Pentagram | Surly Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.66%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Arcane Seal guards an enigmatic brew that is FUNKY, DARK, and SOUR. If you choose to break the seal, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

100% Brettanomyces Dark beer fermented in stainless and aged in red wine barrels. "Brett" is a unique yeast strain that produces flavors that would be considered offensive if they were not intentional. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak, and classic "Brett" barnyard funk balanced by dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at cellar temperature for a couple years.

Added by MasterSki on 02-19-2013

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 918
Photo of jaypaul522
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful bottle - once the wax is broken and the cap off, the aroma hits right away. Pours murky, with medium head that quickly dissipates. Aroma of fruit - heavily cherry. Taste is complex, with a smooth fruity finish. The body is medium. This beer was surprising good - highly recommend it.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery
A: Murky brown with a thin head
S: Sour cherry, lemon, red wine, brett
T: Sour cherry, sour green apple, red wine, Brett funk. Sounds weird but it works
M: Medium-bodied, sour & crisp
O: Not the most puckering or most complex sour I've had but certainly solid/enjoyable

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 opened in April 2016

A- Redish brown with think head
S- Cherry, apple, leather, wood
T- Tart cherry and green apple up front then fades to plum and then nearly nothing... where did the aftertaste go?
F- Thin
O- Interesting. Not too funky. Love the cherry notes.

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Photo of brentk56
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottling

Appearance: Pours tawny verging on ruby, with a two inch rocky head; spotty lacing lingers

Smell: Quite vinous, with red wine grape, cherry, rhubarb and pomegranate tones; barnyard funk creates complexity

Taste: Caramel, Munich malt base, with the fruit elements coming on strong, bringing red wine grape and cherry, with subtle undertones of rhubarb and pomegranate; lactic sourness builds, through the middle, with the barnyard funk and tobacco tones bringing up the rear

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: The more I tasted the more I liked; a little age on this beer really makes it astonishingly good

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Photo of larryarms847
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark red brown with an active finger of purplish-red foam that dissipates quickly.

Subtle oak/earthy undertones are dominated by cherry, wet hay funkiness, and vinous notes.

Cherry, red wine, oak, subtle vinegary acidity, and surprisingly muted Bretty funk.

Light-medium bodied, medium carbonation, subtle funk, dry, tart, and pretty refreshing.

Overall, I expected a great deal more from this considering it's price point, but it's actually rather good. It's not outstanding and I probably won't purchase again but it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of frasergrove
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours surprisingly lighter than expected - a dark amber which is very hazy. Aroma is a light mixture of Brett funkiness, tart red wine barrel, and a touch of earthiness. Lightly tart on the tongue with residual funk to the finish. Pepper, under ripe blackberry and mild tobacco on the tongue. A nice sour.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm not generally a fan of sour beers or wine. I tried this fresh on tap about a year ago and the sour wine taste over powered it for me. Today I tried a bottle that aged for a year and the sour wine taste really mellowed to my liking. Solid beer, not my favorite.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.77/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

From my notes at a 2014 Craft Beer Expo. Not a fan of the name or the ominous ABV.

Look : 2 finger head, 80% opacity, honey brown color.

Smell : Medium strength bouquet. A soy sauce/sour aroma - like rotted watermelon and discarded fruits, light hop.

Taste : Sour melon flavors, a bit of rose, high alcohol presence. Very tart like a Mead.

Feel : Semi dry, light to medium bodied, wet.

Overall : Not bad but not great. I'd probably skip it next time.

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Photo of Myotus
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml 2014 vintage bottle into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of brown foam that dissipates into a line after 35 seconds. Mahogany in color. Rising bubbles are extremely subtle. Lacing is low and thin.
SMELL: Smells like a Flanders Oud Bruin with brett; strong sour yeast and oak aromas, mild tobacco, cherries, and subtle hay aromas. This is not a special aroma. Very generic.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong sour yeast and mild tobacco flavors. Strong oak flavors and subtle cherry flavors enter immidieately after. As all flavors persist, mild flavors of red wine and subtle hay flavors enter lastly.
FEEL: Somewhere between medium-bodied and light-bodied. Subtly carbonated. Finishes very dry. Sourness agitates the tongue.
NOTE: Had a very generic aroma, but was made it for in it's somewhat unique taste. The red wine barrels add a nice addition along with what little brett there was.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks man.

Mahogany body, hints of crimson, mild to medium haze, notable sediment (after an aggressive pour), half inch of lasting beige head. Aromas of funk, oak, cherry, wine barrel. Sour cherries, oak, funk, leather, black currants. Piquant and delicious.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Pig & Fiddle. L: Pours hazy dark brown under a 3” cream to tan colored foam collar that mounds up above the rim of the glass. S: Tart, funky aromas with hints of darker malts. T: A malty rich start quickly turns funky with plums, sour pitted fruit, darker malts, and lemon. F: surly has nailed the Barrett texture, very creamy soft. O: An interesting, yet approachable, wild ale.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage served cold in a taster glass.

Appearance: thin, blackish brown and ominous. Murky in the glass with a light brown head.

Nose and Taste: medicinal, sour cherries, raspberry, bitter, very complex and funky with a spicy finish. Tanic acid, chocolate in the finish. Very drying mouthfeel that leaves you salavating and puckering.

Wow. Didn't see this one coming. Super complex and weird. Not like any other Brett beer I've had. It could be the 100% Brett Fermentation. I really need more of this in my life to cellar. A nice combination of the classic barnyard funky Brett and a spicy and complex one. $20 a bottle is steep but so worth it. This store had a 1 bottle limit; I can see why.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is cherries, lactic/milk and sour/fruit. The flavor is cherries/berries, fruit, mild sweetness/lactic acid and a tart/sour/slightly funky finish.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 2015 vintage.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a dark reddish brown body with about a finger of frothy khaki cream colored head that stays for a while. Some okay scattered strands of fat lacing. Looks very nice.

S - The aroma begins with a sour / tart fruitiness, sour cherry, notes of vanilla, and oak wood. Very complex and layered stuff.

T - A beautiful blend of sour tart fruits, and barrel flavors. Vanilla.

M - Sour and tart, dangerously drinkable stuff. Medium-bodied with excellent carb.

Overall, a wonderful sour from Surly. Not sure this is one I would like to age, but I would surely have it again if it was more available!

Surly Pentagram -----4.5/5

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Surly pint glass.

A: Pours a dark fermented plum color with a smoky orange undertone. A creamy white head dissipates with little lacing.

S: Green apple, cherry, red grapes, slight hints of pomegranate, slightly yeasty, oak, overall quite tart.

T: Wow there is a lot going on in this brew. Green apple, cherry, red grapes, rhubarb, pomegranate, cranberry, grapefruit, oak, tobacco, and a undistinguishable tarty funk.

M: Light to mid-bodied, highly carbonated, crisp almost champagne like finish.

O: A truly unique and funky brew. This is the best sour I've had to this point. It's a fantastic ale but not for those without an open mind.

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Photo of LukeSphoto
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious Brett Sour. I love brett beers and have really come to enjoy sours so this mashup of the two is perfect for me. Obviously the smell is a bit funky as you get the "horseblanket" and "farmhouse funk" from the brett, the taste/mouthfeel are incredible though. Love this beer, personal top 5 list for sure.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep burgundy with quite a bit of sediment. Rich oak is the most prominent character. Light sugar, tart yeast, hibuscus, tobacco, earth and hints of dry fruit in the finish. Less tart than many other sours, but worth a try if you like oak-forward beers.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a murky brownish red color. It boasts a very small tan head that fades pretty quickly.

This beer has a nice tart aroma. I get some tart cherry aroma and a slight apply as well. Some earthy funk aroma mixes in as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. It has a nice tartness, with some pleasant fruity flavors.

This beer is carbonated well and leaves a slightly tart cherry aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is great! I really like a well done sour beer. Thanks so much Sarah for this one!

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Photo of joiceed
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a fun beer. Appears like a dark amber. With a very nice head which will continue to lace the glass (or bottle) as you are indulged sip after sip. I drank it on tap, which I feel lucky for. The smell is of crabapple, very pungent pomegranate and even rich coffee. Taste is just as playful. The Brettanomyces present themselves as a wildly bitter component of sourness that one would taste when biting into a grannysmith apple. With that come flavors of cherry, plum, oak, coffee and cranberries. It is a very smooth, drinkable mouthfeel, much like a lager, with the tingling carbonation of a Sprite. Ultimately I would highly recommend this beer to anyone seeking the devilish pleasures of a punky lipsmacker beer that welcomes you to have a glass or two (not more than that though due to the powerful flavor profile!).

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud for sharing. 2013 vintage.

Light fizzy head disappears almost instantly, clear ruby mahogany color.

Nose great sour funk, nice vanilla like barrel thing, little mineral dark malt, little funky cherry, sour lacto creamy bit acidic funk.

Taste brings candy sweet malts, nice sour cherry like fruit, nice sour funk, lacto creamy funk, little acidic, little cocoa, sour brown malts, little metallic thing, toasty caramel. Finish is sticky touch flemmy, touch metallic with sour funk lingering.

Mouth is med bod, light carb, little flemmy sour.

Overall nice but seems like there are things missing to really make it amazing, but still pretty good.

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Photo of rudzud
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared with others. 2013 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a clear garnet hue with a thin head that fades to leave thin wisps

S - Aromas of mild funk, nice cherry, mild acidic note.

T - Taste is light vanilla, good funk, Nice cherry, good light chocolate, faint malts, faint booze, very pleasant funk and acid.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, bit flemmy.

O - Overall this beer was nicely funky and lightly cherry. Pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ta_hagen
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was Funky, Dark and sour. Just as advertised. Very yummy, with every drink that goes down, the better it gets and then it's gone. I'm needing another one! DEFINITELY recommend for sure. Worth the wait.

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Photo of toke737
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my first sours. Looks plumy purple like a Belgian Quad. Smell's funky with some sour or citrus. Tingly on the tongue like it has citric acid in it, tastes sour with a less then expected malt appearance. finishes dry.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This I picked up thanks to a great trader in MN. Thanks man!

Appearance: Brown and red hues, not completely dark with some translucence in the appearance. Lots of fluffy white head that dissipates fairly quickly once it is allowed to settle in the glass.

Aroma: Tart dark fruits and not much in the form of funk. Interesting aroma for the style. Would remind you of a Belgian quad in a way.

Taste: Tart some bitterness in the notes but dark fruits and sourness, finish is pretty clean not cloying at all.

Overall: Not bad but not the best of the style that I have had. Its just not as complex as i was expecting, nevertheless, its a good beer and worth seeking out if you have the opportunity to do so.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Barry last night.

Pours a dark clear amber, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells pretty strongly of sour green apple, with some lemon, caramel, and oak.

This is one of the more unique tasting sours that I've ever had. Really tasty stuff. A good amount of red wine and barrel here, some good oak, with a pretty sour apple fruity component as well. The apple-y-ness of this one makes it very unique.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp and tart mouthfeel, along with a higher level of carbonation.

A really nice and unique sour from Surly.

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Pentagram from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.