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Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,401 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1401
Reviews: 283
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 11.43%


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: 1,401 | Reviews: 283 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 22:59:23 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 17:39:32 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 03:08:37 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 18:24:31 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev +6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 18:14:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 14:35:38 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 23:24:30 | More by metter98
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 01:13:45 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 04:03:24 | More by biboergosum
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Hazy tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving a few stray bubbles on top, but minimal lacework. Dark brown body with cherrywood highlights.

S - Sour cherries, smoke, cocoa, and slightly meaty malt character, mild understated oak, and a bit of funky sweat and musk. The honey-glazed smoked ham flavor is a bit off-putting.

T - The taste is a bit better integrated, with a hefty dose of tart cherries, balsamic, dark fruits, smoke, and roasted malts at the back end. Mild sourness in the finish, but never gets fatiguing.

M - Zesty carbonation, crisp medium-light body, super dry and tannic finish. No trace of alcohol, nor should there be this lower ABV offering.

D - Other than the meaty note in the aroma this is quite good. I really enjoyed this beer and think it's one of the few Bruery offerings that actually belongs in a 750ml bottle. Would like to try this again and see how the sourness develops over time.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 21:53:45 | More by MasterSki
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 16:58:08 | More by emerge077
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery snifter because I am a badass. Beer is dark brown / hazy, and black with a thin tan head, low retention, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is strongly sour, citric, mild lactic, succinic, and acetic.

Beer is thin in body, very sour, very acetic, interesting, I don't think anyone would think this used to be a stout at all. Very good, quite enjoyable, I really like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 01:41:37 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 03:37:40 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Share with rudzud.

Slight darker colored fluffy 1/2 finger head fades at a med pace with light lacing, pretty much pitch black color.

Nose is nice, straight up sour malts, a bit of a tart cherry like fruit, etc. Then dark malts, light cocoa and caramel like, also plenty of barrel with toasted oak and lots of vanilla. faint roasted malt with touch of coffee.

Taste starts with sour funk, again pure sour malts, as well as tart cherry like flavors. Quite sour and tart, like cherry lemonade sourness. Then malts, light roast and faint coffee, light caramel and dark creamy malts, etc. Barrel pokes its head out, light vanilla, toasted oak and light dusty barrel, etc. Sourness continues forever with light acidity and mouth watering puckering flavor. Finish is long sourness although it starts to face and the dark malts come through, a nice toasty coffee grinds, light roast and dark malts, caramel, etc, the coffee really comes through surprisingly, with light barrel as well, drier but flemmy sticky feel.

Mouth is med bodied, nice carb, quite sour flemmy.

Overall quite nice, great sour malts, tart cherry like, nice dark malts with caramel and that nice light roast and rising coffee on the finish, nice oak barrel, fairly tasty. I think I may get more of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 20:54:25 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled September 2011
The beer pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip with a nice, dark, well browned, dark tan colored head that sits on top of an almost black, concentrated brown colored beer. Up front this beer smells like an oaky, berry-laden, red wine, but with lots more tartness than one usually finds in a wine; this morphs into notes of dry dark chocolate, touches of coffee and lots of toasted whole grain, dark malt notes. The toasted notes are accentuated by the combination of dark malt and oak character and then balanced in some way by the lactic tartness that is here

The beer tastes tart, almost with a harder sourness from the lactic acidity, though this combines quite smoothly with the roasted grain character; which is not usually the case in many of the sour / roasted beers that I have had in the past. The finish has a firmness to it that is brought on by the combination of lingering acidity, tannic woody notes and an additional astringency / spiciness from the oak. The tartness in the finish brings out some berry like notes and, along with the oak character, reminds me quite a bit of a red wine (assuming you can ignore the up-front roasted notes). I really like how well the tartness and fruitiness balances out the roasted character found in this beer. The roast character is still well noticed though, if it wasn’t for the other notes it would be much more coffee and dark chocolate tasting than it is. There is quite a bit of toasted maltiness to this beer that provides a nice whole grain character to this beer. The tartness is also accentuated by a touch of burnt character from the roast malt. This beer is quite dry actually, this works quite well here actually, though this beer does still have some richness to the middle, it accentuates a chocolate note, but is almost a bit savory; interestingly enough the beer starts out very dry and finishes quite dry, but the middle almost has some viscousness to it; this is just enough to keep the entirety of this beer from seeming the least bit thin.

This is quite vinous in the end, and is really quite tasty. I didn’t expect to like this as much as I have, and I certainly wish I had quite a few more bottles of this than I do; though I am going to quite enjoy the two other bottles that I have of this (assuming I can keep them away from my wife who has really taken a shine to this beer).

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 03:01:47 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 14:05:06 | More by Knapp85
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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

For the price, this beer better be at the least "good." I think I picked this up purely based on the fact that it was a wild ale. I had no clue it was a sour stout. I can deal with that.

The beer really rests on the sour tones, and they are up front and out there. The stout is a very minor player in this, if much at all. It just provides a thicker body on the ale, by just a little bit. The sour tones though really take the cake here, and frankly, provide a bit of a one dimensional ride. But that is fine with me, as it is a nice beer. I can suggest this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 05:37:28 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, into a The Bruery tulip,

A: Pours a deep brown with a fizzy short lasting tan head, minimal lace.

S: Chocolate and balsamic vinegar, nice.

T: Chocolate and brown sugar with a fair bit of acetic character. Some brownie flavours on the back end which are quite nice.

M: Light-bodied, solid acidity, fizzy at times, frothy.

O: A nice stout. Sour stout is pretty rare aside from Madrugada Obscura. I liked this effort though it's pretty pricey.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 01:56:05 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

finally! I have been after this one for a long time, what a rare treat, a sour stout, not too many of these on the market. its got a velvety textured almost black pour, without a ton of visible carbonation, but just under an inch of fairly robust tannish head. the nose is sour, I mean real sour, as sour as anything ive smelled, save maybe their motherfunker. the sour trumps the blackness of the stout, and the chocolate malt, roasted barley, and barrel are all sort of muted behind the acidity and lactic funk of the nose here. the taste is a little more in balance, and it starts off dark and roasty as expected. I get subtle sweetness, spice, and more complex grain, but before I have time to contemplate any of that, it transforms instantly into a sour bomb, not overly acidic like some bruery sours, but softly feeling brutally sour, if you can imagine such a sensation. the huge body of this beer and its really dark malty earthiness keep the sour in check just long enough to form a really intriguing flavor profile. it is truly different, like nothing else ive had. the stout itself reminds me a lot of darkness, with some cherry and other fruit in the finish. the sour here plays on those fruit notes and carries it away. great idea, brilliantly executed. the bruery has a real knack for doing that, which is why I will always come up with the money to try their new stuff, especially the sours and wilds. this is a treasure.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 17:10:26 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep brown with great carbonation at first leaving a sexy tannish cap, loads of bubbles which fade to a thin ring around the hedges

S: Sour funk with Earthy wood, vinegar with whiffs of chocolate

T: Starts with a nice acidic sour vinegar with dark cherries with some cocoa notes with a long lingering lacto finish and acid sting. Actually to much. I find some elements of spent wood and some Earthy notes in there but very light. I find it to be a little

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated for the style, loads of nice acidic sourness really stick a=to the palate

O: Good? Yes. Worth the hype? Negative.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 02:57:30 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/30/12 notes. Got a few bottles of this being a member of the Reserve Society. Batch 2, poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour dark fruits, sour cherries, fruity malts, light toasted malts, light chocolate, and roasted malts. Lots of sour dark fruits mixing with roasted malts; very nicely done.

t - Tastes of sour cherries, sour dark fruits, sticky sweet fruity malts, oak, roasted malts, chocolate, , and some toasted malts. Taste is very acidic and very sour, with a ton of dark fruits. Very sour but I like it a lot.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Pretty easy to drink; a little less carbonation and this could be perfect.

o - Overall I liked this a lot. I hadn't heard great things about Batch 1 (which I have yet to try but have 1 bottle of), and had heard good things about Batch 2, and I was very happy with it. Maybe the BT barrels helped this one, but it is a very sour beer with roasted notes to it, and one of the better "sour stouts" I've had. Glad to have a few bottles of this and looking forward to trying the 2 batches side by side.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2012 19:46:12 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Beer Sommelier Antwerp Beer Passion Weekend stemglass. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I don't know why I keep giving The Bruery chances but this looked good. Acquired at a locla beer store for something like 23$.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger khaki head of very appealing cream, good thickness, nice smooth rolling foam, and brilliant retention. Colour is a very dark brown-black. Nontransparent but non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Bacteria, wild tart fruit, wild yeast, clean malts, and some cream. A mild strength aroma, but a subtle one.

T: Wild tart fruit greets you fully up front, giving you a rough awakening that mellows into a friendly greeting over time. It goes for the sourness, and I like it. Tart fruit - blueberries, grape, and sour raspberry - are all present, adding depth to the sourness and really bringing out the focus. It's pretty sour, but not quite puckerworthy. The clean malts dissipate on the finish, generating a nice fizzy effect that highlights the dying fruit. Little bacteria or wild yeast comes through, but that that does is fantastic. I'm actually rather impressed - a rarity for The Bruery's beers. It's damn good. Very bold with its flavours yet still masterfully balanced. Complex, vibrant, and multifacted. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Brilliantly crystalline coarse, tingling yet supportive of the slight touches of cream. The mouthfeel helps highlight the flavour while guiding you through. Carbonation is perfect. Truly a remarkable complement to the taste.

Dr: I have to admit The Bruery has impressed me for a second time. This is one of their few beers I'd get again, though I'm not certain it's worthy of the price. Quite drinkable for a sour. Hides its modest ABV well. I'd recommend it to friends, but it does hit the wallet pretty hard.

Certainly worth cellaring.

Would pair well with acidic foods, especially salads. Also berries.

A-

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 06:21:29 | More by kojevergas
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml classically Bruery-orange-capped bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Shared with Sam and Rich in Sydney.

Pours a dark, but very fluid and light-bodied brown, with almost negligible carbonation. When tilted there are some fine streams, but otherwise it looks pretty dead in the glass. Head forms a pocked ring around the edge of large, sudsy bubbles. Looks okay, but no better.

Nose is surprisingly sweet, with dark fruits providing the bulk of the aroma. Mild plasticky funk comes through as well, leaving a little hint of the future, but otherwise, there's more in the way of berries and a slight chocolate hint. As it warms, surprisingly, the funk comes through a little more, with a definite gueuze-like vegetative character making its presence felt. It's actually pretty solid.

Taste is impressively sour. From the outset, when a metallic bite signals that there's something funky going on, this stays sharp, acidic and intense. Vinous, barrel, acetic, plenty of intense balsamic vinegar, Cantillon-level gueuze tartness, and a lingering finish that leaves crushed tomato plant and more plasticky aromatics. Impressive stuff.

Feel is tart and astringent, but with a fluidity that's quite pleasant.

Overall, yes, this is good stuff. Probably the best beer I've had from the Bruery. This is sharp, intense and unrepentant. The darkness doesn't come through all that much, but then the colour is just impressive. Yep. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 04:09:20 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2 from a 750ml into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears black in color with a khaki finger of head across the top that fades to a thin film. When held to the light, the brew shines with ruby clarity through the body and lighter brown around the edges. Some spots of lacing stick to the glass.

The aroma is quite wine-like at first. A hint of sour cherry blends into a tangy aspect to the nose. There is some funky wood elements present that only come out as the brew warms up and breaths. It reminds me almost of old cork or musty/damp wood with some hints of earth and then a mild touch of roasty chocolate to coffee quality. Once the brew warms up, the nose picks up this strange aspect that is strikingly similar to the pink eraser on a #2 pencil. I know, that sounds idiotic but it caught me off-guard and is the best way I can describe it. Once that eraser smells wraps itself inside the nose, it is hard to shake it out.

The taste is tangy/tart with some sour cherry and mild vinous elements. The barrel presence is felt with a very mild musty to mildew oak aspect reminding me almost of wet cork and stale or musty grain. Some earthen flavors are present that fade into an aftertaste that includes a faint touch of cocoa/coffee. As the brew warms up, it gets increasingly more tangy and tart with deep fruit flavoring. However, the dark grain/roast elements also increase in character and leave a pleasant taste that nears coffee/espresso lingering inside the mouth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. In a blind taste testing, I dont think you would initially be able to tell how dark this brew is. But as it warms up and more sips are taken, the darkness reveals itself with some characteristics that really play nice with the vinous/tart cherry elements. Sour fans will really enjoy this. Get out there and get yourself a bottle if you haven't had it yet.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 02:23:32 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a deep amber/near brown with several fingers of foamy mocha head. This shrinks down pretty readily, retaining with some fizzy bunching around the edges and leaving back some light sudsy lacing that slowly drips down the sides of the glass. The aroma surprisingly smells of cocoa, roast and maybe even a smidge of caramel up front. Dark tartness and some light funky character creeps in off the edges. The flavors here really fill the nose and linger a bit as well.

The taste has a deep cherry tartness to it that is funky and slightly acidic on the edges of the profile. This segues into cocoa sweetness and a light roastiness that spreads out into the finish. A lingering mix of sweet sugars and dry acidity hang in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp prickliness that dots the tongue yet retains an overall firm smoothness to the carbonation as this spreads out across the mouth. Very lively on the palate overall.

This was surprisingly good and although it feels a little unbalanced towards the dark cherry at times, I was pleased to find just enough of that cocoa and roasted flavors to not only be present but act as an active part of the profile as well.The tartness is just mouthwatering here at times. Definitely one to check out if you like sours.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 18:07:30 | More by Kegatron
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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 1,401 ratings.