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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout | Otter Creek Brewing

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Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout
614 Ratings
Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Brad007 on 01-09-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 614 |  Reviews: 299
Photo of timjim1327
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of Beerman72
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of unibrew
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW! The Russian Imperial Stout is perhaps the best RIS on the market today. I had a taste of it in Brooklyn at Mugs Ale House last month. I found it on sale at Oliver's Beverage Store in Albany NY. I picked up 2 bottles and had one of them last night. It is just sooo good! Smooth, creamy and chocolatey. If the 2nd bottle was cold, I probably would have drank it as well. I pray I can buy it here in Brooklyn. Also, it didn't give me a hangover. I don't know why.. that never happens! Honestly, I found it to be even better than Yeti and better than Black Ops, especially for the money.

 593 characters

Photo of 01121987
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer is absolutely incredible.
it has an incredible roasted malt/barley character that is not at all in any way cloying or overwhelming with a welcomed alcohol warmth that is not at all harsh. this is the most "drinkable" imperial stout i have ever tasted and is on my top ten best beers ever tasted list. i would recommend this beer to anyone and everyone who likes darker and stronger beers, and even those who don't.
this might be the best beer i have ever had from otter creek and i used to live in vermont so iv had just about al of them.
great beer. if you see it buy more than one!

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Photo of DrunkyBuddha
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Part of the Otter Creek Imperial Series.

Pours a motor oil black color with a thin brown head into my pint glass.

Aroma is thick and creamy with a strong whiff of roasted coffee and mild chocolate in the nose.

Taste is creamy at first followed by a strong amount of roasted coffee and chocolate. Creaminess is very nice. Hop bitterness seems subdued. Astringency is pretty low, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is full of residual creaminess, chocolate and coffee notes. There isn't much alcohol warmth.

First of all, this imperial stout is very drinkable. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Second of all, the creaminess is just top notch. Mouthfeel is right as well. I honestly can't think of what would make this beer better and it's proof that Otter Creek can create great beer, even bigger beers.I strongly recommend you pick this up.

Again, to me, this is perfection for the style.

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Photo of MarkSmithVT
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of Frost-Mountain-Brew
5/5  rDev +24.4%
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 GratefulBeerGuy
4.91/5  rDev +22.1%
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 NonicPanic
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.79/5  rDev +19.2%
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!

 887 characters

Photo of Stunner97
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark dark black with no light coming through what so ever, very nice tan brown head that starts thick and slowly fads down, very menacing and drawing in appearance

Smell- This one smell is out of control, so strong and so good and power hits you instantly, i cant even get past the smell of coffee, if you were to put a coffee cup next to me and this stout I could tell you which was which literally that crazy

Taste- COFFEE wow, this is one flavorful imperial stout, all you can taste is that espresso and coffee, some roasted malts and slight hops throw touch of small bitterness on the finish, this is a special long lasting finish beer, slight alcohol can be noticed but it really just gets lost in the coffee flavors

Mouthfeel- smooth full bodied, creamy and moderately carbonated

Drinkability- An incredible sipping and savoring stout, if you like stouts with the strong espresso and coffee essence then this is one you must try, my first ever beer by this brewery and I was blown a way by a nice piece of work, if you can find this give it a try a winner of a russian imperial

 1,099 characters

Photo of Johncnh
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mctizzz
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Boardshort_Brewer
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of shockrocker65
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of RBorsato
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of hit728
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Givemebeer
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Bottled 12/3/2012, drank tonight. The aging did this pup well. So smooth and no alcohol booze taste. Drank at room temp. First taste is a rich dark chocolate. Following taste is a straight up coffee flavor. Great dessert beer. Perfect nightcap to a long days work.

 269 characters

Photo of agreenman19
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Lukass
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Celtics76
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Lunch
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, Maryland as part of Baltimore Beer Week (10/13/2009). Served rather cold in a snifter, but I allowed it to warm up quite a bit to around cellar temperature.

Appearance: Very typical for a RIS as it was virtually black likened to that of motor oil with one finger of espresso brown head. Decent, but unremarkable lacing that left a slight oiliness on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Fairly complex nose that was dominated by chocolate and coffee giving off a roasted bouquet of toffee, vanilla, raisins, and just the faintest soupçon of graham cracker along with a flutter of alcohol ("Sideways", it was true and I just couldn't resist).

Taste: Oh my. This is a wonderful treat that crushes the smell in terms of complexity. Chocolate and roasted coffee comes through first quickly followed by oat, molasses, maple syrup, and rich malt. A slight hop bitterness is also present, but is far less dominant than many of its other American RIS brethren. As the beer warms, a minor alcohol tinge becomes subtlety apparent, but never comes through anywhere close to that of its lofty 10.6%.

Mouthfeel: A thick feel that is quite pleasing and oily. If I had one minor critique, it would be that I wish that it was just slightly thicker, but that is truly splitting hairs.

Drinkability: Truly excellent for its style as alcohol never really gets in the way and each sip seems to bring across new characteristics. I had no problem putting away two of these on tap, but as with any higher alcohol beer, the alcohol, even though it is hidden quite well, will catch up to you.

Overall this is an excellent and unique offering from a brewery that is seemingly headed in the right direction concerning its Imperial Series. I look forward to not only revisiting this beer again and again (as well as its Imperial IPA brother), but also to the hopes that they expand their Imperial Series lineup. Highly recommended.

 1,952 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The foil-necked 22-ounce bomber bottle poured into a small snifter produces a tar-black body capped with a chubby finger's thickness of stained khaki foam. The head retains at a chunky-collared sheet and deposits a film of extremely fine-bubbled lacing onto the glass.

The smell is amazing. Notes of fresh black coffee, dark chocolate covered pineapple, unsulphured molasses, caramel-covered peanuts (?), and a touch of anise roll over a dark, savory base of roasted barley, dark caramel malt, and vanilla-perfumey alcohol. A hearty note of dark-toasted pumpernickel reinforces the dominant graininess and layers of chocolatey caramel come to the forefront as the drink warms a bit.

The taste is equally amazing. Rich dark chocolatey sweetness is beset with bitter burnt roast and a splash of strong, unsweetened black coffee. Alkaline and drying, cocoa powder lingers in the aftertaste, sticking to the palate, thoroughly chocolatizing a touch of lingering brown-sugary stickiness. Silky smooth vanilla caramel softens the pleasantly-harsh scratchiness of roasted grain, and a note of French roast rises in stature with each additional sip. Alcohol is masked in vague dark fruitiness, or possibly disguised as mild sherry. Otter Creek's RIS has lots of big flavors, yet is still very well-balanced.

Silky, fullish in body, and mildly carbonated, the brew is extremely quaffable for style, but I can't really say that I would want to drink it from a beer bong. No, no... well... no, not at all. This brew is a beauty and a "snifter beer" all the way--best when thoroughly examined, thoughtfully savored, and highly respected. It's magnificent.

 1,646 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
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!

 294 characters

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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 614 ratings
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