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Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,149 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,149
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 272
Gots: 718 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ajcobb24 on 06-22-2011

Batch 2 was aged in spent Black Tuesday barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,149 | Reviews: 333
Reviews by y2jrock60:
More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A very dark brown beer with a garnet hue and good clarity. The persistent head is composed of creamy tan bubbles.

S: The dominate aroma is a tart fruit character of red currents and cassis with an acidic quality backing that up. There is a faint aroma of dark fruit and dark malt aroma having a cocoa character to it.

T: An aggressive, acidic and tartness and strong red currents fruitiness with light flavors of the stout dark malt. There isn't much to say about hops in here nor malt, although the fruit is juicy and refreshing. The balance is very sour and the finish is very dry.

M: A light bodied beer with strong carbonation and a faint bit of warmth.

O: This ones about as tart as they come with a strong acidic bit and good bit of fruitiness, sort of Flanders Red that come of the rails except that there is some stout character to back up the flavors. The sour stout is quickly becoming my favorite style thanks in part to the few exceptional brewers making the style.

Photo of Kjanisch7
4.98/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Jet black with a thin tan head.

S - A pleasant smell of chocolate/coffee from the dark malt, and that awesome classic sour tart smell.

T - TART. Delicious cherry and fig notes. Vinegary finish with some berry notes. Nice little bourbon taste as well for an added bonus.

M - Thin body which was unexpected for the color of the beer. Moderate carbonation. Great feel and easy to drink.

D - The drinkability here is incredible. Wish I could drink this one every single day.

Photo of don1481
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

750 ml bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours very dark and very fizzy. Head dies down very rapidly.

Smell: WOW sour notes. Lots of fruit smell. Smells refreshing.

Taste: Just like the smell. Pretty good, but not overpowering with the sour. Nice.

Mouthfeel: less fizzy than I would have expected. Very clean and crisp.

Overall: very good, not quite to amazing. But very nice.

Photo of mverity
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

NYE bottle share at Proof. Deepest of opaque browns with a thin white-tan head and thin tan collar. Aroma is like a port, dark fruit, deep red wine, some woodiness. Taste is extremely tart. Vinegary almost. I'm getting some of the wine like characteristics, with some roasted malt too. Very interesting flavor. Medium carbonation and medium-thick body.

Photo of Beerswag
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%

Looks Smell is green apple, a little roast , mostly fruity esters, interesting profile.the color is more black than brown, yet some brown hues are coming through the glass since the body is looking on the light side. More fruity sour than vinegar sour, is refreshing, sour-green apple, good amount of large bubbles, making for a light and refreshing beer, I like the paradox. The hints of chocolate and barrel remains on the palate and nose. Heavy Soups and Stews, red meat, heavier dishes, low-medium spice/herb dishes.

Photo of Motleydrunk56
2.5/5  rDev -40.9%

25.4 oz Bottle.Dark brown poured into a 20 oz Firestone glass.Smells like Berry and Vinegar.Very strong wine taste to it.I wanted to like this so bad because I had heard so many good things about it but to me the flavor was just Nasty.Extreme SOUR taste was so present that I could not get around it to decide what the other flavors were.Made it through about 3/4 through the bottle and then it became DRAIN POUR.And at 19.99 a bottle that hurt.If you like wine this might be better suited for you.But for me I can`t recommend it to a Beer drinker.Needless to say I will not be buying this anytime soon.Sorry Bruery.Thumbs down.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dixonian for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with an off-white head. The aroma is full of dark fruit and chocolate, with some roasted malt thrown in. I don't get much tartness or sourness in the aroma, but that all changes when I take a sip. There is a nice tart dark fruit character, which is complimented nicely by some chocolate and heavily roasted malt. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage- 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Almost opaque black, dark ruby colors at the bottom and more so when held to light. A fizzy tan, light mocha colored head quickly fizzled out to absolutely nothing. Some carbonation bubbles rising within the beer, but the dark color makes this hard to notice giving the appearance of a completely flat beer.

Less aroma noticeable than expected and quite different than expected. Chalky, chocolate roasted malt, sour pie cherries, as it warms a bit of lactic funk comes out and maybe just hints of oak.

Very nice taste, big sour pie cherry and lemon citric sourness/ acidity, not a whole lot of funk. Has a bit of that chocolatey roasted malt, but it really takes a back seat to the sourness. Hints of dark fruits at times.

Lightish side of medium bodied, lots of lingering acidity. Very drinkable.

A really nice beer, not terribly complex, but a nice unlikely combination of styles.

Photo of ehammond1
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

The Bruery Provisions
Orange, CA

Dark brown and nearly black with a quickly forming, yet not all too persistent, brown head. Lines and specks of lacing down the glass.

An evolving aroma: initially, the roasted malt, even some coffee elements, and a touch of wood are present, then as the beer warms it becomes far more tart and sour, with a hint of cherry and chocolate as well. Quite phenomenal.

A very special and unique beer. This beer is far more sour than I ever would have expected, and I am oh so very pleasantly surprised. It's delicious. The sour is biting and pronounced throughout, though the roast, chocolate, and cherries come together magnificently highlighting an incredibly drinkable, though intensely sour, stout.

Medium mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

A phenomenal sour stout. Please, make this again!

Photo of Mertzy81
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, so I had no idea what to expect and I still can't isolate half of the flavors I tasted. It's a pretty in-your-face and complicated brew.

Appearance: Pours with a beige-cream 1 inch head, opaque black.

Smell: Sour cherries, not very complicated.

Taste: Filtered kombucha vinegar, sugar-less sour cherry and grapes, dark chocolate, coffee and a very tiny amount of caramel; aged cheddar on the aftertaste. Totally bizarre, but I like it!

Mouthfeel: Nothing denoting a stout, but it matches fine with the flavor. Very thin for a stout, but it has a light, creamy texture.

Overall: Unexpected, exciting, and completely amazing.
The best part about it is that I've never had anything like this, but feel like this could be a fun style to see other breweries try out. It's rare to come across something like this that doesn't just end in reach exceeding grasp.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cool light brown appearance, almost transluscent despite the dark color. Aroma was definitely tart, sour, salivation inducing. Stay around, you'll get the usual suspects in a stout aroma, chocolate, mild coffee, even a little wood, even though I don't think this was barreled. Might even be cherry and another citrus aroma/flavor to it. Very impressed.

Oh yeah, big ol' sour taste surges in the lead, the typical irish dry stout flavors follow, this is SO easy to drink, no alcohol, no massivity of most (but excellent) Bruery stouts. Very easy to drink, while complex, unique, and loveable. I dunno if its the sour component, but I'd swear this has the slightest touch of cherry to it. Its like a soured, sessionable, small beer version of Cherry Chocolate Rain. It ain't equal parts sour/stout, its sour first, stout later.

Pretty good deal to at ~$15 for a 750. Wish I bought more. This is my favorite new beer of 2011 so far.

Photo of PeterParker
3.57/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:
This is a momentous occasion. Probably the only time I'll try this with the price tag, this was a grad gift from my girlfriend, very exciting.

Pours near black with a minimal head and not really any lacing.

On the nose, it is definitely sour! I'm getting mustard and pickle juice. Very slight roastiness.

Holy Jesus! Extremely sour! At first sip I think I'm sucking on a Warhead. Taste is primarily unsalted pickle juice. It's more of a savory sour than a sweet sour. Like pickles instead of lemons. Very little in the way of stout characteristics. So different.

Very thin with medium carbonation. Doesn't feel at all like a stout. Aftertaste of tartness won't seem to diminish.

Overall this is just so different. I'm not getting any "stoutness" really, but the sourness is there in abundance. Good because it is so different, but for the price I probably wouldn't shell out another $20 for a bomber.

Photo of hagbergl
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Bruery always turns out great sour ales, so this made the perfect selection for a birthday beer. I'm looking forward to this review.

Appearance (3.25/5): Black as night. Visibly highly carbonated. My problem with the appearance is that the head fizzles away in about two seconds as if it were a soda. Not so wonderful. It looks like an ordinary stout or porter after the initial pour. But it's a "meh" looking kind of beer.

Smell (4.25/5): Holy crap, this smells interesting. Lactic sour aromas, tart apple, dark berry (blackberry and cranberry) aromas and just a hint of chocolate and roast.

Taste (4.5/5): Huge pop of bitterness from the start. Apple, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry. Resolves with the flavor of a raspberry chocolate candy. Delicious. Every so often I get chocolate and roasted malt flavors on the way across the tongue. Mixes Flanders red ale flavors with stout effectively, which is a serious accomplishment to say the least.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Seriously puckering. Vigorous carbonation. Medium-light body. Smooth. What worries the fizzling head inspired for the way the body of this beer would fare are instantly assuaged. An excellent sipping beer.

Overall (4.25/5): The Bruery strikes again. Another really good sour ale. Not quite as jaw-droppingly incredible as Oude Tart and Sour in the Rye, it is still a very well-crafted, inventive American Wild Ale that blends two disparate styles in a really tasteful (and tasty) way. Very good and worth the high price, in my opinion.

Photo of Auraan
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black with a very thin ring of tan head. It certainly looks like a stout. Scents of apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and red wine, with slight roast malt. The nose is certainly sour, not quite a RIS in scent. This carries over into the flavor. It's apple cider vinegar, sour funk, red wine and grapeskin, without many other flavors. It tastes quite sour and vinous, with none of the flavors I expected in a RIS. It's not bad, an excellent sour for sure, but less of a RIS. It was quite nice for what it was, indeed it was excellent. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with moderate carbonation and a drying mouthfeel. It feels like both a stout and a sour, quite nice. Overall this is a good combination of a sour and a RIS, though the sour overwhelms much of the stout qualities. I'd recommend it if you like sours, but if you want a stout look elsewhere.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml poured into a snifter. 2012 vintage

A: Pours a dark brown appearing black in the glass with a slightly tanned head. Some splotches of red in the head after the yeast is poured. Leaves some spots of lacing on the glass but not too much.

S: Nice tart and sour aroma. Slight roasted malt. Dark fruits like plum and cherry are in the background. Oak is going on very nicely

T: Great tartness going on here, really complex sour blend from the bacteria and yeast. Fruit flavors compliment the sour. Oak smoothes thing out nicely and add slight note of bourbon.

M: Light to medium body with a real crisp carbonated feel. A bit sticky on the finish but not too bad.

Overall this is very enjoyable. Sour and tart aspects are on point. Havent had this one fresh so not entirely sure how the year made it taste but it works.

Photo of weonfire
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Version. 7 ABV, not 5.6%

A - Deep brown - almost black, finger thickness of light khaki head - dissipates quickly leaving head around rim

S - Sour/tart oak, rye, fruits: cherry/ Granny smith apple

T - Initially: Sour oak & rye, granny smith apples, currant & cherry. Finish: Chocolate & carmel roastiness and ends in sourness

M - full, thick, frothy, viscus

O - Awesome. Sour oak is excellent - cherry/currant/apple transitions to the chocolate/carmel is spectacular. Gotta downgrade on the $21 pricetag. Jester King's Funk Metal is the equivalent and is $15.

Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, 2013 edition. Purportedly (and hopefully) the unfrozen batch that recently made it to Alberta.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with prominent cola highlights, and two hefty fingers of rather fizzy, frothy, and tightly bubbly beige head, which leaves little beyond a few specks of lonely island lace around the glass as it quickly flashes away. Quite a loud beer, I'd say.

It smells of an acrid, vinegar-like sourness, like well-oxidized red wine, essence of cherry, lightly roasted bready, faintly caramelized malt, bitter dark chocolate, fruity cola dilute, a hint of woody funk, and a soft musty earthiness. The taste is still quite side palate-tickling tart, but now with a more overt fruity bent, the cherry, raspberry, and even unripe strawberry really coming through, yet up against a somewhat less than sturdy wall of gritty bready malt, bittersweet cocoa, and woody, nondescript oak. Some mild funky, almost cheesy notes and soft earthy hops add further, distracting complexity. No evidence of the 7 points of booze.

The carbonation is adequately sassy, and duly supportive of all the funk, tart, and acidity, the body on the lee side of medium weight, due to the same culprits, and weirdly more smooth than I would have thought at the outset. It finishes still tart and fruity, the malt and funk hanging on, but visibly fading.

I'm a bit surprised at the malt's lesser role here, though it could be that it was all that it could do to stave off the funky, acetic acid onslaught. This one's still all about the sour - it just looks dark. Glad I got a chance to hit a bigger serving, after missing out on this at GABF last year.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to James for this one!

A: Pours a very dark brown with a small tan head that reduces quickly leaving a thin ring on top Minimal lacing.

S: Some sour/tart cherries up front followed up by a bit of roasted malt and chocolate. The stout part of the aroma is rather weak though as the tart cherries really dominate.

T: Similarly one sided on the flavor profile with a good bit of tart cherries and very little in terms of stout qualities.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, definitely on the tart side.

O: A really nice sour, just don't really see where the stout comes into play here. Consumed without seeing the color, I would never have pegged it a sour/stout.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. 750ml capped bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303

Thin light mocha colored head with little retention. Beer is opaque black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent stick. Average for the style.

Smoky and slightly tart with roasted malt, lacto, and some dark fruit. Appropriate.

Opens dark cherries with some smokiness and liquorice. Very sour. Roasted malt tartness towards the middle and ends cherry puree. Filmy, sour aftertaste with some dark chocolate notes mixed in.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. A bit thin. Prickly and sharp in the mouth. Filmy going down. Long, lingering aftertaste. Nice and crisp.

Overall what I'd expect from a dark sour. Some smokiness and dark fruit. Nice complexity with a solid feel. Decent but really not my favorite style.

Photo of dirtylou
3.41/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, split

appearance: served in my delirium chalice, dark mahogany body, active carbonation - beige bubbles, light lace

smell: dry roast, sour metal, tart sugars

taste: The sour stout phenomenon (not quite...) is not something I really support - the flavor profiles just dont mesh on my palate. Tart of darkness brings it with the puckering effect, but the dry chalky roast is just not palatable.

mouthfeel: sour, dry

overall: just not my thing

Photo of yesforbeer
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Maybe one of the best sours I've tasted. Wine like, even old wine like fruit with gobs of acidity leaning your palate and bringing you back for more. The aromas of red fruit and cherry and the perfect carbonation make this a top 10 all time sour. ;;;

Photo of cjacobsen
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Pours really dark, pretty much black. WHen the light hits it right, ruby notes shine through the base of the glass. Some head, but not much to draw a conclusion off of as it disappears quickly.

(S) You can smell the sourness and wild yeasts. Has a lot of dark fruits. Has some raisin and a bit of prune.

(T) You get the taste of a oude bruin at first. Raisin, prune and dark cherry. A bit of a lambic feel in the middle. It ends as a stout would with hints of cocoa, coffee, toffee, and biscuit. The sourness is definitely the brunt of the force but the end 1/4th of the taste is all stout.

(M) For a stout, it has a medium body to the beer. Light and tart.

(O) It was tough to wrap my head around a sour stout when I first heard of them, and now that I've tried one, I get it. It's still more of a sour beer, but it definitely has the stout flavors to add in to it. This beer (just as Clutch and other sour stouts) kind of stand in a style of their own.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Bruery Snifter. Pours a deep black. Had a nice tan head but dissapated to a ring. Ok lacing.

Aroma is interesting. Has that coffee roasted smell. Not a ton but then has that tart funkiness that a good sour has.

Taste is similar. You get that tart sourness of a good sour like temptation and then on your tongue lingers that roasted malt flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and dry. Mid to high carb.

Overall im impressed by this one. Didn't think much of it at first glance but I'm glad I picked it up to try.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes. This was a Provisions Series bottle, not the current release.

Appearance - Black, but not opaque. Off white head, but not big. A little bit of lacing. Eh.

Smell - Lactic sour notes and coffee. Strange combination, but pleasant. The stout doesn't come out as much as it mutes the acidity. The coffee aroma becomes stronger as it warms.

Taste - Quite sour, but again the stout seems to take the edge off just a bit. Strong cherry tang that mellows to a dark roast flavor. Nice, but a little monotonic.

Mouthfeel - It's sour, but the astringency that would normally accompany something like this has been tempered by the stout. Good carbonation and hardly carries the body of a stout. Easy drinking.

Overall - Tasty and unique, but still one-note in its flavor profile. Coffee and cherry sour flavors. Enjoyable enough for me to have purchased another when this entered distribution.

Photo of Ralphs66
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out what looks to be brown, but when held up to the light has a lovely reddish hue. Little head which dissipated quickly. Prunes and coffee on the nose, with of course, the wonderful vinegar blast of a well made sour. Nice palate cleansing astringency. Sweet and sour at the same time...Nice! I nice bubble on the mouthfeel, with a little syrupy coating. I love sours and this is very good one.

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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 2,149 ratings.