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.

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Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 370
Photo of jneiswender
1.94/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured out of a 12oz Bottle into a pint glass.

A-brown topaz gem body, beige head

S-Floral, slight cough drop smell

T-Flowers, low malt middle, hop bite at the end

M-medium, slick mouthfeel

D-Too medicinal. Does not seem to have the requisite malt impact you would want in a Brown.

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Photo of yourefragile
1.94/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle served in a nonic.

Pours a clear ruby color with a dense foamy cream color head. Long lasting retention and light clumps of lacing. This doesn't smell like a brown ale. At all. Soapy and fruity, sort of like my liquid soap in the kitchen. Actually, that's exactly what it smells like. Fizzy light body with a fruity (cherry, peach) flavor with light caramel malt and a wet cardboard finish. Tastes less horrible than the aroma, but still not a brown ale. Ummm...I dunno?

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Photo of terrabyte
1.96/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, light brown color with quite a large head.

I couldn’t smell much, but I thought I detected some skunking. Turns out, I wasn’t far off.

I really didn’t like the flavor of this beer. It seemed sour and bitter. It seemed to go down better towards the end, but this was very, very disappointing. There was something really off with this beer, and I hope it was only this batch. Certainly no one would attempt this flavor as their intended goal?

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.04/5  rDev -42%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear, bold copper at first then becomes increasingly cloudy as the glass fills. It has one finger head and lace until the end. It's aroma is of toffee, toast, and some pine. The flavor is roasted malt with grapefruit and toffee notes with an increasing alcohol bite as it warms. The mouthfeel is stichy and light-medium. Wolavers Brown Ale is an okay beer, not bad but no more, recommended.

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Photo of ccrida
2.15/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle served in a dessert wine glass, Wolaver's Brown ale is a mahogany color with a small khaki head that leaves no lace.

Smell is caramel malt and spicy, grassy hops.

Taste is dominated by an unpleasant, sharp, iron like metallic bite, behind which lies what may be a decent, malty, hoppy brown ale. To bad the metal was so off-putting I didn't bother wasting enough time with this beer to find out.

Mouthfeel is thinner, but not watery, and dry.

Drinkability was low, as I didn't like it at all, and didn't drink more then 4 oz. before tossing it.

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Photo of elinash
2.25/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber brown with head that quickly disappears to almost nothing. (Interjection- other Wolaver's regular brews do the same thing.)

Smells malty but tart. Something is off with this one.

Tastes peculiar for a brown. No rich nuttiness or deep roasted character. There are significantly sharper flavors here- a little rancid somehow. Strange tartness in the malt for a brown.

Mouthfeel is really thin/ carbonation is weak.

The finish hints at roasted malt, but disappears and leaves a mediocre-beer aftertaste (bland malt). Hops are non existent.

I like other beers by Wolaver's/ otter creek, but I hadn't yet tried their staple brews. Not impressed. I have another in the fridge so I'll give it another shot.

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Photo of Earwacks
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

ALERT: I am reviewing this beer (scores) as a Flemish Ale since that can only be what they accidentally put in the bottles.

(That's all I'll write. Seems silly to waste my time describing my impressions of a Brown Ale that tastes like a lame attempt at a Flemish. See scores for any more detail.)

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Photo of argock
2.51/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Frehsness date lasered on bottle above label. Purchased as 6-pack from Whole Foods (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Very red hued with bit-o-honey colored 1-finger head with respectable retention and lacing.

S: Caramel, roasted malt, and stewed vegetables

T: Very sweet and the vegetable flavor is very strong, but identifiable as due to the heavy load of Fuggles hops. It way over herbalizes the beers aroma and flavor, giving it an almost-minty finish after a too-sweet malty flavor. These flavors do not go well together.

M: Medium-bodied with adequate carbonation but unpleasant sweet-herbal aftertaste.

D: Not a beer I will be going back to. A disappointment after the roasted goodness of their oatmeal stout.

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Photo of Braudog
2.52/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 12 oz bottle, this poured with more of a fire-engine red color than brown, with a monster of a big white frothy head. Not much aroma penetrates the fortress of a head, but I get a tingle of caramel, a pinch of pine. The flavor is thankfully a bit more pronounced: caramel and earthy hoppiness that manifests itself in an orchard-like fruitiness. There’s a dry bite right at the beginning, but unfortunately it doesn’t save this beer from mediocrity. (#2680, 2/4/2007)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.61/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rust orange with bright amber accents. The ecru cap is several fingers in height after the pour and has yet to lose a full finger by the three minute mark. Although it looks like a fair amount of lace will end up on the glass, very little does. The beer looks more like an ESB or an APA than a brown ale.

I'm still not buying the style designation. Brown Ale smells nothing like a brown ale, nor does it smell very good. While it isn't as nasty as some beer from this brewery, I can detect the same off-aroma. Infected house yeast strain? Surely they didn't design their beer to smell (and taste) like this?

The flavor is tolerable at best. That odd, 'off' characteristic, whatever it is, prevents me from fully enjoying the beer (without completely ruining the experience). It tastes like I'm drinking an amber ale more than a brown. The beer is lightly malted with virtually no flavors gained by the use of chocolate malt.

There's much more hop bitterness (thanks to a lack of malt sugars) than hop flavor. I have to bump the taste score down another notch. This medicinal, quasi-phenolic flavor is wearing on me more and more as the ounces pass. Even though the finish is short, the worst aspects of the flavor profile linger the longest.

Wolaver's Brown Ale is yet another sub-par offering from a brewery that has provided me with so many sub-par offerings over the years. I enjoy Pale Ale and Stovepipe Porter, but have no interest in drinking most of the rest again. I'm sure this bottle is fresh and I know it has been well cared for since I'm the one who's been caring for it since soon after it was brewed. Sometimes I wonder how these guys stay in business.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok my organic "kick" continues..with Wolavers King of the organic beer scene.
12 oz brown long neck nice simple label depicting some guys scything.
The appearance was rather good in the glass a crystal clear brown with a tiny head..though that went fast.
I am afraid the aroma( or stench) of this beer was very unappealing..just sour milky yukky aroma..maybe its skunked( but in a brown bottle???)
Well the taste is watery and weak..but its better than the smell..kind of dry..not impressed.
not great on the tongue too watery.
For me not drinkable..maybe I got a bad one ..but the Eel river beers are 10 times better as Organics.

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Photo of KajII
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

Poured a hazy medium brown with an average sized light tan frothy head that was mostly diminishing and had poor lacing. The aroma was of toasted caramel malts, resin hops and a mild earthy yeast with a mild hint of coffee. It tasted kind of mild with a sweet coffee flavor at first the became a little bitter and slightly hoppy at the end. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and watery in texture with a very soft carbonation. Overall a somewhat tasty brew but lacking for the style. Not sure if being an organic brew had anything to do with the lack of flavor but I am sure it did not help.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I poured this not okay beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a cloudy amber color. The beer did not have any head at all and was also devoid of any smell of any kind. I really had high hopes. This was part of a purchase I made online from halftime.com but I did not like most of the beers including this one. I will not buy again.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.77/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light chestnut in color, much lighter than the average Brown Ale, with a fluffy tan head that has moderate retention and stick.

Aroma of toasted nuts, roasted grain, stale coffee, and damp paper with just a smidge of caramel sweetness.

Flavor similar, though more diluted. Moderately toasty malts with a tiny bit of chocolate and bitter coffee grinds. That wet paper note is unfortunately still present. The finish is a little too hoppy and dry, almost astringent. It just doesn't satisfy, and is almost difficult to finish.

Body is above light with a slippery texture and watery mouthfeel. Not my favorite from Wolavers.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.78/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap into a shaker pint at Bee's Knees diner in Morrisville.

An interesting very copper red body and fairly clear. Slight tan brown head, with no lacing. Can't see much carbonation coming up from the glass.

Nose is virtually non existent, with perhaps some faint malt, no sense of nutty or brown bread.

Taste is rather unremarkable. Faint nutty action with an extremely wet and slapping body. Finish is lacking, flavors don't seem to stick around what little there are. Extremely weak body, that doesn't carry much forward. THere's some very faint nut and malt but that's about it.

Overall though it's still drinkable, but really nothing remarkable. Kind of hits like a very bad mild, not worth drinking there is so much better in this style out there.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.78/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Nice brown/amber color with a light brown head, decent carbonation, and lots of lace. Nice toasty malt and light hop aroma. Downhill from there .... An unpleasant rough malt flavor with a harsh afterbite. Medium bodied.

Not one I'd drink again except maybe to see if this was a bad bottle but I don't think so.

Label States: "Certified Organic" & "Caramel, Munich, and Chocolate malt" & "Tettnang, Hallertauer, and Liberty hops"

This bottle was brewed by Otter Creek Brewing Co. Middlebury, VT.

Bottled: 01/15/03 (Batch #1289)
Tasted: 04/28/03

($1.49 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of changeup45
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark brown body with a thin white head and left only a little bit of lace. Pretty smooth beer with decent toffee, caramel malty flavor I suppose but honestly there's not much to this. Actually every other Brown Ale I've had so far has been better than this one. Nonetheless, its not bad and I may have it again.

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Photo of edchef1850
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of the Otter Creek Brewery, good beer, nice lineup,overall a quality microbrewery. I had always wanted to try some of the wolavers stuff, but never had the chance. I finally got to try the english brown ale from the certified organic line. This beer poured a clear , slightly dull brown, with a light creamy head.The smell was strange to me, i struggled to come up with a description, finally the smell that struck me was dried seaweed. Not exactly the most desireable smell in a glass of beer. The flavor started with the richness of a classic nut brown ale, but it finished a little flat. I didnt like this one to much, too much vegetal in the nose and a short finish, being the standouts. Ill try it again though, everyone deserves at least 2 chances afterall, and ill definitley try some more wolavers products, theyre in good company with Otter Creek

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tall, slender pint glass. Emerges a clear and ruddy brown color. Topped with a small white head that recedes rather abruptly to a small, wispy, cloud like presence on top of the beer.

Aroma is bready, cracker-like. Some caramel malts make an appearance. Rather sweet smelling, kind of like a malt liquor. Hints of chocolate and toffee.

Decent flavor profile. Still, a little sweet for my tastes. Bready with too much caramel sweetness. Thin on the mouthfeel. Slightly toasty. I guess this one was okay, but there was a sort of corn, cheap sweetness to it that turned me off. I have four of these in a mixed sixer and that will be plenty for me. I will pass next time.

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Photo of Travlr
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cask at Churchkey. Muddy chestnut color with very scant bubbles and no lacing. Aroma of untreated pine and caramel. Decent malt flavor, maybe some light spice, but not much else - could use just a touch more hops. Fairly thin body and not much finish.

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Photo of surprenant1138
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy mahogany with a quarter inch creamy tn head a good lacing. Aroma is of a very faint banana bread. Mouthfeel is light, and with too much carbonation with not enough flavor. Tastes of a faint, watered down, carbonated liquid banana bread. That's it.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
2.91/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The light tan head dissapeared after only half a minute, leaving a decent amount of lacing. The beer is amber brown in color and pretty transparent. The smell is a mix of caramel and bready yeast. The taste is a nice combination of caramel nutty malts and sweet hops. There's a moderate amount of carbonation that lingers on your tongue followed by a light bitterness and a hint of metal.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
2.92/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at Market Basket in Somersworth. Pours a murky brown with a thin film of khaki-colored head. Smells malty and slightly fruity. Tastes roasty, somewhat sweet, and slightly astringent. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. A little drier than I usually like my brown ales. Middle of the road.

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Photo of Naes
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a light brown with a small white head. Lacing and retention are minimal.
The aroma really lets the caramel malt surface nothing else is really present.
The flavor is caramel malt with a bit of brown sugar and a trace amount of hops near the finish. This one is alright, but nothing exceptional.
The mouth feel is medium bodied and generously carbonated.

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Photo of theopholis
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a deep burgandy/amber with a nice off-white, 2-finger head that sticks around for a while. Has some lacing to, but that disappears after a few minutes. Not nearly as brown as it should be.

Aroma- Mostly sour with just a hint of chocoalte. Just the barest hint of malt sweetness, no hop (bittering or aroma) nose at all. Some citrusy notes when warmed.

Taste- Tastes to fruity for a brown ale. Some malt sweetness hiding in there. Just enough bittering hops to know that this is supposed to be a brown. Some hints of chocolate. Just a hint of alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Appropriate level of carbonation for a brown. A little more syrupy smoothness wouldn't hurt, but this is pretty decent for a brown ale.

Drinkability- Not a great brown ale, but quite drinkable otherwise.

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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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