Otto From The Wood
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

Otto From The WoodOtto From The Wood
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #17
Ranked #1,536
4.26 | pDev: 8.92%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Otto From The WoodOtto From The Wood
Notes: Otto is soothing and deep, with flavors of red and black fruits, vanilla and oak. Otto blends peaches and cherries with our distinguished beer, Fred. It is then aged in oak barrels for at least 18 months. Brewed with love and respect for my brewery’s strongest influence, Fred Eckhardt, and bears his name at birth.
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 246 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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joe1510 from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle

2013 Vintage

Big thank you to Phil for sending this one along. He knows my weakness for HotD.

Otto from the Wood is the darkest of red beverages. It's the color of blood and even has a purpleish cast to it in certain lights. A dirty white foam grows to a finger on the pour and rather quickly falls to a whispy coating and thicker ring. This beer is murky and mysterious. There are a good amount of chunks surfacing on this beer which I removed with a spoon as best I could. That dings the looks a bit.

The nose on this guy is incredibly rich. Quality bourbon soaked oak gets it moving. Dense, rich brandy soaked cherries are certainly at play. Bread pudding, toffee, and a heavy drizzle of caramel add a ton of depth. The wood seems to open even more as this guy breathes and bring brings a well roundedness.

There it is. The flavor profile brings out even more of the fruitiness. Canned peaches in syrup gets it going before being met by the brandy soaked bing cherries. The malt base itself is flat out deep. Bread pudding and caramel play the middle while the toffee and soda bread bring up more of the backend. It's oaky in the softest of ways, a subtle embrace. This stuff is fantastic.

The body is thick and chewy but a rather active carbonation, especially for HotD keeps this one from ever being sticky. As a matter of fact all the barrel tannins dry the finish of this one up rather quickly. It's a sipper for sure, and a heavy hitter, but I find it hard to put the glass down.

TOtto from the Wood is another fantastic beer from Hair of the Dog. The amount of depth and flavor those guys can jam into a beer is otherworldly. This one is big on fruit and and rich malt characteristics while a sturdy, complimentary oak surrounds the whole. Thanks again, Phil. Quality, Quality, Quality.

Apr 22, 2019
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Otto From The Wood. Wow. From a 12 oz. bottle circa 2013…

Otto is a gorgeous cranberry red beer. Crystal clear with highlights of plum purple and auburn hug the sides as light stiles the glass. The thinnest of rings kiss the coast, white bubbles tinted pink by the body below.

The aroma is ridiculous. Divine. The sweet and syrupy notes of Fred, Belgian candied sugar and toffee, are met with black cherries, apricot, peach and wood. Warmth brings out a subtle vanilla touch. I'm too reserved to even take a sip. I could just sit here with this under my nose the rest of the day and be content.

But I do take a sip and I'm glad I did. Again, the influences of Fred are obvious. Caramel, golden raisins, dark candi sugar. Peaches and cherries. What a perfect addition. Soft and sweet with the cherries being the clear winner, the orchard fruit playing wing man. Damp wood lends that drop of vanilla, and there is a cinnamon spice finish. The bitter classic hop profile associated with original Fred is nowhere to be found, which works exceptionally well for Otto.

Like a lot of Hair of the Dog's offerings, Otto is mostly flat. And once again, appropriate. They get it. Carbonation would distract from these amazing flavors. It's syrupy, sweet, but balanced by the barrels stripping qualities and tannic influence. It coats every nook and cranny of the mouth. Otto demands small sips with plenty of time between.

Otto is phenomenal. This bottle is around 5 years old and I'm not sure if that helped or hindered, and frankly I don't care. This is one damn fine beer and an amazing tribute to Fred “Otto” Eckhardt.


Jan 06, 2019
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KensWorld from Florida

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Vintage cellared bottle. Not to impressive looking but damn does it taste great. Extremely complex and full bodied. Everything I expected it to be. World class.

Dec 05, 2017
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Cloudy raisin color, thick and sticky on the sides of the glass.

S - Cherries, oak, brown sugar, some mild spiciness.

T - Cherries, bourbon, oak, brown sugar, some vanilla, roasted caramel, lingering cherry and bourbon finish.

M - Full bodied, slick, viscous, lip smacking sticky.

O - Recommended. (Underrated.)

Aug 26, 2017
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bshefftz from California

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There's good beer, there's great beer, and then there's beer as pure art, where audacious experimentation succeeds to create somethIng unique and perfect. For me this beer falls in the latter category, with a blend of bold flavors - a strong ale backbone with a slight alcohol heat, the perfect amount of barrel, fruit and malt sweetness with a hint of tart and sour - that I haven't experienced together in one glass anywhere else. The cloudy reddish-brown color is a marvel to behold, too. Highly recommend for lovers of strong, unique beers.

Jan 16, 2017
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BrotherDylan from California

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Otto

From one of the most bizarre gentlemen in the brewing industry comes a beer that feels like a relic of the past yet tastes like something of the future. Drinking this beer is an adventure through the mind of a mad genius that could care less if you like his beer but is eternally satisfied by knowing that you do. Whether you like the lip-smackingly dense flavor or not, its an experience in a bottle worth the price of admission.

With that said, the beer is intensely sweet but in a pleasant way. It chocked full of pear, apple, cherry and peach fruitiness. The malt is just a minor character in the show but it sets the stage for a symphony of fruit flavor and oak reminiscent of an apple brandy. It is a beautiful beer. If you can find it and afford its generally steep price tag, the beer is worth every sip.

Dec 14, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from share on 11/12. Pours out a hazy amber with a small ring of head. Aroma is stone fruit, booze barrel, very sweet. Taste follows with more of the fruit, some vanilla, and big boozy flavors. Plenty warm. Kind of sticky.

Nov 15, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark reddish orange with quite a few dark floaties despite a gentle pour. Virtually no head, but a light ring around the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, light stone fruit, slight plum, vanilla, mild bourbon, oak, rather a barleywine profile. Flavor is quite sweet; caramel malt, peaches, apricots, apple, hints of cherry, oaky vanilla. Finishes sweet and fruity. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A very fruit forward strong ale. The barrel characteristics are largely oaky; there seemed to be some bourbon in the nose, but it may have been the fruit influence and is not evident in the taste. Quite sweet and skates on the edge of being cloying, although the flavors are sufficient to support the sweetness. The cherry adds flavor be only a hint of tartness, which seems perfect. A big, full flavored fruit forward dessert ale. Not much to look at (the floaties are dark and forbidding), but smells great and tasted wonderful. First chance to try this rare ale and glad I found one.

Oct 19, 2016
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Hop_God from California

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: deep wine red to ruby. Hints or orange tooo. Thin round khaki bubbles

S: booze. Oak. Vanilla. Moldy dark fruit. Burnt sugar. Hops.

T: oak barrel. Boozy bourbon. Cherry and vanilla. Slight peach. This is amazing flavor.

F: great palette coating. Sweet but not cloying. Crisp bite to finish.

O: this one is a home run. I've had my issues with some of the other brews but this really kills it.

Oct 12, 2016
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Sabatini's Beer Bar in Exeter, PA.

This one pours a dark-ish brown, slightly murky, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells like dark fruit and cherry, silky bourbon, oak, tobacco, leather, caramel, toffee.

This is pretty great. The peaches are lightly apparent, moreso than in the aroma, and add a sort of caramelized stone fruit sweetness. There's also dark fruit, raisin and plum, with black cherry, and a great malt backbone, tobacco, caramel, and toffee, maybe a little bit of leather. There's a light amount of bourbon, a hint of vanilla and oak, with no booziness at all.

This is light bodied, but silky- not thin. It has a lower level of carbonation, but a surprisingly high amount for the brewery.

My faith in this brewery has been restored- this is great.

Oct 08, 2016
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Mar02x from Netherlands

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another very good brew from HOTD. I didn't like the amount of yeast and other residue in the bottle/glass, but compared to this intense beer its nagging. I like the way the peach is blended in, so well done.

Jul 24, 2016
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Beersnake1 from California

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Actually has some carbonation, which is impressive for a HotD beer. Also 6 years old! Look is dark brown with very slight head. Nose is raisin, candy, caramel, wet wood, and a touch of bread. Taste follows the nose. Semi-sweet upfront, with big notes of candy and raisin. The wood really comes through, along with cherries and raspberries. Really nice stuff.

Jun 17, 2016
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SportsandJorts from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a brownish to reddish color. a hint of orangish to pinks hues. a finger of a tannish head that fades quickly and leaves just a small lacing behind. small brightness but some chunky opaqueness comes in.

Smell: bourbon mainly with notes of vanilla, toasted oak and some honey. some fruit character possibly some peach and some dark berries. some booziness and strong sweet maltiness in it.

Taste: opens up with some fruity sweetness, peach flavor. bourbon comes on pretty strong, with notes of vanilla, toasted oak almost to a bit of toasted almond, and some lightly sweet honey. more fruit comes in, this time pretty sweet but with just a little bit of tartness, mostly berry to cherry flavored (leaning toward cherry with the tartness.) backend is malty sweetness that is mostly indiscernible but a bit syrupy. just a little bit of booze to it.

Mouthfeel: thick, chewy and syrupy. sweet but not quite cloying. warming alcohol is moderately strong.

Overall: Fred doesn't really stand up to the bourbon but that is alright by me. the bourbon and fruit complexity is top notch. the strong bourbon character is tough to beat in beer and the fruit flavor plays very nicely with it.

Jun 09, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

one of the things that makes these beers from these guys so remarkable to me, is that nobody else is making anything at all like any of these. these guys have existed on an island, no copy cats, no equals, just doing their own thing for this long. this is a blended brew of cherry and peach fred i believe, aged in oak. obviously its a strong one, darker and hazier than the original, with a lacy airy white head with great retention, looking a lot more delicate than the beer underneath it. it smells incredible, i think the cherries are out in front of the peaches a bit, dark black cherries, all pulpy and sweet. the peaches have a grilled quality about them in both nose and taste, perhaps in combination with the darker malts, but i get that caramelized grilled peach flavor, love that. the alcohol is strong but not that strong, as in, it wasnt hot to drink it, and it didnt slow me down any. a beer to savor though, it opens up a lot in the glass. raisin and wet wood, slight oxidation, a little dark fruity tang, some maple notes, as well as honey on the sweet side. complex is an understatement. the fruit is so well integrated later on that its almost hard to recognize whats in there, all of it contributing a critical part. amarone wine sort of vibe on the back end, heavy on the oak. we had the current vintage. this beer really is something special, it defies characterization and style norms, becoming its own entity entirely. i cant wait to taste this again someday. cool to share it with my brother on our trip, one of my favorites from our visit here.

Jun 06, 2016
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jpearce4 from Michigan

4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle purchased about a month ago.

Pour is a very nice hazy red, a bit of head that quickly dissipates. Smell is heavy on peaches and red fruits (I got both cherry and raspberry). Oak/vanilla as well. Taste is a bit sweet, the red fruit carries over, and a note of raisins or dates. Lots of oak barrel character made its way into the beer as well, in a really good way. Adds a lovely vanilla. Really tasty beer! Felt very warm, mild carbonation. Teetered on the edge of too sweet, but was just right for a 12 oz. bottle.

I really enjoyed this beer! It would pair really well with a cheese plate that might cut out a bit of the sweetness, but on its own it was incredible.

Jun 03, 2016
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at a share, 2013 vintage: pours a murky reddish brown color with off-white head. Wood tones, dark fruits, candied raisins, cherries, and some light peach tones on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium to full bodied. Finishes very sweet, like candied fruit.

Dec 22, 2015
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mothman from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ruby caramel brown color. Poured with fruit chunks.

Flavors: cherries and peaches all over this beer. Very fruity. All the old ale flavors. Molasses, caramel, toffee, chocolate. Bourbon and oak with vanilla spice. Tobacco.

A bit mor carbonation than other dog beers. Full bodied.

Incredible offering. Well done, flavorful and drunkable.

Aug 26, 2015
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sweemzander from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.
(A)- Pours with slight bits of cherry skin. Minimal tan froth.
(S)- Big and rich vanilla/cherry with a great dry oaky richness to it.
(T)- The fruits really come through with great barrel notes. Obvious vanilla finish.
(M)- Mellow carbonation level. A nice barrel character and integrated balance.
(O)- Another great example of good barrel aging and overall integration into a base beer. I look forward to see what some time does to this one

Aug 24, 2015
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mrn1ceguy from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A good beer from Hair of the Dog. They have been hit or miss from me, but Otto from the Wood was surprisingly enjoyable. Good nose, enjoyable flavors all the way through, just a little harsh on the finish.

Jun 28, 2015
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is dark murky brown with tons of sediment and a thin light brown head. Nose is rich malt, chocolate and dates with notes of alcohol. Taste is also very rich malt, not really sugary. Caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, notes of alcohol. Full bodied and soft carb with a creamy feel.

May 22, 2015
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culturalsnow from California

4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Color of opaque copper. Sort of a burnished, ruddy amber.

Nose of sweet smoke and fruits. Musty peaches, overripe cherries, some golden raisins too but more like the fleshy raisins in oatmeal. Everything is soft and rounded about this. Nothing sharp to stick out.

Malty sweet in the mouth. Wave after wave of fruit with that hint of smoke always lingering on the finish. Big and boozy, but not hot. I was aware of the 13% in the last few sips. There are noticeable pieces of fruit floating in this beer but I feel the muddy, river water criticism is wrong. A beer that defies easy description, like so many other HotD beers.

Apr 09, 2015
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timc100 from Illinois

3.24/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not sure what was going on with this one, maybe a bad bottle.

Tons of sediment - huge chunks, looked like a sample of Mississippi water. Tried to use a sieve but didn't help much.

Aroma of a big malty barleywine, but had a lot of fruit and fruit juice flavors - peach and citrus. Wet oak, brandy, tart cherry, caramel. Very smooth - hot and boozy, very little carbonation.

Not sure what was going on with this one. Did not come together well

Dec 24, 2014
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scottfrie from California

4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into HoTD tulip at the brewery. 2013 vintage.

A: Pours a ruddy caramel color with a faint bubbly collar for a head. The bottom of the bottle is pretty chunky, that left a ton of heavy floaters in the glass.
S:I get notes of booze soaked fruits, caramel, sweet bourbon, dates, spicy barrel, and juicy candied peaches and cherries. Very sweet overall.
T: Sweet caramel and toast, bourbon barrel, currents, leather and tobacco up front. Very smooth and integrated. I get notes of vanilla, spice, cherry, honey, and chocolate in the finish, with lingering bourbon, slight cherry, and tons of leather in the aftertaste.
M: Thick and chewy mouthfeel, slick and low carbonation, tingly and sweet. Sips very well, not hot at all.
O: Amazing flavor, great barrel character with sweet fruits. Fantastic, a real treat.

Oct 20, 2014
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Brabander from Netherlands

4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

This was a supertreat! Got a big bottle from a good and well known beerfriend, Bill Young. Shared this bottle at the 2014 Borefts beerfestival in Holland. Increadibly balanced beer with real chunks of fruit in it.

Sep 27, 2014
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Otto from the Wood, bottle purchased at Hair of the Dog in Portland for a lot of money. Fifteen or twenty bucks, I think.

Appearance: Deep mahogany color, like an old Port or a 20-year-old Pedro Ximenez sherry. Surprisingly carbonated, about an inch of head. For Hair of the Dog, this is impressive. No retention or lacing, though. This beer swirls heavy like a liquor.

Smell: Sweet sweet sweet! And boozy... raisin, old grapes carefully caressed on a sunny summer day by illegal Mexicans in Napa Valley. Peach? Sure, but not tart or sour. More like peach juice or peach liqueur. Booze, ethanol.

Taste: Delicious fruitiness. Booze, barrel, calvados or brandy. High-quality liqueur. Dry, spicy chocolate. Old Ale all the way. Resin and vine. Nice sourness at the end. This is the most I've enjoyed a beer brewed with/on cherries, no doubt.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, muscular. Just about the right amount of carbonation, but a little too thin in the body. Well balanced, a nice amount of sweetness and tartness. Dry at the end of sip, reminds me of wine. A touch of spice and oiliness.

Overall: Drinks outrageously well for a 13% beer. Reminds me of the J.W. Lee's Harvest series, but even better. I expected sourness and pain from the cherries and peach but not at all. Great balance all around, a wonder of sweet and sour. So different and well accomplished. Would buy and drink again, despite the high price.

Feb 22, 2014
Otto From The Wood from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 246 ratings