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Wolaver's India Pale Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Wolaver's India Pale AleWolaver's India Pale Ale

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573 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 573
Reviews: 285
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 5
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-07-2001

This robust India Pale Ale follows British tradition by using bountiful amounts of fresh hop cones to produce a crisp clean character; blending Magnum, Crystal and Hallertauer hops with generous amounts of Munich and Carmel malt.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 573 | Reviews: 285 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mntlover
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color mixed with copper finger and a half white head that does leave some lace.
Aroma is light fruity and grassy, with some floral mixed in. Some light caramel malt sweetness makes it out from underneath the grassy aroma but not much.
Taste is hops grassy, fruity, and floral mixture some pine comes through in the finish but not much.Over all not too bitter but lots of hop flavors but for my taste not the right hop flavors. Some light malt in the taste also but hard to notice due to the grass flavors.
Mouthfeel is ok can't taste much malt but doesn't hurt the feel of it much.
Drinkability is well ok wouldn't be my first choice or probably any choice again but it is a change from the West Coast IPA's I happen to love.

Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with bottled on date of 9-10-04.

Poured a clear light copper with orangish pink tints. Nice rocky white head clinging to the glass.

Malt steals the show on the nose, rich with a caramel bent. Faint citrus and grass, an underlying spiciness.

Sweet rich caramel at the top of the taste. Creamy and smooth malts fade to biting floral hops and an astringent mouthfeel. Alcohol lends a warming down to the gut and a spiciness in the taste.

This beer seems more of the English style than the American, and that's cool. Caramel malts and mild hop varieties make for a refreshing brew.

Photo of gimmehead
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy yellow orange, frothy off-white head

Smell: floral hops, earthy nutty yeasty, some fruity esters

Taste: some hop bitterness that gave me trouble picking out any individual flavors, maybe some citric notes, but the flavor just seems to be melded together and nondescript; there is also a large cereal malt presence along with some fruity esters at the finish

Mouthfeel: crisp and clean

This is not the typical hop dominant beer that I look for in an IPA. It was fairly tasty and easily drinkable, but also nondescript and easily forgettable.

Photo of bditty187
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes…

Clear, the liquid is a tickle darker than gold and there is a very slight amber influence. Minimal animation. The head was basically white in color; at the apex the foam was two-fingers in height. The head retention was impressive. It was very slow to fade to a fizzy cap. There was tons of subsequent lacing, it was insanely webby, clumpy, and all over the side of my glass. I am impressed! Needless to say this really bolsters the appearance of this beer! The nose smells like Fruity Pebbles. It is a dead on match. There is that gross sweetness, yuck. Thankfully at the very back is a kiss of piney hops that saves the nose from flat-out sucking. Still, I can’t call the nose inviting. The potency is, thankfully, low. Mercifully the palate tastes like an IPA. There is some age on the hops it seems; I’m not a big fan of that cheese taste. In this beer it is very mild so I can handle it. Otherwise the hops are piney with a kiss of citrus. I find the tangy fruity taste odd; it really slows down this beer. Right in the middle, boom, candy fruit (and not in that yummy Belgian beer kind of way either). The malt is weak, typical, it has some caramel influences but it is largely unheard from. The hop complexity is low and thus this beer fails to shine. The palate is good; I could drink this with some sharp cheese. The alcohol bite at the finish is fun! Medium in body, the carbonation is too low, the mouthfeel is flat and monotonous. The mouthfeel is lazy; it needs more pizzazz, more life. I can’t really enjoy the flavors because of the carbonation, in fact, I take back what I said about eating cheese with this beer, there is no way the effervesce is strong enough to lift the fat away. The warmer it got the fruitier it became; it is now too sweet and not as enjoyable to drink. On the whole this IPA is decent, there are too many things that are just not right and there are far too many great IPAs on the market that I would pick over this. 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: 11/09/04

Photo of beerislove
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice head, about 1 1/2 fingers, that held up well and left clinging rings. A very floral aroma with no detectable alchol tones. I was quite excited to take a sip. The taste is equally floral and starts out a bit sweet. Much weaker hop impact than I had hoped for. Where are my hops? The beer feels smooth in the mouth and finishes clean, with no lingering hop aftertaste. There are much worse, but for the price there are also much better IPA's on the shelves.

Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure if I should actually list this brew here but will. It is the Wolvers IPA but is from one of the special batches that is only available at the brewery to bring home in growlers. It is a batch of only four barrels called Cask Conditioned Wolvers IPA and from what I was told they where aged/matured in Chardonnay Barrels. It definitely had the qualities of the Wolvers IPA but also did poses a Chardonnay like aroma and taste. The brew held up nicely in the growler for a few days and when poured had a slightly cloudy orange/yellow color with a nice sized white head that had pretty good retention and left a fair amount of lacing. The aroma had a very robust hop scent that did dominate but you where able to pick up notes of malt and toffee and the Chardonnay aroma that I talked about before. The taste was also dominated by the hops but did seem to be more refined than with the initial smell. The hop flavors are of pine and citrus but I feel that the pine notes win out. Also notice some nice fruit like characteristics that go well with the hop taste, also notice a pretty good amount of malt that balances it out quite well. I must say that this was a good brew, wish that I lived closer to Middlebury to try some of the other brewery specific concoctions! I was told that some of the brewery only offerings could possibly make its way out into distribution as a special/seasonal series, lets hope so!

Photo of Fish113d
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring from a bottle into a goblet, it poured a beautiful golden/amber color w/ a nice 2cm of foamy, sticky looking head, that clung to the glass like Spiderman on Jane, leaving nice latticework or lacing on my glass. The head did dissipate some leaving a nice edge layer around the top of the beverage. Taking a few whiffs, I was pleasantly suprised to find that this IPA was not all hops as I had suspected, but had more hints of fruit (white grapes or plums) and even had some semblance of chocolate in there somewhere, which I found very intriguing. Slight alcohol tingled my nosehair a bit as well, which is always fun for me when I drink a beer! TAking a sip, it came to my palette very sweet natured, with little hops at first. The white grapes really jumped out at the tip of my tongue w/ some sugary taste, but then gave way to a nice earthy hops flavor that covered my palette on back until the swallow. Upon swallowing, this left a nice sweet floweriness (if I can describe it any better) and left a nice grassy aftertaste reminding me of cut grass in spring or summer! One knock on this one was the feel of it however. It's high carbonation beat on my palette pretty hard, and it never really gives way until the swallow, which may have taken away from some of the flavor. However, I got much more than I expected from this one, and it was a very nice crispy ale w/ a sneaky little 6.5% alcohol that I would recommend to just about anyone!

Photo of kbub6f
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One inch of creamy, dense foam sits on a slightly hazy, reddish brown beer. Sticky strata of lacing. Sweet milk chocolate aroma. A chocolate, floral front with a deep, malty, milky middle. Fairly bitter, tangy, chocolate finish with some celery. I kind of like this: a chocolatey, bitter, hoppy beer.

Photo of mobyfann
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Paid $8.99 for a mixed 6er from Wild Oats...

The beer pours a slightly hazy golden-amber base with a small white head, decent retention and a few signs of lacing. The aroma is a weak blend of hop smell, but not much is there.

The taste is very crisp, nice mild tasting hops, low on alcohol and that about does it. The mouthfeel is good in the mouth but a harsh bitter ending hurts the beer. The drinkability is nice at 6.5% and for a milder tasting IPA, this is where the beer shines. A very good session IPA beer.

Final Thought: Not a bad brew from the OC-Wolaver group...

Photo of Ego
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap @ the Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ

eyeballing it....
clean looking copper color, head dissipates quickly out to the edges of the pint glass

nasal notes...
the hops are up front and floral, nothing other wordly but good

mouth notes...
tastes like it looks, crisp and fresh, the hops are up front and have a nice twang of bitterness, the alcohol is hidden well here

this doesn't bowl you over but is done well in all categories, good session beer in the fall/winter. just enough to cut spicy foods imo.

Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sampled a few 12 ouncers, with bottled on dating, yeah fresh beer! Pours a clear golder amber, white head. Leaves light wispy lacing. Full, hoppy, grainy nose, maybe also a note of rye. Medium bodied, grainy dry hops up front, maybe a tad thin in the malt to smooth this one out, still a drinkable ale, Long lasting bitter and drying hops on the tongue. Worth a try, decent sessioner

Photo of Globetrotter
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 12oz bottle with a red and white label featuring farmers cutting a wheat field. Organic is emphasized everywhere. Ingredients conform to the purity law. Bottled on 8/16/04, I opened it on 11/17/04.

Clear reddish gold under a one finger off-white head that lingers nicely and leaves very good lace rings. Nice crisp clean nose, with a touch of sweet malt and a good dose of flowery hops. The mouth is very prickly and fairly heavy. The taste character is strongly of flowers, with a touch of pine and espresso. The malt is subdued, but noticeable, sweet on the front of the tongue while the hops bite at the back. The aftertaste is slightly dry and mildly bitter. The whole thing is quite smooth, more a British IPA than an American.

Photo of twilight
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really, straight fours down the line. Nice pour and lacing, but nothing too remarkable. Taste is good and citrusy without being overly piney. Actually, the malt reall balances it out, but I think it's just a wee bit too much malt for my liking. Reminds me of other nice IPA's in this style, nicely balanced and as malty as they are hoppy. Quaffability is nice. The organic designation doesn't really affect quality, but it's nice to have such environmentally conscious brewers.

Photo of Beersignal
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear amber with creamy beige head that graces the glass with sticky strata of lace testifying to the drinking enjoyment.

Most likely an older sample of the IPA as malt dominated the aromas up front and was followed by faint hops and a honeyed tinge of distant juniper berries in the back.

Medium bodied and mellow maltiness usher in the first sips and mix with notes of caramel and light dried fruits. No real sign of hops but a subdued bitterness lurks in the back to remind us that this is an IPA. Finishes rather cleanly. Would definitely like to sample a fresh example, and when I do... will update this review.

Photo of Thrasher
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good beer from Wolaver's, pouring medium gold with high head and excellent lacing on the inside of the glass. Bright hop aroma with citric flavors. The beer itself is quite light, in color and maltiness, to make way for a hop showcase that is neither flashy nor gaudy. Just a brisk, enjoyable crispness and a bit of grapefruity prickle. A solid beer, not very characterful, but definitely tasty. I would like perhaps a somewhat larger malt profile, but this is a minor quibble. I first had a Wolaver beer a few years ago and thought it was insipid, lacking flavor, perhaps due to the organic ingredients. This is happily not the case now. I don't know if they have improved their craft or if it was the switch to Otter Creek in Middlebury, VT, but this beer has as much substance as need be.

Photo of rdrummer
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a fairly mild IPA. I expected more from Otter Creek. It pours a dark golden color with a medium head and little lacing. There is more of the malt in the nose than the hops that I expected. It is a nice rounded pale ale but not what I was expecting from an American IPA. Where are the hops?

Photo of benmiliron
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid $1.79 for a 12 oz. bottle.

Pleasant floral smell. I enjoyed this thoroughly. Good white head on top. Taste is good bitter with light floweriness. Not much malt sweetness, but malt presence is noticeable. Much more of a Britishy IPA than an American IPA. This is a great session brew if you're into pale ale.

Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An American IPA much more English in character pours a medium golden with an average head that left a little lace,aroma is leafy and lightly herbal with a dry biscuity malt hint.Taste is really subtle a little minty and herbal with the dry malt coming thru more as I drank more.Iam not a hop head but when drinking an American IPA would like more hop presence,not horrible by any mean just seems a little off.

Photo of aracauna
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden amber body and a thin head. The bubbles rising up from the sides of the glass are pretty large, almost like soda bubbles. Dried apricots and grassy hops make up the bulk of the aroma. More apricots and grassy hops are found in the flavor wiht a bit of pepper.

Photo of shirfan
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden, with a thin but persistent layer of foam lacing the glass.

Slightly pungent herbal aroma.

Flavorful; yeast and hops take the lead here, mingling into a spicy taste, with a decent malt backbone. Hops don't seem to be the typical IPA varieties... far more spice flavor than pine or citrus.

I wasn't too happy to see that this actually came from Otter Creek, good thing I only bought a single. While they brew high-quality beers, I tend to not enjoy their yeast choices.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured crystal clear golden with a persistent frothy white head which fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was filled with muted spicy and citrusy hop aromas with slight malt presence in the background and a prominent fruitiness.

The flavor was citrusy and fruity with good bitterness to balance the malt and nice hop flavor. The bitterness is well done, but not complex.

The finish was dry and crisp with hop bitterness lingering into the aftertaste. The body was medium and could have been just a smidge bigger at 6.5%.

Nicely accomplished beer. Very straightforward, but lacking complexity.

12 ounce bottle. Bottled on 12/23/03. Batch 1474.

Photo of ark57
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear gold with a nice two-finger sized head. The aroma has some peach and citrus with some malt. It is not as hoppy as I expected for an IPA. The body is slightly malty with slight citrus and pine. It is hoppy and bitter, but nothing that wows me. A solid beer that I could drink a few of, but it is average and I would not go out of my way for it again.

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

A rough week at the office, finally it's Friday, and hotter than hell. I pop open the ol'Beer-arator and there she was, a leftover from my last trip to Winooski’s beverage warehouse, where I bought a 6 pack on impulse alone.

Appearance: Nice copper/orange, nice clean look. Not much head on it but quite resilient nonetheless.

Smell: Typical hoppy smell, nothing else really popped. I should have let it warm up a bit more, but I wanted it now.

Taste: Good crisp hoppy spiciness, just the way I like it. Hints of citrus, and subtle malty undertones.

Mouthfeel: Yep, that tickly feeling in the far corners of my mouth says that this is a classic IPA, organic or not.

Drinkability: 6.5% on a hot afternoon, it hit the spot proper, but I wouldn’t have had 3-4 more. But on other circumstances I’d definitely see myself spending quality time with this one. The bitterness is high compared to what my local micros and brewpubs have to offer, however it isn’t too much for me to get tired of it after one or two.

Conclusion: I should trust my instincts more often. The next time I stop by the states, this one is a lock in my grocery cart.

Photo of UnionMade
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a sunny gold, amazingly clear, my fingers magnified perfectly on the other side. A short crop of white foam appears with a straight pour, settling into a patchy covering. Great head retention, keeping a thick coating throughout the glass, rings of belgian lace left in it's wake.
The aroma is fairly mild, an herbal and piney hopping gently suppported by a pleasant toasty malt. A touch of biscuit, with soft flowery and apple esters. Very nice hopping, assertive with nuance.
The flavor starts with a sweetish toasty malt, a bit of biscuit flavor into the middle, meeting mild pear, apple and floral esters. The fruitiness continues into the finish, where an assertive hopping takes over. Mainly herbal and grassy, with a great citrus and pine bite. The malt maintains balance excellently, keeping a mild biscuity sweetness, along with a touch of caramel. Grapefruity citric hops linger in the aftertaste, along with a touch of grassiness. A fullish medium body is supported by rather excitable carbonation. Slightly rough edged mouthfeel, with a mild graininess that works well with the carbonation and hopping.
Great stuff, a solid american IPA. I haven't had great experiences with organic beers, but Wolaver's makes a credible brew with this one. Tasty hops, which linger in the aftertaste for hours. Yum.

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was really excited about trying this one for some reason. Maybe because it is made with all organic ingredients. Pours an orange coppery color with very little head. The lace is there for a while then slowly dissipates. The taste is surprising at first in that it sort of hits your pallette with something different. Bitter with an orange peel flavor. Very hoppy. This is a good beer and for me it was a different taste. I think over time and a few more bottles, I will find it to be better than average.

Wolaver's India Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
80 out of 100 based on 573 ratings.