Sunday, August 9, 2015

Otter Creek Fresh Slice

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1426) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 9, 2015
A lot of beer purists scoff at all the sub-genres of IPA that have gained popularity in recent years (e.g. Session IPA, IPL, Black IPA, etc.). That makes Otter Creek something of a controversial brewery because they’ve been brewing beers of all these niche styles – are they just catering to the latest trend? It’s certainly possible, but one thing I do know is that nearly everything they attempt they do really well. Fresh Slice is their White IPA offering – a hybrid of an American IPA and a Belgian witbier. It’s very tasty and highly drinkable; two criteria for a great beer in my opinion. 

I poured a 12oz can into a flared snifter. There was no freshness date :( It cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).

Appearance: Has the paleness of a witbier but the orange hue of an IPA. Extremely cloudy but far from opaque. Pours to an average size layer of white foam that retains and laces well.

Smell: A lovely bouquet of orange sherbet, flowers, and a hint of spice.

Taste: A “White IPA” can be viewed as either a witbier with a lot of hops, or an IPA with some spices. I’d say Fresh Slice falls into the latter category. Immediately there’s a familiar taste of orangepeel; though sweeter than most (it’s actually brewed with “natural clementine flavor”). There’s an underlying spice sensation, though that’s quickly overwhelmed but the hop bitterness and subsequent flavor. There’s a pretty strong dry bitterness with an orange citrusy taste through the middle; seemingly stronger than the 45 IBUs as listed on the can. As it goes down, the coriander spice that was subtle at first becomes quite strong and follows the hop bitterness and flavor perfectly. This taste process repeats but it never grows tiring; in fact, it actually seems to improve the more I drink. Definitely one of the best White IPAs I’ve had.

Drinkability: At only 5.5% ABV and 45 IBUs, you could consider Otter Creek Fresh Slice a “white pale ale,” and it certainly has the body of one. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter and more crisp than the usual IPA; it goes quite easily and is even a bit refreshing for a moment. True, the hops do linger on the tongue with a drying/starchy sensation but that’s easy to tolerate. It’d be tempting to session this beer in warm weather – especially in canned form – though I think it’s better as a standalone beverage or something that would accompany any summertime food quite well.

RATING: 9/10

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