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Dank Imperial Red - O'so Brewing Company & Tap House

Not Rated.
Dank Imperial RedDank Imperial Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

120 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 120
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
O'so Brewing Company & Tap House visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kickapoodude on 12-18-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 120 | Reviews: 43
Photo of jwc215
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours red-tinted chestnut to mahogany with a foamy white head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of cherry, caramel/toffee, toast and pine.

The taste is of sweet caramel/toffee, tart cherry and citric/pine bitterness in the finish. Quite complex - very well balanced. Slight alcohol warmth in the finish.

It is full-bodied, but not thick. A bit sharp.

Malty, hoppy - sweet, bitter, slightly tart (which is just reigned in enough - any more might ruin it). A delicious Imperial Red!

Photo of will_run_for_beer
2/5  rDev -48.6%

Cherry cough syrup. Not very enjoyable.

Photo of Tone
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 5/4 inch head of a beige color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, yeast, strong sweet malt, strong hops, and hint of citrus. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is a noticeable bitterness from the hops, and slight sharpness from the alcohol concentration. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of smoke, yeast, strong hops, alcohol, hint of citrus, and a hint of biscuit. Overall, a good strong amber ale, almost to the point of a Barleywine. Good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and complexity. My only complaint would be that I wished the feel was not so sharp.

Photo of TheSSG
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge, dense, off-white head that leaves nice lacing. A bizarre aroma; sweet, fruity, almost bubblegummy. Lovely burnt umber color. Starts incredibly hoppy and bitter, but with a rick sweetness. The Brandy/oak is coming through with the malt in the middle, but the bitterness lingers throughout. Finish is lingering citrus rind with brandy and faint oak.

Wow. What a surprise. The smell makes you really wonder what you're drinking. But, from the first sip, this is STUNNING. A GREAT balance and level of complexity.

Photo of Fcolle2
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy brown in color with some very light mahogany hues and little light making it through the beer. Head is one finger off-white and retains nicely.

Smell has some rich malty notes forward rich toffee notes along with a floral fruitiness that gives an almost candy aroma.

Taste follows the nose with a rich sweet toffee like malt that persists through the entirety of the beer. Finishes with a mild herbal hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick for a red. Heavy body and medium carbonation give this a somewhat thick feel.

Photo of timc100
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle - need to make it know that this is a bourbon aged beer, wouldn't have known or picked it up unless the shopkeep had told me.

A: Beautiful murky, to the point of opaque, ruby mahogany. Substantial beige head considering the barrel aging, very creamy with a slight tinge of orange. Very thick and sticky cream lacing

S: Very interesting. Not as dank as I would have hoped, but still there is a juicy hopped-to-hell red ale in there - grapefruit citrus rind, lightly astringent tropical fruit, caramel and toffee. Creamy vanilla and oak, hot bourbon caramel. Very hot, actually, but it works

T: Bitterness does not assault the front of the tongue as I was hoping and expecting, a rather smooth entrance of grapefruit. In the middle of the mouth the caramel and oaky vanilla open up, finishes with a lot of bourbon heat.

P: Very smooth, medium-full bodied, incredibly soft almost non-existant carbonation. Works well

O: A very interesting and tasty brew. I think the base red ale could have been more aggressive, though I assume the time in the barrel diminished the hops. The bourbon surely adds another layer, but it is not incredibly rich - the heat works well. Good could have been great.

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours about the darkest amber it could to still be considered amber, very cloudy with a quarter of finger of head that escaped while I was typing this sentence.

Smell is caramel, oak, toffee, earthy and citrusy hops and a wee bit of dark fruits (plum and raisons)

Taste is sharp bitter citrus hops at the front, toffee, vanilla, oak, earthy and finishes with a piney bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium full and coating with fine carbonation.

A good beer here that if for sure, but I do not really know what it is trying to be.... Barleywine? Old Ale? Wile Ale? Imerial red.... No it is certainly not that.... But whatever it is, it is damn good!

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Assuming it is fairly on the fresh side. My second beer from O'so Brewing Company, and I was impressed by their O'so Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a beautiful dark ruby red color with about a finger of creamy khaki head. Thin ring of wispy lacing.

S - Light, fruity mango / papaya hop smell paired with some nice roasty malt qualities. Has almost a bit of barrel aged sweetness creeping out of it also. Smells surprisingly nice.

T - Smooth creamy vanilla / oak presence carries the beer into your throat, and leaves you with a nice bitter hoppy aftertaste amidst the roasted malt profile. This beer is perfectly balanced. Bit of warming alcohol presence.

M - Feel is slightly dry, with some hop resins. Highly palatable, for damn sure.

Overall, a beer well worth trying. Barrel aged beers are definitely my thing, and the fact that this 'imperial red' doesn't even advertise itself as such, just added to my surprise and enjoyment of this beer! Cozy, warming 9.20% abv, although highly drinkable. Definitely a beer I am interested in revisiting! So far, good things from O'so Brewing Company. Looking forward to more.

O'so Dank Imperial Red ---4.5/5

Photo of facundoCNB
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a brown/amber cloudy pour with a finger of head which quickly dissipated. smells of really sweet bready malt, nutty barley, almost barleywine like. the flavor is of an american barleywine.. bready malt, nutty, very sweet grain bill, bourbon hints, vanilla, oak. medium body, low carbonation, nice subtle warmth.

this is an interesting beer.. the label and everything i've read says imperial amber ale.. but this really is just a barleywine, is it not?? drinks and looks like one if you ask me. whatever it is, is really sweet and boozy - and tastes barrel aged. if that's your thing, then get on this!

Photo of BudzandSudz
4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Served in an imperial snifter at the O'So brewery taproom. a nice dark red (appeared to be brown in the dark taproom until I held it to the light) with 2 fingers of creamy tan head.

S - Smells like an imperial red ale, which is good. light notes of vanilla from the oak, and a surprising sweetness of dark fruits and brandy. A conversation with the brewmaster revealed that this is aged in brandy barrels and not bourbon barrels as another reviewer here said.

T - Perfect. It would be cloyingly sweet if it wasn't for the >9.0% ABV, and it would be uncomfortably dry if it wasn't from the sweetness of brandy and roasted malts in the grain bill. Balanced nicely together with a great deal of complexity from the underlying subtle hops and oak characters. I wasn't prepared for how good this would be and it really took me aback.

M - Good. By the end of my glass the sweetness had caught up a bit so I had to give this a 4 instead of a 5, but the carbonation level was very nice and I could definitely drink this again without any hesitation. Just don't try to session this badboy.

O - Exceptional beer. It was good enough that I bought a 4-pack for $12 (which I normally would never even consider) and packed it in my suitcase to fly back to Colorado.

Photo of martyl1000
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Changed radically with context. Had four of these, one at a time, over a period of a week. The pleasure it gave ranged from "pretty fabulous" to "I really want to like this beer, but..."

It's most appealing feature isn't mentioned on the label anywhere: barrel-aging. It definitely has been barrel aged, and the oak and bourbon are great in the aroma. This is undergirded by a malt sweetness in the nose that combines to be the most pleasing part of this beer. It pours a hazy copper, with a finger of head and leaves an Aleutian Island-like lacing.

In the mouth, the viscosity barges in with authority, a heavy syrup lightened only by the very present 9% abv, as there's very little carbonation. The flavor is a surprising letdown, pleasing to be sure, but lacking complexity beyond the malt (both sweet and pretzel-ly) and a booziness that could be mistaken for mildly bitter hops. Despite the letdown, it's a big, big flavor.

Definitely a sipper. I would get this again if I were drinking by myself and planning on having just one. To share with friends . . . they'd have to be the bold and daring type.

Update, 8/31/13
Had "Brett Dank" on tap. Very good. (rating 4.25)

Photo of dhannes
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured chilled into a standard U.S. pint glass and consumed within an hour, gradually letting it warm up.

A=Deep, reddish brown with a fair amount of cloudiness...okay, but reminded me of motor oil. Small ecru foamy head...one finger, about a minute.

S=Sweetness...clover honey with plums or similar.

T=Definite brandy/bourbon/whiskey presence throughout (if you like brandy and bourbon, this is the beer for you)...sweetness with some fruitiness.

M=Excellent...lighter body with very little carbonation and only a hint of bitterness.

O=I didn't really enjoy the first half of the glass, as the bourbon taste was overpowering and the alcohol was evident. As it warmed up, it became more enjoyable...I still have three more bottles, and will age 1-2, so I will update these notes in a few months.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at O'so on 07/06/12. I feel the need to preface this review my stating that I normally do not like Red Ales, but I certainly enjoyed this one.

The ale radiated a faint malty aroma with a half inch head. The color was a darker red than I might expect, but this is an imperial red. The first impression was a silky smooth mild hoppiness with a malt backbone. The creamy nature of this mouthfeel makes this ale a little more remarkable. Citrus notes appear, though I would limit it to a mild grapefruit. The creamy nature of the mouthfeel gives the hint of lactose sugar. In the aftertaste, milky citrus notes continue, creating a pleasant finish.

Photo of mltobin
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Nomad in Milwaukee.

Appearance is a deep amber with 1/2 finger of head to it. It`s nose contains oak, hops, flowers, very aromatic in a pleasant way. The taste is citrus, caramel, hops and flora. Mouthfeel is medium, bitter finish to it, leaves a sticky aftertaste. All in all, an interesting beer and a pretty tasty one at that.

Photo of derkfromwi
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thin khaki head that disappears fairly quickly, but leaves a thin ring around edges of glass for whole beer. Deep amber and light brown hazy color mix, carbonation is noticeable, not a lot of lacing, but it its there

S: A lot going on here, you can tell this was aged right away with the sweet brandyish notes up front, was expecting more hops, but this is very nicely balanced and pleasing, so close to giving this a 5

T: Not quite up with smell, still very nicely balanced, good aftertaste

M: Smooth and silky, needs a touch more carbonation, viscous

O: Good stuff, some small tweaks and this will be amazing, will definitely cellar one (something different to try in the cellar) and seek out again

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Magic Hat #9 tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep dark ruby amber with a fat off white slightly tan head that dissipated rather quickly to form a light lacing atop the surface of the beer. A medium sized ring also formed around the edges of the glass.

S- Sweet and hoppy, notes of candied citrus fruits. Slightly malty with notes of butterscotch and light caramel. Sweet mango notes.

T- Starts off sweet and slightly hoppy with a thick malty backbone. Sweet notes of caramel blend well with light yet sweet and surgery sweet and hoppy citrus notes.

M- Thick and sticky with low carbonation. Smooth and syrupy.

O- This is a very awsome beer. It is incredibly well rounded with both malts and hops and is very drinkable. If it weren't for the high ABV it would be very sessionable, but the high ABV is what makes it so amazing. It is balanced yet packs quite a punch. Would definitely buy this again. One of my new favorite ambers.

Photo of knepper
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Look: pours dark amber/brown-to red with an off white that really struggles to come to life to due very carbonation levels. Cloudy.

Smell: Big time caramel, musty basement, citrus, alcohol

Taste: The beer is a bit lacking in carbonation so I feel that a lot of the hop flavor and malt complexity are being muted. The hops are primarily citrus and relatively soft; I was expecting pungent and pine. The malt plays a complimentary roll to the hop flavor. For such a big beer, the malt is surprisingly toned down. A little of caramel, toffee, and biscuit come out; a bit vanilla peaks out once it warms up a bit - a nice touch.

Overall, I expected a bit more from the hops, flavor and bittering wise. A bit more IBUs would give it a nice backbone. A solid beer; it reminds me of an English Barleywine with more hop flavor.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle cellared at 42.5 degrees F for 2 years.

A - A ripe red that's beautiful my friends. The head is minimal, which is in part due to my slow paced pour in an attempt to not disturb the sediment bed... I was unsuccessful.

S - The sweet smell of malt fills the air with my pour. It has a slightly pungent aroma to it consisting of alcohol, dates and bubble gum. The citrus and pine hops are long gone.

T - Slight roastiness to it with a very accentuated finish of almost too much roast causing an almost burnt flavor. The combination of dates, molasses and what seems to be a kind of whiskey flavor makes for a very complex flavor array. I have to say based on the complexity I think this beer has gotten slightly better in the two years. I rated it a 4 two years ago and today I rate it a 4.5.

M - The feel is moderately coarse throughout each pull making for a steady texture. The turbulance in the look of the beer is obvious once the feel comes through. For the beer being a medium to heavy body the high carbonation presence is really welcomed nicely. I too think this has gone up a notch, however my prior review was from a growler so it is likely the growler would have lost a bit of carbonation with time.

~ This is a fine brew and one I consistently look for on the shelves in Central Wisconsin. If you have not tried this beer you are missing out. Go out, find a four pack, drink three and cellar one for two years. Then write down your thoughts. And have I mentioned the 'head' on this thing. Very, very nice.
~~~
The below review was cast on 1/7/2010. The sampling took place from a growler.

A - Solid, thick, rich, foamy, medium to light tan colored head. Medium to dark brownish red colored body. (4)

S - It has a rich combination of citrusy and piney hops in the aroma. (4.5)

T - Sweet, mildly hoppy with rich and thick malt flavor. There's an alcohol presence but it doesn't overwhelm the brew. (4)

M - Sticky, thick and smooth. (3.5)

~ This is a good beer with some strong character. Its great to see this Stevens Point area brewery pushing limits. Good for you O'so... and great for Central Wisconsin. (4.5)

Photo of wmjones9
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For a red, this is fantastic. Great head, color, smoothan refreshing. Got a four pack , as a present. Didn't know what to expect, but it was great. Love it. Would buy this , in a minute, if it was available in Michigan. I'll guess I'll have to wait for the next trip to Wisconsin.

Photo of mcallister
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great looking pour and beer. Deep reddish burgundy, unfiltered and opaque with a wonderful cascading head that quickly turns into a half inch of thick almost yellow gooey bubbly, viscous head with great lace and retention.

Sweet bready malts at the forefront are followed by citrus fruits and tropical notes. Candied apricots, some light roasty malts, red currant, orange, burnt sugars, and more nice nose.

Carbonation seems a little light and it fits the style well. However I received this bottle in trade and possibly it's older and is turning toward barley wine? Regardless it's tasty. Orange preserves, red currant, cranberry, burnt sugar, some brown sugar, molasses, sweet on the medium finish but not cloying. Some caramel malts and bready sweet malts in the middle and finish. Like this but could use a bit more carbonation.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AGED REVIEW
12month old 12oz bottle aged at basement temperatures.

A. Red Mahogany-brown with hardly any head at all. Not surprising on the head given the beer's been aged somewhat. This has also produced some floaters, but that is only to be expected. Perhaps a shade darker than usual?

STM. The hops are still there! And they've held up rather nicely, although I suspect in muted versions of their former glory. Whiskey and wood are still present.
The Malts are as thick and biscuity as ever, in fact amplified over fresh. There is a lot of different malt flavors, some of them bready and others funky. In fact the malt flavors are reminiscent of more of a Scotch Ale profile than an Imperial Red, although I understand that the dividing line is rather blurry sometimes.

Verdict: I like it a lot, enough in fact that now I am going to be seeking out an entire case to stow away in the old cellar for a while and do the periodical aging trial routine. I'll add more to this review in time as I conduct the cellaring study.

Addendum:
19 month old bottle aged at basement temp:

Pretty much the same as the 12 month old bottle reviewed above but with more subdued foam and about 10% milder on the woodey tannins, and a gain of some tobacco and leather sub-flavors that may even grow further with more aging. The finish still has a distinctive yet gentle rye-whiskey sort of coconut fade-out that I like a lot. Unfortunately, the texture is getting a bit syrupy with time as the carbonation fades out; but the flavors continue to diversify. The hops that remain seem to be a combination of grassy herbals, resin, and a wispy garnish level of Simcoe-ish garlic and onions.

Photo of emerge077
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown, murky with some lighter golden edges. Spotty lacing, but the foam faded quickly. Slightly hazed with micro sediment.

Rich and complex aroma, malt driven with maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and an almost barrel-derived woodiness. Gingersnap cookies, some citrus and tropical notes from the hops present. Somewhat sweet.

Intensely malty, rich and complex like a barleywine, moderately hoppy with some trace alcohol. Full bodied, with low carbonation, a sweet nectar. Spicy pine from the hops, fruity melon notes, some trace maple sweetness, and a dry hoppy aftertaste. A nice after dinner sipper, with plenty of complexity to keep things interesting.

Photo of PrinceDarren
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'll be honest, the only reason I bought this beer was because of the name. Dank - sounds like a pretty stinky smelling beer, right? Whether it is beer, wine, scotch, etc. I place a significant amount of emphasis on the aroma of my alcoholic beverage of the moment. You got good nose, you got good beer. So Dank should be right up my alley.

Pours orange in color. Aroma is, indeed, dank. Robust nose for sure with a touch of citrus. For a red, the hop character is well represented. Taste is rich, a little hoppy bitterness, a touch of rock candy sugar on the finish. The weakness in this beer is its drinkability. It is pretty heavy on the tongue.

I'm not sure if I've ever had an "Imperial Red" before, but I'm sure it would be hard to brew a better one than this. Excellent in many aspects except for mouthfeel and drinkability.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got from my man hopscrazy! Thanks Brian!

A- Murky red brick color, nice 3 finger copper head that leaves sticky goodness all around the glass.

S- Caramel, hints of citrus, pine, tropical fruit and spices... Not as big on the hops as I expected, but really nice.

T- Nice hop bite... citrus gets hidden a little bit by the sweet malts! Lemon, orange peel, toffee, caramel and burnt sugar.

M- AWESOME!!! Really coats the tongue with sweetness... than bitter hops and citrus, before balancing out perfectly between the both! Like eating a Clementine dipped in Caramel!!!

O- An absolutely amazing brew! Citrus, sweetness, just a touch of alcohol on the finish! I can't wait to try all of the other O'so brews that hopscrazy was nice enough to send.

Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one in a recent trade with FrankenBrew (thanks again). Poured a slightly hazy burgundy with a little bit of white head on top. Aromas of caramel, pine, and citrus (grapefruit, orange). On the palate, this one is medium bodied and tasty, with flavors of caramel, toffee and citrusy hops. This is the second beer I've had from O'so, and I'd like to try more.

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Dank Imperial Red from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
87 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.