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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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 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 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 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 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 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 RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

These days, I am probably quicker to buy a session ale than anything else, to be honest. Already, a lot of heavy hitting breweries are putting out some outstanding beers that I can drink and won't get blitzed out of my mind off of.

This is an okay session ale. Not really bringing the vibrance that I'd want for this type of beer. I kind of want a punch in the mouth of hops, to be honest. Well balance and sharp along some characteristic.

A fair production, but I wouldn't go for it again. (493 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 WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orange copper pale ale with a bright white head fine lively white bubbled head...Aroma has citrus lemon/lime malts with a fine biscuit note. The flavor is light hops and malts together a hint of citrus pith with lemony hops goes great with a light biscuit malt character. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied overall very dull and straight forward. Again the light bodied malt makes up for the hops being so easy going, it allows them to shine. (443 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 Billolick
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle

Hazed lighter amber, off white looser head, leaving some light spotty lace.

Light fruity hop nose.

Pleasant enough brew, light and sessionable (duh) fresh and refreshing. Moderate hop package, fruity and flavorful

Worthy every day kinda beer. (260 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a shaker pint glass.

Very pale amber, opaque with hints of yellow and peach like orange colors. Head is very small makes barely a finger, but settles down slowly. Bubbles are a little soapy, but otherwise a mish mash of sizes. Not too bad looking, a mixture of fast rising small and large occasional carbonation also.

Nose has a light malt, and a bit of airy bile stomach sensations. Small fruit hop orange hiding in the background.

Palate comes forth a bit wet, but not totally but also a little chalky in texture. Light bodied and slightly grassy, Good bread finish with a light noticeable hop angle. Good chunk of pine action and noticeable bitterness.

Overall.. Not bad for what it is, although a bigger plethora of flavorful American Pale Ale's out there, but not at this low ABV range. (823 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

LOOK: Pours a rich golden color with a chill haze. White foam cap is short lived but manages to leave a bit.

SMELL: Perfumey hop aroma, grassy, citrusy with some honeyed malt touches.

TASTE: Mildly bitter, earthy hops are on display. Grainy, neutrally sweet pale malts add the body and balance the hops well. Thin this beer is not. Little grapefruit juicyness, good bit of earthy notes and drinks easy.

OVERALL: Solid little session pale here. Would have liked brighter hops, but this serves just fine as a hop fix in a pinch. Claims to be a new style, yet this is much like an old style pale ale. (601 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from The Lazy Dog
Crystal clear deep golden color and a fluffy frothy white head that slowly recedes before leaving stickies everywhere. Light bready malt with hints of soapy lemony hops make up most of the aroma. The flavor follows the aroma light malt, light earthy citrus hop and little else. Light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost watery mouthfeel. I don't understand this beer. Sessionable I can see, its a lower alcohol easy to drink beer. But you used the word hop in the name and I have trouble finding any. I was hoping for something like All Day IPA or Go To IPA, but instead I got this mediocre beer. (646 characters)

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 beerthulhu
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: A strong raging effervesce lies within a dark orange body. Nice suspension of micro-floaties. The head is a healthy and sturdy 2+ fingers in heigth, foamy, with an eggshell white tone. Tons of thick, spongy lacing provides a generous coverage rate on the vessel.

S: Lemon meringue, sweet, with some tangerines lies over a pilsner scented malting. Level is modest, pale like, with some dry rose petals and a flowery fade.

T: Flowery hops, dry grainy pilsner like malting. Flowery orange, soft citrus, some wheat. As it warms it shows some dry floury character. Yes floury, not flowery for the record.

M: Mouthful is malty, smooth textured, dry with some citrusy orange and wheat fade.

O: Overall smooth, sessionable, with just the right amount of hop appeal to bring some respect with out overstaying its welcome after a few. (835 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 puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 061413-3691M. Sampled on October 14, 2013.

It pours pale yellow-orange copper with a long lasting off-white foamy head. It is on the cloudy side.

The aroma is of pine and earth hops with some toasted bready malts playing up on the backside.

The body is in the light to medium range.

The taste is about the same as the nose with a good flowery-floral flavor, milder malts, and a lingering dryish finish. Easy drinking. (459 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 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 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 Jwale73
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a nonic. Pours a sunny, orange-gold with a slightly hazy clarity and a frothy, latte-like half inch bright white head. Nose expresses citrus rind, a noble hops presence and some earthiness. Taste is a bit on the dull side - grainy/husk-like with a hint of citrus fruit and earthiness at the back. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a hint of acidity. Overall, not a bad beer but there's not much flavor - nonetheless, a decent session beer that would probably standout on-cask. (500 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a mason jar

Pours a pretty clear orange hue with a fluffy off-white cap that rose two fingers. The cap fell slowly and left some streaks of lace behind. The nose is of lightly toasted biscuits, a touch of caramel, and some earthy hops. On the palate, malt leads the way. Biscuits and caramel up front and through the middle before a mild rush of earthy, piney hops. Not resiny, but more fresh needles, with a mild bitterness that builds ever so slightly with each sip. Light to medium body with smooth carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Nice feel, good heft. This is a nice little session pale ale. The malt bill is a little heavier than you would expect, but there is a nice balance in the bitterness of the finish. (738 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a very hazy darker-orange amber color with a one finger white head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a tiny level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of some grainy smells as well as a little bit of some floral and earthy hops. Along with the grain and hop are some aromas of caramel and a little bit of bready smell. A little bit of a cracker smell as well as a very light citrus is there as well along with an odd somewhat coffee like smell that seems slightly out of place.

Taste –The taste begins with a drier biscuit flavor with some lighter hop tastes of a more earthy and hay like nature. Some grainy tastes quickly come to the tongue as well as a little bit of a lemon citrus flavor. Some grassy flavors later come to the tongue as well as more hay and a little bit of a more floral hop flavor. None of the hops in themselves is too potent, but the combination of flavors that has developed on the tongue, in combination with the drier and somewhat lighter malt flavors, ends up leaving a somewhat sharp, hoppy, and grainy flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with a carbonation level that is average as well. A bit of a lighter body and higher carbonation level may have been slightly better for the drier and hopped characteristics of the brew, but overall it was alright.

Overall –A decent sessionable IPA, but a little too dry and slightly unbalanced as the hops sort of outweighs the other characteristics of the brew. (1,608 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle picked up as part of a Wegmans mix-six pack.

Pours a clear amber, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing near the top quarter of the glass.

Not a real strong smell on this one, some pine, with a bit of candied citrus.

There's basically no malt here, it only shows up in a sort of candied pineapple taste near the end. Pine and grass up front. Quite watery.

Light bodied, crisp mouthfeel, pretty drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Like most session IPAs, this falls short. Without the typical (silent) malt backbone, the body falls flat and becomes quite watery. Pass. (587 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.