Otter Creek Oktoberfest Autumn Ale
34 Blade Chainsaw
Otter Creek Oktoberfest Autumn Ale is Otter Creek Brewing Company’s version of the perennial Bavarian Autumn beer and is available seasonally from August through November. While traditionally a lager, this representation showcases Otter Creek’s own Top-Fermenting Yeast to create this Autumn Ale spiced with Hallertau and Tettnang Hops for an estimated modest alcohol content of 4.8% ABV along with 19 International Bitterness Units over an Original Gravity of 1049.
The artwork and general feel of the bottle well represents the spirit and location during the Fall season in Otter Creek Brewing Company’s location in Middlebury, Vermont. Having started down the street in a more modest brewery in 1991, Otter Creek settled into an impressive and modern brewery after growth propagated an expansion.
In partnership with Panorama Brewing, 1998 rolled out the brewery’s Certified Organic Ales under the Wolaver’s label, which led to the Wolaver family buying out the Otter Creek brewing brand in 2002 and maintaining its family owned operation to the present.
Onto The Method
6.0/10 – The Classic
1.0 – Appearance – An enthusiastic serve pours a rich bronze over moderate carbonation forming a minimal just off-white head with decent lacing.
1.5 – Aroma – Sweet caramels, lightly roasted barley and minimal hop notes fill the nose followed by hints of buttery yeast and biscuits.
1.5 – Taste – Mild yet friendly quality hops awaken the taste buds showered by a strongly sweet malt imposition.
1.0 – Palate – The body is dulled by an overbearing syrup mouthfeel. While it could almost be appropriate for a cool autumn evening, it quickly fills the palate with sweetness and filling marauder.
1.0 – Overall – Otter Creek Oktoberfest provides quality hop choices with minimal bite over an unbalanced sweetness highly unlike its Bavarian inspiration. Its flavor shines as its high point but is challenged by a quick sweetness buildup on the palate.
4.0/10 Blades – The Hammer – the booze – This Oktoberfest starts of rather mild for the style – and in general – and is never really able to overcome its heavy body.
1.0/10 Blades – The Knife –digestibility – By far the worst quality of this beer, its weight, sweetness and syrupy composition quickly blocks the system in a highly uncomfortable way. It tasted quite nice but I began noticing its resistance to process shortly after the second serve, and by the fifth I had to completely surrender not only this beer, but the possibility of consuming anything else thereafter. This included any other beers, fruits, water and even air.
4.0/10 Blades – The Spider – the lift – A mild lift begins after the second and into the third but any further rise is immediately blocked by is inability to be digested.
4.0/10 Blades – The Motor –can you handle it? – Though I cut it short at the end of the fifth, ending the session sooner and switching over to a true Bavarian would have been the better choice.
15/50 Blades – The Buzz – Otter Creek Oktoberfest Autumn Ale is a nicely flavored Autumn Ale that bears little resemblance to its inspired Bavarian original. As a top-fermenting yeast, the style ventures outward from the traditional bottom-fermenting, crisp and light Oktoberfest lagers with higher alcohol content.
I can get past the variation in style and appreciate this ale as an enjoyable Autumn beer, but its heavy body and inability to be digested quickly blocked the system and left me feeling uncomfortable and unable to consume anything else for the remainder of the night. Instead of a nice lift and a warm buzz, I felt uncomfortable, unwell and imprisioned to my couch.
Ultimately, Otter Creek Oktoberfest felt more like punishment than a celebration of the changing of the season and its flavor profile can best be appreciated as a single serve.