Otto Ale
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Otto AleOtto Ale
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Smoke Beer
3.64 | pDev: 16.48%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Otto AleOtto Ale
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 317 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes. L: This pours brilliant garnet tinted chestnut under a thin tan film. S: Smokey malt aromas rise from the glass. T: A smoked malt palate gives up some dark sugar flavors. F: Medium full body and medium low carbonation. O: The smoke here is less intense than some of the Bamberg Rauchbiers making it more approachable.

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Photo of Kevin_Connors
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opened 1/2/15. Poured into Piraat Belgian tulip.
A: Opaque, murky brown with floating sediment. Essentially looks like a stereotypical dubbel.
S: Belgian dubbel, candied sugar initially hits. Followed immediately by smoked bacon. Such an interesting combination of classic dubbel and rauchbier noses. Awesome.
T: Both the smoke/meaty and the sweetness somewhat diminished on the palate. Dominated by the succulent bacon, brown sugar follows. A dubbel like raison taste finishes. Little to no presence of Belgian yeast.
M: medium minus. Light carbonation. Succulent, light booze.
O: loved it. Love rauchbiers and the sweetness of this one added something new.

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Photo of JCarey
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle 9/27/11 drank 3/17/14.

Pours a deep ruby brown with creamy head and lacing. Looks like a dark lager.

Strong, not overpowering, aroma of smokiness(who would a thought!?). Sweet maltiness, light smoked fruit woods.

Almost no residual sweetness compared to the relatively sweet aroma. The smoke masks most of the Belgian cues but works extremely well. I'm immediately reminded of Smoked Gouda. That slightly smokey creaminess, earthy flavors.

Overall well done but not the best.

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Photo of onechordwonder
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Corked and caged bottled on 9/28/11 and drunk on 12/6/13.

Pours with a slight head and a clouded ruby color. Even after 2 years, it still smells like a firepit, in a wonderful kind of way.

Time has done this beer a great deal of good, and it is nowhere near as one-dimensional as it was when I first had it. The taste is quite malty, with a touch of peated scotch. It ends dry.

Overall a nice example of the style.

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Photo of Sammy
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable smoked beer, with complexity. I think having for 1.5 years helped (note on bottle said 5 year shelf life). Smokey grey colour to it. Moderate smoke aroma. Smooth mouthfeel.Nutty, nicely crafted. Lasting small head on reddish hued body.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky deep amber in color with some mahogany highlights and moderate amounts of gentle carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a pebbled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of smoked malts and smoked peat as well as some light notes of roasted malts.

T: Upfront there are some just shy of moderate flavors of smoked peat and smoked malts over some lighter notes of roasted malts and just a touch of spices from the yeast. There are light amounts of lingering iodine flavors rather than bitterness in the finish (my wife describes them as band-aid like).

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Overall the alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer but if you don't enjoy smokey flavors then I would recommend avoiding this one - aromas and flavors of smoked peat have intensified since this beer was initially released and I had it fresh.

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Photo of Pencible
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear mahogany with some quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like smoky peat and roasted barley, with some coffee and ham.
T: It tasted like smoky peat and earthy toffee, with some roasted coffee and a little ham and Belgian yeast. It had a clean and complex aftertaste that was smoky, bittersweet, and a bit sour.
M: It was thick with lots of carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a nice smoke beer with good scent and taste, and an amazing finish. The body was great, and the alcohol was well hidden, so it was easy to drink. The subtle complexity really grew on me, and made this a top quality beer. Not sure how it was fresh, but it was wonderful after a year.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber brown with ample head. Good head retention and lacing present on the glass. Finer carbonation than your average beer gives it a nice mouthfeel. Smells like a Belgian dubbel but harder to detect the smokey malts after the first sip. Taste is dominated by the smokey malts - the bigger dubbel part of this beer is less present. The smoked malt is present early and lingers well after you've swallowed the beer.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this 750ml bottle just cuz

Pours mahogany brown with a finger of creamy beige head.

Smell offers plenty of smoked barley, wood smoke, and restrained malts. Light grainy/toffee aromas for balance.

Taste is equal in smokiness. This beer is crying out for some BBQ. More smoke than belgian qualities for sure...woody, dry, earthy and weird.

Can't hate on this mouthfeel. Nice body on this.

Certainly a unique beer. Hard to pin down..Just try it.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy red-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, smoke, vanilla, and some spices.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel and darker malts with some dark fruits, and some spices. Through the middle, the smoke comes through with some more Belgian yeast flavors including some more spices and some dark fruits. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, smoke, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, spices, and a hint of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, smokey, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Good complexity and balance. The smoke on top of the dubbel is a nice touch.

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Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with half a finger of off white foam on top of a clear, dark brown body with good head retention and excellent lace,

S - smoke, leather, sandalwood, and dark bread.

T - Peaty smoke up front with lots of dark bread and a bit of brown sugar. Some spicy notes of leather and pipe tobacco in the middle with a finish of brown sugar, toffee, peat, and leather.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Quite nice, it is robustly smoky, even including notes of peat, but it is done with the practiced touch that I am used to finding only in Schlenkerla smoked beers. Very well done, I can't overstate how much I respect victory for actually being willing to make beers like this.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: half finger head on a relatively clear amber brown body. not a lot of lacing.

S: smoked meat, caramel, hint of toffee and burnt toast.

T: more smoked meat, sweet BBQ sauce, caramel malts and brown sugar.

M: moderate to high carbonation and medium body.

Overall: this is plain and simply a drinkable smoked beer. The smokiness doesn't overwhelm and definitely compliments the base beer.

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Photo of lovindahops
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided on Otto being the brew for 2012 labor day. Say goodbye to summer after tonight

A- Otto pours a dark amber body with ruby hues on the edges. Lingering foam on the edges of the glass and leaves solid stripes of foam.

S- dubbel qualities are showcased with dark fruit, raisins, and some sugar candied. Traces of smokiness compliment the end of the scent profile. Certainly not overpowering, just reasonable and well positioned

T- the dark fruit flavor simultaneously combines with the smoke to make for a good Belgian smokey taste. The balance is very noticeable with the brew

M- coating syrupy flavor that keeps some carbonation as well

O- otto was really enjoyable as a Belgian dubbel that has some slight smokiness to it. I'm going to try and find more!

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Photo of LubricatedWisdom76
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with nice carbonation and good head. Lighter color and clarity than many dubbel styles out there. Definitely get the smoke which reminds me of barbecue pit and bacon but not as strong as some rauch beers which can be overwhelming. The Belgian yeast adds a dimension which is almost like grilled fruit.

I find many smoked beers one dimensional but this one adds some layers with dried fruit and almost a tart, fruity finish. Some malty sweetness that reminds me of meat smoked with maple or if you had a paper plate full of food at a bbq and mixed the bbq beef with some of the fruit on your plate. Definitely get some lingering bitter crispness at the end, as well.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for me for a strong Belgian style beer and I would like to see some bigger fruity esters meld with the smoke to give it some more personality.

Overall: Rauch beers aren't my favorite style but I like this one much better than most. I would try it again with food because this is one of those beers I could see shining much greater with something off the grill.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from September 2011

A: Pours a solid amber color with about half of an inch of head that disappears fairly quickly

S: Nice roasted malts with a big hit of smoke, cherry, and dark fruits. Definitely get both the dubbel part and rauch part of this beer. Slightly lacking complexity, though

T: Follows the nose with a slightly subdued smoke at first along with a nice maltiness and fruitiness, which leads to more smoke in the finish. Also in the finish is the signature 'saltiness' that goes along with the smoked malts

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly prickly carbonation, but still smooth

O: A solid smoked beer where the smoke is definitely the highlight. The dubbel part of this beer definitely takes a back seat, but lends a nice fruitiness that you might not find in a lot of smoked beers. I was hesitant to pick this up at first seeing it was almost a year old, but after reading the label on the back (stating that it is good up to 5 years past the bottled on date) and the good reviews on here, I'm definitely glad I did. It's a solid beer and one that will continue to age well. Definitely worth a try if you can still find it on the shelves

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Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: This one pours a clear, coppery color. There was a huge frothy head on it that died off rather quickly. Bit of a Belgian thing going on with the aroma. Bready, some sweet caramel and a bit of spice. Just a bit of smokiness. The taste is also quite good. Some smokiness, hint of the caramel, and a touch of bitterness. I usually find smoked beers to be overpowering with that flavor, but this was nicely balanced.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle pours a dark brown color with a thin cap of tan head. Not much for retention and lacing.

Nose ranks about a 5.5 or a 6 on the smoke-o-meter, it is smoky enough to overpower most of the maltiness, but not all. There is still a sweet, caramely presence underneath.

Taste has a good amount of smoke too...I like it! It is bolder than nearly all of the American-made rauchbiers I have had and incorporates the smoke into the flavor of the beer nicely. There is a mild, nutty caramel maltiness and a dryness that keeps it toasty and smoky. This is way better than I thought it would be and never really procured any hype. I hope Victory makes this again so I can buy another bottle or two.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color, with about one finger of foamy white head with decent retention.

The scent is of course smokey malt, notes of spice.

The taste is mildly smokey, notes of honey, some sweet fruit, and a little bread. The alcohol presence is completely absent.

Medium body, kind of soft and smooth, low to moderate carbonation.

The was a pretty good beer, the smokiness was just right, not too much to be offensive since I am not too familiar with this style. This isn't really something I would look for but it was good all the same.

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Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The tawny colored body was clear, and the head was very small. The aroma was malty, smoky, and full. I could detect smells similar to most doppelbocks, like brown sugar, raisins, and cherry. The taste was much smokier than I was expecting, and since I like smoked beers, that was a good thing. Besides the heavy smoke, I could taste the caramel malt, and some hops. The mouthfeel was a little too thin for my liking, and there was serious sting from the carbonation. Finish was fleeting and smoky. I liked this for the smoked malts, but otherwise it is a typical doppelbock.

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Photo of beer2day
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark caramel with lofty 2-finger cream head. Head fades and leaves faint strands of lace all around the glass.

Nose is lots of smoke, with dried fruit and caramel underneath. Figs and dates combined with rich caramel. Thick smoke over the top of that, though.

Smoke translates to the tongue. Sticky sweet caramel malt and a bit of figgy fruit coming through. Lots of roasted and smoked malt, though.

Feel is chewy. Fairly rich, but stands up to the smoke well.

Overall, worth a shot if smoke is your thing.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle with Stopper. Poured at cellar temp into a snifter. The beer pours a rich mahogany color with some garnet tints on the edges. The beer actually looked lighter when poured but deepens in the glass. A frothy eggshell white head of .5 cm foams up and fades quickly to islands and a thin edge layer.

Aroma is light smoke but a lot of phenolic band aid scent. I suppose it could be a bacon or sausage note but I get bandaids and that makes me leary of the beer. First sip is some fruity yeast with no bandaids. Alittle caramel mixed in.
I get smoked sausage and just a bit of firepit. Dry on the finish and certainly more enjoyable than the nose had me worried about.

A decent beer that isnt like licking an ashtray and does have some other flavors going on so that is a bonus. Not something I would chase down again, but certainly not a terrible beer.

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Photo of MarcGetty
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

As Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen is something I drink a case or three of each year, and I buy all of the Norwegian Wood I can can find, when I can find it, I'm not stranger to smokebeers. When I was at Victory in Downingtown I saw Otto and just had to buy a bottle.

I'm not upset that I bought it, I did enjoy the beer, but it is not exactly a knock-your-socks off beer either. The beer drinks well, but is not something I want to sit and savor like some of my favorite beers.

Pours dark, has a fine head and keeps a small head throughout the drink. Definitely has high drinkability, but is nothing special.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otto (Victory Brewing, Downingtown, PA)

Picked up a bottle of Otto at the Blue Max on the way home from getting my car worked on. No idea what it was--my trust in Victory was enough to pick up something new. There was a very detailed explanation on the bottle why it was named Otto, but I didn't write it down and didn't find it on the Victory site. Victory calls the beer a smoked malt dubbel.

Brown ale swirled with amber highlights with a dirty tan head that falls to a film. Significant but not overpowering smoke in the nose on top of caramel and sweet malt. There's an earthy spice blended neatly with the smoke. Assertive Aecht Schlenkerla-like smokiness in the taste, but more subtle. Lager-like smooth for a bottle conditioned ale. Earthy spice of the nose comes out more in the taste, but the mouthfeel thins out as it warms. Very good rauchbier, especially if you want it a bit towards the lighter but still unmistakable range of smokiness.

Overall, I thought it was a good bottle and a great introduction to a smoked beer. BA reviews seem a bit lower than my experience, but the warmed thinness and off-centered style may have foiled expectations.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper color tht is clear and very red when held to the light. Bubbles are also plentiful and rushing to the top of the beer when held to the light. There is a two finger head which settles a little but stays around for the entire pour. There is a little lace left on the glass. The aroma starts out with a big smokey aroma followed by hints of a maltiness at the end. The taste follows suit with a big nice smoke taste and the front and middle before a slightly sweet malt flavor finishes off. The mouthfeel is a little dry. Overall a very good take on the style. Very very enjoyable one of the best in this class.

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Photo of MatthewWilde
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Dark burnt orange in color, moderate internal carbonation, pours a light white foamy head that quickly evolves into decent lacing

S: Complex nose, heavy smoke, elements of honey and sweet spices (nutmeg comes to mind), moderately fragrant with some wood notes

T: Much similar to the nose, smoky, but not overly strong, some spicy/wood elements, sweet with an almost apple-like taste coming through, very flavorful

M: Quite smooth, not overpowering or drying on the palate, light smoke aftertaste, drinkable, but not incredibly so

O: A unique and complex beer, a fine example of a smoked ale style, but not a particular favorite of mine

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Otto Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 317 ratings