New(ish) Brew: O’so Dank

9 Apr

A bit late to the party with this one as it was released early this winter, but I had a bottle of it left in the beer fridge and an imperial “West Coast”-style red ale sounded just about right.  My palate more or less made the changeover from rich stouts and bockbiers to lighter and hoppier fare with the mercury hitting 82 degrees just 1 week ago.  In typical April in Wisconsin fashion, however, it snowed last night and sits a balmy 31 degrees as I type this.  Luckily, O’so Brewing’s Dank manages to meld robust malts and crisp hops much like April melds the warm optimism of brighter days to come with the cold, bitter reality of a six-month-long winter.

O’so Dank

Style: Imperial Red (West Coast-style)

Vitals: 9% abv, aged in oak

Company Line: “Anniversary offering, Imperial Red. Heavily hopped and oak aged, very balanced. – osobrewing.com”

My take: pours a deep tangerine-ruby with ample khaki suds.  Aroma hits with smooth oak, caramel and vanilla up front with hops adding but a faint whisper in the finish.  Conversely, resinous hops and alcoholic heat hit the palate first with toast and caramel malts following.  A dry toast and resin finish leaves the mouth wanting more.  The hops seemed to have calmed considerably in the 3-plus months since its debut, but the drinker is left with a smooth, sexy beer that has gained in structured balance and class what it lost in West Coast bravado.  Northern Wisconsin has a gem in O’So Brewing.  Keep your eyes out for them.

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