Mid- 2011 I had the pleasure of being handed one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I’ve had to date at Iron Monkey in Jersey City, NJ. It was my first time there and so many things had gone wrong that night, that only a few things could have turned my night around and thankfully so, Firestone Walker Parabola entered my life. Since then I’ve been looking for something similar to fill that dark russian stout void in my loins because its damn hard to find Parabola here in Jersey and when you do find it, its not easy on the wallet.
Fast forward to Super Bowl Sunday 2012 Giants v. Pats a game that will go down in Pats history. I’m not here to talk about how great the Giants are though or how they stunned New England AGAIN or even how the game was on Cruz control or even how they were counted out half way through the season or even … :) Jason surprised us at our Super Bowl party with a bottle of Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout but with everything else we had that night I didn’t get to try it. So here I am two days after the game drinking and telling.
Pouring the beer into a snifter I noticed that the head disappated fairly quickly and I couldn’t get a good photo of this beer, hence the bottle shot. Smelling the beer you get a nice malty smoked chocolate something smell but honestly it was so faint I had to practically dip my nose in the beer. First sip has this coffee chocolate thing going on with a nice carbonated texture that really gets you going. The after taste gives you this flavor bomb of roasted coffee and the alcohol shines through here with a dry finish, which is unlike russian stouts but more akin to oatmeal stouts. This is a sipper that can mistakenly turn into a session beer (that’s beer talk for you can pound them back like a drunken pirate) since its not as thick and rich like other stouts.
Ok so the verdict, I’m still in the hunt for a competitor for Firestone Walker Parabola. Was this a good beer? Yes. Would I buy this? Yes for the right price. Should you run out to find it, NO! This is a good Russian Imperial stout but not a great one. It had a nice flavor profile but lacked that rich thick body feeling a tad thin and left my tongue dry and parched. This beer had a shot at being great but didn’t quite make it to the Parade of Champions like the Giants and ended up like the Pats a great team with potential that didn’t come through in the clutch.