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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale AleOtter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale
Very Good
137 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of beerthulhu
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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 TheHoppiest
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter.

Pours a hazy amber with a mild amount of sediment floating. Moderate ivory head quickly dissapates.

Has a sharp pine scent mildly tempered by malt. Some alcohol notes as well.

Strongly bitter, this one bites hard in the beginning. Quite astringent, its almost sour, like the pith of a lemon. Interestingly, it does not have a lingering bitterness that dries out the tongue.

Mouthfeel is sharp, and not too thick.

While I like a good hoppy beer, this one is almost too much for me. When I'm done with this bottle, I'll be done with this beer.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into duvel tulip golden orange with a thick froathy white head. Great retention and lacing all the way down. The scent has floral hop scents and a strong amount of sugars mixed in. The taste is very sweet up front that quickly becomes bitter from a strong hop bite. Done very nicely. The mouthfeel has a nice tingle on the tongue and no noticable alcohol burn especially for this high abv. That makes this a very drinkable IIPA for the price.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A light amber color with a decent off-white head and very nice lacing. The aroma has full floral pine hop and some brown sugar malt. Quite nice. The flavor offers maple malt and more pine hops in a medium-plus bodied brew with modest carbonation. It's sort of butterscotchy with a slightly viscous feel. Pineapple and juniper with herbal nuances with some alcohol noted but not at all dominating. A pretty drinkable "big" beer, I'd say. Overall it's definitely a satisfying, quality brew. Nicely done and worth a try for sure.

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Photo of chaz410
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful contrast of amber and orange body with a full finger and a half length white head.
Smells of thick caramel, toasted malts, biscuit malt and a little wheat... all laced over by lemony and earthy pine notes from the apollo and bravo hops.
Taste like the smell but more intense on the hop notes. There's also the hint of cat urine (not as a bad thing, just the closest thing to Symcoe you can find) and some grapefruit on the finish.
A smooth and malty finish, I almost wish they didn't use the same amount of the malt variety, it's a great blend but I think if they reduced the specialty malts just a little, it would make the wonderful hops ring out more.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe it's just the over-abundance of DIPA's on the market, and I know this is an "imperial IPA", but this fell a little short in the style. I just couldn't get past the 11%, it was all over the taste and finish and barely covered up by a tinge of maltiness. Good beer, don't get me wrong, but not to my personal balance, but what am i to say.

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Photo of pwsoldier
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a gorgeous cloudy amber with an impressive off-white head that shows great retention. Lacing is plentiful.

S - Citrus dominates, with some pine and a touch of alcohol lingering in the background. Maybe some pineapple as well. Sweet malt aromas are noticeable, but don't get in the way of the hop bouquet.

T - Bitter grapefruit up front leads into a semi-balanced finish as the malt backbone tries to make itself known, along with a hint of spicy wood. The hop bitterness is harsh without being overpowering. The hops leave a bitter citrus aftertaste.

M - Medium-bodied with plenty of carbonation. The alcohol has a bit of a warming effect.

D - A treat for hopheads and an enjoyable beer overall, but a bit too off-balance to drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to shaebs99 for this.

4.5 A: Semi-hazy dark orange/light amber color. Two fingers of thick creamy beige head with good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: Not the hoppiest of DIPAs, but this one smells great. Big orange citrus and herbal hoppiness. Malts are an equally pleasant and strong portion of the nose. Lots of caramel malts that mixes elegantly with the hops. Slight tinge of alcohol.

4.5 T: The first thing I noticed was a harsh everlasting bitterness in the aftertaste. I was truly surprised considering how many DIPAs I've been drinking lately. But, part way into the first glass, my tongue got used to it and it wasn't so bad. Weird, I assert, but I digress. Like the nose, this isn't the hoppiest of DIPAs. Also like the nose, the taste is wonderful, with malt and hop playing equivalent roles. Lots of orange hops with some grapefruit and pine in the background. Malts are again full of caramel malt taste, but otherwise very clean. Not super complex, but super tasty.

4.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation, very creamy, and very smooth (after the initial super bitter aftertaste thing).

5.0 D: This only gets better as you drink it. Great taste, great mouthfeel, no problems at all. Quite a brew, I do declare.

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Photo of Naugros
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour of this beer is amazing. A rich, foamy head that settles down to a finger's width layer of dense suds. The first sip will dissipate most of this head and the bands of lace continue all the way down. The color is that of honey; it's a bit cloudier than I expected an IPA to be.

On the nose the hops attack immediately and joyfully! Grapefruit with a tinge of orange predominates (a collaboration of the Simcoe, Amarillo and Apollo hops). You can get some of the yeast, but very little of the 5 types of malt come through...perhaps a whiff of wheat used, but maybe that's just the grassiness of the Bravo hops that I'm getting.

The taste brings through what you smelled: grapefruit, orange and grass. The malts seem to be outfought by the hops, but their sweetness does come through on the tip of the tongue momentarily. The level of alcohol in this brew is very well masked, making this a bit dangerous.

This goes straight to the back of your throat...not my favorite place to experience the bulk of the flavor. The wash leaves an astringent feel as the acidity and hence bitterness of the hops assert themselves and this lingers as an strong aftertaste.

Imperial = strong, and that holds true here. At 11% abv, finishing the 22oz by myself would have rendered me incapable of typing many of the words in this review. I don't consider this beer "refreshing" due to the aftertaste or it's alcoholic content.

A good example of the Imperial style but many single and double IPAs are far preferable, if not less alcoholic. One glass was enough for me; time to move on to another beer.

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Photo of Overlord
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow. An inch or so of off-white foam head. Sudsy, long lasting.

Smells like ... floral notes and a heaping dose of acrid pine. Whoa. Hoppy.

Taste is one-note, searing, and sledge-hammer esque. But maybe not in a particularly good way. No malt. Zero. Just blasting, scorched/acrid pine with maybe a hint of grapefruit rind. Hmm. Well, I do love me some hops, but this is palate wearying in its singlemindedness.

Not particularly drinkable, but pretty good. Nice juicy mouthfeel.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A foil wrapped 22 ounce bomber bottle picked up at Abe's in Bethlehem for $5 and change. Uncapped and poured into my nonic piny glass. The ale appears a hazy, particle filled honey amber color with about an inch of fluffy, sticky off white foam. Nose and flavors consist of resinous pine, caramel malt, very bitter, a bit of lemon pith, white grapefruit, alcohol. Medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Aftertaste is quite bitter and the alcohol heat is not as overpowering as I thought it would be for a relatively fresh 11% DIPA. Not bad for the price.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with a monumental head. Big hoppy aromas quickly waft out. Nose is also substantially sweet from malt, with heaps of tropical fruit. Very intensely bitter - maybe even a bit too much. Big balancing sweetness and some grassy hops. Very syrupy mouthfeel weighs this down as well. Lots of flavour but a bit over the top.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange with a huge. Dense tight head. Aroma is carmelly and hoppy with citrus and a whiff of pine. The flavor is citrusy with smooth caramel and a surprisingly smooth mild citrusy bitterness. The mouthfeel is quite creamy, rather milky in fact. Little evidence of the intense alcohol. Delicious and well balanced.

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Photo of cdpike
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into stemmed tulip glass.

With tons of lasting foam clinging to all sides of the glass, it pours a slightly hazy bright burnt orange. The aroma is very bright with lots of resiny hops and some earthiness in the background. For the big blast of hops in the nose, this full-bodied beer has a little more to it than that. There's lots of chewy caramel and a touch of toffee wrapped in resiny hop goodness. This is balanced fairly well, especially since expecting nothing but a hop explosion. Overall, it's enjoyable, but quite heavy-handed--on the the edge of clumsy. Tasty, but I would definitely split a bomber.

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Photo of DawnL
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was a deep golden color with a head that had great retention. Very nice to look at.

Hops on top of hops - piney, citrusy, fruity - really nicely layered - delicious stuff.

The palate was surprising. I was absolutely thinking 120 minute territory, but the malt was clean and really balanced the hops creating a very round beer. It was a pleasure to drink.

Highly drinkable - one of those dangerous brews where you forget the alcohol content due to the great balance of alcohol, malt and hops. The hops are still in your face, but there's less of a bitter bite on the backend. That's where those malts come out of nowhere and encourage you to drink more.

This is a great beer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - slightly hazed bright caramel amber. Four fingers of sticky lace leave a thick net of webbing around the glass.

Aroma - caramel up front, plenty of spicy, piny hop aroma to go around. Smells intense with grapefruit rind setting up after a minute or two.

Taste - some early caramel/biscuit sweetness. An early presence of some fruity, mango/grapefruit flavor, but overrun at mid-palate by some very spicy, prickly, and somewhat medicinal hoppage. A pleasant abv warmth hits on the aftertaste that smooths things out a bit, but doesn't quite displace the harshness of the cones. A legit IIPA, but made for the uber-bitter fans.

Mouthfeel - crispy enough for the style, certainly smooth. The body is in range but could stand an even bigger footprint. The palate feels rather ravaged after a third of the bomber, like little hop knives have diced up my roof of my mouth.

Drinkability - wouldn't mind trying one after a few years to mellow the sharpness out, but not one I'd seek out fresh.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

During a recent trip to Vermont, I took the opportunity to purchase a bomber of this fine brew, an entry in Otter Creeks' new series of "Imperial" beers. The initial pour (into a tulip glass) results in a glass of froth that is slow to settle; after five minutes, one beholds in their hand, a glass containing an opaque amber colored liquid that is populated by a swirling school of carbonation bubbles. The lacing is heavy and consistent.

The nose detects sweet lemon drop notes while the palate is overwhelmed by a thick doughy blanket of hops that leaves an intense alcoholic aftertaste. Add to this, some assertive maltiness in the back. At 135 IBUs, this is your typical hopbomb that is brewed for a slow savoring.

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Photo of largadeer
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
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 cpetrone84
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a golden copper color with a light haze and some bubbles. the head is white, bubbly but slightly creamy looking. it has some retention, about half a minute and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S-the smell is very faint and brings some pale malts, notes of alcohol, and some pine with citrus

T-the taste follows the nose...weak! lots of pale malts, some citrus and pine, showings of alcohol towards the end, and slightly bitter hops at the finish.

M-medium to light body, highly carbonated, crisp towards the finish, and slightly astringent.

D-quite pedestrian, tastes more like a solid pale ale than an imperial ipa. if you see it on the shelf, i personally would recommend not buying it.

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Photo of david18
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow, I can't believe i've already reviewed this beer twice and am equally surprised that I've had it in three "formats".

It was an ok beer. The only double ipa on draft at the bar at the time. Good color and ok smell. Flavor was a little strong tasting with decent balance but not great.

In general I think all versions are all good but there are many double ipas i like better.

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Photo of ericj551
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Otter Creak IIPA pours a hazy copper with a thick, creamy head that doesn't quit. The aroma is the standard overpowering citrusy, piney and earthy hops. Grapefruit and tangerine really jump out at me. The bitterness strikes upfront with a big punch, but some nice toasty sweetness pokes through. Enormous citrusy and herbal hops accent the bitterness, with a lingering resiny flavor that sticks in my mouth for quite a while. The flavor hides the alcohol completely until it warms a bit, making it go down fairly easy for the style. I don't know why I wasn't expecting much out of this beer, it is a great Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Has an amber color and a large head with great lacing.
Smells of sweet malts and hops.
Tastes really bitter, not much malt flavor... in fact almost none. Straight bitterness adds the the effect that I am drinking a bitter wax almost. Not too horrible, as an Imperial IPA it has the qualities one looks for, but the consistency and taste just don't cut it.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otter Creek- Imp. IPA

A- Golden orange/ brown with a thick frothy white head. Chunky ringed lacing and good head retention.
S- Thick sweet caramel malt with big doses of grapefruit and pine.
T- Thick sugary sweet caramel and biscuit malt with a good dose of semi-sweet grapefruit and pineapple. Nice oily resiny pine presence.
M- Thick and oily. Sticky resiny bitterness throughout with a good sugary citrus touch.

Overall- A big thick DIPA that that tastes good and will sneak up on you!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber body, topped by three fingers of dentable off-white big-bubbly Froth. Very good lacing.

Huge bready/yeasty aroma, smells like an Imperial English Pale Ale.

Thick semi-sweet malt coats the tongue. Big hop bitterness arises, but not abrasive. Familar earthiness of simcoe and amarillo hops (the label says fruity and citrusy, characteristics I find more in the "C" family hops). Big flavors all around. There is some fruit, but it's not dominate here as it is im many IIPAs.

Good sturdy mouthfeel. Good drinkability, even with all the "bigness".

Not an IIPA I envision returning to on a regular basis, but definitely worth trying. Otter Creek has come a long away with beers like this and their "World Tour" series, from a brewery that I once thought had too many beers that were too similar to one another.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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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Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 137 ratings
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