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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Malefactor (Gilgamesh)Malefactor (Gilgamesh)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

69 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 353
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 304
Gots: 138 | FT: 25
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 353
Photo of TheBrewBrotha
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(bottle date: 9-11-15)

Pours a murky brownish red with a kriek aroma, kinda like dark cherry puree to the nose. The taste was great and probably one of the best Flanders I've had in a while. Fruity upfront with a tangy kick to the back of the throat after. A bit winey but very subtle with mild carbonation and no head. I unfortunately didn't get any of the bourbon character at all in this beer but mostly got hit with cherries and maybe some faint vanilla notes. Great beer by Upalnd IMO.

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Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite nice. The base beer is a very repeatable Flanders red ale with a lot going on. The bourbon barrel aging adds additional undercurrents of flavor and complexity.

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

Murky brownish red, hazy, little head or carbonation.

Smells true to Flanders Red style. Sour cherry, vanilla, brown sugar, funky.

Slightly sour. The oak stands out, but is not a bourbon/boozy, straight wood. Cherries and funky. Vanilla.

Medium body, leaves the tongue puckered. Sour.

Upland is hit or miss to me, this one hit. A very good representation the style.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A strange combination of bourbon, fruit and funk in the nose. Less bourbon in the flavor with moderate tartness and lots of dark fruit. A unique and interesting brew.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to @jzeilinger, this was the first of this style for me. Seems to be pretty true based on the description

Poured a auburn reddish brown with a an off white head.

Very sour to the nose. Typical belgian yeast aroma. Funky, with some fruit.

Tastes very tart. Mouth pickering, but good. Dark berries, fermented apples, a touch of oak (not really getting bourbon though), and a little apple cider vinegar.

Well carbonated. Duh. #belgium

I have tried a few sours before. This is my first review though. I would have to say this is a solid example. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to rudzud.

Light fluffy head, semi clear auburn ruby color.

Nose big fruity cherry sour fruit, candy like, tart funk, juicy sour malt, little oaky barrel

Taste nice sour fruit, candy notes, sour malt and fruit, tart cherry notes, little flemmy, reddish candy malts, etc, caramel, some bourbon and toasted barrel notes, vanilla even.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb, sticky flemmy, light acidity.

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Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros at his cellar cleaning. Batch 1.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip clear chestnut hue with a fat mocha head that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of sweet bourbon, vanilla, caramel, light malt, no alcohol.

T - Taste is loads of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, malts, tartness, light apple skin, really mellow and smooth.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, no discernible alcohol.

O - Overall this beer was delicious, loads of light sourness, certainly not as sour as I've come to expect with Upland. This was a real treat.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris for this one!
Dark murky brown with a frothy skim.
Aroma is funky and fruity, seeded berries and a lactic funk.
Taste is savory and lactic, light balsamic, tannic dry oak in the aftertaste.
Medium bodied and creamy, tannic cherry skins. Overall it's complex and interesting, worth a try and to me a little better than Dantalion.

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Photo of dar482
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer offers sour cherry, lots of vinegar flavor with apple cider and balsamic, a good amount of funk, lots of sweet plums and figs, a dry finish with some oak finishing the beer.

The beer is quite traditional with its complex qualities and tart. A reminder of a Flanders Red or more intense Rodenbach.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled on date, but I believe this is from the end of last year. So maybe near 6 months or so old at this point.

A: Pours a hazy, ruby red or dark violet color. 1/4 finger off-white that sticks around.

S: Getting a lot of floral notes, ripe apple, cheese danish. Not a whole lot of bourbon or oak.

T: Big acidic notes up front, very tart. Beneath all the sourness lies some tart apple, tart cherry, oak, and a hint of bourbon sweetness.

M: Sour, but not extremely sour. It's a very pleasant mouthfeel for the style. Not boozy at all. Great carbonation.

O: Been really into sours lately, but this darker, more malty style of the Flanders Red isn't the most appetizing for me. It's nice and very balanced, very complex. But it's just a tad "heavy" for me. I also like the bourbon-barrel aging on this one, but would've liked to have had a touch more barrel presence in the final product. Overall, this is a great effort from the Upland sour program, and really makes me excited to explore the rest of their sours.

Recommendation: Apparently these Upland sours are by lottery only? Would definitely trade for this, or any sour from Upland.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was able to grab a bottle on a recent trip to Indianapolis, and this is probably the best Flanders Red I've had. Moderately tart in taste, smell and feel, with a whole lot of cherry and bourbon, it strikes a fantastic balance with every sip. Obviously the bourbon element is what packs the biggest punch in the ABV, but it's not overwhelming at all. This is a beer worth locating and then waiting on for a bit if you can.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of uvachief
4.4/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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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

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.4/5  rDev +4%

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!

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Photo of scottfrie
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
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!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of roger617
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
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

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Photo of rlee1390
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.