Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch | Otter Creek Brewing

82 Reviews
Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style KölschOtter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.85%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 01-20-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 95
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the brewery this beer was a pale gold color with an off-white head two-fingers thick. The retention was good and the lacing was very good in thin sheets. The aroma was 'bright', floral hops, pale malt and citrus. The flavors were crisp and refreshing. Summery notes of citrus hops, pale malt and floral hops, especially on the finish. Semi-acidic and clean. A good example of the style. The mouthfeel was soft but a touch watery, the body medium/light and the carbonation appropriate.

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Photo of sliverX
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a very light yellow crystal clear with a small white head that faded to a very thin film ( it looks like a macro lager )
Smells pretty much the exact same way a macro does just a bit more grassy than those
taste starts out tasting like a macro but then suddenly is very watery with a hint of white wine and grass
mouthfeel is slighlty short of medium bodied but is very clean and crisp on the palate
drinks like a tasty glass of water, would be excellent after mowing the lawn

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a stange the beer was a translucent medium gold color with one finger of pure white fluffy head. Steady carbonation streaming up the glass and the had retained very well with thick dense rings of lace all the way down the glass.

Malty nose with a slight grainy (cereal) aroma. Very soft fruit.

Taste stars out malty with a bready and slightly buttery backbone. This gives way to a very slight mild hoppiness with just a sublt bitterness in the background. Hop presence is mild, very mild, and more noble hoppish, nothing brash here, just enough to balance the malty sweetness the beer begins with. Finishes slight grains, clean, and dry with a sublte buttery sweetness.

Medium body and about average carbonation.

This is a very drinkable seasonal. It's tough to find a quality domestic Kolsch and this is certainly that. Nicely balanced, clean, not overly carbonated, and very refreshing. I'll be back to this each year.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Pours a pale golden straw color with a fluffy, two finger bone white head. The cap dissipated quickly and left little behind.

Aroma is of toasted cereal grain and a faint floral hop aroma.

The taste mimics the nose. Toasted ceraeal with a faint floral hop flavor. Very dry, not as bitter as I would like. Very subtle.

Light bodied with a little too much carbonation for my taste.

After doing some yardwork, this was a perfect quencher.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw with a not-too-bad white foam. Nose is a bit raw with grassy hops and a touch of lemon. Maybe some vegetal notes. Sweet, light and herbal with a mild hop bitterness. Impression of citrus is very faint and a hint of alcohol sneaks through. Fairly fizzy with a bit of slickness to the body. Drinkability isn't a problem with this one, and it has some nice hoppiness for such a light beer. Refreshing.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a clear gold from the bottle but appears slightly orange in the glass. Bleached white fizzy head of 1 cm foams up and rests lightly on the surface of the beer.
Aroma is clean and crisp with some spicy and earth hops and general grainy malt. Not overly complex but it doesnt have to be for the style.
First sip is a light to average body with fine fizzy carbonation.
Flavor is straight forward and refreshing. Grainy malt with a little husk to it, followed by some grassy hops that are just slightly bitter on the finish. A bit dry on the palate after each swallow as well.
The beer is well made and would taste great cold on a hot day. Put a 6er in the cooler and sit poolside for a hot sunny day!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 02.10.2009

A: Pours a ver light golden color with a large, two-finger bone-white head. Plenty of carbonation bubbles visible throughout. Okay lacing.

S: Mild grains along with some very mild, tart fruit sensations.

T: Soft malt and the tiniest bit of sweetness. Mild bitterness. Very few hop.

M: Light and refreshing, though a tad bit over-carbonated.

D: Pretty good--I wouldn't mind knocking back a couple of these once the weather's nicer. At the same time, I don't think it stacks up with the Goose Island Summertime.

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Photo of kshankar
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with good carbonation. Head isn't that impressive, leaves a slight amount of foam. Otherwise looks fine

Aroma: Its mild. I can detect grains, and minimal hops, but it still is a pleasant aroma

Taste: Nice grainy flavor..mild on the hops, some malt coming through as well. I can get some wheat notes from it as well (bottle indicates there is some wheat there we go)

Mouthfeel: Crisp, and good carbonation. Goes down well

Drinkability: Light and crisp, refreshing. Tastes good.

Give it a try

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Photo of Kendo
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Body is light golden with a small white head. Bubbles rising result in a nice presentation.

S: Not terribly strong -- some cereal and basic grain with a hint of florally or fruity hops.

T: First impressions: light, slightly fruity and cereal grains. A lingering fruitiness reminds me of ripe apples, though it finishes somewhat dry and lemony.

M: Somewhat slick, surprising me for the style.

D: Good. A little too fruity or else this would've been a 4.5.

Notes: IIRC, I haven't been that impressed with Otter Creek's offerings. This, however, was solid. I think it would make a decent summer release, actually, as it's light and fairly refreshing.

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Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yellow/gold with a light chill haze and a sticky white cap. Solid sheets of lace clung to the glass and it had good head retention. Aromas of floral hops, cereal, and crackers. Moderate bitterness with floral and crackery malt flavours, plus a hint of fruitiness. Light bodied with carbonation a little more than average. A bit dry, nice texture overall. Refreshing and tasty, a decent kolsch.

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Photo of yelterdow
2.77/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled on 1/28/09. Served in a traditional German stange at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Wow... I know Kolsches are pale in color but this really takes the cake! A suggestion of light yellow/gold is all we've got here... the white crown fizzles quickly to just a thin, transparent mat.

Smell- Zippy and bready, the malts outweigh the hops on the nose... it's like walking past a bakery at 5 in the morning. There's really nothing much of anything else going on.

Taste- This one doesn't hit the mark. It's real lemony and hoppy, drying for sure... but it's also astringent to a fault. It's not balanced at all regarding the hops and malt, but the aroma had me fooled. I'm going to have to pass on this one.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- This beer blooms nicely in the mouth right from the outset, becoming full and frothy without going overboard or being *too* gassy. It's light enough to session, but I just wouldn't go here again with the flavor profile not being so great.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.24/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very pale transparent golden yellow with crazy high white foam. The head stays around and recedes very slowly. Lacing everywhere.

Smell is a grassy/pine-y/hoppy aroma.

Clean taste - a tad watery with a mild hop finish. No buzz from carbonation in the mouth, Finishes dry.

Good representation of the style. Not earth shattering, but definitely a beer you could have a few of.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear, rather bright gold color. The head is slightly smallish, frothy, and off-white. Retention is good, as is lacing.

S: A base graininess, along with some fruity/champagne aromas. A bit of floral/herbal hops.

T: Crisp, grainy malt up front. Again, some dry white grape/champagne flavors. Hop flavor is fairly nice, again herbal and floral, and bitterness is moderate. A bit yeasty as well.

M: Medium-light body. Rather crisp and refreshing, with a dry finish and somewhat tingly carbonation.

D: Quite refreshing and nice. This is a nice spring seasonal, and I have a feeling it would be even better on a hot summer night. It won't knock your socks off, but it's very well-executed and pleasant.

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Photo of blackie
3.12/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: tyranena pint, fizzy white head on a golden colored beer, very poor retention

s: grainy pale and lightly nutty wheat malts, underripe peach or green grape, very mild hop presence, seems a bit on the sweet side

m: carbonation prickly but seems to be underdone, light-medium body, lingering presence in the finish, comes across as dull for the style and a bit heavy-footed

t: brief glimpses of a wheat malt crispness with a heavier, more sugary pale malt flavor making up the bulk of the body, white grape juice, mild aged hop flavors come out after swallowing, the malts would be enjoyable were they countered with an adequate hop presence

d: not up to par for a kolsch, too much body and unchecked malt flavor

single from Trader Joe's, Reston, VA

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Photo of NoLiberty
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very clear light golden color into the glass. a Small thin heads bubbles up and quick recedes into a moderate spotting on top with very thin light lacing. Small, but active carbonation churns up from the bottoms of the glass.

On agitation of the beer a subtle but pleasant aroma emerges - biscuity malt, light bready yeast, mild bitterness and a very understated alcohol presence that's actually quite a nice addition to the overall aroma.

As is expected with a Kölsch the beer is relatively well balanced and drinkable. The success of this beer isn't expected to come from it's extreme qualities or the outstanding flavor profile, but rather from the intricate flavors and delicate balance of malt, sweetness and mild bitterness. There is certainly an attempt here but the overall experience isn't as quaffable as I had hoped. It starts out nicely with a crisp freshness and moves to a more pale malt focused middle but as it finishes the flavors blend and twist creating a strange dry but sticky mouthfeel with lingering flavors of bark and stale bread. A subtle hop bitterness enhances things slightly, but drinkability isn't that great.

Sure, it's light, pretty refreshing and may go well with a fatty, flavorful burger but on its own I'm not invited back in to drink more after each sip, and that's certainly something I look for in a delicate and well defined style like this.

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Photo of JayNH
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear pale straw color with a monster frothy white head. Ample lacing is left on the glass.

S- Hops! Plenty of earthy, spicy German hops. A hint of sweet malt lurking in the background.

T- Starts malty then a earthy hoppiness blooms on the palate. A tinge of grapey malt shows up in the aftertaste.

M- Moderate body, very smooth with a dry finish. Carbonation is just right.

D- Excellent. Otter Creek nailed the style, definitely worth checking out. These would go down quite well in the warm weather.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's a Kölsch-style ale. It is what it is, so if you go into it expecting simple, refreshing golden beer, you'll enjoy this one. Otter Creek does such a good job with their beers, and this one is no exception. Nice gold color in the glass with a mild malt in the nose and just a hint of hops bitterness in the taste. Dry finish, not too sweet, extremely drinkable and highly recommended. A much better alternative than the typical lawn mower beer for your summer BBQ.

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Photo of mwa423
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Out of the bottle into a pint glass with a finger and a half of head, slightly hazy pale straw color.

S - Interesting blend of flower, spice, and grain. Not a common combination but very enjoyable

T - Lots of grain, flower, and wheat flavors. Very good for the style.

M - Very crisp, clean, and very little aftertaste.

D - Will definitely be picking up more next time I'm in the mood for a Kolsch.

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured cold into a pint glass is a yellow gold color with a minor white foam that dies to a mere ring with a bit of lacing none the less. The aroma comes off as a pretty typical wheat affair with some hints of clove and ham and a touch of floral bouquet I would say. Once committed to the tongue, it's a tangy but relatively smooth, clean feel for the style. There's a touch of floral sweetness over the grainy roughness. I don't have too much more to say. It's refreshing and reasonably drinkable but it's no taste treat to me. Kind of dry in the finish, a bit harsh to my tastebuds but it grows on you and seems to mellow a bit as you go. Definitely worth a try but I'm no expert on Kolsch style beers.

New bottle a year-and-a-half later...
A nice clear amber color with steady bubblage and a fair white cap and very nice blanketing lacing. The aroma brings nice malty lemon bread with even a hint of milk chocolate with illusions of salt water taffy! Quite nice. The flavor offers a simple but refreshing mouthful of cardboard malt and subtle lemon hop. Mildly but pleasantly carbonated the malt dominates but the dry citrus hop balances out nicely. It's medium light bodied with a refreshing and sturdy feel for the style. There's a little nuttiness, some oaky touches. Just a solid offering all around that's plenty drinkable. Nice job by the Otter.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very light chill haze to the gold colored beer. Three quarter of an inch of white head halved fast then stayed a pair of minutes. A few streams of fast rising tight carbonation bubbles. Light wisps of lace.

Malt is the main aroma up front but with a light fruit background of apples bananas and grapes. A light butter in the second nose full. Hops weren't powerful, but were noticeable.

Flavors of barley are quite strong and have a slight aftertaste of dried grass. Hops come through a bit stronger and overtake the light fruit flavors.

A bit on the watery side. Not bad carbonation on the mouth surfaces to help shift flavor a bit.

A good brew. This one works great with a light salad for dinner. An enjoyable brew in a rare style. Definitely worth picking up a six pack if you see it.

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Photo of Procrastinator
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer of this at Total Wine a few months back. Bottle dating on neck is unreadable. Poured into tulip pint glass from a brown bottle.

Appearance: deep golden colored body (darker than expected) with a white soapy head which dies immediately to leave a thin layer and decent lacing. No streams of carbonation, except just below the cap.

Smell: sweet bread crusts, honey and malted graininess, slight sour lemon rinds and grassy hops.

Taste: flavors coincide with scents. Slightly sweet breadiness is met immediately by bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: medium body and complimenting carbonation. Sweet chewiness ends with bitter crisp dryness. Well balanced.

Drinkability: definitely a drinkable session beer. Flavors are enjoyable with a nice dry finish. Alcohol never really rears its head. Next time I'd like to review this closer to spring release.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a fluffy head that shows good retention and deposits a few dots of lace

Smell: Crisp, with hints of lemon and biscuit

Taste: Biscuity up front, with a hint of lemon developing; after the swallow, the finish is clean, with just a hint of fruit

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice example of the style which some brewers have difficulty pulling off

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Photo of Bighuge
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden. Dirty white head. Sporadic lace. Nose is grainy, sweet and worty. Quite herbal on the taste buds. Also some biscuity malt nuances and spicy hoppiness. Pretty solid for a kolsh. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, this could make for a nice quaffer in the summertime as it's got some flavor too.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otter Creek's German-style Kolsch is quite a change from their previous spring style, the Mud Bock. Obviously, bock was brewed for spring as is tradition, but I think the Kolsch style may be a little more...

It pours a clear, very deep golden body at 8 or 9 SRM, just slightly darker than the normal 3.5 to 7 SRM range of those brewed in Germany. The creamy white head rises shortly, and then drops fairly readily. Lacing about the glass is limited to spots and streaks.

The nose expresses floral hops and fruitiness over grainy maltiness.

In the flavor it's pretty much right on for the style with a little bit of yeasty fruitiness to it. It still has a clean, lager edge to it, but there's that nice dollop of fruitiness to lend it character. On the other hand, the malt is a little bit more flavorful and full than those I've had from Cologne. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation. It's grainy, not caramelish, and gives a fuller, wider flavor. The bitterness is pretty solid with Bu's in the mid to upper 20's, and it finishes dry with some lingering grainy malt that passes quickly leaving flowery hops behind.

Overall: accessible; full flavored enough to keep you coming back; drinkable.

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Photo of albern
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer falls under the "refreshing" category, in that it is very light, quite pale, reasonably carbonated, with plenty of light hops, citrus, and florals. The beer pours a pale straw yellow with not much head, and forget the lacing and retention. The appearance isn't all that different from what you would find even in the most bland macro, so it is hard to judge. The aroma is floral, a bit perfumey, some graininess as well. The taste, light, very light, watery, a bit of spicy pepper in the finish, sweetness in the mid section but it segues into a drying finish. There is a slight grapeish, perhaps nutty tinge, in the finish as well. The mouthfeel is drying and the aftertaste is pretty mild overall with a hint of spice on the tongue. Not a bad beer, not overly complex, good on a hot day.

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Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch from Otter Creek Brewing
3.64 out of 5 based on 95 ratings.
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