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

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Otter Creek 20th Anniversary AleOtter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale

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191 Ratings
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Ratings: 191
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 16.62%
Wants: 3
Gots: 27 | 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: 191 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gezondheid
5/5  rDev +38.5%

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.

Photo of Flounder57
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer was poured into an Allagash tulip glass.

Apperance: The beer poured a half finger head that has reduced to a thin layer. Carbonation is coming up the side of the glass. The beer is a nice red/brown/mohogany color and slight visibility through the beer.

Smell: bananas, molasses, boozy alcohol, dark fuits, and sweet caramel malts. Can't really notice the hops too much.

Taste: Same as above, but better. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable and up front, but the bananas, dark fruits, and caramel are all delicious. Booze probably could be more toned down if bottle aged. Too late now.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and delicious. Not really too carbonated. Somewhat on the low to medium side for carbonation. Medium to full bodied.

Overall: This beer seems to be a stepped up version of their flagship copper ale that I have loved over the years. Will have to get my hands on a few bottles to store. The beer should smooth out more and become more malty with time. Will have to enjoy one in a year or two.

Photo of iguana1010
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of morebeergood
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of jjcote
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of bacher468
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.73/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark golden brown that has a reddish hue when held up to the light. Thin layer of bubbly head. Retention is short. Dark fruits and rich toasty caramel malts. Alcohol is present as well. No real hop aroma. Syrupy mouthfeel. Raisins and burnt caramel. Bitter earthy hop kick in the middle and finish. Malty, medicinal cherry/grape finish that drys out pretty hard. There is also a layer of metallic sourness but it is very light. The regular copper is good this version of it not so much.

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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four-pack from the local bottle shop. The guy there suggested cellaring might be successful with this brew, so I'm going to give that a try. That being said, I cracked one to try fresh. The beer pours without the slightest trace of head. The brew is a deep, vibrant auburn-copper color, with a slight hazing. It's almost black in the depths. Aromas are light, with a definite boozey backbone, and some caramel sweetness with a roasted highlight. Mostly booze in the nose, though. The beer is oily slick in mouth, with a heavy booze presence that is almost astringent as it clears the palate. There is a deep, dark sugary, syrupy flavor throughout, with some dark, old world fruit highlights. Extremely rich flavors on a slick, rich, full body that leaves a tangy sweet, slightly booze astringent aftertaste that leads to a lingering, almost cloying finish. Strong brew, and it will be interesting to see how it does age. As for fresh, served at cellar temperature, it's not a bad brew at all.

Photo of Rifugium
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

I was a bit confused by this one. BA calls it an altbier, the list at Capone's called it an "imperial copper ale," but when it was poured and presented to me, it appeared and smelled like a coffee stout, and tasted altogether different, more like an old ale or barleywine. Actually, I asked the bartender if she had poured me the correct beer, and another gentleman at the bar did the same about a half hour later. So I guess this one is up to the individual's experience.

Poured a dark black with mahogany highlights around the edges, only when head up to the light. No head whatsoever. Nary a bubble to be seen anywhere. Smell rich with dark malts, coffee, and a bit booze-laden, notes of caramel and peat. Taste was definitely closer to a Scotch ale or barleywine--enough so to make my wife squint in disgust when she sampled it. Malty, roasty, caramely, cocoa and some coffee notes, but not nearly as pronounced as was in the aroma. Somewhat smokey, with tinges of dark, bourbon-soaked fruits. Heavy-medium mouthfeel, and good, but not exceptionally drinkable. I'm still a bit baffled as to what this really was....but it wasn't an altbier, that's for sure.

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.

Photo of greenengineer
4.53/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle to my Pretty Things pint glass, while watching live streaming of the Tar Sands Action - No KXL!

A - deep brown color, loses head very quickly. Looks like a coke if you let the ice cubes melt.
S - alcohol smell, not surprising considering the content. nice hops coming through, a little caramel malty
T - Yummy. deep malty flavor. Alcohol not overpowering, more malty. Hops are there, but not coming through.
M - sticky and thick - I love it. Very similar in feel to Oskar Blues G'Knight, which is my favorite.
O- I like this beer a lot. A little more hops and it would be my favorite. Very tasty, and drinkable considering the alcohol content.

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Little head that dies almost immediately to only rim bubbles. Deep brown amber color. Light passes easily; appears clear.

Darker caramel aroma, lightly sweet. Notable alcohol nose.

I would not call this an Altbier. The alcohol is huge--definitely a Barley Wine. There's a powerful dollop of hop bitterness. The beer is dryer than the smell suggests. The aftertaste is similar to a malt whiskey with a touch of white pepper. Almost oily in the mouthfeel.

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

Photo of SawDog505
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours a reddish brown, with a one inch off white head, with a very aggressive pour. Solid lacing. Smell is very bready, carmel, dark fruit, some wood,and booze. Taste is all that, with some candy apple in the finish. Body is medium, to heavy. Light carbonation and not the easiest drinking. It is't bad, just not my favorite flavors.

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!

Photo of kennylopez
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: a dark red copper color that is dark and slightly hazy. pours a finger thick head that fades to nothing and leaves the smallest amounts of lacing as I drink it.

Smells: I smell kind of a caramel and candied plum sweetness through the thick malt backbone.

Tastes: not as sweet as the nose insisted but there is a cherry and plum hint behind the upfront malt characteristics that are bold and assertive over everything else. I do taste the hops, but they are more relevant in the middle and end while staying subtle.

Mouthfeel: the 12% does leave a burn, but it is a fresh ale and should mellow as they sit. Although there wasn't much lasting head as I drink it the carbonation comes back to life in my mouth.

overall: this is a flavor packed brew. I enjoyed it fresh and look forward to seeing what some time will do to them.

Photo of gabedivision
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured At Conlon's in South Buffalo.

Pours a deep reddish brown, dark chestnut color, with little to no head retention after the initial pour. Smells of deep Malt, brown sugar, slight toffee and chocolate notes. The taste is big on the malt, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, cherries, very sweet and tasty. This beer is intensely complex for an Altbier, lots of nice flavors floating around. Full bodied and rich on the feel. Overall this beer is great, very subtle 12% abv, was expecting more aggressive booze but not the case, very drinkable glad i had a chance to enjoy it.

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a deep copper with half a finger of light tan head. Poor head retention with no lacing.

S- Oy this is a messy brew. Starts out with a doughy bready malt aroma with notes of dark fruit that brings to mind fig and date. Big spicy phenolic alchohol soon takes over and dominates the aroma.

T- Booze soaked dark fruit with a raisin characteristic at first. Doughy rum cake like maltiness in the middle. Finish is a very disjointed hot alchohol with a touch of gritty grain.

MF- sticky syrupy mouthfeel with a medium body and light carbonation.

D- low drinkability.

Overall a very disjointed hot brew that I think with a couple of years in the cellar could become something delicious.

Photo of benbking
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I am a big fan of the Otter Creek Copper Ale, so I was very curious about this one.
I bought a 4 pack and came home and read reviews. Then I put the 4 pack away. And now I've learned a little more.
This beer needs some age, and I expect spectacular results. I'm planning to put away two additional 4 packs. A one year and a two year cellar.
Coming out of the bottle it looks great, deep amber color and a strong malt smell that you would expect from a 12%.
As others have noted, it's a little thick in the mouthfeel. I hope this improves with age.
The taste: it's too jumbled up. There's malt, fruit, and wheat.
I get a bit of a boozy kick in the swallow, I also hope that mellows with age.
Overall, age this one. If you enjoy the regular Copper Ale, I think you'll appreciate what this could be in time.
Fresh out of the bottle, it's some weird half diamond half coal creation. I will report back at a later date.
I'm still drinking it now, out of a 16 oz pint glass. I've been working on it for about half an hour. I'm excited for the future, but couldn't recommend currently. Hope this helps you out.

Photo of steve8robin
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now this one sounded interesting, so I'd figure it's worth a try. 12oz bottle...

A: A nice clear super deep ruby red with a 1 inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. The head retention is surprising for the ABV %. Very good.

S: I get some very sweet sugary malts upfront with not much else. Nothing special.

T: I get a wheat blast upfront quickly followed by a bitter hop and then overcome quickly by an alcohol burn. A lingering rye taste on the palate. The flavors happen so fast that it's hard to pinpoint. Decent.

M: Medium body with a good carbonation. A dry finish. Decent.

O: All in all, this beer is ok. It's not really anything special. The aroma is very subdued so it's hard to pull anything from that. Plus, the lack of flavors makes the 12% ABV very hard to hide. It's definitely very evident. Good to try if you want something strong.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a copper chestnut color with a thick lacing ring around the top and mildy sluggish carbonation.

S - Candy rum, dark fruit of raisons, dates, figs, and doughy with boozey effervescence, high octane like this is pretty hard to hide.

T - Up front it kisses the tongue with sweet doughy malt sweetness, some dark fruit, and immediately followed with a noticeable pine and grapefruit bitterness. The hops stick around to the end keeping the massive amount of malts in check. Midway when the sweetness and bitterness collide, they eventually blend to end the sip with a very healthy dose of rum/bourbon effervescence and a wall of heat. As I work through the bottle, my throat gradually adjusts to the heat and it becomes much less noticeable.

M - Thick, creamy, and velvet smooth on the tongue, lip smacking sticky, and heavy, I don't know what more I can say.

O - This is a serious beer from Otter Creek, it's nice to see "they have it in 'em" to brew such a big monster. It's young at this point which explains the edgy and green harshness which is why I will be going back to the same bottle shop tomorrow to buy a few more and stash them away in my cellar to see how they mature. At 12%, this puppy needs to be laid down for awhile. It's a butt kicker that is best sipped from a snifter. I need to educate myself more on the Alt Bier style because this one reminds me more of an American Strong Ale and perhaps flirting with Barleywine.

Otter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
82 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.