1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pentagram - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PentagramPentagram

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

574 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 574
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 197
Gots: 211 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 02-19-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 574 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Sammy, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with fruit, acidic, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

UCLABrewN84, May 08, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

djrn2, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Thorpe429, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.6%

zestar, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.6%

nmann08, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.6%

acurtis, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

metter98, May 15, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Texasfan549, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

kjkinsey, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

GRG1313, May 15, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.6%

spycow, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a deep burgundy color with a tannish hire head on top. The head settled leaving a soap ring around the edge of the glass. Light lacing as well. The smell is big with sour notes and wine barrel aging. It's also got a nice sweet aroma, slight cherry-like aromas on the nose. The taste isn't as sour as I thought it might be. The beer has a subtle tart flavor with some cherry or grape flavors. There is some earthy tobacco and malt. The mouthfeel is smooth, moderate carbonation and medium bodied. Overall it's a very drinkable brew, glad I got to try it.

Knapp85, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -27.7%

largadeer, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.6%

SocalKicks, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

feloniousmonk, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

my first bottled offering from surly. this had been described to be as just like consecration, so needless to say, I was stoked hard. it pours a similarly cloudy autumn red color with not nearly as much carbonation, and a minimal white head. there is a bunch of super fine suspended yeast in this too. the nose is cherry heavy, with the wine treatment also being quite obvious. it smells sour, but its front of the tongue stuff, not all encompassing as consecration is. the flavor has plenty of oak too it, lots of tart fruit, and a sour profile that's true to the nose. its piquant and acidic, maybe a little too much so really, at least if it wants to be more drinkable. all the components are present, but the unity is whats missing in my opinion. the acid detracts the mouthfeel after a glass or so, my teeth start to dry out and hurt, and my tongue feels like ive been hammering sour patch kids. its actually really good, and an impressive first (I think?) sour beer from surly. contrary to popular opinion though, this does not stand up ton consecration at all. better carbonation than it shows, and the body is only medium. very long finish despite its drying effects, a funny but enjoyable peculiarity. overall a worthy beer, and a treat to try, but I would not buy this with a consecration on the shelf.

StonedTrippin, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -3.6%

oline73, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

mendvicdog, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 05/19/13 notes. Again, big thanks to the founder of WTWBA for bringing out a few bottles of this; was a big Want of mine.

a - Pours a deep reddish brown color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, dark fruity malts, red wine, oak, brett, caramel malts, vanilla, toasted and roasted malts, vinegar, and sour cherries. Lots of sour dark fruits and sour red wine; really awesome nose.

t - Tastes of sour dark fruits, roasted malts, burnt malts, toasted malts, cherries, oak, sweet fruit and vanilla, and chocolate malts. More roasty notes and malts here and not quite as sour as the nose, but still really good.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink, tiny bit acedic.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot. I thought the nose was awesome, just full of sour red wine, cherries, and dark fruits, working in a little bit of brett and some roasty chatacteristics. Taste has more roast and malts, but still nice. Easy to drink, would love to get another bottle of this one.

mdfb79, May 20, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

MarkyMOD, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml brown glass bottle with waxed-over pressure cap and great label art/theme acquired from my sister and served into a Lost Abbey teku in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; I loved Surly Five. I love the unique etching on the black wax; I've never seen a brewery etch symbols into the bottle wax before. Presentation is awesome as a result and fits the theme of the beer.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of nice khaki colour. Good creaminess and thickness. Nice supple retention - about 3-4 minutes. Soft complexion.

Body colour is a very dark ruby-brown. Opaque but not solid. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Looks pretty good for the style; rich and decandent. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Acetic, with some guiding undertones of oak. Obvious sourness - more lactobacillus than anything else; I struggle to find any funky bretts. Cherry and currants/berries. Acidic. Grapeskin. I guess I get the red wine notes. Light caramalts. Some tart fruit. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength. The sourness is clean and clinical, but inviting; I definitely don't suspect lambic yeast or bacteria was used - no true spontaneous fermentation here.

T: Acetic. Caramalts. Nice guiding cohesive sourness. Gestalt great balance. Acidic. Light tart fruit. Lacto yeast is dominant. Cherries and currants. Grapeskin. Hints of red wine. Barrel notes are restrained; I get some generic woody notes but not any evocative oak. A biteen reticient, but it's got good depth of flavour nonetheless. I don't get any funkiness or bretts; I'm a bit surprised. But the lacto is better anyway. It's a good build for a sour. Average flavour duration and intensity. A well balanced brew that could use some more complexity. Has nice subtlety, though.

No alcohol comes through. Constructively, the third act is a bit empty compared to first two.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good body and thickness. Good carbonation. Complements the flavour profile nicely. Acidic. Good presence on the palate. Quite approachable - especially for a sour. Acetic.

Dr: I remember liking Five a bit better, but this is definitely a great sour. I'll have little trouble killing the bottle in short order. Recommended, but perhaps not amongst the very best in the style. A good sour from Surly, if a bit too clinical and clean for a style that demands spontaneous fermentation and a lack of control. I'd happily get it again at its market price. Reminds me of Rodenbach - which is always a good thing.

High B

kojevergas, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

beernads, Jun 18, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Pentagram from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 574 ratings.