Otter Creek – Alpine Black IPA

Tasting: March 16, 2011
Style: Black Ale

I was introduced to Vermont ales like Long Trail and Catamount in what seems like a whole other lifetime. I can recall visiting the Catamount brewery every fall for a number of years when my wife and I were newlyweds. We stayed regularly at a bed & breakfast in West Townsend. I remember nearly crying at the door of the abandoned Catamount brewery when they moved further north into Vermont. I just wanted to go home. I also have fond memories of trips to Brattleboro to McNeil’s for some Firehouse Ale. So, suffice to say, I’m sentimental…but let’s get onto the tasting.

It pours dark like a porter with a thin light brown head. I was expected a strong roasted malt nose like a porter — but I’m getting some lemon mixed into a subdued roasted earthy notes. My impression of the taste is that it’s quite mellow for a bold brown ale and it lacks quite a bit of hop character. The highlights are the light roasted malt, but I was expecting more.

It’s like a failed attempt at a porter and a failed attempt at an IPA – so why not call it something different like a Black IPA that way you can’t judge or compare anything to it because you’ve called it a new style. Well I’ll just call it a 71.

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