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.

Added by Brad007 on 04-11-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 38
Reviews by morebeergood:
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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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 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.

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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 scottg
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light copper color with lots of large bubbles, a thin white head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Lots of interesting aromas: caramel, honey, fruity yeast, vanilla, flowers, and a smell I can only describe as soapy. Carmelized malt flavors up front with some tea/lemon hops and a fruity cherry flavor. Highly carbonated, light bodied, this beer is mouth cleansing with a dry finish. When the hop flavor was dominant, I enjoyed this beer the most. Difficult to judge by the style because this is my first sake yeast beer. Good drinkability if you enjoy trying different things but one is enough for me.

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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 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 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 claspada
3/5  rDev -14.5%

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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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.

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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 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 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 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 iceball585
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden yellow color, semi-clear, thin white layer that faded to a thin ring, lots of bubbles rising when first poured

S- Rice, sweet, light malts, alcohol, hint of citrus hops

T- Herbs, rice, sweet malts, nutty, bready, citrus, sugary, mild hop bite

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, watery finish, slightly warming

D- Definitely worth trying

This is the most interesting beer I've had in a while. The sake yeast really give this brew an original flavor twist unlike anything I've had before.

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Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%

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 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.

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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!

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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 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.

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