Otter Creek Hop Session Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Hop Session AleOtter Creek Hop Session Ale

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BA SCORE
83
good

58 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 58
Hads: 375
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 3.81%
Wants: 5
Gots: 56 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brad007 on 10-06-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Originally brewed by the Otter Creek brewers who were looking for an easy sipper after a long shift, Hop Session lies somewhere between a Pale Ale and IPA. A bouquet of hop varieties complement a rich blend of malts, making this brew highly drinkable with a distinct, West Coast hop flavor and aroma.

35 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 375
Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light spicy hop atop a round pale malt.

The taste consisted of a vibrant spicy and leafy hop with a soft grainy pale malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a very tasty hop forward session ale. I am happy to see more of these type beers in the marketplace. (413 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new APA from Otter Creek. A part of me wonders if this will be similar to standard OC Pale Ale or if it will live up to the name.

Pours a bright and yet, cloudy orange with a thin head into my glass. Simple way of describing the color but it is certainly vibrant.

A very fresh, balanced mix of citrus and pine in the nose. Smells like something much stronger but the taste is where it matters the most.

Surprisingly crisp with a piney citrus bite and plenty of buttery malt goodness. Very delicious. Toasty. Lots of flavor for a low ABV.

Lingering citrus/pine notes make up the mouthfeel. You don't get the overwhelming bitterness of a stronger example.

IMHO, this lives up to the name and would make an excellent addition to your evening. (756 characters)

Photo of buzzarooski
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Hazy Golden Orange Color IPA with Fill 1/2 inch White Foamy Head that Dissipated Quickly, Plenty of Lacing

SMELL: Mild Hoppy Scents with Lemon Pine and Citrus Notes, Mild Malt and Grains also Evident

Taste: Refreshing Hoppy Flavor, Minimal Bitterness through-Out the Sip and after the Swallow.

FEEL: Very Refreshing Sip, Perfect Amount of Carbonation that works well with the Flavors

OVERALL: I Enjoyed and would Recommend this Refreshing Session Ale.....Well Done Otter Creek (487 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Anthony's in Harrisburg, enjoyed from a large sampler tumber chilled on tap.

The color is brilliant golden with good clarity and perhaps a slight haze with small white cap and tiny bead. The smell has citrus hop aroma with light herbal aromatics and gentle tropical notes which compliment the grain sweetness in the nose. The feel is mildly bitter and moderately carbonated with gentle spice and mild creaminess of yeast a very refreshing blend of bitter with light grain tinge and yeast tanginess.

The flavors up front are lightly citrus with a nice herbal zestiness from the hops which have bitter quality but are not over the top. The light malt sweetness pairs well with the mild citrus notes the hops impart. The low alcohol in the taste and mild tea-like character stands out as refreshing and brings me back for subsquent tastes as the ale has low astringency in the flavor. Overall this is a quality hoppy pale, very refreshing as stated earlier with plenty of hop acidity yet not too much to throw it out of balance or make the title a misnomer (1,072 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was served from the tap at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a pint glass, glowing a deep toasted amber coloring. There was no head due to a full pour, and otherwise carbonation appeared average. Spots of punctate lacing were left as the liquid disappeared. There was a thick haze to the beer, but no sediment was noted. The aroma was strong with plastic phenols, darker malts with a hearty toast mixing in with paler malts, and a muddy muskiness. Our first impression was that it was a bit heavy, but full flavoring with robust pucker to the hops. The flavoring opened with pale malts, fruity strawberry and juicy tropical fruit, and enough citric pucker to balance as the hops rode in. The middle peaked with sour malts, spicy alcohol, attic musk, and light flecks of wheaty, gritty grain alongside mineral and mud. The finish was sweeter, with orange pulp and peel, and soapy hops for a bitter end. The aftertaste breathed of soap, pine, lemon rind, and magic-marker phenols. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was biting. The mouth was coated with syrupy liquid, with an eventual cooling and light dryness to permeate. There was decent slurp, cream, and pop. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank a bit slower on account of the fullness of flavor and feel.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how nice the flavoring and nose correlated. There was full soap, fruit, and musk, with enough force from bittering hops and pale malts for a unique mix. This all coupled with a hearty feel, making for a refreshing drink of a cool Autumn day. (1,589 characters)

Photo of poop_brew
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a nice golden yellow with good lacing and a bit of haze.

S - a fruity arrangement with a nice hop finish.

T - as it says on the bottle it's "a bouquet of hops". Extremely drinkable.

M - a crisp hop finish. Wonderful.

O - a truly sessionable hop ale with a great taste. I'd recommend this to everyone looking for a tasty hoppy summer beverage. (354 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pony Bar Upper East Side, New York, NY

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish brown in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of fresh citrusy and piney hops, although these aren't too strong given the beer's lighter body and only contribute a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with some hints of dryness and a moderate amount of carbonation. It coats your mouth a little.
O: This is a nice flavorful pale ale that is easy to drink. (780 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper/orange pour with a finger + of white fluffy head, nice lacing left behind. A grassy hop profile up front, pine, soapy, grapefruit citrus.
The flavor is bready up front, subtle caramel, lots of nice piney/grapefruit hops. Light medium body with high carbonation. A pretty delicious beer for being this light and from an overall "average brewery". (354 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle; clear golden orange, a bit cloudy with lots of carbonation. Thick white fluffy head leaving lots of rocky lacing. Smell is sweet, dank hops with some clean, bready malt in the background. Smells like the perfect pale ale in my opinion. Taste confirms that status for the most part; clean, slightly crackery malts with a slight citrus hop flavor and twang of bitterness over the wet finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-thin. Could be a tiny bit hoppier; I know it's a pale ale but it does have Hop in the name. Still great though! (557 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: moderate yellow-golden hue with a medium haze and a pretty strong effervescence. Head is three fingers of frothy ivory foam, and though I admit I poured a little vigorously, there's a nice retention and lace here. Quite attractive.

Smell: rich, roamy, funky hop aroma with a lot of herbal character, dankness, and a hint of lemon. Frankly, I rather like it.

Taste: malt is quite toasty and a little bit biscuity. Usually these are not my favorites, but there's a fried-corn-chip-like natural quality here ... I don't mean to imply there's a serious adjunct problem, but this beer strongly reminds me of the Mexican breakfast dish chilaquiles. Which, for me, is not a bad thing at all. It's a bit weird: grainy, toasty, corny, herbal ... but damn it if these flavors don't just *work*. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: light body, but a good carbonation and a refreshing effervescence, if not a deep creaminess. I think it works well for this beer.

Overall: drinkable and tasty, if a little bit weird. I don't exactly grok this brew, but I enjoy it with my own experience. Interesting! (1,134 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/6/13 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a tapered mug glass.

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

S: The aroma contains grassy hops, light caramelized malts and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts with a quick burst of piney hops bitterness. Then some citrus and caramel sweetness comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for a long time. (755 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Otter Creek's brewpub, Middlebury, VT

A surprisingly good treat here. Twelve ounce pour, a cloudy golden-orange liquid, with a frothy white head that retained well and left tons of lacing on the glass. Nice aroma of fresh citrus and piney hops. The bartender likened this beer to a "sessionable version of Heady Topper." I don't know if I'd go that far, but this was still a damn good beer. Crisp, clean taste, nice punch of citrus zest and piney hops, as promised by the smell, biscuity malt base. Very flavorful for a lower ABV brew. Light-medium body, not at all thin. Refreshing and tasty. Very good overall. This is supposedly a new year-round brew, so hopefully it translates as well in bottles as it did on tap. (740 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

*12 Oz. Bottle* I am all about refreshing hoppy ales. This one is no exception. its a little rough around the edges but that's only because this is pretty old in the "Pale Ale" category. The beer looks chunky, you know sediment that is active all over my glass. I don't mind that at all. The body is golden straw/light amber, with a small white head. Lets smell this little guy. Main aroma is that of citrus mainly grapefruit peel. There is hints of cut grass with bread malts with mild earth. Smells hoppy lets see how this tastes. This is hoppy. Mainly citrus driven with hints of lavender and cut grass. The finish is pretty refreshing with a subtle amount of bitterness. The feel on this beer is very light on the palate with heavy carbonation.

Overall: I like session brews. This one is a very good example for what a Hoppy Session Ale can be. I believe there could be a little bit more body to the beer to be excellent. The flavors are on point. This is refreshing, hoppy, flavorful and below 5%! This is a good Baseball beer. I could drink this and not get tired out while watching a sporting event. This brew is worthy! (1,128 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Mildly hazy yellow gold with a finger of fizzy/foamy white head, medium on lacing.
S - Aroma is really nice here, lots of grassy and citrus peel scents, mild pine, a touch of pineapple, and some pale malt
T - Light and crisp flavor, citrus zest, cracker and bread malt, grassy and pine on the finish.
M - Light and refreshing, very good.
O - Sessionable for sure, good flavor, could drink this often. (428 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a finger thick head, white and big bubbled. Hazy, golden bronze body. Semi-sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Mellow hop aroma. Grapefruit peel. Some floral notes.
T) Hop bite from start to finish. A well balanced taste profile of nutty malts and citrus fruit. Subtle hops linger in the aftertaste.
M) Clean. Crisp, but smooth. Medium light body.
O) A nice session-able pale ale. I'll be drinking more. (438 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a hazy orange yellow quite weird for a pale ale, and has a 1/4 inch of head with faded lacing.

S - Bright resinous pine hops, biscuit goodness, and some citrus pine twang.

T - A bit aggressive at first with sharp pine and little biscuit balance but halfway through the glass the beer opens up with more citrus hop twang, balance cracker finish, and pine resin on the tongue. I am surprised they got this much hop bitterness in a session ale.

M - Light, crisp, goes down easy and bitter twang in ever sip is enjoyable.

Overall not as good as say founders all day IPA but still quite a good pale IPA. (612 characters)

Photo of predikit
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper gold, left almost no head, but might have been because of a gentle pour. Leaves faint amount of lacing on the glass.

Smells is rather muted, hops and malted barley.

Taste is very agreeable, minor fruity characteristic, with some floral hop notes, quickly gets folded into a bright and strong toasted malt character. No real outlying flavors or notes, bitterness picks up towards the end.

Medium-light bodied, medium carbonation, quite smooth, leaves mostly clean.

A pretty good brew, feels like hoppy done right. (531 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a slightly hazy pale orange color with some clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Light tangerine and grapefruit hops followed by simple pale and bready malts.

Taste: Grassy, citrus, and tingling hops. Light pale and bready malts too.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, and very enjoyable.

Overall: Very drinkable and enjoyable APA. Bartender, get me another. (530 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good for them, bottle date... 10/22/12

Pours a creamy but fizzy 1/3 finger head that fades at a med pace, with some nice foamy lacing, very hazy honey orange colored beer.

Nose has some decent hops, light floral grassy, little fruity citrus and a bit of tropical fruit, hint of mango and papaya like, very light grapefruit, light malty aromatic like malt aroma, and a touch of a lemon burst on the late aroma. A bit of citrus fruit pith and rind as well.

Taste starts light and sessionable which is nice. Hops come through but fairly light overall. Grapefruit is the first to stand out, followed by light mango and tangerine like, hint of citrus pith and rind as well, with a light bitterness. A grainy almost husky malt in the background starts to get in teh way a bit. The malts add just a touch of backbone but that slightly bugging flavor. Finish is drier but slightly sticky, mild bitterness more like citrus rind bitterness, hint of tangerine and mango like tropical fruit.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, airy carbonation.

Overall decent, hops are decent but light, bitterness is quite light, malts are light but flavor profile gets in the way a little bit. Although it is sessionable and fairly tasty. (1,214 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a cloudy orange with energetic carbonation coursing up the body. Head is a half inch high and frothy. Head leaves lacing rings and dots. Quite attractive.

S-Modest intensity. Hops are a mix of green grass and sweet orange flesh. Doughy and crackery malt. Well balanced but it is decently hopped. Aroma is inviting.

T-Spicy and pine hops slowly shift to a tangy orange hop flavor. Hops are more assertive here than in the nose. Biscuit and cracker malt. Sweetness is rather soft. This brew grows on me after each sip.

M-Sessionable of course. Buzzing carbonation. Moderate bitterness. Very crisp. Drinks with precision and ease.

O/D-First glass didn't impress me much. But the second one really hit the spot. Hoppy enough and superbly drinkable. Not incredibly complex but it more than does the job. (810 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this was just about exactly what I wanted it to be, a hop forward easy drinking brew, but I still think it pales in comparison to all day ipa or bikini beer, which are the gold standards in this style. I found a little too much copper malt balance in this, a little too much body, and a little less drinkability than some of its peers. still, there is a great citrusy hop back end to it, and enough meat on the bones to seasonally out last a beer like all day ipa or bikini beer, this works in the fall too. I loved the carbonation, high and active, and I liked the finish which was very well hopped. a good brew, but a little generic as they go. something I would be happy to drink more of this fall if I was going to stay back east. this would be a good companion on brew day, where I need to drink for five hours in the afternoon. I will keep that in mind. (859 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate head but the bubbles coat the surface throughout the tasting. Little (spotty) lace. The look is dirty cold with a definitive haze.

Fresh floral hop nose with a solid pale malt aroma. There's also an element of unmalted barley grain. Great combination to the nose.

A solid pale ale with a grainy pale malt start quickly succumbing to a white pepper-like hop bite. The body is thin for the style and the elevated carbonation enhances this effect. The aftertaste is strong and lasting with bitterness. (509 characters)

Photo of dougfur
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a great straw color, nice and hazy, with a modest head. Great looking beer! The smell is delicate, herbal/citrus hops, with a bit of yeast as well. Not an IPA like nose, but not bad. Taste follows suit. Great mix of malts/hops/yeast, a bit hoppier than most pale ales. Delicious on a hot day! Overall, a very solid beer for when you don't want something really strong or heavy. Like all beers that don't knock your socks off with some aspect, I see this one has received a mediocre rating overall.... It's underrated. For its style, it's a nice beer at a great price! (573 characters)

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

Always excited to see a new OC brew hit the shelves.
12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

A - Pours a hazy, deep golden orange with an airy 2 finger head. The head slowly fades to a thin rocky cap; kind of reminds me of sea foam.

S - Biscuity with lots of citrus hops. I get orange, lime, and grapefruit. A little catty at the end of the nose, but by no means in an unpleasant way.

T - In tune with the smell, biscuit malts support a citrus-forward character with notes of resinous pine. Finishes with a pronounced and clean bitterness. Not quite as much hop flavor as the aroma led me to expect.

M - Medium-light body and good carbonation; moderate but not prickly. Finishes nice and dry.

O - As the description states, this is a light and refreshing pale ale that definitely drinks more like an IPA. All in all a very enjoyable beer, but on the taste front I guess I was hoping for just a little more "oomph". (914 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a small snifter from the 12oz bottle. An intense head forms as I pour making it necessary for me to split up pours. Cap has a creamy and frothy texture with great size and retention, about two fingers tall. A pile of foam stays pretty much as I drink it and leaves a ton of spotty lace.

S- Mostly just a light lemon citrus and herbal presence off the top. Some light malt sweetness and floral hints as well. Good strength but not all that complex.

T- I guess this is pretty much what I would expect from a beer named "Hop Session." The hop profile is very floral here with a good deal of citrus and herbal, pine and spice following that. Lemon, grapefruit, berry and flowery notes shine. Very mild balance of cracker malts and some yeast bread.

MF- Very foamy and silky body with a creamy overall consistency, I got a hint it would be this way by the intense head and it's texture, probably some Cara-Pils in this recipe. Moderate bitterness (for an APA) in the finish and high but tolerable carbonation.

As a beer named "Hop Session," I can't really argue that they don't do a good job in their goal. There is a pretty nice amount of hops in a beer that drinks very smoothly and easily. Not the best hop profile I have tasted but still a solid ale. (1,268 characters)

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Otter Creek Hop Session Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
83 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.