finish, as easy on palate as a beer this full of deliciously sharp flavors can be.

Drinkability. Very good. Have another? Yes, please.

Impression: Olde Hickory continues to provide me beer happiness with yet another delicious beer. I want more. Soon.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of VaterRoss
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid black in color with a big frothy tan head and plenty of lacing to go with it. The nose picks up chocolatey-charcoal malt and odd herbal seaweed hops. I like it. The tongue finds more charcoal and malt over a nice bitter herbal/citrus. Solidly medium bodied with pleasant carbonation this is fairly drinkable though it has some stick-to-your-ribs feel, smooth and silky. This seems like a bit of a cross between a good stout and a good IPA. Either way, it’s good stuff. Nice job!

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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown pour with a frothy chocolate milk head. Retention is amazing as is the lacing.

S: Roasted malt and chocolate mixed with some nice citrus hop smells. Some hints of dark fruit in there too. Smell reminds me a lot of a hoppy porter, much like Pretty Things EIP.

T: Lots of bitter chocolate and roasted malt. Hops are overpowered so you don't taste much of them but you can feel the bitterness especially in the aftertaste. A little bit of citrus and pine is evident after the chocolate and roast has dissipated a bit.

M: Pretty thick and creamy. Delicious.

O: Good black ale, could use some more hops to try to overcome the strong chocolate and roast but it's still quite good. Strong bitterness from all aspects of the beer. Avoid if you dislike dark chocolate or roasted malt!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a imperial pint glass a deep dark brown with ruby highlights peaking thru,a thinner but well defined tan colored head atop.Aromas were a bit mild with herbal hops and roast sticking out the most.Flavors were surprising in a real good way,herbal and pretty spicy like a heavy dose of German hops mixed with roast and big earth.This beer really grows on ya,the hop profile is unexpected and goes well with the roast and earth,well done here.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap duckworths ballantyne

appearance: really cool label it appears - alas, I had it on tap...shaker pint, ebony body, creamy chocolate head.

smell: rich bakers chocolate, lots of pine, hops and roasted malt on display

taste: I think I have a soft spot for this style that many other seem to dislike - the hops come fight through the mess and pierce with a great force of pine and bitterness but the chocolate and roast won't back off. I liked this one a lot - brought back memories of the fantastic stone 15th anniversary

mouthfeel: creamy and rich - very nice

overall: would order again

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Photo of kflack
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: On draft, pours black with a one finger, cream colored head. Looks great.

S: lotsf of roasted malt, with a strong chocolate aroma. Bittersweet.

T: expresso up front, with bitter orange peel. Has a hop bacbone that lingers. Smooth in the finish.

O: a great 'black ipa'! Not boozey at all, with a good hop ting. I would grab this any chance you get!!

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Photo of doughanson78
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to HopDiggityDawg for this.

A: Very dark, almost pitch black. Dark red highlights at edges when held to the light. One and a half finger mocha color head with great retention and OK lacing.

S: Nice roasted aroma. Sweet dark chocolate. Very light citrusy hop aroma. Grapefruit and orange. Smells like a good porter.

T: Sweet/bittersweet chocolate upfront. Good roastiness throughout. Citrusy and piney hops in the finish leaving a light bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Mild creaminess. Nice roastiness. Light lingering bitterness.

O: As I'm not a big fan of Black IPA's, this is easily one of the better that I've had (next to Deschutes' Hop In The Dark). Definitely much more like a porter in look, taste, and smell. The flavors don't blend as well as they should but I guess that's just the style.

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Photo of devilben02
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown/black, with a dense yet foamy chocolate-milk-colored head that clings to the glass. The aroma is hop forward, with characteristics of pine and fruity citrus. The flavor is more complex, with an almost ashy roasted malt character that builds on the bitterness provided by the fresh and lively hops. The result isn't a powerful bitterness, though, but rather is more of a dull, lingering ache on the tongue. The light carbonation doesn't get in the way but simply helps things glide along.

Overall, this is one of the best attempts at a black IPA I have had yet, with the different components complementing each other rather than competing with each other. Stated otherwise, many beers of this style come across to me like a rowdy biker bar with loud rock music encouraging a raucous crowd to chug their pale lagers and pick a fight with the little guy that's wearing the wrong colors on his jacket. In contrast, with this beer, although there are a number of bikes parked out front, the clientele inside is enjoying some local craft beer while discussing the finer points of international copyright law.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one.

Pours a deep, dark brownish black with very little head. The nose has notes of chocolate and roasted malts and piny hop aromas. The taste is roasted malt and chocolate malt up front with floral, citrusy, and piny hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth; decent carbonation.

This is a solid drinking Black IPA. I'll definitely have it again.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First nitro-tap review! Served from nitro-tap at Appalachian Vintner while shopping around into an Olde Hickory shaker. Poured a deep dark dark brown with a one finger light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, slight chocolate, subtle hop, and smoke. The flavor was of roasted malt, citrus hops, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice and smooth Black IPA. Definitely glad I got to try this. It had a very nicely balanced flavor along with a very nice aroma as well. This one is a must try for any Black IPA fan out there.

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Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
3.82 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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