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Otto Ale - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Otto AleOtto Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

300 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 300
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 5
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerLover99 on 10-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 300 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a very modest head that fades to a ringlet and archipelago; leaves some splashy lace behind, however

Smell: Caramel, fig, banana and ash

Taste: Opens with the dubbel elements of caramel, fig and pepper, with the banana adding another dimension by mid-palate; the smoked character arrives, after the swallow, and leaves a subtle ashen flavor behind in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: While the beer is well-balanced, I am not sure that it shows off the best of either style; not something I would seek out again

brentk56, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%

appearance: Bronze, mostly clear with steadily rising bubbles.
smell: Very nice, unique, interesting. The smoke punches through, resting on a solid Belgian spice and fruit.
taste: Doesn't quite live up to the nose but the same qualities are there.
mouthfeel: medium creamy, nice carbonation.
overall: An interesting, unique beer. Nicely done.

cindyjeffsmith, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%

Appearance: pours a reddish brown color with a short 1/2" head. No real lacing develops.

Smell : smoke, fruits, and some caramel come through to the nose.

Taste: malty goodness here with some chocolate, plums, cherry, fig, and a load of smokey flavor. Bitterness is moderate and alcohol is lightly noticeable. Spicy yeast arrives late onthetongue.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout.

Overall: an interesting mix of a dubbel and rauchbier and for me it works. Interesting and it keeps you engaged until the bomber is empty. A definite different beer from Victory that is quite tasty.

Gavage, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%

750ml bottle - $7.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Bottle On: Sept 27, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright mahogany-hued body with a full-sized, faintly beige head.

Smell: Displays a myriad of jumbled notes: campfire smoke, cloves, toasted bread, brown sugar, dried fruits (raisins and cherries), bananas, and a recently bandaged finger cut.

Taste: Toasted malts with some sweet additions of caramel, treacle before the phenolic hit of smoke-flavored chewing gum with a touch of banana peel before rolling into some thick-cut bacon, powdered cloves, and Concord grape jelly. Strays, for the most part, on the sweet side of things. Low hop character, bitterness. Some alcohol detected on the lightly smokey, fruity finish with lingering alcoholic heat and clove.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A curious combination (I recall tapping my chin thoughtfully for a moment when I first heard about it), a smoked ale and a Belgian dubbel. I'm not entirely sure that the smoked malt is playing nicely with the clove-producing yeast strain utilized, as there is, sadly, a displeasing hint of Band-Aid on occasion.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Thanks to Hophead101 for this bottle!

I knew I had to have this when I heard it's description a few months ago. Here's hopin' it lives up to my expectations: It pours a hazy sunset amber-brown topped by a finger of bleached cream-tan foam. The nose comprises light toffee, light figs, very light raisins, and plenty of beech smoke, which at times approaches a Band-Aid sort o' quality. The taste continues the smoke-centric theme, with the beech halfway morphing into cherrywood. Beneath this haze, some dry chocolate powder and raisins try to bubble up, but never really make it very far. The smoke is the star, and everyone is made keenly aware of that fact. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, for a dubbel, this thing doesn't get too far with me. As a smoked beer, it's pretty good, but thoroughly one-dimensional. I mean, I love the smoke as much as the next guy, but I always like to have something behind it as a sidekick kind o' compliment. That really doesn't happen here, which is the biggest disappointment. Still, it's a pretty tasty smoked beer, just not one of the elite ones by any stretch.

TMoney2591, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%

A: The beer is hazy amber in color. It poured with a half finger high beige head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of smoke in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is smoky and has some hints of spices. The flavors you would expect from a dubbel are not very apparent.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink because the smoky flavors aren’t too strong and the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

750ml poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a mahogany color with a thick slightly off white foam head that leaves great lacing.

S- Definitely picking up the smoked malts in the nose. Sort of a peat quality with a touch of spice. Not getting much of the typical dubbel aromas of dark fruits and candy sugar.

T- Deep smoky flavor initially with an oaky peat malt finish. I don't think I could tell that the base beer is a dubbel. Maybe a touch of sweetness in the finish but very faint and hard to notice anything other than the meaty smoked flavor. Much more like a rauchbier (which admittedly is not a favorite style of mine).

M- Wildly over carbonated with a thin mouthfeel. Sudsy with a lingering smoked aftertaste.

O- This one wasn't for me. I thought a dubbel brewed with a touch of smoked malt sounded good but this was way over done (at least to me). The bottle says it can cellar for 5 years. Maybe by that time the smoke would have died down some.

projectflam86, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.33/5  rDev -7%

Pours a murky brown with a nice tan head that fades fast and fizzy but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma has faint woody smoke, cherries and plums and some dark chocolate and earthy elements. Some musty notes.

The flavor is dried by the smoke and cuts off the sweet cherry wanting to come through. Chocolate notes fade in, but overall this dries in the mouth fast.

This gets a little more complex as it warms, but is still missing the impressive mark.

Dry finish, medium body, alcohol hidden.

Overall, Its just ok.

JayS2629, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%

Well, a smoked dubbel...I guess.

Pours a dull amber, a bit faded in color. Head is nice, big and sticky. Pretty good lacing, but looks neither like a rauchbier nor dubbel

Slight smoke and plum in the aroma. Slight spice. Muddled, nothing stands out. Damp smoke...

puny raisin flavor opens up the tasting front. Smoke comes in and just mingles around. Some faint fruits and spice. The taste isn't bad, it's just that there is nothing much here. Not much that screams 'dubbel' and too fruity to be rauchbier. I dunno...

It drank ok, but was a bit hollow and thin on the end.

Mebuzzard, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of NEhophead
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

25.4 fl oz brown bottle, caged & corked, served in a goblet.

'Bottled on date' is illegible.

Burnt tea color beneath a carbonation filled, off white head that fades to a broken sheet within a moment. Faint condensed lacing with not much strength.

Moderately pronounced peat smoked aroma over a semi-sweet Belgian candied sugar. Notes of fresh plum, grape, and fig.

The peat smoked 'rauch' aspect is the primary flavor in this Dubbel; however, it is a bit darker than in your typical Rauchbier. The underlying sweetness keeps the smoke at bay, but I'm not sure if the sweet, dark fruit balance with the spicy flavor from the smokiness. The finish is dry with a touch of must followed by an aftertaste filled with malty smoke.

A shade under full bodied. A bit slick in spots, but predominantly dry on the palate.

A 'Smoked Dubbel'...it's an interesting concept and the more I drink, the more I appreciate the experimentation. Not the most polished offering, but a creative attempt.

NEhophead, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +11.7%

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a brownish color and a cloudy texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing either.

S: An interesting (for a dubbel) aroma, with a big shot of smoke, along with yeast, fruit, and malt.

T: Tasted of yeast, malt, dark fruit (plums) and heavy shot of smoke. Basically this beer tastes like a dubbel crossed with a rauchbier. It's an interesting experiment, but wouldn't be my first choice at a bar.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a mostly dry, clean finish. Medium-bodied.

O: As I said before, this is an interesting experiment. It's not bad, but it's certainly an acquired taste.

avalon07, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of ToddT
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%

A- Clear dark amber topped with a well formed off white head. Head falls slowly and leaves lots of lace on the glass.

S- Smokey peat moss and fruit, almost an apple cider undertone to this.

T- Smoke and a light wood char are the dominate first notes and they carry on to the finish. A sweet fruit note,pear and a hint of grape makes an appearance at the middle but they are soon overwhelmed by the smoke. The finish is a blend of smoke and some slightly sour Belgian funk, balanced but in somewhat of a stark contrast to each other.

M- A little less that medium, almost light in body and well carbonated, very lively at first.

O- Interesting beer and concept, the 8.1% ABV is well hidden but the smoke is just a bit out of balance. I’m not a huge fan of smoked beers but the smoke it this is just a little too forward. If the smoke was used more as an undertone and as a complement to the taste of a dubble this would have been much more effective.

ToddT, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%

Bottle into Chimay goblet in the high 40's.

Pours with a healty tan head over a clear, ruby-to-garnet colored body with some carbonation flowing up. Head stays on as a perma-film. Really nice lacing.

Aromas are pretty light. Slight cherry candy sweetness (Nibs), touch of smoke, caramel malt, and a strange plastic - more of a new diaper than band aid.

Flavors bring it up a notch. Smoke becomes more prevalent, but doesn't kill the Dubbel qualities. Some dark fruit (red grape), tangy hops, angostura bitters, and charred brisket.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for my liking, with a decent level of carbonation.

I always appreciate fresh takes on old styles, and this one is a good idea, but I would have loved some more sweetness, more Belgian yeast quality, and a little richer quality on the palate.

BeerImmediately, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of Kromes
3.33/5  rDev -7%

A: Poured into a Chimay glass. A clear dark amber color with a thick off-white head. Good lacing on glass.

S: A rather strange aroma. For me, the mix of smoked malts and sweet dark fruit ended up smelling sort of like a band-aid or like medicine.

T: Thankfully the flavor has a little bit more depth. The smokiness from the malt hits right up front and mixes with a tropical fruit and raisin flavor. There is a pronounced alcohol flavor and feel throughout. The smokiness doesn't let up.

M: A little thin in the body and high carbonation, but leaves the mouth a little too dry.

O: Neat concept, but for me it didn't pan out to a very drinkable beer. One and done is good enough for me. Worth a try though.

Kromes, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%

A: Dark red, close to brown with a white foamy head. Head looks a bit sticky and is leaving some lacing on its way down.

S: The smoked malt is strong, unfortunately any dubbel character or trappist yeast character is lost behind it. Victory mentions the use of smoked malt and a Belgian dubbel and why it hasn't been done before. I suppose this is why. All characters of the Belgian yeast are in the background, as this smells mostly of smoked malts.

T: Smokey and savory, very small dubbel flavor. Was hoping this would be a nice balance between dark fruits and some smokieness, but again...the smoked malts take over. There is some fruitiness that struggles to shine through, no sign of a trappist yeast on the palate. Would guess this was a smoked porter if I were blindfolded.

M: Mouthfeel is thin, falls a bit flat. Carbonation is crisp at first, but this really just is average.

O: A Victory beer that I dont like!?? What is going on here? Think they over thought this one a bit, a good idea that didn't turn out that well. Can't blame them for trying though. Interesting beer.

kiddynamite920, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of jfstilling
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours a light mahogany and has a foamy off-white head that lasts. It has a strong smokey smell. I've only tried one rauchbier before, but I absolutely love the taste/smell of the smokiness in this beer. On the other hand, this smokey flavor overwhelms the dubbel style of this ale. Either way, it's a great beer for a cold, snowy evening.

jfstilling, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of Beaver13
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

750ml bottle. Pours a clear reddish amber with a big frothy off white head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is strong smoke - some meaty peat, with a little belgian yeast.

The flavor is a little sweet malt followed by a big spicy smokiness (liquid smoke). There's a little belgian yeast and a lot of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with sharp carbonation.

Overall, strong smoke, but not quite what I had hoped for. The smoke and dubbel aspects don't quite blend well to me.

Beaver13, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of keanex
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from a 750ml bottle dated Sept 27, 2011 into a pint glass.

A: Deep clear red/garnet with bubbles rising up. Thick sand colored foamy head.

S: Smokey malty smell, with a fresh underlying wheaty hoppy smell.

T: Smokey salty flavor here, similar to a roasted pork actually, very odd yet tasty.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, goes down easy.

O: Interesting beer, but it's a bit too smokey to enjoy a whole 750ml. This would be an excellent fall campfire beer though to compliment a fire smoked bbq.

keanex, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%

From a bottle, pours a clear garnet with a large head. Nose is smoked malt, fairly assertive but appropriate, a bit of salty cured pork. Mouth is smoked malt upfront segueing into a really nice, soft Belgian yeast with some dark fruits. Medium hop bitterness throughout the palate. Thin on the tongue. This is pleasant and I'm glad to have tried it, but it's not as great as I had hoped. A thicker body with more sweet dark fruits would have made this great I think.

JAXSON, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%

Dark ruby brown in color with an inconsistent small off white head that reduces down to a thin sheet. Leaves decent lacing. A hit of booze is present in the nose. Smoky malts remeniscent of bacon, but only very slightly. Nothing that jumps out at you in the aromatics, but smells nice.

Smoky malts again in the taste, reminding one of bacon for a second, then moving on to a raisiny fruitiness. Not sweet, but definitely a hit of fruit. Nice bitterness follows it all, coming from a little piney bite and a kick of alcohol. The alcohol is not as present as it was in the nose, but it is there in a breath. Definitely adds to the character. The hops combine nicely with the smoked malts, giving it that rauch beer feel. That smoked malt could have been much stronger, but I feel that it would have thrown the beer out of balance. This one is expertly balanced between the bacony-sweetish taste of the malts, somewhat hefty bite from the hops, and kick of booze. Some caramel comes out, especially as it warms more, further bringing about the balance. The mouthfeel is very smooth all the way up to the very end, where a little bit of grit finishes this one strongly.

Pretty good beer from one of my favorite breweries. I really like how the sweetness comes out in the second half of the bottle. I'm very curious as to what this would taste like in a few years because I think a touch more boozy character would take this one to the next level. Still, pretty good fresh too. I'll probably buy another one for the purposes of cellaring.

chodinheaven, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of impending
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%

750ml into a tulip. Pours a rich transparent bronze cola, when back lite its a gorgeous garnet Christmas ornament. Minor light tan colored head subsided quickly, minor lacing.

Aroma is peculiar, charred clothing now damp. Smoked yes, but sort of a phenolic smoke, nothing to compare, charred band-aid perhaps.

The taste mirrors the aroma. The slightly dry long lasting aftertaste is completely defined by the charred smokiness, tiny bitters. Earthy. While no where near a smoke bomb, a quiet echo of the aftertaste remains for many minutes. Light to medium bodied mouthfeel.

Victory needs to brew a scotch ale.

impending, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of isitsavage
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour is a dark amber red, large white frothy head and soapy lacing, pretty beer.

Smell is smoked herb, the smell you would get from meat being smoked over, thyme, rosemary, etc. Yeast notes are very light, a bit of lemon too I think. Pretty good overall.

Smokey in the taste and this takes me straight to the campfire (looks at label...). The taste is awesome and really takes me back to camping as kid. Once I get past that the smokiness a bit like charred steak and brisket, very pleasing. Again the yeast and citrus are light and along with the mild hop bitterness balances the beer well. This beer really shines here.

Medium mouthfeel, prickly carbonation, not really coating in the mouth. All of this is welcome.

isitsavage, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of Kinsman
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a nice mahogany reddish brown with some lighter ruby highlights and a slight bit of haze. Dense and frothy tan head fills the upper third of the glass.

Nice wood smoke aroma initially. A bit of caramel and some fruity sweetness. Slight hint of spicy yeast character.

The wood smoke character did not carry over into the taste as much as expected. Strong malt presence with a nice toffee/caramel sweetness and some hints of raisin or figs. Smokiness does linger a bit in the background.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body feel. Overall, I'm really enjoying this beer. Smoked malt did not provide as much punch as I expected but was still plenty tasty.

Kinsman, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of lionchow
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%

Pours clear amber with chunky yeast sediment.

Aroma - Funky nose, mild smoke mixed with rich malt, hard to place, interesting.

Flavor - aroma carries inot the flavor. Mild to Medium smokiness melds well with a mildly sweet caramel and brown sugar maltiness. Mild barn funkiness mixes well with the other flavors. Nice smoky sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Thin, but this is nice with the fairly assertive flavors.

Overall a very good beer, unique and interesting.

lionchow, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.83/5  rDev +7%

This is the detailed description per Victory Brewery:

"A bottle conditioned Belgian dubbel with a smokey twist. Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, founders of Victory Brewing created this beer after a Germany trip in ’87. Otto is a German smoked malt Belgian dubbel."

A: mahogany/cherry shiny oak body, trace tan floating head,
very little lacing.

S: big smoked wood/rauchbier/camp fire aroma, mild malt,
and hint of figs/raisins.

T: light caramel/ripe fruit, firm malt, hint of roasted nuts,
long smokey/mild bitter semi-dry finish

M: medium body, mild tongue prick, fine carbonation
mild/semi-dry mouth

O: What a fascinating concept. I have always loved
Victory, but I think this is more a Double Rauchbier,
if that is even a style than a Dubbel Rauchbier-esque.
I was expecting a little heavier/creamier body with
it being a Dubbel. Still enjoyed it very much
and lovers of smoke beers or Victory will still cherish each sip.


BeerLover99, Oct 12, 2011
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Otto Ale from Victory Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 300 ratings.