1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

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

484 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 484
Reviews: 272
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 32
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 484 | Reviews: 272 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: A huge, frothy, mocha colored cap that leaves behind huge clumps of lace sits atop a black body.

s: I got some roasted malt with a fairly strong bitter edge. Not bad, but there isn't a lot going on here. I guess maybe the aroma suggests coffee, but overall this is oddly featureless.

t: Tastes a good bit better than the smell would suggest. Roasted malt up front, becoming increasingly bitter towards the finish. Very dry overall. Here as well, suggestions of coffee, but not much else. Lacks depth I think.

m: Kind of thin bodied for the style.

d: Not bad, but in a crowded big stout market, it just doesn't stand out. The alcohol is extremely well hidden though.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 10:44:04 | More by DIM
Photo of ditch
ditch

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this one! I may have rated it a bit higher than I should have, but it just really came together after about half the bottle.

Poured an impenetrable black with a caramel colored head. I gave it a pretty vigorous pour into a standard pint glass. Lots of creamy lacing hangs around for the entirety.

Smells are a bit all over the place. Very distinctive chocolate, almost a fresh baked fudge, with a bit of smokey background. Also some spices floating around in there with some dates.

Taste is of a complex dark chocolate. Definite dark roast coffee and burnt caramel. The first sip was a bit unimpressive, but letting it take hold a few later, this is a great combination of layered flavor.

Mouthfeel is good. Not too oily, like some stouts can get when they are this dark. Drinkablility is also quite nice. I could have easily put back 2 of these 22 oz bottles.

Very nicely done from Otter Creek, a brewery that I have not come to expect too much out of. I'll have to find some others from these guys now. =)

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 16:47:54 | More by ditch
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A new beer friend recently inquired: 'Have you tried the Otter Creek Imperial Stout? It's one of my favorites...'. Well, I happened to have one in the cellar from an early '09 trade with Pamola (thx, Kyle); since I hadn't yet tried it, I decided to make it one of my priorities. 22 oz. bottle, crimped gold foil cap, poured to a snifter after 15 minutes or so of warming outside the fridge.

A: About as black as one could ask for, the near-perfect abyss. Very nice head, a toasted mocha-tan that builds to a finger and falls to a thick ringing cream and rippled film. Lace is awfully pretty, too: draping ribbons, broken beads, all very clingy.

S: Heavy malty nose, a smoky and chocolat-y invitation. Slightly soured whiffs hint at some age but add to the intrigue.

T: Wow...just, wow... Strongest coffee brackishness, deepest chocolate bitterness, puffs of cigar smoke, chewy fruit (prunes, dry figs), molasses. Not all dark malt and such: there are both a sweeter toffee and a dry reedy/woody grassiness that creep in. All very interesting, and quite appealing to these taste buds.

M: HUGE mouthfeel, a filling and lusciously coating chocolate bitterness. ABV is big, yet isn't blatant. Creamy, too smooth; rich and satisfying.

D: A fine brew and an excellent example of what I'll openly proclaim to be my favorite style. Intensely aromatic and flavorful, it's a (slightly surprising) winner - one that I'd definitely want again. The 10+% ABV won't allow for heavy consumption but it's a perfect sipper - and a great way to celebrate MSU's 45-7 win. Well played, Otter Creek, well played.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 23:27:44 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

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

Appears a pitch black with a dark tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of mollases, bitter cocoa, espresso, ripe fruit, and roasted barley.
Taste is of the aromas with some huge amounts of roasted grain and a brown sugar, raisiny sweetness.
Mouthfeel is sweet, full bodied, with a chewy, toasted nuttiness.
Reminds me of a toned down, less viscuous Dark Lord.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 20:44:34 | More by weeare138
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Im pouring this brew from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter at cellar temp. The beer pours an oily rich black with no light passing through when held to the light. THe head foams up 4cm of creamy tan to cocoa brown hue. This appears to be a serious brew!
Rich, malty nose with roasted malt and baker's chocolate mixing with just a bit of charred wood scent and very ripe plums. Dominant roast to smoke scent.
The head is remaining fluffy at several minutes into the sampling.
First sip reveals a creamy soft textured brew with very mild carbonation that gently plays across my palate with each sip. The flavor is dark chocolate and coffee beans mixing with some dark fruit but finishing with a dry roasted malt note that really dries out my mouth. The lingering roast is slightly coffee bitter but no real hop characteristics. I also cant believe this is 10.6%, as there is not heat whatsoever.
This beer is dangerously drinkable and I am sure I will feel the effects before bedtime tonite. This is a must try beer for Imp Stout fans, I am glad I have another in my cellar, but dont know how long it will last.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 00:53:32 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of sliverX
sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

2.65/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured a used motor oil like color and just thin of said substance in consistency lets some brown shine through the edges ring and bubble around edge of glass is about it for head
smell a huge roasted malty, very heavy on the dark chocolate
taste was odd expected a lot different no real chocolate taste just badly burnt malt
mouthfeel was thin as hell very deceptive from color and clinging properties displayed from pour
drinkability suffers on the last 2 points not something I"d look for again...

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 21:11:02 | More by sliverX
Photo of macktbone
macktbone

California

1.75/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to ThirdLap for this offering. One of the many gifts as we travel across the country.

A- Has a shiny black color with a woody brown head of foam. Head dissapates after a few minutes but it continues to belch goodness from it's depths.

S- Figs, brown sugar, wood, cherries, alcohol (tequila). and a strange aspect of stale mold that it is little disconcerning.

T- I am almost afraid after the mold statement...
Hot...Hot...Hot... that strange flavor of old tequila is too much. Two sips is about all I can get. I do get a little chocolate and really old coffee.

M- Moderate to good for an imperial stout.

D- Can't do it...taste like ^@#$*!

I tried to be objective when looking at a pretty bottle and getting this from a friend I figured it would be half way decent. Did vermont try to make a maple syrup beer and decide it should be an Imperial stout? I think they scraped the moss of the tree and made this beer out of that instead.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 00:20:10 | More by macktbone
Photo of rpstevens
rpstevens

New Hampshire

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

Poured from a bomber into a dogfish head signature glass.

The beer is a pitch black with a thin mocha head. As the head fades it leaves behind a moderate lacing, not as much as expected, the beer seems a little thin.

The smell is roasted coffee (more and more as it warms) with some bitter chocolate and some alcohol sweetness.

The taste is much like the smell, very roasty and malty with bitter chocolate and dark coffee.

The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style. A RIS coming in at over 10% abv is expected to have some motor-oil qualities, and this one is just not that thick. It is tasty and well carbonated though.

For a readily available Russian Imperial Stout I would rank this right behind Old Rasputin. This is a good beer that I will certainly drink more of.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 00:09:27 | More by rpstevens
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black color. No light gets through at all. At first a two finger tan head forms and recedes in a minute. The foam sticks around as a small cap. Good lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and raisins. Thick molasses and some dark fruits.
T: Sweet caramelized and burnt malt. Dry with thick molasses. Bittersweet chocolate. I enjoy it, but to much burnt flavor for me. Warm alcohol.
M/D: A full body that is way to thick to be enjoyable for me. The thickness and alcohol keeps this from becoming a great sipping beer. Though it is still manageable to finish the bottle.

This is a very thick beer with several layers. Not my favorite RIS, but I can see how this would be a great hit with others. A very well crafted stout. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 20:03:56 | More by champ103
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brandon, Deleriumfest for this one.

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Chalice

Pours about ½ finger of tan head. Color is a deep caramel brown, pretty much black. Fades down to a thin layer, not very good retention, but leaves some thin lace rings.

Aroma: Big roasted malt flavor, coffee, raisins, molasses, chocolate. A very sweet aroma almost. It has a slight alcohol flavor to it, almost reminds me of a bourbon aged beer.

Taste: Roasted/smokey malts, chocolate, coffee, toffee, molasses, raisins. Slight booze in the aftertaste. Not that hot, but the alcohol is always a nice touch to an RIS.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, rich, and slightly hot. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends with a very smokey aftertaste that I really am not enjoying that much, pretty dry.

Overall, not a bad RIS. Nothing to special, but a pretty solid brew. I am glad I got to try this one. This one is definitely worth a shot if you get a chance. I am splitting this with my Mom and she is enjoying it as well. My half is going pretty fast.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 02:24:33 | More by mothman
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. no date. tasted in early/mid may 2009. poured into tulip.

opaque black. 1-finger, brown head w red tint. fades to wisps and big wide ring. sparse splotches of lace.

roasted aromas upfront, coffee-like, with cocoa and vanilla traces in back. moderate caramel and brown sugar underneath all the roast and slightly earthy hop (also w faint grass and resinous character). whiff of alcohol.

roasty flavors again, sweet malty caramel and molasses, touch of fruitiness and acidity. coffee tones are subdued in comparison to aroma. medium to bold bitterness. somewhat boozy however, with an alcoholic note throughout.

slightly viscous and syrupy/creamy, but gets cut through w astringency and alcohol, further sharpened by the otherwise moderate carbonation.

acceptable for their first attempt, but i hope they tweak future batches though. or maybe this needs time in the cellar?

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 18:42:02 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew from the main man himself BeerTruth. I've heard some pretty good things about this brew so I'm excited to suck it down. Haven't had a good RIS in a while. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours VERY thick and viscous and black as night. A decent half finger brown head sits atop the beer before it quickly bubbles away. Nay a cap or collar remains and obviously no lacing.
Smell- Very potent with a big roasted ash that just jumps out of my glass. Tons of chocolate notes as well sometimes disguised as milk chocolate, sometimes as dark chocolate. Rich caramel and cream balance out the roast also adding a bit of brown sugar like sweetness. A touch of smoke and some semi prominent alcohol make their way to my nostrils as well.
Taste- Surprisingly starts with a big kick of herbally hops that add an initial slap of bitterness. Maybe even a snap of citrus (lemon mostly) as well before everything else kicks in. The hearty roastiness may even add a bit of charred acrid bitterness. The beer is nowhere near sweet (thank god) and is very enjoyable even though I don't necessarily like hoppy Stouts. A bit of dark chocolate comes into play toward the finish as does a bit of vanilla and coconut husk. The alcohol seems a bit more than the 10% but it's still young.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a velvety smooth feel that's aided by the near non existent carbonation. Don't get me wrong, there is a gentle tickle on the tongue but nothing crazy.
Drinkability- I gotta say... I don't like hoppy Imperial Stouts (i.e. Darkness) but damnit, something about this works. I was shocked after the first sip and wasn't real sure how I was gonna feel about this beast. About two sips later I realized I really liked it and am glad I drank it young. Now send another bottle Adam so I can age this bastard!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 19:20:19 | More by younger35
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 23:00:21 | More by glid02
Photo of mhatters
mhatters

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the Vermont Brewers Fest (from my notes)

Pours black, no tones or notes of other color, thin light brown head.

Lots of roast in the nose, coffee, chocolate, and dark malts. The alcohol is present too.

The chocolate beats the coffee out, the roasted flavors play together nicely. A sweet finish.

A bit too thin for me, I would like this to be more full-bodied.

The high APV and the thinner mouthfeel would stop me after one bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2009 23:26:27 | More by mhatters
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped a bottle of this yesterday whilst laxing outside, enjoying a rare sunny day! Label has a short history of the style plus all ingredients, yet no freshness dating. Not overly important for something of this caliber, though.

Poured into a small, Smutty tulip, this RIS was a deep, opaque, motor-oil brown. Head was deep beige, creamy and mousse-like, sticking around at about 1/8" for a while, and leaving nice foam trails on the glass. Aroma was mocha and toffee, with roasty choco wafting forth. The bier itself was fairly smooth, and in the medium range for body. That's still good, though I'd like to see an imperial stout have something with more chewiness and heft.

Roasty notes kick things off on a good footing flavor-wise. Chocolate and coffee meld together, along with hints of dark fruit. The finish has a solid floral hop bite, leaving a pleasant aftertaste on the palate.

A solid bier, overall. I had tried this for the first time in April, up in VT, and was not impressed. I chalked it up to being the last bier of the day, after a few earlier pub stops with Alewife. I tried a couple more in the weeks right after, and it still did nothing for me. I guess some aging has helped out, because it is now getting the job done.

Prosit!!

4.1
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1152

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 18:44:07 | More by Bierman9
Photo of NewGeneric
NewGeneric

California

4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this earlier this week and took notes. Poured an opaque black color with soapy hazelnut head that faded somewhat slowly and left light lacing. Smelled of caramel, roasted coffee, chocolate, light hops, and malt. Tasted the same with hints of fruit. Incredibly smooth and creamy. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 20:54:07 | More by NewGeneric
Photo of ballewblake
ballewblake

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sam adams fancy pint glass.

Bummer, got some Otter Creeks in a trade a month ago, and now they are available right down the street. Don't you hate that. Two finger light tan head on aggressive pour, opaque black body. Super fully body, smoke, sweet malts, creek water aftertaste. Probably the smokiest RIS I've had so far. Great body, balanced, tasty, head retention lasted almost to the end, light lacing.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 18:23:06 | More by ballewblake
Photo of vurt
vurt

Oregon

3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle purchased at Vendome Liquors in Toluca Lake, CA. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance:
Very dark cola brown, pretty much opaque. A somewhat energetic pour raises two-fingers of graham cracker colored foam composed of small to medium-sized bubbles. No lacing. The appearance is to style, but not as delectable or sinister as some other Russian imperial stouts.

Smell:
A prominent alcohol cloud wafts up out of the glass and hits my nose from a couple feet away. Aside from that, the nose is heavy with dark roasted malts and coffee with a little too much cream. Very milky, like an imperialized version of a lacto stout. There's an edge to the milk which makes it smell like a carton 1 day past the expiration date-- not turned yet, but clearly past its best. Also has some caramel, roasted peanuts, figs, and a lingering ashy note.

Taste:
Starts off sweet with bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, soft brown sugar, and non-dairy creamer. Slight acidity from the dark malt. More bitter chocolate with a short-lived berry-like fruitiness in the middle. Ends with flavors of coffee spiked with hazelnut syrup and a hint of licorice, along with a faint but unpleasant plastic note at the finish. Cold coffee and a dusting of ashes in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:
Smooth, with low levels of coarse carbonation in a light and rather milky body. Slick and mouth-coating but not sticky.

Drinkability:
On the plus side, this is a big, burly stout with lots of roastiness and strong coffee flavors at a reasonable price. The coffee flavors are so significant that I'm surprised there's no coffee in the brew. On the other hand, the body is light for the style, the carbonation is on the harsh side, and the ashy/milky flavors put me off a bit. (Just my opinion. Your Mileage May Vary.) The alcohol is also pretty hot. I'm glad I got to try this one, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 05:51:48 | More by vurt
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook up!

A: Pours a dark, syrup-y, charcoal-black with a creamy sliver of dark tan head on top. Retention was limited and virtually no lace was left behind.

S: Aromas of toasty malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, cherries, espresso, and a touch of spicy hops.

T: See above. Toasted malt, caramel, espresso, and dark chocolate with ribbons of dark fruit, chocolate covered cherries, espresso, spicy hops, and fruity alcohol.

M: Sweet and toasty with a slightly tart fruitiness. Very sticky and oily with a kick-ass helping of alcohol burn.

D: Pretty good considering the abv%. The fruit and chocolate keep the booziness in check. Very nice!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 23:46:09 | More by GbVDave
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

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

Thanks to Kiefdog for bringing this one to a tasting.

A: Pours very dark black with an average sized tan colored head. No retention or lace.

S: Nice sweet malt up front. Rich chocolate, with a nice blast of roast on the backend.

T: Mmmm charred malt up front which seems to melt into rich sweet chocolate. The combination of ashy malt and sweet chocolate really works here.

M: Medium in body, very bold, with carbonation that carries.

D: Pretty good. Tasty beer. I am glad I got one in a trade to consume on a cool Florida evening.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 16:46:00 | More by tpd975
Photo of theghost3
theghost3

Louisiana

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a a dark brown, almost black with a 2-finger brown head that quickly dissapates leaving a ring throughout. Minimal lacing.

The scent is strong of espresso, toasted malts & some anise. The taste is really strong of espresso and burnt malts along with a little brown sugar and dark fruit but this is not nearly as sweet or complex as alot of other Russian Imperial Stouts I've had. The mouthfeel is much more carbonated than expected, oily & not as thick or creamy as I'd like.

This is a drinkable RIS, but the coffee & burnt malts are a little extreme. I'd prefer something sweeter & creamier.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 03:02:08 | More by theghost3
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good Russian Imperial Stout. Had it with dinner tonight, my wife made meatloaf, it went really well with the meal. Great appearance, dark brown almost black with a foamy head that didn't last but was very dark too. The smell was great as well. It has a nice chocolaty aroma. Like most stouts you really should drink it slightly below room temperature, anything too cold really compromises the flavor. Mouth feel was pretty average, smooth, not very complex so I expected a little more from it in that department. It was pretty drinkable, one of the 1pt 6oz bottles that lasted me through dessert (bread pudding) which it also went well with. I sipped it throughout the whole meal and even had a little left over.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 01:01:16 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

2.35/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours an opaque darkness with a HUGE stiff light brown head that fades slowly leaving a reasonable amount of lacing behind. The smell is somewhat rough IMO...highly roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. The taste is right there...burnt. A bitter strong black coffee ground flavor is overwhelming and lingers significantly. The mouth feel is sharp and on the lighter side. I'm having a problem relaxing with this one. Pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 19:35:32 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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

Otter Creek's Russian Imperial Stout pours an opaque black body beneath a finger thick head of frothy dark tan foam that holds well and leaves short walls of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is like roasted, oily coffee beans. Not much else comes through except for a gentle waft of alcohol. If you'd like to suggest that there's dark chocolate in there as well, OK, I'll go for that, but mainly what I get is bright, roasted coffee beans. Not coffee, mind you, but just the beans. And solid beans, not grounds.

The flavor offers more complexity. There's an edge of fruitiness, and some more distinct chocolate than the nose hints at. It's also a touch fudge-like. Creamy and smooth in the mouth. And although it's deeply roasty, it's not acidic. It's as if the malt is both toasty and roasty. Mocha Java! The balance is right, and it's remarkably smooth and round - almost to a fault. Some spicy (... that may be the alcohol coming through) and grassy hops give it a little bit of edge at least. It finishes dry, and not overly done with sticky malt or residual sweetness or roastiness; although I should point out that there are some minor phenolics present. The strength is evident in the warming as well, although the alcohol never really makes itself known.

An enjoyable beer for sure, but not particularly engaging given the style. It lacks complexity, or should I say depth? Perhaps both.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 23:50:54 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

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

22 oz. Almost black pour with a good sized dark tan head. The creamy foam stuck around quite a while and laced fairly well. Very roasty coffee and malt aromas. Definetely some char with some booze also. A good balance of chocolates, coffee, some piney hops. Feels and tastes like a fair amount of malt in this, mouthfeel was almost creamy. There was quite a bit of bitter ash like tastes lingering throughout, but I did not find it as off-putting as others here. Finish was slightly bitter, some soy, but oatmeal like as well. I was really pleased with this one, especially for the below average price tag for an Imperial. Don't let the downers dissuade you from trying this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 02:57:01 | More by Bung
Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
89 out of 100 based on 484 ratings.