Wolaver's Brown Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Wolaver's Brown AleWolaver's Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

369 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 369
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 4
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 04-01-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 369 | Reviews: 224
Reviews by alysmith4:
Photo of alysmith4
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this beer on tap at the DC Green Festival. It was a featured beer because of its organic status. It was good, but not great. The taste and smell was probably altered though, as it was served in a recycled paper cup! It had a mild flavor, and a well balanced mix of spices. Carbonation was appropriate as well. Would order again, but in a pint glass next time!

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Well, it looks the part. The body is brown (albeit a bit on the light side) and the head is very pretty. It filmed the glass as it went down and left some cool-looking pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – This is a big, malty aroma laden with sweets. I can pick up caramel and brown sugar along with some dark fruits (prunes, mostly) and a small hop balance.

Taste – Not bad, but the big malt at the nose wimped out at the taste. The kind of bitter hopping picked things up.

Mouthfeel – A solid medium in the body with a bit more dryness than I prefer in my Brown Ales.

Drinkability – Like I said, not bad, but sub-par for the style.

Photo of MadScientist
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep amber with a slight haze. The light tan head is made of thick rocky bubbles with excellent retention.

S: A light malt aroma and moderately-light earthy hops. There are some slight caramel malt notes and vanilla. No diacetyl. Light esters of dried fruit and plums.

T: A balance of caramel and malt sweetness against a hop bitterness. The medium malt sweetness and medium bitterness give a balance that is about even. There is a light, citus hops flavor. Notes of vanilla, coffee and light dried fruit. The finish is off-dry with a light bitter aftertaste. Slight diacetyl.

M: A smooth creamy, medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. No astringency and a light slickness on the palate.

O: An enjoyable American Brown that balances the malt and hops bill well making for a great beer to pair with robust autumn dish that include squash, pumpkin or roasted root vegetables.

Photo of elinash
2.25/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber brown with head that quickly disappears to almost nothing. (Interjection- other Wolaver's regular brews do the same thing.)

Smells malty but tart. Something is off with this one.

Tastes peculiar for a brown. No rich nuttiness or deep roasted character. There are significantly sharper flavors here- a little rancid somehow. Strange tartness in the malt for a brown.

Mouthfeel is really thin/ carbonation is weak.

The finish hints at roasted malt, but disappears and leaves a mediocre-beer aftertaste (bland malt). Hops are non existent.

I like other beers by Wolaver's/ otter creek, but I hadn't yet tried their staple brews. Not impressed. I have another in the fridge so I'll give it another shot.

Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist, on the neck states that this product is certified by the OTCO as organic. No freshness date.

Appearance: Deep clear amber in colour with a faded tan creamy lace.

Smell: Full toasted grainy malt aroma.

Taste: Crisp and clean with a semi sharp ,yet nutty , toasted malt and light hop bitterness up front. Then the brew goes a bit tangy from the hop, and is followed by the lingering remnants of the drying toasted malt flavours.

Notes: With so many brown ales out on the shelves, this one is above the norm.

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This organic brown ale pours a clear copperish amber body with a longlasting, one finger beige. Attractive patchy lace is left on the glass. Aroma is dominated by chocolate malt, with some spicy and grassy hops in the background. Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with crisp carbonation, almost creamy. Chocolate and Munich malts are very evident in the taste which is nice and roasty. Some weak notes of red apples and nuttiness add a nice touch. Grassy and spicy hops provide an adequate bitterness for balance. A very drinkable brown ale. Not my favorite style, but quite tasty when executed as well as this one. Thanks go to mtnlover for leaving me this bottle.

Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Ginger man in NYC. Pours toasted almond and clear. Small bubble head,dissolving to a fine sheen. minimal lacing. Sweet malt in the nose. Smooth malt profile, toffee and caramel. Mildly hopped. Quality brew, tasty on tap. Fine session brew.

Photo of far333
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice fat frothy beige head that sits atop for quite a while, and then slowly recedes, but I feel I have to rate appearance slightly lower due to the pale color. Looks too light for the style, more like a standard issue pale ale. Aroma is inviting, a little sweet, not cloying, with lightly toasted malt and cinnamon. Flavor is light, not too sweet, a bit tinny and thin. No hop profile, which seems truer to the brown ale style. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery, light carbonation, but a slight tingle comes out in the finish. Pretty average tasting beer overall, and not really true to the style.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eh, for a brown ale. . .

Pours, a little more substantial than I was expecting. Not the thin, dirty quality you'll see in more popular browns. Decent carbonation apparent. Aroma, lacks the heavy earthiness you'll get sometimes, was enjoyable in its possible hop uplift.

Taste, standard roast and hop profile, muted, but alive for a brown. Balanced. This is a good beer to give someone making a step up from the BMC - SA, but not yet ready for something hoppy or bitter. A segue if you will.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a bright mahogany brown hue with a large tawny white head, brilliant foam with ample fine lacing. Aromatics offer up nice roasted nuts and minimal caramel with a touch of cocoa. Herbal hop quality comes across as well, not bad. Flavor has a slight sour dirty earthy character, from a mix of the roasted malts and more of an English hop profile. Mouthfeel is unoffensive medium bodied carbonation is smooth, drinkability is solid all around flavor is good but not stellar glad I picked up the 12 pack sampler with the IPA, Pale, and Brown to mix it up.

Photo of watermelonman
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a light brown with a small head that quickly shrank to a ring. It's not leaving a small amount of lace.

The smell is of toasted malts and nuts. The taste starts with malts and nuts and adds a nice hop bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is fairly sharp, while drinkability is good.

Photo of dacrza1
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprised to see this from otter Creek's repertoire... rich, light brown opaque body, thich brown three-finger head that settles clearly and evenly--a solid presentation... bits of nut and malt in the aroma--a hint of flowery esthers too, but overall a balanced sesibility pervades... mild effervescence and a mellow malt-laden weight on the tongue... a bit creamy like soda when mouthed... strong malt, almost a bock or doppel, relatively speaking... mild, yet lasting aftertaste--mellow overall... this one is a strange bird, and classifying may be difficult... sometimes feels like a nut, sometimes it don't, like an Almond Joy.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wolaver's- Brown Ale

Appearance- Hazelnut brown with a thin head.
Smell- light candy chocolate with an earthy grass/ straw/ mud aroma.
Taste- Candy bar chocolate, sweet with hints of brown sugar, caramel, and hazelnut.
Mouthfeel- sugary sweet with a nice dry finish. The beers flavor really blossoms in the end.

Overall- A Brown Ale that was a little light on flavor but nether-the-less was an enjoyable 1.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby-brown color, accented by an off-white head that fades quickly to almost nothing. Mellow carbonation. Leaves little strings of lace too.

Aroma gives off a maltiness that's a bit like caramelized brown sugar, though it's pretty faint and distant.

This packs a rich, robust flavor that has hints of cocoa and brown sugar, with plenty of nuttiness. Strong grain character adds another dimension, with an appropriate hops bittering offering balance.

Mouthfeel is very good for the style, holds strongly in the mouth, full and tingly.

A great brown ale that does justice to the style. Clean and earthy, a fine one indeed.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.04/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Whole Foods Market here in Madison for $1.69. Certified Organic....yummmy...

Pours a dark amber/light mahogany with not much more than a wispy coating of off-white bubbles. Smell is rather lively for an English Brown, caramel malts, warm spice and vanilla. Taste is pretty complex for an English Brown as well, caramel malts, vanilla, a healthy hop bitterness to balance, some nutmeg for character. Mouthfeel is a little thin, carbonation is a little low as well. Overall a pretty tasty brown. The whole certified organic thing is neat I suppose, I was afraid it would be on the bland side, but I could definitely down a couple of these in a session. Try it.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a crystal clear chestnut body that's capped by a creamy off-white head. It drops shortly but keeps a decent collar and some whispy surface covering throughout the glass, as well as leaving some thin lace. The nose displays a toasty, chocolate-tinged malt and some spicy hops. The body is medium/light and combines with a fine, restrained carbonation to give a smooth and gently creamy mouthfeel. The flavor displays an exceptional balance of softly sweet, lightly toasty and mildly chocolatey malt that's infused with gently spicy hops and backed by a supportive bitterness. It finishes dry with a flourish of spicy hop flavor and some lingering toasty malt. Very nicely done. Exceptionally clean and well-balanced with alot of finesse. Very drinkable, and with enough character to keep it interesting throughout several glasses. And I appreciate the fact that it's organic.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer was a rich mahogany color and had a very mild, smooth flavor. The malt is firm in this beer, but not too sweet. There is a slight fruit element to the background from the ale yeast. The hops in this brown ale are respectfully mild and true to the style. Not too bad for an organic brew.

Photo of swamiswamu
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a leathery brown with a fairly weak head. There was some lacing and the head didn't quickly dissapate. The aroma was lacking, there just wasn't much there. Caramel malt and hops balanced in the taste. There was a huge chocolate bouquet, which really distinguished it. Overall a pretty decent brown ale.

Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A simple brown sugar aroma, and a light, sweet taste make for a very pleasant session beer. This is a beer you can order a pitcher off to share with friends. The flavor is a bit light, but there's nothing to dislike. The mouthfeel has a touch of cream to it, while the taste has a bit of roasted malts with molasses and a little cocoa. The aroma is simple, but that's really the only detractor here from a beer-geek perspective. Worth a try if you're into this style.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given to me by a vegan friend, this is a solid offering. Light brown, bubbly and whispy head, it looks the title. The taste is crisp and clean with malts and just a touch of citric. You feel like a hippie drinking this, almost wanting to go hug a tree. It brings out the true character of Vermont.

Photo of DerekP
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12-oz bottle into a Czech Pilsner glass.

The brew is a nice brown mahogany with a lacy walnut-colored head.

The smell is deep, offering an immediate malty character, aggregated with lots of caramel & brown sugar, while the scent of alcohol sits way in the back.

Toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, all the qualities in the smell are found in the taste, but the alcohol comes through a bit stronger.

The feel & finish is slightly grainy, with noticeable bitterness from what I can only assume is the presence of hops, though the overall character is hard to discern.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer from Wolaver's in Middlebury, Vermont. It has a moderate body, a healthy malt presence, and enough bittering units to more than satisfy the intrigued beer drinker.

Photo of bditty187
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear. Orangey-bronze in color, odd I say, I like my Brown Ales to be, well, brown in color. I’m up for new things. Light animation was noticed. The head was khaki colored, at the apex this foamy mass was about one finger in height, it faded fairly quickly to a thin, soapy cap. The subsequent lacing was spotty and not pervasive at all. The appearance does intrigue me but it doesn’t warrant much attention. The nose is lightly earthy with kisses of nuts and a splash of toasted grains that leave a hint of acidity. At the back I get the weakest suggestion of hoppy spice. There might be a light twang of fruit (dark but uninteresting) but I might be imagining it. The potency is low but it isn’t saying much anyway. Apathetic but not bad. The palate is slightly more interesting than the nose; at least the flavors are fairly boastful. While the color isn’t typical of the style and the bouquet was too shy, the palate does confirm this beer is indeed a Brown Ale. There isn’t much to this beer, it does taste sweeter than I was expecting (the nose doesn’t say much about the malt), and I like it. There are kisses of caramel, toasty grains, and some slight earthiness. Throughout there are nutty flavors, fairly light but easily detectable. The finish is earthy and the hops also add a nice jolt of spiciness. Light acidity is found throughout. The aftertaste is nutty, sweet, with a kiss of chocolate. I like how this beer ends, at this point I would say this beer would be nice with a cold cut sandwich but I can’t see the need to drink this solo, there isn’t much to it. Overall though, this beer leaves me with an empty feeling. I wanted more. Medium-light in body, the carbonation is moderately low, the mouthfeel does little for me. It is dull. Lifeless. Just like the rest of the beer. Drinkable? Sure. I could pound these suckers. I don’t pound beer through. Do I want to quaff this? Not really. What is the point of this beer, I fail to see one. It is an okay English Brown Ale. Average at best. I seen this beer in KC but I passed on it, when I was last in Iowa City I purchased a 12-ounce bottle for $1.60. I think this will be a onetime purchase.

Bottled on: 11/01/04

Photo of beveritt
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. The label has a small picture of a group of people harvesting with scythes. A simple description is on the side, including the three grains used (Caramel, Munich, and Chocolate) and the three hops used (Tettnag, Hallertauer, and Liberty). Bottled on 2/28/08.

Appearance: Pours with one finger of very light tan head; settles by about half leaving some lacing. The beer itself is copper colored and perfectly clear. Pretty good considering that this appears to be bottle conditioned.

Smell: Very strong caramel malt aroma, sweet and coppery. Smells delicious, but leaves room for little else.

Taste: Opens with sweet caramel malt and nuttiness. Very malty, like sticking your head in a bag of DME. Long lingering finish is sweet, with just a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: A wonderful brown ale, organic comes as an added plus, not a negative.

Photo of KTCamm
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours brown, some red tints with very little foam or residual layering. Light vanilla smell, modest malt. Nutty taste, hazelnut, caramel, toffee, dark chocolate - all blends into one flavor. Firmer carbonation for a brown ale. Hop bitter pokes through at the close. Pretty good ale.

Photo of fattyre
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very slightly hazy dark reddish brown with a moderate creamy tan head. The mouthfeel is medium to thin. The smell is sweet malt and dried fruit. The taste is of raisins and is slightly smokey. Overall a pleasant drinkable yet unobtrusive mild ale.

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Wolaver's Brown Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
80 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.