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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.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 125
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 20%
Wants: 11
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: 125
Photo of emerge077
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
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!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Tone
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dusty looking deep auburn toned body. Thin and bubbly beige head leaves little lace. Thick caramel malts on the nose with a hint of alcohol and some tropical notes as well. Smells like a malt forward barleywine. Body is medium full, but the carbonation is quite low. Bordering on flat, but not quite. Could use a little more carbonation. Flavor is solid. Caramel malts meld with a hint of breadiness. Hops add a little spice and alcohol adds a little heat. All in all, a solid Impy Red that could us more CO2.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of mltobin
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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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Photo of mychalg9
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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

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Photo of crossovert
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

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Photo of Soneast
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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)

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Photo of martyl1000
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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)

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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