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Black Oak Ten Bitter Years | Black Oak Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
76 Reviews
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Black Oak Ten Bitter YearsBlack Oak Ten Bitter Years
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Black Oak Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
blackoakbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our 10 Bitter Years has been voted Canada’s best Imperial IPA. For us it celebrates a decade of survival in the craft brewing industry. It was first brewed as an anniversary beer when Black Oak turned ten. Categorized as a Double IPA, it has perfect balance between caramel malt body and hop bitterness. Double dry hopping, using three different varieties of hops, creates lots of flavour and hop aroma. You’ll smell pine, grapefruit, mango and pineapple. All that malt and hops balance it’s exotic character and provides just enough alcohol warmth to enhance the flavour. The exact ingredients are top secret and we are sworn to secrecy. It’s so popular we can’t keep it in stock (Please take smaller sips).

We hope you enjoy our special edition anniversary beer.

PS Ken’s still bitter.

Added by Sammy on 11-26-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
182
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
15.14%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 182
Photo of eat
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo. Very nice appearance. Clear and dark-amber in colour with a finger of off-white head. Wicked lacing, though the retention could be improved.

This smells American! Pineapple, grapefruit, flowers, tangerine, candy malt. Tons of hops. Ridiculous smell, for a Canadian IPA.

This is one of the most American Canadian IPAs I've had. Tons of hops: pineapple, grapefruit and grass along with some wheaty cracker. There's enough malt to serve as a good base, but the hops definitely outweigh it, like many of the great American IPAs. Not balanced...in a good way! The ABV wasn't listed on the chalkboard at Volo and for some reason I didn't think to ask, just assuming it was in the area of 5%. I didn't think twice about this, going to show how well the extra ABV is covered up. There was no style listed at Volo, so I'm not quite sure what to review this as. I wouldn't say it's a double IPA; more like a strong regular IPA, somewhere in the middle of the two.

Great medium body and lightly carbonated. The feel pairs very well with the flavour.

Maybe an evening of sampling good-but-slightly-disappointing beers biased this review, but I definitely think this is an awesome IPA. Pretty much as good as any I've had. This could very well be the best Ontario-brewed beer I've tried. It really tastes like it was brewed somewhere else, not in meek little Ontario. These hops are not polite. Hopefully other Ontario brewers take Black Oak's lead.

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Photo of JonnyBeers
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

I've been wanting to try this one for ages cause it's always shown up on the top 100 CDN BA list. I find it chewy, meaty, and malty. Fair amount of citrus at the start but a thick caramel finish. I've had this weird taste profile with a couple Imperial IPA before that remind me of steak. Not sure how or why, I'm assuming it's a malt/hop balance, but this triggers that reaction. It reminds me of the smell of steak fat fresh off the grill. Tasty in food, but in liquid form it's really weird. Fresh-ish bottle from LCBO.

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Photo of cratez
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Multiple bottle samples at the Black Oak Beer Dinner at Chancey Smith's in London, ON. Ken and Adrian were kind enough to bring this beast down three weeks ahead of the official second release. Thanks guys!

Pours a hazy amber orange with one finger of cream white head and speckles of webbed lacing all over the shaker.

Smell is a strong bouquet of flowery hops, pine needles, citrus, and herbal aromas.

Taste is red grapefruit, mandarin oranges, lemon, toasted wheat cracker (a little buttery), sweet caramel malt, slight woodiness, and alcohol. Finishes with a bright, fruity, and citric hop bitterness that sticks to the palate for quite some time.

Full mouthfeel is juicy and acidic with a bold and spicy hop bite and mild dryness to end. A beautiful DIPA, and no doubt one of the best beers brewed in Ontario.

EDIT: this is even better on tap, with mango, tangelo, and pineapple on the nose and palate. Truly excellent stuff.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(3.75) A: Clear amber with a reddish tinge and a relatively thin head that recedes quickly to form a ring.

(4.0) S: Pine, butterscotch/toffee, citrus pith, nutmeg (& other spices), touch of vanilla, and rich buttered bread. This has an enticing earthy-damp forest floor aroma. Nice and smooth aroma.

(4.0) T: Identical to aroma with pine, spices, toffee, and buttery bread the standout flavours. It goes without saying this is quite bitter but the sweeter elements (toffee, bread, spices) keep it moderately in-line.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily sheen with just enough resin. Outstanding.

(4.0) D: This is a great Imperial IPA that is very easy to drink and smooth. Bitter but in a manageable dose that is complimented well with other impressive flavours.

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Photo of BBP
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Amber with slight yeast, decent carbonation and head.

S- Hops and fruitiness as well as a bit of spice.

T- Complex and very tasty. Sweet fruit and grapefruit. A bit spicy. Great balance without being too sweet or bitter. The citrus/grapefruit was balanced well by the fruitiness to it. Very hoppy, but balanced so well that the hops didn't feel too strong for a second.

M- Medium full body. A bit creamy. Good carbonation.

D- Good drink. Light and easy, but flavorful and potent. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Good blend. I would definitely recommend this to anybody. Drinks far easier than most normal IPAs. Is almost the definition of easy drinking especially for a DIPA.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Orange toned copper in colour; capped by off-white foam that, here and there, clings to the walls of my glass in small patches. Ten Bitter Years smells citric and tropical, also showing notes of bread and cedar. It's a laser guided tangerine bomb aimed straight for my taste buds, leaving behind an aftermath of citrus pith, pine, and lingeringly embittered taste buds. Mildly sweet. Medium bodied and smoothly carbonated. Feels oily, resinous, and a little bit sticky. Sadly staring at my empty glass, I wish I had more of this extremely moreish drink. It's a damned shame this is a one off.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle pours a dark golden clear orange. The taste is very bitter with a nice piney hop background. It goes down quite smooth and very damn easy to drink. Its average in the pack compared to american ipas and iipas as this is in the middle. But considering this is from Ontario, wow. A very damn good offering for the style. Finally, its a start. Lets hope we get some more in this shitty province for beer.

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Photo of decimator
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured in a mug. ABV 8%.

A - Poured a clear deep gold with a 2cm frothy head. The head reduced to an everlasting foamy cap. Good lacing.

S - Pine, grapefruit, citrus, some herbs, some spice, caramel in the background. Damn that smell is addictive.

T - Caramel, malts, and then its all hops. Pine, grapefruit, other nondescript citrus and tropical fruit, hint of spiciness, hint of tobacco. Plenty of bitterness yet the balance is amazing.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, some heat in the finish.

O - Very drinkable for an DIPA. One of the best I've had so far.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours a hazy honey amber with one finger of firm beige head that leaves distant storm system lace as it recedes.

Smells amazing. Fresh sliced citrus flesh, lemon rind, tropical fruit, sweet caramel malt and piney hops.

Tastes of more juicy citrus flesh, pineapple and mango, fresh baked biscuit malt and more sticky pine resin.

Feels big and lively. Medium bodied with solid, frothy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. I honestly don't remember having a better double IPA than this.

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Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep copper pour. Off tan tight lacey head. Old school malty, bready flavour with herbal, earthy hops. Not boozy and slightly tannic As it warms lots of wood notes appear

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Photo of CantankerousCaveBear
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bomber purchased from LCBO- poured into Tulip glass

The appearance of the beer is amber, burnt orange or even saffron in colouration, depending upon the lighting. There are some streaks of red and gold. Head is a cream white, about 2 fingers worth. It is hazy and turbid upon pouring. Carbonation seems to be on the higher side of things.

The nose is quite lovely. Immediately hit with grapefruit, pineapple, resin, orange rind, pine, and delicate floral notes. I can detect a malt presence, a shot of caramel, and biscuit in the background. Upon warming, I can detect some further smells of intense peach and mango.

Taste is crisp, medium body, with a smooth and oily mouthfeel. Finish is long, bitter and dry. You can detect a certain pithy quality and earthiness in the finish. Really smooth, drinks like a regular IPA, alcohol is only present in a warming sensation, there is no astringency. Again, the juicy tastes of jaffa orange, mandarins, blood orange, grapefruit, peach and mango are all present. Powerful citrus and pine notes are underpinned by a toffee/caramel/honey malt backbone.

Delicious, and almost restrained in a way. A treat to have. One of the better examples of the style in this province. I like sweet and juicy DIPA/IIPAs and this fits the bill.

Edit: Having another bomber, the malt backbone is sweeter and tastier than I remember!

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Photo of EricVonStein
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice golden amber colour, clear, pours out thick like honey. Big puffy head three fingers or more and with a slight tan/peachy tinge. Nice lacing as I work my through the glass.

Really nice mix of toasty malts, caramels, cereals and honey sweetness with dried orange rind. Big pungent nose that is rounded off and feels likes its had time to round off sharp edges.

The interplay between roasty caramel bread and citrus rind continues in the taste. Thick honey and caramel flavours on the tongue right away, along with an equal tropical juicy hit, pineapple is present. The bitter comes on fast and sharp at first backed by the those toasted oats and whole grain malt characteristics, then it just gets dry and bitter, even resiny/piny. There is a really nice spiciness present in the background that rides out to the finish along with the orange and grapefruit rind bitter. Finish is dry, bitter, and warming down the throat.

Med-Full bodied and creamy, nicely carbonated. Goes down smooth and syrupy.

Whats not to love here? Really a strong beer and not just in the ABV. Great interplay of malt, sweet, toasted flavours with the citrus rind resiny bitters. Big and juicy and it feels like its had 10 bitter years to stew and even out ever so nicely.

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Photo of Weebay
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a super fresh bottle in to a Duvel tulip

A - Pumkin coloured with a cream-coloured head.

S - hops hops, wonderful glorious hops. Smells of pine and citrus fruits.

T - A nice bitter hops flavour up front with notes of pine, grapefruit, and orange. there is a good malt backbone to balance it out.

M - medium body lightly carbonated.

D - This is the best beer brewed out of Ontario that I have ever had. I would put this beer up against the best the US has to offer.

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Photo of mrnobody
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into an oversized tulip.

Well in this case, "believe the hype", if an Ontario beer can truly be hyped! ;) This is an outstanding DIPA. Strikes me as a Red Racer on steroids with a lot of the same aroma and flavour characteristics. Huge tropical fruit and pine in both the smell and taste. There is some malt there somewhere (with the massive amount of hops, there has to be) but it is never the focus here. Also, the 8% ABV is nowhere to be found making this scary drinkable.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had the chance to sample this one on tap at rhino while waiting for my girlfriend to return from a meeting.

What came to my table was a beautiful clear dark amber beer with a very nice thick off white head to crown it.

The aroma was simply wonderful. A powerful fruity, floral hoppiness greets the nose. Aromas of blond raisins and peaches drizzled with fine honey mingle3 beautifully with a hint of malt toastiness and hope resin character.

A fine bitterness first hits the palate followed by caramel coated peaches and other fruits playing around in the mouth. Rich honey malt sweetness with a sense of infused spices perfectly plays between resinous hop flavours. The bitter sweet ballet works wonders on the tongue all backed up by a wonderful viscous full body which is marvelously smooth.

Well I think my girlfriend put it best when she sipped the beer and I quote "holy shit that really is 10 bitter years" as she scoffed, She's not much of a hop head. An excellently balanced beer with a wondrous bitter taste and aroma, a pity this is only a one off as its one of the best I've had from an Ontario brewer.

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Photo of akdo
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: The beer has a slightly transparent and copper body. It produces a foamy one-finger white head. The latter is tough in that it recedes to a thin layer with a few holes. Also, it beautifully laces the glass as one drinks it.



Aromas: This is clearly a Double IPA from the East coast. The malt overpowered the hops. As a result of that, the beer has a tropical perfume.



Taste: The malt profile offers notes of honey. But the most dominant notes are those of mangos, citrus and peaches. There are few notes of grapefruit zest. On the back-end, the beer has a dry taste of pine woods. Because this is an East Coast Double IPA expect no smokey taste nor aggressiveness that places the beer on the high end of the bitterness spectrum.



Feel: The beer is medium-bodied. Because of its malt profile, it is well balanced and slightly refreshing. Although dry, the beer is not astringent. The alcoholic warmth is barely felt in the throat, which is fine by me.



Overall: For me, the best Double IPA from Canada is Rainhard Refuge. However, Black Oak 10 Bitter Years stands out because of its almost perfect head retention. Unfortunately, the hops and the malt to some extent were too dry causing the aromas to be barely discernible. I would still recommend this beer.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this beer.

A 341ml bottle that states; "brewed with reverse osmosis water" written on the side of the bottle. Poured into a pint glass, a copper/orange brew with a foamy white head.

A nice light smell of citrus hops and malt, the smell is not powerful but it's there.

Taste is great, all sorts of hop flavours, citrus and pine. A nice balanced taste, no part of the taste is overbearing. A nice bitter finish that lingers.

A perfect medium mouthfeel.

This is one easy drinking DIPA and it's from Canada!!! Don't go into this beer expecting a big tongue wrecking DIPA, you will be disappointed. Instead expect a well balanced and easy drinking DIPA. Too bad this is hard to get.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Chancey Smith's.

A - Rich looking amber colour. The head was reasonable, decent retention that ends up as a thin but steady film. The lacing was decent, I think it would have been better if the glass it was served with wasn't moist.

S - Very nice smell. Grapefruit was the main hop aroma, but pine notes also came through. These hop smells were matched by citrus and spices.

T - Much the same as the smell. The beer has a nice bite to it from the spices and generous hops. The citrus notes back up the beer and balance it off very nicely.

M/D - Not as smooth as many DIPAs, but the mouthfeel was certainly nice. It was surprisingly light and easy to down, and despite the slight harshness it was a pleasure to drink. I would gladly have a few of them.

Too bad that this is a limited brew, I would love to have more since it is so close. I definitely want to try it again before it disappears.

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Photo of beersareonme
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A great Imperial IPA. Although I prefer a cloudy unfiltered IPA, this brew is still great. It has a light but surprisingly long-lasting head. And unlike some inferior Imperial IPA's, this one doesn't just taste like an IPA with alcohol added.

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Photo of cmadd
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The body pours a orange and rusty straw colour with two fingers of head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Almost exclusively piney and citric hop aromas with a malt backbone. Edit: grapefruit aromas develop as the beer warms.

T: Upfront again with the citrus and the pine, the middle is dominated by a nice balancing malt, and the finish is a strong pine bitterness. There is definitely a brashness to the hops that works nicely here and fits the name well. I don't love this style, but I appreciate that it's well done.

M: Great body with perfect carbonation. Not much to report, solid.

O: Before the advent of Witchshark IIPA from Bellwoods Brewery this was likely the best IIPA brewed in Ontario. Now I prefer Witchshark, but I chalk that up a stylistic preference not quality; this is an excellent brew. It's a shame it's so limited and sells out so damn quick. Everyone should get a taste of this.

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Photo of BitterOldSalt
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After 6 weeks of working in downtown Toronto I finally found a really great beer. Big thanks to "C'est What?" for being an oasis in this beer desert of a town. (My apologies to Torontonians who know better. Forgive me and help me slake my thirst for hoppy, top-fermented brews?)

For me the smell was the biggest part of the win for this beer. I shit you not, that I involuntarily closed my eyes and whispered, "Mmm, that's nice." Lucky for me the only person who witnessed this display was the bartender who responded with a heart-felt, "I know, right."

I'll agree with other reviewers that the head retention here was weak. The flavor and drinkability improved as this glass warmed and I have to wonder if this wasn't a beer that would have been best drawn from cask.

The hop aroma was complete--full, fresh hop smell with none of the volatile nuances boiled away. Hop bitterness was forefront, just shy of assertive. The malt did not fully balance the bittering hops as is desirable for this style. The mouthfeel was slightly thinner than expected, but again, for this style I think that is a reasonable, refreshing option. Copper-colored with a slight haze.

Here's to hoping you all get a share of what I gather is a one-off batch--provided I still get more than my share, that is.

Cheers!

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Photo of Ham-Nord
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Clear with a bronze-auburn colour. Pours a thick creamy head that persists right to the bitter end.

S: Fruity hops with a hint of sweetness. Not too powerful, but the hops are certainly there. Reminiscent of centennial.

T: Caramel sweetness, followed by a moderate bitterness. There is some alcohol, but it is balanced quite well with the malt and bitterness.

M: Well carbonated with an almost creamyness to the body.

O: Surprisingly drinkable for a IIPA (almost dangerously so). Would definitely get again; too bad it's a limited edition.

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Photo of clockwerk
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6 pack from the brewery on day 1, so this stuff is FRESH. And damn, it's good too.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper orange. Forms a nice light, white, foamy head that recedes to a
clearly defined ring leaving a sudsy lace in it's wake.

Smell: Hops. First and foremost. Citrusy goodness all around. It's your typical grapefruit and pine combo, but it does it well.

Taste: Nice caramel sweetness up front that leads into an assertive grapefruit character. Bitterness comes in beatifully on the back 9 of the palate. Some mild alcohol notes through out that play well with the hops and malt creating a satisfyingly complex experience.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is spot on. I'll call it medium bodied. Doesn't dry you out too much.

Drinkability: As it's on the lighter side of the ABV spectrum for DIPA's at 8%, but I think this does it justice. 2 to 3 bottles can be consumed comfortably in a session without getting "plastered".

This beer is a big success for Ontario. Ken and Adrian should be proud of a job well done. Hopefully it sets the tone for more to follow and shows the Ontario brewers out there that craft drinkers like their big beers.

If you can get your hands on some, it's defintitely worth trying.

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Photo of Knuckles2531
2.52/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Was shocked to read the IBU's is over 80.....that is why I bought it...but all I get is spicy peppered caramel malt flavor with a touch of hop backbone. Would classify this as a hoppy brown ale than an imperial IPA if someone asked me. It's not terrible but if you are a hop head IPA traditionalist....not sure this is for you. It's more like 80+ IMU's rather than IBU's (yes that is international bitterness units, and yes I made that up). To sum up...all malt no hop. Not a terrible beer but it ain't no IIPA.
Ops...I forgot to talk about the color, aroma, head, mouth feel, finish, etc. Just read every other review for that cookie cutter info.

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Photo of Ryborg11
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Very clear amber color, little bit of white head.

Aroma: Very distinct caramel, burnt biscuit and smokey notes. Mild fragrant berry notes.

Taste: Very mall forward flavor, no real hint of the alcohol, very distinct smokey and burnt flavors balancing out the bitterness. Slightly astringent bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel: Quite low carbonation, smoothly coats the tongue.

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Black Oak Ten Bitter Years from Black Oak Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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