Otter Creek World Tour: Otter San | Otter Creek Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Otter Creek World Tour: Otter SanOtter Creek World Tour: Otter San
Otter Creek World Tour: Otter SanOtter Creek World Tour: Otter San

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Japanese Rice Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Japanese-style beer brewed with Pilsner malt, Hallertauer hops, rice, and authentic Koji and sake yeast.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 43
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue V:

A Japanese-style beer brewed with Pilsner malt, Hallertauer hops, rice, and authentic Koji and saké yeast.

Out of the bomber into the glass, Otter San pours like a lager with a rich golden color, plenty of active carbonation and an ultra smooth and creamy head with plenty of lacing and legs (stick). Aroma is a bit musty and earthy--like fresh unwashed mushrooms--with a hint of cereal grain and cotton candy. Nearly medium-bodied on the palate, with a fluffy consistency and round base of slightly sugary sweetness, caramel candy center and a fruity note (strawberry?) that carries through the entire beer. Subtle berry, gum and earth flavors make an appearance. There's a vegetal note too, and things get a bit bready as the beer warms. Fairly clean finish that's not overly drying.

A most interesting brew, and the sake is quite noticeable, but this is probably not something anyone is likely to drink on a regular basis as the combination of aromas and flavors are rather foreign. However, this does make for a great one-off release to challenge the palate and mind. This could be interesting beer to pair this with some sushi or a spicy Japanese dish--if you try it, let us know how it works. Kanpai!

 1,258 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. no date or batch code found. on clearance at julios of westborough. tasted in late may/early june 2009.

slow gusher when opened. not a big problem tho.

golden yellow honey color w amber straw tones. clear. (dusting of sediment in the bottle.) 2-finger off-white head, recedes to surprisingly persistent 2.5mm layer. lovely lacing.

aroma: fruity notes of white grape and hints of apple, some flowery tones too. (from sake yeast?) very lightly toasted malt. gentle whiffs of euro hops. touch of citrus and faint whiff of alcohol in back.

taste: fruity character again, w lightly toasted malt note. nice and clean, almost with the character of sake, but with a balancing gentle to moderate bitterness from the grassy hallertaur hops, lingering w a touch of alcohol and phenols in the finish, but clean like sake.

light to medium body, smooth, w flash of astringency before smoothing out again. tingly carbonation is mild to moderate, and gives a refreshing, lightly crisp character.

seems a bit mis-categorized to me as an american amber/red ale. color isn't really deep enough. and fat tire aside, nor is it as hoppy as people probably expect from the style.

maybe as an "american blonde"? if so, that would actually make this the first one of that category that i would readily seek out for seconds, maybe more.


 1,369 characters

Photo of jgasparine
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured with a thin white foamy head, which quickly dissipated to some edge lacing. The body was a very hazy honey color with no visible carbonation.

S- Smells of honey and biscuitlike malt, with some pronounced aromas of honeysuckle. No hop aroma detected at all...

T- A near-perfect replicate of the nose. Very sweet honey and biscuit flavors are met with honeysuckle. There is something else going-on here that I can't quite put my finger on... I assume it's the result of added rice and sake yeast to this beverage. Again, no hop flavor was detected, despite the label's claim to use Hallertau.

M- Medium body is somewhat oily with some persistent soft carbonation. Wouldn't mind a little more backbone here...

D- I found this to be quite drinkable, whereas a friend found it to be too sweet. I suppose the sweetness could become overpowering past two glasses. A very interesting brew nonetheless, and I would welcome another opportunity to taste!

 957 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bukowski's Back Bay. Served in a tulip glass. Dull yellow color, no head. Decent carbonation. Sour smell. Has quite a tart taste. Reminded me of a lambic or a wine barrel aged beer. The whole sake yeast concept perhaps went over my head. I guess I didn't know what to expect with this beer. Didn't taste like other Japanese rice ales I've had either. Crisp finish in the aftertaste. Smooth to drink and must not be very high in alcohol. This beer is an enigma to me. A very unique beer, but it didn't stand out as very exceptional.

 541 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color, with a latte-like foam head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind

Smell: Rice pudding and rice wine, with a grainy undertone

Taste: Very unusual flavor profile with rice pudding up front and a potpourri of strawberry, cotton candy and caramel in the middle; after the swallow, there is a vanilla turkish taffee flavor, followed by a strong sense of unfiltered sake on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, somewhat creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With the right kind of food, this might be a very interesting pairing; by itself, while the beer is fascinating, I just cannot get comfortable with the flavor profile; sake is consumed in small quantities and a bomber of this is just too much after a while

 767 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a golden amber, with a 2 finger medium bubble white head. Head lasted a bout 5 minutes with slight retention and clinging to sides. Aroma was sweet, reminded me a bit of dry grapes. Taste was slightly fruity, and the rice was detectable. Felt good in the mouth, coated well and nicely carbonated. Easy to drink, perhaps hit a bit fast, but went down well on a warm spring night.

 424 characters

Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a yellow orange with a soapy white head. The smell is sweet white grapes with some malt and rice. A slight bitterness of the hops but nothing to strong. The taste has the grapes but there is a strong bite to this one. There is some rice and other grain and a spicy yeast character. The mouthfeel is good but the carbonation is a lot like a champagne. I am assuming this is from the sake yeast but it could be toned down a bit. Overall not too inspiring but definitely something different and enjoyable.

 508 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass golden yellow with one finger head. No lacing what so ever.

Smell is like a Pinot wine. Taste is very ricey. I seriously feel like I should be driving a honda civic with a 3 foot high wing on the back after drinking this.

Mouthfeel is kinda strange. Carbonation is low, and the taste will linger for a long time in your mouth.

Overall, I don't know if I can finish all 22 of this. It's high in flavor, but just not a flavor I like.

 457 characters

Photo of currysage1
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 into a snifter.

Pours a hazy honey yellow, topped with a crackly cream colored snap crackle pop head.

Smell is of sour apple and pear, light slicing fruits,

Taste on the other hand is malty, metallic and then fruity. Green apple is accented by an aluminum flavor. Definate comparison so Chardonnay.

Feel is basic, very refreshing yet with some body. Carbonation is good, drinkability is good but not overly enjoyable. For the price (3.95 on sale) I would buy again but only if not lured in by others.

 523 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Dark yellow/slightly orange in color. Crystal clear. Thick frothy head with average retention and sparse lacing.

3.5 S: I can smell the similarities between this and sake, but the rice is much less pronounced. Bready sweet malts are there, and mild earthy hops to balance.

4.0 T: Definitely an american red as a base, but this has some wild flavors. It's different, so I appreciate it. It tastes good, so I enjoy it. Having had sake just a few days ago, I can pick up on some sake taste. Lots of fruity flavor (pear and plum in particular). A bit bready as well. There is some hop character present, but not enough to balance out the mad malty sweetness that is present.

3.5 M: Medium bodied. Not a whole hell of a lot of carbonation. Smooth as silk with a sweet, but somewhat finish.

2.5 D: Though I really like this beer, it can't be consumed in any sort of large quantity. It's simply too damn sweet. Too bad they sell it in big ass bottles. Make sure you have some friends present when you pop it open.

 1,044 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into Cab glass...

Light naturally-hazy honey/slight lemon color with robust single-finger head that doesn't stick around. Adequate carbonation and decent yet sparse lacing. Head definitely has a ricey tone to it, unless it's simply the power of suggestion. Second pour yields a more bounitful head with a bit more staying power.

Sweet, sweet sake yeast electricity. Almost tapioca pudding notes in here. Very cold with soapy, slightly floral and even mild piney hop notes. Austere light, crisp malt backbone. Slightly complex...interesting.

Sweet, sticky rice tone to this with hearty rice/sake yeast and mild crispy malt. Carbonation cuts a little weight for a nice clean kick with warmth. Not as complex as the nose dictates but well-balanced and enjoyable. Rice and sake yeast provide a silky creaminess on the finish.

Husky rice/malt profile with a strong oatmeal-for-breakfast or rice cereal feel to it. Sweetness yields strength of hefty malt. Alcohol is nonexistent but there is some sweet caramel here. No tinny, rocky aftertaste at all, which is a pleasant surprise considering I tend to experience that in the other Otter Creek offerings I've sampled.

By far the best Otter Creek offering I've experienced. Balanced heft with clean, grainy sweetness. Well-crafted and enjoyable.

 1,300 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.55/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of rice, light caramelized malts, citrus and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and metallic up front with flavors of rice and citrus. There's a good hops presence that provides some balance, but not enough to temper the dry sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is dry but a little slick.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, it's certainly an interesting twist in beer that you don't find too often, but I didn't really like this beer very much.

 788 characters

Photo of 12vman
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Slightly darker then a Molson Golden, slightly lighter then most IPA's. Clear, a bit bubbly. Slight head, with some clinging.

Smell - Having just shared a bottle of sake with my sensei, I recognized similarities. A bit sweet smelling. But hops are noted.

Taste - A bit sweet at first, but hops detected. No significant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light mouthfeel, but not watery. A bit bubbly, but not overly so. Good summer beer.

Drinkability - Overall, I'd rate this beer as very drinkable, but not a session beer. I usually have 2 beers a night, and I had no problem finishing this 22 oz bottle while prepping dinner and having dinner. However, I could see how the sweetness would start to get "heavy' after a few of these. Note, while at the brewery, the knowledgeable lads behind the bar (What a great job they have!), advised that the ABV was just shy of 8%, which surprised me after sampling. I'm glad I picked up a few other 22oz bottles while I was at the brewery.

 1,035 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bubbly pale yellow. Macro-esque.

Smells like: Watery, cidery and sweet.

Tastes like: Despite the very pale color of the pour the initial taste is quite malty, almost like caramel. Lots of sweetness with a small amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

The carbonation is pretty decent with this beer and it provides a nice fresh, crispness.

An interesting beer that is for sure, not a bad thing though. I like the World Tour beers from Otter Creek. They are nice example of a brewery breaking away and trying new things.

Definitely worth a try.

 558 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Otter San (Otter Creek World Tour) pours a light orange color with a nice white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is a bit fruity and has hints of macro lager like smells. The flavor at first is fruity, then metallic, then a bit wine like. The flavor is a bit odd, I guess it's probably from the sake yeast that was used. Worth a try.

 353 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Another unique offering from the World Tour series by the Middlebury boys. This beer poured off the tap at the brewery a deep, brassy yellow. Not much retention and little lacing. Slightly sour and tart nose, also somewhat floral. Odd. And the taste is even weirder. Semi-sweet malt, green tea, and a rice-like quality akin to sake especially on the finish. Great mouthfeel. The sake yeast is apparent and unusual. It does add unique qualities to the palate but be warned, not everyone will like it. I actually enjoyed this beer a lot more the second time (this review) knowing what it was like already.

 603 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This old pint glass fills with an old brass, and light streaks of carbonation, that builds a creamy white head, which fades all too quickly.

While lacking complexity, a unique floral honey tempts the nose. This is an interesting one, and does include some notes of white bread.

Again, the flavors are rather unique plays on familiar sweet fruits. The complexity comes from it's oddness, rather than layered profiles. There is no bitterness worth noting, and has a quick finish that clearly betrays a pilsner heritage.

Otter San is light and smooth, like a silk fabric. There is a shot of carbonation, but otherwise no real texture.

This is a very light, and definitely refreshing, easy to drink. It is held back due to it's odd flavors and aromas, but otherwise a fine match for a warm afternoon on the deck.

 812 characters

Photo of mtbbaboon
2.46/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I really did not care for this one at all. Pours a very faint yellow with a small head that's gone in an instant. The smell was not very pleasant. Sweet fruity aroma with noticable alcohol and something in there that made me turn my nose up. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly. The initial taste is very sweet and the rice is noticable. After swallowing, the aftertaste hit me like a punch in the face and I can just imagine the expression on my face. I managed to finish off the 22 oz bottle and was happy when it was gone. I've had similar style beers before that I've enjoyed, but this one misses the target with me. I will not be buying this one again.

 655 characters

Photo of JRed
2.86/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A fine see-through amber color with little head. Caution: not wafting the aroma to your nose could result in losing vision. I'm just kidding but this scent is strong and terrible. Don't get to close to this one. The taste is one of cold, carbonated sake with a grainy, sour unpleasant aftertaste. There's definitely a flavor here that doesn't resonate well with me but I can't place it. For some odd reason, I can't stop thinking of toilet water. This seems to be a love it or hate it beer; unfortunately I am on the latter side.

 529 characters

Photo of SeanRedd
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not too happy with this one; but I am grateful I have a beer in front me, that's most important. Now for the disasemblement of this ale. David Copperfield head; one second its here, the next second its not. Looks like dehydarated urine, but looks are only skin deep. Tastes of spicy, moldy malt and damp toast. Sugar, iced tea, maple syrup lathered biscuits, and an after taste of raw mushroom. All around unpleasent. Leave that yeast to the sake. Cute idea, but something went terribly wrong. Me no love you long time.

 519 characters

Photo of deanhead
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice golden color, very bright beer, with a brilliant white foamy head, that slowly reduced to a clingy white lace
Aroma is sweet and alcoholic.
Taste is sweet, dry and rice like.
Light bodied and refreshing, it finished slightly winey.
Not my bag, but a nice effort by Otter Creek.

 283 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

The smell featured a slight rice aroma with a syrupy sweetness and some tart esthers.

The taste was slight and tart and unusual, perhaps due to the sake yeast.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall an interesting brew.

 349 characters

Photo of BDIMike
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale orange color. Completely clear with a good amount of carbonation. A white thin head, but it has nice retention.
Smell is of nice rice. Also a good pilsner malt to it. There is a nice hop at the end too, that gives the beer a good citrus and floral smell.
The taste is different than anything else I have ever tried. The rice base gives this beer a solid base letting the malt and hops come out. Good mix of the pilsner malt and hallertauer hops gives this beer a good balance of toffee malt and floral hops.
Mouthfeel is very nice for a pale amber. Good thickness and incredibly smooth.
Drinkability is very nice. The smooth body and balance of the malt and hops is amazing. Not an extraordinary taste, but the rice base and sake yeast give it a taste unlike anything I have ever had. Interesting and drinkable at the same time...

 848 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer looked like it would present a number of interesting qualities, and I was not disappointed.

It poured out a deep yellow, with a fast, fizzy head that subsided to a thin layer that stayed with it. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma was complex. Sweet and fruity (pineapples and pears), light malt, somewhat floral, and a little yeasty, with a persistent aroma of rice krispies. Interesting.

Taste was likewise complex. Sweet, fruity (mostly pears but some banana too), green tea, and more rice krispies. Kinda wierd at first, but it grows on you with its uniqueness.

Mouthfeel was very smooth and dry. Almost like a root beer, in some respects.

Drinkability is good, but I can't put it too high because the flavor takes a bit of getting used to.

 754 characters

Photo of albern
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is surely an interesting beer, unlike most of what you will find anywhere else. For that reason alone, it is a must try. The beer pours a fairly clear golden color with some white head and lacing. The aroma is quite strong, sweet, somewhat floral, and gives you all the indications that you're in for a different tasting experience.

The taste is definitely very sweet malt, and the only thing I can liken it to is perhaps sorghum, which I've had in gluten-free beer. It tastes quite a bit better than the sorghum beers I've had. I'm guessing that the unusual tastes are from the sake yeast. How many beers have you had with sake yeast before? For me, none.

The beer is well carbonated, very caramelly sweet, floral, quite light bodied, refreshing, and well ... sweet. I don't know if I would want more than one of these, but this is a must try. I think the American Amber/Red Ale style is totally off. This is more of a vegetable beer or a sake beer, if there is such a thing. If not, let's make it up. Enjoy.

 1,018 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Otter Creek World Tour: Otter San from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 43 ratings