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

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Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style KölschOtter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch
95 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 82
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 GrandpaGeorg
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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Photo of giblet
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my first Kolsch. poured nice with about one half inch of head. nice light carbonation. light golden color, the smell was light but i can smell grains and kind of a bread and yeast aroma. the taste was quite good. smooth refreshing bread with a hint of hops to finish with. nice lacing down the glass. a good beer.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of scooter231
2.58/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear, light rusty color with no head, no lacing. Nose is dry and malty, and slightly piney. Also a little lemonyness as well. Not too hoppy. Taste is not as potent as the nose, the pineyness is lost, as is most of the maltyness. It kind of bland.

Mouthfeel is thin, watery, and weak. Overall this is probably great ice cold on a super hot day, but mostly, it's just kind of boring and uninteresting.

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Photo of iceball585
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Bright yellow color, clear, very thin white cover that lasted well, lots of rising bubbles throughout

S- Grains, sugar, light malts, lemons, faint earthy hop smell

T- Pale malts, toasted grains, fairly sweet, grassy, citrus hops

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, oily/watery finish

D- Not bad

I wasn't too impressed by this one. Nothing really stands out but it's not bad either. I would consider this an overall average beer.

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Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light grainy malt with some lemon zest and herbal hop.

The taste consisted of a grainy malt with some decent spicy and herbal noble hops. Some lemon bitterness as well.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a tasty and very easy drinking ale.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with jwc215. Thanks Joe!

It pours a clear straw gold with a 2 finger and growing head of foam. More foam sipping is in order here. ;^) Heaqd retention is above average and there's some good lacing.

It has a nice malty/citrus hoppy nose going on. It *smells* refreshing.

The taste has a nice mix of bready malt and citrus hops that are nicely balanced and make for a very smooth tasting beer. Nice.

It's light bodied and the carbonation is lower than what I expected judging from how bubbly it looks in the glass, and it finishes with both some bread and some lemon zest. This is a very drinkable example of the style and I think it does the style proud. Well done Otter Creek!

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Photo of cichief
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on drat at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a straw yellow with a snow-white head.

S- Some scent of citrus and fresh cut grass.

T- Subtle graininess, with a little citrus and lots of grass.

M- Thin in the body, but well carbonated.

D- Refreshing, but there are better Kölsch beers available.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger foamy white head, which does leave some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slight hoppiness, some spices, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty/hoppy, spicy/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, would be nice on a hot summer day.

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Photo of deanhead
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a nice golden color with a white, wispy head. Plenty of effervescence.

Slight hop aroma, even less malt aroma. Did have a flowery nose along with some spicy hints.

Crisp, clean tasting all with some slight hop bitterness.

Light in body, but not watery.

While I enjoyed this extremely drinkable beer, it simply wasn't very memorable. Don't get me wrong I liked it, but it's nothing special.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/28/08 (printed on the neck):

Pours light golden yellow with a thin, lasting white head.

The smell is of cracker breadiness, sweet grain, restrained floral notes.

The taste is of sweet grain, light wheat tang, bready, with a restrained bitterness. Crisp and clean, with a refreshingly dry finish.

Appropriately light-bodied and refreshing. It has a sweetish, malty aftertaste that doesn't linger too long.

Nice interpretation of the style - on-target. Very drinkable. Hits the spot on a warm Spring day! An easy, yet tasty, "session" ale.

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Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden with a thin white head.Good retention,and lacing.Aroma is of bready malts. Body is medium with very light carbonation. Taste is sweet,and bready up front. There is also bit of spice espicaly in the finish. If you like this style,this will be very good.

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Photo of Gmann
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw color with an average white head which dissipated into a slight ring. The smell light; I pick up doughy malt and grassy/peppery hops. The taste is of bready malt, grassy hops, a bit buttery and has a honey like sweetness. A bit of grain can also be detected. The feel is light almost watery with fizzy carbonation and a fairly balanced finish. The very light and refreshing brew. No real off-putting flavors can be found and is a nice change of pace summer type brew.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 04/16/08.

Pours a clear light golden color with a very thin beige head. The head quickly receded leaving no lacing. Aroma is malt, bread, and some citrus (tangerine).

Taste is more wheat/bread and citrus. Tangerine, orange, lemon. A light sweetness to it. Not a whole lot of flavor. Very light body, good amount of carbonation, very crisp. Super drinkable - a good session beer.

Nothing too spectacular, though a few of these would be very nice on a hot summer day.

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Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 95 ratings
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