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

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Black Scotch AleBlack Scotch Ale
44 Ratings
Black Scotch AleBlack Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dirtylou on 06-13-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by radioscooter:
Photo of radioscooter
2.46/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of blackearth
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On nitro tap at Baumgartner's in Monroe, WI. Review from notes. The smell/taste was largely roasted malt, char, and overly roasted peat; no detectable caramel notes. Moderately strong bitterness. The body was average and improved by being on nitro. Overall, it's not well classified as a Scotch Ale and I'd recommend buying something else.

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Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of richkrull
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of cokes
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of TheArtOfWort
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of dirtylou
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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

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Photo of Kunstman
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of hof_1991
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tourdot
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

 1,057 characters

Photo of SF_Posse
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of mwilbur
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of robear
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of levifunk
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of pkkosmatka
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Thorpe429
2.34/5  rDev -35.7%
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.

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Photo of spoonhawk
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of robbyc1
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Gotti311
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of WJVII
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
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!

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Photo of polopaul20
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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Black Scotch Ale from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 44 ratings