O’so Brewing Company - Scarlet Letter
- ABV: 5.5%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 44–52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Lambic Tumbler or Pinot Glass
For Scarlet Letter, we start with tart cranberries appearing as a delicious, mouthwatering berry character throughout this beer. It pours somewhere between watermelon and peach in color, with a sunrise-like warmth and color gradation, everything capped by an off-white foam that leaves behind resilient, fine-bubbled lacing. It’s a very appealing beer in the glass, stopping a bit short of juice-like but carrying the color of its special addition well. The aroma shows its core lemony tartness from the start, with welcome funk and an enveloping berry quality. A tart cranberry presence quickly takes center stage, and it’s hard not to take a sip afterwards.
What we dig most about this collection of sour beers from O’so is, in the same way that we appreciate breweries like Cantillon or Almanac in this regard, their ability to bring out some exquisite dimensions from their fruit. Here, the complex cranberry notes are allowed to play out with accompanying citrusy tartness, just enough underpinning bubbles so as to stay out of the way, and a welcome, vanilla-inclined barrel character that serves for ideal foundation. The fruit sometimes feels peach-like, occasionally more along the lines of subtle raspberries, but it continually manages to impress. There’s a touch of welcome tannins apparent around the edges, offering some helpful core structure. A brilliant, finely detailed fruited sour beer.
Despite the light ABV, this has plenty of acidity and should be good for a bit of time in the cellar. We don’t expect lambic-like longevity, and certain elements of the fruit character may dissipate sooner rather than later. Given its acidity and cranberry character, you could do far worse things with your life than bust a bottle of Scarlet Letter out for Thanksgiving turkey.
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