Wolaver's India Pale Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

285 Reviews
Wolaver's India Pale AleWolaver's India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This robust India Pale Ale follows British tradition by using bountiful amounts of fresh hop cones to produce a crisp clean character; blending Magnum, Crystal and Hallertauer hops with generous amounts of Munich and Carmel malt.

Added by stirgy on 09-07-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 285 | Ratings: 600
Photo of cokes
1.6/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Clear, shadow-laden gold with small, sticky heading.

Then, it goes afoul.

Truly horrid aromatics. Lilac-infused bubble gum tossed with cabbage and spoiling tropical fruit. Rusty metallics appear as it warms. This is seriously fucking bad news. Worse than it sounds. And I am usually generous as far as "smell" goes.

I wish I could say this is redeemed in the taste, but it treads the same false grounds. Unappealing faux-tropical fruitiness mingles with a powdery, machinery bitterness. Vegetable hues surge forward. Gin-stewed cauliflower. Turns sour and ever worse from there, grabbed still by the repulsive bitter residue.
Just a total mess.

I fucking hate this. Terrible, TERRIBLE IPA. Terrible beer. Terrible defined.

But, since I am a nice guy, I will point out two positives. 1) This has some decent, underlying toasty maltiness. 2) The hallertau addition is noticed with its grassy personality, and would be a welcome companion in a decent IPA...okay, that wasn't so nice...but there are components here that are likeable. Even if the final product is completely horrible.

To sum up: bleeeaaachhkkk.
Ask my kitchen sink if you need a second opinion.

(bottled 2/4/04)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.77/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Dark orange-amber, heavy on the amber. The ivory colored head is the consistency of stiffly beaten egg whites and looks good sitting atop the average looking beer.

The nose is borderline nasty and has a distinctive aroma that I've smelled in other beer from this brewery. I've previously attributed it to the organic nature of their offerings, but I've now had too many organic beers that didn't smell like this for me to believe that theory any longer. India Pale Ale smells musty and spoiled even though the bottle is barely four months old.

Hops are partially successful in fighting through the smothering blanket of repulsiveness. The significant hop bitterness and marginal hop flavor are the only things keeping the rest of this bottle from going down the drain. Magnum, Crystal and Hallertauer is an odd hop bill for an American IPA, so I doubt that I'd love the flavor profile even without the pervasive presence of pesticide.

The beer tastes like rotting vegetables and clay with a disturbing phenolic foulness. It isn't easy separating the hoppiness from the underlying nastiness since the latter infects every aspect of the flavor profile. Hmmm... could this be what infected beer tastes like? Although there isn't much wrong with the mouthfeel, what does it matter at this point?

I know this bottle of Wolaver's India Pale Ale is reasonably fresh and has been well cared for. That's because it was hand carried from the brewery to me when it was less than one month old. More's the pity (and the sheer, stupifying wonder) that it tastes so bad. I'm still willing to give Otter Creek/Wolaver's more chances, because a good portion of what they brew is decent. But this one? Never again.

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Photo of tgbljb
1.79/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

What started out as a very attractive beer slowly (or maybe rapidly) went downhill. Poured a deep amber color with monstrous slightly off-white puffy head. Beautiful lacing. Smell is a a bit hoppy, a bit malty, mixed with alcohol notes. Taste is very strange. I detect a strong hop bitterness which slowly fades into a very unpleasant taste that is difficult to get out of the mouth. Each taste erases it, but then it slowly resturns. Gets a little better as it warmed to at least allow me to finish it. Never again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.06/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a light brown color ale with some orangey notes and nice foamy head with good retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of very light bitter hops which are disappointing considering the style. Taste is a mix between a bland light caramel malt profiles with a very light bitter finish. I expect some bitter or citrus flavour in my IPA which I didn't get here. I have to admit that this one was a big disappointment.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
2.07/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

After a pretty hard pour an off white head formed and stood for the better part of a minute. The beer is dark straw in color and just a little bit hazy. Very little carbonation rising up to the top. The malt aroma is kind of funky. It's pretty sweet smelling, no hops, grape juice, it smells like artificial grape juice. That's just wrong. It has a born on date of 8/5/03 so I don't think it's too old. Holding my nose the taste continues with the malt trend, a little bit of caramel in there, and even less hops. The aftertaste lightly bitter, with just a touch of metal. There's definitely something wrong with this beer, but even so I don't see this being all that great.

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Photo of jhchan
2.18/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

For an IPA, it lacks hops and any real substance.

For the record, I prefer IPA's which are full-bodied, hoppy with distinctive flavours. Unfortunately, Wolaver's IPA does not fit the bill. While it's very smooth, with a small hint of bite at the end which lingers on your tongue, I don't find there's anything distinctive at all about this beer.

If you prefer a "smooth" IPA without much bite, then give it a try.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.21/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in a pint glass from the tap at Frisco's in Columbia. Pretty amber brew with a good amount of carbonation within the body. Not much head or retention. However, there was excellent lacing from the thin ring along the side.
Faint malty and herbally hoppy aroma.
Biscuits, wet cardboard, chalky, no-hop-havin mess. I only really finished it because I assumed that I'd have to pay for the pint either way.
Some dryness on the tongue afterwards.
Overall: Nothing to see here, please move along.

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Photo of pirate252
2.36/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When I read the back it stated that it used Magnum, Crystal, and Hallertauer hops. The whole reason I bought it was because I love these varieties and have brewed with then several times.

The beer poured nice clear, light amber color, the smell... not so great, not bad just not like a hop garden like I was hoping for. The first taste made me have to step away, the aftertaste was this strange sour metallic taste that I am still not sure what it came from. Tasted it a few more times to try to get past is and taste the rest of the beer, but just couldn't do it. Had a buddy of mine over that also enjoys IPA's and had him taste it also, one taste and he was also done.

Sad to say but this IPA that I looked forward to due to using some of my favorite varieties of hops was kind of a let down.

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Photo of watermelonman
2.41/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This poured to a nice bright orange and gold with a medium head. It shrank and stayed at a ring, and it isn't leaving much lace.

The smell has plenty of hops but it isn't a good combination. Also, it has a burnt and stale flavor. The taste is no better. It starts with burnt malt flavors and an unappealing type of bitterness takes over in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine, though.

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Photo of bvj
2.44/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into pint glass

A: poured out with a proud 2.5 finger head that relaxed after a few minutes. Cloudy amber disposition

S: definite floral aroma that preoccupied the senses

T: for lack of a better description, wheaty overtones with a light, secondary IPA presence.

M: a narrow body with a bitter attitude.

Note: Unfortunately, I have a bias against a particular "white" flavor I sensed in this beer so please factor that into my taste/smell rating.

White beer lovers might find this organic IPA very refreshing, but it doesn't possess the definitive rustic qualities I prefer in an IPA.

I'd revisit Wolavers' IPA on a hot, summer day with female friends, but wouldn't select as a year-round go-to.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

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

A-sunset orange and hazy body with an off white thick head.

S-mango and earth (turned soil)

T-hop front is fruity with a biscuit and toast middle, some veggie underlying and a dry hop finish.

M-medium, low carbonation and a wet taste, flat

D-Critiqueing this style is tough. The beer is not hoppy enough for a West Coast APA and lacks the malty goodness of a true British IPA. I think that a beer that wants to be organic is great, however, it tastes like a standard recipe with organic ingredients. It seems like its weak on all fronts. Good flavor, don't get me wrong, just not enough of it.

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Photo of GnomeKing
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Let's start with the smell? It's strong, but what is it? Burnt corn stalks? Burnt newspaper? Something burnt...something not right. Then, the taste--yeah, it could be corn stalks or newspaper. It's the hops that are the culprit--they don't taste like hops in beer, more like hops eaten straight off the cone, which I did out of curiosity at a recent Sam Adams brewery tour. I do recommend that you eat at least one hops cone in your life, just to see what it's like and to say that you did, but I can't recommend that you try this beer. (Apart from the hops, this beer looks and tastes weak and thin...just in case you were wondering).

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I tried this for many reasons...never had it before, it was organic, wanted to see what it tasted like...

It poured very, very clear pale orange color. The hops were present but not in your face. I did find the first few sips to be a bit bitter actually. It was pretty balanced, but overall, I wasn't that knocked over by this beer.

I think that there just wasn't any one characteristic that really jumped out at me...it was a bit bland. I think there is a place for IPAs that are not out to overwhelm you with their hop profile, but there really wasn't anything to recommend this beer as one you'd want to have again and again.

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Photo of williamherbert
2.52/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nicey hazy golden color. Lots of carbonation. Fluffy, pillowy head with some rings of lace. More golden yellow than orange.

Smell of chlorine over bittering hops. A light hint of fruit, like lemon. That chlorine is an unfortunate side-effect of its organicness.

The hops in the flavor are bitter and kind of non-descript. Bitter like a German pilsner; not flowery or grapefruity. A hint of mowed grass. Chlorine is still there in the taste. Has an ok spicy end, but not enough to salvage it.

Feels fizzy with a bite at the end. It's really more like a pilsner than an IPA. Better as it warms but disappointing.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

07/02/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a born on date printed on the bottom of the label. Poured into my Wyder's Cider glass.

Appearance- Golden approching a light amber color. Huge inch or more very creamy white head. One of the best lacing jobs I have ever seen from an IPA. But, that's where the fun ends :(...

Smell- Smells of old spoiled fruit and cardboard. Scent of a bad expired English IPA.

Taste- This is an English IPA all the way. Has that hop taste that I can taste from a mile away...is that possible? Very stale hops flavor. Almost thinking of dumping the last two sips. Ultra bitter and pretty ultra nasty tasting.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

Drinkability- It looked so nice....but alas, looks can are in some cases are, very deceiving. Onward in my quest to find a decent tasting organic IPA.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.61/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Otter Creek- Wolaver's Organic IPA

Appearance- nice light brown with a thick head that disappated very quickly.
Smell- like dirty earthy hops. Vegatable aroma as well. Some tubers detected maybe a potato or turnip.
Taste- just like the smell, turnips freshly plucked from the ground and dunked into a weak IPA.
Mouthfeel- very watery, light. Slight bitterness but very faint.

Overall- Not a good 1. Sometimes Organic isn't always better!

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Photo of Chelsea1905
2.63/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a big fan of this. It looked really good, but then that was about all it had going for it!

Smelled of fruit and caramel, but not citrus or piney like I enjoy my IPA's.

Tasted really different to what I feell an IPA should, this almost was so caramel based, and malty, it was like an ESB

Mouthfeel was fine, as was drinkability. But not a great IPA. Overall, disapppointing as I've had other organic IPA's and really enjoyed them.

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Photo of nomad
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a very lightly oranged pale amber color; very odd hue to it. Had a decent amount of carbonation and nice thin head, though it looked a little strange to me, like a clumpy sort of foam. Not much lace. Its scent was dry and earthy in a "green" way, as the hops smelt bairly floral, more herbal. The scent almost had a malty sense to it but was funked out by the hops. The taste was bitter as usual but with a hardy earthy tone. It developed a light fruit taste, though again funked out. Pretty zingy on the tongue, its long finish shortened as my palate adjusted to the high IBU’s and particular funky bent of this whole beer. The drinkability was decent, but in general it was too raw tasting, and so needs better honing of many parts of it. Cool idea to go organic, though - purity in beer is a great thing!!

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Photo of cooncat
2.71/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought as a single at the V.E. in Boardman, OH. for $1.79.

The pour into my SA glass produces a brilliantly clear amber-gold beer, topped with a thick foamy ecru head. Some splotches of lacing appear on the sides of the glass. Nice look!

The nose is light and unremarkable. I can't pick out anything dominant. It almost smells like a Bud-light ... ewwww.

The taste is equally unremarkable. I don't think it even rises to the level of a pale ale, much less an IPA. My taste buds are used to extreme IIPAs, Am. IPAs (West coast and East) as well as Am. Pale ales. It tastes like it is less than 30 IBUs. I've had ESBs that had more hop presence. Malt flavors are equally light, with a touch of caramel and a breath of bread. The mouthfeel is light ... almost Bud-light light. The finish is dry, but not exceedingly so.

Overall impression is not very favorable. It looks nice on the pour, but that seems to be the beer's highlight. I've been a homebrewer for over 3 yrs. Even my very first extract brewed ESB was better (imho) than this offering. I guess the most positive thing I could say about it is that it's better than a Bud Light. On that note, I can't really give it a recommendation, unless you just want to try it to see how it measures up to your palate.

Sorry Wolaver/Otter Creek ... I'm not impressed, and it will some time before I'm ready to sample another of your offerings.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

filtered to clear, light amber, mild medium sized carbonation supports this white thin head.

I'm no beer expert so I can't put this into fancy words other than it has some sort of diaper smell I cant figure out. Musky almost. It tastes real nice and all so the smell really doesnt matter that much. Hop oils are rich and spicey.

"Organic"? thanks for sharin' but this camp ain't carin'. seriously the whole organic campaign is a joke. There are tons of beers that are organic and don't put it on their label. Who cares.

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Photo of Brad007
2.76/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- light copper in color with a foam head that doesn't last long (again, probably due to pour).

Smell- Hoppier than the pale ale but a bit harder to detect at first.

Taste- Fruity and hoppy but not too powerful. A bit of alcohol taste in it as well.

Mouthfeel- Leaves a bitter, fruity aftertaste that I feel is on par for an IPA.

Drinkability- Not too bad for an IPA but nothing special either. I know I've had better organic IPAs but this one does try.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

98% organic. What happened to the other 2%?

Poured a hazy copper color. Would not stop foaming. Took me four pours to get it all in there. Nice, thick snowdrift white head with good retention.

At first WIPA smelled like rose petals. Then fruit, spice, and light malt.

Highly malted for an IPA. Where's the hops? Some spiciness with swallow. Thin, grainy mouthfeel.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber orange hued pour topped off with a wafer thin off white craggy cap.

Malty nose with grainy scents and sweet candy hops.

First swigs: Earthy grainy. Metallic English style hop flavors. Overall, breakfast cereal, organic waffles without syrup. Aftertaste of oatmeal cereal and bright cedar dryness.

Chewy medium body. I swear that you can taste wood hunks floating around.

Last swigs: Too malty. Dead ringer for Butte Creek IPA. Magnum, Crystal, Hallatauer hops.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle to a reddish orange with off-white head that lingered thru entire glass, and left excellent lacing. The aroma and flavor were okay, but just terribly wrong for this style. Nose was sweet malty caramel and the flavor followed suit. Hard as I tried, I could detect only a hint of hops, and none of the citrusy grapefruit I have to know as the trademark of IPA’s. Likewise, there was no bitter in the mouthfeel or finish, which tended to be stale and slightly metallic.

At one point, I actually went and looked at the bottle to see if it really was listed as an IPA, could have much more easily passed as an English Ale. Again, not bad, just not an IPA.

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Photo of jifigz
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

This beer pours a slightly hazy orange color which is a little darker than other orange colored IPA's like Two-Hearted and beers similar, although it is not as dark a reddish brown color as Victory's Hop Devil. The head lingered for a while and left some lacing on the glass. The appearance looks pretty promising. The aroma is, well, hop free for the most part it seems. I smell alcohol, I smell sweet malts, and I smell strawberry twizzlers, but not hops....this smells more like an Irish Red than an IPA for sure. The flavor presents a light malty taste with a decent hop presence riding the ending. There is just enough bitterness to balance this English IPA, but I would like just a touch more of a hop profile. The MF feels pretty typical.

Overall, this beer is pretty "meh." It's okay, but this Wolaver's line is not really impressing me so far.

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Wolaver's India Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
3.55 out of 5 based on 600 ratings.
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