Otto In Oak | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
17 Reviews
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Otto In OakOtto In Oak

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

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rifugium on 05-08-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 63
Photo of tobelerone
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark mahogany beer that nonetheless has good clarity. Lovely, tight cream colored head with excellent retention; lacing is sticky and clings to the glass in sheets. A great looking brew.

Aroma of charred oak; smoked malt; caramel and burnt sugar; vanilla; bourbon. Meaty and boozy. Flavor follows the nose fairly closely, although the smoked note is perhaps a touch less assertive, with the Bourbon whiskey character more dominant. Moderate sweetness, oak barrel, char, tastes like a shot of whiskey at a campfire.

Medium bodied; with medium to slightly low carbonation. Overall I felt this was a somewhat problematic beer, but I still enjoyed it. If you are a fan of smoked beer you may like it but that flavor combined with assertive whiskey makes it far from an easy drinker. We tried pairing it with foods of different types and came up a little short; even with smoked sausage the booziness made for an odd combination. In the end I actually enjoyed it most with chocolate covered fruits, interestingly.

This is a pretty unique creation, as far as I can tell, but it’s for fans of smoke and bourbon only.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a deeper brown color that when in the snifter looks almost black. When held up to the light however a ruby red glow is seen through the beer. Upon pouring there is a rather thin off white that fades quite fast to leave a medium amount of lacing and a thin film on the surface of the beer.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a smoky and roasty malt and brown bread smell. Mixed with this is some warming bourbon-boozy aroma as well as a lighter dark fruit aroma

Taste – The flavor is very heavy of malt upfront. A strong brown bread flavor is the first thing detected by the tongue and acts as a base for the beer. Quickly a small amount of dark fruit is detected by the tongue which sweetens the brown bread flavor even more. A bourbon and smoky flavor are the to be sensed. They enter around the same point as the fruit , but are initially weaker , but as the taste moves forward they grow stronger and stronger. At the end there is a increase in roasty and pure alcohol flavor which leave a very warming in the mouth and the body. It is very nice.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with the carbonation level average as well. While the brew likely would have done better with a thicker body and a lighter level of carbonation, really allowing all those roasty and boozy flavors time to sit on the tongue, the mouthfeel is by no means bad.

Overall – A tasty and boozy brew at only ~ 8.1 %. It has a good flavor profile and transitions. Well worth a try.

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Photo of MLasoski
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pleasant surprise as I didn't know this was even coming out!

A: A deep brown body with a 1/2 inch-thick head. No lacing to warrant a note.

S: Smells of alcohol (bourbon?) and malt. This is definitely what I was expecting. This wasn't a letdown; however, it's a bit pungent as it warms.

T: Definitely like Otto in the oak barrel! I taste it all - the oak, the alcohol, and the malt. The alcohol definitely overcomes the beer as it becomes warmer.

O: This has to be around 10% ABV. It's a great representation of an oaked beer. I recommend this and I hope Victory keeps it coming!

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Photo of stakem
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle into a couple of snifters. The brew pours a clear dark amber brown. When held to the light, it displays some deep ruby clarity and boasts more than a finger of yellowish stained to tan frothy head. The cap maintains with pretty decent retention and a swirl revives the froth.

The aroma is spicy and strikes up thoughts of something along the lines of burning incense. It has quite a spiced appeal to it almost like cinnamon and raw oak more than the expected smoothness and notes of caramel/vanilla you might normally find in a barrel aged beer. There is a backend sweetness about this brew that has some fruity quality that is almost vinous that blends into a bit of caramel maltiness. The smoked aspect of this beer is muted a bit from the barrel aging but it is present across the back as it warms up and provides a nice depth overall to the aromatics.

The taste is a solid combination of everything you would expect based on the description. The dark fruity flavors that are mildly vinous are even more prevalent in the flavor than the aroma. There is a solid alcohol spice and warmth down the back of the throat that transitions into a smoked aftertaste that really works well with the oak flavoring from the barrel aging. A bit of spicy quality from the yeast plays off of the barrel aging to compile layers of interesting character. As it warms up, the spiciness leans a bit towards cinnamon and clove and the alcohol really comes forward.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is quite complex and I found it to be an interesting and enjoyable experience. The barrel aspect carries a lot of similarities to dark intrigue (the spiciness and tannins instead of smooth vanilla and caramel flavoring.) I was not the biggest fan of the base beer but I was really digging this brew. If the base beer is 8%, this has got to be closer to 10% or more, it really warms you up about mid-way through the glass.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep mahogany body with a light tan frothy head.

S- Oak, smoke, malt, whiskey. Pretty interesting and strong aroma.

T- Tastes like a very oaky brown ale, with sweet hints of bourbon and vanilla. A lot going on, but very good.

M- Pretty thick mouthfeel, but very drinkable. Creamy and well carbonated.

O- Very complex and worth a shot.

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Photo of larryi86
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter

A- Dark brown with hints of ruby red and a two finger off white head.

S- Smokey, bourbon, oak, caramel malts, some dark fruits.

T- Dark fruits, caramel malts, great combo of bourbon and smoke in the finish, some oak, some Belgian yeast, good complexity, bourbon is well done and works really well.

M- Smooth, medium body, some creaminess.

O- Victory did a great job with one. I am a fan of regular Otto and I feel the bourbon barrels made this beer better. Really hope I can pick up a few more bottles.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Victory, Downingtown, PA

There's a more complex story behind the origin of this beer, as told to me by Bill of Victory, but regrettably, I don't remember any of it. Minus the sentimental story behind the brew, Otto in Oak is a smoked Belgian dubbel (Otto) aged in oak bourbon barrels. Bottle date is 4/26/12, with a 5-year cellaring limit printed. No ABV printed, though with the regular Otto at 8.1%, I'd imagine this is somewhere in the 8-10% region.

Poured a somewhat cloudy mahogany brown color with a small off-white head; moderate retention and lacing. Aroma is fairly smoky, with notes of caramel, booze and banana esters. This leads into a pretty complex taste, starting with burnt caramel, ripe bananas, raisins, bready yeast, leading to a ashen smoke mid-palate, accompanied by woody bourbon, vanilla beans, with the finish being earthy and a little bitter. Mouthfeel is medium and chewy. Still pretty hot at this point and needs some time to mellow, which is why I'm going to keep a bottle in the basement for a couple years or so. It's a confusing beer, but once you realize what's going on (basically Belgian yeast + German smoked malts + American bourbon), it's easier to like. Whether or not those elements jive on your palate is, I suppose, a matter of opinion.

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Otto In Oak from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.99 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
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