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Otter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Otter Creek 20th Anniversary AleOtter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

188 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 16.62%
Wants: 2
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

55 IBU

(Beer added by: Brad007 on 09-24-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by templar316:
Photo of templar316
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rich cloudy amber, thin head no lace. Smells of lovely caramel malt, cinamon and candied fruit. This has really aged well; wish I would have kept more for next year. The alcohol burn is 25% and deep malt flavors bounce back and forth across the tongue with each sip. Still a bit of burn at the end. But a great coming of age beer...

templar316, Dec 02, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 9/13/11.
In a pilsner glass this beer was a mohogany color with a small tan head and a little lace. It had a viscous appearance.

Aroma of dark fruit and caramel. Very sweet. Alcohol noticeable. Very hot.

Toffee and caramel taste. Raisins. Booze.

Not bad, will probably age . A little too sweet and a little too hot.

lordofthewiens, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased a month ago in Vermont (Pearl st. Burlington)

Pours: super clear, glowing, auburn tinged darker honey. Medium tan head, frothy and loose, better then decent retention, very slowly going to a loose and blotchy film, thin collar and a moderate amount of bits of fine lace.

Nose: heavy caramel

Taste: sweet, caramel malty, smokey, with some peat, tastes similar to a nice smooth glass of single malt scotch.

Mouthfeel: smooth and pleasing on the tongue and flowing around the mouth

overall: After reading the earlier reviews I was expecting an overheated, young and alcohol laced brew...maybe a month or two in the bottle, has been enough or to cool this one down a bit. I found it to be a strong, bold, flavorful and pleasant sipper/night capper type of brew. Probably will continue to improve/soften/mellow with some more age in the bottle, but drinking quite well right now IMHO

Billolick, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of jaminjohnson
3.5/5  rDev -3%

jaminjohnson, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of kingcrowing
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a pint glass.

Pours a muddy dirty brown, almost no head, no lacing, and it's just an odd color. Nose is malty, slightly boozy boozy, and that's it.

Taste is complex, caramel and dark chewy molasses, it has a full creamy Mouthfeel and a sharp finish. Hard to describe but still good!

kingcrowing, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
4.28/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Otter Creek's 20th Anniversary Ale opens with a rich, malty, yeasty nose that is perfectly appropriate for a 12% ABV beer brewed with four times the hops and malts of Otter Creek's Copper Ale (the beer to which this edition pays homage). The aromas drifting from the bottle are heavily yeasty, mixed in with the distilled aromas of several pounds of fresh wet grains, smelling in this sense much like rising bread dough, only more concentrated and potent. Deep beneath this, and barely noticeable, are brown sugars and hints of cherry, apple, and apricot.

On the tongue, the beer continues its yeasty, malty slam, the opening flavors tasting much like concentrated bread dough, or perhaps raw wheat bagel dough, being yeasty and full of grain flavors, as if your entire mouth was full of stalks of raw wheat mixed with Grape Nuts cereal and toasted wheat bread crusts. The hops kick in only a half-second or so after this opening onslaught, adding grapefruit and pine layers to the beer in sufficient quantity to make themselves noticed (which is difficult, given the strength of the grain flavors). Strong brown sugars help temper the beer somewhat, and the malts do bring a good plateful of fruit esters to the mix, including fig, black cherry, apple, and raisin. The high alcohol content mixed with some of these fruit and grain flavors makes the brew seem cognac-like in certain aspects, moving slightly towards a harsher bourbon profile, though touches of vodka-like alcohol kick somewhat spoil the effect. The aftertaste is a continuation of the pure grain and yeast flavors, with fewer sugars, and a lingering, but lighter grapefruit hop presence. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer, though the high ABV does somewhat detract from the overall effect, making the beer not only slightly harsh, but medicinal. Still, the flavors in here are just about as intense as you'll find in any brew, and it's obvious that huge quantities of malt and hops go into every bottle. When young--as is the bottle that I opened--these quantities produce a brew that is somewhat harsh and demanding, but I suspect that time will be very kind to the beer, mellowing the spiky bits out until, a few years from now or so, what will pour out is golden and smooth as silk. Personally, I'm cellaring the rest of my four-pack for at least two years.

jondeelee, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle at about cellar temp poured into a goblet. split with a friend.

pours a deep brownish, reddish color, the slightest bit hazy, some sediment. a thin, skim layer of off white head, average retention, no real lacing.

very sweet, astringently fruity malts, lots of fruity esters. pretty boozey, somewhat solvent like. grapey and vinious as well as some toffee and caramel malts.

again, lots of astringent fruity sweetness. im usually a fan of sweetness in a beer like this, but this is just a totally bad kind of sweetness. lots of fruity esters and slightly solvent booze. toffee, caramel, and vinious fruits, a bit of apple.

astringent, hot, feel a bit thick and syrupy. drinkability is really low. and did i mention super sweet?

i did not enjoy this beer at all, but i still didnt have it in me to drain pour it. this really needs a lot of age to become drinkable, but its still a longshot.

dogfishandi, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of rwilde
3/5  rDev -16.9%

rwilde, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Varkias41
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Varkias41, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown body with thick head. Malty and boozy aroma. Fuller mouthfeel, a sipper. Toffee-ish, hop bitterness comes through in finish. A spot of fruit. A little like an old ale, though at 12% I would call an American strong, although can accept it being called a barleywine.

Sammy, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of fiedler84
3/5  rDev -16.9%

fiedler84, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Atyoungberg
5/5  rDev +38.5%

Atyoungberg, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of gezondheid
5/5  rDev +38.5%

gezondheid, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of jmerloni
1.68/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A - An impressive, thick pour. Dark copper, rich and vibrant looking with ridiculous off-white head.

S - Very fruity, smells fairly tart.

T - Oh my lord, I didn't expect a disaster like this. Unbelievably sweet; almost tastes candied or pralined. Maple'ish tasting dried fruits. Sip comes totally apart as you swallow it.

M - Thick like imitation maple syrup. The sip totally collapses as you swallow it into a mess of sweetness that has the body of flat pepsi. This is one of the worst things I've ever encountered.

D - Awful. Wouldn't ever get this again and I would stop others from buying it if I ever saw that they were in the store. Atrocious.

jmerloni, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of ricknelson
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Our group of 4 Beer Advocate members did a recent small bottle tasting of high alcohol brews.
Among the 12 brews tasted was; Otter Creek's 20th Anniversary American Strong Ale (Retired).
The 20th tied for our 8th highest average score of the 12 brews tasted at 4.06.

ricknelson, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Travcofarms
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Travcofarms, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of mozim
3/5  rDev -16.9%

mozim, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of GBallHead
4/5  rDev +10.8%

GBallHead, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of HopsYeast
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a half finger head that slowly fads to a very thin layer. Has decent amount of lacing. Body is dark bronze to an almost mahogany color. Semi cloudy body.

S-black cherries, malt and an almost buttery aroma. Caramel. There is a pleasant hop smell that mixes with the subtle alcohol notes near the end. Also smell granny smith apples and burnt sugar.

T-nice dose of hops up front that hits and then fads right away. Maltiness with a doughy flavor like that of raw dough. Lingering notes of dark fruit like the skin of a purple plum, and then a sour but pleasant alcohol taste that warms the chest in the end.

M-nice mouthfeel with little to no carbonation. Very heavy body like that of a scotch, almost syrup like. Sticks to the tongue and weighs down on the palate after each swallow.

O-I like this beer but the abv is very noticeable. It is definitely a sipper and something I can drink in front of a fire during a blizzard.

HopsYeast, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, opaque, amber color. About a half inch of vanilla head is present but it recedes quickly to a thin lace. I got no expectations of this beer, I've never tried anything otter creek but I was attracted to the abv.

Smell is nothing but chocolate and caramel malts but it comes through nice and cleanly.

Fizzy and thick mouth feel. A ton of rich chocolate and caramel flavors. For such a high abv the sweetness is mellow and nice. Kind of drinks like a stout flavor wise. What's unique though is a mild hop presence on the back end to balance out the flavors. Both the malt and hops go together excellently. Some sweetness lingers in your mouth afterwards but it's not terrible.

I dont know why this doesnt have a higher rating. . It's suprising balanced and rich in flavor. I couldnt drink more than one at a sitting, but definately a good brew!

JUST TRIED THIS BEER AGAIN WITH A YEAR OF AGE ON IT:

Held up pretty nicely. Body lightens, becomes very champagne like, flavors mellowed. Slight sweetness but an odd bitterness that might come from the now more prevalent alcohol. Starting to drink like a sherry but a good one, if you have one have it with a meal, its pairing awesome with some salty pork right now

jtierney89, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of puboflyons
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on November 11, 2011. The pour is dark amber with a smallish head that becomes a long lasting ring. Sweeter malts are up front in the aroma along with plum or prune, raisins, and Otter Creek's own strain of yeast. With its high ABV I expected a more boozy aroma but that was not the case. The body is medium to heavy with decent stability. Although there is a fizzy acidity that I cannot quite explain but it is just there and not terribly important. As for the taste, I am getting that same malty character aqs the aroma with virtually no alcohol noted. So in that regard it is quite smooth. I bought a couple of these and will be cellaring one of them. I am interested in knowing how it will taste at this time next year.

puboflyons, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: A dense burgundy red shows some chunky particulate yeasty matter floating about. A bronze-tan head is slight and frothy, with a low to moderate retention rate. Some spotty speckled lacing adheres to the glass.

S: Dark fruit of plums and prunes with some boozy sweet caramelization with spicy herbal notes of tarragon and parsley. Some sweet figs are also well noted here.

T: The flavor was lighly boozy, not as strong as the 12.0% you would think, the sweetness hides most indication. Some plums and cocoa and again spicy herbal notes of tarragon are evident along with the sweet sugary figs.

M: The mouthful had a gentle warming of sweet dried boozy fruit with a syrupy texture and an average rate of carbonation.

O: Overall the alcohol is very managable here hidden behind its malt sweetness and sweetened dark fruit. Good mid range offering.

beerthulhu, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Gobigvt7
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Grape & Gourmet in VB, VA.

rich mahogany color with a light, thin head. No legs to speak of.

very light aroma, slight malt and yeast and not a lot else.

a boozy malt bomb, for sure, with a nice fruity character also. This is apparently an homage to their copper ale and it seems a fitting one. Toffee, hazelnuts, caramel, brown sugar. Slight bitterness on the finish, a very welcome resolve.

hot and sticky, coats the mouth. a sipper, for sure. Don't mind it.

Really surprised by how much I like this beer. Almost like an imperial dopplebock in flavor. The perfect amount of sweetness. A great balance of nutty, malty flavors. Bravo!

Gobigvt7, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of TheKingsOfHop
4/5  rDev +10.8%

TheKingsOfHop, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of madisonfinlay
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%

madisonfinlay, Mar 10, 2012
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Otter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
82 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.