Otter Creek – Russian Imperial Stout

Otter Creek Imperial Series, Russian Imperial Stout

Otter Creek Brewing, Middlebury, VT

russian imperial stout 300x225

Malts: 2-row, Munich, Extra Special Caramel Malt, Chocolate Malt, Dehusked Roasted Barley

Hops: Magnum, Willamette

And Soft Brown Sugar

10.6 APV

This bottle is a full Pint+ six ounces.

Info: “The style was first brewed in England for the Russian Czar and it is the king of stouts. Plenty of big malt flavors- chocolate and roasted- and high alcohol with lower carbonation and mild hops.¬†We brewed this beer with double the malts and four times the hops of regular stouts!”

From the instant the foiled cap is cracked, you can catch a rich whiff of the amazing aroma emanating from the bottle: chocolaty, malty, and a background nose of fine coffee. The pour is absolutely stunning: the darkest conceivable brown that nicks black completely, but with a nice, soft tan head that hangs on like a good stout should. It’s darkness instantly brings to mind the Lion Stout I tried a while back and if the smell is any indication, I ought to like it just as well.

Being a proclaimed dark beer fan, this is yet another of those fine brews that immediately piques my interest without trying to be something it isn’t; it’s a stout and it screams it aloud. A swirl, a sniff, and a sip and my mouth is inundated with creamy, cloying chocolate flavor that is absolutely amazing. I’ve had stouts -a lot of stout- and often they skimp or try to bury the ‘mocha’ notes behind something else, like fruit, but this sample is stunning in its ferocity. This is not a wimpy beer nor a brew for fans of lighter Lagers, that’s for sure. Another sip and the hops become slightly more apparent behind the malts. They are there -all four-times of them-, but the typical bitterness of a hoppy beer is easily taken down a notch by the delicious chocolate. This is a macho stout for easy sipping and enjoying over time. It would go fantastically with cake, especially of the chocolate variety. However, if it’s a meal you’d like to pair it with, try a bloody meat like a rare Porterhouse or a Fillet au Poivre. Amazing, amazing beer. I’m off to finish this rascal. See ya later…

Rating: * * * * *
A Stout through and through with no aspirations to be anything but. Amazing.