Otter HeadMarch 1, 2007
Available: GA, SC, NC, FL
I’m not sure what it is about the line-drawn otter on the label of this ale, but I smile every time I look at it. And I should add, the beer inside is making me pretty happy, too. From its rich, appley-maple aroma, spicy with Fuggles and Challenger hops, to its smooth, sweet and fruity front and lightly tannic, very faintly roasty body, this ale is brewed to satisfy. There’s a bit of a yeasty tang in the middle and a slightly too aggressive (relative to the body) bitterness on the finish, but that hardly detracts from a most enjoyable pint. I’ll enjoy this on its own, thanks, or perhaps with the Sunday roast.
- Stephen Beaumont
It’s just beer? Despite no information on the label to indicate what is in the bottle other than “ale,” this beer screams of the craft of good-drinking English ale. Aroma is mildly fruity and malty. Flavor adds hop character to the experience of this very drinkable, flavorful, neutrally balanced brew. Malt complexity and hop character emerge but with delicacy. Remarkably clean, well brewed and this sample seems brewery fresh. The only thing lacking for the beer enthusiast is info about what this beer is really about.
- Charlie Papazian
This has a very hazy amber color and forms a sustained beige head. The nose is full of bread and treacle with a minty hop note and a hint of sherry. The bitterness is broad and surprisingly aggressive, but the malt is solid enough to assert itself through the full-bodied center. A big chewy beer that tastes almost like a barleywine in training. In the meantime, it would be pleasant with a spicy beef satay.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
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