Review: Otter Creek Couch Surfer

Back at Gilly’s again. Like you do.

Otter Creek, based out of Vermont, is a very environmentally-conscious brewery that puts out a solid lineup. They describe Couch Surfer as a “laid-back oatmeal stout,” which I’ll go along with. I was lucky enough to have this as a nitro draft. I opted for a 10oz glass, which Gilly’s generally offers as an alternative to a full pint.

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It’s a beautiful pour. Deep, rich chocolate black-brown with a rich tan head. Nitro is a magical thing for this oatmeal stout. There’s coffee, chocolate, and grain aromas, maybe with a hint of burnt sugar (probably from the dark roasted malts).

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It has a good mouthfeel – not watery like a lot of stouts can be. Partly the nitro, I’m sure, but this beer felt very velvety and luxurious. The first taste is very mildly coffee, more lactose-sweet than anything else – but not cloyingly sweet at any point. This beer isn’t terribly complex, but it’s also not metallic or acidic at all. Very well-rounded.

Review: Otter Creek Over Easy

Craft beer has a bit of a reputation as being by and for snobs and, if there’s one thing that snobs like, it’s jargon. We love our slang! It makes us feel special, like we’re a part of a secret club. One of these terms that I’m guilty of using is “crushable.” As in, “this beer is so good and easy to drink and I could drink it all day.”

“Crushable” generally describes easy-drinking beers with a low-to-medium ABV and a lot of flavor. If you could see yourself drinking this beer all afternoon long, you’re enjoying a crushable beer. Is Otter Creek Over Easy a “highly crushable” beer like its printed label suggests?

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I bought this as a single bottle in one of those build-your-own-six-pack arrangements that some bottle shops like to do. This beer pours a pale yellow with a huge head. Seriously huge! It took me several minutes to finish pouring it from a can and into a pint glass, and I’m no clumsy pourer. The head isn’t messing around. It’s stable and leaves some light lacing behind.¬†At just 4.6% ABV, it’s a session IPA for sure (beers under this classification are generally 3-5% – see? Jargon!).

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I had to wait a few minutes more for the head to subside enough for me to even attempt taking a drink. It has a lightly citrusy and biscuity nose to it and a hint of floral hops in there, too. Its body is light and its carbonation level is a little heavy. It’s very refreshing.

I’m not really detecting any malt on my palate, though there are plenty of orange peel and peppercorn notes to go around. It’s very drinkable. Perhaps, even, crushable. I’d absolutely go back for it again.