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Pentagram - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PentagramPentagram

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

733 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 733
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 207
Gots: 237 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-19-2013

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 733 | Reviews: 68
Photo of rderedin
2.55/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I still find it offensive-I don't care if it was intentional.

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.

Photo of ALC82
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great tasting sour, top notch

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.

Photo of cubs943
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I thought this beer was pretty good.

Photo of AirZombie
3.09/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

third sour ive tried and not a fan of the style except ng oud bruin

Photo of hail_seitan
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

10 oz. draft at the Surly brewery

A - Mahogany body with a thin off-white head.

S - Sour cherry, cranberry, oak, and a slight doggy funk.

T - Sour cherry and cranberry are the first flavors to hit the palate. These are immediately followed by oak, grape musk, and tobacco. A slight animal funk, too. The malt is similar to dark sourdough rye. Cherry tartness and oak linger.

M - A medium body with a very dry finish.

O - A wonderful, complex Brett beer that spectacularly balances sour, funk, fruit, wood, and malt flavors. If you go to the brewery, a glass of Pentagram and the smoked mushroom and goat cheese pizza are a diabolical combination.

Photo of timfc
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased a 22oz bottle from Milk & More on Diversey in Chicago. Cracked it open and poured into 12oz glass.

The color was a dark red both reflecting the base brew and the wine barrel aging. There was a nice bit of carbonation, but the lace quickly dropped off to just a thin white line.

Aroma: the wine barrels really came through on the nose, lots of grape and oak here with underlying hints of funk.

Body: just enough body to support the flavor.

Flavor + overall: it hits your tongue and then develops for a while. I don't know why people are putting this at 92 overall, while it's not quite supplication or consecration, it's an amazing beer. The balance between the barnyard funk and wine barrel is nearly perfect and well-balanced with the alcohol. I'd drink this every day if I wasn't dropping such a penny on it.

Photo of Ri0
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 750ml into Teku.

A - Midnight plum colored with a 2 finger off white head. Thick foam fades into a collar and leaves chunks of lacing on glass.

S - Starts off with aromas of malts and moves into the funkiness. Sour cherry and dark grape notes with some light tobacco.

T - Flavor is less malty and somewhat tart. Not sour, but tart with notes of tart cherry. sour dark grapes. I pick up some wine notes and hints of tobacco.

M - Lighter bodied and well carbonated. Not as dry as the aroma would have you think.

O - This is a nice dark wild ale by Surly. It aged gracefully and I enjoyed drinking it in the middle of winter.

Photo of kkleu357
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Buddy brought a bottle to a bottle share. Deep ruby color with a very small white head. Smokey lightly peppery huge sour aroma. Good amount cherry flavor. Red wine, slight pepper. Very sour. Interesting and good.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%

Bottle sent to me as an extra from an overly generous trader. No date on bottle. Thanks!!! Pours dark brown cola color with a one finger, quickly receding khaki colored head. Tart funky Brett aroma, some sour acidity here, light roasted grain, and definite oaky vinous red wine notes. Flavor is oaky berries, cherry, leather, tobacco, very tart, some additional funky barnyard thing, acidic and sour, graham cracker, vinous warmth in the throat. Lighter bodied than I expected, with a super dry finish and low to medium carbonation. This is a pretty good sour brew with nice cherry and tobacco undertones

Photo of nilesschmidt
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

13 was better than 14

Photo of indurTheB
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Tasted this not long after tasting a 2014 La Folie. There was more subtle notes in this beer, but there were fairly similar overall. The cherry notes are nice on this beer. Others noted tobacco in the beer as well, but I had just finished a cigar.

Photo of ZombieChan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

I'll admit, the bottle design is what got me to buy the bottle, but I'm glad I did. The sour cherry flavor felt odd at first, but I soon got use to it after the third sip. Overall a good beer, probably something I would pick up for date night.

Photo of TheGenesisOfElegance
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: A cloudy red hue, reminds me of a dark cherry soda. Good carbonation but the moderate head disappears quickly. No lacing.
S: It even smells of cherry soda mixed with a sour soda like Squirt or, to a lesser extent, 7UP (even though it's lemon lime based). The brett strain is very prominent as well. Also malt and a hint of wine are present.
T: The brett funk comes on strong, but then the sour kicks in, as well as a nice subtle sour cherry wine flavor. All of it is then rounded off with your typical malt chewiness.
M: A very slippery ale with great carbonation and sour soda fizziness.
O: The super unique flavors make this a hard beer to review because of the brett strain. (this is my second brett beer I've had, so I'm still getting used to the style). It wants to be many things all at once but you can still pick out each individual component. It's a highly drinkable beer and is very satisfying. I highly recommend it if you can find it.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pentagram pours a purpleish amber color, with a small lacing head. There is a very sour aroma, lots of wild yeast notes. The taste has some big sour notes, nice dry fruit flavors. Big and huge flavors, good body, nicely carbonated. Overall its a big and powerful sour beer.

Photo of Fcolle2
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a brown color that is somewhat cloudy and reminiscent of a dark woody color. Head is light tan fizzy and fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell is awesome semi sweet tart cherry and raspberry aromas are forward in the nose with a great oaky wood presence that blends incredibly with the earthy grape skin aromas that follow.

Taste follows the nose with flavors of tart cherry and raspberries along with some sweet white grape flavors forward. Moderate oaky presence along with a stickier sour flavor and mild vanilla tannins adds a great boldness to the midsection. Some nice toffee and light grain husk flavors are on the exhale along with more oak and fruit.

Mouthfeel is very nicely balanced. Mild sweetness and tartness start before moderate carbonation and a sticky sour balance each other nicely. Slightly dry finish.

Photo of Halfbrother83
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep plum in color with one finger of initial foam head that dissipates into a thin lace as it settles.

S: Tart fruit, dark malts, pop rocks, sour cherry.

T: Wow! Smooth, tart push of lightly sour cherry, grape, white wine, Brett funk. Very well balanced and juicy; on the lower end of the sour spectrum.

M: Thin bodied with crisp, light carbonation. Very clean and refreshing.

O: Truthfully, one of the first wild ales that I've thoroughly enjoyed. My only discrepancy is the price, which is a bit more than I feel is fair for this beer, but overall, a very, very solid offering from Surly.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from jcwattsrugger, huge thanks for the opportunity!
Slightly cloudy medium brown color with a smallish off white head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of tart cherries and lemon with a bit of brown sugar and chocolate at the edges. The flavor is light lactic tart with a healthy dose of funk but still has a bit of residual malty sweetness left to it. The darker malts lend to a slightly chalky mouthfeel, medium body and a moderate level of carbonation. Decent wild ale but nothing horribly exciting.

Photo of JamesMN
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage.

Appearance: Very dark plum body with a thin layer of off-white foam.

Aroma: That vinegar punch that comes with a good sour.

Taste: Very smooth and on the lower end of the sour spectrum, some of which could do with its age. Pentagram starts with a bright, almost sweet, dark fruit flavor that slowly turns deeper. The sour Brett yeast creeps in near the finish, just potent enough to make you pucker for a moment before it turns into a rich near-ripe cherry flavor. The red wine barrel aging has definitely smoothed the flavor and lent a complexity to the finish and aftertaste that makes for a great drinking experience. Much lower alcohol content than I expected at 6.6% ABV but just goes to show how flavorful a beer can be.

Mouthfeel: Between thin and medium in body, which is typical for the style in my experience. Aggressive but somewhat sparse carbonation. Average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Was it worth the year long wait in the fridge? I guess it met my expectations. Sour lovers should check it out but don't splurge if its not one of your favorite styles. Would I drink it again? Maybe.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Sender1, KWMiles, and Minnesotaryan for the box containing this gem.

Appearance: Pours medium brown and settles to a darker brown In the glass. Small light brown head drops to a few hints with a small loose collar. Minimal carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Slightly tart with a big push of dark fruit. Reserved vinous element with dark cherry and plum. A touch of roasted malt adds a layer of sweetness. Brett abounds giving a slight funky element coupled with the usual Brett influences. Some minor spice. Pushes acetic with a vinegar aroma. A touch of dark malt adds some clean maltiness.

Taste: Brett hits harder than the nose. Deeply funky with earth, damp hay, and some grass. Cherry skin, vinegar, a touch of citric acid, and general funkiness. A sold blend of sweet and tart. Mild push of darker roasted malts add some general cooked malt sweetness. Surprisingly light for a Surly beer, but it carries their typical clean malt. A touch of red wine and oak to round the whole thing out. Nicely earthy.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body with a moderate to light carbonation. Clean and slightly crisp.

Overall: 5 points 5 stars?

A nice mellow "sour" stout. Nice balance of malt sweetness with brett and wine barrel. Mellow for Surly and it's ok by me.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7

Consumed 2/18/14

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - pours with a nice amount of head, retains some nice wisps of a cap, leaves some nice specs of lacing

Smell: Dark malts and Brett funk - manages to have both dark and sour funk aromas, without smelling like a hot mess - amber and caramel malts - lightly toasty and roasty - some nice tart, sour, and funky notes, with some distinctive Brett weirdness - dark fruit, like dark cherry skins, and some red wine

Taste: Follows the aroma with some nice dark and sour notes, without going over the top - some nice caramel, amber, and lightly roasted malts - touch of dark, lightly burnt malts as well - nicely funky, with some Brett - tart, sour, and general barnyard funk - some nice dark notes, with berries and cherries - some nice wood and white wine - very flavorful with minimal booze

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, nicely carbonated, smooth, dry finish

Overall: Summon demons, slay demons, drink this beer, repeat

Sour stouts/sour "dark beers" are quite the challenge. I'm not particularly surprised that Surly was up to the challenge. This is very tasty. It balances the dark notes with the sour notes in a nice way. It's kind of like a dark Flanders Red. That's totally a style, right?

Photo of dirtylou
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap, brouwers

Excited for the opportunity to consume surly wilds down the street from my home - pentagram comes with a high billing...

Dark, wine barrel, a bit flat, not extremely tart, some vinegar, trace cherry. This is extremely underwhelming and an average wild ale at best. I thought I recalled trying this at a festival and being less than enthused but the high ratings convinced me otherwise.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surly Pentagram Flanders Red Ale, I mean, American wild ale, 6.66% ABV (naturally) was first released in kegs and bottles in February of this year. My earlier posting on a Beer called Pentagram was the unblended version from 2 years earlier. I bought a few bottles and opened one up finally last night. Here are the notes I took:

Surly Pentagram, bottle, aged, what? 10 months, nine? Not sure. I wrote about a beer with this name when we tapped it in 2011, as part of the Surly 5th anniversary celebration, when it was one of the threads that would later become Surly Five. IS this the same beer, or a new one? Whatever it is, it's called Pentagram.
I bought a bunch of these when it was released in, again I ask, what? January, February? I forgot. But I haven't opened one since. Until tonight…

Deep magenta hue, with ruby-tinged highlights. Small brown-tinted head rests above.

Aroma is flush with wine-like flavors, which are swiftly subsumed with sour. Each new sniff (shout out to D L-H), the flavors widen, deepen, grow in complexity.
Deep malt, chocolate tones emerge just to be cover by the wine barrel's work. Just plain ol' gorgeous. I could drink it in deep all night long.

Now, to taste: Ah! Starts out bright, fresh, vibrant, bursting with bold flavors. Sourness isn't overbearing and is exquisitely balanced. Lush, juicy dark fruit flavors continue on the palate, some oaky/woody-ness, a bit of caramel malt, but mostly the sour cherry. All together it's a lot of mmmm, and a good dose of ahhhh.

Let's read the label, shall we? "Beware! 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 used 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."

What it is, is rather remarkable and definitely delicious. I have two more bottles that I intend to age even longer. What will it be like at one and a half years? Two? But right now I can't wish for anything better.

Photo of TCMike
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet, it produced a one finger, cream colored head. Beer color is a deep brown, bordering on black.

The aroma is of leather, sour, dark cherries/grapes.

The taste is similar. Medium mouth-feel, and a medium carbonation, with some effervescence.

This is a very good sour!!

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Pentagram from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.