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Pentagram - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 878
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 31.49%
Wants: 225
Gots: 313 | FT: 42
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.
View: Beers (55) | Events
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 878
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.02/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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 -3.6%
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 +5.5%
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 +8.2%
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 +12.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +4.6%
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
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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 +15.1%
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 -10.6%
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 +4.3%
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 +8.2%
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 -5%
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 -4.1%
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 +20.2%
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 +11.8%
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 -0.2%
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 +1.2%
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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Photo of hail_seitan
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of timfc
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Ri0
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.91/5  rDev -6%

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

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Photo of indurTheB
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

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Photo of ZombieChan
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

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Pentagram from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.