Review: Otter Creek Fresh Slice White IPA

Review of Otter Creek Fresh Slice White IPA from Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, VT.

Beer Type: White IPA  ABV: 5.5%  IBUs: 45  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “A summer sipper built for lawn chairs, lawn games and lawn mowing, Fresh Slice features the spicy, estery flavor profile of Belgian yeast laced with the juicy hop flavors and aromas of American hops. This White IPA recipe tips the scales with a slice of clementine, a hit of coriander and an 1/8th of…wait, what? This one features a crisp, fresh citrus ripeness deriving from additions of clementine juice and sweet orange peel in the brew process. The first Otter Creek can offering, this is one slice you’ll be holding all summer long!”

The Reality: Has an orange citrus and piney aroma. The flavor does have a lot of traditional white ale flavors like orange (in this case clementine) and coriander, and the mild hop bitterness really doesn’t show up until the finish, where it adds a slightly different edge. The aftertaste is crisp and mild, and this beer drinks fairly light, and would be refreshing on a hot summer day.

Final Verdict: When you buy a “white IPA” you never know if it’s going to taste more like a white ale or an IPA, which can make it a difficult choice to purchase, depending on your mood. In this case, it definitely favors a white ale. The mild hoppy bitterness in the finish adds a nice dimension and level of refreshment, making this a solid summer seasonal beer, but if you’re looking for a hoppy mouthful with subtle orange and spice notes, this isn’t the beer for you. If Otter Creek wanted to offer a seasonal “Fresh Slice” beer year-round (without having to change the name), they probably could. For the Fall they could have Fresh Slice of Pumpkin Pie Ale, for Winter it could be Fresh Slice of Peppermint Gum Porter and in the Spring they could issue Fresh Slice of Pizza Tomato Basil Saison. Or, they could ignore my suggestions and continue to be a successful brewery.