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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Imperial India Pale AleOtter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 7
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 05-06-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kingcrowing:
Photo of kingcrowing
4.83/5  rDev +25.1%

This is one of the best IPAs I've ever had it really blew me away. First off this thing has 135IBUs! It's insane! You really can't find anything hoppier. But it's really quite smooth and powerful. It's got a nice deep amber color and a decent head that will stick around for a bit. Once you get going on it though you get all sorts of different flavors from the huge amount (and variety) of hops in this. It's also 11%abv, however you hardly notice this due to the immense amount of hops. Totally worth a taste, I plan on picking up a few bombers to toss in my cellar!

kingcrowing, May 16, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

Its great to see Otter Creek do this Imperial series...its about time.Poured into a imperial nonic a clear deep golden with burnt orange tint,a great one finger craterous white head atop that settles into a creamy finish.Thje Amarillos are present in the nose giving off a sharp presence along with some sweetish alcohol and caramel/biscuit.Man I love the Simcoe and Amarillo hop flavors,sharply citric with a bit of tangerine, a hefty sweet caramel malt base holds true to the finish.The alcohol begins to really show thru as the beers warms.Its a sipper but its a very solid DIPA no doubt.

oberon, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +7%

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness info. Pours darker almond amber, with orangy highlights. Long lasting and frothy light tan head, that leaves respectable lacing. Moderate hop infusion on the nose. The first sip leaves no doubt that this is iver the top hoppy in a west coast inspired sort of way. This is the most kick ass O.C. offering that I can recall. A load of citrus, grapefruit fruit rinds, tangarines, lemon/lime, gin..the whole nine...full flavor, full hop crunch..nice DIPA..I will revisit this one..

Billolick, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of far333
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Faded orange color with a thick and frothy head of dimpled and cratered foam with oily rings of lace reaching up the sides.

Low aroma of sugary malt grapefruit hops.

Pungent flavor of highly bitter hops, lots of grapefruit rind and sappy pine. A bit fusel, pretty strong alcohol vapors and flavors, but still very tasty. Citrus hops emerge and a subtle honied malt backbone rises up.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation. Tasty and drinkable, but a bit out of balance.

far333, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of whoneeds8
4.4/5  rDev +14%

Poured into duvel tulip golden orange with a thick froathy white head. Great retention and lacing all the way down. The scent has floral hop scents and a strong amount of sugars mixed in. The taste is very sweet up front that quickly becomes bitter from a strong hop bite. Done very nicely. The mouthfeel has a nice tingle on the tongue and no noticable alcohol burn especially for this high abv. That makes this a very drinkable IIPA for the price.

whoneeds8, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Appearance is very nice lookin' brew, good we're back in the hay day of Dogfish Head, since their current brewer was trained down in Rehoboth doing pilot batches for Sam and company. Slightly hazed amber copper hue with a nice sized slightly off white head.

Aromatics have a strong citrus pine combo of hop and mild booze flowing together big sweetness almost a honey syrupy note among the uncompromising hop bouquet. When I mentioned citrus this one hits the grapefruit gear full speed ahead there's no playing around these are aggressive overkill hop additions.

Flavor has that grapefruit pith surrounding the malt profile some sugary caramel moments but in reality if I step back breathe and take another sip it's pure hop insanity. A bit unbalanced in fact. A mountain of malt and hops comes rolling down, with pure hop bitterness expliciency. Raw herbaceous, grapefruit, and other rough but satisfying over top hop flavorings. A bit of booziness amongst the malt sweetness and hop additions especially at 11% abv, this is kind of like barleywine but hoppier it definitely blurs the lines between the two.

Mouthfeel is slick with hops oils, hot with booziness, and slightly stick with caramel/biscuit malts. Fuller bodied evenly carbonated this is a bruiser of a fuckin' beer.

Drinkability, God help us this is a huge portion size please handle with care, and consume responsibly versus solo as a lover of all thing with hops. Damn good brew, surprising to see an imperial series out there from Otter Creek.

WVbeergeek, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Bottle purchased from 1 West on P St. in Washington DC.

Pours a hazy copper color with a cascading two-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts, citrus hops, and floral notes. As the beer warms hints of alcohol become apparent but they're never too strong.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors up front are backed by citrus and slighly piney hop flavors. Midway through the sip a slight hint of vanilla comes out before subsiding into a strongly bitter ending that grows in intensity with each successive sip.

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

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bomber and could have another, for better or for worse.

Overall this is one of the more bitter DIPA's I've had in recent memory. I would prefer more hops but as it is it's pretty good. Worth a shot.

glid02, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of guyforget
3.63/5  rDev -6%

Amber in color with a creamy head that thins quickly. Thin head leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Aroma is floral with heavy scents of citrus and hops.

Large dose of grapefruit up front on the palate that turns malty before the huge dose of hops kicks in with a bitterness that lingers long.

Its crisp enough to not feel like an 11% ABV brew on your palate.

Overall, very drinkable but also pretty standard for a Double IPA.

guyforget, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

Otter Creek- Imp. IPA

A- Golden orange/ brown with a thick frothy white head. Chunky ringed lacing and good head retention.
S- Thick sweet caramel malt with big doses of grapefruit and pine.
T- Thick sugary sweet caramel and biscuit malt with a good dose of semi-sweet grapefruit and pineapple. Nice oily resiny pine presence.
M- Thick and oily. Sticky resiny bitterness throughout with a good sugary citrus touch.

Overall- A big thick DIPA that that tastes good and will sneak up on you!

NJpadreFan, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%

Bomber into a wine glass. 11%. 135 IBUs. Looking forward to it.

Appearance: Mildly hazy copper yellow color for the body, with raindrop lacing and skids of lacing ringing the glass.

Smell: Huge earthy pungency, up there with any of the best DIPAs. This is pure grapefruit rind, tickling the nostrils. Yet there's subtle tropical fruit that I like a lot too, with some passion fruit and mango adding complexity to the citrus of the hops. Some caramel malt and big biscuit aromas get in there too as it warms.

Taste: Wowness. Get ready for an experience. Easily one of the biggest, most bitter, most pungent IPAs I've ever had, and I love every minute of it. The finish is insanely long, and at 135 IBUs, this is taking Ruination down like the Lakers did to the Nuggets tonight in Game 6 (and I wanted the Nuggets to win). But on its own, it's tough to try and get those malt flavors by themselves, as they seem to float around purgatorially a bit before they're thwarted by the face-slam of hops. Like, literally, biting into a grapefruit rind by the end, YET... there's enough malt balance, with caramel and sharper tingly fruits, to keep it nice on the palate. Again, make no mistake, this will destroy you if you're not ready. But luckily, and initially, the biscuit and sweeter caramel malt flavors do their think, until the linger and finish with the huge grapefruit puckering insanity. Again. Wow.

Mouthfeel: Big and sticky and almost slightly chewy with great full sticky carbonation that's almost resiny. If the shoe fits...

Drinkability: How did they get this kind of balance? I'm shocked, considering I've never had an Otter Creek brew this great and this wild overall. This thing is a monolith. I'm thrilled that I picked it up on a whim. I could see, for once, the brew getting a bit more balanced with some cellar time, but like the Russian River folks say about the Pliny brews, why would you want to let this sit? Get it. Try it.

asabreed, May 30, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%

A couple interesting specs on the label: 4 hop varieties used, two of which you don't hear about often: Bravo and Apollo. And this has an estimated 135 IBU! Couldn't wait to get down to business with this one...

Quintessential double IPA look here: cloudy dark orange/sunset red color, with a frothy, foamy, creamy dirty white head on top. Looks pretty serious.

While there are some big hops in the aroma, it seems they threw an even bigger portion of malt into this beer, as the rich, robust caramel/toffee smell very much carries the overall aroma. Bit of spicy and herbal impressions come in, thanks to the hops, but it's actually all about the malt in the nose. Interesting.

Wow, this is certainly one of the most well-balanced imperial IPAs I've ever had, in terms of the malt, hop and alcohol levels...everything performs like a well-orchestrated symphony. As in the aroma, malts are bigger than in many beers of this type, and they're chewy, candy-like and totally enjoyable in their big caramel/butterscotch essence. Hops are citrus rind-like in their bitterness, the stuff of pithy grapefruit peels, but very much controlled, the malt likely responsible for taking just a little edge off, yet their personality is totally intact. Alcohol, at 11%, is remarkably well-incorporated, providing an underlining of cozy warmth and never wearing out its welcome. That 135 IBU shows up most in the finish--total pithy citrus rind wonder, a long, bitter, very bright finish. Overall, there's one word for this: fantastic. Unless you don't dig hops, of course.

Texturally this is wonderful. Just as creamy as you want a beer of this style to be, and also round, silky and ever so slight tingly. Oh yeah.

If it weren't for the 11%, which is total stealth in this particular beer, the drinkability would be way high. Just a total comfort beer, and one of the most balanced in its class. Great stuff.

Metalmonk, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

a lot of hops, giving a good hop fix, but not a great entry into the style. The bitterness beyond the so-called theoretical 100 IBU limit that I cannot taste any further bitterness. Rather astringent, that builds as I drink it. I cannot give every attempt at a DIPA the Sammy 4 and it was not that enjoyable. I can only take so much grapefruit rind. Murky grapefruit colour with decent head. Mild hoppy aroma.

Sammy, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

22 oz foil topped bomber into an oversized snifter.

Pours a crystal clear copper with 2+ big fingers of foamy eggshell colored head. Retains with a 1/2 finger of frothy retention, coating the sides of the glass with some hefty lace. The aroma possesses some huge hop character, being very floral, spicy, and piney, while a thick and delicious smelling backing of tropical fruits and caramel malts keep the nose balanced out. I'm also getting some light warmth but not as much as I would have thought considering the ABV.

The taste is spicy and resinous, with an assertive (but not overly so) aggressive bitterness, thanks to that same beefy blend of tropical citrus and toffeed sweetness. I'm also getting a lightly smoky aspects to the malts, which is setting this apart a bit. The finish is moderately intense, with a drying spicy bitterness that sticks. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a carbonation that is on the softer and creamier side. This sits on top of a heavier and more viscous feeling layer underneath, which carries a lot of the sweetness and warmth of this. Speaking of warmth, this is unfortunately coming off as a bit too hot for me. It gets borderline stinging at times, but luckily the bigger flavors here are able to pull it back some. This is definitely on the beefier side though, which holds the drinkibility back a good bit for me.

I really like the effort from Otter Creek here to jump in with a bold and flavorful DIPA but was an ABV this high really necessary? Tone down the heat and this would be a truly wonderful East Coast hop bomb.

Kegatron, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of Sailracer
1.5/5  rDev -61.1%

Sailracer, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of GregPearson33
3.63/5  rDev -6%

Poured a medium amber with hints of red. Very little head to begin with, but quickly fizzled to a thin centered lace after a minute. The first taste bore the quintessential spicy hop tones of a DIPA, but without the citrus of the Simicoe that I know is in it, and which I really like (only dwelling on that particular because I had a single-simicoe last night!). It's a pleasant sip, and definitely well carbonated with a very light and fluffy mouth-feel. After a few seconds however, I was surprised with the comeback of a somewhat unpleasant bitter aftertaste... probably to be expected considering its 135 IBU! In all, I'd say a decent brew but definitely not in my top-tier IIPAs.

GregPearson33, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%

11%abv with a theoretical 135 ibu.

A: The coloring was a medium orange with soft sunset reddish hues. A low turbidity rate shows some faint and lightly dense spacing of floaties that were barely visible unless you closely investigate. The head was dense and spongey, buff in color, and retained well with a shellacking of the glass of generous and ample amounts of foam and lace. The topping sticks around for the whole drink.

S: Piney and lemony flower hops appear on the open with a mixture of grassy oranges. Dried orange peels and grapefruit with some sweetly toasted grain rounds things out.

T: Bitter from the get-go, with a brutal display of dry pungent grapefruit and dried lemony citric hops parching the tongue. Flowery grapefruit and grass lay the groundwork for an assertive hop based ipa that is easily in the top tier by class when it comes to all out dryness and bitterness. There is some glimpses of toasted munich grains but feels weak, most likely intentionally to let the hops out. A finish finds floral citrus, bitter grapefruit and a bite of dry grassy hopcones that slowly fades on the tongue. The hops are truly amped up here a bit and as pungent as you can hope and ask for.

M: Nice crisp factor, always a plus per style, with some maltiness but again seems to falter and fall under the pressure of the hops. Noticeable warming of alcohol and grapefruit come about on the tongue.

D: The first few sips will certainly take you back a bit by surprise, it's been a while since I've had a imperial ipa that actually lived up to its standards. Dry hopped with an obscene amount of hops this should get respect even from the diehard hopheads who chew on hopcones for fun.

beerthulhu, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +3.6%

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a mostly clear orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is mainly citrusy (grapefruit, tropical fruit) and pine hops, with a bit of caramel malt noticable too. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, it's mostly citrusy and piney hops with some caramel and bready malt in there. The finish is very bitter, and the bitterness lingers a while after having a drink. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's oily and not heavy at all. It's also well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and not hard to drink. Overall I think this is a good brew, but there are many other DIPA's I'd prefer over this one. With that being said, I'd still recommend it to others to try.

bluejacket74, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of Docer
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Got this in a trade from Ranbot.. thx buddy!

- Dark clear solid copper with a fluffy white head... 2 fingers thick... slowly down to a thin pillowy layer.

- Huge floral notes... like frolicking through a summer meadow and tripping over a bed of rich and sweet caramel malts. A very bright citrus punch to the face from a gopher after that trip... but all is well as I sat down with that gopher, and smelled a mild alcohol, or rubbing alcohol.

- Smooth, sweet, and creamy caramel malts... slightly roasty and earthy... grains are abundant. Huge bitter hop blast... almost so much that iced tea flavors are present. Loving the bitter hopping... and unexpected from the very citrus-like and floral scent. Not bad... bit strong and thick caramel.... but overall nice.

- Pretty thick and heavy.. not the biscuity and bready type of imperial... dry bitterness... slightly chewy... overall just a tad too heavy.

- Not a bad imperial... its kind of a punch to the face... great bitter hops... strong caramel malt profile... but very absent from my favored west coast approach to IPA's.

Docer, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

22oz bottle into nonic.

Clear honey hue with a three finger and very dense pearl white head that slowly settles to bubbly cap. Plenty of thick lacing left behind.

Lots of piney and spicy hop aroma. The malts add a slightly bready base, with a little bit of sweetness.

Loads of sharp hops, with plenty of grapefruit and pineapple. The malts are well hidden behind the hops, and add a little bit of toastiness and a bit of a sweetness like in the aroma. Full bodied with a slight amount of acerbic alcohol in the background.

This is a pretty strong DIPA, going into Barleywine territory, without the malt presence. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, so it easily can be enjoyed out of a pint glass. Plenty of sharp citrus notes. Recommended.

BeerSox, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of jfmorey
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured a pale amber with a head that disappeared soon with no lacing.

Taste is good and well balanced, but not complex. Little could compete with the bitter aftertaste (even the alcohol, which is a good thing). Not my favorite DIPA.

Very drinkable for the high alcohol.

Note: Consumed during and after a meal of spaghetti with spicy meatballs that I cooked for my family. For me any IPA is better with food than alone. The review was written during the final half glass with no food which lowered the my opinions.

jfmorey, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

A) Pours with a frothy, two finger head. Thick, sticky lacing. Fairly transparent. Copper in color.
S) Robust mix of malt sweetness and hop citrus. Notes of orange and peach. Some caramel.
T) Malty nose. Earthy notes in the middle. Lingering hop bite in the finish and aftertaste.
M) Tannin feel. Thick, borderline syrupy. Medium bodied.
D) A decent imperial IPA. The ABV hinders the potential of drinking consecutive pints.

u2carew, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of PEBKAC
2.13/5  rDev -44.8%

On cask. Took home a baby growler from New Beer. I think it was around $9 & change for 22 ounces. With Otter Creek's track record, maybe I should of stuck to a random sixpack & a whole lot of samples instead?

Into my Ommegang stem it goes. Decent settling on a cask for once. Still not bright, but better then the chunky-style minestrone I get served from time to time. A very slightly hazed brown amber, with just a trace of comb-over. It's probably going to be flat. There was just a hint at carbonation at the store, so I'm guessing giving it a few hours for me to catch my breath was assuming too much.

Upfront sweet tea scent, followed by a cheesy crouton & pesto herbal quality. Soggy grapefruit rind. Ugly, greasy butter. Isopropyl itches my nose.

Taste it totally different, though it's questionable if it's any better. Sweet cracker & minor caramel upfront, followed by grappa burn, ending in total astringent grapefruit rind stickiness. It lingers, drying any past syrupy notions to the bone. It sticks around like residual mouthwash. First time I've had hops lose so little in the format change. So lopsidedly bitter, the hops had a hard time being anything more then straight bitter.

I faintly remember sharing a bottle of this & thinking better of it. Or maybe I just want what I can't have(my ten dollars back).

PEBKAC, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +7%

Been a challenge lately to get through anything new, but I decided to let my family have a crack at a few things this weekend and pulled a sample off of each. Part of the " Random BBQ Event" at my in laws on 07/19/2009.
 
Appearance - Poured a very amber color, light haze that seemed to settle out with copious carbonation at first. Big head of white coming up and over the top, settling down very nicely into a firm, and yet resilient layer across the top. Nice lacing completing the package making this the way a DIPA should look.
 
Smell - Big, obnoxious citrus right out of the gate let me know for sure we were onto something big here. Lots of bright orange and grapefruit leading the charge with hints of lemon, very bright. Letting it warm brought out some of the biscuit like middle notes, but again, this was a hoppy beast for sure.
 
Taste - Crisp, clean , and biting this was a big IPA for sure. Start with a rush of grapefruit and alcohol, very hot, not sure why but a lot of it. Had to let it settle down which mellowed it nicely bringing forward some nice touches of buttery notes, hints of orange peel and light lemon zest.
 
Feel - Nicely carbonated, not too heavy and not too light, they nailed that pretty well. I did notice the carbonation die down considerably from first pour to about five minutes in but it was still very well done and nothing at all to really complain about.
 
Drinkability - It was a very big DIPA, and it took away a bit from being able to polish it off, but I have to say that even still it was very solid and worth every ounce. No doubt I would have this one again,
 
Overall - I continue to be impressed with the offerings from otter creek. The imperial series is going to be grand I have no doubts about that. Would love to try the next in the series.

mikesgroove, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of mikedashg
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

A- bubbly orangy yellow pour with a good sized fluffy off white head that sticks around and after the head goes it laces the glass and never goes away.

S - citrus and floral hop fwd and a bit Carmely

T - Lots of citrus up front. Orange rind. Lemon. A litle but of pine and biscuity goodness, but backed by a good amount of carmely sweet malts.

M - moderate to moderatly high carb and full body

D - easy drinking for the ABV for me. Could be the nice sweetness this one has. Yum!

mikedashg, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of largadeer
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%

Golden-amber with a dense, frothy white head topping it. The head sustains nicely, leaving trails of lace clinging to the glass. Yeast in the bottle makes for a slightly hazy pour, but it's an attractive beer nonetheless.

Aromatically it's surprisingly mild for an 11% double IPA - Pliny the Younger this ain't. There's lemon peel and pine, noticeable but thankfully not cloying sweet malt, and plenty of alcohol. While there's nothing particularly unpleasant about this, it's in no way interesting.

The taste is thankfully bolder, but not exactly the hop explosion one would expect from a beer this strong. A simple hop profile of citrus and pine is dominant on the palate, and the 11% ABV is surprisingly subdued, but there's something missing; namely finesse. Malt is there, but doesn't lend much flavor beyond a touch of sweetness and a palate-wearying heaviness. While somewhat light in flavor, this beer begins to weigh on the palate after a while; too much alcohol, not enough hop flavor. The finish is aggressively bitter, but not dry enough to be refreshing, nor complex enough to be interesting. Alcohol burns going down, and becomes increasingly more noticeable on the palate as the beer warms. Not bad, but decidedly average. I wouldn't go out of my way to try this.

largadeer, Jan 16, 2010
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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
87 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.