Sep 10, 2015

Old Ox Brewing Year of the Ox

It’s always nice to see a local brewery hit milestones like their first year in business, especially with a company I’ve just recently really gotten into. Old Ox Brewery is celebrating their first anniversary with Year of the Ox, an 8.7% ABV Imperial IPA. But this big brew isn’t your standard, modern, overly fruity version of the beer. It’s almost a throw-back to the imperials of old.

Year of the Ox may taste old school, but the hops going into it are relatively new to the scene — Chinook, Citra, Huell Melon and Mandarina all come together smoothly. I don’t believe that I have run across the last pair of hop varieties in that list, but I can tell you that this brew, for as big as it is, is pretty darn mellow and smooth. It’s a beer that goes down deceptively easy.


The beer pours a slightly muted amber in color with a dense, khaki head of foam.

Old ox Brewing Year of the Ox photo


It’s not overly fruity as I had expected with Citra in the mix, though there is certainly some grapefruit and a touch of mango in the mix. Pine fills the nose smoothly with grass and herbal notes while a decent bit of bread lingers gently.


Immediately the beer presents itself as smooth and mellow. A solid pine, moderate citrus notes and acceptable level of sweetness arrive cleanly with bread and a touch of caramel in the background. A slightly viscous mouthfeel carries everything to a lingering finish with the chest-warming glow of alcohol.


Year of the Ox is a solid beer. It’s not as fruit-forward as many of its contemporary counterparts, but it’s old-school and relaxed presentation makes for an excellent drinking experience. My only regret is that I hadn’t picked up more than one bottle.

Rating: 3.75/5

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