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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Malefactor (Gilgamesh)Malefactor (Gilgamesh)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

67 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 67
Hads: 348
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 5.91%
Wants: 301
Gots: 139 | FT: 20
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: 67 | Hads: 348
Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a khaki head. Color is a caramel amber.

Aroma: Sour cherries, caramel, and candied sugar. brown sugar. Funky and fruity.

Taste: Sour cherries again. Medicinal with a bit of band-aid flavor. Caramel and bready malts. Candied sugar. Light vinegar.

Mouthfeel Tart and bland. Light bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, a decent flanders, but nothing too crazy. Enjoyable, however. (412 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Mark!

Pours a rather dark red/amber color without much in the way of head formation (or carbonation). A bit more bourbon and vanilla than expected. Some definite acetic qualities with some red wine vinegar and dark fruits. A little caramel sweetness, too. Like the nose, sweet toffee/caramel and barrel notes (bourbon and vanilla). The sourness picks up as it warms and the vinegar is able to come through. (415 characters)

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. (388 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark brown with some hints of amber and scarlet. Initial finger of tan color loose head dissipates quickly to a thin collar leaving minimal lacing. Well carbonated with tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is fruit vinegar, sour acetic acid, cherries and plums. Some brown sugar and toasted malt. Fairly mild nose.

Taking a sip, fruit vinegar, sweet and sour plums, cherries, a bit of tannin. Sweeter brown sugar and dark caramel mid tongue. Finish is dry with a bit of lighter sourness lingering.

Light to medium body with a soft carbonation that tickles the tongue. An interesting take on the style, with the alcohol very well hidden. Flavors aren't too bold though. (743 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Figured it was time to pop the cork.

This was a bitch to open - required the lobster claw cracker to pull the cork - but it cam with a loud pop. Pours a brown ale with cherry hues and a good broken sheet of light cream foam. Smells of sweet balsamics, some brown sugar and some oak. There is the vinegar tone, indicating the tart quality, but the nose lacks depth for me. Flavor has a nice tartness, cherries, oak, hint of bourbon, slightly bitter, and a hint of sweetness. I like the balance in this one. Medium bodied with lower carb and a dry finish. Nice beer, the nose does not match the flavor, but it is a nice beer. (625 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at bu11zeye's 10,000th rating tasting.

The beer pours a light brown color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of toffee and caramel malt, as well as some tart cherries and oak notes. The flavor is similar, with some lightly tart cherries, oak, leather and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (324 characters)

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

Bottle courtesy of mrand01

Pours a slightly hazy with a bright copper/reddish-orange glow. The head is slightly off white and creamy in appearance coupled with nice lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin with a malty breadiness followed by an earthy dankness, light sour cherries and a very light scent of oak barrel. Some bourbon and vanilla/toffee emerge more as it warms.

The tastes begin pleasant upfront with clean lactic acidity and some light Brett yeast flavors. Midway though more tannic vinous notes emerge coupled with more oakiness than I experienced in the nose. Just like the nose bourbon and vanilla emerge more as it warms. The finish rounds out with sour cherry, light sweet caramel and a stone fruit flavor and funkiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation. I would have liked a little more maybe to help the flavors pop. Finish is slightly chewy and dry.

Overall this was a very well rounded beer and a nice take on the style but didn't wow me like others of the style. I don't feel the bourbon added enough flavor here to be called a Bourbon Barrel aged Flanders red. Maybe not enough contact time or the base beer was too big or the bugs are still slowly eating away at the sweet bourbony flavors, who knows. Good but not exactly what I was hoping for. (1,295 characters)

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. (572 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (401 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a ruby reddish color, brown hue, cream-colored head.

S - The booze is there right from the start, yet doesn't totally overtake the rest of the beer. A nice level of tartness, oak, dark fruits, and cherries work well with the bourbon. This beer improved as it warmed.

T - Similar to the nose, bourbon and tart cherries with some oak. The booze smooths out as it warms, and everything seems to work well together. This drinks like a Double Red Poppy.

M - Medium, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - I'm a fan of this beer. I think some age will do this one some good and smooth the booze out further, which would be nice. Looking forward to trying this again in 6 months or so. If you like Red Poppy and want some more alcohol in there, this beer is for you. (797 characters)

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

Received in trade with dvelcich, thanks! Split with two other BAs.

Looks alright, good clarity, good head etc. Vinegar, fruit typical to Flanders style beers with the acetic sourness that comes with it. However, what makes it stand out is the good use of whiskey barrels... there are layers of chocolate/vanilla that go beyond oak.

And I suppose the strength. Also, the feel is more creamy than the sharp, crisp feel of Flanders style beers from Belgium.

4, 4, 4, 4, 4 (472 characters)

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

Appearance: muddled ruby-mahogany brown, decent tan head and lacing

Smell: Dark fruits, berries, cherry, vanilla, oak.

Taste: acidic, but not overly slow, lots of dark fruits, cherries, oak and vanilla. Flanders red on steroids, although the bourbon is very light.

Mouthfeel: medium-full body with light carbonation

Overall: good upland offering, they keep getting better and better. (388 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Mikkeller tulip

A - Deep, crimson brown with light carbonation trailing upwards. Has a nice creamy white head that sits on top throughout

S - A nice Flanders nose with cherry, oak, lemon, and grass trailing upwards. There is a slight sweetness that comes up with the cherry that makes it smell like cherry pie

T - Definitely a sweeter Flanders as there is a sweet cherry and sugary flavor shows up first. As it goes on, there is balsamic vinegar, oak, and lemon zest. It definitely has a nice tartness to it that makes it a well balanced sour. The finish is definitely rich cherry pie.

MF - Lots of carbonation that makes it has a nice creamy mouthfeel. The finish has a slight astringency to it.

O - This Flanders resides on the sweeter side but has enough tartness to allow it to be called a sour. The cherry is definitely the prominent flavor with the oak and lemon adding a level of complexity. Very approachable and would be a nice introduction into sours. (989 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One inch tan head on a deep red body. Very nice head retention with some lacing.  

Sour nose with a hint of sweet cherries.

Medium sourness comparitavely speking With just enough cherries to keep it fruity. Would guess at 7%abv

Nice mouthfeel, medium. Very carbonated.

Very tasty flemish red, although I'm not picking up a lot if barrel notes. Worth a try. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT! (385 characters)

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! (885 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (999 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Whatsarezaf for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some woody and slight vinegar aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody and acidic finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I am not getting any hints of bourbon in the aroma or taste. (556 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decent looking pour, though the aroma stands out more. Complex, fruity, hints or cinnamon too. Mild booze character in the nose as it warms. Taste follows suit with cherries at the forefront. Bourbon creeps further forward as it warms. ABV is totally hidden in the mix of flavors.

Top notch craftsmanship, though I'd expect nothing less from an Upland Reserve beer. Wish I had another bottle :( (395 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (837 characters)

Photo of mattsander
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
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 (481 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split amongst a few friends. Excited to try a sour style beer from Upland. It pours a red-orange color with haziness. The nose of it contains red wine, vinegar, cherry and sugar. A very interesting beer so far. It tastes nice, a mix of sour, bourbon, cherry, good mix of flavors. Mouthfeel is medium, acidic to be sure, leaves you with a bit of sour face. A very good beer that is worth your time. (404 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Craytonic, served from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin tan head of small bubbles, moderate carbonation, some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a little acetic but not overly so, mild oak and bourbon, power of suggestion on the bourbon possibly.

Beer is medium to light in body, mildly sweet and liquor on the front portion of the palate nad the finish is lactic, succinic, and acetic with a little brightness there. Nice beer overall, hard for me to put this in the "Flanders Red" box with the forward palate but a good beer none-the-less. (572 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a medium bodied dirty brown with auburn highlights and a slight off white lacing around the glass. 4.5/5
 
Aroma:  Its nose is light and tart with some oak, tart cherries, acetic acid, and sweet malt.  The bourbon isn't really present even as it warms.  It definitely has a pronounced fruit character to go with the almost creamy type of sour or tart indicative of the style. 4/5
 
Taste:  The flavors are initially light and slightly fruity.  I get dark berry alongwith tart cherry.  There is some oak as well as a dark malty sweetness.  It begins slightly sweet and then goes into a tart and then ends with a light sour and an odd bitterness.  The odd bitterness eventually feels like a bourbon esque burn, but this beer isn't really hot by any means. 4/5
 
Mouthfeel: It drinks medium in body and leaves that odd burn at the back of your palate leading into your throat.  This isn't a bad thing but you notice it nonetheless. 4/5
 
Overall:  This is a fine representation of the style but a little expensive.  The bourbon isn't very noticeable so perhaps the base beer was stronger than I anticipated.  This is a nice beer to try but for $25 it's a little expensive for what it is.  If you're a big fan of the style, this is a must try.  4.5/5 (1,293 characters)

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. (344 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes on 5/20/12.

750ml cork and cage poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: mohoganey red bodied beer with 2 fingers of white head that drops down to a thin cap. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: sweet and tart cherries, oak, and funk.

Taste: starts off with sour cherries. The beer has a mild funk to it and a hint of vanilla, oak and earthiness. Mild bourbon.

Mouthfeel: medium body with moderate carbonation. This has some prickly and aggressive carbonation, but it drinks well with this beer. Little bit acidic and dry.

Overall: Another really good sour by Upland. Only had a few flanders red, but I do enjoy the beer style. (646 characters)

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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.