Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

very good
137 Ratings
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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale AleOtter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 05-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a lot of hops, giving a good hop fix, but not a great entry into the style. The bitterness beyond the so-called theoretical 100 IBU limit that I cannot taste any further bitterness. Rather astringent, that builds as I drink it. I cannot give every attempt at a DIPA the Sammy 4 and it was not that enjoyable. I can only take so much grapefruit rind. Murky grapefruit colour with decent head. Mild hoppy aroma.

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Photo of largadeer
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its great to see Otter Creek do this Imperial series...its about time.Poured into a imperial nonic a clear deep golden with burnt orange tint,a great one finger craterous white head atop that settles into a creamy finish.Thje Amarillos are present in the nose giving off a sharp presence along with some sweetish alcohol and caramel/biscuit.Man I love the Simcoe and Amarillo hop flavors,sharply citric with a bit of tangerine, a hefty sweet caramel malt base holds true to the finish.The alcohol begins to really show thru as the beers warms.Its a sipper but its a very solid DIPA no doubt.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/7/09 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark amber color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, citrus and caramelized malts, which is your typical 2IPA smell.

T: The taste is sweet up front with strong flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness comes in. There's a tiny alcohol sting for a beer with 11.00% ABV. The malt character is hearty enough to provide plenty of substance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's a solid 2IPA but there are plenty of others that I would pick first.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz foil topped bomber into an oversized snifter.

Pours a crystal clear copper with 2+ big fingers of foamy eggshell colored head. Retains with a 1/2 finger of frothy retention, coating the sides of the glass with some hefty lace. The aroma possesses some huge hop character, being very floral, spicy, and piney, while a thick and delicious smelling backing of tropical fruits and caramel malts keep the nose balanced out. I'm also getting some light warmth but not as much as I would have thought considering the ABV.

The taste is spicy and resinous, with an assertive (but not overly so) aggressive bitterness, thanks to that same beefy blend of tropical citrus and toffeed sweetness. I'm also getting a lightly smoky aspects to the malts, which is setting this apart a bit. The finish is moderately intense, with a drying spicy bitterness that sticks. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a carbonation that is on the softer and creamier side. This sits on top of a heavier and more viscous feeling layer underneath, which carries a lot of the sweetness and warmth of this. Speaking of warmth, this is unfortunately coming off as a bit too hot for me. It gets borderline stinging at times, but luckily the bigger flavors here are able to pull it back some. This is definitely on the beefier side though, which holds the drinkibility back a good bit for me.

I really like the effort from Otter Creek here to jump in with a bold and flavorful DIPA but was an ABV this high really necessary? Tone down the heat and this would be a truly wonderful East Coast hop bomb.

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Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a three finger head. Good ring lace on the glass. Orange amber in color and respectably cloudy.

Definitive hop presence, but not as much as most IIPAs. Smells fresh (as opposed to pellets), but it doesn't have the distinctive smells of grapefruit or pine. Well balanced.

Lots of darker bitter hop flavors up front that last through the swallow and aftertaste. The malt is strictly a delivery vehicle for the bitterness. Good body with a relatively low level of carbonation. Very little alcohol presence, which is remarkable given the 11% ABV.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a challenge lately to get through anything new, but I decided to let my family have a crack at a few things this weekend and pulled a sample off of each. Part of the " Random BBQ Event" at my in laws on 07/19/2009.
Appearance - Poured a very amber color, light haze that seemed to settle out with copious carbonation at first. Big head of white coming up and over the top, settling down very nicely into a firm, and yet resilient layer across the top. Nice lacing completing the package making this the way a DIPA should look.
Smell - Big, obnoxious citrus right out of the gate let me know for sure we were onto something big here. Lots of bright orange and grapefruit leading the charge with hints of lemon, very bright. Letting it warm brought out some of the biscuit like middle notes, but again, this was a hoppy beast for sure.
Taste - Crisp, clean , and biting this was a big IPA for sure. Start with a rush of grapefruit and alcohol, very hot, not sure why but a lot of it. Had to let it settle down which mellowed it nicely bringing forward some nice touches of buttery notes, hints of orange peel and light lemon zest.
Feel - Nicely carbonated, not too heavy and not too light, they nailed that pretty well. I did notice the carbonation die down considerably from first pour to about five minutes in but it was still very well done and nothing at all to really complain about.
Drinkability - It was a very big DIPA, and it took away a bit from being able to polish it off, but I have to say that even still it was very solid and worth every ounce. No doubt I would have this one again,
Overall - I continue to be impressed with the offerings from otter creek. The imperial series is going to be grand I have no doubts about that. Would love to try the next in the series.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is very nice lookin' brew, good we're back in the hay day of Dogfish Head, since their current brewer was trained down in Rehoboth doing pilot batches for Sam and company. Slightly hazed amber copper hue with a nice sized slightly off white head.

Aromatics have a strong citrus pine combo of hop and mild booze flowing together big sweetness almost a honey syrupy note among the uncompromising hop bouquet. When I mentioned citrus this one hits the grapefruit gear full speed ahead there's no playing around these are aggressive overkill hop additions.

Flavor has that grapefruit pith surrounding the malt profile some sugary caramel moments but in reality if I step back breathe and take another sip it's pure hop insanity. A bit unbalanced in fact. A mountain of malt and hops comes rolling down, with pure hop bitterness expliciency. Raw herbaceous, grapefruit, and other rough but satisfying over top hop flavorings. A bit of booziness amongst the malt sweetness and hop additions especially at 11% abv, this is kind of like barleywine but hoppier it definitely blurs the lines between the two.

Mouthfeel is slick with hops oils, hot with booziness, and slightly stick with caramel/biscuit malts. Fuller bodied evenly carbonated this is a bruiser of a fuckin' beer.

Drinkability, God help us this is a huge portion size please handle with care, and consume responsibly versus solo as a lover of all thing with hops. Damn good brew, surprising to see an imperial series out there from Otter Creek.

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Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness info. Pours darker almond amber, with orangy highlights. Long lasting and frothy light tan head, that leaves respectable lacing. Moderate hop infusion on the nose. The first sip leaves no doubt that this is iver the top hoppy in a west coast inspired sort of way. This is the most kick ass O.C. offering that I can recall. A load of citrus, grapefruit fruit rinds, tangarines, lemon/lime, gin..the whole nine...full flavor, full hop crunch..nice DIPA..I will revisit this one..

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Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a bubbly white head. Nice retention and lacing.

The smell is citric - lemony/grapefruity, some orange.

The taste is of sugar-coated hops - very citric - grapefruit, lemon, orange, some mango. Nice hoppy citrus taste. It has a bitter bite, though residual sugar sweetness lingers.

It is full-bodied, but not thick. Alcohol is certainly evident, giving a slight burn.

Love the citrus aroma. Although I love it, it does have a harshness and notable alcohol that slow it down.

Overall, a very nice citrusy DIPA.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to stowehop for sending me this brew. The advertised 135IBUs certainly caught my attention. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - Superb looking DIPA here - on par with the best. Three fingers of dirty white foam that lasts forever and eventually (and I mean eventually) settles to a pillow-like cap and ring while leaving tons of intricate lace patterns. Transparent glowing copper-orange color with the slightest bit of haze. Absolutely gorgeous beer.

S - Lots of citrus here - tangerine, ripe grapefruit, orange - but also a touch of earthy pine and a hint of pineapple. Very hop forward, but still balanced by a good amount of caramel and doughy malts. Very, very, sweet and very well hidden ABV. I just wish it would explode a little more out of the glass.

T - Lovely balanced sweetness at the beginning - a combination of sweet dough, peach, tropical fruits, and a touch of pine. The bitterness doesn't kick in until the finish - it starts innocuous but lingers indefinitely and slowly grows. In some ways it encourages one to keep drinking! I dig the bitterness, but I wish the rest of the flavor had a little more depth (maybe some dankness or more citrus flavor).

M - Mouthfeel is very good, with a body on the light side of medium. Velvet softness with lower carbonation - reminds me a little of Alpine Bad Boy. Tons of residual oils and a nice dry finish. If it were a little more viscous it'd be perfect.

D - I was a little concerned about tackling a 22oz bottle of 11% DIPA, but I didn't want to leaves this beer for two weeks while I went out of town. Turns out there wasn't anything to worry about. Yes, the bitterness is palate destroying, but otherwise I just keep reaching for my glass - the alcohol is super well-hidden and the texture is terrific. I wish I had another bottle to share with my brother-in-law as he loves this sort of brew.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark orange color with a big 3" head that lingers around a while. Moderate lacing develops.

Smell: pine and grapefruit are easily detectable.

Taste: big caramel profile with loads of pine, grapefruit, and pear sweetness. Big bold bitterness balances this one out nicely. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, same with the finish plus some dryness. Long aftertaste as the bitterness rides the tongue a while.

Drinkability: this is a slow sipping big beer and the alcohol can sneak up on you here. Definitely worth giving this one a try.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jzeilinger
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a gold color in the glass, small amount of head, but sticks to the side and oozes down with some white lacing as you swirl the glass.

I'm not sure if this was an older bottle or what, I'm not picking up the citrus characteristics that others have detected, smells more of malty, bready, caramel in the nose, definitely smells of predominant malts. Get alot of malt sweetness up front followed by a bitter hoppiness that transitions into a somewhat boozy and slightly dry finish. This is a medium body beer with no carbonation to speak of. After awhile between sips, I'm picking up a dry, citrus, metallic taste on my tongue. This is smooth and drinkable, but at 11%, it'll kick your butt pretty fast. This one seems to me like it would be fantastic on tap. The bottle - well...good...

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Photo of jdhilt
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Craft Ale House...
Appears a ligh copper toned orange with a small white cap that slowly fades into a gentle film.
Smell is of biscuits, caramel, pine, grapefruit, and herbal grass, and gentle spicing.
Taste is of the aromas with some bitter earthiness coming through over the light caramel biscuits.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, bitter, with the bitters far outweighing the sweet malt. A bit more balance is desired but it's not a bad outing from our Vermont friends with the excellent water source.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11%abv with a theoretical 135 ibu.

A: The coloring was a medium orange with soft sunset reddish hues. A low turbidity rate shows some faint and lightly dense spacing of floaties that were barely visible unless you closely investigate. The head was dense and spongey, buff in color, and retained well with a shellacking of the glass of generous and ample amounts of foam and lace. The topping sticks around for the whole drink.

S: Piney and lemony flower hops appear on the open with a mixture of grassy oranges. Dried orange peels and grapefruit with some sweetly toasted grain rounds things out.

T: Bitter from the get-go, with a brutal display of dry pungent grapefruit and dried lemony citric hops parching the tongue. Flowery grapefruit and grass lay the groundwork for an assertive hop based ipa that is easily in the top tier by class when it comes to all out dryness and bitterness. There is some glimpses of toasted munich grains but feels weak, most likely intentionally to let the hops out. A finish finds floral citrus, bitter grapefruit and a bite of dry grassy hopcones that slowly fades on the tongue. The hops are truly amped up here a bit and as pungent as you can hope and ask for.

M: Nice crisp factor, always a plus per style, with some maltiness but again seems to falter and fall under the pressure of the hops. Noticeable warming of alcohol and grapefruit come about on the tongue.

D: The first few sips will certainly take you back a bit by surprise, it's been a while since I've had a imperial ipa that actually lived up to its standards. Dry hopped with an obscene amount of hops this should get respect even from the diehard hopheads who chew on hopcones for fun.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a mostly clear orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is mainly citrusy (grapefruit, tropical fruit) and pine hops, with a bit of caramel malt noticable too. The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, it's mostly citrusy and piney hops with some caramel and bready malt in there. The finish is very bitter, and the bitterness lingers a while after having a drink. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's oily and not heavy at all. It's also well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and not hard to drink. Overall I think this is a good brew, but there are many other DIPA's I'd prefer over this one. With that being said, I'd still recommend it to others to try.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased recently somewhere in the MA/NY area. Gold-foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the clear amber brew. Head lasts very well, with delicate yet plentiful lacing. Aroma is slightly soapy pine. Taste is sweet upfront, lightly citrus in the middle, and pine and alcohol in the close. Mouthfeel is alright, the bitterness gets me a bit, even for the style, and drinkability is okay as well. Falls more into the bitter for bitter's sake than artfully bitter to me, but that might be just me.

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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
3.84 out of 5 based on 137 ratings.
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