Slab Cabin IPA | Otto's Pub and Brewery

very good
59 Reviews
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Slab Cabin IPASlab Cabin IPA

Brewed by:
Otto's Pub and Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Kegatron on 09-27-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 165
Photo of russwbeck
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer too many times to count, finally sitting down with a bottle to review. 22oz bomber poured into a Bell's Tulip.

A: Surprisingly deep red pour, but you can see straight through the glass. A few finger thick white heads raises up and sticks around for a while, leaving a ton of sticky lacing down the sides of the glass as it recedes.

S: The aroma is pretty malt forward, with the hops providing a nice bitter, fruity balance. It isn't really anything special, I wish it was a bit more hoppy.

T: As soon as you taste this you can easily guess which coast it was brewed on. Very malt forward, caramel and sweet, with floral hops showing up in the middle and finishing the taste off. Not bitter at all, surprisingly, this is one of the sweeter IPAs I've had.

MF: Medium body, seems like a bit below average on the carbonation as well. This beer is pretty easy drinking and doesn't leave a lot on the palate with the aftertaste.

O: Not a bad beer to pick up when you're in State College. It's on tap all over the place and honestly isn't bad. Won't blow you away, but you won't be disappointed you gave it a try.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First brew from Otto's (even after going to PSU for 4 years). Certainly won't be my last.

Pours a nice orange, crisp and clean with little carbonation and head.

Smell is citrusy and hoppy, with a nice balance between the two. Hops don't dominate or takeover the other flavors as with some IPAs.

Refreshing, easy-drinking IPA that's certainly worth a try. Very nice.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber/orange. Medium sized creamy white head.

Smell is perfectly balanced between hops and pale malts.There's a nice clean citrus scent, musty tropical simcoe notes, followed by caramelized sweetness and moist earthiness.

Taste follows the nose, diving quickly into piney hops that mingle with nutty malts and again finishing with a grassy earthy flavor and pleasant bitterness

Mouthfeel is substantial and slightly dry.

One of my favorite local beers!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful amber color, crisp, clear looking, very active carbonation, and a thick, frothy cream colored head that sticks.

S - Caramel malt, pine, citrus, floral, slight grassy zest.

T - Not quite balanced and but even flavor sensation throughout. A caramel malt back bone that gets challenged by a nice bitterness blend of pine, grapefruit, and mild floral grassiness. The sip ends with a nice coating of pine and grapefruit in the mouth leaving a moderate lingering bitterness that sticks around not too long, but just long enough to make it satisfying and refreshing. Not too over the top in bitterness, but definitely more bitter than the average IPA.

M - For an IPA, it's thick - I like substance to the mouthfeel and this definitely has it.

O - This is a solid IPA and wish I could get it in my part of the state. It's a good IPA that would go great with alot of different foods and could easily be something I could drink every day without growing tired of it.

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Photo of powellmg
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark gold color with an off-white head that dissipated quickly. Strong piny-citrusy aroma of American hops. Taste was hoppy but supported by the malt. Alcohol warmth on the finish. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very decent IPA. I haven't had a "normal" IPA in a while because these days everyone seems to be trying some twist on the style. So this was much appreciated.

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Photo of jifigz
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an Otto's pint glass.

A: A deep red brown that has a great lasting head and some nice lacing.

S: The smell is pretty much dominated by citrusy hop aroma.

T: The flavor is very citrus like just like the aroma suggests. The citrus hop bite has a very lemony type of flavor. The malt bill is also evident in the taste and everything is balanced.

M: Medium bodied and light.

O: Not a bad IPA, but not a wonderful one either. It is nice to have beers from local brewpubs and this one isn't bad. I recommend stopping into Otto's if your ever in State place.

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Photo of Buggies
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great little IPA.

Looks as IPA should. Kind of a dark amber with the appropriate amount of head. Aromas of light malt and hops. Hop aromas vary from citrus, grapefruit, and herbal. More herbal than the other.

Tastes great. I'd say that the citrus and grapefruit come through and take over. You can just taste the sticky sweet hop oils coat your tongue. All hops with a nice hint of bitter finish. Even the burbs are coated with hop goodness.

Overall, I'd say that this beer embodies everything that make an American IPA what it is. Get yourself some of these!

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Photo of nhindian
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a deep orange color, almost like a golden sunburst. Looks pretty similar to the DIPA that Otto's makes, Double D, even down to it's clear appearance. A two-finger, tan-colored head forms, with a creamy consistency made up of minuscule bubbles. Retention is pretty good, but the lacing is a bit shoddy, merely consisting of a split-second sticking to the glass then it rapidly falls.

S - The smell is interesting and not as focused on the traditional IPA aromas as I would've thought. It's pretty floral and airy, but at the same time it also has a bit of nuttiness to it as well. It's balanced with a solid malt backbone as well. Not much going on here though, however.

T - The flavor brings even more malt than was in the nose. There's no mistaking that this is an East Coast IPA. The taste starts with a heaping helping of caramel malts, and again I'm getting some English influence and nuttiness. The hops, again, are floral, and it's barely bitter at all. I'm actually getting a rather sweet finish here. This is not what I would've expected at all; it's not a bad thing, but it's not like a typical IPA at all.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Leaves a rather sweet, floral aftertaste in the mouth and doesn't wreck the palate at all.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Definitely an outlier in the IPA style and I can see it being a sort of stepping stone to the more bitter representations of the style. Pretty sweet, not overly bitter, and not overrun with citrus or pine hop flavors. I can't say it's my favorite, but I can imagine it has its places.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 1-12-11
Enjoyed at the Otto's Bewpub.

A - Medium amber colour. Filtered. Small amount of of white head.

S - Floral and citrus hops. Sweet malts.

T - Bitter hops up front - mostly floral with some light citrus notes. Sweet caramel malt backbone.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of sbw138
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 22oz. bomber from the Zeno's 6-pack shop in State College. $4 each, what a steal.

Poured a nice burnt orange/amber color. There was a huge head after I finished pouring, which quickly died down to a small, but ever present head. Despite the small size of the head, lacing was pretty nice all the way down the glass.

Huge, terrific hoppy smell, full of citrus. A decent, yet subtle, malt backbone.

As others have mentioned, I really didn't taste the citrus that I had smelled. Rather, there was a nice piney, deliciously hoppy taste. Really, very impressive. The malt backbone is a little more pronounced on the tounge, than on the nose.

Solid mouthfeel, not overly heavy, or light. Beer has a nice carbonation too it, that feels real well.

A great beer here. Otto's really has done a terrific job with this brew. It's almost up there in quality with their Zeno's Rye. I can wait to get back to state college to try fresh on tap.

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Photo of number1bum
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant burnt orange color with an inch plus of light tan head. Keeps a pretty full, albeit thin lace, but really doesn't leave much stick on the sides.

Smell is very fruity, with lots of citrus aromas, plus some pineapple and mango. Just a bit of malt sweetness, like light caramel, as well. Just a nice, if not uncommon, IPA nose.

Taste is not quite as fruity as the nose, but there's still a good amount. There's a pretty good amount of fruit here, some citrus and tropical fruits, although it's not as juicy or bold as the nose was. There's a bit of a menthol quality to the beer, and some herbal flavor. Some caramel sweetness provides some balance, which is an operative word with this beer, because this is certainly a very well balanced IPA. Hop bitterness is not overdone, but it's enough to let you know that this is not an IPA to trifle with either.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pretty good slickness to it. Hop oils do their thing pretty well here, and the beer is pretty creamy and pleasantly smooth.

At first I thought this seemed like a somewhat restrained IPA but it grew on me as I got about halfway through the first pint. The hops opened up a bit on the palate at that point, as it warmed a bit, and it became more bitter as well. I'd still characterize it as a very balanced IPA, but that's not a bad thing. I bet it's even better on tap as well. A nice local option for sure.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 12/1/09

A - pours a hazy walnut with very little foam whatsoever

S - sweet citrus hops, orange and lemon come through, and light malty base

T - light malt with a lemony bitter finish, grapefruit and caramel sweetness

M - creamy, good carbonation, slightly oily

D - good flavor, a bit too lemony for my taste

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Photo of eyncognito
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of akorsak, thanks Adam. An amazing IPA that wasn't really on my radar-great recommendation from a top-notch trading partner.

Appearance is an amber color, quite clear, well filtered. Light lets out a glowing bronze. One finger of head, with good retention, slightly soapy, but only sporadic lacing is present. Smell is hop forward-amazing blast of tropical and citrus fruits, coupled with floral notes: grapefruit, lemon juice, guava, and sweet grassy/floral scents. For having such a wonderful amber color, malt is an after thought, malt sits in the back seat-a sweetness rides along through out, but unobstrusive.

Taste pretty much follows the nose here. Sweet malt carries along bitter hops, moderate initial bitterness with more red grapefruit, guava, lemon/lime, grassy, floral. Strong, long finish that stresses the sweetness of the malt-caramel, slightly oily. Taste really delivers on the promise of the nose and presents it in wonderful fashion, high lighting the hops, but allowing the malt bill to shine at the end. Mouth feel is medium bodies, with soft carbonation that couples well with the hops-only gently prickling the tongue.

Drinkability is quite high. I could drink this for days on end. Hmmm, I have considered applying to Penn State for grad school. I'd be lying if beer was not a consideration for the next city I live in/school I attend. Even though I am a Badger, I can appreciate what Otto's is doing for the Nittany Lions. Go Big Ten Beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Cap City fest in Harrisburg, poured chilled into a couple sampler glasses.

A - Medium copper shade w/ good clarity and medium pale cap w/ average sized bead, minimal lacing

S - Loads of citrus, very orangey clementine aroma like centennial/amarillo maybe w/ a light amber malt odor

M - Very balanced yet juicy hop acidity w/ mild sweetness and moderate bitterness. The finish is mostly dry w/ lingering hops.

T - This is very tasty w/ ruby red notes and lots of orange zest(as octopus87 mentioned). There is mild malt flavor just enough to soften the bitterness of the hops w/ a candy-like crystal malt taste. The astringency is low and there is a drying effect of mild alcohol. The Ipa finishes w/ plenty of hop flavor, mildly juicy and somewhat acidic.

D - A fine American IPA, very drinkable w/ plenty of hops to satisfy. A bit balanced but still relatively bitter for an east coast IPA.

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Photo of jdg204
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was up for my first Penn State weekend of the year and I had to make the pilgrimage to Otto's. After a great Saturday of tailgating at the game, a nice lunch at Otto's is a fantastic change of pace. Great food is always expected and I was excited to try their new staple IPA.

A: Bright orange color with a thick white head that stuck around for most of the ride and left some nice lacing.

S: Aroma is floral, grapefruit, and citrus with a nice fresh, oily hops undertone.

T: Grapefruit and caramel start the show but the supporting fresh, floral hops quickly smack you in the face. This was a pretty well balanced ale and you could really taste the freshness.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Otto's has another gem on their hands, these guys really know what they're doing! The guys at Otto's definitely have the best brewpub (emphasis on the pub) that I've had the good fortune to frequent. Just a rock solid IPA, extremely fresh, well balanced, and yummy! If you get the chance to go to Otto's than do yourself a favor and get there (the food's great too). While you're there, try this brew, a new must-try at the pub!

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Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks for Josh for this bomber, poured into a tulip.

Pours deep, clear amber with a short lived creamy head that leaves a soapy film along the top and a big collar. The lacing is minimal.

Big juicy hops dominate the aroma with lots of grapefruits and oranges but with more than a fair share of pine as well. There is a sizable caramel malt sweetness to balance things out.

The taste has a much more dominant floral hop presence and the pine jumps to the forefront with a slightly astringent resiny bitterness from the first sip. Lots of caramel malts and toasted bread in the backbone before the pine and grapefruit leave the finish bitter, dry and astringent.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied for the style and coats the palate with sticky hops. The carbonation is soft.

This is a solid hop forward IPA with a big enough malt backbone to balance things out and keep the drinkability relatively high. Looking forward to more from this brewery.

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Photo of originalsin
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks so much to barleydine for this one!

Pour is a transparent amber color with copious amounts of foamy off white head that has absolutely insane retention- it's been 15 minutes and it's only now starting to slowly cave in on itself. It's leaving thick patches of lace the whole way down, too. Wow.

Smells tasty. What else can I say? The aroma is heavy on the floral hops with hints of butterscotch and caramel malt. I'm enjoying this beer immensely thus far.

Altogether, Slab Cabin is a really solid brew. Drinkability is spectacular- the hop profile isn't really that assertive. There's caramel malt and a light sweetness up front on the tongue and it isn't until the aftertaste that you really get a nice floral hop taste. It isn't really that impressively delicious for an IPA but otherwise you've got yourself a great beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for the extra. Imperial pint glass.

Pours dark amber with caramel tones. It appears effervescent for minutes after the pour. The frothy head rises two fingers high above the liquid. Retention is excellent and lacing is plastered to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is well balanced between caramel malt, leaning towards bready, and hops. The hop profile is somewhat soapy with grassy notes and some grapefruit.

The flavor is also well balanced. The malt is of sweet caramel. Bitterness is at a medium level, with citrus, orange pith, and pine. Sweetness lingers on my tongue after the finish.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. This is a malty IPA and my first beer from this brewery. I'd like to try more of their stuff in the future.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with several fingers of foamy off-white head. A thin and frothy retention yields a big creamy flareup when swirled, leaving back a solid cascade of spotty lacing and oily residues. The aroma is mostly all about the hops, being very floral with some piney accents (but not overly assertive with it) and a good bit of spice and citrus as well. A thin layer of sweetness and warmth is definitely secondary to the hops in this bouquet, gently gliding underneath alll of that leefy goodness.

The hops are a little more moderate in the taste, but still packs a solid piney punch to the palate that lingers dryly on the tongue. Backing things up, is an underlying backbone of of bready toasted malts and caramel sweetness, which offers enough balance to even out the bitterness, but make no mistake, this profile is all about the hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an imminently smooth and creamy carbonation that just slides effortlessly down the throat. Very nice.

Very hop forward but solid IPA from the fine folks at Otto's. This maybe came off as a touch less balanced than I remembered on draft (which kept the drinkibility down just a tad) but I was glad to see that same easy body carried over to this now bottled offering. Nice stuff.

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Photo of joe1510
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

Another big "Thank you" goes out to Kegatron for this brew, thanks Heath! Slab Cabin fills my willi glass with a faded copper liquid that shows dull orange highlights when directly backlit. A strong dirty white head grew to three fingers without much coaxing and crackled slowly to one finger as it leaves chucky lacing down the sides of the glass. A few streams of carbonation swirl to the surface and keep the head alive.

The nose is quite interesting and slightly dirty from the Munich malts used. The hop profile is surprisingly floral to the point it has that greenhouse quality. Caramel maltiness seems to lay down the foundation with a sprinkling of brown sugar and toastiness from the Munich. There's a whisper of citrus but it mostly follows the lines of candied orange peel and what's there remains in the back. The aroma is very unique in the realm of IPAs.

The flavor is cleaner than the nose suggested which is a plus in my book. The hop profile is brighter and more vivid as well. Caramel seems to control the malt base of this IPA but a mildly toasty, earthy maltiness comes through sparingly. Candied orange peel starts off the hop profile before it quickly segues into the floral qualities that were so noticeable in the nose. The orange peel comes back on the swallow and dominates the palate. There's more spiciness to this beer than I expected and a decent bitterness I didn't see coming.

Slab Cabin shows off a moderate body with an active enough carbonation to keep things moving but slow enough to let me catch every nuance of each drink. The bitterness doesn't seem to be noticeable at first but halfway through a bomber the bitterness hits its stride, never surpassing a medium bitterness.

A bomber is a pleasure to put away and I could go for another afterwards so I'd say the drinkability of this IPA is up there. It doesn't stomp your tastebuds like others which keeps this one drinking easy.

This is my second brew from Otto's and I've enjoyed them both. Slab Cabin is a different take on the usual citrus bomb IPAs that are flooding the market and it's refreshing to drink something different for a change. Thanks for this treat Heath!

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Photo of HopDerek
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing a bomber. Poured a clear amber color with 1.5 fingers of foamy off-white head. Good retention and some good lacing work. Smells of citrus fruits, pine, spicy hops, caramel, and a touch of biscuit. Taste starts off with citrus fruits like grapefruit and orange, then some earthy and pine notes. A sweetness of honey and biscuit follow before a finish of more pine resin. Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and sweet with a nice bitterness. A good IPA that is refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of hopdog
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a medium orangish/copper color with an averaged sized off white head. Aroams of citrus, floral hops and pine. Tastes of citrus, floral hops, pine, a little toasty. Light lacing left on the glass.

Notes from and tasted on: 3/17/09

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Photo of Floydster
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle acquired as an extra in a trade with Kramer17801, thanks a lot Jason and I hope you are feeling better, also split with my dad tonight, poured into my Port Brewing pint glass, color is a golden orange mixed with some light brown, 1 1/4 inch creamy slightly off white head that lasts around five minutes, minimal lacing, aroma is mostly malt, the hops are subtle and mostly piney for what is there, also some lemons, light berries, grassy accents, and herbal scents, flavor is mostly hoppy all the way through, mostly caramel and toffee flavors, some light hop bitterness along with mild citrus, warms up and most of the hops that were initially there end up going away, sweet, slightly dry and citrusy mouthfeel, medium bodied, good amount of carbonation, taste lingered a while with mostly its sweet characteristic sticking around, too sweet to drink a lot of this, smooth for the most part but balance is off with too much malt and not enough hops, cannot detect any alcohol in the flavor, first beer from this brewery and it was neither great or bad, would drink again but not one of the best IPAs I have had, worth trying

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Photo of ToddT
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a bright copper color with a thick off white colored head. Head is long lasting and leaves lots of sticky lace on the glass.

S- Grapefruit and citrus dominate the nose, little bit of the malt in there too.

T- Grapefruit comes at you right away, but not overly bitter, it has just the right bite. Malts round this out with a note or two a caramel then it finishes crisp, slightly dry and with another hit of the hop bitterness.

M- Nice feel, light bodied and just the right carbonation. Maybe slightly thin but that is the only fault here. No oily aftertaste as some IPA's have.

D- Easy drinking, at 6.0% ABV it is a great session IPA, that tastes great to boot.

Great beer from the local brew pub. What a great thing to have in one's backyard.

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Photo of treyrab
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am always surprised to see what Otto's has up their sleeves. I have passed on this IPA many times while at the brew pub, so I decided to pick up a bomber last night. Split it with my girl into two pint glasses:

A: Pours a crystal clear copper with a frothy, sticky two finger white head. This looks brilliant and just like an IPA should. Great carbonation floating up the top to keep the head alive...which lasts pretty much the whole time. Some nice sticky lacing also is a plus.

S: Very robust pine hops show their presence. Not as much citrus as I was expecting, as the woody, grassy hops are really showing. Some nice cereal and caramel malts also come through.

T: Just a great IPA all around. The pine hops yield a crisp, refreshing taste that ends a bit dry. Some orange comes through as well, but is masked pretty heavily by the grassy tones of the pine hops. A bit of caramel also comes through on the finish.

I was not expecting this to be as good as it was. This is a fantastic go-to IPA.

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Slab Cabin IPA from Otto's Pub and Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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