Otter Creek Pale Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

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265 Ratings

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 |  Reviews: 234
Photo of Daniellobo
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair pale ale, nothing too remarkable about it but pretty quaffable and well rounded.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Busy and perfunctory label with an image of the Creek and brewery symbols over light yellow cream with blue bands where the name of the brew is highlighted. Needing badly a design overhaul.. Neck label offers a small narrative with main intent and ingredients. Shows an illegible bottling date. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Deep gold to pale amber pour with a very faint haze. Fair head, medium retention, and some touches of lacing.

S - Lightly hoppy, touch of citrus and pine.

T - Soft hoppiness, citrus, grapefruit, touch of resin with a light sense of malt in the undercurrent.

M - Medium to light body with medium carbonation and a light bite in the finish.

D - A tad too light and soft overall but it is rather quaffable and a fair brew.

Notes: Lacks much of a character to make it outstanding but it is another selection that serves well to have around and offer a nice quality entry point to microbrews for guests that are still under the BMC control.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours just a slighly hazey copper color with good carbonation but missing some froth and foam from the pour and afterwards.

Simple melba toast and bread crust with an appealing, crisp citrus hop spell.

You get the balance of toasted malts with the citric hops from start too finish. But closer to the finish the hops have some wet cut grass notes added to the citrus flavors. The finish is a little musty, but still nice and hopp and malty.

This is a pretty easy to drink pale ale with a simple palate.

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Photo of bgildea
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice light amber color ale. Little to no head that faded quickly.

S: Nice blend of a sweet and citrusy aroma. The smell of honey comes across first followed by the smell of the citrus hops.

T: The taste did not match the smell step for step. There is a very strong hops presence, as expected, but the sweetness never really comes through. I would have enjoyed the sweet notes that I smelled earlier. Otherwise, it's got a pretty strong hops flavor that most hop heads will love.

M: Decently thick beer for a pale ale, good amount of chew for the style. Very light carbonation.

D: It's a drinkable beer. I'd drink another. Not my preferred style, but definitely has its plusses.

Overall: Overall the beer was good. The smell had me really going, with its nice rich sweet and citrus aroma. Unfortunately, the flavor was much more hop oriented. Overall I was satisfied with the beer and would recommend it to hop heads and other pale ale drinkers.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow pour with big, quickly fading head and decent lacing. Lots of grainy malts in the nose with just a touch of citrus. Very grassy taste with just a hint of sweetness. The Cascade hops are very subdued. Nice crisp, dry finish. This is the second disappointing pale ale I've reviewed today and I'm starting to wonder if they're old, as I got them from the same store.

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Photo of Sam21
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy (dry-hopping) golden/light-amber color with an large off-white head. Great lacing.

Smell - Citrusy hop nose with some caramel-like sweetness. Also some slight graininess.

Taste - Hops come out on top over the malt in this one. Tight citrus bitterness, some subtle fruity esters, and some light sweetness. Slight bitterness in the finish. Flavors feel a little restrained.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with smooth carbonation and texture.

Drinkability - Overall, a very drinkable American pale ale. The malt is a little restrained and the hops dominate a little too much because of it. Still, this is a great and drinkable American pale ale, althought personally I'd like a little more of a malt presence to beef up the taste.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottles, 20 ounce pub glass.

A - A nice amber color. Reddish tinted gold. Decent white head forms, reduces in size and stays in a nice cap on top of the beer.

S - Nice aroma. Cascade hops lead the way. Think this was dry hopped with that variety and it shows. Citrus/floral characteristics.

T - Again, hops are in the forefront with some caramel malts. Easy taste, not a huge hop bomb but a nice hit of them and a fair balance.

M - Lighter bodied, slick feel in the mouth.

D - Very easy drinking session APA here. Hops aren't huge and in your face but lead the way. Lower end of ABV for the style makes this scream to be a session brew.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A golden, straw color with a white head that left some trace lacing. Looked a little watery, but not bad, just not real solid.

S - Some grainy malts, sweet, a little hoppy.

T - Bready, grainy maltiness with a little bit of hops added in. Tastes a bit watered down, with a slightly corny finish.

M - Thin, crisp, leaves the mouth cleanly.

D - This is a highly drinkable beer, I would enjoy this as a session brew on a hot summer day. Not special, but not so bad that I would turn it down.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden amber with a slight haze. Off white head of average retention but does bring superior side lacing.
Smell: Hops lead, pine nuts along with some citrus fruitiness. Malts are distantly present.
Taste and mouthfeel: Dry, bitter and sour eniugh to create a pucker. Largely you taste hops. Tangy citrus, and as dry as it can get (apparently the result of the cascade hops).
Interesting brew, nothing run of the mill here.

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Photo of nelnutter
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz. bottle into SA pint glass.

A: Golden/copper color with foamy 2-finger white head that hangs out for a while and leaves nice lacing all the way down.

S: Slight hoppy aroma, with sweet malt. Nothing overpowering.

T: Very good, clean, hoppy taste with just enough bready maltiness to balance out.

M: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated.

D: Very drinkable Pale Ale. Not as hoppy as many that I'd prefer, but it's very good nonetheless. Highly sessionable and enjoyable.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown with copper hues. Two fingers of light white head that leaves a thin layer of head a very little lacing. Completely transparent with very little carbonation.

S - Not much smell here. A little hops and grains. Slight sweetness too.

T - Citrusy hops. Rather malty sweetness. Slight lemony. Reminds me of Sam Adams Summer Ale. The taste of this would go well with sitting outside on the porch on a summer day.

MF - Smooth and watery. Very light body.

D - The light crisp taste and mouth feel make this a very drinkable APA.

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Photo of DawnL
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Golden amber in color with good head retention.

The aroma was very pretty. It was hard to really get a good idea of the aroma when there was food around, but it was subtly spiced and fruity - almost like spiced apricots or white peaches.

The palate fell short. There was very little flavor to back up the nose.

This beer was cold. It was wet. It would make a great summer beer for hot days. Very drinkable. 4.6% abv.

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Photo of mnrider
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Brown bottle. Twist off.

A: Pours a copper looking color. Medium amount of white head, with very nice lacing all the way down.

S: Citrusy, with hops that are fresh smelling. Also a cheesy aroma.

T/M: A dry beer. Cascade hops all the way. Well balanced with malts. Taste of breads come through with a hopy, citrusy, bitter dry finish.

D: Very good hop dominant beer. I could drink this brew regularly. Wish it wasn't twist off, but not a big bother.

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Photo of BeachRez
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received from BeerofMonth Club.

A- Poured into glass; nice golder color with solid head. Good retention and lacing.

S- Hoppy aroma. No citrus nor sweetness. Seemed very mild.

T/M- Very nice flavor. Good bitterness. As warmed there was a real maltiness that came through.

Very easy to drink. I am going to try and order a 6'er of this through the Club!

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to wonder who would win in a battle for Vermont--the Long Trail bear or the Otter Creek otter. Apparently they've made friends and merged. Can't we all be friends?

Clear amber with a 2 finger pillowy white head. Fair retention leaves fair lace. Honeyed sweet golden malt aroma with a mild citric hop prick. Tastes of honey, fresh and leafy Cascade and mildly kilned malt.

The pale leans to the malty side and you'll like it as much as you like that pharmaceutical honey taste. I think it's kinda alright.

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Photo of supernaut
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A huge foamy, cotton-like head that lasted most of the beer. Substantial lacing and a golden, copper color to the beer itself. This is exactly what people think of when they picture a pint of beer.

Smell - Solid, if not perhaps a bit muted for this style compared to many others. The smell is not the strong point of this beer.

Taste - Great. After rolling through tons of "double" or "imperial" IPAs and strong "normal" IPAs over the last few years, this one really nails the good ol "pale ale" profile. Its hoppy, there is a bit of maltiness to it...and it goes down quite readily.

Mouthfeel - Silky but not complex. It falls more into the session category where drinkability is high and mouthfeel is less complicated and thought provoking and more just "there". Still good for the style.

Drinkability - Great. A person could really knock back quite a few of these without noticing it (that's not to say that each one wouldn't be enjoyed immensely)

A really solid go-to beer for me. The price (out east here) is really competitive as well (6.99 a sixer in most places)

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Photo of Amalak
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 ounce bottle.
A- It has a semi-dark brown color to it with a good amount of head and lacing.
S- It has a decent, hoppy scent to it.
T- This is what I imagine when I drink a Pale Ale. It has a nice hoppy bite to it, spicy, full-bodied. It's not necessarily original in anyway, but this is your prototype Pale Ale.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This peer pours a deep amber-orange color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into nice lacing. The aroma is of oranges, and grapefruit, and not much else. It is a very pleasant aroma, but is lacks any kind of complexity. The taste mirrors the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is an alright APA. As I have already stated it lacks complexity, but it is easy drinking and has enough flavor that I could happily session it.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint. Freshness dating not indicated on the bottle. Poured a translucent orange-gold with a quarter inch, loose, off-white head. Some thin strands of lacing revealed during the session. Mild nose - some aromatic, hops; more on the resinous side of the spectrum. Taste consistent with nose, perhaps a little citrus in the mix, and a light bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel was light/medium with a carbonation that approached prickly, culminating in a dry finish. Easy drinking and sessionable APA - solid example of the style.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the BOTM Club -

Appearance - Pours a dark amber color with less than a finger of head and minimal lacing. The color looks great but the head left something to be desired.

Smell - I detect a nice floral aroma, slight hops, and some pine. A bit of lemony citrus breaks through at the end.

Taste - Better than I was anticipating. A bit of sweet malt up front followed by some bitter, burnt flavor and then ends with a nice hop/floral dry taste. Honestly, this is pretty refreshing. I cracked this open after getting home from a long day of law school and this is definitely helping me start to relax.

Mouthfeel - Light to moderate body, decent carbonation, and a slight bitter after taste. Overall though, it works well. Any heavier and this beer would be too much.

Drinkability - Extremely so. Very quaffable - I told myself I would take a bit more time on this beer but here I am, looking at an empty glass. I can't wait to have the other two of these and am about to put them in the refrigerator.

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Photo of Ezone024
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pretty standard apa. deep golden color with good drinkability

good hops presence medium bodied and well balanced, makes a really good sessions brew.

taste is clean, dry and refreshing. very east coast, mostly a woody taste, slight pine. the malts add just the right amount of sweetness.

definitely pick up a 12 pack of this.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle that came for my sisters beer of the month club membership. poured into my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one comes out of the bottle a pale golden colored body with a small egg shell colored head that doesnt last very long. small spots of lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- caramel malts and citrus hops. grapefruit and orange. pretty basic and to the point on this one.

T- caramel malts upfront. somewhat sweet. then a moderate citrusy finish. well balanced.

M- a little on the thin side. well carbonated.

D- easy to finish and i was found looking for another. a nice session beer ill seek out in the future. without the club membership i probably wouldnt have ever stumbled upon thsi one.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste very well-balanced with sweet flavors of caramel & citrus and a nice hops bitterness. The malt character is a little thin for the style but works well for this beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice sessionable beer with flavor and substance that is worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of jhammel01
3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep gold. Head sticks for quite a while. Looks appealing!

Not much smell at all. I really only picked a bit of grain and hops.

Tastes pretty good. Its very metalllic out of the bottle. As it warms, it must "air out" because I did not pick up much of it after a while. Tastes like your typical APA....Hop bite,

A medium bodied beer. Not bad at all.

Well this beer was definitely solid for the freshness date (5/08)..otherwise I would not have reviewed would not be fair but it held up great exept for the metallic taste...and that went away!

Will be trying more (fresher) beer from this Brewery.

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Photo of theaxe2u
2.59/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date on bottle of May '09.. Single purchased at Julio's Westboro, MA

A:1 finger head that quickly disappeared. Nice amber color in the glass. Lacing was good and lasted thru out.

S: Truthfully, not much. I expected a bit more on the nose but it just wasn't there for some reason.

T: Minimal flavor. It was quite bland for a Pale Ale. Nothing to resemble any hoppiness on either first sip or second.

M: Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Seemed to have a soapy aftertaste that was not that pleasant.

D: I am curious if I got a bad bottle. I will definitely go back to Julio's, or perhaps another store, and try again as I think that this is a good beer from a good brewer.

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Photo of mempath
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice deep amber, nice head, some lacing. smells quite floral, oily hop smell. definitely has the hop sweet bite in there, but mellow enough (with the perfect carbonation) to make this a very drinkable, more-than-mild/not-quite-wild hoppy brew. so far, all of OCreek offerings have impressed.

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Otter Creek Pale Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 265 ratings