Otter Creek ESB (Extra Special Bitter) | Otter Creek Brewing

BA SCORE
83
good
62 Reviews
Otter Creek ESB (Extra Special Bitter)Otter Creek ESB (Extra Special Bitter)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States
ottercreekbrewing.com

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-18-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
67
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
13.97%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
0
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 67
Photo of Amish_Ambush
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original Review on: 10-20-2006

Notes: Copper in color. With an aggressive pour, the beer displayed little head. Lacing was minimal. Medium notes of malt and hops in the aroma. The taste profile included an initial dose of a heavy hop/grapefruit note, this beer leans a little towards the hoppier side. The body was a little below average. I wouldn't call it watery, but.... Overall an above average beer but a average ESB.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a plain tumbler.

A: Poured a nice medium amber body with a thin head of dense carbonation which retained fairly well throughout the brew.

S: Smells a bit piny and floral, but quite malty also, with a buttered biscuit aroma and clean malts.

T: Taste is a little sweet and malty at first, but the bitterness takes over even before it hits the back of your palate. The finish is not too harsh, and could even stand to be a bit more bitter. However, the balance here is undeniably well-crafted.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a bit creamy with a dull bitter finish.

D: It made for a very nice session brew, and cut through the Blazin' Buffalo Doritos I was munching on. Good for a night of micro drinking.

I prefer Wolaver brews from this brewery, but this is one Otter Creek that I'd get again. Not as good as the Stovepipe Porter or even the classic Copper Ale, but a good ESB nonetheless.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has an excellent malt scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a mild hop aroma. I think the hop aroma could be a little more aggressive. The taste is good. It has a well balanced flavor. It has just enough malt content to balance the hop flavor. It's bitter, but nothing too over the top. It's mild and well recieved. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average ESB, nothing more. It's balanced and drinks well.

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Photo of yourunclewalt
2.49/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy orange-amber body, little head that recedes to lacing.

S- Bitter, resiny hops, smells like an Oktoberfest?

T - My first ESB so I'm not sure of the style; that said, it tastes like a sour ale with a bitter finish.

M - Creamier than I expected from the body, tangy aftertaste

D- A little too bitter for my tastes, but what did I expect from an "ESB"? While it's not my cup of tea, others I tasted this with enjoyed it and I can see it as a well-balanced version of the style

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a nonic pint the beer was a medium brown color with a solid two-fingers of white creamy head. Almost nitro-head in appearance, very solid and considerable lacing.

The nose lends a slight hop profile back with a bready toasted malt aroma. A little biscutty with some traces of caramel and butterscotch.

The taste starts with a nice semi-sweet malt profile with some caramel and toffee coming through quite nicely and contributing to the perceived sweetness. This is balanced with some hoppiness in the finish. Not an over abundance of bitterness (as expected) but enough low hop character to offer balance to the sweet toasted maltiness and deliver the expected ESB qualities. A semi-firm breaddy finish with some hints of butterscotch.

Medium firm body, a little chewy mouthfeel as I expected and inline with most ESB's.

Drinkability is high as the beer is well balanced and not overly assertive in any one way. Perhaps a little much to session continuously but an enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to NeroFiddled for this one.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice small fizzy off-white head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet malty, with lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, bitter, and lots of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice one, glad to have had a chance to try it.

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Photo of weasbri
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice coppery color with a good head of foam leaving a good lacing along the glass. I get a decent floral hop aroma, with the malt coming through as well.
The first sip brought me back to my last trip to England and trying the bitters there. Not the same thing though, I realize. The hops soon came through much more aggressively, with a good bit of a bite, but were well balanced all in all.

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Photo of Liquids
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ppours a rich lively, truly red color with a one finger cream-colored
head and effervescent carbonation. Aroma is all hops up front, west coast style citric and pine dominate, with some earthy caramel malts behind that quietly, and some more spicy and noble hop varieties possible in there as well after a few sniffs. Taste is on the darker side of ESBs, as there's a definite char note in here, and the malt body is very caramel malt laden with the hop presence following afterward and not overtaking the malt bill but not being muted either - ESB's seem be best when a two-stage beer that makes the malt and hops more interesting one after the other, as opposed to IPA's where they compete for balance...the char note is most prevalent and really a turn off here to my taste.
None of the desirable toasty flavor etc. Mouthfeel is over carbonated burn but only slightly so, otherwise full for style.Overall, this was a let down. Not a bad beer, but really not enjoyable as the harsh charred malt dominates despite it being presumably such a small apart of the grain bill. Not one I'll ever drink again.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
1.83/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear, rich, pretty copper color with a small white had that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is caramel malty with a big toasted nuttiness. Nice hop aroma.

Taste is caramel malty upfront wit some toasted nuttiness. A bitter bit appears with some hop flavor just before the taste becomes very metallic and unpleasant.. This beer just arrived at the store, so I know it's not old - but something is seriously wrong.

Medium-light body, mild carbonation.

Wow, what started out as a nice experience made a big turn for the worse. I can't possibly drink this. I had a few other people taste this to make sure I wasn't crazy and the reactions were all the same. Down the drain.

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Photo of gpcollen1
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden dark amber into my Imperial Pint. Yields a large off white head that quickly settles right down. Aromas head right into a bit of hops and submit to a bit of malty sweetness.

Hits the tongue with a bit of a fizz...malty sweet on the front and quickly begins a prolonged fade into nicely bittered hops. Just a tad dry on the finish, definitely leaving you wanting another sip. Body is in the light to medium range and definitely works for this brew.

Pretty good overall and way drinikable. Prefer bitters on cask but what the hey - thumbs up!

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Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with a foamy egg shell head that persists well and leaves splotches of lace

Smell: Rich caramel malt aroma with a slight grainy bitterness

Taste: Starts with a modestly flavored biscuity caramel backbone which is joined, after the swallow, by a grainy bitterness; both flavors fade quickly at the finish

Mouthfeel: A bit too watery with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: OK to drink but not a special ESB by any stretch

 477 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

This ESB from Otter Creek has a clear amber hue with a decent khaki colored head that seems to die down a bit after pour. Smell is an earthy spice with a nice hop background. A caramel malt is present but difficult to distinguish. Flavor is unique for an ESB. Has a bit of a nutty character with a hint of hops. I figured it would be more bitter from the smell, but malt seems to be more present in the flavor. Aftertaste is a bit dry. Carbonation is minimal. Drinkability is there with a good balance overall. I've had better ESB's, but this one isn't bad. Give it a try.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Otter Creek's seemingly bottle-conditioned ESB pours a mostly clear orange-amber body beneath a short cap of frothy ivory foam. The head retention is good, and it leaves some nice areas of thin lace about the pint. The nose offers bright, grassy and leafy hops, and a sweet dollop of caramelish malt. The body is medium, and its very fine bubbled moderate carbonation gives a light tingle to the tongue before warming to become soft and smooth. The flavor is richly caramelish and biscuity upfront with a thread of yeasty fruitiness. The bitterness steps in, and leafy and grassy hops appear across the middle. Bready and toasty maltiness lingers in the finish along with some leafy hop notes and a solid bitterness. Well done! Quite drinkable!

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Photo of tempest
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a good beer, but a bad ESB. The flavors are too sharp and rich, not subtle, creamy, and smooth like I'm used to. It tastes nutty and a little grainy. It's still fairly easy to drink, but mostly just tastes like an odd American amber. Avoid this one if you like your ESB's true to form, otherwise its not bad.

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Photo of mpyle
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper color, brilliant clarity. Large white head, tight bubbled and creamy, with some lace left behind as the head slowly recedes. Decent retention.

Clean aroma. A hint of earthy English style hops, and a tiny bit of caramel malt sweetness. A touch of alcohol.

Hop flavor and bitterness almost from the beginning - maltiness is buried. Maybe a hint of alcohol, but generally a lot of hop flavor, very earthy in nature. Finishes with body and a lingering hop note. Malt should be a bit more evident in this style.

Some alcohol warming. Medium body and carbonation. Fairly smooth and creamy, and overall a nice mouthfeel.

A hoppy English style beer with good body. Strong hop flavor and bitterness shines through, but could use a slightly bigger malty sweetness to balance the hops and provide an extra dimension early. That being said, a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one for the first time tonite. Bottled on 12/21/06, so a relatively fresh sample. Nice burnt orange hue. Poured with about a 1 inch head, which dissipates to about 1/4 inch throughout. Some lacing, but uneven. Faint hop aroma, with just a hint of fruit. This one's best attribute is the taste. Make sure you let it warm a bit, as this will bring out the malt backbone with a nice late hop bite at the back of the tongue. Very good drinkability as it has a nice mouth feel--pretty full for and ESB, and well balanced. While not exactly on style IMO, another good offering from Otter Creek. While not the benchmark Fuller's, a very good US brewery's attempt at an ESB. Try this one.

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Photo of atsprings
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass leaving a razor thin off white head that diminished within 15 seconds. Aroma was almost non present. That being said, this beer actually tastes pretty good. The bottle says it's brewed just for the spring. I found this beer in late January. Listed as bottled om 03/06/08. I guess it means March 8th 2006. If so, this beer has held up rather well for that long, non bottle conditioned, at such a normal alcohol strength. I consider this a good nightcap beer, and that's just what the other 5 bottles I have will be.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color with moderate white puffy head. Decent retention.
Smell is mailnly of bready malt with a sligh hop backbround note.
Taste is nice and caramely with a distinct note of hops also present.
Nice rich mouthfeel.
Perfect drinkabilty. Nice session beer.

 279 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with twist-off cap and with "bottled on" date.

This ESB poured a clear, amber color with a very light hint of red color (the color seemed pale for the style). The foam was creamy and sudsy and off-white, and it settled and left some lace. The smell was sharply hoppy with strong malty aroma beneath the hops. The taste was malty with a nice, light malty sweetness. A good, spicy hoppiness came through in the middle. The mouthfeel was smooth and a bit sweeter than dry. The body was medium and the carbonation moderate. The malt and light hoppiness lingered in the finish and aftertaste. This was a pretty good and drinkable ESB.

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Photo of Enola
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is another good beer from Otter Creek. The beer is a nice burnt orange and there is not a lot of head. The smell is part hops and part spice. The taste is fair but not as hoppy or bitter as I had expected. This beer is just a tad thin for the style but still a good choice. Sessionable. I could drink this beer again.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper, amber color. 1 finger head that slowly disapates. Spiderweb lacing. Crystal clear and a few carbonation bubbles rise to the top.
Smell is faint. Some fruit and maybe a sweetness. Can sweet be an odor anyway?
Nice mild fruitiness in the flavor. Citrus maybe. I also taste some green apple. The fruit flavors are balanced nicely by a caramel sweetness. This is a very balanced beer.
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.
A very drinkable beer that would make a nice spring session beer.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. with a bottled-on date of 03/06/08 - maybe they meant expiration date, I dunno - served in a nonic. It's a clear rusty/copper with medium carbonation and a finger of tan head that recedes to a quarter inch and leaves light lacing. I smell green and citric hops with some sweetness but there's also some latex-like aroma. It has a smooth and medium body that is a bit drying and tastes of leafy green and piney/spicy hops that leave a medium to high bitterness. There are also notes of white grapefruit, coffee?, and maybe some malt sweetness and grains in the background, all of which combine to deliver a fairly long finish. Overall it's not as balanced as it should be - it needs either more malts or less hops - and at times it's a bit awkward, but after some tweaking it could be a pretty good beer.

 810 characters

Photo of drugsbunny
2.09/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Decent color and healthy off white head on the pour. A unattractive aroma, nothing that makes you want to drink this beer. The taste was a bit sharp and off flavors dominated any beer taste. I expected an ESB to be a little more bitter, very poor hop flavor. This is a decent enough brewery, but this beer falls short of a "craft" brew. Skip it and pick up the Copper.

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Photo of gbarron
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at RFD.

A - light copper, golden. Head small but with staying power, the color of bright white cream of tartar, tiny bubbles. Perfectly clear.

S - light, sweet aroma of toasty malt followed by earthy sweet hops, caramel, yeast. Smells like a nice, rich pale ale.

T - well balanced pale ale densely packed with malt and hops. Sweet, toffeish malt and bread in the forefront, followed by an assertive, but not overwhelming bitterness and earthy, slightly tangy English noble hop flavor. Has a wonderful aftertaste of sweet caramel. One of the few "ESB's" I've ever had that compares favorably with the original, Fuler's ESB.

M - medium thin. Malt content bumps up the body of this beer a tad. Carbonation average.

D - very, very tasty. I wish Otter Creek would make this one year round as it would make a nice American substitute for my all time fave Fuller's, which can be pricey.

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Photo of bruachan
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

mmm...smells good. excellent toasty, bready notes with some earthy, floral hop aromas. fairly hoppy flavor, but the malt falls out. up front there's a hint of sweetness but the finish is all bitterness. bitterness is not bad, but was hoping for a better malt character after that aroma tease

the aroma is very balanced but the flavor is slightly outta whack—could have been more balanced

actually, the malt shows up more as the beer warms, but not enough my liking

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Otter Creek ESB (Extra Special Bitter) from Otter Creek Brewing
3.65 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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