Biding a Fond Farewell to the Winter Season
A Review of Otter Creek Winter Red Ale by Otter Creek Brewing Co.
Posted on 3/10/2012 by Chops
As springtime approaches, better beer fans tend to get a little anxious. Our favorite winter delights begin to thin out as the seasons begin their transition. Winter is by far the most delectable season for beer enthusiasts with strong stouts, spicy warmers and other fun styles. Before we know it, spring will be here with various lighter brews in tow. So when March rolls around, we start plowing through as many winter brews we can get our hands on. My latest end-of-season find is the Otter Creek Winter Red Ale.

In the glass, this beer has a beautiful deep copper coloration with a bright red pop. It comes with a frothy white head that likes to stick around for a while. The aroma consists of a very sweet malty smell, mostly caramel and bubblegum, that is actually thick enough to quell any hop profile. Going into that first sip, I was expecting a big glass of beer candy.

As suspected, the rich sweet malt dominates the flavor train. A hop profile is present, but only as a weak under layer. The hops only assert themselves on the finish with no particular flavor note. They do bitter up the finish and provide a much needed balance to the sweet aftertaste. I also found a nondescript roasted quality floating around that I couldn't properly identify. Unfortunately it creates an odd imbalance with the sweet malt. To be honest, this beer taste like a blend of a brown ale and an Irish red. Not a bad thing, especially in the winter ale category, but was odd enough to be a bit distracting. The mouthfeel is very smooth with no grittiness or aggression, so you can drink this beer all day long. As an added bonus for fans of sweeter beers, this brew will actually gain a candied vibe as it warms.

Overall, the Otter Creek Winter Red Ale is a pretty good brew. I can happily recommend it to any level of beer fan, but especially to novices and fans of sweeter beers. It's easy drinking candied nature is a sure win for drinkers wanting to further explore the lands of better beer without being assaulted by hop bitterness. Seasoned drinkers might find this brew to be a little peculiar, but still interesting and enjoyable. So as the winter draws to a close, pick up some Otter Creek Winter Red Ales if you see them. They are light and unique enough to provide a bit of comfort as the seasons change.

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Otter Creek Winter Red Ale by Otter Creek Brewing Co.
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