Wolaver's Brown Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

223 Reviews
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Wolaver's Brown AleWolaver's Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 04-01-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 370
Photo of forceten
4.7/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll admit it. I don't usually like Organic beers. They're usually a disappointment. I will also admit that I've tried other Wolavers products and wasn't thrilled by them...

...until now. This is a fantastic brown ale, folks. Ignore the fact that it's certified Organic. This has what you're looking for if what you're looking for is a tasty brown ale with body and some sweetness.

The fruitiness comes from the yeast esters - and this beer had it in abundance. This one went down too easy and left me wanting more - and that's the measure of a great beer, isn't it?

Try this one.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.59/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pored a brown/red cloudy colour with a thin white head.

The smell was very nice had strawberries, figs, liquorice , prunes and biscuits.

Tasted of bread, malts, cherries and prunes.

The mouth feel was light to medium with a nice level of carbonation.

I really liked this beer wasn't what I expected from a brown ale but I will buy it again.

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Photo of dbalsock
4.54/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a brown tone with a dark copper tint with a white head that quickly laces the side of the glass.

smell: the smell is quite sweet and the main characteristic that i noticed was a honey odor. there are sweet light floral undertones that help balance the smell and provide a nice complexity.

taste: very sweet with the honey odor becoming even more clear in the taste. there is also an accompanying floral taste from the hops that provides a slight bitterness and create a perfect balance with the sweetness.

mouthfeel: as i said above, there is a light bitterness, but mostly this beer coats the palate very smoothly.

drinkability/notes: the mouthfeel, taste, and smell all make this a very smooth and quaffable brew. it is also lighter bodied than other brown ales i've had and is not too filling. this may be my new favorite beer. as i was drinking it, i kept thinking how i didn't not want the experience to end.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.33/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, amber red color with a frothy off white head. Great lacing and retention.

Aroma is malty and grainy, with toasty, nutty elements. Yeasty eaters are gentle but present. Lightly hopped with just a faint, leafy element.

Flavor is nutty, leafy, and bready with a dry profile all the way through. Simple but tasty. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and light on the palate, which really balances with the rich flavor profile to make this really drinkable.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.33/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 12 oz bottle aged for about 7 months. Bottled on 9/29/04 and consumed today. Batch number looked like 1626 but it may have been 41626. Part of the label was scratched.

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into a tall but wide 14 oz crystal glass. The beer is a clear amber with reacily visible carbonation. The fluffy tan head is a sticky 2 centimeters that holds tight to the glass and lasts a long time. This beer is splendid to look at in one of my favorite pieces of glassware.

Smell: Malty, fruity nose with a nice layer sesame oil scent and a bit leather scent.

Taste: Malty (caramel malt?) and diacetyl fruitiness open it up but it is quickly overtaken by a light but distinct hop bitterness. It is sandy, earthy, woody, and dry. The hops are also floral. There is a marvelous combination of hops in this beer that give it a lot of character. The maltiness that supports the crisp hop flavors is fluffy and readily relinquishes the spotlight. This beer is good because it has a good malt profile to stand on. This beer is great because it is well hopped to balance well with the malt profile. I don't know what effect the aging had on this beer, but I suspect it served to mellow out any unruly flavors and make this beer into something fabulous. I certainly enjoyed every sip of it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sandy on the palate with a nice, chewy malty aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very nicely hopped to balance out the malt. Enjoyable and very good. Quite honestly this is more like a pale ale than a brown ale in my opinion. It loses some for missing the mark on the style, but still this is a fantastic beer, whatever style one wants to group it with. Give it 7 months in the fridge and it is a winner.

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Photo of oelergud
4.32/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish amber, moderate carbonation, small-bubbled light tan head, good retention and lace.
Chocolate in the nose very apparent, some notes of caramel, brown sugar and some spices blended well with the chocolate.
Hell yeah! This is what a brown ale is supposed to be all about. Strong chocolate and caramel flavors up front but not too sweet, hops punch through pretty quickly and demands notice, more so in the aftertaste while the sweet malts slowly fade out to give room.
Complexities continue to play after this brew is swallowed, spices, strong malts and deliciously bitter hops brings your mouth alive.
Good full and creamy body, a meal in a bottle. Has a warming effect despite the not so high alcohol%. A very drinkable beer and another great brew from Wolaver.


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Photo of Chugmonkey
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am always underwhelmed by and don't get these organic brews. Seems like they never measure up. This one was NOT typical. Far from it.

Auburn color, thick tan head, clarity is unbelievable - must be filtered. Nice nutty, pinch of spicy aroma. Taste is very complex for a simple brown type ale - nutty, biscuit, little chocolate, the sweetness is restrained and mild in the background making it very drinkable.

Creaminess is the star of this beer. Super creamy mouthfeel w/o any overcarbed bite. Hard to find beers that have this mouth friendly creaminess.

So smooth and tasty and creamy, it's hard to drink it slow. But you can because it's that good you want to savor the yummy complex maltiness.

I'm impressed, will be getting more of these for sure. Get a sixer, one will leave you lacking.

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Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

08/28/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. As advertised the cherry & currant tastes are there but in a most complimentary way. Great lacing...always a good sign. I like this very much. Methinks it would befit all seasons.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep auburn appearance. Just a skimming of creamy brown head. Lacing is full. Smells a little nutty and a little chocolatey. Also some light perfumey hop tones. Big roasted nut and cocoa tones on the palate. Hops really accentuate nicely. Just a little burnt malt bitterness rides the tongue after the swallow. And there's a nice brown sugar sweetness that resides on the tongue after the swallow. Body is barely medium . This is really a solid brown ale. Unique and tasty.

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Photo of LeftyBWS
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a glowing but dark amber color, browner towards the top. Head is bubbly, tannish, fairly thick but quick to recede. Plenty of carbonation visible on the sides of the glass, but this disappears quickly.
S: Earthy malts, plus an interesting floral hop character underneath. Airy overall, but quite sweet and pleasant. There are notes of perhaps chocolate and honey, as well.
T: Sweetish throughout, with a fair amount of subtle hoppiness. The finish is much maltier and creamy. When served cold, the taste is almost metallic and sterile, but after plenty of warming, this beer tastes amazing.
M: Smooth overall, with a nice creamy finish. Slightly watery, but not too much so.
D: Really good, definitely sessionable.
Overall, a very nice brown ale. Perhaps a bit on the light side, as far as darkish ales go, but still very intriguing and satisfying.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Red Door, Watertown, Conn.

A: Poured a dark copper brown with bright ruby highlights and a thick head of one-finger sized white foam.

S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, a little toasted nut and some piney hop resins.

T: Tastes smooth, nutty and oaky at first, but there is a distinct hop character to this brew as well. Sweet, toasted caramel malt with a solid dose of hazelnut, or something similar. The great piney hop bite, albeit brief, was a nice surprise.

M: Mouthfeel is medium and rich, slightly creamy, but not a real hassle to put down.

D: Became better as it warmed a bit, and a nice ABV for a brown ale. This is more suited for the cooler fall and winter months, as it's not exactly a refresher. But, it;s a solid brown ale and a must have at the Red Door.

Very nice for an English brown, and a nice added alcohol kick to boot! Not exactly a classic version, but leave it to Americans to take a style and hop it up. Plus, it's organic, so you can drink with a clear conscience and a clouded sense of judgment.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a crystal clear chestnut body that's capped by a creamy off-white head. It drops shortly but keeps a decent collar and some whispy surface covering throughout the glass, as well as leaving some thin lace. The nose displays a toasty, chocolate-tinged malt and some spicy hops. The body is medium/light and combines with a fine, restrained carbonation to give a smooth and gently creamy mouthfeel. The flavor displays an exceptional balance of softly sweet, lightly toasty and mildly chocolatey malt that's infused with gently spicy hops and backed by a supportive bitterness. It finishes dry with a flourish of spicy hop flavor and some lingering toasty malt. Very nicely done. Exceptionally clean and well-balanced with alot of finesse. Very drinkable, and with enough character to keep it interesting throughout several glasses. And I appreciate the fact that it's organic.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another good beer from Mr. Wolaver's Certified Organic "crop". Nice tannish/brown color, nice smell and very drinkable, even in July. This has become one of my favorite session beers this summer. The hops are quite subtle but catch up with you at the end of your sip. Good stuff, although not as pronounced and flavorful as Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout which is my favorite Wolaver's Organic brew -- so far. Try it, you will probably like it, even if you are not a "brown drinker".

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Photo of matty
4.09/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This ale pours an amber color with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is mainly toasted nuts.Taste is almonds,caramel and chocolate.There are no flaws in this beer that I can detect.Good from first to last sip.This is something that I would always like to have on hand in the fridge.Good job by Otter Creek Brewing!!

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Photo of Hoagie1973
4.09/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber (more red than expected) with one finger of smooth foam. Good lacing.
Smells of earthy malts, roasted nuts, and dark bread. Hint of caramel. Mostly smells like sticking your nose into a bowl of mixed nuts (that's a good thing).
Tastes like toasted malt and nuts. Nice caramel/chocolate sweetness, balanced by a drying hop presence in the finish and a bit of alcohol bitterness as well.
Mouthfeel is full and smooth; a bit creamy.
A very tasty and drinkable Brown.
I've only had three beers from this brewery so far, but they've all been excellent.

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Photo of SRFeldman79
4.09/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A reddish amber ale. A slight white head that fades quickly and with little lacing. Smells of nuts, maybe a touch of chocolate malt mixed with whatever gives it the nice malty sweetness (crystal malt maybe, since its a british style brown). Not the fruity style brown ale, definitely of the dry malty variety. Low bitterness. Very drinkable and tasty. After the first, you want a second to keep tasting the various malty nutty overtones.

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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Ginger man in NYC. Pours toasted almond and clear. Small bubble head,dissolving to a fine sheen. minimal lacing. Sweet malt in the nose. Smooth malt profile, toffee and caramel. Mildly hopped. Quality brew, tasty on tap. Fine session brew.

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Photo of Enola
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fairly aggressive pour resulted in a decent sized head. The color is a deep brown. The smell is of brown sugar and caramel. The taste is semi-sweet with caramel notes. The mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of sweetness. The drinkability is good as well. I am always impressed by this brewer. Another fine offering.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I thought the Wolaver's "organic" bit was a marketing tool, but the taste is great; so I don't know whether it tastes better because it's organic or because I know it's organic. Regardless, very nice chestnut color body with small, creamy head. A bit of hops but a more present sweet malt in the nose. Feels think and slightly bubbly in the mouth, and the taste was a very nice mix of carmel (and darker) malts with just a hint of a variety of hops tastes, including a bit of spice. I started it too cold and the taste actually improved as it warmed in the glass a bit. It mellowed and became more balanced. Really intriguing. A bit sweet for me, but I really enjoyed it and I'm glad I bought the 6-pack. I'll have to repeat the taste test... again... and again. Keeping style in mind, it's a great beer.

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Photo of m1ked
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a trade with Channan, a CA-VT swap, thanks. I think that this is my first organic brew.

A- Clear mahogany copper with a this layer of white foaminess that fades. Noted few tiny bubble streamers.

S- Slight sweet maple syrup (is my mind playing tricks on me just because it is from VT??) some earthy tones, slight etoh. Little bit of chocolate.

T- Rich caramel, toffee flavors. Some nuttiness to it, with a bitter balance at the end.

M- Thin and watery. Good carbonation.

D- Very tastey. I don't drink alot of brown ales, and I have never had an organic beer, but I like this one.

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Photo of Stimack
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

For the Thanksgiving weekend I thought I would give WolaverÂ’s a shot. First time I have had anything under this name, but have had the Otter Creek offerings. Well I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with this brew. Pours to a rusty brown color with a smaller tan head, but the head it has sticks around for a while and leaves great lacing. The aroma was of malt with highlights of a toasted and sweet scent, nice smelling brew. The taste is very nice, has a nut and caramel malt flavor up front then breaks into a little hop flavor. The finish goes back to a malt taste that finishes nicely, a very balanced drink! Over all I think this is a great session brew. This is a good beer and now feel I must try WolaverÂ’s other offerings!

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Photo of rousee
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/2/05-- Should be plenty fresh.

Pours red-brown with a 3 mm head.
Smell is an up front maltiness followed by a slight sour fruitiness. There is definitely a noticeable hop presence too.
Taste is maltiness first with some caramel notes-- finishes with a bit of woodiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat bubbly--quite nice. Pretty easy to drink.Nothing fancy here but a good interpretation of a style that everyone seems to do.
A nice local beer.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Whole Foods Market here in Madison for $1.69. Certified Organic....yummmy...

Pours a dark amber/light mahogany with not much more than a wispy coating of off-white bubbles. Smell is rather lively for an English Brown, caramel malts, warm spice and vanilla. Taste is pretty complex for an English Brown as well, caramel malts, vanilla, a healthy hop bitterness to balance, some nutmeg for character. Mouthfeel is a little thin, carbonation is a little low as well. Overall a pretty tasty brown. The whole certified organic thing is neat I suppose, I was afraid it would be on the bland side, but I could definitely down a couple of these in a session. Try it.

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Photo of shoude
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from bottle into sam adams beer glass

pours a reddish color with an average head that lingers on the glass, has a nice yeasty aroma, a crisp and malty flavor with a nutty twist and a very dry finish, goes down very easy and isn't heavy at all

would pair well with burger and fries, beef stew or even a steak

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given to me by a vegan friend, this is a solid offering. Light brown, bubbly and whispy head, it looks the title. The taste is crisp and clean with malts and just a touch of citric. You feel like a hippie drinking this, almost wanting to go hug a tree. It brings out the true character of Vermont.

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Wolaver's Brown Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
3.52 out of 5 based on 370 ratings.
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