Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout | Otter Creek Brewing

Otter Creek Russian Imperial StoutOtter Creek Russian Imperial Stout
Liked This Beer
4.02 w/ 611 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 611 |  Reviews: 299
Photo of dwoolley1
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Newbiebeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a few weeks back down at Buy Rite in Jersey City. I never had this before and wanted to wait until it was cold out before going through the dark beers in my stash. Sure enough, the weather's just right this week and I was hoping that this would keep me warm on a night such as this. Even though the alcohol in this was 10.0% and not the 10.6% listed on here, this was certainly strong enough for a RIS and almost seemed like an Imperial Porter, given the roasted nature that this had.

Naturally, the pour to this was dark - a deep coffee brown with a tan head that wasn't terribly thick or long-lasting. The lacing was present, but spotty, as it slid down the edges of my pint glass after each sip. This smelled like a Porter, even though I knew it wasn't, because of the strong burnt coffee notes. I haven't had a beer this toasty in quite some time but the chocolate and cocoa that I've come to expect in a beer like this just wasn't here. There was just a hint of bitter chocolate to be savored but without the powder that sometimes accompanies it. Instead, this beer had a creamy mouthfeel that faded into just a touch of currant and Bourbon-like booziness, leaving a clean and crisp aftertaste that faintly smelled like alcohol.

To be sure, this was strong even if I couldn't feel it throughout my session. The bitterness and chocolate weren't very present here but this was complex enough to be a Stout and to go just a bit beyond it, since it was full-bodied and full-flavored. I wouldn't start off with this if I was new to to the style but for aficionados, this will satisfy most palates while pushing the edge of what a RIS can taste and feel like.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of MarkSmithVT
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of BB1313
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, "Limited Edition", 10% abv. Poured into a snifter. Pours pitch black with no light getting through. There's a mocha head that slowly fades and leaves nice retention. The aromas are full of black coffee and has hints of smoke. Very roasty nose. There's some chocolate malts in the mix, but the black coffee really seems to dominate. The flavors are extremely bold, but somewhat metallic and has subtle alcohol notes, but it's not hot or boozy. There's a strong bitterness from the dark chocolate. There's barely any hop flavor, but there's definitely some hop bitterness going on. More coffee and smoke. The coffee dominates and lingers. The mouthfeel is very nice. It's not quite milkshake thick, but it's thick enough. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Fluffy and creamy. Very smooth Imperial Stout. This makes a great sipper.

I really like this. Nice example of the style. I bet this will age amazingly. Props to Otter Creek.

 946 characters

Photo of Tibi81
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of shamrock1343
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of bluntedboywonder
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of claytong
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of CB_Crowe
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Altrurian
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SAE 40 pour, black all the way to the edge. Thin brown head. Minimal cling. Velvety feel. Really an excellent appearance and texture. The taste is interesting and a little surprising. While the cues might conjure notions of chocolate and prunes, there's a certain tart quality on the palate. It drifts off into bitter coffee and burnt toast, tempered by just a suggestion of dates. Alcohol is the merest afterthought. The more I think about it, actually quite nice.

 465 characters

Photo of Focusf111
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Thick and viscous on the pour, and black as black gets. Motor oil for sure. One inch of tan head forms from a vigorous pour. It settles after a short while, but never fully disappears. Lacing adorns the glass in unbroken rings and small but concentrated spots.

S: Hefty dose of acrid roasted malts. Woody and smokey. Black licorice, baker's chocolate, burnt coffee. Mocha. Earthy hops. Spike of alcohol and some plum esters. This beer smells huge.

T: Dark fudge, acrid roasted malts, smoke, black licorice. Plum and black currant esters. Earthy hops. Strong spike of alcohol mid-palate brings a hit of spice. Woody. More black licorice. Burnt coffee. Long roasty finish of acrid roasted malts, baker's chocolate, and dark fudge.

M: One of the biggest bodied beers I've ever had. Thick and very heavy. Weighty and downright sludgy. Almost no carbonation. Feels as though you could cut it and eat it with a fork and a knife.

O: This is one gigantic beer, and definitely one of those 'meal in a glass' type beers. Encyclopedia definition of a sipper. It's drinking fairly well right now, but it goes without saying that this is an excellent candidate for aging. So now we have another great, readily available 4-pack Imperial stout priced very competitively at $10. Good stuff. Nicely done, Otter Creek.

Notes: It's been a long time since I've had the original, discontinued Otter Creek Imperial stout in the 22oz bottle, but I don't think this is the same beer. This doesn't taste anything like I remember. Unless I am mistaken, this should probably be entered as a different beer.

 1,636 characters

Photo of Beermaine
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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

12 oz. bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Listed as 10% ABV on the label which is different from the one pictured.

Pours out a completely opaque, viscous black. A vigorous pour results in just a small 1/4 in. layer of head that quickly fades to a ring, but the ring remains nice and tight throughout the rest of the glass. What is nice about the head is that its a nice deep tan/ light brown color. A bit of lacing and a bit of some sticky legs from a swirl of the glass.

First off, in the aroma is a deep charred, roasted malt, some alcohol, a bit of dark chocolate, black licorice, slight hints of smoked meat as it warms.

AgaIn, a deep charred roasted malt really takes center stage in the taste. Bitter- sweet. Some nice dark chocolate and a bit of some bakers chocolate. A bit of alcohol, but more in the form of warming. A bit of dark fruits on the back end. A bit basic, but defiantly tasty.

A nice thick mouthfeel that really coats the whole palate with each sip. Low carbonation which is compliments the style.

A very nice RIS, it defiantly exceeded my expectations. They seemed to have nailed everything exactly to style. Age should do this well, but this would be real magic in a bourbon barrel. Worth atleast one try.

 1,249 characters

Photo of beer4colin
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Full disclosure: I just slammed Big Eddy by Leinenkugel. I felt it was a bogus brew with them throwing in charred wood for smoky flavor.

Then I moved to Otter Creek...

This brewery has never really given me any reason to say WOW! But, this IRS changes that.

A- Nice rich opaque, espresso. Nice mahogany foam, but restrained to 1 finger when poured into a Pinter.

Taste: right up there with high ranked IRS. At least on a par With Stones IRS.

OA: get it if you can. I see it in 12 oz 6 packs in SE Massachusetts....

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Photo of jwps214
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Boo-yeah first review of this stuff in a growler son! Picked it up for 15 bucks (tax included) at my local six pack shop. Works out to 3 bucks a pour for a beer 10+% ABV. Whoop!

A - Well the appearance won me over it's thick, viscous, took forever to pour into the growler, and such an attractive 1/2 inch of deep mocha head.

S - Mild bittersweet chocolates next to a very dominant coffee/roast profile and some bittering hops for good measure.

T - Hops are a bit acidic at first but as it warms the beer opens up to a nice blast of bittersweet chocolate and coffee roast. Two of my favorite things. Not much room for sweet vanilla or anything and the finish is rather dry, but damn does it hide the ABV well.

M - Heavy body for sure but the acidic hops do balance some of the ABV sting.

Overall aged this could be a very exceptional brew but even fresh out of the keg it's not the worst RIS I ever had. Kind of like Storm King from Victory and everyone seems to love that shit.

 984 characters

Photo of ms11781
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Solid black body with a finger of mocha head, a little loose & dropping to a thin covering, leaving patches of lacing.

Smells of a darkly nutty roast, a little husky & mildly astringent, some grinding coffee, slight licorice. There's a barely perceptible sulfur note, kinda like asparagus.

Yeah, that astringency really comes to the fore in the taste, with an accompanying bitterness like coffee grounds. Some dark fruit skin in there too, but also very bitter & a little acidic. Dark, & I'm talking DARK, chocolate. Almost no sweetness to speak of at first, just dark & bitterly roasty through & through. A little sweet emerges as it warms, but also a dry booze presence.

Nicely smooth, velvety texture, just rolls on down. Leaves a kind of heavy afterfeel, but not bad.

This was a little more challenging than I'd anticipated given the smell. So dark, so bitter. I'd try it again, but this was kind of a beast.

 945 characters

Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 86.4% out of 100 with 611 ratings
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