Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout | Otter Creek Brewing

very good
609 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 609 |  Reviews: 299
Photo of danoeltico
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Sinewave
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of Flounder57
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz glass poured into a Guiness pint glass. Merry Christmas folks.

Appearance: one finger mocha head. Pitch black with no signs of clarity. Head has reduced and left some lacing.

Smell: roasted coffee, mocha, and alcohol on the nose. Sweet sugars and molasses.

Taste: super roasted coffee, mocha, earthy, smoke, and some bitterness towards the end. Sugary sweetness and molasses too.

Mouthfeel: close to full bodied, smooth, somewhat dry, medium carbonation, and very delicious.

Overall: I am very impressed and happy with this RIS. Very tasty and delicious. A good treat for Christmas. Will be getting more of this in the future.

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Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of Jeffo
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from NewGeneric in a recent trade. Thanks man!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A thicker black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, light brown head with decent retention. Thick black body and little carbonation evident. Head fades relatively quickly to a good foam cap. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. Great beginning, but the head needed better staying power. A little lacing on the glass would have helped as well.

SMELL: Solid nose. Roasted malts and lots of dark, pure chocolate on the nose. Notes of burnt coffee beans and a touch of licorice as well. Bold and chocolaty stuff.

TASTE: Solid stuff again. Roasted and slightly charred malts with some dark, pure baker’s chocolate up front. Plenty of roasted and chocolaty goodness. Some caramel sweetness through the middle into a roasted and chocolaty finish. Bold aftertaste of charred malts, dark bitter chocolate and some coffee and caramel notes. Bitterness lingers nicely on the palate. Flavorful and enjoyable with no booze at all.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher carbonation. Lighter on the palate but quite creamy smooth as well. Goes down smooth with a bit of a bite at the back and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Could be a little heavier, but alright here.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff. A thicker palate would have helped carry the flavors a little more, but that’s a minor critique. Worth checking out if you get the chance. Thanks again for the bottle NewGeneric. Recommended.

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Photo of jak
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MA08
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ScreamForMe
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer with a slight mocha head that left a little bit of stick on the sides and had some slight lacing.

S - A bit of coffee, some chocolate, and some roast. Straight forward, if nondescript. Slight bit of alcohol.

T - A little more chocolate than on the nose. Slight roast and some alcohol cut through the sweetness, but this is an RIS that is mostly cocoa forward.

M - Fuller side of medium bodied with some moderate carbonation.

O - Solid, nothing spectactular, but you could definitely do worse.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. The head sticks around a while, and there's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. The brew smells like chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, roasted malt, coffee and molasses. It's a very sweet aroma. It tastes like bittersweet chocolate, roasted and burnt/charred malt, coffee, and some molasses. There's a long lasting roasty bittersweet finish, and overall the bitter flavors are pretty well balanced with the sweet ones. Mouthfeel/body is medium (seems a bit thin for the style), it's oily and has good carbonation. It's also smooth and easy to drink. I think this is a good brew, and not a bad choice for $6.99 a bomber.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black color with a large frothy brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted coffee, chocolate and alcohol aroma. Heavy chocolate sweet roasted malty flavor with a heavy sweet and small alcohol bite finish of long duration. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. This is a standout beer.

 338 characters

Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thank you SFLpunk for this heavyweight

bottled 12/11/09

a rather rich dense beer. the time smoothed out the edges but also made it malt forward. hopping is quite subtle for being 65IBU. pour is nice. good carbonation for such an ABV. nose in a burst of meaty chocolate, smoky leather hints and a touch of booze. once it sat around a bit the predominate licorice notes become more distinct. had the notes of a baltic even... just too smooth. black sesame aged quality. hints of candied plum. as it sat the burnt molasses notes would come out.

 543 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - The brew pours visibily thinner, but is otherwise similar to the requisite RIS look. Mocha froth, short-lived, with a crude-black body.

S - The nose is pretty damn enticing. There is a lot of fudge aroma, with some vanilla, burnt sugar and maybe some sweet pipe tobacco as well.

T - The taste carries through on the dynamic set forth in the nose, but at a much lower intensity. The notes of fudge-chocolate have been reduced to carob, the vanilla bean is now imitation extract, the sugar is splenda and the pipe tobacco is e-pipe tobacco. It still has admirable qualities, but the taste is sorely disappointing in comparison to the nose. As it airs out, I am getting a lot of stale oxidized notes.

M - Thin for the style, but not particularly bad (or good) otherwise.

O - The brew is a mixed bag, but is generally above the curve.

 838 characters

Photo of gnemesis
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 12/11/09. 8oz sample poured into snifter on 05/09/11.
Pours black with a thin creamy brown head. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and dark fruits. Taste follows and adds some more roast and bitter chocolate. Touches of burnt sugar, coffee, and booze. Full bodied with low carbonation. Decent imperial stout and my first from OC- I'll revisit.

 400 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This one pours with a rocky mocha head that sits atop the pitch black liquid; the head quickly descends to a film and leaves only a few splotches behind

Smell: Dark chocolate and burnt brown sugar, with hints of licorice and dark fruit

Taste: Dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar, licorice, molasses and some blackberry, up front, with the hops adding a bit of citrus by mid-palate, when a boozy tingle brings another aspect; after the swallow, the chocolate is the dominant flavor, although the citrus lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; not as full bodied as expected for the ABV

Overall: A very nice stab at the style for a brewery not known for brewing such big beers; not the best RIS out there as it lacks some complexity in the malt bill but it is a very good value

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Photo of jminsc76
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gift courtesy of adavis3891, one which we indulged before several months ago.

Into a tulip, pours some mad motor oil with a cocoa head forming big and thick over the top. Thick legs as I tilt, the body pitch and black.

Smells of chocolate and molasses, the latter aroma strongly dominating the overall bouquet. Some deeper *whiffs* reveal some brownies (brown sugar) and it's mmmm, good.

Flavors of molasses, a little bit of chocolate, and some roasty coffee notes on the finish. It's a lot like drinking a cup of coffee black, with some chocolate powder sprinkled throughout and hints of raspberry. As it warms and the sipping continues, a nice earthy tobacco flavor exhibits nicely.

Mouthfeel is thinner but velvety upon swishing.

Overall, this is a bit different than the one I tried a few months ago. The prior demonstrated a lot more chocolate (virtually a Hershey's bar), whereas the present is richer in molasses and hops, with that earthy tobacco dominating at the latter half. Still enjoyable, just different. Two to three servings per sitting would be no problem.

 1,085 characters

Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness or vintage date. Served at cellar temperature. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.99.

A: Pitch black with 2-3 finger tan-plum head with good retention and a few scraps of lace.

S: Milk chocolate sweetness greets the nose first, but herbal, earthy hoppiness bursts through with a very strong statement. Coffee and roasted barley puts a nice foot forward as well. All in all, a complex and surprising aroma profile with lots of hops, approaching Storm King Stout levels.

T: The flavor is at or above SKS as the flavor melds a strong roast component with very tobacco, earthy hoppiness to provide a unique flavor profile. I wish it had a bit more chocolate, fudgy sweetness to counter the hops, but, all in all, this is a fine RIS with alcohol well-hidden.

M: Low carbonation helps but the body is a bit short of the top tier for the style. Not as smooth as some with more dryness than I expect. Not at all bad, just not the best.

O: I am impressed with this beer for its interesting aroma and flavor profile, even if neither is exactly what you expect from the style. I will probably head more towards Expedition Stout, SKS, Old Rasputin, and BCS because I like them all a bit more than this brew and they come in 6'ers and are thus are a bit more economical, but I really liked this brew and would pick it up occasionally if I had the chance. Recommended.

 1,452 characters

Photo of r0nyn
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an oversized snifter.

Pours a dark mahogany brown with somewhat loose viscosity. Coalesces into an inky darkness with full opacity. Head is minimal, leaving only a thin film floating with the substantial alcoholic legs at the top. Lacing is quite spotty, without much stickiness at all. Smell is robust and engaging, with a pronounced chocolate character. Some mild coffee notes show up as well, and there is a definite malty backbone to the scent as well. Slight nuances of vanilla, caramel and that hefty double digit booziness round out the nose.

Lots of chocolate notes to start, providing a bittersweet undertone to the entire taste of the beer. Caramel notes are subtle but definitely present and have almost a roasted quality to them. The brown sugar advertised on the label is also evident, providing some mild, nuanced sweetness. Notes of toasted barley mingle with the substantial malt character to round out the finish, which is drying and lightly bitter. Alcohol really isn't evident, which is slightly surprising. Mouthfeel is admittedly on the thinner side, especially given the weighty ABV. Finishes with a crispness and a little bit of carbonated effervescence.

Drinkability is quite good, aided by the enticing smell, pleasant taste and minimal alcohol footprint. There is still quite a bit of booze in this, so sipping is recommended, but it definitely doesn't hinder how many sips you'll be taking at once. A quality brew from Otter Creek, one I wouldn't mind revisiting down the road. I think this beer would only benefit from a little bit of aging, so time will tell.

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Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing
4 out of 5 based on 609 ratings.
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