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

Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

473 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 473
Reviews: 271
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.03%


Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Brad007 on 01-09-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 | Reviews: 271 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Opaque black. Pours thick with a head that looks equally as good as the body rising to about 1/2" dark tan.

Smell: strong malt, has hints of pure vanilla and feel of chocolate at the same time. Pretty appetizing.

Taste: A strong dark chocolate with caramel features offset with a marly bitterness. It is a notch sweet, not to the point where it is anything like milk stout but just enough to keep drawing you.

Mouth: Smooth finish, takes at least two sips to adjust then goes down perfect.

Overall: Best Otter Creek beer I have had and ridiculously good Russian imperial stout. If its still by my shop ill be filling another growler without hesitation. Salud!

Serving type: growler

05-10-2013 22:11:15 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of soccerman7
soccerman7

Vermont

4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass, Growler freshly poured yesterday.

A - A gorgeous tan head that is rather dense. Faded down after a bit to wisps on the surface.

S - The nose has everything you would expect for the style. Roast and smoke notes, coffee, herbal hop notes.

T - Rather smooth flavors. A really nice RIS. There is a lot going on and it keeps revealing more as the beer warms. Coffee, a dark red wine, smoke, pumpernickel bread, its all there. Well done.

M - A nice oily feel with a little bite on the back from the roasted barley.

O - A really nice RIS that should get more attention. A welcomed winter seasonal and looking forward to seeing different versions in the barrel hopefully.

Serving type: growler

02-08-2013 23:42:20 | More by soccerman7
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Boo-yeah first review of this stuff in a growler son! Picked it up for 15 bucks (tax included) at my local six pack shop. Works out to 3 bucks a pour for a beer 10+% ABV. Whoop!

A - Well the appearance won me over it's thick, viscous, took forever to pour into the growler, and such an attractive 1/2 inch of deep mocha head.

S - Mild bittersweet chocolates next to a very dominant coffee/roast profile and some bittering hops for good measure.

T - Hops are a bit acidic at first but as it warms the beer opens up to a nice blast of bittersweet chocolate and coffee roast. Two of my favorite things. Not much room for sweet vanilla or anything and the finish is rather dry, but damn does it hide the ABV well.

M - Heavy body for sure but the acidic hops do balance some of the ABV sting.

Overall aged this could be a very exceptional brew but even fresh out of the keg it's not the worst RIS I ever had. Kind of like Storm King from Victory and everyone seems to love that shit.

Serving type: growler

01-06-2013 03:05:17 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, and tan in shade. Retention is alright for the ABV, and the creaminess is rather nice to look at. Touches of lacing are left behind.

S: Licorice-y, perfumey, boozy. These kind of imperial stouts are not my bag (see also: Narwhal, Smuttynose IS, Stone IRS), but the subtle chocolate note of this redeems it slightly. The more it opens up, the more the harsh licorice-cum-booze fades away. This will also show off a nice nutty, roasty character which blends well with the chocolate. The aroma grows on me, but it never completely grows on me.

T: The flavor is nicer than I anticipated. It's definitely focused on the licorice aspects of an imperial stout (instead of the chocolaty and umami notes I love from the style), but it's also restrained enough to not overpower the roasted and chocolaty flavors. Alcohol-wise, it's about what one would expect from a 10% RIS - gently boozy without being moronically harsh. Alcohol While the flavors are quite solid, I could use a bit more depth.

M: I love how soft and creamy this is in the mouth. And yet, it still has a dry (if faintly alcoholic) finish. The subtle booze gives it a nice warming character. If this were just a *bit* heavier, I'd give the feel a 5. More than anything, it's the gentle carbonation that helps give it its fantastic mouthfeel.

O: DAT MOUTHFEEL. It's somewhat unremarkable otherwise, but the amazing feel gives it more than enough reason for me to really like this. And that's really good considering I'm not a fan of licorice-y imperial stouts.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 22:45:12 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark black, some brown foam settles out. Tar like pour. Rich roasted nose, espresso beans. Taste is full and rich, burnt coffee, backed by a modest alcohol burn. Light licorice underneath. Earthy. Thick mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 13:40:00 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Andrew041180
Andrew041180

Massachusetts

3.34/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Pours a lovely black with creamy brown head. The head recedes quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass.

S - Nice aroma. Roasty. Dark chocolate. Hint of alcohol, which I suppose is to be expected at this level.

T - Touch of sweetness on the tongue. Here is where I pick up the dark chocolate. Little bit of bitterness followed by an absolute wave of alcohol. The alcohol really wipes away everything else and is not overly pleasant for me.

M - Thinner than I expected. The finish is a little sticky, which maintains that alcohol-heavy aftertaste.

O - I really had high hopes for this one. I should be able to pawn some off on my wife. I wouldn't buy this one again, and I would recommend readers not to buy it if they are not fans of boozy imperial stouts. If you like that sort of thing, then have at it.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 00:04:15 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of Jnashed
Jnashed

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otter creek Russian Imperial stout.

Poured in a snifter.

A: not much head. Black as midnight. Thin lacing. Thick looking if that makes sense as it looks dense but not a lot of brown head or lacing. Syrup like.

S: Coffee, chocolate, Figs.

M: thick and syrup as its look.

T: figs, but not really sweet. Dark dark chocolate, and burnt coffee. Lots of alcohol on the back end. You know it's 10%. Maybe some time would have helped.

O: good not great. Pales behind Founders Imperial Stout and Bells Expedition. North Coast old Rasputin as cleaner. Liked though.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 03:28:50 | More by Jnashed
Photo of KingdomBobcat
KingdomBobcat

Vermont

3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-jet black, very thin mocha head, barely any head though, barely any lacing. just kinda meh
S-lots of chocolate and roasted malt notes with noticeable booziness, over-roasted coffee
T-chocolate really hits the back of the tongue, roasted malts up front, lingering booze aftertaste, almost tastes a little barrel aged actually.
M-not too thick, not too thin, just kinda average. light carbonation, lots of booze
O-bottle date reads 12/3/12 so I think this may be discontinued and I maybe grabbed one of the last 4pks that I may see for some time, so I shall savor it. Last time I had it was about a year ago, and since then I've certainly had better stouts and have raised my expectations, but this one is still good.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 20:41:16 | More by KingdomBobcat
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle purchased from AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a thick, dark black into my Rooster Fish tulip. Light coffee colored head sits on top of the beer for a while, foamy and nice.

Smells strongly roasted and malty. Pretty simple, but effective.

Tastes incredible. Earthy dark chocolate, roasted malts, slight tea-like hoppiness, a bit of sugary sweetness that never gets cloying. This is a serious strong stout! No alcohol is really present, which is amazing considering the intensity of malt flavors.

Full, thick body. Low but appropriate carbonation.

Awesome, under the radar stout. Otter Creek is quietly a pretty damn good brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 00:51:49 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a single bottle from AJ's Beer Warehouse on 1/25/14.

poured into a chalice, served slightly cool.

appearance: engine oil black with a mochachino head, hardly any lacing.

aroma: charred roast, coffee, molasses maybe some chocolate.

taste: coffee, a pleasant burnt marshmallow taste, Hersheys syrup

mouthfeel: decent

overall: a very tasty imperial stout with nice flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 18:07:01 | More by fx20736
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown with a finger of fluffy tan head that dissipated quickly. The nose is pleasantly roasty. The flavor profile includes a solid roasted malt taste. The finish has good roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is substantial and sticky.

This is a solid RIS that is better than most others of its style.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 03:49:45 | More by 57md
Photo of CHADMC3
CHADMC3

Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark black body beneath the rich, mocha head which dissolves to leave a thin yet sticky ring of lacing around the glass.

Generous roasted malt, sweet milk chocolate and just a hint of dark fruit as it warms highlight the aroma.

The flavor leads with the dark fruit and roasted malt more than the aroma and the sweet milk chocolate appears more as it warms.

The body is rich, full, and chewy with medium carbonation and a big, coating finish.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this RIS, darn good and style appropriate.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 02:29:44 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of JMScowcroft
JMScowcroft

Vermont

4.78/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's - Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout (2013 Barrel-aged version), poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

NOTE: This is not the same beer that is being reviewed on this thread, this is a barrel-aged version aged in maple whiskey oak barrels for a year.

Look - Pours motor oil black thick with a thin soapy mocha head. Tons of splotchy lacing.

Smell - Rich creamy aroma. Maple and bourbon with oaky vanilla notes behind it.

Taste - So creamy, rich maple, some roasted malts overtaken by the oak vanilla and then ending whiskey. Yessss.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body with low carbonation. Surprisingly not boozy for 10% but it will catch up later, make no mistake. Great drinkability.

Overall - Wow. I am legitimately blown away by this Otter Creek offering! I am not huge into BA beers but now I am beginning to think I have just been having the wrong ones. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 22:44:56 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of Frost-Mountain-Brew
Frost-Mountain-Brew

Vermont

5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5.0. For the style, I think this beer is absolutely perfect. There is something I relish about "creamy" mouthfeel and this has it. It's hard to get something that has 10% ABV to feel smooth on the tongue but this is so well balanced that nothing is jarring to the tastebuds. Notes of caramel, coffee work well in the creamy stout. The appearance is spot on, dark dark dark with a nice small head that lingers. Well done Otter Creek. This is one of my favorites and I have a case in my basement. I'm really intrigued to see how it tastes in a year's time.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2013 17:18:21 | More by Frost-Mountain-Brew
Photo of PHBoiler
PHBoiler

Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thick, rich, chewy. The mouthfeel on this beer is exactly what I want from a stout when I sit down to have a stout in the winter. The taste has some bitter chocolate and light roast. It fills your mouth and rounds out so well unlike many RIS available in the market. The best thing I can say is well rounded. It isn't a coffee bomb or a chocolate bomb. The roast isn't immense. I was going to age some, but I'm not sure this beer needs any help to improve.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 21:11:13 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of Mrappinin
Mrappinin

Virginia

3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big surprise from Otter creek. Smell of chocolate, coffee, and a subtle boozeiness. Poor's a used motor oil black little or no head it has vanished by the time I started writing this. Ah the taste, big roasty coffee and unsweet cocoa, a little dark fruit and no booze to speak of. Little carbonation makes for a silky smooth texture. One would not notice the 10% abv more like an american stout. Easily could go through the four pack in a night. Good job otter creek

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 01:22:39 | More by Mrappinin
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. One finger of frothy medium brown head. Retention is below average and not really any lacing is left.

4.0 S: Bright, potent aroma on this. Tons of molasses and layers of caramel. Chocolate, moderate roastiness, and black cherry fruits. Almost like a gingerbread like doughy/biscuitiness. Very nice.

4.0 T: About the same as the nose. Molasses, caramel, moderate roast, biscuit, chocolate, moderate, yet supple, roastiness.

3.75 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: Well rounded, very tasty brew. Can't complain.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 03:33:06 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of JamesShoemaker
JamesShoemaker

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

10 oz pour into a snifter at the brewery. Good friends, good food, and glad to see this bad boy on tap. Very extensive tap list at the brewery, including five Otter Creek brews, five Wolaver's brews, and two Shed brews.

A - yup, this is the first RIS I've had in months and it looks the part. Dark brown lacing and a half-inch of foam takes forever to recede, never completely dissolving into the surface of the brew. The beer itself is dark brown, not quite as black as I expect from the style, but still nearly impenetrable to light.

S - hmm, not a lot there. Even though this is a tapped snifter, the smell is subdued in a bad way. I get hints of the roasted malt, maybe a little booze, but otherwise it dissipates into a very slightly bitter pungency on the end of the nose. Not impressive.

T - slightly better than the odor. Roasted malts, just a hint of caramel, molasses, and sugar. Nothing sweet about this brew, but still surprisingly subdued in its flavors. Even the alcohol is barely present at 10%, which would normally be a positive aspect, but given the dearth of true flavor here, it's a drawback!

M - a dearth of flavor also means a relatively smooth finish. The alcohol doesn't really contribute anything to the MF, but the lack of bitterness/sweetness creates a mediocre brew through and through. Nothing really left in the mouth after the swallow.

O - a very ordinary experience. I'm glad I got to try this on tap at the brewery, but I won't go out of my way to have it again. Overly subdued tastes and smells, and seemingly inexpertly handled.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2013 17:26:44 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - It's a stout...oil black in color (and leaves a thin, dark coffee colored ring around the glass).

S - Coffee beans, dark roasted malt, and toasted dark chocolate.

T - Roasted chocolate and delicate vanilla with some alcohol presence and mild dark chocolate bitterness.

M - Medium full bodied and slightly creamy.

O - Good, sits in the middle of the pack overall.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 05:50:25 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Pitch-black in color, with a moderate cap of dark, tan foam.
Aroma-Black patent malt,coffee, dark chocolate.
Taste-Dark roasted coffee, dark roasted malt, baker's chocolate, hop leaf and tobacco notes. Warming alcohol comes to the forefront in a rather bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 21:10:19 | More by hosehead83
Photo of hopoilcrazy
hopoilcrazy

Tennessee

4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mew for this extra!

A - Absolutely great...almost perfect look. Totally pitch black with a dark tan head that does not go away for awhile.

S - Milk chocolate and caramel malt. A little boozy. Bready almost yeasty tang. Puffed wheat.

T - Big, huge, enormous malt. It is a great malt profile: peaty, cocoa powder, kettle corn, biscuity. And at the end when the hops should balance, they don't but the beer doesn't suffer. Faint hop oil, but indeterminable.

M - Luscious coating and tingly booze. Soothing.

Overall, this beer is pretty great and I'm sure that it is a great value. I would drink this a lot if I could get it

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 03:55:45 | More by hopoilcrazy
Photo of CardiacNP
CardiacNP

Louisiana

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft from Fox & Hound in Ohio

A nice imperial stout with 10%abv but you do not Taste it.

Dark black in color with a tight 1 finger creamy brown head. Decent lacing.

Malty chocolate , coffee stout.

Lightly carbonated. Smooth creamy mouth feel.
Surprisingly so for such a high alcohol beer.

Overall a solid Russian imperial stout. Recommend trying

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2013 02:04:57 | More by CardiacNP
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure where I first had this, but I think it was at TJ's, Paoli.

Opaque black pour with a rocky tan head that sank to a ringlet, leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma was dark malts, dark chocolate, hints of dark dried fruit. Definitely a tasty stout here, dark malts, dark chocolate, a little espresso, burnt marshmallow, notes of plum, and some mild earthy hops coming through. Body was on the fuller side of medium, robust and smooth, tremendously easy drinker for a 10% brew. Very nice overall.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2013 01:43:18 | More by Rifugium
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass, 2013 release?

A - Pours a jet black body with two fingers of creamy mocha foam. Settles down quickly. Pretty stereotypical RIS appearance.

S - Very roast dominant with some chocolate and coffee in the background.

T - Roast central here. Balanced out by some sweeter chocolate and bitter coffee notes. The 65 IBU's are present in the bitterness but the hop flavors are non-existent. Medium bodied and creamy.

O - This is a very solid beer that can compete with the likes of Narwhal and Old Rasputin. A little simple, but that's not entirely a bad thing. I'm not a huge fan of stouts with high IBU's but this was quite nice. This was my first Otter Creek beer and I'm left impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 05:49:05 | More by davey101
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A real dark mocha and brown chocolate head only about a finger, which subsides to a small collar. Body is a very black walnut and extremely opaque. Scattered leopard lacing. Pretty nice.

Nose has nice chewy toasty grain, and lots of sweet roasty character. Mellow and emphasis on malts. Interestingly not getting hints of chocolate or coffee, but a real simple solid wonderful roast stout classic character. Very nice.

Palate matches much of what is hinted on the nose. Good roasting grains on the mid palate. The swallow brings a nice astringency, good warmth and toast char. Simple grain malt body, almost borderline biscuity with dark malt quality. A light texture, with some chewy quality. As it warms the body sort of weakens though.

Overall though this is a good solid Russian Imperial. Bare bones and simple, but just done well.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 22:58:14 | More by smakawhat
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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
89 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.