Otter Creek Alpine Black IPA was the beer that clinched my recent decision about which beer variety pack to buy! I’m not a huge IPA drinker, and to be honest I’ve never had a black IPA before, so I was happy to give this new winter seasonal beer a try. Why not? It was rated as one of the top beers of 2010 by Slashfood.com
Here are the gory details of this neat beer from the people who make it.
Style: Black IPA
Malts: 2-Row, Caramel 60L, Carafa III
Hops: Apollo, Centennial, Citra
Description: “Dark in color and character, this unfiltered Black IPA exudes caramel and roasted notes while highlighting a bold hop bitterness and citrus aroma. Apollo, centennial, and citra hops intermingle with the deep complexities provided by copious amounts of caramel malts and de-husked roasted barley.”
Sounds nice, right? I thought so too!
So, I got to pouring my first black IPA and yeah, its black. So black in fact that light barely got through as I held it up for closer inspection. On top of the black beer was a nice foamy head that had very nice retention and left impressive lacing on my glass.
The aroma was a little hard for me to figure out, (yeah, it smelled like and IPA is kind of lame, right?) but I’m not well versed in the style. To me, it came across as a mostly hoppy nose which I found to be on the sweet side. Maybe a little citrus, probably as a result of the Citra hops. Perhaps what makes this black IPA more appealing, to me anyway, is that there are some malty aromas that come through as well. Its not the usual hop-bomb. Nice.
Getting on to the taste, all I could think is WOW. THIS is a great beer! I brought this home from a trip to Vermont, and I really hope I can find it in Jersey!
To me, this beer came across as very well balanced. The bitterness of the hops and the pronounced malty flavors come together in beery harmony. (Is that too over the top?) 🙂 I picked up on come chocolate and coffee flavors too which I liked,
Mouthfeel was pretty good from what I could tell, a little thin but nothing to fault here and it felt like the carbonation was just right. It left a pleasant aftertaste that kept on giving.
So, what do I think about the Otter Creek Black IPA? I liked it quite a bit, and I’ll definitely have it again. As I’ve mentioned, I’m still not that well versed in the IPA style, let alone this Black IPA stuff. In that regard, I’m trying to temper my excitement a bit because I just don’t have much to compare it to.
Still, I think I’m going to give this beer from Vermont a healthy 4 star rating. I liked it, and that’s what I’m going with right now. If anything, this beer will encourage me to try other Black IPA brews for comparative purposes!
What about you? Ever try a black IPA or have a favorite you think I should try next? Let me know in the comments below!
Scott – TheBrewClub