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Otter Creek World Tour: Otter San | Otter Creek Brewing

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Otter Creek World Tour: Otter SanOtter Creek World Tour: Otter San
43 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by DavoleBomb:
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.

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More User Reviews:
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!

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Photo of nghab
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fruity character with slight malt in the nose, deep golden to pale amber colour, great clarity, small white head. I wasn't sure what to expect because I don't often drink sake. Very fruity and moderately sweet up front, followed by a hint of tartness. Low bitterness. Fruitiness lingers into finish. Light-medium bodied, but with a satisfying mouthfeel, moderate carbonation I enjoy the variety in the "World Tour" series and always look forward to the next one. This one may not be the sort of thing I would drink regularly, but it was a nice change of pace and I'm glad to see them trying something different.

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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.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$4.99 a bomber at Vidalia Market

Pours with a bright golden hue topped with a frothy lace laden ivory cap over a rush of carbonation bubble army.

Scents are a tad quirky with some soapy & 7-Up aspects. Not too sure what to make of it.

First swigs: Tacky feel in the flavor. Interesting. A cocoa hint in a clear-ish beer. Some table sugar meets a light light rice chex cereal grain. The rice is more pronounced with the warmth.

Feel is a sugary syrupy tack with a brisk carbonation.

Last swigs: If creativity were part of the points, then big time credit would be worthy. Envelope pushed but not sure into which direction.

Beer is good. Happy interesting beering.

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

22oz bottle from Middlebury Discount Beverage, Middlebury, VT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head above the crystal clear golden amber brew. Head fades at a reasonable rate, with ample sticky lace. Aroma is fruity and floral, with some rice sweetness. Taste follows along, with the floral yeastiness and ricey sweetness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are reasonably clean and easy. Seems to me to be a macro-style brew with a bit more body than you'd expect from BMC. Since that's what they seem to have been aiming at, that's not really a bad thing.

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Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light copper color and nearly perfectly clear. Impressive initial head that has left a frothy lace on the glass.

Lots of floral malt aromas; somewhat chaulky, but not at all earthy. It smells like there is a trace amount of darker malt, but the color doesn't indicate this.

Quite sweet--very much unexpected. Lots of plum flavor. I can't detect any hop to balance this. Rich body with a low level of carbonation. I've never had this combination of flavors before. It's intriguing but not alluring.

This is a puzzling beer. Very different and yet not at all extreme. Looking for something different? Try this one.

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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

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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.

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

Poured into a pint glass, Otter San appears a clear gold with a 1/4 in. white head left over from the initial pour. Quite a bit of lacing on the glass. Very aromatic with lots of fruity esters, sweet malt, and a touch of earthiness. I imagine the sake yeast lends to the aroma, but alas, I do not have a ton of experience with sake. Tastes fruity (light berries), bready, and nutty, with perhaps a touch of lemony citrus and banana in the finish. Plenty of complexity for a lighter-bodied ale, and while I still find myself intriegued, it's not screaming, "Drink me". Glad I tried it, but it's definitely a one-timer.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of lpayette
3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a month or two ago- time to crack it open to see if it's worth picking up more before it's impossible to find.

Appearance- is a very very pale amber. Really it's more yellow, so the classification right from the bat is questionable, as expected with this being a very experimental beer. Small white head with some lacing. Bottle-conditioned.

Smell- fruity esters abound interlaced with a solid sweetness from the rice and pilsner malt. Faint hops in the background and sake-like alcohol attempting to move closer to the forefront.

Taste- very interesting, and perhaps better than you would think based on the smell. On the sweeter side of things, but overall a nice refreshing balance with just a kiss of hallertauer hops. Honey, earthy, RICE, hint of banana, slightly herbal. Pretty darn complex when you take some time to savor it.

Mouthfeel- Mediumish body with lots of malt present. Nearly creamy. Pretty nice carbonation with tiny bubbles delivering a slight and constant tingle. A lingering sweetness, but also a slight lingering hop bitterness which is pretty much the only point where you can taste the hallertauer.

Drinkability & Final Thoughts- While I did enjoy this brew, it's not something I want a whole lot more of. It did provide an interesting a new drinking experience, which is what I think the purpose was... truly a style-bending beer that highlights the creativity found in american craft beer these days.

As for classification I'd say this is 70% Japanese rice lager, 20% american amber, and 10% sake.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of getalife2k5
3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had it at Hop Devil Grill the other day. i was really looking forward to it...
it was blonde in color with a thick, creamy, foamy head that really clung to the glass. smelled yeasty, malty and fruity, a little like pineapple and white grapes. we could detect hints of alcohol in the nose.
tasted sour, dry and fruity with apple and honey notes. it was kind of like a champagne or cider.
it was pretty nice, light and smooth... i'd have to say it was somewhat unique but not too special. it was similar to something by Kiuchi.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a jazzed up Japanese rice beer brewed with Pale malt, rice and Sake yeast. This one trancends a "style".

22 oz. bomber > 16. oz Stella glass

This one pours out slightly hazy, honey-amber pale malt color, big carbonation with a 1/2", dense, sticky off-white crown. Long lasting retention, plenty of sticky lacing. looks great.

The nose is very sweet, honey scented pale malt, fruity red beries, apricot, honey glazed dates. Oak wood smokeiness and an obvious heat tingle. Very complex and interesting aroma.

The pale malt flavor is amazingly complex and very sweet. Honey-soaked current of malt with cedar wood smoke, fresh herbal and earthy yeast...the sake yeast has brilliant effect on the flavor with a big complex edge. Rich chocolate baley malt flavor later on (I wasn't joking about the complexity of the malt here) and a suductive, warming heat right at the end. The body is light and crisp but having plenty of charecter. This is actually a very full-feeling "light" pale malt. The sweetness is enough to make your lips sticky but it's still crisp and clean. A great feel overall!!

This one is unique and fantastic, for $3.39 these 22 0z. bomber's are a great buy. I can't wait to have another. Kanishiwa!!

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: snifter. slightly hazy yellow, orange hue. white head with great retention and great lacing.

S: interesting aroma. pear hints are strong. some sake aromas, very yeasty. slight spice characteristics.

T: very fruity off the bat but it mellows out. the yeast both helps the fruit flavors, but also brings it down. interesting malts with a nice mellow hop finish.

M: medium body. crisp and mellow. solid mouthfeel.

D: very interesting palate. nice beer, and if you like weird/odd ones, then this is for you.

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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.

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Photo of Brad007
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this today.

Color: Pours a pale amber color with lively carbonation that leaves only a one-finger head.

Aroma: Sweet and malty. A bit of toasted/bready character. The sake yeast contributes to the sweetness in the aroma.

Taste: Very sweet and malty upfront. Character that is similar to sake. Smooth. Light-bodied. Sweetness has some fruit character to it. Very little if any hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Sweet a little like candy at the back of the throat. Smooth.

Drinkability: Debatable as this is an interesting beer. It is too unbalanced to be a normal amber ale. Then again, the sake yeast is the catalyst that differs it from a typical amber ale.

Verdict: Interesting stop on the world tour. Different and hard to rate because there aren't many examples like this. Worth a shot but not something I'd buy again.

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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...

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Otter Creek World Tour: Otter San from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 43 ratings