Wolaver's Brown Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

223 Reviews
Read the review
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 370
Photo of hosehead83
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cloudy copper in color, with a big, thick head of light tan foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malt,vanilla and caramel notes, subtle hop presence. Faint citrus note.
Pleasant and sessionable. A nice Brown.

 265 characters

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?

 484 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass at the shore.

Pours a reddish copper color with a finger of foam that fades away pretty quickly. Aroma is subtle, some sweet caramel aromas but not much else.

First sip is quite malty, dominated by crystal malt flavor, heavy on the caramel. Quite sweet. Hops don't really play much of a role.

This beer is pretty straightforward. A nice sweet malt flavor and not much else. No real complaints or off flavors detected, but this beer just doesn't excite my tastebuds.

 511 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance – Slightly hazy reddish copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, butterscotch, roasted nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, butterscotch, and hops. There is also a bit of a dark fruit flavour, perhaps raisins - and even a touch of chocolate. The beer finishes with a malty slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – A decent highly drinkable beer.. but also nothing that is going to excite you. In some ways it reminded me of a scotch ale. Happy I tried it, but wouldn't rush out to get it again.

 744 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours brown, some red tints with very little foam or residual layering. Light vanilla smell, modest malt. Nutty taste, hazelnut, caramel, toffee, dark chocolate - all blends into one flavor. Firmer carbonation for a brown ale. Hop bitter pokes through at the close. Pretty good ale.

 335 characters

Photo of Buckettt
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a decent amber, and left a 1/2" head that quickly dissipated, not leaving much lacing.

S- Malty, and I also noticed a slight vanilla note

T- Similarly, malty with a vanilla note, but unlike the smell, I also noticed some caramel, which in combination with the other notes, was very enjoyable. Also, the hops were quite mild.

M- Fairly thick, not overly carbonated

O- Worth a try for the delightful palate if nothing else

 434 characters

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.

 626 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Long number printed on the side that ends with "041311" which I'm guessing is the bottled on date. Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch of head. Fair amount of lacing. Aromas of malts, grain, some banana, and brown sugar. Taste is tangy with some bread and brown sugar flavors. Malty with a tangy aftertaste. Very drinkable and decent amount of flavor. Overall, its a fine offering and although I wouldn't go out of my way, I would have it again. Good beer to have in the mix 12 pack.

 501 characters

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.

 258 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice creamy looking white head, one finger. Body looks just like a brown ale should look - brown. Not picking up too much of a smell on this, you kinda just get that generic beer smell. There are some malts and a faint hop smell on the nose, but not much else. Hmm, interesting flavor, it kinda just bursts with loads of flavor when it hits your tongue, but all the flavors are mixed in so they are hard to distinguish, what I mean to say is the flavor stays constant from front to end. You get a nice caramel malt taste, and a slight slight hop bite. Its just mixed together very well, it for sure tastes like an english brown should taste. Overall, the taste is good. Drinkability is very high, and the mouthfeel is good.

 731 characters

Photo of huxcrunner
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- nice amber brown color with a tanish brown head about 1.5 fingers worth no real lacing and medium head retention

s-good combination of hops and malt, caramel type undertones

t-good full flavor maltly upfront and good smooth bite for the finish

m- good full body and good overall mouthfeel '

d- overall this is a pretty good brown ale, this isnt my favorite but worth trying if you really enjoy brown ales

 413 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light brown color, more of an amber really, somewhat see through for a brown ale, hardly any head, no cap, and not much lacing on the glass either.

Smell is pretty much one note, caramel malt, not picking up any of the chocolate malt, no hops either.

Taste does have a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, light to medium carbonation, the caramel malt is the primary flavor but there is a bit of chocolate in the aftertaste.

Pretty standard for a brown ale, but hey it's certified organic so that counts for something.

 524 characters

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.

 471 characters

Photo of angusdegraosta
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this brown ale from Vermont, crafted in the English style. The color is nice, the head decent, and the flavor enjoyable. Not overpowered by hops, but certainly a intriguing mix of malt, nuttiness, maybe some toffee and mineral qualities. The ABV is slightly higher than the typical session beer, but two or three of these over the course of an evening at a friend's house sounds like a good thing. Well done - looking forward to their Oatmeal Stout, which folks seem to love.

 492 characters

Photo of jsdunlop
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color, decent head that fades to a slim covering of the brew with moderate lacing after each sip. Chocolate, malts, hops, alcohol, ripe fruit, honey, some yeast and maybe some fig notes in the smell. Sweet, some chocolate notes, honey, light malt, bit of hop bitterness, with an aftertaste of tobacco leaves. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a decent, matching carbonation profile. Nice, refreshing brown ale, easy drinking and smooth overall. Recommend.

 459 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We pour a translucent brew that is golden-red in color, with a half finger white head that quickly dissipates. There is very little visible carbonation. The aroma is warm, with malts, esters, diacetyls, and sugary chocolates. The taste begins with a clean and hearty grain flavor. This strength falls away, allowing for a sweet and herbal middle to dominate. There is a quick balancing act by some mild hops, but these flavors remain and run into the aftertaste, which is heavy with esters and a fairly compelling cinnamon flavor. This beer is medium to light bodied, with low carbonation. It feels on the watery side, which leaves the mouth wet but not entirely satiated. The abv is fully standard, and the beer is easily consumed.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the simple flavor profile, and the fact that it is all organic. Compared to other beers of the style, it certainly fits, but falls short on its strength of flavors and complexity. While simplicity is generally not a negative trait, with this beer, you are left craving additional flavors.

 1,072 characters

Photo of aranheaney
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a DFH snifter:

A-chestnust brown, with minor head that quickly disappears and leaves only a slight hint of lacing behind

S-very autumnal, nutty, fairly rich

T-good upfront, fairly clean, maybe a hint of malt, but nothing that really hangs around too long

M-kind of disappointing, it really didn't stay with me, almost macro-like....

D-high, but again, a little under-whelming. I really like their Oatmeal Stout (see previous review) and I was expecting more from this. It's fine but nothing special.

I'll probably throw a few into samplers I make up for my beer trading friends and newbies that I'm trying to bring into this world. You know who you are Lurkers!!!

 696 characters

Photo of CaptYellow
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The color is a transluscent brown as would be expected, perhaps a little darker than usual. The head was to the top of the glass before the glass was half full of beer. Lacing was left along the glass.

T: O.K. Not a bad brown- the malt and the hops were both present, the malt upfront and the hop in the aftertaste. Fairly well balanced and flavorful.

M: Medium mouthfeel. It was so heavily carbonated I don't know how much was natural.

D: Fair. It didn't take me long to finish but is not something I'd want another of.

This may be a good brown ale if you get the variety pack and want the other beers but is not something I'd want to seek out.

 652 characters

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured dark amber with a thin, creamy head; a light to medium level of carbonation is visible.
S: Nutty aromas stand out in the smell, along with some hints of toasted and caramel malts.
T: The taste is slightly sweet and filled with malty flavors of caramel, nuts and toffee. There are no traces of hop bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and relatively smooth, although it also feels a bit thin.
D: The beer is rather good and very easy to drink, but I would opt for having this with a steak or a burger.

 538 characters

Photo of erosier
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber brown color with a short off-white colored head that leaves a little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, big caramel notes, and a hint of nuttiness at the end of it.
T: Tastes of nice roasted malts, along with nice caramel, brown sugar sweetness, then a slight nutty flavor followed by a touch of hops.
M: Very smooth, refreshing, light to medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this was a nice sessionable brown ale.

 486 characters

Photo of dedrick
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.

A- short, white head. Not much lacing. Color is not the usual dark brown you'd see with most brown ales. It has a lighter deep amber color.
S- Sweet mild smell. Nice.
T- The only thing I didn't like about other brown ales I've had is the taste as the beer warms up. It becomes more and more bitter and soapy. This brown ale's taste is enhanced as the beer warms. Very nice mild, safe taste. Not risky or super unique but good and reserved.
M- fine
D- Average drinkability.

Overall a good beer but nothing to call home about.

 568 characters

Photo of DerekP
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12-oz bottle into a Czech Pilsner glass.

The brew is a nice brown mahogany with a lacy walnut-colored head.

The smell is deep, offering an immediate malty character, aggregated with lots of caramel & brown sugar, while the scent of alcohol sits way in the back.

Toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, all the qualities in the smell are found in the taste, but the alcohol comes through a bit stronger.

The feel & finish is slightly grainy, with noticeable bitterness from what I can only assume is the presence of hops, though the overall character is hard to discern.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer from Wolaver's in Middlebury, Vermont. It has a moderate body, a healthy malt presence, and enough bittering units to more than satisfy the intrigued beer drinker.

 788 characters

Photo of EStreet20
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce tulip shaped pint.

A - Small off white head sits atop a nice looking reddish light brown (think cherry wood). Head drops to a cap quick, laces a bit.

S - Smell is a bit too neutral for my taste for a brown. It's a subdued style anyway but some sweet or roasted malt needs to pop up a bit.

T - Clean tasting with sweet malt initially. Tiny chocolate tinge. Little to no aftertaste.

M - A bit thin. Carbonation is medium.

D - Nothing to hate here, can have a few, but nothing exciting.

Notes: Easy drinking as an English Brown should be but a little short on the style's signature flavors.

 619 characters

Photo of NA1NSXR
3.94/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Typical brown ale look. Laces ok.

Smell - Hoppy for a brown ale, with some dark fruits, nuts. I wouldn't really call it fruity though. There is less roasted character than other beers I've had of the style.

Taste - Starts with malt, fruit, and nut flavors, all in good balance. Ends with a very mild but still noticeable hop finish. I think its pretty darn good. They say they hints of cherry and black currant here, and it is apparent in the taste as the dark fruit character is not really that fig/raisin kind. I happen to like it.

Mouthfeel - Quite smooth with controlled carbonation. Nice medium thickness.

Drinkability - This was a pleasant surprise. There is a good balance here. I can have several no problem.

 733 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The warm, chestnut tone in the color is very inviting, with a steady stream of little bubbles fizzing "drink me now!" Couldn't generate much more than a thin head despite the carbonation, however. Weak aroma of coffee, coca-cola, brown tea and raisins. Reasonable taste of caramel, apricots, pears and a decent sting at the end makes this easy to drink, but it doesn't really compel buying another bottle. I'm often ambivalent about brown ales; this is one that definitely embodies that ambivalence. I wouldn't turn down a free bottle.

 535 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.