Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Otter Creek Overgrown

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1162) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 27, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 7/18/14 and cost $2.30 ($0.19 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful glowing maize hue. Nearly opaque due to all the sediment (the beer is unfiltered). Pours to a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Mild mixture of herbal/earthy hop character.

Taste: Seems like everyone’s making a session IPA these days, but few are making true pale ales anymore. Otter Creek Overgrown seems to be a response to that trend as it truly does drink like a pale ale with pronounced hop character, but with a body that’s still strong enough to support it and remain in balance.

The hop selection here is interesting. More on the literally garden-variety hops that create for herbal flavors of garlic or onion on the first half. Followed by more earthy/piney hops with a hint of dank resin flavor on the second half. Bitter to be sure, but still fairly restrained. The malt base isn’t arbitrary here. Mild notes of honey and lemon, but mostly standard two-row (or other pale malt) character. “Balanced” is not a term I like to use when it comes to beers of this style, but in this case it’s not only accurate, but what makes the beer succeed.

Drinkability: What makes Otter Creek Overgrown so enjoyable isn’t just the taste, but also the delivery process. The mouthfeel here is slightly thin, but still full enough to conform to the pale ale style. It’s not just carbonated hop water like so many session IPAs. The texture is smooth and the bitterness is noticeable, but easily tolerable with just a slightly dry aftertaste. At 5.5% ABV it’s got a lot of body, but is still light enough to work as the pale ale it is. A versatile brew that can stand up to a meal or work on its own. 
Grade: 8/10

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