Malefactor (Gilgamesh) - Upland Brewing Company
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Purchased 4 of these bad boys from the Upland Tasting Room in Indianapolis. Served at cellar temp in my favorite tulip glass.
A: Pours a beautiful crystal-clear ruby color with a quarter-inch cream-colored, frothy head that doesn't stick around very long. Thick, sticky lacing. Lots of microbubbles streaking around. I spotted some cork particles floating around, but that's not really a concern of mine. This looks fantastic. (Took a peek at the bottom of the bottle after it was empty - sweet bottle-conditioned goodness!!! Incredible clarity.)
S: The aroma is pretty much exactly what a Flanders Red should smell like - tons of tart cherries and fresh black cherries (as in straight-off-the-tree-in-Traverse-City, MI-sort-of-fresh-black-cherries), a healthy twang of vinegar acidity, luscious oaky wood and vanilla notes, a tiny bit of booze, and a touch of band-aid on the end. A veritable fog of aromas. The bourbon is basically hidden - I feel like I'm almost imagining it, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say that the bourbon character is there, but just barely peeking through.
T: This is an onslaught of incredible flavors. The sweetness of the fruity cherry flavors bathed in rich oak and vanilla hit your tongue first, but are immediately overwhelmed by a biting flash of sourness and acidity. The sweet oak and vanilla-coated cherry returns in perfect balance with the sourness and mingles with a subtle dryness from the bourbon which cleanses the palate for an incredible, long and wonderfully drawn-out finish. The aftertaste of this beer is truly one of its greatest characteristics. It's where the bourbon truly shines. Just amazing. This is absurdly drinkable for being 10.5% ABV.
M: Quite full-bodied and almost silky. This is an incredibly dangerous beer! Easily the most drinkable sour I've ever had. It keeps getting better as it warms. It's literally lip-licking good! Everything in this beer is in perfect balance. Just...wow.
O: Upland simply outdid themselves with Gilgamesh. I was a bit skeptical at first to be honest - a truly legitimate Flanders-style Red Ale from Indiana? Really? Well, let me quell your fears: Upland ROCKED this Flanders-style Red. In fact, it just ousted the Duchesse as my favorite of the style. A word to the wise - let this beer warm up to almost room temperatures before enjoying - I know it's going to be difficult, but you will be rewarded with the way it opens up and everything melds together in perfect harmony. Easily the best beer I've ever had from Upland. BRAVO!!! SO happy I bought 4 of these!
This beer is perfect by itself, but it would compliment a cherry sauce braised pork chop like nobody's business. My next bottle is on the menu! Can't wait. Again, Upland - incredibly impressive. You nailed this beer, and you nailed the style. Legit Flanders Reds in Indiana! Who'dathunkit?!
Serving type: bottle
02-28-2012 05:08:04 | More by machostacos
4.68/5 rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
750mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
A: A hazy brownish red that pours with about 1/4" of off-white head that quickly dissipates. Spotty lacing with decent head retention.
S: Cherries, vanilla, oak, with just a hint of alcohol.
T: Initial taste is sour cherry, quickly followed by some fruity sweetness and some vanilla/oak tones from the bourbon barrel. The booze is pretty subdued, just a hint of bourbon.
M: Medium to heavy body with light carbonation.
O: An excellent example of the style. Blows away Marron Acidifie for sure and I'd venture to say I like it better than Oerbier Riserva!
Serving type: bottle
02-10-2012 00:14:25 | More by mrand01
4.65/5 rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Acquired via trade
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!
Serving type: bottle
10-30-2012 21:56:21 | More by ehammond1
Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.