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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

68 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 350
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 2.59%
Wants: 301
Gots: 137 | FT: 21
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: 68 | Hads: 350
Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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 Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by craytonic. Thanks Matt.

The beer is brown to ruby hued with an off white head that leaves sparse lacing in its wake. The aroma offers fruit, particularly cherries, oak, and a healthy dose of booze. Powerful flavor, with a strong showing from both the booze and fruit. Plenty of tartness and a bold acetic finish. Impressive. This exceeded my expectations. Would be very happy to try this one again. Recommended. (429 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
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 Duff27
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
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 aasher
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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 Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark burgundy with brownish highlights and really no head which left virtually no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of fruit aroma was coming out on the nose such as plum, apples, slight citrus but with a little bourbon vanilla character and acidic vinegar notes as well.

T: the bourbon barrel character was not as pronounced on the palate but had lots of fruit flavors like nose consisting of dark fruit, slight apple, a touch of citrus, acidic vinegar notes and vanilla accents.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, mild boozey and tart finish.

O: really good flanders brew and was glad to have been able to try a bourbon barreled flanders. (716 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged poured into tulip with Mattsander and alpineclimber, bottle sent out by Masterski and Sean9689 cheers fellows

A glows a ruby red when held to the light, some sediment and just a few slow bubbles feeding a short lived tan finger of foam that leaves lace where it existed

S vanilla hits me first, a little booze, faint cigar smoke and toffee, the barrels strong and it works very well, some overripe fruits as it warms, complex and very enjoyable nose

T much like the smell but it has a strange spice I can’t quite place but I like it, the bourbon notes are nice with a touch of sweetness and a little sour at the same time. Lots going on with everything I smell but there’s a little less vanilla in the mouth

M slightly sour with the burnt brown sugar lingering on the finish, medium-full with very faint heat, it could use a few more bubbles but its far from flat

O very interesting stuff that I could drink myself stupid with, the barrel works well for it and it has mellowed out nicely at this point

I can’t think of anything to compare this one to but I’m loving it, very interesting brew that’s worth seeking out (1,159 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, batch date of 9-11 stamped on the back label. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a murky reddish/amber color with an inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, it smells like vinegar, tart and sweet cherries, wood, green sour apples, funk and a bit of vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma. It tastes like tart and sweet cherries, vinegar, lemon peel, funk, wood, vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon flavor isn't strong in this brew at all, but I think the subtle bourbon taste works well with the tartness. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. It's also smooth and easy to drink. I think it's a pretty nice overall brew. Yeah, it was $24.99 a bottle, but after drinking it I don't feel like I paid too much for it. Good thing I bought 2 bottles! (862 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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 (582 characters)

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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 xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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 thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (1,010 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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)

Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (173 characters)

Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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 cosmicevan
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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 dar482
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (306 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (2,216 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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 rlee1390
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.24/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,017 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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 ehammond1
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
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! (1,296 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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? (1,213 characters)

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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.