Otter Head - Otter Brewery Ltd

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Otter HeadOtter Head

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BA SCORE
83
good

43 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Brewery Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rastaman on 10-02-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FLima:
Photo of FLima
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper color with practically no head.
Aroma of caramels, licorice, mild pine, roasted malts, earthy hops just on the background and dark fruits. It reminded me of a malty Scottish Ale.
Though its flavor is rather different, inversing weights between malt and hops, it is actually refreshing with nice notes of English earthy hops, spices, tangy citrusy, mild herbal, tobacco, caramel, dark chocolate and figs. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Tricking body, it feels light but it is actually bordering medium. It has an appropriate carbonation with tiny bubbles.
Surprisingly good beer and deceiving beer. Interesting that based on the aroma I was expecting a more malty beer with bare hops, but it resulted in a very well balanced brew, tasty with good drinkability and increasing complexity. Highly recommended if you like English Ales.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Its been awhile since I have had a true English pale ale so I picked this up today,poured into a standard pint glass a a slight hazed lighter shade of copper with a thin wispy head seems lightly carbonated.Light aromas mainly English malt notes of brown sugar and sweet dough faint green hop lingers,thinner on the mouth but its very quaffable a real sociable pint.Malt tilted in my mind lightly sweet like brown sugar and faint caramel somewhat drying in the finish with geranium-like quality.Not a world beater but Iam quite sure it wasnt intended to be I could drink it all night and not miss a beat Iam surprised at the alc % really.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper body with a small beige head that leaves some nice splotchy lacing. Aroma is malty toffee and caramel, herbal hops, and a hint of ripe pears. Medium bodied with a soft carbonation. Taste is sweet toffee, bitter herbal/floral hops, pear skins, overripe red apples and a hint of mineral. A prototypical English ESB, not a strong ale as listed here. Well executed and quite sessionable.

Photo of rastaman
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Caramelly toffee malts. Orangey and spicey, with some alcohol noticed in the finish, sweetish and thickish, sligfhtly sticky mouthfeel, finish, is savoury, with some bitterness. Not too bad, decent amount of flavour, and fairly complex aswell, not bad.

Photo of ltdantheman
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

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

Otter Head

A- Deep ruddy brown with a small but sticky head.
S- Deep dried fruits like prune and raisin.
T- Immediate sweet fruit flavors like raisin, prune, and fig blend in nicely with a molasses malt.
M- Sweet and a touch sugary at first but quickly mellowing out. Smooth and creamy finish. Solid flavors with a touch of alc. in the end.

Overall- A tasty Ale that seemed stronger than the 5.8% abv. This following a Hoppy Otter is nice!

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light-golden body with lace and a bit of foam. Faint smell of hops, there is Challenger and Fuggles. A fresh ale, as if it was tapped a day ago, of understated and malted hoppy ale, not too bitter. Above average carbonation for a UK produced ale. Very drinkable, medium mouthfeel. Citrus and lightly grapefruity.

Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper color with avergage head retention and carbonation. A bit on the hot-alchol side for 5.8%. Malty sweetness is the first quality noticed with its smell and taste. Some caramel hints as well. Easy to consume for a Strong Ale. Enjoyed this one at the Charlotte Oktoberfest and would definitely try again.

Photo of dgallina
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce bottle without apparent freshness dating.

Pours slightly hazy copper-brown with a tiny cream head that dissipates quickly, leaving thin lace. Smell is pleasingly nutty and malty, with caramel and biscuit notes over herbal hops. A little thin in flavor for a strong ale, but the beer is nice and quaff-able nonetheless. Biscuit malts at the fore give way to moderately strong leafy hops in the center and finish. More highly hopped than most English bitters. The medium body is creamy and smooth, with just enough carbonation to keep things lively. Nice, but doesn't have the depth and complexity of a classic like the Fuller's bitters.

Photo of kylesobrien
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a moderately translucent deep amber with orange-brown hues. Almost no visible carbonation and nearly zero head. Scent is very malty, with faintly alcoholic character -- and earthy and peppery notes from the aroma hops.

Flavor is malty, with a long sweet caramel taste and a moderate but slightly astringent bitterness in the finish. There's a bit more sweetness in this ale than I expected. Initially, the hoppy aftertaste is a nice counterpoint to the deep malty character, but nearly halfway through the pint, as the hop taste grows more intense, something seems out of balance between the two flavors. It's hard to describe; while I do enjoy the hop flavor itself, it doesn't seem to meld well with the sweet side of this beer.

While I found this one interesting, it's not one of my favorite English ales. I'd love to try it again on tap and see if the taste is different in draught form, but maybe I'll try other Otter beers and see if those are more my speed.

Photo of puboflyons
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 1 pt. 0.9 fl. oz. bottle and sampled on July 11, 2009. It pours amber-brown with a thin beige head. The carbonation bubbles clung to the side of the pint glass and gave off an appearance not unlike tiny ice crystals although it was served at about 40 degrees. They say that it is brewed with spring water and perhaps that was the reason for this unique look. The aroma was sweet and malty with a tinge of fruit in the background. The mouthfeel was in the medium range with the smooth texture of honey. A good English bitter taste with a slightly dry finish. Overall tasty and true to my favorite style.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with spring water, marris otter malt, and challenger/fuggel hops.

A: Pours a very hazy ice tea color with no visible head.

S: A nice smooth and sweet malt is detected on the nose with some sugary ice tea hints.

T: Very spicy hopping from the challenger and fuggel hops combine nicely with the dry british malting. The palate is very smooth, slick, and pleasing on the tongue sliding effortlessly down the throat. Very well balanced with a distinct dry bitterness in the finish. The malting truly highlights this beer very well with some sweet caramel backing.

M: smooth, crisp and good per style.

D: Very good per style and very good drinkability.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours an orange/brown color with a Head retention and lacing are both low. Aroma is nice, it smells like caramel, bread/dough, toffee, and dried fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, starts off malty and then the hops come out in the finish and linger around for a while. Mouthfeel/body is medium and creamy, with low carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and easy to drink. I don't know if I'd call this a Strong Ale, but I'm not complaining. Overall I think it's a good beer, I'd definitely buy it again.

Photo of dsa7783
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint, 0.9 fl oz bottle just recently copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield... Special thanks to Chris for recommending this one to me...
"Brewed with spring water" on the front, blue logo sticker...
An aggressive pour yield hardly any head at all, but with a noticeable murky, cloudy, ruby-red, mahogany brown colored-hue...
Smell was subtle and almost non-descript, without too many suggestions except for a slight hint of malts...
Taste in fact, was dominated by malts, much more so than hops, with strong nuances of caramel, toffee, vanilla, yeast, cream, vanilla, and slight sugars...
For an English Strong Ale, this sample was very sweet-tasting and rather mellow...
Nice, sweet, creamy mouthfeel leads to a moderate level of drinkability...
This one was completely new to me, but I am glad I tried it... Worth a shot, although it is certainly not the best depiction of the style out there...

Photo of jwc215
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy orange/amber with a thin bubbly head that disappears rather quickly.

The smell is of caramel/toffee. Some soft fruitiness underneath.

The taste is of sweet caramel/toffee. Backdrop of faint tropical/citric fruit. Hops come out more as it progresses, but pretty much restrained by malt. Finishes with a fleeting bittter note.

Medium bodied. Overall - it's not bad, but can't say it stands out when compared to others of style I've had from England.

Photo of Sigmund
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml brown bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. ABV is 5.8%. Reddish amber to brown colour, low off-white head. Minimal carbonation, nearly flat. Moderate but nice aroma of caramel, toffee, berries and dried fruits, with some oak in the background. Flavour has plenty of caramel, and a substantial bitterness in the finish and aftertaste, and a sweetish reminder of the relatively high ABV, but little else than that. Not an easy-drinking ale this one, and not particularly interesting either. Still better than many run-of-the-mill ales.

Photo of Silenus
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An "English Strong Ale?" I'd classify this more as a strong bitter due to the hop profile.

The beer pours a nice dark copper color with a respectable head of medium bubbles that quickly dissolve down to a fine layer of foam that stays the entire glass. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass (you are using a clean glass, aren't you?). It is a little cloudy but probably due to the oats and spelt. Does not detract from the beer.

Slightly sweet aroma with a hint of hops. A bit of alcohol sneaks in as the beer warms past cellar temperatures. I can pick out some caramel but no diacetyl or fusels. Just enough hop aroma to pique the interest.

Multi-layer malt flavor on first sip leading to lingering hop bitterness on the tongue. Makes you want another sip. Appropriate sweetness for the bitterness. Good balance between the malt and the hops ... enough of each to support the other.

Just the right amount of carbonation to support the weight. Doesn't detract from the flavor or cover the malt/hop profile. Sits on the tongue and cheek after swollowing. Good body. Just a hint of alcohol as the beer warms.

Very drinkable. Just sweet enough to counter the hop bitterness. Just enough bitterness to make me want another. Alcohol level might be a little high for a session beer IF you have to drink home. If you don't ... have another. The second and third, etc. are just as good as the first.

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

A- slightly hazy orange copper with honey amber highlights and a scarlet trim. foam is damn near perfect for an english beer: dense and rich with a nice thick skin, beige in color, rubbery and easily built into a towering biscuit that lasts and lasts. nice spotty baby swiss lace too. looks and feels heavy.

S- fruity and alcoholic, surprising for such modest abv. densely malty, toasted grains and near burnt caramel, dark rum, brown sugar, light molasses, creamy fruits, peach, strawberry, slightly floral hop aroma and aromatic sandalwood and a chocolatey cedar. very malty and nutritious aroma with some earthy hop spice.

T- caramel cocoa mocha deeply toasted malt first them a wave of bitter fruitiness like berries and figs soaked in whiskey and cognac. amazingly alcoholic for a beer of this caliber, i get woozy on the first sip, even at 5.8%. a ton of malt sweetness is balanced out by the familiar earthy herbal flavor of fuggles hops and an acrid challenger bitterness. woodsy, tobacco, sherry wine cask, milk chocolate, black cherries, fermenting apple cider, and oatmeal all kinda melt together. instead of creating distinguishable 'layers' of flavor, it's more like a giant melange of subtleties that quickly blur the lines making everything a little fuzzy.

MF- tip-top, rich, full, creamy, low carbonation just as i like from this style and i'm drinking it piss warm because it brings out more flavor. ok maybe not piss warm but about 60*F. in this state it's bursting with strong overall flavor and leaves the palate with a thick coating of malty goodness.

D- ice cold it may be quenching and un-noticeable but i'm goin british tonight and this otter is rife with character and nutritious goodness. my only gripe is the addition of wheat, oats, and spelt which add more flavor but ultimately blend things together a little too much for me. i like crisp lines. for what it is though, a superb pub drink.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ding and Secret Santa 07 for the hookup!

I am pouring at cellar temp into a large snifter.
The beer pours a dark and hazy chestnut hue with a frothy eggshell white head fading quickly to an edge layer of large diameter bubbles.
The aroma is slightly fruity with some red grape and a bit of doughy yeast. Sort of like a scone. Very malty nose with no hops to speak of. A little brown sugary too.
First sip reveals an average body with very fine and tingly carbonation that frothes up upon swirl in my mouth.
Flavor is similar to nose advertisements. All malt with brown sugar and some dark fruit again, plums and red grape. Not very robust flavor but some lingering roasted malt notes.
The beer is fairly easy to drink and not really any booziness to speak of anywhere.
A decent brew for a malty.

the label claims brewed with oats and rye, I didnt find those anywhere in the beer.

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Caramel nose. Flavor is sweet caramel that changes to a slight bitter finish. $4.35 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma. Style is more like a sweet ESB than an English strong ale.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber-ish color with a small white head that goes away fast. It smelled of sweet/sticky malts and a small citrus hop. In the taste, hops, somewhat feels like tea watered down with a dry end, but nice hops. A very smooth beer, I enjoyed the lingering bitterness at the end.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imperial pint bottle poured into an imperial pint seidel yields a murky reddish-brown-amber body topped with a finger of off-white head that shrinks to a broken sheet and leaves some thin patches of lacing.

Smell is sweetly malty with floral hops.

Taste is richly sweet and malty; floral and spicy hops bring twang and bitterness to the finish. A slight alcohol presence.

Smooth and slippery in the mouth, broken up by a zing of carbonation.

Photo of jadpsu
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It's Christmas day and I purchased several English Ale's as a sort of self gifting.
Poured from a 16.09 ounce. Pours a hazy amber orange. Very thin with an unappetizing loose, thin head that has poor retention and poor lacing. Appearance is at best mediocre.
Smell is not particularly malty, citrus is evident along with some earthy tones. Mildly floral hops are more evident.
Low carbination, watery, thin but some aceytel, citrus flavors do peak thru. On the sweet side, has a slight bitter dry after taste.

This was $3.99 for a pint, or basically about $18.00 for a six pack. At that price level this beer should have me saying WOW. At that price, however, it only had me saying GEE!

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

It seems that when I buy one of these imperial pint, English beers I expect cloyingly sweet, heavy ales that are high in quality, yet rarely prefered. This beer hits home for me with a lot of subtleties, character, and balance, in a clean and refreshing delight. The beer boasts of Marris Otter malts that shine with a firm barley sweetness, browned bread (not quite toasted), and a subtle, yet firm caramel / toffee note. This is evident in the aromas, with as estery-spicy character of fresh fruits and fresh hops. Decorated with a creamy head retention (although slight) remains with the beer to the bottom of the glass. Moderately hazed and mildly carbonated, with a rich copper, rusty hue. Tastes firmy, and moderately sweet and rich with light caramels, bready flavors, and ripe fruits (peaches, pears, and apples). Delicate herbal notes pronounce themselves before an approaching, assertive hop flavor takes over. Hops take on grassy notes, a bit of pine, and a bit of citrus (orange and lemon rinds). The body is lighter than the flavors suggest with a pronounced dryness with the English hops and higher alcohol content -- these clean the beer up a lot. Very little residual sugars weigh the beer down, making it easy to drink. A light caramel and hop flavor follow the beer into the finish. Quite a good beer. Would not hesitate to try again.

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Otter Head from Otter Brewery Ltd
83 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.