Otter Creek A Winter's Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-21-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by beernbbq:
Photo of beernbbq
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice offering from Otter Creek, but nothing exceptional. Mild chocolate flavor and a hint of spice but a slightly cloying sweetness. Little hop aroma or taste in this. Would be better if the built it up a little bit with another malt vareity to balance the chocolate and a bit more on the hops and spice to dry th finish.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of sponberg
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper with a decent if quickly dissipating head. The aroma is all about the malt - nary a hop to be found, which is the way it should be for a Scottish ale.

Massive amounts of sweet, fruity malt - toffee, caramel, plum/apple/apricot hints. A background of some darker flavors (chocolate, fig/date?) and a vague spice note round this out a bit, but it definitely leans to the sweet side. Finishes a little more dry, but those tasty fruit/toffee notes last until the end. Good body - fine for the style. A very nice winter warmer that's a touch too sweet to drink 5 or 6 of, but for an evening when you're looking for one or two comforting brews, it's a fine choice.

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Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown twist-off. Sky blue label with a faded picture of downtown Middlebury on a snowy day. Bottled on date printed on the back label.

Appearance: Good clarity, reddish tarnish copper colour with an off-white bubbly creamy head that subsides to a thin lace.

Smell: Malty with an odd fruity, hoppy twang and vague smoke mix in the nose.

Taste: Medium body with a middle of the road carbonation to provide ample crispness. Malty with quick flashes of caramel and toasted grain with light cloying smokey flavours. Hops leave a somewhat balancing twang to deal with, alcohol peaks around the corner with some warmth. A semi-dry brew with a pinch of residual sweetness and toasted grain in the end.

Notes: A cross between a scotch ale and an old mild ale, not bad just not as inviting as a winter ale should be.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If not quite a Scottish ale, a fine malty ale with very little hops - unusual for Otter Creek whose beers are frequently very well hopped. Deep ruby red with full head that disappears. Nose indicates caramel maltiness. Taste is all malts, very sweet and chewy, with strong caramel flavors and a sugary brandy-like quality. Finish is relatively dry compared to what comes before but that's about it for hops. You really have to dig down deep to get any conscious sense of them - but they are there, working subliminally. No smokiness evident in this Scottish ale. Yet it remains very nourishing for a winter's day. Mouthfeel is creamy and wonderful but the lack of head is a slight detriment; I will pour the next bottle very roughly to see if I can coax a more lasting head out of this puppy.

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Photo of Hobbz
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkish amber reveals more deep auburn under sunlight. Nice head to my glass rim gave hope that I have a fresh sample ahead. Yes, taste was of fresh ingredients and very bitter-sweet: slight roasted malt against more sweet malt profile. Hops must be largely utilized in the boil. As far as my tastes, I notice the bitter-sweetness from the (varieties of) barley malts. This beer was not overly chewy nor alcoholic – a ‘lighter shade or winter’ and a welcome one IMO, would contrast well with others in its category.

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Photo of BGsWo22
2.25/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice winter ale, although not especially strong. It poured a very dark red color with an off white head that receded into lace. It had definite scotch ale qualities in the nose with hints of sweetness coupled with a deep smoked scent. The taste was hoppy up front with notes of raison, cream, scotch and caramel. The end had a nice malted finish. It was not quite as complex as something such as Geary's Hampshire, it being lighter in body, but still very quaffable.

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Photo of morrowd3
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of John
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I thought this was pretty good, though I wouldn't hurry to buy more. Medium body with malty sweetness, bread-like graininess, caramel, raisins and faint hops all competing for noticeability.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a dark brown, shining red though light, with a thick off white head.
The aroma is malty and roasty, with a vague smoked aroma. Light raisin and coffee.
The flavor starts with some sweetish roasted malt. A touch of toffee and a very light smoky flavor all the way through. A bit of currant comes through towards the end, with mildy herbal hop flavor. Sweet, full bodied and robust.
My notes are at least two years old and a bit crude, but I remember really liking this beer. It's a shame they dropped it from their line up. One of the first scotch ales I could get into.

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Photo of shirfan
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A quickly vanishing head on this one, but that can be forgiven, as the taste is a bit unique and very winter-brewish.

Pours a dark but transparent brown, aroma is big roasted malt and spices.

Tastes... peppery, yes. Roasted malt is not overly heavy, but not too thin either. Bittersweet finish mainly due to malt and the extra spices, hops are minimal. Very well done for a winter ale and one I'll definitely buy again. Would go well with a home-cooked meal when not in the mood for something bigger.

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Photo of Longstaff
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A unique winter beer that was a cross between an alt beer and a old strong ale. Body was dark colored and just a thin layer of lace on top. Starts off watery with some malty flavor, followed by a very nutty hop / yeast flavor similar to their Copper Ale. Then it gets very sweet and mouthfeel seems to thicken up towards the end. I enjoy this beer for its honey like sweetness and unique flavor. I have had it on tap and it seemed much fuller in mouthfeel and maltier in flavor.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice seasonal from the folks at Otter Creek. This wee heavy scotch ale pours a nice dark red colour with a big, bad, white head. The aromas are of heavy malts, alcohol, and some spices. The taste is very boozy, scotchy, spicy, and nice. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for a beer of this style, and the drinkability suffers because of this!

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.69/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on draught at the Old Bag of Nails pub here in Columbus. Dark amber color with almost no head and very little lacing. Light malty aroma. Flavor was disappointingly thin, I was hoping for more malt and spice for a winter brew. Finish was thin and almost vinegary.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper color, not a new penny, but more of a five-year old one perhaps. Firm biege head, starts at two-fingers, but drops rapidly. Aroma is fairly subdued, but there are some dark fruits present. Taste is a malt mixture. Caramel and toffee. A little toast. Some woodiness. A slight tingle in the mouthfeel, probably the only noticable hop indicator. Not a wow, but an ok winter warmer.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours to a fairly dark amber. a head comes on decentlly strong, dies down, and leaves a trail of lace on the sides of the glass. you can pick up the malts in the aroma, and also some spices.

a nice ale with full flavor of malts and some spicyness, but not too much. then come the hops pleasantly at the end. it is smooth and the carbonation is right on. a crisp little treat for the winter season, and you could drink more than a few with ease.

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Photo of maxpower
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, brown color, decent size head that quickly disappears, malty bready aroma, spicy malty and light smokey flavors, medium body, has a nice creamy mouthfeel, some dryness in the finish, something is a little off but still a decent winter brew.

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Otter Creek A Winter's Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 17 ratings