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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

282 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 282
Hads: 554
Avg: 4
pDev: 10.25%
Wants: 39
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brad007 on 01-09-2009

Every so often we brew this tasty treat that clocks in at 10% ABV. A silky smooth, motor-oil black pour reveals rich, roasty notes of caramel, chocolate and coffee. Like the first stouts brewed for Russian Czars, this offering is big, bold and built to last. Grab a few for the cellar, a couple for your comrades and enjoy because—like those Czars of yesteryear—this beer may be gone soon.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 282 | Hads: 554
Reviews by LacquerHead:
Photo of LacquerHead
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into a small wine glass.

It poured an extremely dark brown with virtually no translucence. This had a thickness to it. There was a roasted brown colored head formation.

The aroma was very malty and sweet.

This had a very roasted malt flavor. Coffee and dark semi-sweet chocolate. It had a burnt caramel sweet flavor that was accompanied by a touch of bitterness.

M/F: thick on the palate with a soft carbonation. It had a light syrup feel.

D: very easy to drink. The ABV was barely detectable. It would show up now and again as I exhaled.

Overall: a very good RIS for the price. I was certainly not disappointed. I would happily purchase this again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

A massive brew that ends up being a sheer pleasure to sip. A resurrected beer that was last brewed back in 2009, not to be brewed again until next winter … perhaps they should rethink that, as it will be missed. If you are lucky enough to find some, you’ll want to save a bottle or two, as the brewery states it is a great candidate for cellaring.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.0%

LOOK: Awesome brown head, pitch-black hue

SMELL: Chocolaty, charcoal, dark roast coffee, creamy, blackberries, molasses, hermit cookies, alcohol

TASTE: Bold roasty character, dark chocolate, burnt sugar, espresso, dark fruit, slow alcoholic warmth, underlying hoppiness, fudge brownies, faint oily resin, bittersweet finish

 787 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bomber poured into my tulip glass. Black in color, thick cocoa head that disappeared quickly. A little bit of lacing. A sweet chocolate aroma, with some roasted grain. The taste was more bitter, like espresso, but there was also a sweet chocolate taste too. So, I'd have to say this was a bold and balanced beer, worthy of many more tastings.

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Photo of DWolf
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of mctizzz
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Lgrec8
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of magictrokini
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with an impressive frothy tan head. Weak lacing. Fragrant chocolate cake batter aroma with deep roasted chocolate malt. Some tobacco and leather with light vanilla. Hearty mouthfeel, heavy without getting sticky. The taste is good, but lacking. Solid roasted malt, but it runs away quickly. It leaves behind a soy sauce bite with brown sugar sweetness. Long, black coffee finish. Alcohol is masked well, but it just needs something else.

 453 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz foil topped bomber poured into an 8oz Rock Art tulip.

Pours an oily ink black with a nice bit thick mocha-esque head with lots of really fine bubbles. Nose is coffee, roasted barley, sweet maltiness, and almost a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a bit light, not super rich, and there's a hint of iron on the finish. Lots of coffee-like bitterness. Very drinkable and sweet, but ti's still got a bit of that milk creaminess. overall decent!

 444 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Listed as 10% ABV on the label which is different from the one pictured.

Pours out a completely opaque, viscous black. A vigorous pour results in just a small 1/4 in. layer of head that quickly fades to a ring, but the ring remains nice and tight throughout the rest of the glass. What is nice about the head is that its a nice deep tan/ light brown color. A bit of lacing and a bit of some sticky legs from a swirl of the glass.

First off, in the aroma is a deep charred, roasted malt, some alcohol, a bit of dark chocolate, black licorice, slight hints of smoked meat as it warms.

AgaIn, a deep charred roasted malt really takes center stage in the taste. Bitter- sweet. Some nice dark chocolate and a bit of some bakers chocolate. A bit of alcohol, but more in the form of warming. A bit of dark fruits on the back end. A bit basic, but defiantly tasty.

A nice thick mouthfeel that really coats the whole palate with each sip. Low carbonation which is compliments the style.

A very nice RIS, it defiantly exceeded my expectations. They seemed to have nailed everything exactly to style. Age should do this well, but this would be real magic in a bourbon barrel. Worth atleast one try.

 1,249 characters

Photo of PretzelsNBeer
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of far333
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque brownish black with an inch high head of light brown foam that settles out slowly to a lid of soapy bubbles.

Aroma of cocoa and dark malt and licorice, some subtle smoke.

Rich flavors of darkly roasted malt and tangy cherry. Subtle cocoa and deep espresso, morphing to bitter dark chocolate. Notes of charred smokey bark and licorice. Lots of complexity here.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Warming in the cheeks. Finishes somewhat dry. Very drinkable, tasty beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The most honest bottle from the 22 ounce gift pack I bought, Imperial IPA was solid, and the Wine/Beer hybrid was a bit of an abomination. Well this beer sang praises of why it's okay to go extreme every once in awhile. Form DFH brewer was completely able to nail a big bodied dark beer like no other. Poured dark a bit viscous, with heavy mocha/tan deep brown head color and stark black body bubbling up in my chalice. I'm sorry I didn't use the fluted small pilsner glass that came with the sampler. It didn't seem like the right tool for the job. Aromatics big on ripened fruit/hints of coffee/dark chocolate. Plums/brand soaked fruit/dark chocoalte/even a bit of soy sauce like all great impy stouts. Nose nails the style and hides the booze. Flavor wise more of the same dark fruits/soaked in a mild layer of booziness. Again creamy coffee/big dark roasted malt layers/an edge of soy sauce saltiness this bottle will age forever it you can hold onto it. Big body a bit chewy in the best possible way, smooth rolling carbonation mellow at best carries this big bodied Russian Impy Stout quite well. Like I said this was the VIP of the three pack I came across while browsing the selection up at Vintage Estate in Boardman Ohio. Overall drinkability if one and done this is the supreme one beer to drink, if sharing with friends a four ounce pour is just as satisfying even though you'll crave another bottle to cellar.

 1,422 characters

Photo of rudylaw
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MasterSki for bringing this to the CE release. Served in my GTOM taster glass.

A natural black pour with minimal caramel-colored head.

The aroma was hard to lock down. Fudgy, tobacco, chocolately. It has a burnt smell as well.

I get a ton of chocolate up front. There's some coffee notes here, but mostly dark chocolate. Some smoke as well. This is actually very appealing to me. Smooth mouthfeel and decent drinkability for an RIS. I could easily drink a whole bomber of this.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with ShrLSU - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, raw coffee beans, and unsweetened chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malts and coffee flavors up front segue into a good amount of dark chocolate flavors midway through the sip. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a great thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good - I had no problem finishing a glass of this.

Overall this is a very solid RIS but it doesn't do anything exceptionally well that would push it into the top tier. Still, well worth a shot.

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Photo of degerbah
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very thick syrupy black with a thick brown tinged head. The aroma is slightly choclatey, but the main flavor is similar to soy sauce. The taste is thick, boozy, and almost hard to drink. The alcohol is a huge part of the flavor, in my opinion a little too much.

 269 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dhmxray
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of r0nyn
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an oversized snifter.

Pours a dark mahogany brown with somewhat loose viscosity. Coalesces into an inky darkness with full opacity. Head is minimal, leaving only a thin film floating with the substantial alcoholic legs at the top. Lacing is quite spotty, without much stickiness at all. Smell is robust and engaging, with a pronounced chocolate character. Some mild coffee notes show up as well, and there is a definite malty backbone to the scent as well. Slight nuances of vanilla, caramel and that hefty double digit booziness round out the nose.

Lots of chocolate notes to start, providing a bittersweet undertone to the entire taste of the beer. Caramel notes are subtle but definitely present and have almost a roasted quality to them. The brown sugar advertised on the label is also evident, providing some mild, nuanced sweetness. Notes of toasted barley mingle with the substantial malt character to round out the finish, which is drying and lightly bitter. Alcohol really isn't evident, which is slightly surprising. Mouthfeel is admittedly on the thinner side, especially given the weighty ABV. Finishes with a crispness and a little bit of carbonated effervescence.

Drinkability is quite good, aided by the enticing smell, pleasant taste and minimal alcohol footprint. There is still quite a bit of booze in this, so sipping is recommended, but it definitely doesn't hinder how many sips you'll be taking at once. A quality brew from Otter Creek, one I wouldn't mind revisiting down the road. I think this beer would only benefit from a little bit of aging, so time will tell.

 1,618 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Otter Creek- RIS

A- Thick black with a huge thick tan head. Heavy foamed head laces nicely.
S- Big strong slightly burnt charcoal, chocolate, and marshmallow.
T- Thick dark chocolate, strong burnt black coffee, charcoal, and hints of vanilla. Slight buttery carmelized malt appears in the end.
M- Very strong burnt bitterness up front, creamier malt appears, and sweet chocolatey bitterness finishes this off.

Overall- Starts off burnt and boozy but settles down. This 1 is quite creamy but very sweet and cloying eventually. 1 pint is enough!

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Photo of Varkias41
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.91/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a bomber at the Brattleboro food co-op for $6.29. The label has lots of info, including all ingredients, abv and IBU's.

This is totally black, opaque with obvious carbonantion around the edge, the head is massive, at least 2" high, very bubbly and frothy with creaminess on the very top. dissipation is moderate for the style. There's plenty of dark brown foam still left over long after the liquid is gone. Lacing is sticky and intricate. right on.

The nose is huge, it's as bold and complex as any RIS I've ever had, including such big-boys as Dark lord and the Abyss. Very dark roastie malt right off, grahm crackers, meaty, nutty, peanutbutter with spicey, herbal hops, mellow peppery black berry jam. As the liquid warms you've got, brownies straight from the oven. Well balanced with the hops really providing a unique spiciness, instead of the leafy-bitter scent you get from many huge stouts. a very subtle aroma of dark fruits pops out even later.

After being totally rocked by the aroma of this brew i was affraid the flavor would fall short. NOT!!! This is extremely complex with mulit-level malt flavor's of dark baker's chocolate, dry brownies, peanutbutter, coffee with cream and a another chocolate current that is a bit sweeter, like milk chocolate. The really unique aspect of this RIS is the bold, spicey and earthy hop effect that is bold but not overly bitter. The hops provides the most sublime balance I've ever noticed in this style. 65 IBU's seems Just right. The heat is pretty subtle and adds a nice warming effect but becomes a bit more hot later on. Chocolate covered blueberries pops out as the stout warms up. highly complex, and enjoyable!!

This big-ass stout is full bodied with a crispy middle body, finishing hefty and smooth, then dry. My lips are sticky. smooth and creamy.

Honestly, Otter creek has NAILED the RIS, I'm blown away. Huge complexity with something unique to offer in the spicey and not bitter hop balance. Impressive!

 1,991 characters

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev 0%

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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
89 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.