Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout
Otter Creek Brewing

Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #403
Ranked #4,960
4.05 | pDev: 9.88%
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States
Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 617 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Czarkazm:
Photo of Czarkazm
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from February 2013. Pours like motor oil, opaque with the slightest hint of deep chestnut brown around the edges. The head was dark khaki while it lasted. Very rich smelling, bold dark roasted malts, an rich earthiness, faint touch of booze still, dark fruits, licorice, and bitter chocolate. Lots of roasted malts in the flavor, almost burnt, stale hop earthiness, charred mocha with thick creamy mouthfeel and mild carbonation. Would need to try this fresh but an extremely well crafted RIS and a bit underrated, in my opinion.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.01/5  rDev -1%
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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Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of TheWolf
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of matty
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black colored beer with a slowly fading creamy head.Aroma is coffee and alcohol.Taste is sugar cane,coffee,chocolate and alcohol.Overall a really good stout that makes you want to go right to the next bottle.This is something that I believe any stout fan should try at least once.A keeper!!

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Photo of bconsidine
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of lakamoso
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mountdew1
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark opaque brown tieh a thick 3 finger head. Head was a thick bubbly foam that clung to itself and the sides nicely. Looked a little thick when pouring from the bottle. Aroma was very strongly coffee, and well brewed coffee at that. Seemed to have hints of either lactose or milk chocolate, perhaps both. Slightly sweet smelling, but not overly so. It started off tasting a bit bitter up front, but mellowed out well, to a coffee mocha finish. Felt solid in the mouth, coated nicely, perhaps a smidgen over acidic, but body and texture were dead on. Smooth to drink, but the ABV seemed to hit quickly, but wasn't noticeable while drinking.

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Photo of LacquerHead
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into a small wine glass.

It poured an extremely dark brown with virtually no translucence. This had a thickness to it. There was a roasted brown colored head formation.

The aroma was very malty and sweet.

This had a very roasted malt flavor. Coffee and dark semi-sweet chocolate. It had a burnt caramel sweet flavor that was accompanied by a touch of bitterness.

M/F: thick on the palate with a soft carbonation. It had a light syrup feel.

D: very easy to drink. The ABV was barely detectable. It would show up now and again as I exhaled.

Overall: a very good RIS for the price. I was certainly not disappointed. I would happily purchase this again.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Very dark, and very opaque. Normally you can see through a little bit of the edges of the beer, but not htis one. Poured a 2 finger dark brown head that settled down, leaves some nice lace.
S: Sweet, definately a bit of milk chocolate in there. Only the faintest hit of ethanol. Somewhat straightforward aroma.
T: For a 10% beer, it is remarkably smooth. Once again it is very sweet. There is definately a burnt quality to this one, chocolate and a bit of coffee. Also some dark fruit qualities (think apricot or fig) as well as brown sugar.
F: Very heavy body but as smooth. Goes back easy. Carbonation is spot on.
O: Good, not great. My issues with the beer are minor, chiefly being that it is a little sweet for my taste and not incredibly complex. But nonetheless I would recommend this and drink it again.

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Photo of number1bum
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's cold and rainy tonight so what better than a big old RIS. This one will do the trick...

Pours very dark brown, not quite completely pitch black although quite thick looking. Generates about two fingers of dark tan head. Keeps a thin but full lace and leaves a decent amount of webbing on the sides.

Smell is very rich with lots of gooey chocolate, roasted malt, some alcohol, raisins, dates, plums. Some coffee and smoke too. RIS noses are typically bold but this is far above average - it's a great, malty, very inviting nose.

Taste is also rich and malty. Loads of roasted malt and fudgy chocolate, and a lot of molasses and dark fruit too, raisins and plums especially. Has a bit of a smoky character and a hint of coffee. It's quite sweet with the chocolate and molassess, with a good amount of roasty bitterness and dark coffee in the finish. Dark fruit lingers long into the finish as well. Definitely some noticeable alcohol but it's not obtrusive. This is quite good.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy and very rich. Moderate carbonation and a very smooth feel. Alcohol is there to let you know that this is over 10% but it's not hot.

This is a very good RIS. The huge dark fruit flavors are different than many others. It's up there in terms of IBU's some I'm not sure to what extent hops are contributing to the fruitiness, but it works nicely. Good balance and very tasty. A very nice surprise from Otter Creek, and an excellent beer for the price.

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Photo of beyah
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
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 Tmsmaloy
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is black. Even held to the light none shines through. A thick tan head dissipates to a thin ring around the glass. Aroma of sweet aromatic tobacco and raisins. Taste of leather pepper and steel. As much as I enjoy their new IPAs I believe this beer is bigger, and holds a more special place. I love this beer.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout

You're greeted with a simple, yet elegant bottle. I love the basic print label, and golden foil top. Inside, a delectable treat. The deep rich darkness of this ones pure jet black body entices you to break in. Fluffy mocha head, with extravagant retention. Very appealing to the eyes. I want to just dive in. But, not yet - I'd rather stare at this beauty for a little bit.

The aroma permeates the air the instant you crack the bottle. Big, roasty, and complex. Beautiful roasted malt notes of sweet dark chocolate, toasted caramel, and brown sugar. Very deep and extremely aromatic.

Now onto the best part of this beauty. The taste. Striking complexity immediately, with lots of the flavors resembling the nose. The first thing you notice is the gigantic roasted notes, which are just so damn complex. They barrage the palate, and coat it with roasted malt goodness. Soon after sweet chocolate, and rich cocoa beans accentuate with the flavor tone and provide even more depth. Bittering hops blend well with the chocolate notes and provide a bit of citrus/earthiness to the flavor. The balance overall is wondeful. Finishes just as it started, absolutely delicious. With a nice drying edge. Great mouthfeel, and amazing drinkability despite the 10% abv.

This is incredibly well done RIS. Incredibly tasty, and offers everything you look for in an RIS, and more. Mad props to Otter Creek for nailing this one. This is definitely one of my top RIS's.

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Photo of darkmartin
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pours to an extremely dark brown, almost black color with a thick, creamy, dark tan head that dissapates quickly leaving a thick, glass coating, lacing.

Aroma: Smells of strong chocolate malts, with hints of coffee.

Taste: The coffee flavor overwhelms the chocolate at first, while the chocolate malts seem to make a comeback in the aftertaste. The high ABV level is quite evident as well, as the alcohol taste is not particularly hidden.

Mouthfeel: Thick, somewhat sticky texture with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Despite the moderately high ABV level, after the
first few sips the chocolate and coffee malts overpower the alcohol taste and make the drink really quite enjoyable.

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Photo of SurrenderToTheFlow95
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DMcPhee33
4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep black with a solid coffe-colored head.

S- Coffee, chocolate & maybe a hint of licorice.

T- Outstanding. 10.6% ABV & no "hotness". There's a continuation of the coffee & chocolate and it resonates after the sip.

M- It has a great balance for an RIS. Not too thick, yet in no way thin. Well rounded, soft & malty with a slight bitterness that accents the tastes very well.

D- A perfect slow-sipper on a cold night. The 22oz. bomber is the perfect amount of this beer.

Very, very impressed with this one. It really makes up for the dissapointment of the majority of the World Tour 22oz. bombers of last year, and then some.

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Photo of sdawson
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to jmu500 for this bottle, and his continued ability to knock off my wants with finesse. Thanks so much!

Otter Creek's RIS poured a thick, opaque black, even more-so than many I've seen in the style. There is just a hint of lacing and a patch of foam atop the brew. The smell is of sweet chocolate, caramel, and a hint of cherries, suggesting quite a sweet offering. On taste the beer is much more rich and balanced than the scent may suggest, though, complete with a surprising show of lemon-herbal tinged hops, baking chocolate, and tart cherries. The mouthfeel is good with strong carbonation and just enough oiliness to coat the mouth. While certainly not one to pound down (is any of the style?), the drinkability is high for the style, lacking both the bitter alcohol punch or the cloying sweetness that can often hurt stouts. Definitely a nice brew, particularly for a hop-lover who wants to give stouts a try.

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Photo of thoglund
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.91/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a bomber at the Brattleboro food co-op for $6.29. The label has lots of info, including all ingredients, abv and IBU's.

This is totally black, opaque with obvious carbonantion around the edge, the head is massive, at least 2" high, very bubbly and frothy with creaminess on the very top. dissipation is moderate for the style. There's plenty of dark brown foam still left over long after the liquid is gone. Lacing is sticky and intricate. right on.

The nose is huge, it's as bold and complex as any RIS I've ever had, including such big-boys as Dark lord and the Abyss. Very dark roastie malt right off, grahm crackers, meaty, nutty, peanutbutter with spicey, herbal hops, mellow peppery black berry jam. As the liquid warms you've got, brownies straight from the oven. Well balanced with the hops really providing a unique spiciness, instead of the leafy-bitter scent you get from many huge stouts. a very subtle aroma of dark fruits pops out even later.

After being totally rocked by the aroma of this brew i was affraid the flavor would fall short. NOT!!! This is extremely complex with mulit-level malt flavor's of dark baker's chocolate, dry brownies, peanutbutter, coffee with cream and a another chocolate current that is a bit sweeter, like milk chocolate. The really unique aspect of this RIS is the bold, spicey and earthy hop effect that is bold but not overly bitter. The hops provides the most sublime balance I've ever noticed in this style. 65 IBU's seems Just right. The heat is pretty subtle and adds a nice warming effect but becomes a bit more hot later on. Chocolate covered blueberries pops out as the stout warms up. highly complex, and enjoyable!!

This big-ass stout is full bodied with a crispy middle body, finishing hefty and smooth, then dry. My lips are sticky. smooth and creamy.

Honestly, Otter creek has NAILED the RIS, I'm blown away. Huge complexity with something unique to offer in the spicey and not bitter hop balance. Impressive!

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Photo of CardiacNP
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
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 DraconusDesanctus666
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

P- Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a large Funky Buddha snifter.No date on the bottle.

L- Thin brown head with low retention,and minimal lacing.Jet black body with no light showing through the glass.Low on carbonation.

S- On the nose I get roasted malt,with some trace noted of coffee,dark chocolate,and caramel.

T- The palate follows the nose with roasted malt and coffee up front,caramel in the middle,and dark chocolate and roasted malts on the back end.A little bit of alcohol flavor,but not bad.

F- The mouth feel is full bodied,with minimal oxidation on the tongue.Smooth on the finish,with slight alcohol warming.

O- This is a pretty damn good RIS.Not one of my favorites,but definitely up there.I would absolutely drink this one again.And if you are a Russian Imperial Stout lover like myself,I suggest you give this one a try.I just wish it had more dark fruit characteristics.Still a really good one.

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Photo of caminiti
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I gave this beer a lot of rope to hang itself, and it did. Poured beautiful, dark, slight head, great appearance. Nose had malt and coffee come through, with maybe a bit of nut (burnt). Taste was were this brew fell apart. Appearance and name (and style) did not come through in the taste, it was light with a burnt aftertaste, and in my opinion of the style, not very good at all. I read the other reviews, which were much more impressive than mine, and I think I may have just got a not so good bottle, and at the price, which was not too steep, I may try again, and let it age..

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good if unexceptional Russian imperial stout. Black-bodied, full-feeling, and mildly carbonated, with aromas and flavors of espresso and bittersweet chocolate. Some molasses and char linger after the finish, along with a slight stickiness.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a thin wisp of tan foamy head. Gentle thin lacing slides into the beer. The smell had a nice sweet to roasty blend of coffee, cocoa and a light amount of vanilla. Light bitter coffee grounds slide in underneath. The taste was mainly sweet with a nice roasty to sweet blend of the coffee to cocoa once again. A light dry sweet to roasty coffee aftertaste leads into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. Carbonation seemed good as an RIS, as there’s enough dry and bitter roastiness on my tongue. Overall, I say this was a pretty good RIS that I would have again.

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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 617 ratings