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

Otter Creek Pale Ale
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262 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 262
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.05%

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 262 | Reviews: 237 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am glad the Syracuse Party Goods veteran recommended this one. Surprsingly good though simple, well-hopped American pale. Substantial hop aroma with pine. Tasty hops, nicely carbonated. Lots of foam there. Grapefruit and malt finish. If it were a local beer, it would be my standard.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 02:10:07 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Limpid, bright orange-amber, heavy on the orange. The head is somewhere between dark cream and light tan and is pretty impressive in terms of density and stickiness. It eventually melts into a craggy mesa of foam and deposits lace in blurred concentric rings. Very nice. Pure, bright, zesty, Cascade-hopped nose. Some believe that this particular hop is overused, but I still love it.

This is a classic APA, well-hopped with Cascade and bursting with flavors of pine, fresh-squeezed orange juice, grapefruit and peach. The best pale ales in my book are those, like OCPA, that are simple, direct, clean and hoppy without being the least bit palate-fatiguing. Packed with flavor and insanely drinkable at the same time.

The heft of the malt structure is more than sufficient, provides just the right amount of flavor and provides enough sweetness to partially offset the bitterness of the hops. The citric hops lead the charge at all points along the flavor arc and linger until the next mouthful. The body is fairly substantial for the style.

Otter Creek Pale Ale is a good one and, in fact, puts some IPAs to shame. A generously hopped pale ale with one of my favorite hops... how could I fail to be impressed? Now I won't be able to rest until I've obtained a bottle of this brewery's IPA.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2004 23:03:15 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BEERchitect


3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairyly average Pale Ale. The malt profile is light and shows up in the aroma with sweetness, but no firmness. Hops, though citrusy, show some metalics and weakness. Tastes modestly sweet with bready and caramel malts, quickly followed up with hop bittering and flavor. Fairly grapefruity and orange peel in nature with some spicy pine flavors mixed in. Again turning metalic and grassy midway through the sip. A fleeting finish with a mild grain / metal (hop) flavor in the finish. Less bready and firm than desired, but quite cleanly brewed. Good thirst quencher, but a bit bland in the body. Undermalted?

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2006 18:52:27 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden with a thins wispy head that does leave some lace behind remarkably,very citrusy,piney aroma almost a Pacific NW aroma from the cascade hops also pick up a light nuttiness as well.Very well balanced APA nice does of citrus hop but enough sweetness and nuttiness in the finish to keep very well balanced.This is the type of ale to drink at a pub chit chatting all night 4.60% alc! This may become a mainstay in my fridge very pleasntly suprised.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 01:12:46 | More by oberon
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bright, peachy color, good, 1/2" froth atop, fluffy, creamy.
Aroma: ah! Piney, hoppy, citic, grapefruity a bit, ...let's sniff again, ...ah!!! That's what I want in a pale ale, especially a dry-hopped PA, big, vibrant, fresh hops! One more time....Mmmm!!! Yeah!
Taste: Great, big hop blitz on the tongue, nicely fruity, but drying out, to be sure, awash in peach, tangerine, apricot, buzzing with hops. Medium bodied, tasty texture, long, happy finish. Mmmm! Fruits, and hops, and everything, just never quit here, really give it their all, all the way! Feels juicier and even more flavorful as we continue the drink. Ah!. I have to say it again, regretful of repeating myself, but I'm rather delighted at finding a note-perfect PA here from this little Vermont concern. Good job, Otter Creek, and thanks, ManekiNeko!

Post-memo, looking at others after posting my review, still drinking the brew...I'm not wrong, I like it, it works well, but I wonder why it fell so short for so many others? Seems like a Sierra Nevada wannabe, but doesn't falter there, huh! Guess we don't agree, but dang, it works for me!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2004 11:20:44 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste very well-balanced with sweet flavors of caramel & citrus and a nice hops bitterness. The malt character is a little thin for the style but works well for this beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice sessionable beer with flavor and substance that is worth drinking for a while.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 01:51:03 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a true golden color with a thick white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It is dry hopped with Cascade hops which gives it a strong floral hop aroma to go along with the pale malt smell. The taste is also great. It has an equally strong hop flavor to accompany the aroma. The pale malts and carapils malts add a nice balance to this beer. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. It drinks very well; a real pleasure. This is Otter Creeks finest offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 01:16:35 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80


3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat, cloudy, orange color with hints of gold. It had a white, small, bubbly head that left some thing rings of lace.

S - It smelled floral and fruity with some citrus notes. Also, some caramel aromas.

T - It tasted of sweet, biscuity caramel with a citrus hop kick. Some fruity flavors, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good APA. Nice balance and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 05:12:33 | More by zeff80
Photo of jwc215


3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange/amber with a thin off-white head. The head soon becomes thin and patchy, but some rings of lacing stick to the side of the glass.

The smell is of faint fruity hops with an even fainter grainy aroma. That's there is good, just a bit too faint.

The taste is fruity (apricots and oranges especially) with a touch of sweet malt to give the hops body and balance. It is medium-bodied and well-balanced with just a bit more bitter than sweet.

It's clean and crisp, with a nice mild bitter bite followed by smoothness. It thins ever so slightly for a moment, but the mild flavors hold well.

While nothing outstanding, it's a solid "session" choice for an APA. Well-balanced, mild, and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2006 21:02:42 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly fogged amber gold. Nose is a very faint orange pine. Flavor is slight hops and a mild bitter edge that has some sugar sweet on it too. Feel is a bit gentle on the bubble and smooth on liquid. Fairly drinkable. Though the bitter tone could be taken down a bit I think. Decent enough.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 08:58:32 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears an orange copper hue with an off white mother of pearl colored head, leaving sparse scattered lacing that sticks to my pint. Aroma contains an enticing hop aroma definitely Cascades with a pine scented slightly earthy smell to em very nice aroma with a slight caramelized malt undertone with each whiff. However this beer fails to fulfill a balanced flavor, with dominant hop bitterness just not enough malt sweetness coming throuhg in the taste. I must also note an off flavor a bit like musky cardboard in the finish just making it harsh for me to swallow down. Mouthfeel is medium bodied just nothing special or soothing toward the palate mediocre. Drinkability would be much better if this beer tasted as good as it smelled, just doesn't make the cut for my pale ale all star team or even second lineup.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2003 06:10:22 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw


3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear, dark gold with an impressive frothy head. The lace slides down the glass, but is present

Mild malt aroma with a touch of hop flower. Appealing and subtle.

Nice hop bite on the initial sip. Hop bitterness stays throughout including the aftertaste, like an IPA. A very dry beer with little malt flavor

This beer is going very nicely with my plate of German Hot Dogs with mustard. I like its clean taste and as a hop head, I welcome the bitterness. Very drinkable, but not very complex.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2004 17:42:31 | More by smcolw
Photo of tempest


3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden body with nice head and lacing. Smells of hops and a touch of malt. Tastes of toasted malts and dry hopping. Still a light-medium mouthfeel and easy drinking. Could easyily go through a few of these in a night. A simple, but tasteful pale ale. My only critique is that the hops could have a little more flavor. Maybe a bit for citrus or floral.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2006 06:20:04 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak


3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle of Otter Creek's Pale Ale served in a Three Philosophers goblet. The ale is cool (closer to cold).

Appearance: The ale is a nice light orange color, close to golden. There is a small ring of head but not a lot of lace.

Smell: There is a nice biscuity malt aroma that interacts nicely with a citrusy floral aroma from the hops.

Taste: The hops are floral and rather subdued, allowing for a nice shining malt presence to come though. The biscuitiness of the malt is good.

Mouthfeel: The ale is well balanced and does not allow either malt or hop to dominate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, this is another good East Coast pale ale that aims for moderation in hop content.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 03:03:40 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 12-15-03. Pours clear, light almond, white head, some lace, malty nose. Medium bodied, well balanced, Grainy hops ride in late to dry things out and add a nice crispness. English style pale. Pleasant enough, nothing too exciting. This is a decent, well crafted brew. Everyday ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2004 00:51:41 | More by Billolick
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

2.68/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a five-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Malty/hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Flavor has occasional sweetness with hoppiness, metallic/hoppy aftertaste. 12oz bottle $1.50 from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2007 22:38:54 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason


3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown twist off bottle with a bottled on date and batch # as well.

Appearance: A deep brassy coloured brew, very clear with an even clinging lace that hangs around for a while.

Smell: Light aleish fruitiness, sweet malt all around and a tight citric hop aroma that is quite clean.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The malt and hops push against each other within the moderate body. Solid hop oil flavour, good bittering as well. The malt is just sturdy enough to hold the beer together, faint fruity and estery flavours emerge. Semi dry finish with a lingering hop.

Notes: One of the more drinkable yet underrated pale ales in New England, an awesome BBQ beer IMO.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2003 03:37:12 | More by Jason
Photo of ppoitras


4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12ozer received as part of a 12-pack for Xmas. Thanks Joe.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2" beige head over the clear golden amber brew. Meringey head falls in chunks, with tons of frosty lace. Aroma is crisply hoppy with light underlying sweetness. Taste is dominated by the moderate herbal hops character throughout. Mouthfeel is good, and drinkability is quite easy. Was pretty much pleasantly surprised here.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 23:10:39 | More by ppoitras
Photo of woodychandler


3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured with a bone-white head that quickly dissipated into thin wispiness. It was a very clear golden/amber color. The nose gave an interesting mix of malt sweetness and hoppy tanginess. I experienced a medium mouthfeel with the hops evident on the tongue. The finish was biscuity with the hops continuing to linger. It wasn't overpoweringly hoppy, but seemed just about right for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 18:35:22 | More by woodychandler
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.58/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best example of the American Pale Ale style. Nicely balanced and excellent hop finish. Like most other American pale ales, this beer is best enjoyed out of a glass. Has a cleaner taste and better drinkability than most others in the genre.

Has been enjoyed at many New York Yankee tailgates.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 20:40:19 | More by plaid75
Photo of Bighuge


2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on May 21, 2003.

Dull copper appearance. Hazy. No head. A little collar. Minimal lace. Aroma of faint piney hop tones and grungy stale maltiness. Not much hoppiness to the flavor. It's a letdown. This is one of the worst Pale Ales I've had. No off flavors. Just real stale and blah. The maltiness overrides the hop flavors. Caramel and biscuit tones seem pretty dominant. Mouthfeel is a little too viscous and syrupy. Overall, a disappointing experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 03:21:35 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bright golden-orange color with a slight white head with a poor lacing.

S: pine hopping and some caramel-orange aroma along with a light toasted grain sweetness.

T: The initial flavor was only moderately hoppy per style with some light citrusy taste from cascade hops, dry oranges and a light caramel sweetness. The flavor is muted and fades quickly though.

M: light, with a decent dry hoppiness and light carbonation.

D: Overall only a borderline beer. Ok for the first beer or two but would quickly get tired of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 00:06:55 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Brad007


1.8/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Beer pours a medium pale-ish color with a decent head of foam. A bit hard to detect the aroma without sticking my nose in a bit. Tastes a bit dry and bitter and not quite balanced. Aftertaste is somewhat watery as well. Probably got a bad bottle (it was bottled 2/20/07) or something. Can't really give much of a review here.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 00:54:57 | More by Brad007
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a short head that fades pretty quickly to a ring. Smells of malty but dry, with a slight nuttiness and a mild, earthy hop bitterness. Taste is similar, slightly nutty and earthy and not all that refreshing. Leans more towardd an esb than an American style pale ale in my taste. Mouthfeel is crisp and a tad soft. Its okay, but I'd rather have something a little more citrusy or even slightly sweeter for my apa.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 20:44:05 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Tone


3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hay, golden/copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, slight citrus, slight pine, and sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops and slight sweet malt. Overall, no complexity, watery mouth feel, little body, but on the plus it is easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 02:48:19 | More by Tone
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Otter Creek Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
82 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.