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Black Scotch Ale - O'so Brewing Company & Tap House

Not Rated.
Black Scotch AleBlack Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

30 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 17.55%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
O'so Brewing Company & Tap House visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dirtylou on 06-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by radioscooter:
Photo of radioscooter
2.4/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow. Infected? Maybe. hard to tell.

Dark fruits, malt and it seems like the intention was to kick out a killer, robust, islay malt Scotch Ale - but we're well into sour territory and the hop-forward, roasty char is not helping anything.

I can kind of taste where they were heading but sadly it's too sour and possibly infected to finish or know for sure. The carbonation is too present and acrid.

Sad. Loads of promise here.

radioscooter, Nov 19, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of blackearth
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Three Cellars in Franklin, WI. Pours a very dark brown to almost black body with no head. Aroma is smokey and earthy. Full bodied and smooth, even creamy, mouthfeel. There is a nice smoke flavor that plays well with the roasted/burnt malt character. The first sip had me thinking chipotle peppers. I thought this one would be a burden to finish off, but it just kept tasting great to the last drop.

blackearth, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of richkrull
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark dark brown color with some beige head. Smell was mostly malt, not a whole lot else coming through. Taste is really good. Again a lot of malt in it. Probably a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall a pretty good beer. I like it, wouldn't mind trying it again sometime.

richkrull, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of cokes
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark auburn brown with a tight grip of beige foam which fails to stand very tall, but leaves a decent amount of lace.
Toasted whole grain bagel nose, with backup from caramel, peat smoke, and dark chocolate. Some low-lying coffee ground astringency provides balance, accompanying an even lower level herbal hoppiness.
The malt rolls over the tongue, all buttered biscuity- lightly grainy, but moreso doughy. A wave of chocolate follows. Some coffee appears as the sweetness ebbs, as does the peat smoke. Caramel materializes, pushing it sweeter again. As that fades, the smoke reclaims its ground, earthier and ashier now, and slightly more pungent. A small upwelling of herbal bitterness dots the swallow, and brings balance if nothing else. There are no weird yeast/fermentation-driven off-flavors here, which have plagued many of my experiences with O'so.
A bit gassy right away, this settles into a sleek, silky malt blanket. It's rich without feeling obese. And this, along with its sweet-dry balance, makes for a completely quaffable Scotch Ale.
I got off on the wrong foot with O'so. But stuff like this is winning me over quickly.

cokes, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at the old fashioned, paired with the lovely grilled chicken sandwich on a friday lunch

cell phone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint, very dark mahogany body, almost no head

smell: rich and robust...peat, smoke, chocolate

taste: extremely flavorful, rich sweet chocolate, light booze, licorice, huge roasted malts. so much flavor, almost too much as it leaves a really sweet lingering finish and is overly filling

mouthfeel: creamy, sweet finish

drinkability: hindered by extremes

dirtylou, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of Kunstman
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Kunstman, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of tourdot
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

tourdot, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Made it through six and never reviewed it... here goes with the last bottle.

Into a tulip it pours a dark mahogany, capped off with a billowing head of khaki tan foam on the first pour. Not much lacing, but the foam stays put for quite awhile.

Smells like dried plum and prune, a little sweet with brown sugar and some mild cardamom and nutmeg lingering around the periphery. No smoke or peat here... this is coming from an avid Islay malt fan.

Flavors of dark fruit, cola, some indistinct spices, lightly earthy roast becoming dry and woody in the aftertaste. Even after a few swirls of the glass, it's still sharply carbonated and a bit astringent. Making my way through the six pack over several weeks, it seems this astringency has amplified somewhat. Don't know if it's intentional or not... potentially infected. It's listed as a current seasonal, so I have to think it's fresh... and it's been kept refrigerated. Overall it's interesting at the very least, but may be starting to turn. Be aware there's a good chance of infection unfortunately.

emerge077, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of mwilbur
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a dark brownish amber with high carbonation producing a 1/4 inch light tan head. Some retention.
S: Smoke, peat, caramel malt, and a hint of funky wood which is a little off-putting.
T: Sweet peat, sweet-ish caramel malt, wood smoke, and again that mild funk. A bit overly sweet.
M: Sweet, smooth, and oily. Light-medium feel. Mildly acidic finish. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: A nice and enjoyable brew, but not tremendous. It grew on me, but still overly sweet.

mwilbur, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of levifunk
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this last year, enjoyed it, grabbed it again this year and thought i should put down a review. new label looks nice ;)

a - pour is a really dark brown, almost black. tan head dissipates quickly but leaves a film of bubbles.

s - familiar scotch ale smell of dark fruits, grain, and roasted malts. The roasted malt is amped up a bit. Not getting any caramel sweetness on the nose.

t - I get the caramel sweetness now, big roasted malt flavor, faint hops bitterness, and not much raisin/plum flavor. Flavor is somewhat weak for a scotch ale. It is *only* 6.3%. I think an imperial version of this would be a phenomenal beer, but it is enjoyable as is.

m - medium body. good carbonation level for the style.

d - lower abv makes for a very drinkable scotch ale.

O'so has been a fairly underwhelming brewery for me, but this is a very good beer. I would like to see a "reserve" batch of this made with a bigger body and flavor. Its hard to say that because its a full flavored beer.

levifunk, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerFMAndy. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown with some crimson highlights. Half-finger off-white head stays around for awhile before falling into a thin cap with some bubbles on top. A bit of spotty lacing. The nose carries some roasted malt and dark fruits, but also shows early signs of an infection. Slight acidic character along with some cherry. The flavor shares the same components with a slight acidity in the finish. Other than that, medium body and low carbonation with a moderate amount of sweetness. Could be a decent enough beer without the sanitation issues.

Thorpe429, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of spoonhawk
3/5  rDev -16.4%

spoonhawk, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of robbyc1
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep off black look, small off white head.

Hints of smoked peat and big malt backbone.

The taste is outstanding, smoked malt hits first, followed by a balanced malt ending, great for this style. Easy drinker, don't know the abv but it hides it well, whatever it is. Get this if you can, a wonderful wee heavy and perfect for this style.

Update: I've had it in the bottle now and it's unchanged, one of the best Scotch's I've had, beautiful smokiness which most don't have, but not overpowering. Very rich and a great drinker, find it if you can.

robbyc1, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of Zachtheporter
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Zachtheporter, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of Gotti311
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Gotti311, Oct 22, 2014
Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from guyinchicago at DLD. Thanks!

A: pours a dark brown, minimal light passes through, i finger tan head, decent retention, some splotchy lacing

S: rich notes of caramel and a touch of butterscotch on the front, some sweetness and bready notes

T: like the nose, the taste is very rich and full of caramel notes, there is a bit of sweetness by mid palate and the finish has a soft bite of hops, things are pretty nicely balanced and refreshing

MF: surprisingly smooth and creamy, has a velvety texture

D: an interesting brew, and my first from Oso's. Haven't heard of a "black" scotch ale, but I don't think the color effects the flavor profile much. This drinks similar to an English iIPA or ESB.

homebrew311, May 06, 2010
Photo of WJVII
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a nice dark chocolate color with a thick milk chocolate brown head that left nice lacing and settled into a 1/2 inch head. The aroma is so sweet with caramel and vanilla dominant. The taste is a surprise as with most scotch ales I have tried the peat moss smokey taste is overpowering where with this brew it is subtle and adds to the flavor. This is a sweet brew with caramel and brown sugar up front and a mild smokiness that is more of an afterthought than a dominating flavor. This is one of the best I have had from Oso's. I have been very critical of this brewery being down the block and lately they have delivered. Try their brews!

WJVII, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of cdkrenz
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown body without any light able to get through. The head starts out at about an inch and fades rather quick to a nice trace of pale brown at the surface. There's some obvious sticky residue where the head receded.

S - Moderately strong sweet brown sugar aroma.

T - This brew certainly has a smokey flavor over a slight spice and very subtle chocolate. There's also a hint at a bitter-sourness. I rather enjoy it.

M - The feel is more watery that it appears. there's a slight coarse texture toward the end but in the start and middle this brew is very smooth.

~ Overall I recommend this beer. It has some good character and its nice to see a local brewery knockin' out an interesting style, such as the wee-heavy.

cdkrenz, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Thirstybird for sharing. 12oz. bottle served in a Portsmouth tulip. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a thin head that dissipates into a tight band around the shoulders and an oily slick across the surface. Some spots of lacing revealed during the tasting. Nose is earthy and malty with some grape notes. Taste is a bit watery; however, there's also a smoky/earthy/malty and slightly vinous and acidic quality in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel light-medium in consistency (fairly thin for the style) with a carbonation that falls slightly short of lively. All and all, a fairly mediocre Wee Heavy. Not bad, but nothing spectacular here.

Jwale73, May 01, 2011
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 once bottle into a thistle.

Pours a murky, dark brown, damn near black. One finger head recedes to a thick cap and leaves a veil of lace.

Aroma is of dark roasted malt. Metallic and smokey with a hit of roastiness. Roasted nuts and grain with a rider of dark earthiness and dark cocoa.

Flavor is of dark roasted grain, fruity yeast and smoky peat. There is a distinct smoke and peat roasted flavor here that is VERY appealing. Malt is very sweet and earthy, but is balanced by the bitter roast and smoke.

Mouthfeel is lush and thick, perfectly to style. Soft carbonation and a thick body.

This is what I have been missing in a heavy. Exceptional.

wheatyweiss, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of rmaste6282
1.95/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not much to add, but yes it is infected. Sourness is coming on and for a tart/sour beer it isn't all that bad. Surprisingly the beer isn't overly carbonated, I'm assuming a Lacto infection. Some metalic aroma, dark malts, dark fruits are apparent in the aroma. Mouthfeel is thin.

rmaste6282, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of drpimento
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I let it warm a tiny bit before trying. Poured with an average light tan head that quickly subsided to a very thin cover, ring, and a tiny bit of lace. Color is hazy/cloudy brown amber. Aroma is malt, toffee, roast, caramel. Flavor is similar, plus has the carbonic tang, a little peat, and not much sweet also has a shade of sour that makes me think it's turning.. Body is perhaps a bit thin and carbonation a bit forced. Finish is like flavor and of average length.

drpimento, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of BrownAleMale
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

BrownAleMale, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of Dactrius
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Dactrius, Mar 03, 2013
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Black Scotch Ale from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
82 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.