One of the remaining bottles left in my fridge from a recent batch of beers from Vermont is Otter Creek’s flagship Copper Ale. This is an altbier, or old (style) beer. I think it is the first altbier I have tasted.

Decent looking bottle with a so-so label. Poured (you guessed it) a nice rich copper color, with a nice foamy head: fresh and well carbonated. I was in the mood for a lighter, sessionable beer and this Copper Ale beckoned. I had a block of cheddar and some Wheat Thins to accompany. It was sublime.

The smell didn’t exactly waft, but there was a nice, simple, balanced presence of hops and malt. Though I would say that it is definitely heavier on the toasted malts. I remember thinking This beer smells like … beer. Which is a good thing I guess. In for the taste…

A solid beer. Crisp, sweet, malty up front with a nice spicy hop finish … the first few sips actually felt quasi-metallic to me, but went away after that. Perhaps that was my brain reading the word “Copper” and playing tricks on my palate. I really liked this beer, it may be one of the best Vermont beers from my dwindling stash. In New England this beer is a supposed classic, so look for it if you’re in that area. I’m sure it’s excellent on tap. Next time I see altbier, I’ll be happy to give it a go.

ABV: 5.4%

Grade: B+