Five - Surly Brewing Company
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Ratings: 475 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev +0.2%
First had this on tap a couple times during Surly's 5th year celebrations around the cities, reviewing off of recently released 750ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass.
A - Pours a dark brown/ruby color, average speed pour yields a thin, fizzy, khaki colored head which quickly dissipates
S - Barnyard funk, sour cherries, pinot noir, light oak
T - Sour cherries with some tartness up front which then moves to more of the dark fruit wine flavors and has a nice breadyness on the finish. not boozy smelling or tasting but gives a bit of a warming sensation once it has gone down, this stuff is very wine-esque for a beer
M - Fairly light, slightest amount of dryness on the finish
D - very drinkable, especially for 8.2%. a sipper, but a tasty one at that.
Overall, another fine piece of work from Surly! I feel lucky to have a brewery like this so close to home.
09-05-2011 06:59:27 | More by SurlyMe
District of Columbia
4.47/5 rDev +9.3%
Splitting this bottle with my buddy Dave. Very excited to try a wild ale from Surly, a brewery of which I am very fond.
The beer appears brown with subtle ruby highlights. A finger of tan head slowly recedes to a thin cap.
The aroma brings brettanomyces funk, oak, cherries, red wine. Very appealing.
Really digging the flavor. So smooth. Complex and wonderful. No alcohol presence. Red wine, brett, cherries, oak. Extremely drinkable. Well balanced. A wonderful showing from Surly with this premier wild ale.
09-02-2011 23:03:10 | More by Huhzubendah
3.93/5 rDev -3.9%
Tried at Jackie O's recent release. From notes
A - deep reddish brown, minimal head.
S - tart cherries dominate.
T - tart cherries again, some nice added complexity from dark malts
M - a little dry, but smooth and a medium-full body
O - a pretty good beer, and enjoyable.
09-02-2011 13:44:43 | More by ColdPoncho
3.9/5 rDev -4.6%
I'll start this off by saying..I had a chance to try Pentagram which was a single barrel version of this beer. I most say...that single barrel version was absolutely amazing. This blended batch is good...but I think it needs a little more time in the bottle to come together.
appearance - very dark...they must have used carafa II or III as there isn't much for roasted malts in this beer. Extremely dark, held up to light you can't see through it but you get slight ruby colors. head dissipates to a very thin layer.
smell - slight tobacco, slight oak, but predominantly dark chocolate cherries.
taste - tart, a bit sour like sour apple, sweet cherries in the middle, then tart cherries on the end and finishing with more of the apple sourness. Dry's out in the finish and and then the mouth waters a bit. Sour apple dominates when I wish the tart cherries would take over.
mouthfeel - thin mouthfeel with low-medium carbonation.
overall- Wow...this is a very fine offering from Surly. I probably won't open another one until Surly 6 comes out. The brett needs to come forward a bit, and complement the sourness from the bugs. Hopefully it will come together...and if it does...holy crap this will be tasty!
It's a sipper, one to drink and age like a fine wine. It actually resembles a wine more then a beer. Very fine craftmanship and a great representation of what has gotten Surly to this point, and the direction they are headed! Cheers, Surly! You have never once let me down.
09-02-2011 02:05:17 | More by nppeders
3.68/5 rDev -10%
damn, this wax is a pain to get off... but pretty.
pours a darker than expected, very dark brown with a tiny bit of head ringing the glass. nice.
the nose makes my mouth water instantly. Tart cherry, some darker malt, mixed well with oak...and a decent amount of tartness.
taste is tarter than I thought it would be. a tinge of sweetness on the tip of the tongue, followed by a decent tartness, and finishes really dry. An oddness about this, is it seems very wet, right before the finish, and then dries out completely... I would attribute that to the oak aging. There is a bit of a chemical taste in the aftertaste, though... which lowers the score a bit, but it is subtle. Nice, decently balanced.
mouthfeel is what you would expect from a sour, thinner, lighter than it looks for sure... right amount of carbonation...
09-01-2011 18:56:04 | More by crusian
4.1/5 rDev +0.2%
On-Tap at my local tavern - 10oz pour for 6 bucks, served in a tulip.
Nice dark mahogony color, but lacks much of any head. This seems true to the style, but for this ale it was a precursor to my biggest fault -
Super thin mouthfeel. I was about 4 oz in before the alcohol content began to build up a bit on my cheeks to give it a better body. This detracted a bit from the pleasing and complex flavor palette.
Very fruity and dry. A big departure from a lot of the other Surly products, but my complaints about the weight may stand to reason, as this is a fault I find with Bender/Coffee Bender as well.
Given those impressions, the flavors of sour cherry are very pleasing. I expected a funkier odor and taste, but my overall impression was a well balanced flavor and smell - a strong dark ale that you can sit for a long long time savoring a good number of.
09-01-2011 15:47:32 | More by tmcelvain
3.13/5 rDev -23.5%
Review #200, conveniently coinciding with the Five Release Party at Republic 7 Corners in Minneapolis.
Served on-tap into a short "pint" glass with absolutely no head. Dark brownish-mahogany color body with moderate lacing.
Aroma was of dark cherries, raisins, and a bit of earthiness. Kind of a "funky" smell that reminds me of a red wine and nothing at all like any other sours I've tried.
Flavor is tartness, dark fruits, and very earthy (nice way of saying it tasted like dirt).
Mouthfeel is somewhat chewy and very sticky. Extremely dry, which was nice, but that's about it.
Let me qualify this review. I love sours, no matter their origin. I'm also aware that on this site, Surly could do a Bud Light clone that would probably rate a B-, and I am even somewhat of a fanboy. But I did not like this beer. If you want to try Surly Five, but can't find it, just save your money and get a cheap $5 bottle of merlot, that's what it tasted like to me.
09-01-2011 14:42:12 | More by Phocion
4.43/5 rDev +8.3%
Poured from 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Very dark brown with hints of amber red. Starts with a lot of bubbly rising carbonation and a decent two fingers of tan head that quickly dissipates into a thin patchy layer. Lacing is very light.
Smell: Aroma is like acidic red wine with some vinegar. Sour and tart cherries, oak, lemon, and vanilla with hints of barnyard "Brett", tobacco, and some dark malts. Smells very balanced and complex. Very appealing.
Taste: Very fruity up front with cherries that are fairly tart and sour but not overbearingly so. Hints of lemon mix in with the cherries. A good presence of oak chips follows with light hints of vanilla, Brett and tobacco. Finishes with some dark roasted malts and some cherries that linger in the aftertaste. Very cherry forward tasting. Sweet and sour but nicely balanced.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very smooth and no alcohol burn is detected.
Overall: A very nice brew from Surly. I typical don't care for both cherry beers and wine but this beer avoids the aspects of those two drinks I find difficult, excessive syrup and a fermented fruit flavor. This brew manages to be fruity and sweet while keeping the sourness and tartness in check well. It is nicely balanced by the oak and other aspects. This is my first experience with a Wild Ale and I'm liking the style.
08-31-2011 05:02:00 | More by MattyG85
4.38/5 rDev +7.1%
On-tap at Republic in Minneapolis, new restaurant across from Town Hall. I gotta say that with the beers, ambience, & kick-ass food, it has a chance to steal us away from Town Hall once in a while. Great place.
Anyways, the beer. Having been raised on Russian River sours, it's a surprise that this beer is dark brown with a spare shot of reddish. Smell is very vinous, healthy shot of wine barrel mixed with a noseful of tart. Nice.
I have to say: wild ales aren't my favorite, & I still haven't found a sour that I really love. Surly Five is close. Sour-heads might not be too excited though. Not quite sour: a tart. Very tart. Really melds well with the wine & oak, which are both prominent. Sharp lemon. Extremely dry, complete lack of alcohol presence. Not making my brown-eye pucker, this is up there for drinkability, extremely drinkable for a wild. My wife & I split three of the 8 or 10 oz. glasses over & after dinner.
Well, damn. I was prepared to be all non-homer on this beer, but then it's all "drink me, I'm good!" & so it is. If this is going to get more sour with age, I'm going to drink my couple of bottles soon. Excellent beer that was well worth the wait.
08-30-2011 01:32:31 | More by maximum12
4.18/5 rDev +2.2%
Had on tap tonight at Republic release party for Surly's fifth anniversary beer Five.
A-Weak tan head that is gone almost immediately-a little hangs on rim of glass. Color is dark brown with reddish hue.
S-Boozy aroma, some caramel malt with a hint of an acid bite.
T-Upfront sour. The sour is not an overpowering Brett bite. A mild lactic acid bite, not acetic like some sours which makes it smoother than others. Mild malt flavor is also there.
M-Fairly tingly. Moderate-high carbonation. Thin body. No alcohol burn-hidden nicely for a stronger beer.
D-More drinkable than dark sours I've had such as Rodenbach Cru. This one would be easy to have multiple pints.
O-A good sour. A nice entry to sour dark ales for those that are new to the style and expect it to taste more like "traditional beer". Will be interested to see how these age in the cellar.
08-30-2011 00:27:37 | More by deebo
3.08/5 rDev -24.7%
Well here we go. 1 @ 750 ML of Surly's Fifth anniversary no-holds barred speciality. Shared the bottle with four friends.
Cool screen-printed artwork bottle with a flecked-green wax sealed top. Poured into my brother's finest Ravenscroft balloons. So here is a semi-transparent mahogany liquid with a finger of cafe-tan head that dissipates leaving a ring of lace. Impressive chunks of yeast sediment line the bottom of my own glass as I tipped the bottle to get every last drop of the $25 beer.
Aromatic sour cherries and un-ripe plum comprise the main body of the nose, dig deep and there's tobacco and something musty I can't quite place.
Flavor is quite sour up-front but not bracingly tart with strong notes of cassis, cherry pits and prune juice, backed with subtle elements of funk reminiscent of dry-aged Gruyere. Acidic, mildly drying and astringent into the finish.
Body seems light but well-carbonated.
Overall. I have another bottle. I hope it ages gracefully.
08-29-2011 02:33:26 | More by JackieTH
3.78/5 rDev -7.6%
Pours dark brown with ruby highlights and more than one finger of creamy tan head which disappears quickly. The aroma has tart cherries and grapes, vinegar, oak, Brettanomyces, and a whiff of tobacco. Smells very nice.
Does not taste as sour as I expected or hoped, but does have a bit of tartness. The other bottles I have should pick up more tartness with time. I can taste tart cherries and grapes, oak, and some funk from the Brettanomyces.
Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden, and this beer finishes dry. A nice first effort at creating a Sour from Surly.
08-28-2011 02:49:51 | More by hardy008
4.33/5 rDev +5.9%
Congratulations Surly on another successful year! This is a very interesting beer and being an inexperienced sour drinker, I'll admit that I like this.
First of all, comes out of a beautiful screen printed bottle with green with metallic fleck wax sealing the cap. It's definitely sour smelling to the nose. When poured it leaves very little head and that dissipates relatively quickly.
The first taste is very sour and tart. You'll taste it right down the middle of the tongue. Reminds me so much of a wine. Definitely a cherry sourness to it with the current sweetness. It's almost overwhelming at first, but, the finish is the best part.
Once that initial sour/tartness wears off it mellows into a very enjoyable Surly flavor. A very sleek oat/coffee/vanilla finish. I just love how it mellows out this way.
Overall, this is another very enjoyable beer by Surly. Of the anniversary series I've only tried Four and now Five. Five is by far my favorite.
08-28-2011 02:45:47 | More by DogfishRyan
3.5/5 rDev -14.4%
Appearance: Brownish-red, fizzy head like a coke, flares up then disappears.
Smell: Red wine, sourness.
Taste: Light sour to start, woody, red wine flavors. Some dark cherry. The sourness sticks around for a while in the finish.
Drinkability: Interesting to try, but not exactly a session beer. Plus, it's pretty hard to find now that it has been out for a week. Expensive at $20 per bottle too.
Congrats to Surly on five great years. Surly Five is in a style I don't drink much of due to the price and the fact I like other styles better. The Surly anniversary beers are almost always a love-it-or-hate-it proposition since they are way "out there". It's definitely interesting to try.
08-27-2011 23:09:56 | More by Mdog
4.43/5 rDev +8.3%
750 ml bottle, pored into my trusty Darkness glass.
A: Very dark mahogany hue with a reddish-tan head that quickly settles to almost nothing. Carbonation is quite fizzy, which is to be expected.
S: Right up front, wood and spice collide with vinous notes reminiscent of aged red Burgundy. Some malty notes and brett funk are noticeable in the background.
T: Tart right off the bat, with sour cherry notes and red wine character. Strong malt backbone is present, with hints of caramel. Some barnyard funk, along with strong oak presence appears just before the finish, which is laced with tannins and a pleasant dry aftertaste.
Notes: This beer is probably my favorite anniversary release from the folks at Surly. Funky, with complex flavors, and a soft mouthfeel. Surly's first wild release is definitely a winner, and it's a shame that this is a one-time deal. Supplication, watch out!
08-27-2011 04:15:42 | More by WYVYRN527
4.38/5 rDev +7.1%
750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.
Appearance-Deep brown mahogany in color with ruby highlights and high clarity. Very low tan head is disappears almost immediately. Almost looks like red wine.
Aroma-Tart cherries, oak, vanilla, black currants, lemon, and a little bit of raisin. Just a hint of brett horse blanket character.
Flavor-Lightly tart with lactic and slight acetic notes. Very fruity up front with notes of cherries, black currants, and lemon rind. As the acid and fruit up front fades, tannic oak notes come through along with some ash and tobacco. In the finish, a toasted malt character, with subtle shades of caramel, chocolate, and coffee roast, expands on the palate. Flavor is dried by tannic wood notes, and the aftertaste is a complex interplay of the wood, fruit, and malt notes. Brett character is still rather subdued at this point, though I suspect that that will increase with age.
Mouthfeel-Medium to medium full in body with rather low carbonation. Smooth on the palate-the oak character is not overly tannic or astringent.
Good god this is delicious. Reminds me of something in between a Flanders Red and flanders brown, this is superbly crafted with a wonderful balance of acidity, oak character, fruit, and brett, with a substantial malt backbone that is often absent in these types of beers. Wow. Just...wow.
08-27-2011 03:25:49 | More by plfahey
4.15/5 rDev +1.5%
Bottle from some random guy at Jackie o's
A-marronish/red body with no head whatsoever
S-smells like tart cherries. Very inviting
T-follows the nose, sour cherries. Slightly sour with a bit if tartness to it
M-medium body and smooth
O-very good sour. Would love to see what age does to it.
08-27-2011 00:13:51 | More by brew3crew
4.5/5 rDev +10%
Pours a deep dark brown maroon color with a light head that dissipates quickly.
Smell is acidic with slight vinegar. I have never smelled a Surly beer like this before, long overdue.
Taste is tart up front, followed by a rich malt character, maybe a slight bit of cherries. The barnyard funk is going on, and it brought a tobacco flavor along with it. Pretty good, not butt puckeringly sour by any means, but it does have a refreshing tartness to it. The red wine qualities are apparent too.
Light in body with medium carbonation. Very smooth in the mouth with a lingering vinegar tartness.
Overall a pretty dang good beer. Very complex, I am digging the black ale turned sour concept. Well done Surly.
08-26-2011 23:43:07 | More by pmccallum86
3.98/5 rDev -2.7%
So, in honor of my first born son turning 3 months old (well, last week), I open my new bottle of 5. (Just go with it)
From a bottle, and a very attractive one at that, screen printed and wax sealed. The green wax has some nifty sparkly silvery bits in it. Into my trusty Duvel glass, pours a dark brown with a medium brownish tan head. Comes out very fizzy, like a soda pop. Unfortunately it doesn't stick around very long, and the lacing starts to trail off after several minutes until its just a slick mess.
The aroma is fairly straightforward at first, a little more complex after it opens up (or, when I start to actually pay attention). Plenty of sour, the first impression gives off grape tannins from the wine barrel, and some vanilla, cherries, some oak, and something like tobacco or leather. The taste is a little more straightforward, but still good, and the right amount of sourness and carbonation. Nice fruits, cherry, red grape, raspberry, that sort of deal all through the middle with a sour and drying finish.
Now, I'm giving this low scores, and I kind of feel bad because my last style kick was, of course, sour beers. And my last big beer experience was a trip through Belgium, with Cantillon among the stops. Its a good sour beer for sure, and for their first try a very good go at it. But if I'm judging against the style (which is some very strong competition), it gets a solid B+.
08-26-2011 03:03:35 | More by objectivemonkey
3.95/5 rDev -3.4%
Had a hard time opening the bottle due to the copious amounts of wax. But I fought through, and I'm excited to try this.
Pours very dark brown, and opaque. Even holding it up to the light just lets through a bit of reddish brown. One-finger light tan head fades fast, leaves some lacing that slides slowly down the sides of the glass.
Smell is mostly sour cherries with some sweetness behind them. Shallower than I expected - a beer that had this much work go into it ought to have more shape and complexity. I let it warm up, but that didn't change much.
Taste is dryer than the smell. Still dominated by sour fruit, but it dries up fairly quickly, leaving a light tart flavor in the mouth. Finish is a mixture of tart sticking to the back of my tongue and sweetness reaching around the sides.
Mouthfeel starts out a bit flat, but the bubbles build up into a vibrant tingly feel before it dries out. Medium-bodied. Goes well with the beer's flavors.
A good wild ale. I was hoping for more, so I'm trying not to let that cloud my overall opinion. It's solid, with nice sour flavors. But it needs more kick or more complexity to really impress me.
08-26-2011 03:01:42 | More by zeledonia
3.55/5 rDev -13.2%
Poured into a Darkness Tulip. The body is a deep hued marroonish brown color. Just a touch of dark khaki foam on top and no lacing and little retention.
Tart cherry and tobacco on the nose with hints of red wine grapes and oak. A moderate lactic acid sourness as well.
I would call it a medium sour presence. Not overly so, but it's definitely sour. Sour cherries, grape tannins and tobacco to go along with the dry oak. I'm also getting a little plastic and smoke flavor at the back end as well. I got this same taste from Smoke out of a bottle before also. This has less of the smoke presence, but it's the slight plastic taste that is strange. Overall, a solid complexity of flavors.
Very dry feeling which is appropriate for the style. Medium bodied.
I'm not the biggest sour fan in the world and luckily this wasn't at the peak of sourness. Pretty drinkable beer and well made. For me personally, this beer doesn't live up to the hype people are giving it especially at the price point. Taste is subjective however, so this one could be right up your alley if you are a sour fan.
08-25-2011 18:57:47 | More by jera1350
4.75/5 rDev +16.1%
A. The beer is beautiful. If pours a very dark cherry into the glass, turning black as it fills the glass. A nice 2 finger head forms, that fades to a thin ring.
S. Smells of cherries, sweet red wine and slight vanilla. Very slight hops. Sweet and slightly bitter scent.
T. Sweet and tartness comes across. A sweet cherry wine flavor , with noticeable oak notes does hold over the rest of the flavors. A bitter after taste rounds out the finish, in a similar way to the linger of hops after a sip of an IPA.
M. Very coarse across the tongue. Medium body, that is very easy to drink. Mild carbonation.
O. This is a very nice sour. The oak and wine flavors are wonderful. A year or two on a bottle would likely mellow this to some impressive notes. A great beer.
08-25-2011 03:42:19 | More by MBrausen
4.33/5 rDev +5.9%
Bought this yesterday for the release drinking it today.
A= Pours a dark brown color almost a black color in my Duvel tulip glass with a nice two finger head that falls fast to a thin layer on top of the glass with a lot of noise. Sounds like a soda fizzing down. Some decent but spotty lacing on the glass.
S= Tobacco and sour tartness to it. Cherries and oak. Actually quite complex when I dig deeper. Vanilla makes itself present as well as a little wine musk. There is the nice barn yard funk in it that has the tartness overshadowing it.
T= Really really nice. Great tartness in it that is a refreshing bite but it isn't the only component of it. The barrel comes through nicely as well as the wine musk. A nice tart cherry bite to it to round it all off. It finishes with the basement like dank funk that I get from Brett. I think that's the best way to describe it.
M= A little thin. That's my only complaint with this one. Boring mouth on it.
O= This is a very very tasty beer and a great dive into the sour world for Surly. Worth seeking out and trying. This is a little different than most sour's I've had. Really a nice beer.
08-24-2011 04:20:29 | More by jjanega08
4.1/5 rDev +0.2%
Surly Five pours out a deep brown into a snifter. I get a half a finger of white head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.
The smell is big barnyard tart and blackberry. Very inviting if you like sour beer.
The taste is cherry and blackberry tart fruit up front and finishes very dry with a slight wine acidity lingering on the palate. The sourness is not puckering and the alcohol is hidden. Flavor is very nice.
Five has a very dry mouthfeel with moderate to high carbonation. Well done here. Carbonation is right on the money.
Overall a very good American Wild, nice flavors, and very well made. I only wish I could get this as easily as beers like la folie and rodenbach grand cru.
08-23-2011 06:54:56 | More by pdoran10
3.73/5 rDev -8.8%
Reviewed from tap, but bottle has a green wax top with a description that reads:
"In the Surly brewhouse brewing our Anniversary beers mean one thing, forget what ya know and try something different. In honor of FIVE glorious years we bring you a 100% Brettanomyces fermented Dark Ale Aged in red wine barrels. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak and classic "Brett" barnyard funk balanced by Dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at celarr temperature for a couple years. 100% Brettanomyces fermented Dark Ale aged in red wine barrels."
8.2 ABV and fermented by Anomalus & Clausenii Brett strains as listed by Surly in the Great Taste of the Midwest program.
Pours a dark brown with little head. Smells of grapes, oak, and a bit of dry funk. Taste is dominated by grape skins and a oaky drying characteristic with a slight tartness. Not offensive at all, but nothing mind blowing. Still, a very good wild ale for one of Surly's first attempts. This may get much better in the bottle with time.
08-23-2011 05:08:53 | More by sarro
Five from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 475 ratings.