Black Raven IPA | Olde Hickory Brewery

very good
71 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: 71 | Ratings: 207
Photo of fear025
2.94/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma:Mostly malty, although a little grapefruit and roasted malts.

Appearance:Beer is black with very little head and low apparent carbonation.

Taste:Piney hops provide a decent amount of bitterness. The mid to aftertaste has more roasted notes. The aftertaste is a little roasty and a little bitter.

Mouthfeel:Light to medium body. A little creamy.

Drinkability:This beer is enjoyable enough, but there's nothing to really make it stand out from other black IPAs.

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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 OakedCanuck
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into pint glass

This beer pours a lighter black with brown edging, clear. Minor light tan head with weak lacing left behind. Nose is mainly pine with some roast coffee. The flavours just seemed off balance to me. It is mainly grassy piney hops with a wallop of dark roast coffee at the back. But the point between the hops and the roast there is a metallic transition and astringency. Mouthfeel was effervescent and medium, a touch thin. Not too hard to drink, just not my favourite example of the style.

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Photo of babaracas
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear pretty-dark brown, in the glass opaque black with dark brown edges and a one finger thick khaki colored head. A few rings of lace down the glass. Smell: grapefruit, lemon peel, caramelized sugars, and some soft fruity yeast contributions that are out of place. Taste: at first it's juicy citrus and spruce with caramelized sugar and a moderate roasted grain character, then leafy and slightly minty with astringent burnt notes. It's actually pretty tasty but the astringency plus the bitterness gets you to palate fatigue pretty quickly. Medium bodied, lowish but prickly carbonation, drying finish. Best by July 2011.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to cmrillo and Hodgin for this one! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Best before July 2011.

Pours a thin black with some light tan head. Nose is like a molasses cookie, maybe a little ginger and some coffee-like roastiness.

Palate is bitter right off the bat, with some black patent malt right off the bat, some burnt sugar notes and some hoppy pine notes too.

Notes: A decent Black IPA, but not my favorite. It lacks some of the tradition IPA notes and has a little too much malt character, I think. Label is the best part.

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Photo of jpmclaug
2.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into my New Belgium globe

Black body with a nice sized off white head. A light citrusy hop aroma, maybe a hint of roast in there but not much, maybe some smoke as well? dark roasty malts and a floral hop aroma mix to make a kind of disjointed flavor. Pretty bitter overall, I dunno not the best ABA I've had. Mouthfeel is medum body, slightly sticky. Overall I'm not too impressed with this one, a bit more bitter than I'd like and the flavors don't mix the way I think they should. I wouldn't buy this one again.

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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 Bendurgin
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Crarytonic for sending the guy as an extra in a recent trade. Poured into a tulip. The beer pours black with about afinger of tan head. The head settles down to thin soapy lacing. The nose is light citrus with a slight hay/barnyard aroma. It's weird, the aroma is very conflicting in my mind. The taste is pretty good. Bitter hops and a slight citrus flavor. Bit of a charred malts, but it has a nice bitter citrus hop finish. Decent body, kind of a dry finish and the carbonation is pretty good. Decent beer, but nothing I'll seek out again.

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Photo of GrahamWalters
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 16oz. tulip.

A: Nice creamy 1' head, retains well but leaves limited lacing. Beer is pitch black, very enticing, belies hop aroma.

S: Strong hop aroma, fruity with a bit of pine and hint of malt sweetness.

T: Very bitter from malt presence, toasted biscuit and black coffee dominate. Hint of hop bitterness present at close. Very dry with almost no detectable sweetness.

M: Fairly thing mouthfeel with oily finish, not great, not terrible.

D: I could drink a couple, but wouldn't go out of my way to find it. Pretty good example of the style.

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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 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 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 StarlightSeraph
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark brown, with some reddish hues. Three fingers of off-white head that sits there and lingers for quite some time. Tons of lacing.

Smell: Citrusy and grassy hops right away, but those quickly fade. The dominant smell is quickly replaced by sweet, chocolatey malt, with a hint of citrus in the background.

Taste: A strong, almost generic bitterness, with the malt coming through as well. The malt comes and goes quickly, and the finish is long and bitter, with just a hint of sweetness. Very, very mild citrus note, not nearly as prominent as they were on the initial nose. As the beer warms, the bitterness and sweetness become much more balanced.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer from a local brewery. I had this once before, awhile back, and remembered the hop flavors being more prevalent. Still, a beer I'd have again.

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Photo of mikey711
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks Matt for you generosity in sending me this one

A: Deep brown, near blac with a fluffy off white head. nice lacing and decent head retention

S: Chocolate, caramel and toffee are very present up front with some floral hoppiness comething through in the background

T: Again the chocalte notes are most dominate but the hoppiness is much more present in the finish. the hoppiness is very piney. the bitterness offsets the sweetness of the malts nicely

M: Nice creaminess but there is a slight buttery feel that is a bit off putting

D: Very nice Black IPA that i am very happy to have been able to try.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Generously given by Onenote81 - Thanks, pal!

Appearance -- Pours a dark chestnut hue with a finger of stiff khaki head and wide bands of lace.

Smell -- Milk chocolate, fresh ground coffee, mint, mesclun greens, and mild citrus aroma. Malting smells good, but the 'IPA' element of this beer is not at all hitting me over the head.

Taste -- More classical IPA character in the flavor than the nose with pine resin and bitter citrusy character stepping out of the shadows. Malt base is not as sweet as the aroma suggests: cocoa powder, dark toast, and black coffee. The finish brings a deep bitter vegetal finish. Lingering flavors of pine resin, mesclun greens, and dark roast malt.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with moderate prickly carbonation. Finishes creamy. Really not bad, though I wish it was more crisp in the finish.

Drinkability -- This is by no means bad, but the hopping just doesn't work for me - the finish is like swallowing a cloud of gnats. However, as the beer warms this characteristic loses its bite. Taking that out of the equation, this beer would be much more enjoyable.

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

Pours a deep black color with a thickish brownish white head and a little lacing. Smells of earthy piny hops and a little malts. Tastes of earthy roast flavor, hops, and plenty of a malt backbone. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is medium high. Not bad at all.

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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 stoutfiend27
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first review in a while..lets see if we can remember....bomber picked up a Bestway....served chilled into a Foothills pint glass

a-black with garnet finger slightly off white head...chunky lacing down the glass

s-roasty up front which really threw me....has some citrus notes but judging by nose alone you would never know this was an ipa

t-roasty and chocolaty up front the citrus hops come in mid palate and it leaves with a bitter pine note and some sweet chocolate in the end

m-oily and can definitely tell the hops are there...the carbonation is excellent as it stays prickly ...

d-had no problem downing the bomber and would go back for more....the abv is tame enough..

minor complaints would be up the hop aroma..maybe dry hop a bit more or cut back on the roast and sub some caraf iii special to get the color...other than that another great beer from olde hickory....these guys are on a roll

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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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Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this new offering from OHB on tap at City Bev in Winston. Came out a creamy black with a wispy tan head on top. Decent retention. Left some light lacing on the glass edge. Scents of freshly-ground hop pellets, pine, and just a hint of roastedness.

The mouth is smooth and firm. Decent carbonation level. Not too filling, though it's thick in appearance. Great hoppy bitterness in this hybrid beer. Nothing harsh, just a crisp bite that finishes smooth and creamy. Light burnt flavor on the backend. I sipped this I walked the store lusting over all of the beer I couldn't buy. Easily drinkable. Recommend.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a Black IPA, what seems to be a growing style amongst craft brewers around the country. This is a fine example of that style. Pours pitch black with a slight mocha colored head of decent size, about one finger. Tons of lacing down the glass.

Aroma was very hoppy with a subtle roastiness. The roastiness consisted more of burnt chocolate than coffee, and the hops were of the american citrus variety. Caramel aromas were limited but present. A good balance of roastiness and hoppiness.

A little bitter and astringent in flavor and mouthfeel. I dont know if the bitterness was due to aggresive hopping or too much roasted malt. The bitterness borders on too bitter and just right, but I feel the astringency could be reduced a bit to make this one more palatable. The hop flavor was nice, however and the chocolate roasted flavors blended well.

I liked this one overall. Maybe a little astringent, but a really good mix of a bitter ipa and a slightly roasted stout. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Black Raven IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery
3.82 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
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