Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

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Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

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2,205 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,205
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 281
Gots: 736 | 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: 2,205 | Reviews: 342
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 4.10 overall rating is accurate.

Type: 750ml bottle (25.4 oz.)
Glass: 26th anniversary Karl Strauss pint glass
From: Beer Advocate’s heresy22
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received May 21, 2015
Consumed: June 27, 2015
Misc.: Bottled on May 1, 2014

Thanks Chris!

Poured a mahogany (even purple?) opaque color with one finger of tan, rocky head,
which thinned out right away. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.63)

Smelled tart cherry, Sweet Tarts, Smarties, strawberry (wishful?), red apple, cider, faint plum, chocolate late, cocoa powder (I think), black cherry and faint sour milk. (Smell - 4.25)

Tasted sour cherries up front, followed by tart on the tongue late, chewy sour ball candy, strawberry, red apple cider, purple grape, sour plum juice. Then (it really seemed like all of a sudden) I got some sugary chocolate, oak, light toasty malts, cocoa nibs and toffee. (Taste - 4.13)

Medium body. Creamy-to-oily texture. Lively carbonation. Abrupt, astringent finish. (Feel - 3.88)

This was very interesting. I got like 85 percent sour and 15 percent stout. Very sugary and sweet. I don’t know how one could finish a whole bottle, but I’m going to try. (Overall - 4.13)

4.10 | 92 | A-

Photo of justinp444
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip has a very quickly dissipating brown head with a dark black body and brown edges. Smell of of apple cider, tart cherries, peaches, vanilla, and oak. Tons of fresh fruit characteristic and a tangy sour that bites your nose. Taste is of sour apple cider, grapes juice, vanilla, and a slight end of oak. Fantastic, takes some time to adjust to the sour as it is powerful, but it is super smooth and juice like with lots of sweetness and just a bit dry. Medium mouth feel with a medium body. 2014 vintage.

Photo of Steban
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is extremely sour

Photo of Beefytits4
3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes like warheads dumped into wine.

Photo of kkleu357
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark purple mostly black body. Don’t really care for the smell. I’m the only one getting this, but I get a grape cough medicine smell. Luckily, the taste was very good. No medicine. Tart sour roasty flavor. Mild oak flavor. Interesting to be drinking a sour stout.

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a review of the 2011 bottle I had the privilege to try at Society Member Monday. I was expecting a 'meh' beer, but it definitely was much better than I expected. I really wish I could get about 20 cases of this... please?

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a very dark brown with a thin one-finger off-white head. The head dissapates extremely quickly leaving virtually no lacing.

S - Aroma is vinegar and tart cherries.

T - The flavor is tart cherries, vinegar, and white grape. There is some leather, light roasted malts and oakiness midpalate. Finish is even more tart cherries and lemon.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very dry finish.

O - This is a nice blend of fruity and vinous. I'm not really picking up any of the stout flavors aside from the malts. Mouth puckering good sour.

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really interesting.... A stout that pours jet black but has reallly nice tartness and hints of fruit.

Photo of MtnSoup
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014. Very tart, and not a ton of fruit flavors aside from some plum. Great beer. One of the best from Bruery.

Photo of ThreeLions
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml split with hab11 in treehouse tulips.

Look: Good carbonation. Umm. Hmm. What can I say? Poured from the bottle looking like Coca-Cola with less carbonation. Carbonation quickly runs away leaving no head, no lacing whatsoever. 7% abv. This beer looks sort of thin and lifeless. Stillborn beer? Stepped outside and the beer has some redeeming qualities. Much darker than originally appeared. Good oils coating the glass.

Smell: tart chocolate covered sour cherries. Almost green apple or crab apple smells too. Not a big fan of this style of beer but I like the brewery so hopefully it will be good.

Taste: Hmm. Much better than anticipated. Heavy malt vinegar with lots of cherries and chocolate. Very vinegary with a lot of chocolate and cherries. Looking for other flavors but as of yet they have not come through. It is.like drinking a cherry cordial marinated in balsamic vinegar. It is interesting and not terrible. I almost feel like making a salad and pouring this over it but then the chocolate comes back. I really do feel as though I am drinking a sad dressing. Again, not awful nut not my cup of tea.

Mouth: Good oily Resinous medium body.

Overall: as a general thing I simply do not understand this style. If this is your type of thing then I would suggest getting a bottle because for what it is it does a very good job. If you don't care for this style don't expect this beer to change your mind. Overall pretty good, great even just not for me. Also hab11 just reminded me thus was aged in Oak barrels. I got no barrel presence whatsoever. No oak tannins from which this beer could have greatly benefitted. Not for me but maybe for you.

Photo of Derek
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 Edition. Pours a nice head that subsides to a thin ring of retention, shows some leg. It is tart, nice solid body. Roast is subtle, like dark chocolate covered cherries.

Photo of bnes09
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown, translucent ale. Thin, off-white head with minimal retention or lacing. Typical for the style.

Tart vinegar, berry, slightly roasted aroma.

Assertive acid flavor but very well balanced with the mild roastiness, and smooth oak. Lots of berry, primarily black currants. As it warms, subtle sweet dark fruits notes begin to emerge. Prunes and blackberries come to mind. Very complex and super well balanced flavor.

Medium bodied. Dry feel. Makes the mouth water. Moderate carbonation.

Hard to tell this beer is a stout. The presence of roasted malt adds some wonderful dark flavors, although not as aggressive a roastiness as most stouts. Simplicity, subtlety and elegance are characteristics this beer brings to the table better than any stout and almost any sour ale I've ever tasted. Truly a boundary breaker and a testament to demonstrate where craft beer can go.

Photo of Beer-Revelry
1.98/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

2013 vintage

The beer that made me realize, I do not like this whole sour beer fiasco.

A - 4.5 - Poured an incredibly dark brown, pretty much to the point of jet black in color. Formed a half finger of quickly dissipating, medium tan colored head. Extremely weak head potential and retention. Nonexistent lacing.
S - 2.75 - Acid. Tons of acidic, tart cherry and white grape. Wine, vinegar, and perhaps an EXTREMELY distant malty aroma.
T - 1 - Good god, I could barely stomach a few sips, let alone drink an entire glass. Extremely acidic grape and vinegar, fades into a somewhat malty finish. The malt combined with the vinegar and tart grape creates the taste of what I can only describe as a combination of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Horrid.
F - 3.5 - Medium body.
O - 1.5 - I guess some people are really into this whole sour beer craze, and I can imagine there's probably a huge following for this type of beer, but for ME, I'd rather spend a fraction of the cost and get myself a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of soy sauce. Has definitely opened my eyes to the fact that I am indeed not a sour drinker.

Photo of swanfungus
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 on draft. delicious at the outset, even better once warmed up/aerated.

Photo of InkedinRi
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just getting into sour beers this one was very sour and tasty.

Photo of skyheart
3.11/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

My enough stout in my opinion. Could taste the oak pretty nicely in the finish, but didn't give me that milky depth that a stout should have

Photo of SierraFlight
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle shared during #bottlecherwednesday at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Poured into a tulip. Appearance is dark opaque brown with a finger of tan head that settles to a collar and leaves sporadic, spotty lacing. Aroma is sour cherries, roasted malt, oak, and chocolate. Taste is sour cherries and dark fruit, surrounded by roasted malt and chocolate sweetness, and a drying oak and grape finish. Medium body, slightly creamy texture, average-plus carbonation which is good for the style and weight of this beer, and a puckering, tannic, drying finish.

Photo of Beastcpa
1/5  rDev -76.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

If I wanted Sweetarts, I would have returned to the 1980s

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not what I expected. Definitely more of a sour than stout, but it was enjoyable. I expected to pick up some typical roasted character of a stout, but that didn't seem to be present.

Photo of cubs943
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer was pretty good.

Photo of leroybrown10
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small creamy looking tan head. Head dissipates quickly leaving little lacing behind. Some deep red and brown highlights when held to the light.

Aroma is heavy acetic acid. Some tart cherry. Roasted malt and oak at the end.

Tart cherry, mild roast malt and and some lacto funkiness. Some oak and leatheriness. Fruity on the back end. More cherry as well as grape, lemon, raspberry and gooseberry.

Tart mouth feel with some dryness at the end. Induces a slight pucker but is not overly sour. Medium carbonation. There was a noticeable hiss when I popped the cap.

Overall a good beer but not exceptional. At $20/bottle, I am not likely to try this again. It is supposed to be a stout/sour hybrid, but I only picked up hints of the stout flavors. Blind taste test, I would have identified it as a straight sour/wild ale.

Photo of mr-jj
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Bruery

Pours very dark - almost black. Much more tart than I expected, given the barrel aging. A very good sour ale with a nose and taste of sour cherries with some maltiness. A good beer, but dominated by the tartness.

Photo of Tylertut
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Bruery - Tart of Darkness
Teku Glass

Look (4): Beer appears to be very thin like most sours, not thicker and tackier like a stout would be. Its almost as close to black without being black as you can get. Its a very very dark brown, letting through almost no light when held up light source.

Smell(3.75): Has a pleasant roasted malt smell that is the main one. It also has a slightly funky yeasty smell that is trying to compete with the roasty smell. Almost has a sweet smell at the end but that might be a stretch.

Taste(4.5): It starts off with a slight sour taste but then opens up into a oak and sweet roasted malt taste. The beer then quickly shoots to a powerful sour taste. The finish, once the puckering sour fades, is that of wild yeast. The sour almost comes across as overpowering but it fades just enough to be very enjoyable. I was shocked to feel a buzz from this beer, it doesn't taste like a 10% beer at all

Mouthfeel(4): Following the appearance, it has a very thin feel but goes down a bit thicker. It also has a slight burn in the back of my mouth, not an alcohol burn, but a more acidic burn that I've been associating with most sours I've had. It has a light carbonation that has an effervescent quality.

Overall(4.25): I am pretty new to sour beers, this only being about my 4th and so far this is my second favorite. This beer drinks like a lighter beer, as I'm sure most sours do. I'd have some trouble calling this a stout, but it is damn good. I'll be picking this up again if I ever come across it.

Photo of SeanBond
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've got to say, I heard a lot of mixed things about the Bruery, so when I found this on tap at Binny's, I initially wasn't sure it was worth a shot. Glad I tried it, though.

As the name implies, the beer is very dark, to the point of looking like a stout if you don't hold it up to the light. Head is thin and light.

Tastes like dark berries; lots of sour, and, of course, tartness. Delicious!

I can't profess to be an expert on sours whether American or otherwise, but this is the type I like. More fruity than something like a Supplication, this stuff was very tasty.

Photo of RobertConway
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deliciously sour. Looking forward to my next bottle.

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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 2,205 ratings.