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Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

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Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

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336 Reviews
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Reviews: 336
Hads: 2,245
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 284
Gots: 761 | FT: 84
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 336 | Hads: 2,245
Photo of Sludgeman
3.06/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A bomber bottled on 5-8-12 (approx 9 months old). Lot 35. Purchased for $21.79.

A- Pours thin black and opaque with little to no head (tan).

A - Tart, sweet with a little funk.

T - Initially I got that taste you get when you have a bad burp and some stomach acid makes its way into the back of your throat. Sour, acidic and dry.

MF - Smooth

O - A huge disappointment. Drain pour for the remainder of the bottle. Roasted malts - No! Stout - No! Bottle says suitable for aging up to 3 years. I might try it again, but as a taste and only at three years. (557 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought this from Lizardville in Bedford Heights a few months ago, and couldn't wait anymore to try! Having this as a shared bottle with my wife.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pair of tulip glasses. The ale is a deep, dark black with a two finger tan head that rapidly dissapates. I know this says it will be tart, but it does not "look" like other sours I've had.

There is a spicy, fruity aroma that is so strong that it can be smelled even as it is being poured. After it settles in the glass, the aroma calms, but is still fully present. Vinous grapes, tart apple, hints of balsamic vinegar, mild raspbery, and dark chocolate combine for a very pleasant, full smell.

Yowza, is that tart! Perhaps the dark appearance and fruity aroma deceived us, but it was mouth-puckeringly, spine-shiveringly tart. The sourness quickly fades, though, leaving a more roasty, coffee/toffee finish. Granny smith apple, lemon, balsamic vinegar, and raspberries start strong and then fade to leave the roasted finish, that becomes more chocolately over time.

The tartness makes this almost too much to drink, but it fades fast enough to not overwhelm the finish. The tartness that remains, though, gives the malty finish a brightness that is unexpected.

An amazing and unusual ale, I'm glad we were able to find and enoy this one. The sourness is more than I typically can take in a sour ale, but it fades so quickly into such a pleasant roasted coffee, toffee and chocolate finish that I don't mind it. Plus, the tart grows on you as you get further through the beer, such that you're looking for that next hit of sour after it fades away. (1,636 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black body it seems, with one finger tan head that died quick. Very tart, vinous aroma, cherries, sour apple, touches of oak and wood, with possibly some sweet malt but I didn't pick them up in the smell. Taste is more of the same in terms of strong tart fruits like cherry, sour apple, maybe dark/black druits, as it is a very tart beer, but a great balance from oak and wood lets it be a little fuller-bodied, almost creamy one could say, and while still a dry, crisp finish (and this is a slow sipper, mind you) it isn't overly tart or bitter. Little touchs of roasted malts and/or dark chocolate sweetness seem to creep in as well and make the difference between just a sour beer/ale and a combo of sour and stout. Not real experienced in this "sub genre" of brew but this is a quality beer def worth seeking it out. (835 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from Lukens Liquors online. 19.99. No bottling info but this was a fourth quarter 2012 release. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours deep brown with murky edges, much like cola including a fizzy pale tan one finger head that shrinks away quickly to leave a few bubbles around the edge. Zero lace.

Smells of sour cherry lemonade, slightly spoiled fruit and vinegar with vague hints of vanilla and roast.

Tastes of tart lemons, vinegar, cherry, hay, dates and sour apples. As the tartness fades, other much more subtle notes come through including burnt cocoa, oak, caramel, butter and vanilla. Every sip refreshes the puckering funk that transforms into muted sweetness. Very interesting.

Body is on the lighter side of medium with tingly carbonation that pops on the tongue but won't bubble up when swirled in the glass. As in appearance, much like cola. Long crisp tart finish.

Admittedly sours are not my thing but this may start to open that door for me. Being a fan of stouts, I was hoping for more roasty presence but it turned out ok. A strangely alluring combination of flavors. (1,112 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes from 2/9/13

A- Pours a blackish-brown with dark amber hues on the edges. Almost no head or lacing, but heavy carbonation is visible.

S- Aroma smacks you in the face with tart cherries, plum, apricot, lots of sour granny smith apple, and some wile yeast funkiness. A touch of roastiness and raspberries.

T- Wow! This is mouth-puckering sour! The flavor follows the nose nearly identically, though no real pronounced roast flavor.

M- This is highly carbonated with a medium to thin body which works well with the style.

O- Overall a very good sour, though I don't know where they are getting the "stout" part from, other than the color. (659 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with light passing through around the edges. I got about 1" of tan head that receded quickly.

Smells of dark cherries, vinegar, and a nice roast. I'm interested to see how these work together.

I love the play between the sour and vinegar against the dark roast. The cherries add a sweetness that's followed by an acidic apple vinegar. The dark roast with light wood adds another couple dimensions.

The body is light with prickly carbonation.

It's a fantastic beer that's not only unique, but done well. I'd love to revist this again sometime. (561 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque cola brown with fizzy light tan head and lots of sediment.
S: It smelled like very tart cherry and apple cider vinegar, with some sour oak and metallic.
T: It tasted like very tart crisp apples and soup cherries and oak, with some vinegar and metallic and soy. It had a lasting clean and very tart aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Lively body.
D: This was bold and tart with nice scent and taste and body. The finish was clean and crisp, but it must be sipped due to extreme tartness. It would probably age for a long time, but doesn't need it since it's already solid fresh. Recommended. (642 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,272 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros and poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a deep brownish black hue with a half a finger light tan head that left thin wisps and a foamy halo.

S - Aromas of faint vinegar and light roasted malts. The soft barrel notes rise more and more as it warms. Quite pleasant.

T - Taste is lots of sour vinegar notes here along with subtle roasted malts. Good smooth barrel notes here with light cherry notes. Quite tasty and enjoyable. Good malt vinegar notes along with a solid bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is sharply carbonated and super drinkable. Very sessionable.

O - Overall this was a quite enjoyable beer. Very glad I have some more of this! (674 characters)

Photo of shand
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This bottle haunted me for weeks at the local bottle shop. With a 20 dollar price tag staring me down, I kept passing it up. Finally, I had to give in. I knew I'd regret not picking it up. Tart of Darkness pours out a dark brown color with a tiny head. The aroma is absolutely awesome. It's got a strong tart cherry thing going on, along with oak and a vinegar sourness. The taste, again, is fantastic. It's extremely tart straight from the get-go, puckeringly so. There's a bit of roast in the background that quickly gets tossed out the window by a very tart lemon juice thing going on. The finish is lingeringly tart and sour. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, and the drinkability is fantastic. Overall, Tart of Darkness is one of my favorite sours I've had so far, and easily one of the best available in this cursed sour state of Florida. (844 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,333 characters)

Photo of MudDrinker
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | 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 still has a light, smooth 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. (872 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours near black with a 1" tan head. Thick curtains and blotches of lacing coat the glass.

S- vinegar, sour mash, big sour cherry aroma!, some earthiness

T- vinegar, pale malts, sour mash, sour cherries and a faint chocolate, dark malt flavor.

M- medium body and carbonation. Fairly acidic which is normal for the style.

O- 7/10 sourness. Wow! A very surprising beer. Excellent sour, even tough the dark malts play a very small role in this beer. (523 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An exceptional sour- very nice tart flavors and aromas with some dark slightly sweet flavors giving the whole thing the same gestalt as a good balsamic. Pours a dark brown, with some decent viscosity and some orange highlights. Not a bad head given the style, but it does fade to nothing after a bit. A little bit of spice complements the tangerine tartness and richer umami flavors. Quite well done and very drinkable. I was tempted to blend some with the Stone Vertical Epic 12 for a Christmas trifle effect. A very good beer. (528 characters)

Photo of emyers
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby highlights. One finger beige head. Pretty good head retention.

Smell: Big tartness up front. My mouth puckered just smelling this. Tart cherries, some oak. I don't get much of the stout characteristics from the nose - maybe just a pinch of chocolate.

Taste: Yeah, that's pretty damn sour. I probably should have expected that, but I didn't think it would be quite as intense as it is. Still, the chocolate comes out more here, along with more oak and cherry. It's funny - I really don't like the tartness in beers like Bell's Cherry Stout and think it detracts from the stout qualities, but I'm loving this. Maybe because it goes all in on the tartness as opposed to just having a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied (at least as far as stouts go). Pretty high in carbonation. I'm not sure how I feel about the mouthfeel on this one - I love thick, full-bodied stouts but light, crisp sours. This one kind of splits the two which I suppose is appropriate, but I'd like a little more body.

Overall: I was a bit hesitant about this, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I can't help but think that bourbon barrels would do absolutely fantastic things to this beer... (1,251 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a dark brown, pretty much black with a little red coming through at the edges. Capped with over a finger of tan head that leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell. Tart light fruits, chocolate and cherry, maybe a little old coffee. Just a little bit of funky old wood.

Taste. Quite sour, some tart cherry and cocoa powder, sour grapes and green apple tartness with just a drop of espresso.

Mouthfeel. Lighter body with medium-strong fine carbonation.

Overall. A very unique and very tasty sour. (510 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Midnight black with trace ruby highlights. Thin khaki halo sits low with low retention and poor lace.

S - Bright, sour oak nose. Sweet Tarts candies, rice vinegar, copper, and fresh cut wood.

T - Holy crap that was not what I was expecting. Raw, bright, acidic lemon juice. Touch of agave sweetness. Crisp oak. Mouth-puckeringly deep sour center. Lemon rinds and a trace of caramel on the backed. Outrageous.

M - Light, crisp, and bracingly sour.

O - An awesome, uncompromising american wild. It's fresh lemonade with the sugar cut to 1/10th of the original recipe. (573 characters)

Photo of KajII
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a very dark brown with a ruby hue making it look almost dark purple, and had an average (1-2 finger) light tan fizzy head that dissipated in seconds and left behind virtually no lacing.

The aroma was rather tart right up front along with some chocolate malts and a musty sour Brett yeast with notes of dark chocolate, berries, a slight red wine odor and a bit of cask.

The taste was very tart from the get go with a slightly sweet roasty taste and a hint of chocolate that almost went unnoticed, and then became very sour and extremely fruity which lasted pretty much throughout with a mild woody taste at the very end. The flavor hung around for an average duration following the swallow, with a fruity roasty tartness fading away at a slow steady pace.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and dry in texture with a mildly soft carbonation.

Overall this is a brew that is not for everyone, but if you enjoy a good Sour Ale with a really dark side this one is for you. I found it to be exceptionally tasty and quite sour with a really smooth drinkability. I am definitely getting more of this before I no longer can....

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (1,208 characters)

Photo of snegopady
2.56/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer LOOKS beautiful, but I dunno, guys. I like funky and I like sour; loved the Oude Tart. But this is Warheads sour. If there was ever a stout in there, it has vanished beneath the aggressive, lemon-juicy sourness. I don't see how anyone could call this "balanced"--the sour is so strong that it takes over everything. Seriously, you could make vinaigrette with just this beer and some olive oil. (403 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason, 750ml into a tulip.

Dark brown, almost black with a cream coloured head. Light retention and OK lacing. Nose is tart, dark berries, some chocolate and even a bit of roast perhaps. Taste has roast, light smokey malt with tart berries character overlying these. Acidic finish, and this carries on for quite some time. Medium body, medium carbonation. Too tart for everyone else who it was shared with, but I quite enjoyed this beer. (456 characters)

Photo of tut2528
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pure jet black, with absolutely no transparency whatsoever, even when held directly up to the light. creates very minimal head formation. the head that was created was mostly forced carbonation. there is a slight lacing that hugs the rim of the glass, that is tan in color.

S: damn thats awesome. big tart and sourness from cherries, and other various berries. very subtle hints of peppery spice, slight oak towards the back.

T: immensely sour. damn, intense sourness. salty, huge vinegar, immense tartness from the fruits. sour apples, cherries, raspberries, sugar candy sweetness, just an awesome balance.

M: very light, nice carbonation, causes an immense salivation, leaves an awesome fruity tartness on the palate, urging me to take another sip. but its almost too light... slightly watery

O: such an awesome brew all the way around. still pretty new to the sour tasting comparatively speaking, but this one is immensely sour and has an awesome balance. definitely a must try. (989 characters)

Photo of ToddT
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black with almost no head , a hard pour produces only a thin tan that quickly disapates and leaves no lace on the glass.

S- Sour notes right away, plums, chocolate, and hints of wood char.

T- Follows the nose sweet and sour like a sour patch kid. Notes of chocolate, plum, candied cherries and bit of oak. Finish has a sour puckering quality to it but it not over done nor unpleasant. Complex flavors in this one.

M- Thinner in body that what I envision in a stout, but with decent carbonation. It could be a little better here but it not too far off.

O- Interesting and complex brew and at only 5.6% ABV you can enjoy the whole bottle. Not one I would want a lot of but I did like it. (692 characters)

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark with a half finger head that regresses to be all but gone.

Smell: Sour oak, caramel, vanilla, cherries, pickle juice, vinegar.

Taste: Sour, as expected. Tart cherry and sour sweetness wreck the palate instantly. The chaos then magically disappears into a dry finish with some oak notes and smokiness in the background. This beer attacks your mouth and gives it a swift, powerful kick to the nuts before the experience is over. In this regard, this beer is intensely like no other I've had before.

Mouthfeel: Above average carbonation for a stout. The feel is nowhere close to as viscous as some stouts, but it's not notably deficient in the body department either.

Overall: This is a pretty intense brew. A roller coaster ride of flavor descends into a dry finish that may fatigue the faint of heart, if they're not careful. Would drink again, but would just like to have some forewarning... (912 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark otter-brown pour yields flat black results in the glass accompanied by a healthy 2 figner khaki colored head that was frothy and clumpy. Retention was good, the lacing was clean and the visible carbonation was light and slow along the edges.

S: The smell of sour cherries and sour plums were noticeable on the nose. Some sour chocolate malt with a light strength was also present. A faint sour-acetic hint can be had towards the finish.

T: The flavor was highly acetic from the get go, major eye squinting material. Had thier flanders the previous night and it was no wheres near this level. This is a kick of vinegar and acetic nature that unfortunately drowns out most of the other aspects this beer may have had to offer. Am i wrong to assume that this was some kind of sour stout? the lack of roasted maltiness and body will tend to convince me otherwise. Some sour fruitiness, but the stout qualities are far my expectations and almost non-apparent. Flavor is thin, like watery lemon juice and every bit as sour.

M: Oily slickness thins out to a watery vinegar-lemon juice feel toward the end. No carbonation, just a healthy helping of sourness and acetic nature.

O: Not going to lie this is one hard bastard to down by one's self. Like sucking down 24oz. of lemon juice. Its level of sourness is balls to the wall but its range of flavor and stout qualites leave much to be desired. Like dropping lemon juice into a schwarz bier. Thier Flanders was a fine example, managable sourness and exceptional to style, this was a sour with a misleading stout labeling. Your gonna have to split this with a friend, or two, or three. (1,646 characters)

Photo of DimensionX
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into a HOTD tulip

pours jet black, somewhat thick but holds carbonation well.

Smells like a tart funky sour, very strong but pleasant nose

The sour character is incredible and I could drink it all day long. That being said the beer is somewhat one dimensional as the sour is really the only flavor present. If I couldn't see the color I wouldn't even know it was a dark beer or that it was barrel aged. Luckily the sour character is tart, refreshing, and delicious. If you are gonna do one thing then you had better do it well I guess.

a little bit of slickness to the mouthfeel

overall an excellent beer even if it wasn't that complex due to the sour domination. (687 characters)

Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
92 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.