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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Malefactor (Gilgamesh)Malefactor (Gilgamesh)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

70 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 70
Hads: 365
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 303
Gots: 136 | FT: 24
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: 70 | Hads: 365
Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to craytonic for sharing this bottle at last night's tasting. Served in a SAVOR wine glass. Why doesn't Upland make a specialty glass? For shame.

Pours a nice brown-amber color with good red highlights. A nice off-white head and some good lacing on the way down. The nose carries a really nice bit of dark and stone fruits plus some berries. Really a good dosing of fruit in a nice melody. Light bid of malt there as well. There's a fair amount of acidity there as well.

The flavor comes through and really pops. A standard flanders red with a good bit of the bourbon barrel and a heavy fruit component. I was a bit skeptical upon hearing what this one was, but I really enjoyed it. The fruit really stood out to me.

Medium body with a slight bit of booze, but not nearly that 10.5% that is listed. Good acidity coming through after a medium body that created a nice malt base. Perhaps my favorite Upland sour to date.

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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 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 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 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 davey101
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure how to distinguish the vintage. The back label has a gold stamp saying "Batch Date 9-11" and the cork is stamped " 3-11". Regardless, its the first release. 750ml C+C bottle into a tulip glass. Opens with a loud pop and a very slow rise of foam up the neck. Huge thanks to muskabeatz for BIF'ing me this want!

A - Dark red body with an almost brown hue. Tall light khaki head dies down to a neat solid cap. Great lacing and retention. Looks pretty stereo typically Flanders.

S - Cherries and oak. Vinegar and soft acetic acid. There is a slight bourbon element happening in the background with some vanilla and char. There is some booze on the nose.

T - Lots of great Flanders notes. Soft acetic acid and vinegar followed by sour cherries and some Christmas spices. Light oak and vanilla on the finish with some warming alcohol present. Lingering tartness with a nearly dry end. Smooth and medium mouth feel.

O - A nice take on the Flanders style. I was surprised to learn that this was aged in bourbon barrels for a year. The bourbon notes are very tame, but they do mesh well with the softness of the bugs and the tartness of the cherries. Very good wild ale.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1124th Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
750ml C/C

2012 Bottle

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing.
Thanks to UrbanCaver for muling a couple of these for us.

App- Really looks like the color of fresh pressed cranberry juice and cherry juice mixed together. Fairly dense on the first pour but as it settles it becomes a bit more translucent and shimmery in the glass. A small half of a finger head that was a bit tan in color formed and receded pretty quickly.

Smell- A nice sour beer. Has a certain softness on the nose which was a pleasant suprise. It opens with a bit sour note and moves into a freshly pressed cherry juice note. A bit of a wine like tannin and vinegar note came across next. I really get none of the booze that should be prevalant at 10.5%. A certain dryness comes across from the bourbon but really doesnt add that initial sting on the nose or a bourbon note. Hidden and integrated quite nicely.

Taste- Really one of the most layered sour beers I have had. Gilgamesh was a very strong and assertive beer in a couple ways and then changes it around and is a bit soft. The assertive notes come from the oak and the maize. This was the flavor or feel I couldnt place last night.It has a strong flavor that is very cherry forward and that flavor was dialed in perfectly. The oak notes add another layer and you get touches of some acidity. On the flip side you get the softness of the wild microorganisms. It really added another dimension but didnt overpower the sour,oak and clean flavors.

Mouth- This was a large beer and dialing in the right feel must have been a big challange. I felt this could've a touch lighter. It was a big medium body and had a creamy medium carbonation. The flavors remain with touches of oaky, small aciditic vinegar and creamy cherry.

Drink- I enjoyed this beer a lot. The grand scale of the flavors and the combination of layers was well integrated and the final product shows that. A very large ABV but as mentioned well hidden. A good beer to share with a good drinking buddy. A well done style that isn't normally done in the States. Good to see a craft brewer in America taking a shot. I would love another bottle to sit on but the experience was good for me.

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Photo of litheum94
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep cherry red with some tan head. Leaves some nice lacing and a small pool of bubbles.

Cinnamon, apples, sour cherries, bready. Some acetic flavors, with very light bourbon aromas, slightly smokey.

Super tart: green apples, cherries and some vinegar. Smokey wood tones. Not much bourbon; it presents itself through the woo more than anything. Dry, acidic, tart finish.

A great sour. Wasn't sure what to expect from the barrel aging, but it adds a nice, subtle component. Very well done.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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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 thecheapies
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long-time want. Gilgamesh. Batch Date: 9-11. Poured into a tulip.

Deep scarlet color with very light murk. The head peaked at almost two inches; bone in color.

Red currant and tart cherry fruits, oakwood, mild vanilla, and a kiss of bourbon. Ripe, but not particularly sour in the nose. Quite the woody Flemish Red. Smells phenomenal.

Drier than I'd expected and super-tannic. A lot of un-beerlike bitterness. Vinous with some lively woody notes. I'm getting tangled up in oak and the taste of dry bourbon. Sourness has opened up a bit, but not in the vinegar-y sort of way. It's softer, lactic, and more citrusy. I taste lemon, currants, and straw. This is unlike any Flanders Red I've tasted before, and it's unreal good. All of those red grape skin tannins and the touch of whiskey make this one unique and elite brew.

Almost sandy carbonation. The body is soft, yet sour. All of that side-of-the-mouth pucker is contributed from the tannins. Lovely feel for an over-the-top, big Flanders Ale. This ABV is pretty damn sneaky.

A top-of-the-line beer... be sure of it. Not the best, but pretty damn impressive. It ranks high amongst the style. A bourbon-barrel aged Flanders Red. How can I not recommend it?

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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 Davepoolesque
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vanilla, oak, Concord grape, red wine tannins and lacto. Definitely some traditional Flanders red qualities. Shorter finish. Earthy. More tart than straight sour. Sweetness rounds out the sharp edges. Real good.

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Photo of Beejay
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 700th Review, Epic Flanders-style Red Ale..

Huge thanks to RocPorterFanatic for this brew!

A: Light brown in color as it pours. In the glass it is a deeper red amber. The head is light tan in color, soft as a cloud with some fish eyes.

S: Sour notes come out first, possibly a little fresh apple cider aroma in there.There is a very mellow vinegar note. Some dark fruit and a lovely caramel sweetness with a touch of raisins. The balance of sweet and sour kinda reminds me of Duchesse. There is almost a pineapple thing in there. I didn't notice the bourbon right off the bat, but once you know it's there it's impossible to not taste.

T: Yowser! The sour notes from the aroma come out swinging. Tart, with vinegar notes as well as some nice fruitiness. There is some pear, citrus, and kumquat. Good but I wish a bit more of the sweetness pulled through from the aroma.

M: Medium in body, but the carbonation makes it feel a little lighter. The carbonation is effervescent, and extremely fine in texture.

O: Overall a pretty good beer. Definitely fills the sour void in my life. Tart, complex, and totally delicious.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’ve finally done it; I’ve crossed the $20 mark for a single bottle of beer. Granted, I’ve probably spent around $30 per bottle when it comes to the overall cost of some of my previous trades, but this was just off the shelf 27 bucks. Let’s see where all that money takes me…

Brewed eight months before the date of this tasting (gold emblem on the back of the label says “Batch Date 9-11”).

A: As soon as I popped the cork, I could tell some foam would eventually make its way to the top of the bottle. This time, though, it wasn’t a gusher – just a slow showing of light bubbles above the rim of the bottle after about five minutes. The pour pushes this thick foam into a bold two-inch head, as absolutely full and shining as vanilla yogurt. After a while, it settles to a bubbly tan retention, looking like powdered sugar on top of the hazy, toffee orange-brown body. Nice chunky lacing and some yeast flakes appear around the glass.

S: The complexity of this nose is absolutely heavenly; you can definitely recognize the barrel-aging. Fruits are full and flavorful – apple, peach, cherry, persimmon, and apricot – more fleshy and syrupy than anything. Reminds me of pie filling, especially because there’s a definite aroma of crusty, buttered bread. More complexity, even, with big, smooth oak and cherry wood over a moderate note of strong, clean alcohol. The funk is noticeable, yet balanced – musky, dusty, leathery, and herbal. Ends with an aroma of vanilla yogurt and corn. This is one hell of a nose; love it.

T: Oh god, what a supremely sour palate! Fresh fruit: lemon juice, lime pulp, cherry, and sour grape. Acetic and citric acid climbs all around the tongue, so sour and delicious; it wholly brings out the juiciness of the fruit flavors. Orange juice and peach, as well. The chewy funk of the yeast and malt backing reveals a myriad of thick flavors: corn flakes, fluffy white bread, flaky biscuits, lager yeast, and a clean herbal musk of hibiscus, guava, and leather. Bourbon is mild, especially because it is mixed with maple icing, vanilla bean, and chocolate flavors; it makes the alcohol much more woody than spicy. The aftertaste is a taste of red fruit juice and corn.

M: Lightly syrupy and smoothly refreshing. Not dry but bright in its gelatinous feel, adding to its character of fruity pie filling.

O: Ah, that bourbon barrel aging does a world of good for this beer; it mellows out an already super-sour beer. And because of that, this is one of the best Flanders ales I’ve ever had. What every brewer should aspire to when it comes to sour beer. Definitely worth the money – in fact, I think I’ll go buy another.

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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 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 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 Auracom
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by my great friend Jeff, thanks brah. 3-4 oz. poured into a FFF Teko on June 8th, 2012.

A - Honestly looks almost identical to Oude Tart - "Dark, ruby-rosewood coloring with a soft single inch of offwhite head. Good retention for a sour with great lacing to boot. Light alcohol legs."

S - "Epic" Flanders red profile may just do it. Acetic light fruit juices and lemon peels. The vinegar is a bit light in this one. Some herbaceous notes underneath. Slightly earthy as well.

T - Initial tart fruits, followed by light spicyness. Balsamic vinegar kicks in near backend and pushes through finish to a pitted and oak aftertaste with light tannin structures.

M - Light body, strong high carbonation, big dry finish. Very appropriate.

D - Good stuff, the complexity seemed to improve as I moved through this one and the backend/aftertaste here is quite good.

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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 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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Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by myself! A massive thanks goes out to my boy aasher for sending me this one as a part of a get well back after I first returned to work and was fighting my literally through physical therapy! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a ruby red orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cherry, tart, and subtle funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, cherry, tart, sour, wood, cherry, and funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I really enjoyed this one as a nice followup to the 50/50 Eclipses we had previously. It did a nice job of cleansing the palate and still shining through with all its glory. The flavor was my favorite part as it was quite complex and very well balance. A definite must try regardless if you have done so or not.

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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 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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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.