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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of guyforget
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with a creamy head that thins quickly. Thin head leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Aroma is floral with heavy scents of citrus and hops.

Large dose of grapefruit up front on the palate that turns malty before the huge dose of hops kicks in with a bitterness that lingers long.

Its crisp enough to not feel like an 11% ABV brew on your palate.

Overall, very drinkable but also pretty standard for a Double IPA.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 10/29/2009 (bottle):

Pours a golden amber color body, with a big foamy off-white head, lasting. Very hoppy dusty aroma, green smelling. Some citrus and hops. Hoppy malty taste, some nuttiness. Citrus and lots of bitterness. Too much. Better as it warms up.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.6/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Paired with college football.

Deep honey color with a fair white head. Good retention and lace. Aroma is an intense and fantastic mix of floral and citrus hops. There's even a few hops in there that I haven't heard of --apollo and bravo.

135 is crazy...and painful. Fairly one dimensional searing bitter trounces the palette. Is 135 IBUs even possible? What kind of hop utilization would that be, 99.9% for a 3 hour boil? Regardless, I feel one could be more diverse and in-depth with that much hops.

I never thought I'd see the day, but it's just too much blistering hops. I guess I'm getting old.

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

On-tap poured into 8oz glass.

A - Dark amber transparent color with light white head that dissipates very quickly leaving some lacing around edges of the glass.

S - Floral hops with some citrus scents.

T - Citrus upfront followed by malts and finishes hoppy bitter.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Good DIPA with lots of flavors. The only issue I might have with it is that it is very unbalanced and might be difficult to drink a lot of.

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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 donniecuffs
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured copper into an American pint glass, with two fingers of white head and great lacing. The smell was an impressive if not eclectic mix of hay, grass, overripe orange, and alcohol. The taste was a little less pleasant than the nose, with overripe pineapple/orange dominating at the start, dissolving to malt, and then finishing very dry. The best part of tasting this beer was the mouthfeel, which was thicker/creamier than expected, and left a very nice dry finish. This served to mitigate the obvious presence of alcohol. Not a session beer, but definitely worth sipping with the appropriate meal.

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Photo of ralree
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Really cloudy orange, yellowish white head/lacing. Laces better than almost every beer. A tuft of head is still on top after 5 minutes.

S: Super fruity, more citrusy than many IPAs, alcohol present, and just enough grain to balance out the fruit. Exactly what the smell should be.

T: Hits hard with barley and super-hoppy hops. The flavor stays! The bitterness of the hops is off the charts - it's brilliant! Alcohol is present, but you can barely taste it over the intense citrus hops and grain.

M: Extremely creamy and oily. Rather astringent. Heavy body. Thick. Chewier than any other IPA I've tried. A joy!

D: One of my favorite IPAs so far, this one is a joy to drink. It's ridiculously strong flavor doesn't keep me away from the glass' rim. This should be gone (along with my sobriety) in no time!

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

On tap at Against the Grain, NYC.

Pours with a loose patchy head that laces. Flowery, skunky nose. Candied orange malt that gives way to giant grapefruit hops that leaves endless waves of pith bitterness. Drying linger, round and sticky, not much burn.

A hop bomb, and drinkable for the ABV.

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Photo of Docer
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from Ranbot.. thx buddy!

- Dark clear solid copper with a fluffy white head... 2 fingers thick... slowly down to a thin pillowy layer.

- Huge floral notes... like frolicking through a summer meadow and tripping over a bed of rich and sweet caramel malts. A very bright citrus punch to the face from a gopher after that trip... but all is well as I sat down with that gopher, and smelled a mild alcohol, or rubbing alcohol.

- Smooth, sweet, and creamy caramel malts... slightly roasty and earthy... grains are abundant. Huge bitter hop blast... almost so much that iced tea flavors are present. Loving the bitter hopping... and unexpected from the very citrus-like and floral scent. Not bad... bit strong and thick caramel.... but overall nice.

- Pretty thick and heavy.. not the biscuity and bready type of imperial... dry bitterness... slightly chewy... overall just a tad too heavy.

- Not a bad imperial... its kind of a punch to the face... great bitter hops... strong caramel malt profile... but very absent from my favored west coast approach to IPA's.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- bubbly orangy yellow pour with a good sized fluffy off white head that sticks around and after the head goes it laces the glass and never goes away.

S - citrus and floral hop fwd and a bit Carmely

T - Lots of citrus up front. Orange rind. Lemon. A litle but of pine and biscuity goodness, but backed by a good amount of carmely sweet malts.

M - moderate to moderatly high carb and full body

D - easy drinking for the ABV for me. Could be the nice sweetness this one has. Yum!

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

Growler split courtesy of Viggo - a tip of the proverbial hat to you, fine sir.

Pours a nice tangerine orange, hint of burning orange. Nice build up of head on the pour which throws down a ton of lace on the glass - looks good.

Nose is full on malt as well as hops, caramel malts with a hint of toastiness - grassy, floral, lemon, pine hops as the balancer.

Initial feeling was that the malt was a little too prominent for a truly good DIPA (which should be all about the hops) but as the growler progresses we realized that the balance struck made for an incredibly drinkable 11% DIPA. Toasty caramel malts without the thick stickiness back a pine, citrus, tangerine, grassy hop profile with a satisfying bitterness starting in the middle and lasting well into the finish - not as citrusy or lively as many other DIPAs, leans perhaps a little more to English hop bite - satisfying none the less.

Ridiculously drinkable - be careful, it will kick your ass later. A growler of this stuff is DANGEROUS.

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Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler picked up at Consumers Beverage in Buffalo.

Pours a clear amber, some golden highlights, very thick white head forms, slowly drops to a thick layer and ring, tons of lace sticks to the glass, this looks pretty good.

Smell is nice, very malty, caramel, some biscuit, grapefruit, pine, alcohol, floral, a bit of grassy hops, apricots, pretty nice aroma but the hopping takes a back seat to the malts.

Taste is nice as well, malt forward at first, caramel and some nice toastiness, grapefruit and pineapple middle, floral, pine, a touch of alcohol, nice herbal bitter punch in the finish, this beer is big, but still nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. ABV is insanely well hidden, barely a hint of it. This one grew on me. I wasn't too impressed at first but by the end of my second pint I was digging it. Almost too drinkable, me and my main man ritzkiss had no problem plowing through this growler.

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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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Photo of jrallen34
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 22 oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.

This beer pours an intriguing orange that is almost peach in color with a light off white head that just a tinge of orange in it. The head is only about 1 finger high and fades quickly to nothing but a few bubbles on clinging to the rim. The lacing

The aroma is not as strong as I thought it would with the 135 ibu's. It is nice and balanced equally with the citrus notes of a grapefruit and hops and some alcohol.

The taste is off from the aroma as it is much more bitter all around and you can tell where the ibu's have been hiding. The taste is too unbalanced with out enough sweetness to balance your taste or present a nice start with a strong finish. There is also a very strong alcohol taste which is unpleasant and piney.

The mouthfeel is nice and just sticks to you for several seconds, providing a very lasting bitter aftertaste.

This beer is drinkable and you can hardly taste the 11% but because of the bitterness it might stop you short of enjoying the whole bottle yourself.

Overall this is an imperial ipa that is too bitter with too much alcohol. I would maybe share a glass with someone in the future, but I would not purchase it again.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Pours a golden orange color with about two fingers of creamy foam. Head retains pretty well and leaves behind some nice lacing. Streams of bubbles rise slowly to the top.

Hoppy nose is mostly citric. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Malty base smells both caramel sweet and biscuity.

Flavor alternates between sweet and bitter. I'm not really getting any kind of biscuity malt flavor like I was smelling, but the sweet caramel is certainly there. The citric component is more bitter like the peel than somewhat sweet like the fruit. Nice balance, with a bit of alcohol heat in the finish.

Medium-full body, with appropriate carbonation. Pretty creamy texture, definitely a smooth sipper. Somewhat dry, bitter finish. Very tasty DIPA, I'd consider it one of the elite if not for the boozy heat. Good stuff.

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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 WeedKing4
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber/orange with the slightest of haze. The taste is very damn smooth, with a hint of grapefruit and is hoppy almost like a barley wine. Very easy to drink and the abv % is well hidden. So this is seriously 11%? Can't taste it at all. Very decent beverage overall.

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