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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Malefactor (Gilgamesh)Malefactor (Gilgamesh)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

302 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 300
Gots: 128 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: claaark13 on 02-05-2012

A stronger version of a Flanders Red Ale aged in previously beer-stored bourbon barrels for some light oak/bourbon character.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 | Reviews: 61
Photo of BGsWo22
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

not my style sour here

Photo of NickSD
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This had the perfect balance of tart and sweet.

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This may be the best looking sour beer I have seen. Brick red, opaque, with an orange tan head, lacing too.

S - Acidic smash in the nose, which seems right for an epic sour, a touch of wood, alcohol burn.

T - Amp up a Rodenbach - this hits many of the same notes as this classic, but more fiercely. The sourness is full and rounded, fruit notes in the form of cherry and tart plums. A touch of wood, a bit of bourbon alcohol, and a slight bitter note in the close.

M - Bright, moderate puckering, with a slight drying in the close.

O - This is a sour from Upland I can unequivocally get behind. Takes the classic Flanders red and turns it to 11, but without destroying the fundamental qualities of the original. Big, fat sour notes, fruits and oak, this is as epic as its name suggests. Excellent.

Photo of uvachief
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby color with tan head that lingered. Lots of lingering lacing as well. Aromas of oak, sour fruit (guessing cherries?) with more sour notes. Tastes much the same. Sour cherry with overtones of oak and acidic flavors. Little touch of vanilla maybe. Bourbon. Very complex and balanced. Drinkable. Moderate carbonation. ABV hidden extremely well. Kind of beer that can sneak up and knock you out. This was aged about 6 months and it was very smooth.

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep reddish brown into my snifter. A small, 1.5 finger head forms and retains about 1 cm very well. Lacing is a really solid wall down the side of the glass. The body looks even more red in the glass and gives an overall mahogany color to the beer.

S- Strong acidic sour notes hit the nose first. The overall impression of the sour is potent, but somewhat faint, like it is somewhat diluted. Still, huge sour cherry and whiskey barrel note ring through, On the back end the whiskey barrel takes over with some spiciness and just a touch of sweetness as the scent fades away.

T- The taste starts off with a medium to moderate sour bang. Cherries and acidic base beer make up the sour flavor profile, with a slight tilt towards the juicy cherries. The sour flavors calm down a bit in the middle and a slightly bitter and spicy whiskey flavor moves in. The whiskey and barrel flavors warm up the drink and then start to move the flavor profile towards a drier flavor before the vanilla and oak picks up. Semi-sweet vanilla and spicy oak ramp up at the end and linger on the tongue.

M- This beer is somewhere between slick and smooth on the palate to me. There is very little carbonation despite the relatively active head when poured. The alcohol definitely wamrs this up a bit and the sour flavor lends this to be sipped. Overall, I would describe the feel as oily, with some thick and smooth qualities, but also some thinner, slick feel to it as well.

Overall, this is a very good beer. The whiskey barrel aging adds a dimension to this beer that most Flanders do not have. The barrel warmth and whiskey flavors mellow what would otherwise be a very sour beer to make a more drinkable end product.

Photo of monochromebrewing
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow what a tasty Flanders red. Pours reddish brown with a light head...this is a sour though. Good carb and a great tart sour upfront but has that clear belgian aftertaste. Lovely full body as well and the bourbon aroma and nose is excellent. Solid solid beer. Aftertaste is probably the only place I'd be a critic

Photo of Jho3325
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The best take on a Flanders Red I have had. Truly Epic.

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%

This was a bottle from 2010. It tasted as if the sour had gone away and started to come back around. Very well-balanced beer that is worth the patience. Thoroughly enjoyed!

Photo of scottfrie
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into tulip. Thanks for sending me this one years ago, HosP! Cork date of 3/11.

A: Pours a cranberry juice red with a couple fingers of fizzy dark tan head that quickly faded into a a fuzzy collar.
S: Dry and woody notes of cherry pits, cranberry juice, musty earth, and buttery oak. Slight lacto as well.
T: Follows the nose with smooth and lightly tart flavors of ambiguous red fruits and berries. Musty attic and damp basement come through alongside a clean lactic bite, and slightly sweet Belgian sugar. Mild and sweet with a hint of grape juice. The finish is smooth with just a kiss of bourbon from the barrel.
M: Medium body, soft and mellow carb, drying but not a desert that is balanced by subtle sweetness. Drinks very well. Slightly tannic and clinging.
O: Extremely smooth and mellow. Very impressed, age has done this well. Very delicious. Thanks again, Mark!

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. Malefactor bottle.

Appearance - Reddish orange and hazy. Thin collar.

Smell - Vinegary acidity. Some bourbon. Deep caramel.

Taste - Great malt flavor behind a strong vinegar sourness. Bourbon and oak. Cherry fruitiness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Low carbonation. Quite sour.

Overall - This is a palate wrecker of a sour. It's good but it's strong.

Photo of roger617
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 served in a tulip glass

A: 4.0 dark brown in color, pours with no head
S: 4.25 sour up front, surprisingly not hit you in the face sour. Very pleasant
T: 4.5 the sour is very smooth and mellow on this one. An amazing blend of flavor
M: 4.25 carbonated very well. Smooth, silky
O: 4.25 my favorite sour to date. A great blend of flavors brings this one together very nicely.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark musty hazy red with sticky lacing and tons of bubbles long after the pour around the edges..

S: Aroma of tart lacto and acetobacteria along with some musty barrel scents.

T: First a bit of a lactic bite along with tart cherry and oak flavors. malt flavors actually relatively present I believe due to barrel aging piece that might have slowed the souring down a bit, but then again, it is quite pleasant, so this is not a detriment to the beer. Bourbon flavors are sweet, muted from a prior barrel aging that is mentioned on the label. There is sweet berry flavors running along with a cherry and caramel.

M: Light mouthfeel , medium carbonation, extremely drinkable. Definitely one of the more drinkable Flanders Red Ales that i have ever had and staring at the rest of the bottle that is left... I am actually glad that i have this to my selfish self :) . I had a Supplication prior to this and while that is an epic sour ale, this is also Epic as the desciption has on the bottle.

O: Overall this is a very solid Flanders Red Ale. The list is short in this category which is one of my favorites that I like is much. Rodenbach, Red Poppy , Oude Tart. I have no idea where the 10.5% is hiding and I seriously doubt that it is actually up there that high... This went above and beyond my expectations. Another winner from Upland

Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter, thanks Abe!

A- Pours a hazy reddish brown color, topped with a thin white head, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Tart aroma, funk, with lots of cherry and other fruit, oak and some caramel.

T- Great lactic and acetic tartness, the cherry fruitiness is restrained, with a nice amount of funk, bourbon, vanilla and oak remain mild but more noticeable towards the finish. Very tasty.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, dry, tart finish with a bit of alcohol sweetness.

O- A really nice Flemish-red-ish beer, the subtle fruit and barrel flavors are great. This was my first sour from Upland and was very impressed.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip.

4.5 A: Opaque cherry mahogany color. One and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is very good, especially with the ABV and a gerthy ring of lacing is left.

4.25 S: Supremely fruity with tons of cherry and berry notes. Sweet with notes of caramel and basement funk. Not a lot of acidity, but enough to tickle the senses and give some complexity. The bourbon is found on just the most superficial level. I doubt I would have found it if I didn't know it was in here.

4.25 T: The bourbon also doesn't do much in the taste. Mild acidity, but potent taste. Super fruity with the cherry/berry combo with some plum as well. Basement funk with damp, rotting wood. Reasonably complex with plenty of depth.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Mildly creamy and bubbly. No problems here. Super smooth.

4.25 D: It's not packing a whole lot in the sourness category, but it tastes great and if it wasn't so expensive or hard to get, you could drink it all night and be quite happy.

Photo of brentk56
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a cloudy auburn color with a very impressive head that leaves a pattern of lace remindful of the Matisse cutouts

Smell: Oaked tart cherries with layers of caramel

Taste: The caramel layer arrives first and buttresses the tart fruit flavors; an explosion of tart cherry, green apple and honeydew in the middle; after the swallow, the oak barrel adds subtle complexity with a hint of Bourbon and vanilla

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: Pretty darn close to perfection; right up there with the best beers I have ever tasted

Thanks, duels, for the opportunity

Photo of rlee1390
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Deep ruby, cloudy, two finger off white head and well carbonated.

S-Funk, leather, cherries oak.

T-Nice and sour, cherries, oak, leather and plums.

M-Lighter and not as much carbonation as I was expecting.

O-The best Upland sour I've had so far. Perfectly balanced, a tad more carbonation would make this a lot better. Although they might have to change the name due to some lawyer-y stuff.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The ale was sampled at Winterfest 2013 in Indianapolis on 1/26/2013. Props to Upland for bringing several lambics and this beer.

The ale was poured into a sampler glass and was a darkish ruby red in appearance. It produced a head that was off-white in appearance. The initial taste was sour but not overly vinegary. Some Flanders ales make me feel like I am drinking a bottle of Worchester sauce. The acidity did not take away from the taste. Tart berry notes balance the acidity nicely. As the ale moved toward the aftertaste, one detects a hint of woodiness from barrel aging. Tart to the finish, the mouthfeel gave it a little staying power and even allowed for a mild warming sensation.

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber color with a nice layer of off white head that leaves a ring around the pour.

Smell: I'm getting some dark sour funk with a sweet malt component. Other notes remind me of red berries, brown sugar, and vinegar.

Taste: There is a vinegar sourness with a strong sweet component to balance it out. There are some mild tart berry notes along with some brown sugar. The finish is tart.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit syrupy with lots of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This was a treat to try. It was sweeter than I usually like my sours, but it seemed to work well here.

Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Sean on Christmas Eve. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Off-white foam settles to a thin cap and splotchy lacework. Transparent dark ruby-brown body.

S - A mixture of brown malts, sharp wet oak, lactic acidity, mild bourbon, and some light cherry vinegar mixed in for good measure.

T - Taste is quite similar, with a hefty dose of lactic acidity and oak, cherry skins, red fruits, a touch of brown malts, and a bit of vinegar. The combination of the latter is mildly evocative of BBQ sauce.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium body, fairly smooth texture, with a dry and oaky finish. There's a hint of residual stickiness, and perhaps a touch of alcohol warming. Still, it's not one where you'd guess 10.5%.

D - This is much better than the bottle I tried at FoBAB a year back. I also liked this a bit better than the Green Flash effort, which was also a Flanders-type beer aged in bourbon barrels. Really sneaky with the booze, which is dangerous as this goes down quite easily.

Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to brystmar

Pours a hazy auburn/amber color with a reddish glow. Crop of beige head retains nicely, dissipating into webbed lacing on the glass.

Funky and sour in the nose, plenty of cherry and fruit tones. Acidic hints with a glow of bourbon and toasted oak. Red wine with yeasty funk.

Snap of lactic sourness up front with splashes of juicy cherries coupled with dark fruit. Hints of red wine and grape skin, oaky tannins with a slightly earthy warmth. Hints of bourbon and vanilla, raisin and grapes. Finishes sour and dry with lingering acidic bite.

Medium body, upper level carbonation, somehow juicy and dry on the tongue with a lasting finish. I'm a fan of aging sour ales in bourbon barrels, and Upland really nailed this one. I'd definitely be interested in finding another bottle.

Photo of standardcherry
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served into my trusty Lawson's snifter.

A: Dark red/brown color.
S: Sweet tartness, oak and cherries.
T: Sour cherry, oak and a boozy taste. Lots of wine characteristics.
M: Light, nice carbonation. Very sour after taste. Alcohol is well hidden.
O: Very nice flanders but not my favorite.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours dark amber with ruby hues in the hips of the glass. A thin but creamy head of beige persists throughout the glass with smeary lacing.

Soured apples, vineous cider, and bourbon start the nose. Hints of oak, red wine, and tart, red fruits follow through.

Medium bodied with a crisp, sharp mouthfeel. A bit lush.

Bright acid, wine-soaked apples, oaky bourbon, and cider vinegar lead off the nose. Hints of vanilla, tannins, and red wine continue on.

Finishes with a strong tartness, vineous soured fruit, and bourbon.

Nice beer. The sourness level is stronger than the fruit lambics from Upland and the bourbon barrels add some nice depth.

Photo of ehammond1
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, barkingelectron!

Dark crimson and ruby with a moderately sized light khaki colored head with great retention (for the style and the relatively high ABV), that leaves streaks of messy, dotted stick down the glass. Very pretty.

Incredible and complex aroma; this remains true to style while also remaining unique and interesting--quite the accomplishment. The oak character, sour fruit (cherry?), and more big sour, acidic notes combine together strongly, with also just a bit of an earthy vanilla character.

The flavor follows a similar road as the aroma, with sour cherry and oak playing the dominant roles, along with strong acidic sour character and an earthy vanilla. The lingering oak/vanilla/cherry/mild bourbon finish is what separates this beer from others in its style. Balanced but explosive. Drinkable but extreme.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Wonderful. Incredibly drinkable. Alcohol presence is non-existent.

Perhaps my favorite American-brewed Flanders Red. This stuff was out of sight!

I've opened three bottles of this (one roughly 6 months ago, another 3 months ago, and another last night). Each bottle has gotten progressively better (and more sour). This one still might not even be at its peak yet. Exciting stuff!

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes taken from a bottleshare at the Phoenix Sun in NYC. Thanks kindly to whomever brought this one for sharing.

a - identical to the wanderer that was poured just before this. deep murky amber brown.
s - sweet tart and sour cherry.
t - pretty sour. sour cherries to be precise.
m - puckeringly sour.
o - overall very tart sour cherries. nice flanders, but very much on the sour end of the spectrum.

Photo of mattsander
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

A: Deep reddish amber, good clarity with a bit of sediment. More head than I expected, nice looking beer.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, spices (mace/nutmeg/cinnamon?), rye bread, cherry-sourness. A very complex but subdued aroma. Very unique spiciness with a long peppery finish and a touch of booze.

T: Echoes the aroma with a baked cookies kind of vibe. Sour cherry frosted dark rye spice cake.

M: Slippery and slick, subdued acidity. Very nicely balanced for 10.5% abv

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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.