Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Otter Creek Winter Red Ale

Brewery: Otter Creek Brewing
Location: Middlebury, VT
Style: Amber
Brewery Website
Rating: B

I'm a little late in getting this review posted, but our tasting for today is the Otter Creek Winter Red Ale. The Winter Red pours up a deep amber-chestnut in color with a short, off-white head. The nose finds citrus and herbal hops notes, fresh-baked bread and some malt syrup.

The palate finds a flavor progression that starts with fruity hops, moves to a sharp steely/mineral note and ends up at an oily, bitter hops bite with some pine resin. There is a dry, toasted malt note in the background with a hint of residual sweetness. The Otter Creek Winter Red has a medium-heavy body (a bit heavier than your typical amber) with some resiny astringency. The finish sees the strong mineral bite clinging on with hints of pine, pretzel and malt syrup.

The Otter Creek Winter Red Ale drinks like an amped-up version of their flagship Copper Ale, but it seems a bit out of balance to me. The hops here is all bite with not as much flavor as I would have liked, and the mineral note here is overpowering. The malt ends up being drowned out under all of this. I understand what Otter Creek is trying to do here by having a big amber for their winter seasonal, I just would have liked to see more balance.

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