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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: 364
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: 364
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 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 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.

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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.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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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 ehammond1
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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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.

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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

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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 wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

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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 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.

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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

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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 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 :(

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