Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Rusty Red

O'so Brewing Co.
Plover, WI

Style: Amber Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

I grew up on a dairy farm. We had a cow named Rusty Red. She was big and, like her name, white with brownish red spots. And this cow had attitude. She wasn’t the lead cow or the biggest milker—that was Flower—but she had her regular stanchion at the front of the barn—making her one of the first get milked and fed—and she’d snort at you if she thought you weren’t doling out the feed and hay generously enough. She was my favorite cow, even though sometimes she could be downright mean.

So I immediately felt a sort of kinship with tonight’s beer, O’so Rusty Red, the first time I saw it on the tap list. And, coincidences of coincidences, it turns out to be a great beer as well.

It pours a beautiful deep, dark crimson, glinting with gorgeous translucency despite a small, short-lived head. The nose is bready malt and musty yeast (this one’s bottle conditioned, folks), with a backside of big, sweet maltiness.

The sip starts with a medium, chewy body like any amber worth its salt should be. Lots of caramel, sweet malt up front, bumping into a firm wave of roastiness about two-thirds of the way through. This transitions into a subtly, pleasant mustiness—hops or yeast, I can’t really tell. The finish is dry, biscuity malt, medium in length.

Normally I like my ambers malty, malty, malty, and Rusty Red should qualify, but the roastiness midway through the sip serves to dry the beer out a bit. Instead of a detriment, however, this makes it all the more drinkable. I enjoyed O’so’s take on the amber ale quite a bit, so much so that it’s my favorite offering of theirs to date.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on April 28, 2010.
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