Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
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).
07-10-2009 02:45:16 | More by PEBKAC
2.48/5 rDev -35.8%
This is a relatively new offering in Houston, so let's give it a shot.
Appearance: Pours a pretty cloudy burnt orange color with a 1" head of off-white bubbles that was thick and creamy and looked like it wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. On the side of my glass, I can see that there are numerous bubbles rising to maintain the head, and it does. A couple minutes after the pour there was no significant difference in the height of the head. There is a ton of thick lace left on the glass after drinking the beer. If it was a bit more clear, this would be a well presented beer.
Aroma: The aroma is stupidly hoppy already with a dry chalky aromatic that is characteristic of the bittering hops reacting with the water. I am sad to smell this as it most likely means that this beer is way out of balance. There are some mild oxidative effects coming out as the beer sits a bit which seems like it is reacting with the alcohol. Overall, I am pretty disappointed in the aroma of this beer. It is unusual that the oxidation and other dry aromatics are changing and taking on a kind of wood aging character as the beer warms up some.
Taste: Right in line with the aroma, the flavor is absolutely dominated by the hops and the bitterness is reacting with the water big time so that you are getting a blast of hops on the palate in the beginning and they never let up just to end up as a dry bitter, unbalanced mess on the back of the throat to linger only to get washed away by the intense alcohol that sets in late considering how big this beer is, and it essentially "solvent washes" your throat to make the already dryness heat up. Subsequent sips are a little easier to take after the palate numbs to the excessive hops in this beer, but it still never really gets drinkable.
Opinion: Sometimes I wonder about brewers...being one myself. I wonder what drives them. For some, like me, it is ALL about the flavor and overall presentation regardless of the cost or time to make it. For some, it is all about the profit so most of their beers will be dry with at least a few adjuncts. For others, it seems to be about "making your mark" in the logs of brewing history, and that is where I think this beer fits. This brewer apparently just wanted to have a stupidly hoppy and strong beer to challenge the statistics without any real regard for the drinkability of the product. The bitterness is probably double what it needs to be, and the water sucks for what they are trying to do with it. I would put this beer in the "utter failure" of a craft beer category and it shouldn't have made it past the pilot stage tasting like this. Even a hop-head probably can't take this. I'm sorry, but I probably won't be able to finish my glass and I will never go back to this one again.
06-07-2011 03:53:34 | More by SkeeterHawk
2.5/5 rDev -35.2%
Paired with college football.
Deep honey color with a fair white head. Good retention and lace. Aroma is an intense and fantastic mix of floral and citrus hops. There's even a few hops in there that I haven't heard of --apollo and bravo.
135 is crazy...and painful. Fairly one dimensional searing bitter trounces the palette. Is 135 IBUs even possible? What kind of hop utilization would that be, 99.9% for a 3 hour boil? Regardless, I feel one could be more diverse and in-depth with that much hops.
I never thought I'd see the day, but it's just too much blistering hops. I guess I'm getting old.
12-07-2009 20:13:00 | More by donkeyrunner
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.
01-16-2010 06:33:13 | More by largadeer
2.75/5 rDev -28.8%
Had a nice orangy/copper color to it with a slight haze. Had a white head to it with excellent lacing that sticks around for the entire drink. The smell you can smell some hops, slight floral/citrus aroma but it is very feint, not strong in the slightest bit. I was a little dissapointed with the taste. You could taste some hops to it, but it was severely overpowered by the alcohol. Mouthfeel was ok, but again the alcohol bite was prevalent. It was pretthy drinkable though. Overall I was actually a little dissapointed with this. I tend to really like Imperial IPA's especially in the summer, but I wasn't really a big fan of this one, dispite really likeing Otter Creek. I'm willing to give it another shot though. Maybe I'll pick up a bottle and let it age a bit, might be better that way. But in the meantime, not a huge fan, it was just ok.
08-05-2009 05:31:29 | More by AndyAvalanche
2.75/5 rDev -28.8%
Pours out a clear, medium, amber/orange with a large, whitish head that falls to a cover leaving quite a bit of splotchy lacing.
The smell is milder than expected after reading a few reviews. What I do get is fruity-pineapple and other citrus but I get more sweet malts.
The taste is uneventful at first but then gives a bitter punch followed by sweet malt.
Mouthfeel is light leaning towards medium finishing dry and bitter.
Drinkability-If you get one of these, at this point in time from when it appears to have been bottled, don't ecpect a lot more than a lot of alcohol.
A disappointment and a really good reason for brewers to make a major effort to include a bottled on date for IPAs, IIPA and all other time sensitive beer. I doubt this was mishandled but the 1st review of this beer was at the beginning of May so don't buy this vintage unless you like bitter malt bombs.
08-09-2009 21:19:17 | More by meatyard
3.05/5 rDev -21%
Wow, I can't believe i've already reviewed this beer twice and am equally surprised that I've had it in three "formats".
It was an ok beer. The only double ipa on draft at the bar at the time. Good color and ok smell. Flavor was a little strong tasting with decent balance but not great.
In general I think all versions are all good but there are many double ipas i like better.
01-15-2010 22:18:01 | More by david18
3.05/5 rDev -21%
A-pours a golden copper color with a light haze and some bubbles. the head is white, bubbly but slightly creamy looking. it has some retention, about half a minute and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.
S-the smell is very faint and brings some pale malts, notes of alcohol, and some pine with citrus
T-the taste follows the nose...weak! lots of pale malts, some citrus and pine, showings of alcohol towards the end, and slightly bitter hops at the finish.
M-medium to light body, highly carbonated, crisp towards the finish, and slightly astringent.
D-quite pedestrian, tastes more like a solid pale ale than an imperial ipa. if you see it on the shelf, i personally would recommend not buying it.
01-16-2010 04:05:59 | More by cpetrone84
3.05/5 rDev -21%
Reviewed 10/29/2009 (bottle):
Pours a golden amber color body, with a big foamy off-white head, lasting. Very hoppy dusty aroma, green smelling. Some citrus and hops. Hoppy malty taste, some nuttiness. Citrus and lots of bitterness. Too much. Better as it warms up.
12-20-2009 19:23:34 | More by jujubeast6000
3.1/5 rDev -19.7%
Has an amber color and a large head with great lacing.
Smells of sweet malts and hops.
Tastes really bitter, not much malt flavor... in fact almost none. Straight bitterness adds the the effect that I am drinking a bitter wax almost. Not too horrible, as an Imperial IPA it has the qualities one looks for, but the consistency and taste just don't cut it.
01-09-2010 04:28:17 | More by Spineypanda
3.2/5 rDev -17.1%
Another extra from Banditbrewingco... Thanks again! Shared with my buddy POD, DrewOSU and netwonty over a game of Holdem'...
Pours a slightly hazy copper with brass highlights. The head is slighlty offwhite and big on the initial pour leaving a nice halo and big sticky lacing up the sides of my glass.
Smells of BIG citurs packed hops with a trace of sweet malts. Big nose and very bitter... I wish the HUGE, resinous and bitter hop profile was a little more rounded.
Taste follows through in the mouth. Huge, bitter and choked full hops.
Total hop bomb with no sense of balance. That's what it advertised, I know, but I wish the hop profile wasn't so scathing and bitter. I like a tasty hops presence, not the bitter hop injection I was given this time around.
06-05-2009 00:24:27 | More by beachbum1975
3.2/5 rDev -17.1%
I drank this from a 22 oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.
This beer pours an intriguing orange that is almost peach in color with a light off white head that just a tinge of orange in it. The head is only about 1 finger high and fades quickly to nothing but a few bubbles on clinging to the rim. The lacing
The aroma is not as strong as I thought it would with the 135 ibu's. It is nice and balanced equally with the citrus notes of a grapefruit and hops and some alcohol.
The taste is off from the aroma as it is much more bitter all around and you can tell where the ibu's have been hiding. The taste is too unbalanced with out enough sweetness to balance your taste or present a nice start with a strong finish. There is also a very strong alcohol taste which is unpleasant and piney.
The mouthfeel is nice and just sticks to you for several seconds, providing a very lasting bitter aftertaste.
This beer is drinkable and you can hardly taste the 11% but because of the bitterness it might stop you short of enjoying the whole bottle yourself.
Overall this is an imperial ipa that is too bitter with too much alcohol. I would maybe share a glass with someone in the future, but I would not purchase it again.
11-21-2009 02:33:50 | More by jrallen34
3.23/5 rDev -16.3%
Thanks to Stowehop for this extra in our recent trade. Poured vigorously into my La Fin tulip. Light amberish with a three finger head that hangs around. It seems as though I may have poured a little rough... Leaves a gorgeous lacing as it recedes.
The nose is of great citrusy hops intermingeling with the sweet malts that go along with 11% abv. Not a bad smelling brew.
Wow... the taste is REALLY heavy on the bitter, and the alc at the finish. A little to burn-y for my liking, but I guess it is 11%. The bitter is almost unbearable. It becomes a much more approachable brew as it warms. The bitterness dies down a little, and it gets profoundly better. If i rated it solely on the cold version, the taste would be a 2... LET IT WARM!
The drinkability for this brew is like the visibility in a blizzard... Cant possibly see myself picking up a second bomber in the same night. It is a brew for sharing, for sure.
06-01-2009 21:28:04 | More by mikecharley
3.25/5 rDev -15.8%
First let me say that I have a strong affinity for Otter Creek. The brewery is very close to my parents' country house and I've visited many times. They're always very nice and I feel like they're my "home" brewery and one of my introductions to craft beer. That said, I think this one wasn't very successful.
It's a somewhat cloudy, dark colored amber with a big head. Smell was hoppy and boozy, continued in the mouth. The booze was very hot on this one and dominated the flavor way too much for me. Little balance at all...just way too big overall and kind of unpleasant to drink. Finishing the bottle (shared with the missus) was a real chore. Bitter and highly alcoholic. Drinkability very low.
I like IIPAs but this was just kind of a bitter, boozy mess. No subtleties of flavor, it just hits you over the head in brutal fashion. Just because you can make a monster IPA doesn't necessarily mean you should or that it will be much fun to drink. Big beer is cool but I feel it should still have some balance between the malt/hop characteristics and not just blow your mouth up with booze. Won't be buying this one again. So many better examples of the style. Sorry OC.
07-15-2011 14:48:29 | More by tobelerone
3.3/5 rDev -14.5%
10oz sample off the cask at Rattle N Hum.
Beautiful copper pour with an off-white head. Decent retention and some nice lacing. Spicy, earthy aroma, with some good notes of citrus and pine. Smells pretty high ABV. Spicy and earthy flavours, with a strong citrus and pine component. Quite sticky and thick with hop oil. The lower carbonation and warmer temperature really allow the alcohol to come to the fore in this beer, and it certainly reduced the pleasantness of the experience. I've always wondered how a double IPA might fare as a cask, but on the basis of this I'd probably advise against it. Slick almost, syrupy mouthfeel with limited to no carbonation.
An interesting experiment, but not one that worked. I bet this is killer on a regular tap though.
08-04-2009 14:09:26 | More by bobsy
3.4/5 rDev -11.9%
Appearance: Poured a golden amber color, just very slightly cloudy. Two finger white & foamy head. Very good retention, with the head reducing very slowly and leaving a nice half-finger layer. Lacing all the way down the glass.
Smell: Good amount of hops, but also a noticeable about of malt. Grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops; strong, but not overwhelming. A caramel and nutty malt background; more than I have found in similar beers of this style.
Taste: Starts with a strong hop bite, a little bitter. The hop taste is very overwhelming. Very piney with only some citrus. A slight “soapy” taste to the hops as well. Malts are only present slightly in the background. The hops linger and linger, still being a bit bitter. Not very well balanced. Alcohol is hidden by the hops.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with a big hop bite. Lingering flavor. Filling.
Drinkability: A very strong IPA, both in alcohol and hop flavor. Not as balanced as I would like, as the hops’ bitterness totally overwhelms the flavors and feel of the beer. Good, but could be better.
09-12-2009 04:12:35 | More by jonziefle
3.5/5 rDev -9.3%
22 oz. bottle tried 2 Aug 2010. Batch 247697. Served in the 0.5 L Adambrau becker.
Large cream colored head. Lightly carbonated. Hazy copper color. Floral, resin, orange and toffee aroma. Lots of bitter orange peel throughout, somewhat balanced by caramel and fruity-juicy sweetness. Pithy bitter finish and aftertaste. Somewhat flat in body. Ethanol is hot.
A liked this a lot more than I did.
01-23-2011 16:21:51 | More by htomsirveaux
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.
07-09-2009 00:40:43 | More by u2carew
3.53/5 rDev -8.5%
Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Piney grapefruit nose. Flavor is sweet grapefruit, piney hops and some caramel. Higher ABV totally hidden. And the ridiculous 135 IBUs are just about balanced. Really lingering piney hop aftertaste. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.
11-14-2009 23:30:12 | More by jdhilt
Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
87 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.