I hope you know the drill by now… every Tuesday, Urban Artifact releases a new beer to their thirsty fans, sometimes it’s a delicious new infusion of one of their core or seasonal styles, sometimes we see a new seasonal release, and then there are those times that we see an addition to their “specialty” series that they call the ‘Urban Legends’ series. This week, we get a great addition to that very series with a new Tart Double Brown called Otso.
What The Heck is an Otso?
Otso… so, I had to look this one up. In Finnish mythology there was a spirit guide who’s name was very rarely mentioned… he was often referred to as friend, Uncle, or Forestcousin. This spirit, known as Otso guarded the village people from the power of the forest. This is where the name comes from… though I have an even better meaning, that although I have come up with myself… I like to think is a really happy accident.
With a little more research, I have found that there are some sub-cultures in Finland who consider this bear spirit, Otso, to be the spirit of relative. Their relative, who after fleeing the village, was actually transformed by the forest into what we see as the bear. Now, bear with me a little bit… Urban Artifacts newest beer is a pretty unique take on a Double Brown ale… I’ve certainly never tried anything like it from any brewery except UA, so maybe… Otso could be the spirit of one of these Double Brown ales…transformed by the forest of Urban Artifact’s wild and tart craziness.
Eh? See where I’m going with it? Anyways…the beer.
Otso – Double Tart Brown Ale, with Coffee
So, this beer clocks in at a big 9.5% ABV with a puckering ph of 3.5 – but it doesn’t even come close to tasting like either one of those statistics. The brewery’s tasting notes are:
Caramel, toffee and a slight fruity sweetness blend with cold pressed Ethiopian coffee, reminiscent of a caramel latte.
I think this nails it, probably much better than I can put into words… but I’ll try to put my spin on how I felt about it. First off… It was amazing. The beer itself has a wonderful sweetness that lies across the middle of it all, with the tart punch pushing the coffee out in ways that you’re not going to find in any other beer that I’ve tried before. I’m in love with beers that use their adjunct flavors in ways that you aren’t used to, and this is pretty brilliant in how they’ve used their “sour” tartness to present the coffee in a completely different way. The high abv helps push that sweetness forward and support an underlying caramel and slight nuttiness that is pretty apparent when I first taste it, and lingers on just slightly in the aftertaste. At 9.5% this beer is dangerous… it looks nice and sweet like a big fuzzy teddy bear, but if you aren’t careful I imagine it has the power to tear your face off and eat your bones… you know… like an actual bear.
They teamed up with local coffee roaster Deeper Roots to nail this one, and if you got a chance to try their Kodiak Brown Ale last year, you’ll be at least slightly familiar with what you’re going to have in store for you. This is very similar, only punched up to an entirely new (and better) level. It’s like an Imperial Kodiak… of sorts.
Urban Artifact opens at 4pm today…and you’re going to be able to get your taste of this teddy bear then…and you probably should.