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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) - Upland Brewing Company

Malefactor (Gilgamesh)Malefactor (Gilgamesh)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

208 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.45%


Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
A stronger version of a Flanders Red Ale aged in previously beer-stored bourbon barrels for some light oak/bourbon character.

(Beer added by: claaark13 on 02-05-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 16:35:38 | More by FosterJM
Photo of machostacos
machostacos

Indiana

4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
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
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 01:22:20 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 15:09:56 | More by aasher
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 18:46:43 | More by claspada
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 20:41:49 | More by Sean9689
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 21:22:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 03:25:10 | More by craytonic
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.38/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 17:08:25 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mrand01
mrand01

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
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
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark red with some copper hues and a big 2 finger creamy off-white head.

Aroma is sour just like a flanders should be. Notes of vinegar and cherries along with a little oak. Not much bourbon in the nose.

Starts out with a vinegar sourness and some tart cherry flavor. A little bit of sweet bourbon comes on pretty quickly and is present throughout, but rather subdued. More sour fruit notes combine equally with the bourbon finishing sweet & sour. The bourbon adds a nice complexity to balance the sour.

Fairly creamy mouthfeel and medium-high carbonation levels.

I love flanders reds and the bourbon adds a unique twist to this classic. I was afraid the bourbon would be overpowering, but it really is delicate and subtle making it work.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 00:28:09 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed a little below room temp. Poured into a HF tulip.

A - Very deep ruby with a thick head. It slowly dies down to a thin coating over the top.

S - Sour black cherries with mild oak. A hint of vanilla. Strong, pleasant nose.

T - Tart dark cherries, oak, slight vanilla, some leather. The barrel is mild and smooth. The tartness seems right on point...present, but subtle. Very balanced flavors. The finish smoothly carries the cherries and leather without much, if any, dryness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Great for the style. So drinkable.

O - For me, this is the best beer Upland has pushed out. I personally love this style and I really think they nailed it. The flavors expected for the style are on point. The finish is great. I actually think the back end of the flavor is what sets this apart from other Flanders Red. This instantly stormed into the top 3 for the style in my book.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 00:44:11 | More by claaark13
Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.