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

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

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367 Ratings

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Ratings: 367
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Liquids
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of PeatReek
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of akahn
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of apintofknowledge
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Naes
2.97/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of dbalsock
4.54/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of NEhophead
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of charlatan
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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).

Photo of walleye
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

Photo of rousee
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

Pours with a head that's not too impressive and fades quickly. Aroma of toasted malt hits the nose, a little bit of nuttiness in the aroma as well. Taste is also toasty, nutty, malty with just a slight twang of hops playing catch up in the background. Mouthfeel is on the creamy side, but just barely. A pretty nice brew for the style and one that I would recommend.

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

Wolaver's Brown Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled on 03/16/05
Batch # is blurred on the label
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a copper brown color. Darker brown towards the top of the beer with light brown, almost orange highlights on the bottom. Some sticky lacings on the side of the glass.

The nose is malty, bready and nutty.

Chewy malts with a creamy mouthfeel quality. A touch of milk chocolate flavors and caramel sweetness. Very slight hop presence on the finish. A very smooth and drinkable brown ale.

Photo of brentk56
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an unexpectedly light, clear amber body with a bit of a head and lacing; would score higher if it was appropriately colored

Smell: Bready nose with a bit of caramel and toasted malt in the background

Taste: Not a great deal of taste; starts out with a bit of hop tang along with some malty sweetness; finishes with a bit of tobacco bitterness

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery; not much carbonation

Drinkability: Kind of disappointing; organic, schmanic, give me some taste, Wolaver's

Photo of Citadel82
3.42/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a light ansd sweet brown ale. Aroma of caramel and sweet malt, faint yeast.

Pours clear caramel broen with a short-lived white-head that left no lace.

Taste was mild to slightly sweet with a short dryish finish.

Thin on the mouth and tongue, very easy going down, session brow.

Too much like Newcastle in my opinion to spend the extra coin on however.

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 BuckeyeNation
2.61/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rust orange with bright amber accents. The ecru cap is several fingers in height after the pour and has yet to lose a full finger by the three minute mark. Although it looks like a fair amount of lace will end up on the glass, very little does. The beer looks more like an ESB or an APA than a brown ale.

I'm still not buying the style designation. Brown Ale smells nothing like a brown ale, nor does it smell very good. While it isn't as nasty as some beer from this brewery, I can detect the same off-aroma. Infected house yeast strain? Surely they didn't design their beer to smell (and taste) like this?

The flavor is tolerable at best. That odd, 'off' characteristic, whatever it is, prevents me from fully enjoying the beer (without completely ruining the experience). It tastes like I'm drinking an amber ale more than a brown. The beer is lightly malted with virtually no flavors gained by the use of chocolate malt.

There's much more hop bitterness (thanks to a lack of malt sugars) than hop flavor. I have to bump the taste score down another notch. This medicinal, quasi-phenolic flavor is wearing on me more and more as the ounces pass. Even though the finish is short, the worst aspects of the flavor profile linger the longest.

Wolaver's Brown Ale is yet another sub-par offering from a brewery that has provided me with so many sub-par offerings over the years. I enjoy Pale Ale and Stovepipe Porter, but have no interest in drinking most of the rest again. I'm sure this bottle is fresh and I know it has been well cared for since I'm the one who's been caring for it since soon after it was brewed. Sometimes I wonder how these guys stay in business.

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 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.

Wolaver's Brown Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
80 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.