Otto Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
83
good
316 Ratings
THE BROS
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Otto AleOtto Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerLover99 on 10-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
316
Reviews:
138
Avg:
3.67
pDev:
16.62%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
27
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 316 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of Sammy
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 252 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

unique and delicious, rauchbier meets belgian dubbel. pours a major sexy deep amber hue, dark like cabernet, jovial tan head which fades away quickly. nose is overly smokey, with just a tiny hint that theres a belgian underneath. alchohol notes, bonfire, and wood. taste is a bit more level, with some vanilla and bright yeast happening. mouthfeel is bubble and true to the dubbel style. this is a one of a kind for sure, and whether you like it or not, its a brand new creation, so lots of extra points for creativity. met my expectations and it is a great buzz. woooo

 569 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I never saw this beer as being a Dubbel, I was pretty sure it was supposed to be a Rauchbier. Anyway, the beer poured out as a deep brown color with some nice red highlights in it. The head was foamy and laced the glass pretty well. The smell of the beer gives off plenty of smoked malt aromas along with some lager yeast notes as well. The mouthfeel was prettygood, I found it to be well balanced and easy to drink. Overall I thought that this beer got a little better as it warmed up. I'm not the biggest fan of this style but I like what victory did with this one. I can't say I'd buy it again but it was nice to try.

 620 characters

Photo of nmann08
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy amber in color. It poured with a half finger high beige head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of smoke in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is smoky and has some hints of spices. The flavors you would expect from a dubbel are not very apparent.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink because the smoky flavors aren’t too strong and the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

 562 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

C / AVERAGE

11 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a very modest head that fades to a ringlet and archipelago; leaves some splashy lace behind, however

Smell: Caramel, fig, banana and ash

Taste: Opens with the dubbel elements of caramel, fig and pepper, with the banana adding another dimension by mid-palate; the smoked character arrives, after the swallow, and leaves a subtle ashen flavor behind in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: While the beer is well-balanced, I am not sure that it shows off the best of either style; not something I would seek out again

 590 characters

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory Otto Ale
25.4 fl. oz bottle, corked & caged.
Bottled on date appears to be SEPT 28 2011
$8.49 @ State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD

Otto is an interesting beer, I'll give it that. Combining a Belgian-style dubbel ale with German smoked malt should yield great results...

Unfortunately, I feel that it leaves an undefined beer. It's very smokey, and at first taste I thought it more a rauchbier than a dubbel. And yet the Belgian character was there all along behind the smoke. Odd. I smell the smoke, and then I taste it upfront and I yearn for the maltiness behind it in a rauchbier, but what I find is malt that's peppered with yeasty clove and spice.

So, OK, let me go the other way. I'm going to taste it with a Belgian-style dubbel in mind, and it certainly looks like one so that helps. I get the smoke in the nose, and there's some Belgian character as well. They never quite come together, and in fact they kind of fight each other. That then follows in the flavor. I will say that as it warms the malt widens and the smoke isn't as prominent, but at the same time, the smoke does still linger at the back of the mouth.

Or perhaps I'm completely wrong. Perhaps I just can't see the forest for the trees because I'm so familiar with each of the two styles, and that someone new to all of this would find it amazing.

 1,332 characters

Photo of chinchill
2.99/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

The large corked bottled looked very appealing, but I should admit I do not like many smoke beers, especially those with a strong smokiness that overpowers the other aromas and flavors. Unfortunately, this is striking example of an overly smokey brew.
There is so much smoke flavor and aroma in this that the experience was somewhat more like eating a heavily smoked meat than drinking a beer, and an aftertaste that made me feel like I had tried a cigar while drinking. Of course, the texture was entirely different: In fact, the mouthfeel was exceptional. Otto Ale is smooth, with excellent carbonation and a medium-full body.

O: Drink again? ... no thanks. But I'd be happy to use this for cooking meats and sauces.

 721 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a deep clear amber, with a finger of foamy off-white head. This retains with a smooth richness and robust edging, leaving back a soapy looking cascade that drips down the sides of the glass into a smattering of light spotty lace. The aroma honestly feels very similar to a Rauchbier, with a smoky campfire character that is full smelling throughout the whole nose. You can barely pick up some softer fruit and a touch of sweeter sugars underneath but yeah, the smoke pretty much dominates this here.

The taste fairs better, with much more of that Belgian-style Dubbel presence to it, with notes of fruit and doughy sugars having a place here. This definitely has a touch of aggressiveness to it though, which is maybe coming from a combination of lightly roasted accents and spice from the yeast. The smoke is much more subdued and complimentary here than it was in the nose and just hangs on the breath a bit after each sip. The finish is fairly dry with a touch of lingering spice and earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little fuller, with a firm and prickly feel up front that then gets a bit more creamy feeling along the back as this works itself around in the mouth. That 8% ABV is well hid.

Despite maybe the over smokiness of the aroma, I think that this came out about as good as you would expect for what they were attempting here. Some Belgian character is present but the complete package just came off to me as very German feeling, with tightness to the profiles and the overall Rauchbier-style slant to this. This was unique and I quite liked it.

 1,659 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 1,044 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Dubbel with plenty of malt to mellow the smoky flavor. Quite attractive in the little snifter, it even looks a smoky orange. Plenty smoked but not at all harsh. Sweet malt and some roasted flavors. Rather sharp. A little ash in the nose along with the hot oak smell. Hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. I'm not tasting much in the way of Belgian flavors, but it's a nice concept if they'd try more yeast and less smoke.

I have to admit this is a pretty good smoked beer, though it's not exactly subtle. At least it tastes like real smoke and you could almost put your finger on what kind of wood it is. More enjoyable if you have the bottle around for small doses. A big cheesy pizza, tho, might stand up to it.

 714 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle - $7.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Bottle On: Sept 27, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright mahogany-hued body with a full-sized, faintly beige head.

Smell: Displays a myriad of jumbled notes: campfire smoke, cloves, toasted bread, brown sugar, dried fruits (raisins and cherries), bananas, and a recently bandaged finger cut.

Taste: Toasted malts with some sweet additions of caramel, treacle before the phenolic hit of smoke-flavored chewing gum with a touch of banana peel before rolling into some thick-cut bacon, powdered cloves, and Concord grape jelly. Strays, for the most part, on the sweet side of things. Low hop character, bitterness. Some alcohol detected on the lightly smokey, fruity finish with lingering alcoholic heat and clove.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A curious combination (I recall tapping my chin thoughtfully for a moment when I first heard about it), a smoked ale and a Belgian dubbel. I'm not entirely sure that the smoked malt is playing nicely with the clove-producing yeast strain utilized, as there is, sadly, a displeasing hint of Band-Aid on occasion.

 1,171 characters

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Otto Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.67 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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