10 May 2008

Otter Creek Otter San (VT)

I like this Otter Creek World Tour Series. I've only reviewed the Jamaican stout so far, but really should have tried more of them. Special series are, of course, a good way to boost sales without over-extending the product line. Otter Creek's is amicably affordable (this was $4.59 a bomber), cutely packaged and intriguing, as opposed to pricey, aggressive ("Kick Ass Imperial IPA") and exhaustingly big.

Otter San is described as "a full-bodied pale amber ale brewed with rice, pilsner malt, Hallertauer hops, authentic Koji, and sake yeast." The color is yellow or khaki (my picture doesn't really show this) and there's a decent head. The body is viscous with a light hand on the carbonation. I'd like to think that even drinking blind, I'd have guessed the Asian theme. Both the aroma and the flavor have a rice sweetness to them, as well as a vague hint of sake (which, contrary to common understanding, is more beer than wine). It's also a tad perfumey. Forget the brewer's description of a "pale amber ale." More malt than hops and more sweet than bitter, Otter San reminds me most of lager (maybe it's the rice) and maybe secondarily of an old English ale, but that's not really quite right. No idea of the ABV here; I'm guessing 5-6%.

If it's not an unqualified success, it's still a fun beer to sample. Try it with sushi.

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