Monday, October 7, 2013

Otter Creek Otter Summer

I came home the other night after a long day of work and tirelessly sampling, only to find my roommate Dave had a few Otter Summers sitting in the fridge. He indulged me to one as a nice finish to the night. Although I was full on food and beer, I was still able to gulp down this crisp and refreshing summer session ale.

Alcohol Content: 4.25%
IBU: 22
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Red Wheat
Hops: Cascade, Willamette

Price: $8/ 6-pack
Medium: 12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass

Aroma: Grainy/ Bready. Wheat malt character is pronounced and really shines through in the beer. Dry vegetal matter with an earthy undertone. Hops also reminiscent of delicate floral and spicy notes. Reminds me of spent mash grains sitting out after a long brew day.
Appearance: Nice, thick white fluffy head condensed more than an inch high. Retention not quite as big but still an even coat across the surface. Quite clear & bright gold/ yellow in color. Slow, steady bubbling. Good presentation.
Flavor: Moderately strong grainy wheat character. Moderate malty sweetness remains on the palate with a semi-crisp/ light dry finish. Hop flavors a bit strong with earthy and floral notes. Probably an American decendent of English hop varietals (noted before looking up the beer profile). No distinct fruity esters, appropriate for style. Aftertaste remains balanced, not favoring a dry finish but enough hop bitterness to clean up the malty sweetness. Tinny/ coin-like off-flavor possibly confused with or accentuated by the hop character.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation moderately high with a light body, creating a very approachable/ palatable beer. No sings of alcohol or warming sensations. Clean fermentation character. Crisp finish and very refreshing. I'm still working on detecting certain water profiles, especially for the lighter styles of beer.
Overall Impression: There was something about the hop profile that is a little deterring, but I couldn’t quite figure it out until looking it up on the website to get an idea of the profile. Cascade hops are not as forward nor lend any particular character associated with it. Willamette is another interesting variety of hops that lend an earthy or dry vegetal matter - personally not a favorite of mine. Pair with lighter dishes such as seafood or salads, particularly with lemon or citrus character that will go nicely with the beer and maybe bring out some of the Cascade hops.

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