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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

350 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 350
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 04-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 350 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mpyle
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%

Surprisingly pale in color - looks more like a darker IPA or Barleywine than a brown ale. Chocolate and darker crystal malts probably not used in abundance. Head dropped fairly quickly to a thin, white layer. Coarse looking carbonation.

Clean aroma, with no strong malt or hop notes. Based on the lack of aroma, would expect a fairly subdued, flavorless beer.

Starts and finishes clean with a pleasant burst of flavor in the middle. Certainly more bitter than malty sweet, and lacking the upfront hoppiness that is found in American Browns. Certainly not overwhelming in flavor, but pleasant and highly drinkable. Mouthfeel is moderate and feels in line with the 5.7% ABV. Overall a fairly nice, semi-dark beer.

mpyle, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
1.93/5  rDev -44.7%

Pours a clear, light brown color with quite a large head.

I couldn’t smell much, but I thought I detected some skunking. Turns out, I wasn’t far off.

I really didn’t like the flavor of this beer. It seemed sour and bitter. It seemed to go down better towards the end, but this was very, very disappointing. There was something really off with this beer, and I hope it was only this batch. Certainly no one would attempt this flavor as their intended goal?

terrabyte, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Light chestnut in color, much lighter than the average Brown Ale, with a fluffy tan head that has moderate retention and stick.

Aroma of toasted nuts, roasted grain, stale coffee, and damp paper with just a smidge of caramel sweetness.

Flavor similar, though more diluted. Moderately toasty malts with a tiny bit of chocolate and bitter coffee grinds. That wet paper note is unfortunately still present. The finish is a little too hoppy and dry, almost astringent. It just doesn't satisfy, and is almost difficult to finish.

Body is above light with a slippery texture and watery mouthfeel. Not my favorite from Wolavers.

AlexJ, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of tugdriver7
4.05/5  rDev +16%

I thought the Wolaver's "organic" bit was a marketing tool, but the taste is great; so I don't know whether it tastes better because it's organic or because I know it's organic. Regardless, very nice chestnut color body with small, creamy head. A bit of hops but a more present sweet malt in the nose. Feels think and slightly bubbly in the mouth, and the taste was a very nice mix of carmel (and darker) malts with just a hint of a variety of hops tastes, including a bit of spice. I started it too cold and the taste actually improved as it warmed in the glass a bit. It mellowed and became more balanced. Really intriguing. A bit sweet for me, but I really enjoyed it and I'm glad I bought the 6-pack. I'll have to repeat the taste test... again... and again. Keeping style in mind, it's a great beer.

tugdriver7, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

NJpadreFan, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of Higravity
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%

Nice clear brown color with standard white head. Smells of bready yeast with a clear maltyness of slight caramel tinting; the hops are in the back but present a little spicyness. The flavor is very nice cold not so good warm, there is also a bit of roastyness to the warm, anyway at the proper temp it was smooth and enjoyable with a rather clean finish. A solid brown but nothing too scream about. If you want a organic brown this will fit the bill.

Higravity, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%

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.

Metalmonk, Jul 06, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%

Sampled 07/03/06. Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark amber, copper to slightly brown color with an impressive 2 finger cream colored head that has great retention and leaves a small amount of lace.
S: Chocolate and caramel malt notes dominate with a slightly spicy or sweet smell that follows up. There’s a sharpness to the smell. Hop notes are more noticeable as it warms.
T/M: Chocolate and caramel notes cross the palate. Slight spicyness invades before a dry bitterness finishes up. Good chocolate chip bitterness, not that sharp bitterness usually associated with brown ales. Creamy and smooth through the mouth. Good level of carbonation. Very refreshing—must be the organic hops!
D: Not a bad brown ale. A good one to try if you see it.

bjohnson, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of Liquids
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%

Totally amber and extremely transparent with no head, just a ring of scum. Typical english smell, grassy hops and sweet malts. Taste is the amber side of a good brown, with very distinct hopping. American for sure. Tastes sweet and focused, nothing too complex. Fresh but rather hoppy for the style--grassy, spicy and noble hops that linger. Mouthfeel is medium in a good way, not water, and just right for the style. Balanced carbonation. The more I taste, the more the lines between amber and brown ales, with the american/english variations of each leave styles all a blur to me. If you have this next to a newcastle, than ok, it's a brown ale. A solid drinker, whatever you call it.

Liquids, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of orfeu
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%

Carameled amber with a very modest beige foam cap. Toasted caramel malts in the nose with a bit of dusty chocolate aroma and hop spice. Sour spicy flavor, like toasted rye bread. Peppery hop bitterness at the finish with a nice touch of caramel and brown sugar sweetness in the aftertaste. There is a slight hint of melon and berry fruit flavor somewhere in the middle, too. Appropriately medium-thin body, but the mouthfeel is just a bit overcarbonated for my palate. Certainly a good drinker, I could see this pairing well with a spicy Indian or Thai curry dish. Not bad at all, but I'm still waiting for someone to brew up a knock-out organic ale.

orfeu, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of PeatReek
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a light orangey brown, bright and clear, with a lacy lid of pale beige head. Smells mellow and caramelly, with hints of raisin and other dried fruit kind of overtones. Tastes like a typical American mild/brown ale (which I love) -- dry and toffee-flavored, slightly toasty, fizzy and mildly bitter. Sometimes I prefer them to the Brits because they're less sweet. Nothing about this one really jumps out at me, though. Light bodied, a little thin, just the right amount of carbonation.

PeatReek, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Poured a crystal-clear deep copper color with moderate slightly off-white puffy head. Nice lacing as the head slowly to a thin ring. Smell is malty with a bit of toffee. Taste has a nice toasty aspect with some caramel also present. A bit of bitterness slowly appears as the beer warms. Finish is an appealing combination of the sweet malt meeting the bitter dry hops to create a perfect ending for this beer. Very nice drinkability and very enjoyable.

tgbljb, May 11, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours light brown with a thin, lasting white head.

The smell is of tasted grain and some nutty aroma.

The taste is basic, but not bad at all. Toasted grain. Nuts. Just a hint of roasted hops. It's all on the thin side. But, what is there is decent.

It goes down pretty easily. On a whole, nothing exceptional or outstanding. But, a nice, smooth, basic "sessionable" brown ale.

jwc215, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%

This was a decent brown ale from Wolaver's, but ultimately there's really nothing special here.

It pours a fairly nice amber colour with a thin bubbly head that leaves a minimal trace on the glass.

The aromas are of sweet caramel and some chocolate, with a bit of floral hop notes shining through, although the sweetness is moreso balanced with an earthy maltiness.

The flavour is more of the same with sweetness being at the forefront. There's a touch of juiciness mixed in as oppsed to floral hops, although general hop presence is minimal at best. The earthy malt background is again present here is flavour, but I would have likes that to be more prevalent in the mouthfeel, which is mostly crisp and a touch thin. A bit more of a rugged body would have been nice.

Again, this is made well, it's just nothing to write home about. It's nice to see organic brews from the Wolaver's folks, which should be reason enough to pick this one up for some folks. It's worth a try, but don't expect a revolutionary brown ale.

SixpointJMH, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of Enola
4.05/5  rDev +16%

A fairly aggressive pour resulted in a decent sized head. The color is a deep brown. The smell is of brown sugar and caramel. The taste is semi-sweet with caramel notes. The mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of sweetness. The drinkability is good as well. I am always impressed by this brewer. Another fine offering.

Enola, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of akahn
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours a nice deep red orange amber colol with a firm, somewhat sticky beige head.

Smell is reminiscent of Otter Creek Copper Ale, which I didn't particularly fancy. There I didn't like it, but here Tettnang and Hallertauer hops are just out of place. English or American hop varieties would do much better, I think.

Taste: Munich malt is an interesting choice here and makes for a rounded finish, but I'd appreciate more emphasis on the caramel malt. Mildly sweet, with some chocolate nates. The noble hops show up here tangily, but not too much, and not as off-puttingly as in the aroma.

Mild carbonation, thin to medium body. I could down a few of these, and its quirks, though not completely successful, are interesting. I'd like this beer to be a bit more bold and I wouldn't miss the German hops.

akahn, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of apintofknowledge
3.63/5  rDev +4%

Pours a clear medium light warm reddish brown (seems a little light in color for the style) with a thin white head. This one has a wonderful caramel and roasted aroma with subtle hints of chocolate. As for the taste, an intial sweetness is quickly followed by bitter, woody, charcoal and earthy flavors... unsweetened cocoa and roasted peanut shells are in there too. A dry but not lingering finish. A little light in body for my taste.

Overall, this one is an extremely dry rendition of this style that thankfully becomes somewhat sweeter and smoother as I drink more and the beer warms a bit. Like it or not (and it took a little while to grow on me), the dryness makes it a very unique take on the style.

apintofknowledge, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of Naes
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%

This one pours a light brown with a small white head. Lacing and retention are minimal.
The aroma really lets the caramel malt surface nothing else is really present.
The flavor is caramel malt with a bit of brown sugar and a trace amount of hops near the finish. This one is alright, but nothing exceptional.
The mouth feel is medium bodied and generously carbonated.

Naes, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
4.53/5  rDev +29.8%

appearance: pours a brown tone with a dark copper tint with a white head that quickly laces the side of the glass.

smell: the smell is quite sweet and the main characteristic that i noticed was a honey odor. there are sweet light floral undertones that help balance the smell and provide a nice complexity.

taste: very sweet with the honey odor becoming even more clear in the taste. there is also an accompanying floral taste from the hops that provides a slight bitterness and create a perfect balance with the sweetness.

mouthfeel: as i said above, there is a light bitterness, but mostly this beer coats the palate very smoothly.

drinkability/notes: the mouthfeel, taste, and smell all make this a very smooth and quaffable brew. it is also lighter bodied than other brown ales i've had and is not too filling. this may be my new favorite beer. as i was drinking it, i kept thinking how i didn't not want the experience to end.

dbalsock, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of NEhophead
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%

Creamy off white head that gives way to an intact sheet after a moment. Trails of light lacing that have trouble lasting. Deep copper with shades of dark amber.

Semi-sweet caramel, honey cream, and musty toffee. Some floral hops giving a spiced and earthen, wheat aroma.

Mild caramel and coffee roasted sweetness. Perfume-like floral hops; earthy grain and wheat yet brigh; hints of lemon and orange peel. A musty, lightly bitter chocolate that adds to a dry finish. An airy and earthen caramel aftertaste.

Medium bodied; slightly creamy and grainy on the palate.

A decent offering. Creamy yet very muddy and earthen tasting. Not a Brown that I will return to.

NEhophead, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%

Deep amber brown color with a loose, bubbly, off-white head. Smells primarily of caramel and chocolate malts with some spicy hops underneath. Nice, rich, solid malt flavors - lightly chocolatey, nutty, and well balanced. Medium mouthfeel with a dry, bitter finish.

The spicy hops don't seem to take control over this one as they do in other Wolaver's products. A solid brown ale and a good session beer overall...second only to the oatmeal stout in the Wolaver's lineup.

wedge, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of charlatan
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%

This had a red to chestnut hue and a healthy head. It had a rich fruity smell which reminded me a little of plum and the best way to encapsulate the taste is to say that it tastes healthy. A grainy feel coupled with the flavour of overcooked brown bread made for a decent beer but not a particularly drinkable one. This is more for the one beer night by the fireside than a drinking session (or a brewpub crawl).

charlatan, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of walleye
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%

from the bottle which I got in a trade and I still cannot find my papers on who sent me beers at last yea. so thanks to the one that sent it. poured a amber to brown with off white head that didn’t last. aroma, malts and cherries had a hard time finding the black currant, but there was some other fruit in there. flavor, malts and tart cherries, and a touch of hops. not to bad.

walleye, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of ColForbin
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%

Wolaver's Brown pours a red-brown color with a light tan head. Great head retention. Aroma is slightly hoppy with some spicy notes as well as some caramel. Taste is mostly sweet caramel maltiness with some nutty flavors as well, with a slightly bitter finish, but not one that wipes away all of the sweetness. I would prefer a drier finish, but that would probably make this an American Brown Ale. Very smooth and drinkable. Excellent session beer, although I guess it should technically be lower in alcohol to fit that definition.

You may pay a little more for this beer than some others, because it is organic, but it is a tasty brew, so don't hesitate.

ColForbin, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of rousee
4.05/5  rDev +16%

Bottled 11/2/05-- Should be plenty fresh.

Pours red-brown with a 3 mm head.
Smell is an up front maltiness followed by a slight sour fruitiness. There is definitely a noticeable hop presence too.
Taste is maltiness first with some caramel notes-- finishes with a bit of woodiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat bubbly--quite nice. Pretty easy to drink.Nothing fancy here but a good interpretation of a style that everyone seems to do.
A nice local beer.

rousee, Dec 29, 2005
Wolaver's Brown Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
80 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.