Ella | Otter Creek Brewing

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49 Ratings

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Lone_Freighter on 07-09-2017

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by justintcoons:
Photo of justintcoons
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into a shaker pint.

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

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

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

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

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

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of ichorNet
4.37/5  rDev +9%
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 Billolick
3.89/5  rDev -3%
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...

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Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kwa357
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of Hockey_Fan
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of VeganUndead
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Kayakguy
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dsshuck
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IBUBrew
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of calebc10410
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jpd026
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jlindros
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
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

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Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Fitzy01
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheBigBoy
3.04/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of smb71481
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaxon53
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Ella from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 49 ratings