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Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,965 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,965
Reviews: 309
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 251
Gots: 647 | FT: 68
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Batch 2 was aged in spent Black Tuesday barrels.

(Beer added by: ajcobb24 on 06-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,965 | Reviews: 309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Sammy, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +18.5%

spycow, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared during Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour grape and cherry aromas along with some dark malt notes. Taste is pretty much the same with a very grape-like aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some interesting smells and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.2%

djrn2, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

zestar, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

acurtis, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to msulinski for sending this bottle out my way. Served in a Bruery tulip and consumed while watching the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series.

Pours near black with a frothy light mocha head and a moderate amount of lacing on the way down. The nose carried a bit of roast and chocolate with moderate coffee. Light cherry and lactic component there as well. Nice and complex. The flavor is a bit of a disappointment after that, as the stout components fall back and there isn't much to it other than the acidity. Medium body with good carbonation and a nice lactic presence throughout. Quite good, but I wish the stout portion were a bit more prominent.

I'm not sure if this entire batch was soured or if it were blended with a sour beer, but I think using the latter approach with a bit less sourness would be outstanding.

Thorpe429, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

nmann08, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is extremely dark red (black when viewed from afar) in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of tart cherries are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has tart flavors of sour cherries along with notes of vinegar.
M: The beer is light-bodied and very tart on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. It makes your mouth pucker.
O: If you can handle all of the tartness, this beer isn't that difficult because it isn't too sour. It is a good beer to clean your palate with.

metter98, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

GRG1313, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

kjkinsey, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a modest amount of bubbling foam that quickly fades, leaving a ringlet; not much lacing

Smell: Sour cherry, with generous undertones of chocolate and oak, along with hints of coffee and smoke

Taste: The cherry flavors become increasingly tart as the beer is swirled across the tastebuds, releasing chocolate, oak, smoke and coffee elements; the acidity only increases, after the swallow, though the chocolate and roasted malt returns to add depth and the finish presents a hint of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation and a moderate pucker factor

Overall: Just outstanding; really enjoyed the layers of flavor and the interesting approach to the style; easily my favorite beer from The Bruery

Thanks, nicks6217, for the opportunity

Note: Revisiting the 2014 version, I find the beer has more of a vinous character, with a range of lactic berry flavors joining the cherry and I don't find as much of the chocolate or smoke from the earlier version; quite a good beer, but also different from what I remember

brentk56, May 06, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Incredible sourness laid upon a dark and mysterious base. Flavors come out in new and evoking ways with dark grains, fruit and palate-piercing acidity. Aptly named, Tart of Darkness is as ominous, dreary and shaddowy as it sounds.

Opening with a dark plumb color with tawny bronze low lights, the beer simmers in the glass with tepid carbonation to give the ale a slight coffee-like appearance. Its dark and ruddish appearance is slightly haze and gives the ale a rather rusty darkness. Sparse on lacing, the ale almost prefers wine-like appearances over that of ale.

Savory and tart, the aromas nearly cause sweating and mouth whetting with its utter sour fruit character. Black cherries, plumbs, blackberries, blackcurrants and red grapes give a highly tangy but robust scent. A musty aura of sea air, weathered oak and saddle leather add to the beer's boisterous scent. However, its the vinous wine-like character that joins into notes of soy sauce, coffee grounds, dark chocolate and balsamic for a highly complex nose.

To taste, the beer's fruit strikes first- plumb and black cherry leading the way. But the savory sourness rises next with balsamic, merlot, sour plumbs, tangy berries and grapes to give the beer a wildly wine-like and briny character. Its thin sweetness seems to give the dark fruit a sense of "ripeness" before its dry cider taste takes hold. Yet a toastier, chocolaty and coffee taste lurks deep in the backdrop and assists in the beer's bold complexity.

Medium-dry early, the beer's dark fruit and slim sweetness thwarts its light carbonation to go from creamy to toasty-dry in a hurry. Its jaw-piercing acidity provides plumb skin astringency to heighten its sourness in finish.

I see this as a Flanders Red turn Oud Bruin, turn Sour Porter in the most unique and seductive way possible. Its a procession into a direction that allows its darker side to assist in its sour dryness. Simply sublime at every turn.

BEERchitect, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours looking like cola. No head and very, very deep amber body.

S: sweet and sour cherries, brown sugar and a little confectioners chocolate. Little else but very good.

T: Initially the sourness hits pretty hard with sour cherry and strawberry. Late the oak, milk chocolate, toffee, roasted malt and brown sugar come in but these don't linger very long with the cherry still lingering to the finish.

M: medium to thick body and high carbonation.

Overall: Very good beer. May be a little over the top sour even for the style. But flavorful and a must try.

kylehay2004, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

jaydoc, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

opaque black with a huge tan head on top. Great rings of lace forming all around it. Huge smell of tartness, perhaps raspberries or just straight yeast, but there is a fruit like character to it, chocolate and caramel, vanilla and hints of wood and with some kinda weird dark fruitiness that seems to accentuate the tart flavor. Flavor was huge, after the assault of chocolate dipped raspberries and cherry, a ton of roasted malts, lots of caramel and lactose were really strong on this.. Very sugary and full. A slight taste of cookie dough in the finish

mikesgroove, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is dark brown, bordering on black, with a large brown head.

S: There is a very pronounced lactic sourness which is the first thing I pick up. A mild roasted malt character and some subtle notes of sour cherries. There is oak in the background and a hint of chocolate.

T: The flavor is very sour, as I expected. A nice complexity comes from cherry and dark fruit flavors. A more subtle roasted malt note than you might anticipate with plenty of oak and hints of lemon zest and grass.

M: The body is on the light end of medium with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Really a solid beer and one of the Bruery's better sours to this point.

womencantsail, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out looking pretty good, nice dark black color with a light tan head on top. The retention is minimal just leaving a ring around the glass. There wasn't much lacing on this brew either. The smell of packed with sour notes, there is some oak in there as well. The aroma of some dark fruits come out but are quickly overwhelmed by the strength of the sourness. The taste is exactly what the label says, it's tart with a bit of the dark malts in there to balance it out a little. The mouthfeel is dry, tart and a bit thinner than I expected. Overall it's a decent beer, not worth the price tag in my opinion but was nice to share with some people.

Knapp85, May 29, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a light tan-hued head that crackles out at a fair pace.

Smell: Roasted malt, thin chocolate, a little vanilla. Vinegary element is noted. Sour cherry, maybe a bit of beautiful raspberry.

Taste: A stout dosed with quality balsamic vinegar, tiny pinch of cocoa powder, a drop of vanilla and a sprinkling of wild berries. Sensibly tart and acidic though a fairly puckering experience. Modest oak. Pinch of lemon. Longly tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Active yet smooth carbonation.

Overall: Rather nice, really. I would drink it again. For you. For all of you.

ChainGangGuy, May 10, 2014
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

SocalKicks, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Bruery tick provided by womencantsail. Thanks, Andrew.

Appearance: Dark brown body verging on black, with a short-lived light brown crust.

Smell: Surprisingly stout. I was expecting more of a dark Flanders style beer from this, but it really does have a substantial stout base. Quite roasty and charred, but also very lactic. Mild fruitiness comes out as it warms.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very sour, leaning heavily toward clean lactic sourness. The stout base is still surprisingly prevalent, lending some nice roasty and bready notes. It's an intriguing mix of flavors. There's a touch of cherry-like fruitiness and barrel in here, but it's buried beneath the lacto and roasted malt. Very unique stuff, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

largadeer, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

My man Ryan was raving about this beer, so I felt I just had to grab a bottle while I still could, if for no other reason than to see what the hubbub was about. It pours a deep black-sienna, nearly completely opaque, topped by a fleeting half-finger of tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder, vinegar, tart berries, light roasted malts, and a touch of maple syrup way in the back. The taste leads with the vinegar, rolls seamlessly into some tart berries and fruits (lots o' lemon on the back-end), then, just when you think this is just some sour, some roast and cocoa soften things up a bit before a haymaker of slightly metallic tartness finishes things off. Animality! The body is a straight medium, with a moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a decidedly enjoyable sour stout, possibly the best of the genre I've yet had.

TMoney2591, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for sharing, I think this is a 2012 bottle.
Served in a mini-nonic, quick review transcribed from written notes.

Dark brown with glints of ruby in the light, tan foam on the surface, with spotty lace around the edges.

Apple butter aroma with some red wine vinegar sharpness.

Very sour and puckering, salivary glands get working into overdrive. Traces of roasted malt from the stout base, and some vinous dark fruit. Heavily acidic up front, and lightly drying in the finish. Overall enjoyable in small doses, though the sourness seems a little one dimensional and overpowering at times.

emerge077, Jul 28, 2013
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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 1,965 ratings.