Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Otter Creek Winter Red Ale

Otter Creek Winter Red Ale is an American Amber Ale under section 10B of the BJCP style guidelines. This winter seasonal should not be confused with an Irish Red Ale. Although it's brewed with the appropriate malts to achieve a reddish hue, it is backed by an ample amount of hops to create a mild aroma and bitterness. Introduced in September of 2011, the Winter Red is Otter Creek's newest member to their product line.

Alcohol Content: 5.5%
International Bitterness Units (IBU): 45
Malts: 2-Row, CaraRed, Caramel 80L, Wheat & Roasted Barley
Hops: Nugget, Centennial, Calypso

Medium: 12oz bottle purchased and poured into a standard pint glass
Price: $13.00 for a 12-pack Otter Creek sampler

Aroma: This beer is dominated by a strong citrusy aroma with hints of pear or sour apple. Also, there is a nice subtle earthy/ herbal quality to add to its complexity. Overly fruity character with some sweet caramel malt aromas surfacing after about 20-30 seconds.
Appearance: A nice amber red with some haziness (maybe due to dry hopping). Large beautifully flowing bubbles suggest a moderately high carbonated beverage accompanied by a nice white-ish/ tan head. Great retention.
Flavor: A sweet, toasted caramel maltiness predominates this beer through the finish. However, there is also a nice citrusy bitterness with hints of sour apple. Some drying and lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Contains slightly warm alcoholic features with some creaminess. A medium body that is rather smooth.
Overall Impression: Evenly balanced with some favor towards the citrusy hop flavors. Although a good beer to drink on the coldest of winter nights, I was not overly impressed with its appropriateness to the style.

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