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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

288 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 288
Hads: 582
Avg: 4
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 42
Gots: 48 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 288 | Hads: 582
Photo of CHADMC3
4.05/5  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.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.79/5  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!

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Photo of Frost-Mountain-Brew
5/5  rDev +25%
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.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of Mrappinin
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
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

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.76/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.17/5  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.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

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Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.07/5  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

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Photo of CardiacNP
4.44/5  rDev +11%
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

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of davey101
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of beyah
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apearance - Very minimal head, it is dark tan almost brown, can't see though the beer if you hold it to the light.

Smell - Chocolate, roasty a slight coffee aroma.

Taste - Alcohol is evident, Roasted Malt, hop bittering with a sweet ending as it warms up the chocolate notes come through.

Mouthfeel - Smooth , a bit more carbonation than I expected in this style.

Overall - I have always loved the RIS style, this beer is good but need to age it still a bit to hot and hoppy. I'm going to set a few bottles aside for later.

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Photo of templar316
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour's black as night ruby highlight's at the edge of the parabola, the mocha head is gone quick. But it keeps working around the edges. The scent of dark fruits; dates and figs, fades into cinnamon and coffee. It's smooth, the ABV is hidden, but the flavor is mild. It's not a tongue crushing monster but dark roast char and hop bitterness at the end remind us that something extra went into the wort. The nuanced malt layers open and smooth the alcohol across the tongue. Eager to try this after a year in the cellar. An excellent beer!

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Photo of cbutova
3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Poured from 12oz bottle to a giant snifter with jet black, oil-like body. A one finger dark brown, mocha colored head forms and stays around for a decent time. Frothy ring with big bubbles leaves spotty lacing.

S- Dark fruit and cocoa is what I notice mostly off the bat. Some caramel and vanilla sweets as well. The aroma isn't quite as strong as many great RIS examples.

T- Huge base of roast malt flavors. Big dark cocoa powder, heavily toasted nut, dark caramel and some general roast/burnt flavors make up the backbone for me. There is certainly a good amount of dark fruit (raisin, cherry feel) from the yeast they use. It has a nice edge to it from the roast grains but it does not feel astringent or unsettling. With warmth the cherry and cocoa balance out to give a nice truffle/dessert feel.

MF- Massively thick and creamy body, really nice way to support the heavily roast grain bill. Some bitterness probably from both the hops and the heavily kilned grains.

Cocoa and roast forward RIS with a good dark fruit feel as well.

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Photo of Pete27lax
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 3/5/2013

Pours a straight black with a mocha colored head. Good retention and good lacing as well.

Smell is the highlight here. Roasted notes are the heavy hitter on the nose but chocolate and a slight hint of licorice are also present.

Taste is good. Once again the dominant flavor is roasted coffee notes but the smooth milk chocolate flavors are more prominent here.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for an RIS but still good. Hides the alcohol very well too. Very drinkable for a 10% RIS as well.

Overall I am very impressed with this beer. Not going to lie I wasn't expecting to enjoy this beer as much as I did. Well done Otter Creek!

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Photo of JK4Stout
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Well, the color is right. It's darker than midnight and thicker than the cough medicine I'm not supposed to mix with beer. (What do doctor's know anyway?) But there was absolutely no head here! At first I thought this might be nitro and I was pouring wrong...nope, just a headless beer.

S: Not too shabby. A bit weak to be called an imperial from comparrison with other. Notes of chocolate and slight mocha.

T: Good, and certainly has that appropriate mild burn to great warming up ability that Russian Stouts promote. Just doesn't compare to old Raspy or Dark Hollow.

M: Weak for the style. This should linger and stick to the mouth all day. Breweries like to call things a little bigger than they actually are, and this may be the case here.

O: Meh. I'm not complaining that much. It was still a good way to spend the evening...this and Game of Thrones Season 2. But I just can't go much higher when there are several better subjects in the same style out there.

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Photo of Andrew61923
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle dated 12/3/12 into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a viscous black with a half finger's worth of mocha colored head. Looks pretty imposing. I'm up for the challenge.

S: Heavy roasted malts, bitter chocolate. It almost smells hearty. I can tell this is going to be a big beer.

T: More of the chocolate coming forward with a slight alcohol tinge at the back of the throat. Finishes with even more bitter dark chocolate. Really nice.

M: The viscous pour was not misleading and this sits pretty heavy on the tongue. A thick beer that's meant to be savored, yet is plenty smooth on the palette. The 10% ABV is somewhat detectable, but this doesn't detract from the beer whatsoever.

O: For a beer I bought as a single because I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it, I'm pleasantly surprised. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to get a full 4-pack, but it would be interesting to see how a bottle of this ages. My guess is that it would continue to get better. Well done.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with 120312 on the neck. Pours a dark black color with virtually no head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and earth. Almost no lacing. The taste is a smokey mocha flavor with some earth at the back end. Bitter dark chocolate aftertaste. Earthy and boozey as well. Nice alcohol presence that isn't overwhelming. Light mouthfeel for the style. Overall a pretty decent Russian Imperial Stout I'd grab again.

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Photo of soccerman7
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Kinda felt like a Finnish Sahti or something similar during this storm, but guess I don't have any available for review interestingly. So next best step is a RIS.

Pours a very dark inky looking pitch black thick beer, a small dark molasses brown colored fizzy head covering that fades pretty quickly although typical for a 10% RIS. This puppy sucks the light in like a nice black hole, none escaping, and gives the glass a nice show with legs from here to Boise.

NOse starts with plenty of dark malts, black malt right off, then some roasted barley, hint of dark chocolate that seems like 95% cacao dark, with a light burnt bitter acrid that is getting into the soy sauce category but not there yet. A faint vanilla as well as hints of earthy hops. A bit of cacao nibs I think too.

Taste starts with big dark malts again, roasted barley again but not coffee, and plenty of black malt. The super dark black malts bring char as expected, as well as a bit of acrid burnt roast and again starts to get soy sauce like again. Crazy dark chocolate in there a bit again, maybe even cacao nibs, but mostly a dark bitter almost acrid chocolate. THe super dark malts also bring some tannins and bitterness to go with it, as well as hints of earthy hops in the middle somewhere. The booze is in there a bit, warming mostly, but is blended into the big dark malts fairly well. The thick malts get a bit syrupy but not overly syrupy, with thick chewy malts, maybe even hints of creamy oats. Finish is semi sticky and sweet, long lingering dark malts, roasted malt, black malt, a bit of chocolate plenty of earthy hop bitterness and some tannins from the roasted malts, and just a touch of burnt acrid flavor lingering for a while, as it somewhat coats the mouth.

Mouth is fuller bodied, fluffy carbonation and thick slightly creamy and rich, just a touch of warming booze.

Overall pretty good, I think this will improve with age pretty well as it has all the right components, super dark malts that get slightly syrupy and borderline soy sauce, just light warming booze, some dark malt tannins, just the right about of earthy hops, which I think will age quite well. As for now being fairly fresh, it's a pretty decent beer but not great yet.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - stouty stout black, as black as you'd want your IRS to be. The pour wells up a finger of shiny black head with some staying power.

S - unsweetened chocolate on the aroma hits first, some burnt coffee grounds with a strong pure alcohol finish to the whiff

T - peaty, earthy malts are the biggest element in the taste, aided by a pure unsweetened cocoa powder flavor, some alcohol on the end, but it's hard to entirely hide 10%

M&D&O - rich, luxurious, warming, wainter busting, stouty, not extremely complex, but not mono-characteristic, quality flavors that you would expect in a nice stout, coffee, chocolate, its all there. A nice beer!

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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
89 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.