O’So are based in Plover, Wisconsin, and until last week were completely unknown to me.
I found their beer in The Offie on Clarendon Park Road in Leicester and thought I ought to give them a try.
And I’m very glad that I did.
I’m surprised at how malty this beer both smells and tastes.
That’s not a bad thing in any way at all, it’s just that it makes this Pale Ale feel rather like a good English Bitter which threw me a bit to begin with.
You see, the aroma is all digestive biscuits and fruit jam, and the beer sits a nice warm amber in my glass.
The malting is toffee and shortcake, white pepper, honey and bran flakes, round and chewy and wholesome, really reminiscent of good old pint of BItter.
But then the hops kick in with fresh orange juice, grapefruit and satsuma zest and I’m back in the world of the American Pale Ale.
Hop Whoopin’ (7%)
This is a really good and intensely dry IPA that smells of sherbet lemons and pencil shavings.
The malts are sticky toffee sponge cake, wheat biscuits and a honey glaze, and the beer sits a pale orange in my glass.
That’s a good start and the malting is very satisfying, but Hop Whoopin’ is about hops.
Big fierce hops.
They’re immensely dry and pithy, packed with lemon rind and grapefruit zest, you also find some peach flesh and a dollop of orange marmalade all glued together under a redwood veneer.
The finish here is the king, it’s super dry, akin to touching your tongue to a battery.
Not for the squeamish, but personally I love it.
Night Train (6.7%)
This big chewy Porter is about to be renamed, and may even already have its new moniker.
Pouring a deep dark black, the aroma is heavy with treacle, liquorice and leather satchels.
The malting is a mouth filling gloopy toffee and burned toast delight in which you find espresso and honey, blackberries and aniseed, and over that there’s a lovely redwood resin coated crunchy autumnal leaf litter hopping.
And then, just for fun, right before the dry bitter finish, there’s a fizzy cola bottle sweetie to get stuck in your teeth.
Night Train, or whatever it is now called, is a super little beer.
Source: The Offie