Friday, July 10, 2015

Otter Creek Over Easy

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1393) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 10, 2015
Otter Creek has been putting out so many quality hoppy beers lately I delayed reviewing this one because I assumed I already had. There’s nothing about this beer that surprises me – and I don’t mean that as a criticism. This is par for this brewery’s course: a New England-style IPA done as a SIPA (Session IPA). Though not quite as amazing as full and double/imperial versions of that regional style, this is quite familiar territory – and that’s probably why it works so well.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 3/18/15 and cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale orange/maize color with a completely cloudy body. Tiny sediment particles can be seen floating as well as fine carbonation. Pours to a two-finger, bright white, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Orange citrus is quite prominent and gives it a clean nose. Some herbal notes are detectable, too. Interesting combo.

Taste: There’s a formula for the New England-style IPA: citrusy aroma and herbal/grassy hop flavor and accompanying bitterness. That same combination of flavors can work as a session IPA as this beer demonstrates. Up front it’s light with a classic orange flavor; akin to that of children’s cereal or candy. Almost a bit tart. Fairly assertive bitterness through the middle with a dry astringency. It transitions perfectly to a slightly gritty herbal/grassy/spicy sensation with orangepeel and maybe some black pepper or coriander notes (though there’s not any spices in here). Definitely one of the tastier, more delectable SIPAs I can recall having.

Drinkability: A session IPA should be easy to drink, thirst-quenching, and should feel like a complete brew and not just hoppy water. Otter Creek Over Easy does all these things at 4.6% ABV. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, but in no way too thin or watery. The hops actually linger on the tongue like a full IPA; they leave a pasty/starchy sensation with a bit of spice (it’s not annoying, it’s nice). I agree with the label hyperbole – it is “crushable”, though that’s a term better used for a canned rather than bottled beer (hint, hint!).

Score: 9/10

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