Ella
Otter Creek Brewing

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Lager
Ranked #16
ABV:
5.2%
Score:
88
Ranked #11,128
Avg:
3.99 | pDev: 8.27%
Reviews:
24
Ratings:
65
From:
Otter Creek Brewing
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  16
SCORE
88
Very Good
Notes:
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 65 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tigerinatrance
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: beautiful hazy tangerine color, rocky head leaving thick, attractive lacing down the sides of my Magic Hat tulip glass.
S: not great, but good, not much to say about the smell. The one thing I need to say about the smell is that I knew the hops and malts would be well balanced upon first sniff, they nailed the balance on this strange brew.
T: deeeee-licious. The most important part of a beer is how it tastes, and this tastes exactly as it should. Again, the malts and hops are perfectly balanced, a rich, warm, sparkly, exciting flavor will bring your tastebuds to a whole new world. This is for the guy/gal who wants to like IPAs, but doesn’t want to get raped by hops and wants more malt to balance out the affair, I dig this taste something fierce, tasty stuff, bravo OCBC.
F: exactly as it should. On the thicker side of what you’d expect for a “lager” but this ain’t no lager. This is a different animal. A horse of a different color. The taste perfectly aligns with the mouthfeel. A bit astringent, a bit warm, a bit foamy, it’s perfect. Trust me. Try this stuff.
O: the only fault of this brew is being very slightly acrid smelling. Beyond that, everything else is very unique and appetizing. Try this beer!

 1,233 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the can, it pours a hazy light amber with a large thick head that slowly diminishes. Definite hops in the nose. The mouth also gets a light malt flavor with a touch of hops.

 180 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Otter Creek Brewing "Ella"
12 fl. oz. can, coded "0323185404M"
$1.83 @ Cherry Hill Wine, Liquor & Beer (Wegmans), Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: For a lager it's surprisingly hazy. It's a light yellow gold in color beneath a bright white head and it looks kind of like a Belgian witbier. The aroma is hoppy, a little spicy, floral, and subtly fruity. I'd call it just slightly tropical. On to the flavor... it's fruitier than I thought it would be, and I'm assuming that's all coming from hops as there shouldn't be any yeasty fruitiness. A basic, slightly grassy, seemingly Pilsner malt acts as its base. There's enough malt there that the hops don't eclipse it, and it's balanced nicely. A moderate bitterness also balances it, along with a slight acidity, and it finishes dry and delicately bitter. I'm not impressed with the appearance, although I should point out that the head retention and lacing are quite good, but I am impressed with the flavor and balance. It's different, but I could easily substitute this for a Czech pils and be quite happy. It's crisp and medium to medium-light in body, and refreshing. I doubt this will win any accolades as a hoppy beer, but as an easy-drinking lager it does quite well.
Review# 6,365

 1,256 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear shiny gold with a pillowy white head. Excellent retention, with tons of sticky lacing left behind.

S: Big lemon and grapefruit upfront, then oats, honey, pineapple, honeydew melon, peanuts, and mint. The aromatics sing with immense clarity.

T: Enormous pink grapefruit flesh, white grapefruit pith, tart pineapple, honeydew melon, white peach, cracker malt, and grass. Nice nutty oats, like dried peanuts. Finishes dry with a moderate lingering bitterness, and residual grapefruit zest and pine character.

F: Medium, slick and creamy; a bit thin momentarily, well-carbonated, crisp and clean with a sticky resinous aftertaste.

O: A complex, delicious, flavorful and unique spin, making a dry-hopped, oat IPL. Extremely good and a huge win from Otter Creek.

 774 characters

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a lighter dull golden with a nice billowing white head that leaves multiple broken chunks behind as it settles into a frothy mass.Bright and floral in the nose with deep fruitiness with not much bitterness at all coming thru,a sweetish malt base is there as well.Somewhat leafy and herbal on the palate with mild toastiness underneath,not very much sweetness.A good quaffing lager with a pretty good hop presence,the Ella hop is one I really don't know too much about I must admit.

 487 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-spiegelau ipa glass.

A: Beautiful golden-hay color is bright with a feverish pitch of effervesce. A cream froth head is dull white in color, and frumpy in texture, but shows a good longevity factor. A good full band lacing encircles the vessel.

S: Fruity strawberries with some fresh, wet, pineapple juice. Some peaches and fresh red cherries. Good awareness and durability. Some faint watermelon and starfruit. Light dried orange peel finishes out.

T: Tropical notes of pineapple and peach for flavor. Wet fruitiness, some flowery citrus and fresh greenery. Soft orange peel bitterness, pine and grapefruit, and breakfast melon. Some berry floral notes with some spiciness and earthy fresh greenery rounds out.

M: Soft lush mouthful, creamy with a quiet nature of carbonation. Grapefruit-melon bitterness on the tongue and inner cheeks. Juicy resinous hop oils and thick and lush.

O: Fruity and tropical. Really digging the Ella hop, getting a lot of berry and tropical notes. Flavorful, soothing and dry finish. Good drinkability and a good experience and introduction into the Ella hop.

 1,100 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into the test glass.
A - Lemondrop yellow, a touch of haze, but clear enough to survey the carbonation. A thin white cap is quick to exit
S - Nice malts, biscuit, then some lemongrass, and spring herbal elements
T - Here the offering rings a bit single dimensional, in the best way. A tight band of light malts and great herbal hops
M - Light on the palate, carbonation is just right
O - A very well executed hop forward lager, strikes a great warm weather beer cord, worth seeking out.

 510 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see that my local, in-person trader, tone77, has beat me to it on this one! Good on ya, mate, but now I need to make my entry for The CANQuest (tm).

From the CAN: "Hoppy Lager"; "Dry-hopped with Ella Hops"; "Creatively crafting, hopping and dosing brews since 1991".

I was very excited to review this one, so following the Crack! of the CAN's vent, I performed an inverted Glug for the first time in a while. If you are into head, this is the way to generate some! I got just over two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, bone-white head with great retention for my efforts. It was kind enough to leave behind a load of sticky lacing as its legacy. Color was a very hazy Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4). Nose was very citrusy with grapefruit and orange leading the way, but followed by a cadre of tropical fruit, like mango, papaya and guava. Ooh. Mouthfeel was medium, but big for a Lager of any style. I was really kind of taken by surprise by its bitterness. It was more grapefruity than the nose had suggested & it was acCANponied by a lemony biscuitiness. 55 IBUs, eh? Nice. That said, it was not at all overwhelming. I could easily fill a cooler with CANs & hang out with some friends all day. Hey, wait, I just did that on Saturday during a monthly bottle/CAN share! Finish was dry, pleasant, refreshing & perfect for a hot, humid Summer day.

 1,347 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can...1/15/18 (to long in the can...what can ya do)

Hazed dull yellow pour, larger and loose bubble cap, lasting nicely and leaves some frothy lacing all over the glass.

Lemony/hoppy sniff

Tasty enough brew, moderate crispness and medium flavorful, more dull lemons and a moderate hoppy finishing snap...nice summery quaffer...

 337 characters

Photo of Krajnyak
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This one pours very light, but has a good head and retention. Smell is good, not strong. You have to look for the hop smells. Taste is where this one shines. Really clean taste and feel. Could drink this one all day. The Ella hops make for a great session type ale. Overall, this is a really good IPA. Going to be a summer staple!

 340 characters

Photo of mike22ne
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice hoppy lager. Citrus floral hops with a good cracker bready malt base. Very flavorful, smooth body with a crisp and refreshing finish.
Glad I tried it!

 155 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draft at tavern in the square Northborough

Decent creamy foamy head smaller, nice lacing, clear pilsner color

Nose toasted grainy lager malt, little sweet malt, fruity hop, genetic fruity and little grassy floral, hint of citrus and stone fruit

Taste more sweet malts, toasted grainy lager malt, soft lager, little fruity lager note, big fruity hops, little citrus but more green tropical like, apricot stone fruit notes, little grassy floral, candy fruit notes. Dry crisp finish, lingering mild fruity hops

Mouth is med bod, soft lager, decent carb

Overall pretty nice, good lagering, nice hop

 599 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bright yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is fruity, some malts. Taste is crisp, lemons, oranges, light malts and bitterness, smooth. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid and highly refreshing beer.

 255 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.16/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Hazy straw blonde. 1/2 finger of white head. Light carbonation.

Nose
Peach, pineapple, lime, lemon, cracker, and candy sugar.

Taste
Cracker and candy sugar. Lemon Pledge and drops of lime. Slight peach and pineapple. Aspirin and pine needle bitterness.

Mouthfeel
Light bodied, crisp, clean, effervescent, dry, and moderately bitter.

Overall
Crisp and Pilsner-like. The bitterness is a little off putting for the low abv.

 473 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the mixed 12 pack from hannaford.
Slightly hazy dark straw with a good sized long lasting white head. Crackery bready malt with plenty of earthy pine and citrus. Pretty tasty IPL

 183 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap that leaves decent lacing

S: Grain, bready malt, and some floral hops

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some of the floral hops and goes into the grain and bready malt. Moderate sweetness balanced by some bitterness. Finishes with lingering floral notes

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid hoppy lager that benefits from the floral notes of the hops. Very easy to drink

 498 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. Can

A slightly hazed-out golden color with yellow and white highlights. An ell white, rocky foam, bubbly but dense holds on tight. Dissipates slowly, decent lacing after the wake.

The nose has a nice combo of sweet and bready lager malt, buttery lager yeast and lightly fruity hops. The Ella hops give off a bouquet of citric and tropical fruits and mild musky, wet earth aroma's. A very nice smelling lager for sure.

This really is the perfect hoppy lager. I usuallt like my lager and pilsners on the traditional side without a bunch of hops, but this is, after all a hoppy lager, so...
The lager side of the flavor is pretty excellent, crispy and earthy, grainy malted barley, slightly sour/green veggie yeast that delivers an excellent punch. Tangy and crispy, the body is vety light and clean. The hops are certainly not overpowering, but still very bold with some nice, light fruity and juicy currents, sharp golden wheat and even some pine. A dry, earthy bite hits you right at the end.

All in all a very tasty, crushable and high quality hoppy lager. Excellent balance.

 1,088 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. can with a packaging date of 01/16/18. Sampled on February 16, 2018.

Hazy yellow semi-opaque pour with a modest white head that fades to a ring.

The aroma has a wonderful tropical and juicy fruit sensation. I pick up orange and pineapple for the most part. I also get a toasted bread character.

The body is around medium and fairly smooth.

Good sweet fruitiness in the taste that evolves into a sharp bitter and dry finale.

 451 characters

Photo of bobv
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Moderate pour yields a 1/2 inch white head over a bright light golden body with fleeting lacing. Nose of slight tropical fruit. Taste of tropical fruit, citrus, and a bit of spicy bitterness on the finish. Good feel and overall, an interesting lager and pleasant experience from Middlebury, VT. Cheers!

 302 characters

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light lemon gold color with a 3F head in a Stone Imperial pint glass.
Strong lemon, earthy lager aroma.
Slightly tart, carbonated with lemon, earthy, lager taste.
Definitely a lager.
Excellent beer. Only 5.5% but a full flavored beer. That’s the way it should be.
High ABV doesn’t necessarily reflect quality.

 314 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a thin head into my glass. Dry-hopped with Ella hops. Papaya, guava and apricot with baked bread in nose. Sweet and crisp taste with plenty of citrus and grassiness upfront. Clean, biter finish. Easy to drink and I would probably buy more. Wish it had larger cans as to add to the value.

 319 characters

Photo of ichorNet
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been looking forward to this one for a while, very glad to see it in a mixed 12 pack with the excellent Free Flow and the newly-reformulated Orange Dream cream ale! I've been seeing OC hype up this new year-round Ella-hopped IPL for months now, so to finally have it in my glass is an occasion indeed. Otter Creek has been consistently killing it for a while now, even though I, at one point, doubted their direction going forward from the departure of Mike Gerhart, their former brewmaster. Mike left in March of last year to join the Hill Farmstead crew, and he was what many would consider a revitalizing force for the brewery; one which not only changed up recipes but also ended up doing a lot for the packaging and marketing side of things, as well. The new OC crew has proven my fears to be mere folly, however, having released such excellent beers as Daily Dose IPA, Drip Drop coffee stout and Head Charge DIPA since his departure.

I've actually had another IPL focused on Ella hops before, and that was the little-known Ella Blanc IPL by Sam Adams, which was great and, thus, conveniently nestled into a mixed variety pack of other awesome lagers which will likely never be seen again. Using not only Ella but also Hallertau Blanc, I found Ella Blanc to be quite good in its own right, with spice and pine notes melding quite well with light resinous and tropical flavors in unique ways.

Anyway, enough about literally everything else in the world of beer... how does this particular one fare?

The pour here is relatively demure and unsatisfying, to be honest. A somewhat-hazy golden color with some yellower undertones seeping through along with some light particulate matter present, Ella does not entirely present as a gorgeous brew. The head is tenuous and the lace show is mediocre at best, but this beer has a lot behind it, and looks can be very deceiving.

The nose is incredibly characterful here, giving off a ton of diverse elements including tropical fruit (papaya, guava, passion fruit) and orchard fruit (apple, plum, apricot) with an undertone of deep spice (think nutmeg and/or allspice) and lightly-dank qualities found in some Citra or Simcoe-hopped IPAs and you'll get somewhat of a glimpse of what's going on in this beer. It's actually kind of disorienting and finding a center seems difficult, but honing in on the spice, earth and lightly-floral/fruity character of, say, a Noble-type hop will land you somewhere in the vicinity of what to expect, though dialed up in intensity several times and with a slight note of saltine cracker in there somewhere. Impressive.

Flavors of pine, passion fruit and grapefruit pop on the tongue here, with some supporting notes of white pepper, nutmeg and apricot, rounded out by a punchy and surprising bitterness that comes out of seemingly-nowhere. Wow, this really does check off some diverse boxes. Light Italian plum and refreshing lemon peel-like acidic notes balance some of the dense crackery malt layered on the tastebuds. This hits the palate as a medium bodied lager with some definite yeastiness in play, adding a bit more to the feel than expected, but it's honestly kind of welcome in the case of this brew where a flashier, leaner body would not necessarily highlight the obvious complexity present. Great new beer that exceeded my expectations... I urge all who love "hoppy lagers" to give it at least a shot. It's probably not for everyone, as the Ella hop is quite complex in this recipe, but it should at least give considerate imbibers some pause to mull over the use of new and interesting hops in bottom-fermented beer!

 3,613 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Uno's, South Burlington, VT.
This was poured into a non-frosted pint glass (I get what's going on with this one).
The appearance was a nice looking golden color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a nice pace. Barely any lace.
The aroma had a nice blend of tropical sweetness to some light white pepper and a feathery sweet "grassiness" at the end.
The flavor leaned towards the sweetness initially and then seemed to bring in a touch of "white pepperiness" rounding out the ends. Nice smooth aftertaste of the hops and a touch of lager-like crispness.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, but seemed to sit just a hair under and having a fine sessionability about it. Carbonation felt on par. ABV felt as projected. Nice finish of the Ella hops create a nice meshing of the sweet smoothness rolling over the lager yeasty components.
Overall, as an India Pale lager, it's done quite nicely. Definitely one that I'd have again.

 962 characters

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L- The beer pours a clear and golden. The head is a solid 2 fingers of white. Lacing is decent and persistent.
S-The nose is interesting. There are tropical notes interspersed with some catty dankness.
T-The taste has some light pithy bitterness, but is somewhat one note in flavor. It's not a bad flavor by any means, but there isn't a whole lot going on here in terms of complexity.
F- The mouthfeel is medium. Carbonation is on the lighter side. There is a slick coating mouthfeel I get in lagers that are not overly carbonated.
O- Enjoyable if not overly complex. A beer with some hop flavor that could be enjoyed in multiples. I like this far better than most session IPA's.

 679 characters

Ella from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 65 ratings