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

Not Rated.
Dank Imperial RedDank Imperial Red

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BA SCORE
88
very good

42 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 121
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 6.08%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 121
Photo of BarrytheBear
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased as a single after my initial disappointment with another single from Oso. With a name like this, I'm looking for an ass kicking of sticky hop like proportions.

Pours a tepid dip-spit brown with a hell bent attitude of providing no head. We all know how these relationships end.

Smells like a sticky sweet scotch ale/barleywine love child. The hops (centennial?) try and push through, but dank they are not. Misclassification here? What the hell do I know.

Much like my previous experience with that gimmicky beer with the hop cones, Oso seems to have its heart in the right place, but can't quite carry out the execution. Like a clumsy, well intentioned, balding father who chases the new redheaded coworker, only to pull open the elevator door and slide safely to freedom. See ya tomorrrowww. But much like Homer and Mindy, this isn't meant to be. Stick to itiveness, and a turkey on your vacation away from worky is what you need. Even if the Chinese are against you.

Some tweaks to the recipe, mainly a dialing in on the hops and a whoa nellie on the malts, might yet make this a nice beer. (1,107 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
3.21/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured inot my pint glass the beer is a very cloudy orange brown. A half finger of head attempts to form before fadind rather quick to leave a milky white lace ring.

The aroma is sweet with just hint of hops. There's a dicytel buttery thing going on as well. I worried at this point.

The flavor is sort of redeeming. Sweet malt followed by a sharp hop bite. The alcohol hits you right away with every sip. Maybe a touch boozy for my tastes.

Medium to full creamy body with light carbonation.

Overall this just sort of falls short for me. I had real high hopes and they simple weren't met. (592 characters)

Photo of knepper
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
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. (822 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle.

Pours a dense dark cherry red with an off white head that leaves some healthy lacing behind as it recedes.

The smell is pretty hoppy but with a nice malty background. The malts smell birchy, syrupy, and sweet. The hops smell danky and slightly medicinal.

The mouthfeel is noticeably thin. The flavor is rigid with some sweet malt and almost a barleywine feel but with some hop bitterness. I feel it is too sweet and too bitter, and the difference between the two is too rigid.

This is an ok beer, but nothing special, this brewery does, and can do better. (573 characters)

Photo of johnkale
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - cloudy amber, minimal, dissipating head leaves a little foam, lots of bubbles coming up the side

s - tons of toffee and caramel, nice touch of grapefruit and earthy hops, a little apricot, nose is nice and sweet, alcohol is, surprisingly not noticeable in the slightest

t - toffee and bitter hops, a little citrus, a little booze, sweetness comes out as it warms, caramel and toffee are the dominant notes, risks being a malt bomb but the finish is fairly hoppy

m - a bit prickly with some resiny hops to coat the tongue, not too heavy

d - a little too sweet and hot to really gulp down but a pleasant sipper nonetheless

I've sipped at a few of these, this tasting the hops show up more than in previous ones. This is tasty for sure, but not a ten dollar four-pack. (775 characters)

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into SA Perfect Pint.

A- Pours a nice, deep red with bits of sediment floating about. After a nice pour, there is about a finger's worth of head that leaves pretty decent lacing.

S- Some caramelized malt, a little bit of hops and a little sweetness that I can't put my finger on. Smells like a decent scotch ale. Almost a butteryness.

T- I don't know if the bottle(s) I got a past it's prime but it is pretty muted. Some sweet malt, a little bit of malt, some caramel and a bit of an earthy tone. Again, like the nose, there is some buttery notes in there as well.

M- A medium bodied brew that has very little carbonation but has a nice smooth feel to it. No bite to speak of from the hops.

D- A pretty good, rich tasting beer that I feel doesn't really fit the style too well. Reminds me more of a scotch ale/wee heavy than a red ale. A decent beer that I think would be better fresh. (914 characters)

Photo of Soneast
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky, copper/brown color. Barely grows a head just a thin layer of white bubbles, that disappears rapidly. A tight ring of bubbles around the perimeter of the glass does leave a fair amount of lace.

First thing I pick up in the aroma is a fair bit of booze, then a bunch of caramel aromatics and caramel like sugars with a touch of pine-like hoppiness.

The flavor has a very interesting toffee flavor. Basically sweet, and sugary, but there is a fair bit of balancing hop character, lending an earthy slightly bitter finish to the beer. That all sounds pretty good, but the booziness in the finish is pretty intense, ruining a lot of the up front tastiness.

Considering the ABV it's no surprise this is so boozy. I was kind of hoping this beer would be more like a IPA disguised as a red ale, judging by the name, but really the hops are overshadowed by the malt and booze. I do like the majority of flavors in this beer, though, although the strong alcohol presence certainly ruins any drinkability this beer might have had. (1,037 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (347 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours light brown with a minimal head. The aroma is very sweet, with malt and caramel. The flavor is sweetness with some light hoppy bitterness at the end. Lots of toffee and caramel. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not sure of the date of this bottle, but there was not hardly any hop presence in this beer at all. Still good, just not what I expected. (414 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (370 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark crimson wood color with a trim capping of beige that quickly relocates to the rim. Lacing is spotty, but decent.
Upfront, the nose it hit with pineapple juice and pine needles. As it warms, the malt steps forth with black cherry, buttered toast, hazelnuts, oak, and vanilla. There also a fairly evident booziness given by its steady vinousness.
Caramelly once it hits the tongue, building towards black cherry. Some toastiness is dragged along, and will be revisited later when the oak materializes. The middle sags under O'so doughy, brown paper bag-esque yeastiness. Now the oak emerges, with some subtle vanilla and hazelnut, and buttered bagels, a touch of cocoa is in tow. Hops are sturdy with their tropical and resiny tones, but not outright loud in and of themselves. Some late port-like booziness, but not flagrant given its potency.
Slick, medium bodied. The carbonation comes in trickling waves upfront, but peters out over time. It never drinks big, but it starts to drink flat.
If O'so ever get their yeast to toe the line, this could be very good, if not downright special. It suffers similarly to their other offerings, but this has the girth to partially obscure its flaws. (1,194 characters)

Photo of Tncapehart
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours light brown and murky, like dirty river water. Positive to this is knowing I'm about to drink an unfiltered hop bomb. Absolutely no head to it, try as I may.

S. Piney hops although without the head to help waft up the aromas, I can't get much more out of it. Of what I can get out of it, it smells like I should start drinking it.

T. Wonderful! I enjoy the hops up front, caramel in the back, and a bit of heat to this strong beer to keep it interesting. Well balanced beer.

M. Medium to medium-light with a fair amount of carbonation, despite the lack of head. Lingers for a bit, but not in a bad way.

D. Very "sipable". Due to it's strength I won't be having more than one although I can see myself getting through this quickly. Overall a very nice beer. (769 characters)

Photo of mychalg9
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bought a single bottle on a recent beer run to WI. No head whatsoever despite moderately vigorous pour.

A- Looks like a thick, muddy, over-honeyed tea. Im more displeased with the lack of head than the color though. Despite the negativity the look is not terrible, but certainly different. My least favorite part of the beer.

S- Caramelly, barleywine-ish, some hops in there. Maybe a bit of vanilla. Opens up a bit as it warms

T - A little boozy, but the malt and hops hide it quickly. Caramel, slight hoppiness. Like a barleywine/DIPA mix. Very pleasant. Warms the stomach after a few sips. Probably my favorite aspect of the beer.

M- Could certainly use more carbonation, but not too much. Feel is a bit thick and resiny, but not in a negative way.

D- This beer is growing on me. For the ABV, it goes down a bit too smoothly, despite the warm booziness. Im still trying to decide if this is a sipper or not. I would definitely drink a second but that would be it for the night.

Overall this beer grew on me, Im guessing mostly because it warmed up. I certainly wouldnt seek it out, but would buy it again if the situation was right. (1,189 characters)

Photo of PrinceDarren
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (833 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.83/5  rDev -3%
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. (834 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (1,673 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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. (524 characters)

Photo of Fcolle2
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (540 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has is almost clear with a dense body of dark amber liquid and a thin tan head that fades to a spotty film for a bit. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles gliding up the sides to the surface.

S- The faint aroma of caramel malt and fusel alcohol have a light musty cold smoke quality to it that turns to a wet wood hint as the beer warms. When the beer is pretty warm oaky notes start to come through.

T- This beer has a smooth brown malt flavor with notes of cream and darker toasted malts. There is a light tart hint to the oak that comes through when the beer is really warm with a dark roasted quality aswell. The finish is a soft bitterness that lingers softly for a moment and is almost resiny and a bit pungent.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a very slight alcohol heat when it is pretty warm.

D- The malt and oak flavors are a bit soft especially for the hop pungentness that is all by itself without much hop aroma and flavor either. (1,028 characters)

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! (602 characters)

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (961 characters)

Photo of dhannes
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (800 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

part of dirtylou's package

a: snifter serving, deep reddish amber beer capped with a light head

s: huge candied red malt aroma with caramel apple and butterscotch, lots of rich caramelization here, sweet crusty baked goods, vanilla pulls out after warming, nice booze, mild tealike hops, really dig this

m: medium-full bodied with a light carbonation

t: baked apples and caramel brought on by a big dose of heavily caramelized red malt, dark pie crust, butterscotch middle, leaning heavily towards the sugary malts with a light bitterness in the finish

d: quite easy given the strength (590 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's

appearance: poured into an imperial pint - dark amber body, murky mahogany, creamy beige head with decent retention

smell: nicely hopped, caramel, citrus and pine

taste: nice take on the style - creamy and rich, piney hops, light citrus, lots of caramel and toffee, mild waves of alcohol, vanilla, maple, a touch of oak

mouthfeel: creamy and medium bodied, light hop bitterness rings through

drinkability: good (436 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,203 characters)

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Dank Imperial Red from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
88 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.