Convenient Distraction - O'so Brewing Company & Tap House

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Convenient DistractionConvenient Distraction

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166 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 10
Gots: 28 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
O'so Brewing Company & Tap House visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Ri0 on 04-02-2014

Imperial Porter masterfully blended with Aquacate coffee from the Narino region of Columbia and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 25
Reviews by mychalg9:
More User Reviews:
Photo of don1481
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle purchased with strong recommendation from Kaleb at Ray's Liquor in Tosa.

Poured into Mr. Pint (I really need to invest in better beer glasses)

Appearance: Pours very thick. Dark chocolate - almost black - in color. Next to no head.

Smell: Oh, man. This has coffee and vanilla notes that are strong, but not overpowering. A little bit of the booze hits, but it's pretty well masked by the other notes in this. Definitely a balance between the coffee and the sweetness.

Taste: The coffee roast taste and the vanilla sweetness again balance themselves out nicely. A hint of the booze here as well. More of a bitter underlay to the taste that surfaces after a bit, but again - the vanilla sweetness does a nice job of balancing that out.

Mouthfeel: Bitter aftertaste, kind of like what you get after drinking coffee. A little stickiness lingers.

Overall: I got another bottle of this bad boy to hang out in the basement. I'll probably revisit it in a few months' time, but this is pretty darn good. Color me impressed. Good call yet again, Kaleb!

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.06/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The idea behind this beer is great, but it has too much green pepper flavors going on to be a success.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 750ml capped bottle into Night Shift stemware.

Pours a coarse, light mocha colored head that dissipates quickly. Beer is opaque and pitch black with stringy and spotty lace that sticks around. Pretty average.

Nose is espresso, chocolate, molasses, liquorice, roasted malt and vanilla beans. Very deep and rich. Enticing!

Opens chocolate and espresso. Some liquorice, fudge, roasted malt tartness and molasses in the middle supported by booze and a nice, vanilla sweetness. A bit more tartness at the end from the roast accented by a boozy, sweet finish and the same aftertaste. Pretty tasty!

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down warm and rich. Finishes filmy and oily with a lingering aftertaste that sticks to the palate. Fits the flavor perfectly.

Its no surprise that the highest rated porters all tend to be imperial porters and this is a great example of why. Great, thick, chewy body with layers of flavor the complement each other well. Worth trying for sure.

Photo of Austin32
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I was very disappointed with this beer. You read the ingredients "Aquacate coffee from the Narino region of Columbia and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans" and you think there is no way this could be bad....well, it just does not come together. The flavors all seem to compete and don't blend and it seems like your taste buds just get confused and you just look at the glass in your hand and think what the hell was that. I also read the label again to make sure I read the ingredients right. Normally a fan of most O'so stuff but they missed the mark on this one.

Photo of emerge077
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown when poured, black in the glass with a drippy halo of lacing.

Smells like roast malt and fresh butter. Did somebody empty a butter churn into this?

Very mild coffee and vanilla notes, and a distracting fresh butter smell. Dairy qualities, milk, cream, butter. Dairy forward. It's not the movie theater popcorn of Diacetyl, but the fresh butter note is conveniently distracting. Medium bodied and creamy, buttery even. Not sold on this one, it has potential aside from its one glaringly obvious flaw.

Photo of jegross2
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Convenient Distraction from O'so Brewing Company out of Plover, Wisconsin.

Score: 85

2014 vintage bottle served in a Great Taste of the Midwest taster glass and enjoyed on 05/04/14 while camping out for Great Taste tickets. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Syrup/cola brown color. One finger of tan head off the pour, which settles to a thin layer. Lovely lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Smells like lightly roasted coffee with a little bit of vanilla creamer. 3.75/5

Taste: Coffee flavor with a light chocolatey finish. Has a milky creamer flavor to it too. A faint kiss of vanilla bean ice cream comes out as it warms up. The flavors are nice, but the chocolate/vanilla is way too muted. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, appropriate carbonation. Modestly bitter. 3/5

Overall: A solid porter that needs its adjuncts enhanced.

Cost: $15.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My first big bottle from O'so Brewing, and my first beer from these guys in a while. Beautiful minimalist bottle art. 10.00% abv not listed anywhere on the bottle. "Imperial porter masterfully blended with Aquacate coffee from the Narino region of Columbia and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans". Sounds amazing.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours just a few shades less than black with just under three fingers of thick creamy mocha head. Head has some pretty nice staying power for the high abv. Leaves behind nice thin scattered lacing. Looks very nice.

S - The smell is very creamy and buttery / diacetyl smelling. Some yeast funkiness / mustiness present, freshly ground coffee beans, and vanilla / cream. It's a very beautiful aroma, but it lacks a bit of significant roastiness.

T - The taste is of beautiful freshly brewed coffee beans, vanilla, cream / lactose, notes of chocolate, bourbon, and some faint dark tart fruits in the background that become more prominent as the beer warms. A touch of yeast. The roastiness is present, but it's still nowhere near what I was expecting. This is more creamy and milky than bitter and roasty.

M - The feel is smooth and creamy, sticky and chocolatey. Light bitterness on the palate. Medium-full bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a delicious beer, but I was expecting a bit more coffee and a bit more roastiness out of this thing. Aside from that, it is very nicely built. Imbalanced but still delicious, and it makes for a convenient distraction indeed. More milk / cream / lactose forward than I was expecting. Very recommended if it is available to you.

O'so Brewing Convenient Distraction ---4/5.

Photo of eisebeer
4.76/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer speaks to me. So much vanilla and chocolate, its like a milk stout. Not sure if there is lactose, but the mouth feel and sweetness is superb! Love it!

Photo of Etan
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful new 750ml by O'so. So far these have been far better than their regular lineup.

A: Pours an absolutely solid black with a small tan head. Inky and thick.

S: The coffee and vanilla come through really well, giving the aroma a striking resemblance to coffee ice cream. Cream, sweet coffee, mild roast, big vanilla.

T: Big coffee taste (bean husks, rich and tannic), with moderate charred grain, a bit of milkiness, mild vanilla, more roast.

M: Silky with very light carbonation. Really wonderful.

O: Another pleasant surprise from O'so. This is very nice. A little more sweetness in the taste would bring it to greatness, but for now I'm very happy with this.

Photo of Ri0
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

poured 750ml bottle into chalice. Paid $14.

A - Dark coffee brown with a 2 finger soft espresso head. Excellent retention and splotches of lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma of the bourbon vanilla beans dominate, with subtle notes of coffee, espresso, and chocolate creeping in.

T - Again there is a big vanilla flavor from the beans. The sweet chocolate is more intense and there are mellow espresso and coffee notes. Not picking up much in the way of dark fruit, but I do get some cola flavor that I seem to find in Poters.

M - This is medium bodied with good carbonation, but it is so smooth and soft. Wow, one of the best Porters in this category!

O - A fantastic flavored porter from O'so that was a pleasure to drink. Worth the price IMO.

Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

On-tap at Three Cellars in Franklin, WI:

Pours black with a thin white head that soon becomes wispy. Some lacing sticks as it progresses.

The smell is of robust coffee, vanilla bean and a hint of licorice.

The taste is of rich, robust coffee. The vanilla bean gives it a character that seems like it was barrel-aged. A hint of licorice/anise adds to the character. Alcohol comes through but adds warmth without interfering in the taste. It has a warm, roasty, long finish.

It is on the fuller side of the porter spectrum.

A robust, warming, wonderful porter with rich malt, coffee and vanilla bean. Well done! Very enjoyable!

Photo of martyl1000
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm updating several of my scores from my review of 5/19/2014 (Overall 3.78, see below).

These changes are a testament to the effects of both the right stemware and a quieter environment when tasting beer. When I first reviewed this brew (see below), it was served in a chalice, in a noisy bar (The Blue Moon during MCBW), and at a table crowded with eight of my friends.

This time, on tap at The Spot restaurant, the beer is served in a large snifter. Much, much better at capturing the aroma. I'm raising my "Smell" score from 4.0 to 4.5.

I'm also raising my "Taste" score from 3.5 to 4.0. At my quiet table sitting with only my wife, I'm getting the lovely vanilla, which had been imperceptible last time. The beer comes across much sweeter than last time, too, when I was taken aback by the bitter and leathery molasses flavor.

5/19/2014, Rating 3.78

A nice looking pour in a tall goblet, at The Blue Moon, Madison Craft Beer Week. Head is well-retained. The color is ruddy brown-black.

Coffee aroma is a beautiful rendition of the style, roasty yet smooth, sweet, too.

Flavor in the mouth is a letdown after the beauty of the aroma. Molasses grabs the tongue and won't let go, even as the coffee and roasted malt flavors try to shoulder their way in. It's a leathery molasses, too. Not great. Complexity comes as a floral taste, a bit of pine. The coffee and char do take over on the backend, with an unpleasant astringent alcohol lingering on the tongue.

All I can think is thank god I didn't blow $12 on a bomber of this. It's not bad, at all. It's just with the fancy label and fancier price, really disappointing.

Photo of TheSSG
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick, frothy, tan head. Viscous globules of beer drizzle down through the thick foam. A rich aroma of acidic coffee and soft, floral vanilla. This smells fantastic. Black. A bright, biting acidity with a touch of hop bitterness. Rich, full-flavored coffee and bitterness transitions into vanilla. Deep, toasted malt.

This is fantastic. It's beautiful, wonderful smelling, tasty beverage. Mouthfeel isn't as thick as I expected, but it's nice. A very excellent coffee brew.

Photo of benewton
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was so much more outstanding than I anticipated. I had Bell's Black note shortly after, and I was so much more impressed with O'so's brew than with Bells, which is pretty rare for me.

It poured a little less thick than I anticipated, but i had no qualms with that.

it had a wonderful sweet coffee scent on the nose, and while the taste was a bit sweet, it was so smooth. It could have been so much more intensely aggressive than it actually presented, and that balance really played out.

I bought two bottles, drank one, and called to make sure I could get the last bottle they had. I'm really looking forward to aging this beer. By far O'so's best, and if they keep this up, they'll rank wiht some of the best of the midwest.

IF you see this, do not pass it up!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, vanilla, and coffee bean aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour cocoa powder, coffee bean, and vanilla flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with solid aromas, but the flavors are a bit sour and odd.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.12/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

underwhelming. Almost zero carb, light mouthfeel, feels like I'm drinking a Pilsner. Too much green pepper flavor in the background. Dissapointing

Photo of Stevedore
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into an O'so snifter today, 4/22/2014.

A- Dark cola brown body, nice two finger mocha head that drops into a medium sized collar. Good retention. Little spots of lacing. About as expected.

S- Coffee, vanilla, a lot of sweet cream-like scent much like lactose. Not much roast.

F- In five words: vanilla ice cream and espresso. Slight graham cracker sweetness, a bit of roast malt. Sweet bourbon-like on the backend that is offset by bitter coffee. No off-flavours.

M- Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation for the style. Finish is a nice bourbon ice cream sweetness. No hint of the 10%, but the bitter and sweet components both make this a sipper.

O- Really reminds me a lot of Hill Farmstead Twilight of the Idols; the mouthfeel and flavour components are certainly not as well-integrated in comparison, but this was still a very pleasant drinking experience.

Photo of Way2drunk
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Still considering myself a novice in this beer game I took on a bomber of this accompanied by aging room cigar recently rated #2 by cigar aficionado. This pours dark n2 a tulip glass. The smell of coffee and vanilla with a hint of sweetness illuminate from the glass. 1st initial taste of a mellow coffee then that hint of vanilla follow. I find myself rating it high. Thinking maybe 2 high in comparison 2 other great beers I have had. I smoke half my cigar all while sipping. I return to this rating confident n my score. This is definitely a convenient distraction from other bs beers!

Photo of marchoftheclouds
5/5  rDev +20.5%

This beer is probably one of the best bottled beers I've ever had. Definitely top 5. Amazing. O'so Brewery should be a destination for anyone that loves beer, especially barrel-aged.

Photo of kkleu357
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle. Dark thin pour with a small amount of carbonation. Almost no head. Sweet coffee aroma. Slightly flat, but tastes pretty good. Deep smooth chocolate taste with a big coffee flavor. Definitely an interesting type of coffee used. Would love to try it on tap.

Photo of barczar
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cocoa, nutty notes in aroma.

Big chocolate in flavour. Think the coffee has subsided a bit. Delicious treat of a beer.

Photo of redbaron8869
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Rich tastes at the beginning with a smooth coffee finish. Disagree with a previous rating that coffee taste was slight. This beer blend is not only aromatic but full in flavor for coffee lovers. The abv creeps up on you...warning. highly recommended from this beer lover!

Photo of lunarbrew
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I haven't written a detailed review for a while now, but really wanted to say a few things about this beer. While I loved the concept, I felt it had some issues which have yet to be addressed.

The appearance was fine. I could tell it was low on the carbonation from the pour. Little lacing or stickiness to speak of.

The nose was full of diacetyl. I think people are mistaking vanilla with a very critical brewing flaw. The butter smell was big and, for me, it overshadowed the beer. It also foreshadowed the flavor. There were faint notes of bourbon, as well as a messy coffee nose, which didn't seem to gel very well with the overall product.

The flavor was more complex than the smell, but I still found diacetyl upfront. It seemed to marry better with the coffee in the flavor than it did the smell, but it was still extremely messy. The beer was also bitter. Some said this was a coffee bitterness, but I found the bitterness to come out of the dark malt, which in my opinion was poorly harnessed. There was some vanilla and very little bourbon. I couldn't get through my small pour of this.

Mouthfeel was fine. A little thin and a little under-carbonated.

Overall, this beer just missed the mark for me. I didn't taste any of the hallmark porter flavors, the adjuncts were not skillfully added, and I smelled/tasted clear infection. This is by no means on the level as Victory at Sea, for example. I'm really excited about O'so's program and new initiative to make creative and quality brews. If they want, I feel they can lay claim to Wisconsin's premier small-scale artisan brew program (that distros). Brett beers, sours, BA name it, they're doing it. However, I think they really need to step up their game in terms of execution in order for them to reach mass appeal. Beers like this will work in the local scene, but they will never elevate the brewery to the next level.

Photo of ncketchum
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly chilled, enjoyed in a Tyranena snifter

A - pours a dark brown with a fluffy two-fingers light chocolate head

S - vanilla forward with a good amount of roasted coffee in the background

T - taste is more coffee up front, with vanilla, chocolate, cracker to follow

M - smooth, a bit light on carbonation and a bit thin, but hides the 10% well

O - great offering by O'So. I've been waiting for them to bottle some of the awesome stuff they've had on tap, and with the new direction they're taking, I'd say this and winds of change have been nice additions to their lineup. I didn't get any infection at all like another reviewer got.

Photo of SkinniePost
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, no date... But extremely fresh

A: Jet black, tan for 1/4" around the edges when held to light, finger of light tan head, tight carbonation in head but short lived, head stays around the edges, temporary loose lacing that slides down after each sip along with the relatively viscous liquid

S: Sweet vanilla, full city+ roast coffee, dark fruits/raisins, roasted malt, slight alcohol

T: Vanilla sweetness that accentuates the caramel/toffee flavors, slight coffee roast flavor, chocolate malt flavor and roasted/charred malt, dark bread crust, raisin/date/plum, subtle/overwhelmed earthy hop flavor and bitterness

M: Lower carbonation, creamy, full but not thick or heavy/clinging, slight dark malt dryness/bitterness countered by lingering vanilla sweetness

O: Very well balanced beer, considering the additives. The vanilla shows up on the nose as a sweet smell, is supportive in the taste of the caramel/toffees notes, and only hangs around at the very end. It is not overwhelming at all, which is surprising, since it can be such a dominate flavor. The coffee selection of Colombian Narino is perfect, due to its character of being sweet, malty and reminiscent of dark fruits. The underlying porter is allowed to stand out underneath the additional flavors, due to their subtle additions. The chocolate/sweet, roasty and char malt flavors come through in the taste and are not totally lost in the vanilla and coffee. The coffee could be a little more available in the taste, and the mouth feel could be a little thicker and creamier, but overall this is an excellent flavored, imperial porter that keep the additions from overwhelming the base beer.

(First ever review, and first review for this beer... So take it easy, haha.)

Convenient Distraction from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
92 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.