Otto Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Otto AleOtto Ale
Liked This Beer
3.58 w/ 316 ratings
Otto AleOtto Ale

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

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 316 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of patm1986
2.54/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

light amber color, no head, low viscosity; lacking any character at all in terms of pure body.

smells like liquid smoke, lightly charred wood, and a little, tiny amount of dark fruit, but i think i'm prying on the fruit. the smoke is pleasant, though, much like the scent of a fire burning far off in the bitterly cold night.

it tastes like smoked band-aids. i don't know what it is--maybe the way the malt was smoked, something in contact during the process?--but there's a quality of chemical plastic that has seeped into this, and this is the only way to describe the flavor. smoked band aids.

thin, slick, not much body or slickness in the mouth or finish.

i was hoping this was going to be as complex as it sounded: dark fruit, belgian sweetness, burnt biscuits, liquid smoke. it wasn't like any of it. the flavor was very weird.

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Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich mahogany, topped with a rather stark white head. Retention is decent, maintaining a creamy collar.

S + T: Some of the sweetness in the malts that I would often associate with the dubbel, though not as heavy on the dark fruits. Nice caramel notes, and just enough smoke. The flavor profile is actually quite similar. I was a little unsure about the two styles together, as it seemed very easy to screw it up. Victory did an incredible job with this one, though, and I find that the balance makes it a very pleasant experience.

M + D: Medium bodied--appropriate for this beer. Often time, dubbels and their big brother quads have that rich and sparkling body that suits their flavours well. This one has a hint of the sparkling feel, but it has been subdued and I feel it ultimately works out a bit better. A well crafted beer, and one I can see myself returning to in the near future, as long as it's on the shelves.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into an imperial pint

Pours a clear mahogany color with loads of visible carbonation. A tight two finger off-white cap shows some decent staying power and some minor lacing strewn about.

The aroma is of smoke, caramel, and some fruits. Pretty straightforward, not a whole lot of depth.

Sweet caramel with a good amount of smoke. The smoke isn't terribly abrasive like some within the style; very tolerable. It's a good flavored smoke too, reminds me of smoked almonds.

Medium body with mellow carbonation, a bit astringent. The Belgian yeast strain does a nice job of adding a little fruit and some heft.

This is a nice take on the style. The Belgian yeast strain works well to give the body a little more character. The smoke never overwhelms.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of CHADMC3
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, walnut brown with copper hues beneath the off white head as scattered bubbles of carbonation dance to the top of the glass.

Quite a unique aroma of smoked malt and Belgian yeast floats from the glass.

The flavor also features smoked malt with hints of sweetness, and perhaps a touch of candied sugar or fruit as it warms. As the beer finishes the fruit and smoked aspects really seem to mingle a bit and are an interesting presentation.

Medium in both body and carbonation, this beer provides are drying finish.

I cannot say I have had a beer quite like this before. I think I understand what Victory was looking for and they have done a decent job. Certainly worth a try and especially if you are a fan of both smoked beers and Belgians.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A bit lighter than I expected (wanted a pitch black rauchbier) but got a more Belgium Dubbel which is ok. A nice dark amber brown with some great tan head that is pillow like and thick.

S - Spot on with the smell of sweetness of caramel and toffee meets smoked malts which is lighter than liquid smoke but still very smoky.

T - Granted it is smooth but in no way as smoked as I expected. It does deliver the same sweetness of a well crafted Belgium giving levels of sweet toffee and caramel. Smoked flavor is constant so it is well crafted.

M - Medium bodied and very drinkable. Smoked but just enough.

Overall I guess I expected a full blown smoked beer but got a nice brewed Dubbel with slightly smoked flavors. At the end of the day isn't that what they were going for. Ow and I would not consider getting it again since it's kind of forgettable (nothing really stands out)

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good if a bit uninteresting take at a smoked dubbel

Presentation: 750ml brown corked and caged bottle. Simple dark blue label with the drawing of a fire where the name of the brew sits. Back offers a narrative about background, intent, and main brewing process. Shows bottling date (Sept 28 2011), and 8.1% Alc. by Vol. Served on a tulip glass.

A - Faintly hazy dark amber/brown pour, good frothy head, medium retention, fair surface memory and some lacing.

S -Smoked malt… Simple and pleasing, good nose with touches of fruit and caramel.

T - Malty and smoked… Simple in a nice way… Roasted notes, caramel, meaty smoke, touches of dark fruits, raisins, figs.. Back to the caramel and smoke.

M - Medium to medium-light body with a medium to generous carbonation and a smooth dry finish.

O - Pleasing in a rather simple way.

Notes: Fair if a tad forgettable offering… Not something to seek out but worth the try. Not that complexly smoked or long in the dubbel notes, but it does what it promises with a nice sense of quality.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark cherry red brown color with a one fingered bubbly head and dies down to a viscous ring around the glass. Light carbonation.

S - Smells like smoked Belgian bread with some dark fruit, the smoke aroma is up front and assertive, but not over dominating.

T - This is an odd one for sure...a Belgian Dubbel meets the Fall evening camp fire. Right from the start the smoke is present, all the way to the smokey end. In between is some dark Belgian candied fruit trying to break through but never quite makes it there. There's a little bit of smokey spice buried in there along with a bitter spruce-like finish that last for several seconds before it subsides and the smoke comes through once again.

M - Full medium body and slight prickly on the tongue.

O - The rauch style is interesting, familiar in Germany and pretty foreign here in the U.S. I haven't had enough rauch beers to compare this one too but I applaud Victory for chartering some new waters, so to speak, with this particular beer.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Clear dark plum color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is good and some touches of irregularly distributed lacing is left.

3.5 S: I found that letting this warm up is a must to get the full force of the smoke. The smoke has a peatiness to it. I wasn't really expecting that. I was expecting more of a "campfire" component. The dubbel influence is much harder to discern. Sweet caramel with a touch of figgy fruitiness. Still, quite pleasant.

3.5 T: There's definitely more campfire in the taste and less peatiness. However, the smoke isn't very strong overall. Despite the smoke not being anywhere near overwhelming, the dubbel is still hard to find. I'm getting caramel and a light fruitiness, but very little in terms of Belgian yeast products aside from a touch of pepper and clove. I like the flavor profile, I just want more of everything, including the smoke.

4.0 M: The mouthfeel is just what I want it to be. Lighter medium body. Good spritzy moderate carbonation. Active on the tongue. Good here.

3.5 D: Not a bad brew, but lacking in intensity. I'd prefer more smoke, more dubbel, or more of both.

 1,155 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from the folks at Victory pours a reddish brown color, has a tall dense head and good carbonation. Aroma is more smoke forward then not. Good sweet malt bill underneath.
This is an incredibly easy beer to drink.The taste is a nice balance between sweet candied malts with hints of candied sugar and light beech wood maybe. First taste brings a dubbel followed by light smokiness ending with an ashen finish. The smokiness is not overwelming quite light really and compliments nicely.
Like I said early this beer drinks very smooth and easy. For as much as is going on it has a pretty clean finish. Eight ABV and you'd never know it.

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Photo of BigMike
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otto has a really cool label. A campfire with some ghost flames in the background..

A: Pours a real pretty chestnut brown color. Clear with a nice fluffy tan head of about 2 fingers. A nice looking beer.

S: Right off the bat i get a lot of smoke. If you've ever sat by a campfire for a few hours and then the next day smelled your clothes. Thats the smokiness you get from this beer. The base beer is a dubble so there are the traditional dark candied fruit notes but you really have to look for them in the background. If you didn't know this was a dubble it would be hard to pick up.

T: They smoke is definitely less forward then it is on the nose. It's mostly on the finish as the dark fruits dominate the front of the tongue.

M: carbonation is light but adequate. Mouthfeel is slightly below medium. It feels soft on the pallet and finishes smoothly.

Overall: I heard a lot of mixed reviews about Otto. Mostly people saying that the rauchbier and the dubble styles dont mix well. I disagree. I really like this bee. I think there is just enough smoke and just enough sweetness to keep everything in balance. A solid Victory offering!

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Photo of argock
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml brown bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet. Bottled on Sept 28 2011 in white on front-left of label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $8.99.

A: Chestnut brown with bright garnet edges with wispy light 1/2-finger of light beige head with average retention and only a small comma of lace.

S: A very earthy lightly smoked aroma with some dark fruit components.

T: The flavors are very unique and interesting, but not all that drinkable. The smoked flavor dominates, but there is a strong bitter clove contribution that doesn't mix all that well with the generous smoke. The dark fruity fig and date flavors poke through her and there, but the bitterness of the clove and the smoke cloud much of the malt flavor.

M: The carbonation is fine and active with a nice medium body with a moderately dry finish.

O: It is disjointed and a nice experiment but doesn't really work all that well. Interesting but there won't be another go-round for this brew.

 986 characters

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of randomdanger
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of BeerThursdays
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of Manboy21182
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of horrorspecialty
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of chcfan
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of RyanPS
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of NCbeerpirate
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev 0%
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 Yoshio
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +39.7%

Otto Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 49.1% out of 100 with 316 ratings
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