Otter Creek Imperial India Pale Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

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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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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 137
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 Lunch
4.9/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. brown bottle caped with gold foil purchased at The State Line Liquor Store in Elkton, MD (11/04/09). Served in my Otter Creek Imperial Series Goblet at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a hazy, glowing, golden, orange/amber hue capped with 2 fingers of an off-white creamy head which stuck around forever and left thick, sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: Oh my, this beer smells quite serious. Grapefruit, pine, citrus, flowers, apricot, tropical fruit, peach, and a brown sugar like sweet malt. A slight tinge of alcohol pleasantly rounds out the bouquet.

T: Oh dear, this tastes quite serious as well. Up front the palate is met with a bitter hop (135ibus) that is quickly followed with an intense combination of a beautifully rich malt and some tasty tropical and piney hops. Flavors such as grapefruit, pine, apricot, flowers, citrus, tropical fruit, brown sugar, tangerine, candied fruits, and mango round out this exceptionally complex DIPA. The finish is quite intensely yet pleasingly bitter with a nice smooth and creamy alcohol flavor to intensify an already extreme flavor. Amazing.

M: Intensely rich, creamy, viscous, and somehow smooth with a creamy carbonation. Like nothing else I have ever had.

D: Very drinkable as the flavors work so well together to create such a complex beverage that the palate seems to pick up new pleasing new flavors with each sip. Unfortunately the 11% abv. demands respect, but each sip left me wanting more.

Overall I find this beer to be the best east coast DIPA I have ever had. Otter Creek is on a roll with their Imperial Series and I cannot wait to have this beer again and again. My highest recommendation.

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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 BuffaloTapHugger
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Light burgundy in color with an off white head and noticeable lacing found on the pint glass.

S: Pine resin, slight flowery smell in the back.

T: Lots of bitterness of the get go. The abv jumps out at you as well. The bitter hops take over the show and has a good malty backbone too.

M: Medium bodied, very sticky, even some chewiness to boot. Carbonation is good and like I stated about, the abv is a kicker.

D: Its good for a sipper and could give one hell of a headache doing otherwise. Kinda like an English style Imperial IPA. Probably won't try again but that shouldn't stop you from giving this one a try.

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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 lonestar4lunch
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured with a frothy top that never really setteled. The aroma isn't too heavy, just a bit of citrus. The taste is direct for the style. When the first drops touch your tongue it screams of hop bitterness but there is a soothing relief that follows. An almost cream soda smoothness follows the crisp bite of the hops. Drinkability is beyond normal for a DIPA. This is one of the best.

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Photo of glid02
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from 1 West on P St. in Washington DC.

Pours a hazy copper color with a cascading two-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts, citrus hops, and floral notes. As the beer warms hints of alcohol become apparent but they're never too strong.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors up front are backed by citrus and slighly piney hop flavors. Midway through the sip a slight hint of vanilla comes out before subsiding into a strongly bitter ending that grows in intensity with each successive sip.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bomber and could have another, for better or for worse.

Overall this is one of the more bitter DIPA's I've had in recent memory. I would prefer more hops but as it is it's pretty good. Worth a shot.

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

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip.Body is clear golden-orangey-amber with a 2-finger cream-colored head. Lots of slow-rising fine bubbles. Good rings of lace.

S: Yummy -- brown sugar-coated overripe grapefruit, some tropical fruit. As it warms, I get a waft of alcohol that wasn't there when first poured.

T: First impression is of the pine needles and spicy bite that hit you at the finish. There's brown sugar up front, followed by hydration-sucking bitternesss. Think lemony/citrusy hops. Then it finishes with pine resin and needles that coat the mouth and linger a looong time. I think I finished this beer an hour ago and I still feel that sticky, water-sucking palate-destroying bitterness on the roof of my mouth. Seriously. Alcohol heat is felt in belly (no surprise at 11% ABV), but I really don't get much alcohol on the taste, except for some spice at the finish.

M: Medium-to-heavy in heft, fairly smooth and creamy bordering on slick at times.

D: Good. Would be higher if this were more balanced in the malt/hops dichotomy. But for this strength, it's imminently drinkable. And if you like over-the-top hops, this one will not disappoint. . . .

Notes: Haven't been impressed with Otter Creek stuff in the past, but this one was real solid. Probably the best "new" DIPA I've had in awhile.

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Photo of ATPete
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

Pours a surprisingly clear orange/brown color with a small but strong off white head, lots of sticking. Super dank nose, sweet sweet malts to balance. Pine resin, chlorophyll, insane bitterness you can taste that 135 IBU, a tongue puncher. The finish reminds you that the 11% is there but extremely well hidden. Bright, decently balanced and easy to drink for its size but the bitterness is way out of control, hindering its drinkability for me personally. This is 'extreme brewing' alright, but its sure not for everyone.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very handsome beer, with an orange-amber color and a substantial, dense head on top. The nose is very grapefruit-citrus hoppy, with a touch of sweet malt underneath. Nothing very complex in the taste, just a lingeringly delicious hoppiness and some light, sweet malt. Bitterness is very high and the finish quite dry.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up this 22oz Otter Creek Imperial India Pale ale. I will start off saying I have high hopes for this one, as the Otter Creek Imperial Stout was fantastic (review coming, got to get another one). This gold-foiled, capped bomber was been in my 50 degree fridge and I let it stand for 15 minutes before pouring.

No bottled date, label puts this one at 11% ABV and 135 IBUs. Hopped with Bravo, Apollo, Amarillo, and Simcoe.

A- Poured into wide snifter. An aggressive pour leaves a snow-white cap of foam nestled on a burnt yet pale orangey yellow. Hmm, very nice coloration. The head is creamy-looking and very uniform. Minimal lacing, though.

S- Hops (duh). Not a hop blast, though. More floral and sweet than piny or bitter. Very nice hop bouquet.

T- Whatever restraint there was in the nose, they more than make up for it in the taste. Holy crap. Pure pine, bitter grapefruit, tart, mildly sweet. Still, delicious. Intense... this is almost taunting DIPA lovers, pushing the boundaries. As the alcohol sweeps over the tongue and numbs it a bit, the flavors merge a bit more and a pronounced creaminess comes out. I've never had a DIPA with creaminess like this, but I like it.

M- Bitter, dry, and a bit creamy on the lips. Incredible balance considering how out-of-balance the hops are trying to make this beer. Malts are not really noticeable in flavor but have done a remarkable job on stabilizing this beer. Wow.

D- Moderate to low. Tasty, but no joke... this beer is intense. 11% DIPA? This beer ain't hiding that. Still, I love it. I'd buy one of these for a special occasion, but even I, a hop head and extreme beer nut, found this one to be a heavy hitter. Look out.

Overall? More extreme than I expected, very tasty, very powerful.

Keep it up, Otter Creek.

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

22 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a wide-mouthed snifter. Sticker on bottle reads: 247697. Batch number?

A - Pours a copper body with a cloudy, dense, cream-colored head.

S - Grapefruit, pine resin, bitter orange, lemon, freshly-mowed grass, and a slight touch of sweet tropical fruit. The pine and bitter citrus aromas stand out the most to me. definitely The pine resins linger for a bit in the top of my nostrils. I do pick up a touch of mediciney esters, though.

T - Nice mingling of bitter citrus and green (pine/grass) flavors. The attack has a lot of pine resiny flavor (mostly residual from the lingering pine notes on the nose), while the finish is fruity and citrusy. Can't overlook the big malt presence here, either. There's no room for the more subtle floral qualities of hops - the resins come to the fore! The finish is a bit sweet, with a subtle sweet orange, papaya, and pineapple flavor.

M - It feels heavy. This is no light, easy-drinking, low-alcohol IPA. The carbonation is well-done - just enough to lift some of the heavier flavors off of the palate.

D - This IPA is not for the weak. I am hard-pressed to imagine an IPA that has more alcohol and a more aggressive hop and malt character. I'll be able to finish the whole beer, but it won't be easy. I'll have to power on through, whereas with a great beer I'd be wishing for more when I'm finished with the bottle. Fans of big IPAs, give this one a try.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a golden amber color, just very slightly cloudy. Two finger white & foamy head. Very good retention, with the head reducing very slowly and leaving a nice half-finger layer. Lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Good amount of hops, but also a noticeable about of malt. Grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops; strong, but not overwhelming. A caramel and nutty malt background; more than I have found in similar beers of this style.

Taste: Starts with a strong hop bite, a little bitter. The hop taste is very overwhelming. Very piney with only some citrus. A slight “soapy” taste to the hops as well. Malts are only present slightly in the background. The hops linger and linger, still being a bit bitter. Not very well balanced. Alcohol is hidden by the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with a big hop bite. Lingering flavor. Filling.

Drinkability: A very strong IPA, both in alcohol and hop flavor. Not as balanced as I would like, as the hops’ bitterness totally overwhelms the flavors and feel of the beer. Good, but could be better.

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Photo of UA8
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark amber color with a one finger light tan head that fades into puddles of foam.

S- big malt notes lead on this one backed with grapefruit and tropical hop notes.

T- flavors are the reverse on this one leads with citrus and tropical hops big malts try valiantly to balance this one out but it the end its big and bitter herbal hops.

M- medium high vicosity with a nice and balanced carbonation.

D- this is a nice run at a dipa it could use some tweaking to balance and round things out a bit. Worth a shot at if you see it around though.

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Photo of atsprings
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter a slightly murky dark orange with a very nice frothy eggshell head that lasts and leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is pine hops over burnt caramel with slight boozy alcohol. Taste is a nice balance of pine hops and caramel malts with a nice bitter pine finish. The beer is certainly on the heavy side, but the alcohol is very well hidden. This is a very respectable DIPA, especially for how strong it is.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 8/4/09

A - Appealing copper/orange color. Generally transparent, but dark enough to make it difficult to see through entirely. Poured a fluffy two finger head that offers good retention. Patchy lace made up of primarily large bubbles.

S - All things considered I found the nose to be fairly restrained. Citrus & piney hops make up what is there. Ever-so-faint hint of toasty bread.

T - The first taste betrays the subtlety of the nose - a wave of piney hop bite bears down immediately. Citrus & grapefruit are also along for the ride. Toasted bread is relegated to being a bystander caught in the rush.

M - Reasonably crisp carbonation. Some enjoyable resin grit. Lingering bitterness. A spot of boozy slickness, but nothing like I would expect for 11% abv.

D - This is an intense beer for certain, but the alcohol is deceptive & well-hidden. Such a thing could prove dangerous. I would like to drink this one again.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Imperial IPA pours very viscous, slightly syrupy almost. Its a nice light golden/bright yellow color. The head is very thick which is surprising considering the high alcohol content.

Aroma is very malty up front but then sign of sweet fruit (orange and pineapple mainly) come to life. Their is an almost astringent quality to the smell of this beer, its like the high ABV and the ludicrous IBUs are getting in your nose and do some damage.

Taste is an initial shock to the senses. The extreme hop profile (135 IBUs if you forgot) is instantly tongue numbing. The alcohol is instantly warming and I am instantly content. Lots of sweet malt and tropical fruit flavors do their very best to combat the absolute bombardment of hops, its a decent attempt but the hops still take over. Very strong, very bitter.

This could easily be one of the hoppiest beers I've ever had. The aroma is sort of deceiving as the real hop character is almost all in the flavor.

Great job on this one Otter Creek and also for making it affordable to the masses. A bottle costs around $6.

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Photo of mirish72
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Julio's for $4.99 after tasting it at the ACBF earlier this summer.

Pours a dark amber with a strong hop smell. Little head and lacing. Very clean taste, very bitter, which surprised me for some reason. The beer got better with every sip. Strong taste, could still taste the alcohol in this one.

Overall, a pretty good offering from Otter Creek, I will definiately try other imperials that they decide to brew.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Otter Creek beer. Here is my review:

A: Pours an amber gold with an excellent, creamy head. Lacing is very prominant.

S/T: Smells hoppy, grassy, caramelly and there is also alcohol in there. Taste is more subdued that I expected from an 11%ABV beer. Hops are very herbal and grassy. Some pine in there. Not very much citrus. A touch of pineapple, but thats it. Somewhat bready and sweet. A little caramel. Alcohol is there, but not as prominant as one would expect. Very bitter. Overall, the beer just seemed a little lacking in taste. Needed more of a hop punch. But still a solid IPA.

M/D: Medium bodied and a little creamy. Carbonation is good. Alcohol is there, which is a deterrant from the drinkability. Drinking a bomber is plausable, but it is somewhat of a chore. Somewhat harsh with lots of bitterness.

A good IPA, but not nearly as good as others I have had of this calibur. Taste needed a little more refinement. Alcohol is punchy, making this beer a one and done. Not bad, but not great either. Worth checking out.

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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 jfmorey
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a pale amber with a head that disappeared soon with no lacing.

Taste is good and well balanced, but not complex. Little could compete with the bitter aftertaste (even the alcohol, which is a good thing). Not my favorite DIPA.

Very drinkable for the high alcohol.

Note: Consumed during and after a meal of spaghetti with spicy meatballs that I cooked for my family. For me any IPA is better with food than alone. The review was written during the final half glass with no food which lowered the my opinions.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde for me, showing two entirely different characters. I opened it, poured it into a tulip, and took a few sips, and thought it one of the blander DIPAs I've ever had. But I was making dinner as I sipped it, and once I had some food alongside it, it really shone. I don't know if it was the saltiness of my food, just contrast, or perhaps I just had some funkiness in my mouth that was canceling the flavor before-hand. Appearance was an amber gold, and head was plentiful at first, but faded into a nice scummy residue that left good lacing (sticky). The body of the beer was pretty thick. Aroma was pretty mild throughout, and offered some stinky-cheese character (like Romano cheese). Flavor was pretty malty and boring initially, but some really nice and striking hoppiness came out with my food.

Not sure if there's something wrong with this beer, or with me. Once it got going, I thought it was pretty good.

I bought this bottle at Blacklick Liquor.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A careful pour from a bomber bottle yielded a thin white head, which quickly dissipated, leaving little bits of lacing behind. The body was a hazy bronze color, and it exhibited some little puffs of (yeast?) suspended in the liquid.

S- The nose on this brew is reminiscent of orange marmalade. It also exhibits some sweet vinous notes, and some citrus hop aroma. Further examination reveals a touch of honey playing-around in the background...

T- Wow! Big hop bitterness up front, reminiscent of citrus rind... definitely high-alpha hops, and a lot of them. This is backed up by a big caramel malt flavor, and finishes with a nice long, bitter hop finish... the finish seems to go on forever! This is exactly how I would have expected Pale Ale to taste if I was a member of the 18th century British Military in India!!

M- Big body. Creamy and oily at the same time... lots of unattenuated sugar here, and a nice soft carbonation. The hop resin makes the palate tingle (with excitement)!

D- This beer is BIG... so big that I couldn't finish a bottle on my own... but then again, I'm not really a hophead. Because I can envision hopheads quaffing this in quantity, I'll give it an average drinkability rating.

Note: Mike Gerhart is a mad-scientist genius!

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Photo of meatyard
2.79/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a clear, medium, amber/orange with a large, whitish head that falls to a cover leaving quite a bit of splotchy lacing.
The smell is milder than expected after reading a few reviews. What I do get is fruity-pineapple and other citrus but I get more sweet malts.
The taste is uneventful at first but then gives a bitter punch followed by sweet malt.
Mouthfeel is light leaning towards medium finishing dry and bitter.
Drinkability-If you get one of these, at this point in time from when it appears to have been bottled, don't ecpect a lot more than a lot of alcohol.

A disappointment and a really good reason for brewers to make a major effort to include a bottled on date for IPAs, IIPA and all other time sensitive beer. I doubt this was mishandled but the 1st review of this beer was at the beginning of May so don't buy this vintage unless you like bitter malt bombs.

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

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours dark copper with a three inch dense head of white. A slow settling revealed a solid skim coat with plenty of lacing throughout.

Candied malt drizzeled with hop resin leads off the nose. Heavy on the pine with some grapefruit to back it up. Aromatics don't "leap" out of the glass but are certainly pungent enough once you get into it.

Medium bodied with a sticky, chewy mouthfeel.

Resinous hops and a substantial malt base start the palate. Pine sap, grapefruit zest, and a hint of grape hard candies follow through.

Finishes with a solid, sustaining bitterness, lingering hop resins, and a wave of caramel-laden malt.

Nice one. It's about time Otter Creek stepped up and did some bigger beers.

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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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