Otto Ale | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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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.

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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 315
Photo of pitasoup
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

from notes, for blind bif #6, thanks to hophead101 for the bottle.

A: pours brown, dark hazel mahogany, a bit of orange with brilliant clarity. two fingers of off white head that is slow to subside, a nice combo of both large and superfine foamy bubbles, a full circle of lacing. 4.5

S: overall faint aromas. molasses, a bit of dust, slight smoke, peat, possible xmas (cinnamon/nutmeg) spice, tiny tiny amounts of orange peel and alcohol. pretty subdued for a beer poured at 55. styrian golding spiciness after a few swirls, but not much. 3.5

T: belgian yeasts, a bit bland and watery molasses. vanilla and nutmeg linger on the tongue afterward. there might be some special b or dark candi swimming around in here, but i have to work hard to pick it out. a bit of honey, bread, and more smoke comes out as this warms. 3.5

M: light to medium body, slightly watery. 3.0

O: i'm guessing a dubbel, perhaps xmas themed? very nice and drinkable, no overwhelming flavors but balanced overall. in some ways, this reminds me of the '09 anchor xmas, but with belgian yeasts. 4.0

i'm a bit confused as to what's going on here. belgian smoked dubbel with spices? i've no guess at all.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A – Deep rusty brown color with a nice two finger beige head, lasting a moderate amount of time. Minimal lacing.

S – Smells like a cold weather nighttime campfire. Some additional hints of Belgian yeast.

T – HEAVY smoke flavor upfront, followed by a Belgian sugar kick. Esters of sour mash whiskey, ash, wood, burnt caramel, plum, and toffee. Slightly boozy in the finish. Not overly complex, but quite delicious. Finshes slightly dry.

M – Gently carbonated, which works well to carry the smoke flavor. Body is medium-light, almost lagerish. Maybe a little thin for the style.

O – I’m a big fan of Rauchbiers, and I really enjoyed this. To me, the mix of Belgian sugars and smoke made a unique and interesting combo. I’d definitely drink this again when in the mood , and I imagine it would be great on a camping trip.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rye whiskey brown but boasts a bulbous ruby red belly when held to light. Then retentive film throws up lacey sparkle. Bottle art isn't as colorful as I'd expect from Victory.

Smells like campfire with a hickory smoked bacon hint of sweetness. Hay.

Tastes like a campfire. Really smokey, I can't detect much of the beer underneath except some whole wheat bread. Body is a bit thin and lacks any Belgian style elegance.

More rauch than dubbel, with plenty of room for improvement, particularly getting anything out of it other than smoke. Still I really like it as I'm a sucker for smoked beers. Smoked anything really. Makes me feel like a lumberjack. Or a viking. A viking lumberjack.

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Photo of Morey
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork and Cage bottle with "Bottled on Sept 27 2011" stamped on the bottom left hand corner of the label. You can always count of Victory for dates, even if their shelf life on certain beers (Hop Wallop) is out of whack.

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown with brilliant clarity. Not quite as many bubbles as I was expecting though. Head is beige in color, and settled from one finger to a thin and spotty lace within about 5 minutes or so. Not too much in the way of lacing and/or retention.

Aroma: I'm getting a bit of smoke, but less than I had anticipated. Smells like a Belgian for sure (sweet funky yeast and dark fruits).

Taste: Smoke hits you up front. Almost feels like there's a bit of chili accompanying it. Maybe it's the tingling carbonation coupled with the smoked malts? Yes, I've made up my mind. Fruity flavors surface about midway, but it's more like smoked-fruit. Finish is relatively clean, but there's a bit of char that lingers on the tongue.

Thin to medium bodied with tingling carbonation and a smokey mouthfeel.

A really nice and unique beer overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'll be honest, after reading some below average to average reviews, I'm pretty impressed. I think that this is a darn tasty beer. And it's out of the ordinary too, which is welcome. Enjoy around a campfire for ultimate enjoyment.

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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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this beer up at the Atoscocita Specs a couple days ago. It looked interesting, a Rauch Belgian beer. I am not sure if this is what I would have blended myself, but I am willing to try just about anything. Let's see what this is like:

Appearance: Initially pours a relatively cloudy reddish brown color with a 1/2" head of mixed size bubbles but mostly small ones. The head was a light tan, and you could see that there are quite a few bubbles rising to maintain the head, but you can already see it falling a bit after a minute. After at least ten minutes, the head never completely fell. The beer cleaned up to be a Garnet color and there were still lots of bubbles rising. There was a good bit of lacing left on the glass after drinking, so overall the beer is pretty nice looking.

Aroma: The aroma is not what I was expecting. I am picking up latex rubber gloves in this beer big time! That is the main thing that I am getting along with a mild medicinal component. So I've got rubber gloves and smells like a clinic...I don't know that this is good. There is a little bit if sweet malt and alcohol starting to come out as the beer warms, but the rubber gloves never goes away, so this really spoils the aroma for me.

Taste: A least the flavor isn't as crazy as the aroma. It actually tastes like beer, and the bacon is more identifiable in the flavor than it got misinterpreted by my in the aroma. The rubber glove thing is here in the flavor, but you can tell that it is an off-shoot from the rauch. The flavor overall is pretty balanced between malt and hops with there being some dryness left on the back of your palate for a little while after this sip, but this is provided as much by the ample carbonation as it is from the dark malts. The hops are pretty reserved in this beer overall. There is a little in the flavoring, but they don't exactly compliment the rauch. The alcohol is very reserved and just adds a touch of spice to the rauch malt.

Opinion: Well, I guess that this is the reason that I have never thought to make a Belgian-Rauch myself...because it is an unusual beer. After I have made it through about half the bottle, it is getting much more palatable, but perhaps this is because of the ABV. Either way, I don't know what to tell you as I don't really know anyone that would think that this beer was "the bomb". It is OK, but certainly not one that I would come back to from the aroma alone.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Golden copper tan/yellow, 1/2 creamy head, decent lacing.

Smell - Malts, yeast, some smoke, a little bready, grassy. Some added spices, not alot of aroma.

Taste - Well, plenty of smoke mixed with alot of sweet fruits, honey malts and such. Caramel and spices are a main flavor. Does have a alcohol bite after the added sweet sugars wear off.

Mouthfeel - Its rather big beer really, lots of sweet flavors hit tounge. Malts coat tounge, palette and leave both a little dry. The booze heats mouth up some, and aftertaste is a little sweet and dry.

Overall - Pretty tasty, not so much what i was expecting though. Sweeter and stronger then i expected, the smoke flavor is nice and adds a boldness to the overall flavor. A nice twist on the dubbel. I woudlnt mind having this minus the smoke to see how this would stack up to the dubbel style. Slighty to boozy, would like to try this with some age to it.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, so this starts with an oddity. I open the cage and then pop the cork…. But I notice that there is still something in the neck of the bottle. Not sure what it is I get a flashlight into the top of the bottle. First I have to note that the cork that came out was in pristine condition. What was in the neck of the bottle was the bottom of ANOTHER cork. I can only imagine that in the bottling line the first cork didn’t go in properly and then they popped in another without noticing the remnants of the first one. Interesting.

A foamy 2+ finger head forms that is off white to light beige. Settles to a ½ cap that stays for a while. A decent amount of sudsy lace sticks to the class. Beer is a deep brown amber color with good clarity.

Aroma is a mix of light smoke some grain and a malty sweetness.

Interesting in that I like the initial flavor which I’ll describe as a combination of lightly sweet caramel and nice smoked malt. Nice and smokey mid palate… but then it really drops off with almost no finish. There is some smoke that remains but all other flavors seem to drop out quickly. Man, I want to like this, but the finish is not helping me here.

Reality is that this is medium bodied, but the finish I describe above makes it feel thin.

In the end, I’m not a big fan.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper-colored with a small tan head.

Aroma of brown bread and smoke. Almost peaty. Some dark fruit.

It tasted like a smoked fruitcake that had been kept in a whiskey barrel (and I mean that in a nice way).

A bit of tickly carbonation, otherwise a medium-bodied beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 09-28-11

Pours auburn with 2+ fingers of khaki colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Faint smokeyness, some brown bread

T: Oaky smoke with, bready sweetness, a touch of pears & wppdy hops up front. Big time oaky dryness as this warms along with beech & oak smokeyness & a booze warmth. Some herbal hoppyness in the finish along with much woody/oaky dryness & firm smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied with soft cabonation, thins out a touch as this warms

Not a bad smoked beer, but not as good as I was hoping for, the oaky character of this is a bit overwhelming. I like most victory beers, this was a letdown

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

i love me some smoked beers!

head isn't exuberant but it's enough to keep smoky deliciousness aloft! smells like a brown ale with smoke

while smoke dominates the bouquet, it doesn't to the same extent dominate the flavors. that said, though the bottle claims (to the extent that a bottle could claim anything) the brew is based on a belgian ale, i can't quite reconcile that. i'm surprised by a distinct heat...perhaps age would do wonders. plenty of sweetness to hold the smoke up

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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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a nonic pint glass.

L - clear amber color with a foamy off-white head that left a sheet of lacing.

S - yeast and smoke, a nice combination.

T - the smokiness starts things off with a Belgian yeastiness midway leading in to some mild bitterness finishing with a smokey sweetness, very good.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation and smooth drinkability.

O - a darn good beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Otto Ale
Victory Brewing Company

Pours a hazy amber/brown color. Aromas of sugary sweet malts, mild smoke, perfumy and aromatic. In the taste, smoked malts mimicing cured meat, small zesty citrus hop, roasted, nutty notes. No hint of alcohol with a strong smoke presence. Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied with a semi dry highly carbonated finish. Overall, a nice balanced smoked ale, hearty flavors and all is well in the Victory world.

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Photo of tigg924
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, clear, reddish-brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked wood, Belgian spices and candied fruit

Taste: smokey wood, maltiness in the back, caramel at the end. Throughout there is light cardamom, coriander, and other Belgian spices. Alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, bitter start with sweet smoky end, medium carbonation

Overall: Enjoyable and interesting. I wish this one did not have the alcohol heat, but otherwise it is a solid beer. This one plays out more rauchbier than Belgian which is fine by me. The Belgian elements give a wine type of taste as it warms though which adds to the complexity. One of Victory’s better beers. I would get this again.

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

Deep ruby red in color with off-white head that dissipates. Aroma of molasses, plums, earthy spices that reminds of soy sauce. Intense flavor of molasses, light plums, smoked meats, spices, and some more cloying dark fruit. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Interesting in sweetness and smokiness.

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

Large bottle, caged and corked, Brewed on 9-29-11, and the rear label tells the consumer that this one might improve for up to 5 years.

Pours a nice warm shade of darker amber, murky under a light tan head, leaving some low sheeting and ample strands and elongated bits of lace.

Smoke jumps out on the sniff, with some darker malts also glimmering.

Smoke also comes through on the palate, a moderate bacon infused experience. I get the smoked beer aspect, but the Belgian dubble character seems to be on the muted side.

Enjoyable if confused winter type offering. Worth a try if you like a beer with moderate smoke character overiding a wintery darker ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love Rauchbiers, and I'm glad to see this tribute- unfortunately I don't think it hits all the marks, primarily because it's too bitter, and that overwhelms the relatively light smoke. Even a little touch of rubber bands in the finish, which I really don't like. Not my favorite.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a glowing deep ruby brown when held toward the light, almost a glowing crimson color with a nice full beige head, creamy texture with more than ample chunks of lacing down the sides of my nonic pint.

Aroma has a nice smoked malt character going on very timid compared to some of the beers out of Bamberg that the label talks about. This is a blend of a Belgian style dubbel with a rauchbier inspired by their trips to Orval brewery and the city of Bamberg. Interesting marriage of two distinct styles. Minimal dark fruits, hints of roasted malts, distinct nutty character, and toasted bread.

Flavor has a tame sweetness with distinct waves of smoked malts, not much in the way of smoked meats, but it interweaves with the dark fruits/raisins/red apple from the dark malts and Belgian yeast phenols. Finishes very dry with a bitter smoked finish, pretty interesting beer being a hybrid, from one of my favorite breweries. Alcohol is well hidden, maybe it's the smoked malts but there's no off putting booze in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied ample carbonation doesn't seem overdone, bitter smoked flavors really dry the palate off, quite the interesting beer.

Overall this beer sets out to be a dubbel/rauchbier the smoke comes through but it's hard to identify a Belgian dubbel as the base beer. It isn't the smokiest rauchbier, and it lacks the heavy fruit and yeast phenols that a typical dubbel has landing somewhere in the middle, I think it's definitely a nice hybrid beer.

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Photo of ssznyter
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper color with a nice one inch head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Smokey but not overly like some rauch beers. Definitely oak.
Taste: Very well balanced but nothing overly attention grabbing. Best feature is the balance of a smokey start and an almost fruity finish and after-taste. Definitely very drinkable.
Mouthfeel: Small bubbles and not overly carbonated. Good balance for the beer though.
Overall: All about balance in my opinion. For a rauch beer it is not too smokey and for a dubbel it is not too fruity or sweet. As I am drinking it and it is warming up the flavors are becoming more complex also. I would definitely try it again.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish brown brew with a big head and a little bit of scattered lacing.

S - Pungent grassy hops, smoky caramel malt, a bit of tartness.

T - Smoky - campfire mostly - but not only smoke, as with some rauch/smoke beers I have had in the past. It has some caramel and a bit of lambic-esque tartness. The aftertaste - honestly, I think what I love most about this beer is the aftertaste - is a little smoky with some subtle fruity flavors and a bit of oak. It is a very smooth, soft, well-rounded aftertaste. Hard to describe, but I really like it.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, startlingly refreshing.

D - Pretty good - definitely good for a smoked beer. I don't think I will have it again, just because it is a smoked beer and a limited release, etc.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two finger sudsy off-white head. Decent retention and lace.
Relatively clear lightish brown body.

Rich, sweet smokey smell. Maybe barbecue.

Taste is a knockout. As a rauch-lover, there are a lot that disappoint, this is not one. Full, rich smoke, and actually a fairly hoppy finish, which is surprising but not objectionable. You have to really think about it to perceive it as a dubbel... it doesn't come across as one. I'm looking forward to cracking my second bottle in several months once the hops have calmed down. I get a hint of orange, too... I'm really hoping it's not my dishsoap, but it's not objectionable.

Mouthfeel is a lively texture, but even and works well with the style and taste.

My hopes were high on this one and it didn't disappoint. Among the better rauchs, if a tad bitter.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, bottled on September 27, 2011. Served in a mug, the beer pours a mostly clear reddish/copper color with a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The brew smells like smoked meats, bready and caramel malt, nuts and dark fruit. It tastes pretty much the same as the aroma, but there's also a slight herbal bitter flavor noticeable that I think hurts this beer a bit. Also, the smoke character isn't overpowering at all. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has good carbonation. I prefer my smoked beers to be smokier than this one was, but it's still a decent brew overall. I'd try this again in the future. $9.99 a bottle.

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Photo of yesyouam
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory Otto is a hazy, copper beer with a small, off white ring of a head. It has an aroma of smoke and wood resin, perhaps oak. It smells a little like soy sauce. It's medium-light bodied and dry throughout. It tastes smokey and fruity but not sweet. There are notes of ash and apples. Tastes good!

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Photo of jsanford
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml C&C bottle poured into a Victory Tulip.

Poured a clear, dark mahogany with a creamy ivory head that settles to a thick cap. Nice aromas of sweet, bready malt, slightly meaty smoke, candi sugar, and a bit of spice. Very inviting, especially given the "smoked" kick I've been on lately. Taste is similar to the nose, an excellent melding of a Dubbel and a Rauchbier ; sweet caramel, malt, and brown sugar meets meaty, smoky goodness. Very nice. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium body and fairly sharp carbonation. Overall a solid brew, makes for a nice Fall sipper.

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Otto Ale from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.67 out of 5 based on 315 ratings.
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