Otto Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Otto AleOtto Ale
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 316 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of Lawnboy33
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of kirbsicles
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of CampusCrew
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: copperish color, nice head

smell: hello smoke beer, tis there

taste: nice smoke flavor, decent body, didnt really get any belgo flavor

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: I love smoke beers, this was not my favorite by any means. but if it my only smoke option, I would drink again

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Photo of drabmuh
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is classified as a dubbel but be warned rather than surprised like I was, this is a rauch bier, it may be dubbel in some way but to me, this was a straight up rauch.

Beer is brown and mostly clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, looks good.

Aroma is mild, semi-sweet, a little yeast and a little smoke, I'm already confused at this point.

Beer is decent, medium bodied, interesting palate, but the back half is all smoke all the time, the levels of smoke are not overwhelming but it is dominant for sure. A decent little rauch, I'll have to research why this is called a dubbel. Is this is Belgian yeast strain? Anyway, a decent little smokey dubbel. I guess.

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

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is light brown with a half inch of tan head that leaves sparse lacing. The aroma is smoke, peat, campfire. Just what one would expect from a beer of this ilk. Good flavor. A notch below the authentic examples of the style, particularly Aecht Schlenkerla, who reigns supreme. That said, this is a fine rauchbier from an American brewery, albeit one that is about as close to Germany as possible...maybe there's something to that. Medium bodied, with a lasting smokiness on the palate. Recommended.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely clear mahogany with a very thick, if not persistent, light tan head. Malty aroma has smoky, peaty and caramel notes. Flavor fills the mouth with malt, fruit, and barbecue smoke with caramel and floral hints. There is also a whisper of sweetness and a touch of hoppy bitterness. Smooth texture has plenty of body and a good amount of fizz.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml caged and corked bottle poured into a Chimay glass. This was bottled on 9/28/11.

A: Pours a reddish brown color. Tons of carbonation, bubbles running of the bottom of glass. White head of only faint 1/4 finger, dissipated quickly. Some alcohol feet and mild lacing.

S: Overwhelmed with smoke notes. It really masks the dark fruitiness that should be there with the dubbel. Smells like a medicinal campfire. Listerine like.

T: Ok, it's definitely a SMOKED beer. It's not as medicine like as I expected. I get some bitterness on the tip of the tongue. In the mid mouth you get all of this beer. Smokiness. Roasted malts. Dark fruits. The finish is cleaner than expected. Smoke after taste.

M: Medium bodied, but moves to full during. Coats the mouth.

O: I gotta go with a B- on this one. I was dissappointed, but not as much as I was expecting to be.

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Photo of corby112
2.74/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden ruby/copper color with a one finger yellowish beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

The smoked malts and estery dark fruit notes combine to create an herbal/medicinal presence in the nose. Slightly earthy with some grassy hops. Subtle hints of smoked malt with charcoal and wood notes followed by some dark fruit. Not smoker enough for my liking and kind of odd smelling.

Medium bodied with an earthy medicinal flavor that dominates the other notes. Faintly smokey creating more of a wooden, dry taste than the pleasant flavors I associate with rauch/smoked beers. This is followed by the dark fruit notes with hints of grape, plum and other berries creating sweetness that counters the dry character. Similarly to the aroma, this creates an odd medicinal, herbal flavor that overwhelms the beer. The ABV is really well masked with very little heat but the odd flavor profile makes this beer a bit unpleasant to drink.

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Photo of josefnewsong
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a fairly clearish ruddy brown color with a bit of head that left a creamy/swirly layer on top. Smelled slightly smoky with belgian yeast behind...tastes very unique. great smoky flavor mixed with standard belgian dubbel flavors, not overwhelming and very drinkable...unfortunately I found myself wanting something a little more substantial from this could benefit from a bit more body. Overall it's a great brew and definitely gets bonus points for creativity but I can picture this type of beer being done a little better...still, yum.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
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

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Photo of larryi86
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle dated 9/28/2011 poured into a snifter

A- A deep clear red with a two finger off-white head.

S- Smokey, camp fire like, caramel malts, touch of dark fruits.

T- Dark fruits and malts up front and nice smokey finish, grows on you as you drink it.

M- Medium body, creamy.

O- This is a nice beer that is easy to drink. The 8.1% ABV is not noticeable at all. At $10 a 750 I think I will buy two or three more to share with family over the holidays.

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Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml. Dark amber pour, ring of off white bubbles.

Aroma, malty, fig/prune with some smoke. Lends to darker grain aroma than normal for the style this is listed under. Strange, but I find it interesting.

Taste, a smoked belgian. Toffee, light brown sugar. Large and equal amounts of smoked peat/bacon and yeast. Again, an interesting combo, I thought they really worked well together. But then again, I don't enjoy Dubbels that much.

Lighter side of mid, good carbonation. Drinks well, for those who can enjoy the flavors.

An inbetween style brew, if judged by "style" it may not be good, if you just take it for what it is, it is well done. Of coarse, you will need to enjoy some smoked brews.

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Photo of AttitudeBrew
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wish it had more smoke. Its an OK beer needs more body. The belgian is a nice twist ,but will not seek out again.Maybe I'll buy one more and through it in the cellar and see what happens after 6 months? Check this one out. You might like it. I like more smoke than what this has to offer

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Photo of bonkers
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a bomber into a snifter, dark pour with a medium tan head, light lacing. Lots of smoke, bacon, maybe some clove. To be honest this was more of a rauch beer to me. The primary flavors I picked up were smoke and bacon. IMO this was on the thin side, the body just did not hold up. The carbonation was light, it was fairly easy to drink. The combination did not work for me, the smoked malt took away all the characteristics of the dubbel.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a clear dark red with a low medium off-white head. Solid retention, limited lace.

S: Sweet smoke, meaty like good bacon. Good caramel type malt.

T: Has an easy going malt character that accepts the smoke like they were old friends. Superbly balanced, the two flavours play off each other so well.

M: I think the Trappist yeast really helped to mellow out the beer and calm the carbonation. Never cloying which is great in an American dubbel. Soft easy going carbonation character, frothy at times with a prolonged but seamless aftertaste.

O: This is right up my alley. Everything works together to make a great beer. Want some BBQ right now.

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Photo of gford217
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork and caged bottle.

Pours a deep clear brownish amber with a small beige head that reedes quickly to a thin collar.

Aroma is more smokey than dubbel with the smoked malts featuring prominently. There a some sweet caramel malts, candi sugar and faint dark fruits.

Taste has a big astringent band-aid flavor up front. It's not the smoke character that I was expecting, less smoked wood and more burnt ashes. There is a sweetness in the background that lingers a bit in the finish with some figs and raisins.

Mouthfeel is astringent and artificially smokey.

I was looking forward to this one as a smoked beer fan but I think the flavor misses the mark slightly for me. The smoke is of the unpleasant burnt rubber variety. Not my favorite from Victory.

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Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
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

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Bronze, mostly clear with steadily rising bubbles.
smell: Very nice, unique, interesting. The smoke punches through, resting on a solid Belgian spice and fruit.
taste: Doesn't quite live up to the nose but the same qualities are there.
mouthfeel: medium creamy, nice carbonation.
overall: An interesting, unique beer. Nicely done.

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Photo of Gavage
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a reddish brown color with a short 1/2" head. No real lacing develops.

Smell : smoke, fruits, and some caramel come through to the nose.

Taste: malty goodness here with some chocolate, plums, cherry, fig, and a load of smokey flavor. Bitterness is moderate and alcohol is lightly noticeable. Spicy yeast arrives late onthetongue.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout.

Overall: an interesting mix of a dubbel and rauchbier and for me it works. Interesting and it keeps you engaged until the bomber is empty. A definite different beer from Victory that is quite tasty.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Thanks to Hophead101 for this bottle!

I knew I had to have this when I heard it's description a few months ago. Here's hopin' it lives up to my expectations: It pours a hazy sunset amber-brown topped by a finger of bleached cream-tan foam. The nose comprises light toffee, light figs, very light raisins, and plenty of beech smoke, which at times approaches a Band-Aid sort o' quality. The taste continues the smoke-centric theme, with the beech halfway morphing into cherrywood. Beneath this haze, some dry chocolate powder and raisins try to bubble up, but never really make it very far. The smoke is the star, and everyone is made keenly aware of that fact. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, for a dubbel, this thing doesn't get too far with me. As a smoked beer, it's pretty good, but thoroughly one-dimensional. I mean, I love the smoke as much as the next guy, but I always like to have something behind it as a sidekick kind o' compliment. That really doesn't happen here, which is the biggest disappointment. Still, it's a pretty tasty smoked beer, just not one of the elite ones by any stretch.

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Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.31/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

750ml poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a mahogany color with a thick slightly off white foam head that leaves great lacing.

S- Definitely picking up the smoked malts in the nose. Sort of a peat quality with a touch of spice. Not getting much of the typical dubbel aromas of dark fruits and candy sugar.

T- Deep smoky flavor initially with an oaky peat malt finish. I don't think I could tell that the base beer is a dubbel. Maybe a touch of sweetness in the finish but very faint and hard to notice anything other than the meaty smoked flavor. Much more like a rauchbier (which admittedly is not a favorite style of mine).

M- Wildly over carbonated with a thin mouthfeel. Sudsy with a lingering smoked aftertaste.

O- This one wasn't for me. I thought a dubbel brewed with a touch of smoked malt sounded good but this was way over done (at least to me). The bottle says it can cellar for 5 years. Maybe by that time the smoke would have died down some.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown with a nice tan head that fades fast and fizzy but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma has faint woody smoke, cherries and plums and some dark chocolate and earthy elements. Some musty notes.

The flavor is dried by the smoke and cuts off the sweet cherry wanting to come through. Chocolate notes fade in, but overall this dries in the mouth fast.

This gets a little more complex as it warms, but is still missing the impressive mark.

Dry finish, medium body, alcohol hidden.

Overall, Its just ok.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well, a smoked dubbel...I guess.

Pours a dull amber, a bit faded in color. Head is nice, big and sticky. Pretty good lacing, but looks neither like a rauchbier nor dubbel

Slight smoke and plum in the aroma. Slight spice. Muddled, nothing stands out. Damp smoke...

puny raisin flavor opens up the tasting front. Smoke comes in and just mingles around. Some faint fruits and spice. The taste isn't bad, it's just that there is nothing much here. Not much that screams 'dubbel' and too fruity to be rauchbier. I dunno...

It drank ok, but was a bit hollow and thin on the end.

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Otto Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 316 ratings