10/22/23: Seventh Son Brewing Company's Mr. Owl

7:09 PM


I got into birding last year. Michelle and I were expecting and figured the hobby would 1) be free (minus a guide, a notebook, and a cheap pair of binoculars) and 2) train me to be observant; both these aspects are important in the life of a new dad.

My big goal of birding was to see an owl in the wild. I hear them frequently from my porch (we have both great horned and barred owls around here) but they always take wing before I can draw near to where they're perched and singing. I knew that, with persistence, it was only a matter of time before I saw one of the raptors. In preparation, I bought a single can of Seventh Son's Mr. Owl to discuss on the blog to honor the occasion of adding one of these guys to my life list.

Well, guess what! I'm drinking and discussing Mr. Owl today. I saw an owl--two, at that! The pair of great horneds were in a tree outside my house when I took Lottie out this morning. I quickly ushered her back indoors one her business was through before spending a good twenty minutes watching and listening to the birds (and hearing another pair some distance from our house that I couldn't see) until a flock of mallards flew too close to the tree and spooked them away. 

This post will feature the audio and (admittedly terrible) pictures I took of the pair while they were visiting.

Seventh Son's "Story" page is defunct and hidden on their website. Lucky for you, I have the link to it. The brewery operates in Columbus, OH's Italian Village. Its owners have been friends since they were in middle school. Turns out long-lasting friendship makes for great beer. Who knew?

Mr. Owl's not listed on Seventh Son's website, so we'll get our info from Untappd. It's an 8.5% ABV double India brown ale (according to my can--Untappd doesn't mention "India" the beer's style). It's a Tootsie Pop-inspired beer brewed with candi syrup that boasts notes milk chocolate, orange zest, and tropical fruit.

In my glass (okay, it's actually Michelle's glass--she loved the original Who Cooks for You Jackie O's design so I got it for her. I couldn't not use an owl glass for this beer), Mr. Owl's the color of cold brew coffee with a fluffy, intricate and varied sandy head.

A close-up of Mr. Owl's head in my glass.

The bouquet's definitely reminiscent of an Orange Tootsie Pop. The orange zest and citrusy hops come through first, followed by the chocolatey malts (with a hint of coffee here, too). It's a big and juicy nose, which might be why Lottie gave my glass twenty-three whiffs. I get that--I've given it at least as many.

A blurry picture of Lottie sniffing my beer.
Sorry it's out of focus--she's four now and still a little ball of energy.
On the flavor front, the ale's more subdued than I'd expected from its aroma.There's some fruitiness here--orange, namely, but with some lime and guava--that lingers into the finish, but the chocolate's the star of the show. This isn't overpowering, it's just the most prominent note present. It takes on an almost savory flavor as it carries into the long finish with the citrus. There's a little booze, but not enough to make me think: "Wow. This is absolutely an 8.5% ABV beer."

Each swig's smooth. This beer doesn't have a lot of bite (I've aged it for more than a year, but I doubt that'd knock out too much carbonation, right?), only the ghost of one half-heartedly nibbling at the back of my tongue.

Okay, let's get to the owls I saw. Like I said, they were in a tree by my house this morning (just before dawn), so my pictures are a little not great. But here's what I have!

Owls in a tree
The pair in the tree.
Owl in a tree.

Owl in a tree.

Owl in a tree.

I know some of these are Bigfoot-level photos. I'm not a photographer.

Here's the audio; I've uploaded it to Google Drive for your convenience. You can stream it there or even download it if you so desire. In it, you can hear the owls (along with other early-morning birds and people-oriented mechanical sounds).

Seventh Son's Mr. Owl's really the perfect beer for me to drink in celebration of my witnessing these two truly awesome birds. I'm glad, nearly eighteen months ago (when I first got into birding), that I thought to grab it to stash it away for such a personal victory in the hobby. It's a 10/10 beer. If Seventh Son ever re-releases it, I'll need to get another can for when I (hopefully) inevitably spot a barred owl.

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