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Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.

346 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 2,293
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 292
Gots: 775 | FT: 89
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 346 | Hads: 2,293
Photo of TheBrewo
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We crack the top on our 750mL of Batch 2 and pour a brew of the deepest ruby red-brown into our Ola Dubh tulips. A bit of light is let up around the extremes of the edges, but otherwise no haze or sediment is noted. It puts up a two finger head of creamy coffee colored bubbles, showing decent retention, and an audible fizz. Steaks of lacing are left around the glasses as it goes. The aroma gives sweetly roasted chocolate malts, soy sauce salts, light lactics, and sweet booziness as a base. Mixing high across the top are massively funky Brett twangs, soured cabernet oakiness, biting raw cherries, drying red grape skins, mild vinyls fruit punch sugariness, smoked poblano peppers and portabella mushrooms, golden honey sweetness, wet rose petals, and the mineral coolness of freshly fallen snow. Our first impression is that there is surprising smokiness to the malts, but otherwise the flavoring lives up majorly to its tart side as you would expect. As we sip, the taste begins with vinegar acidity, astringently drying and soured red grape skins, red wine oakiness, lemon flesh, and, as in the nose, that gloriously tart Brett slam. The middle comes to a peak with continued lactic and vinegar acidity, fermented souring chokecherries, blackberry fruitiness, big Brett, yeasty metallics, thin chocolate malts, soy sauce, and unfiltered apple cider sweetness and grittiness. Washing through the finish is the most pronounced oakiness of the sip, with hearty musk, dust, and moss. To balance is tart, tart yeastiness, smoky chocolate malts, hints at raw coffee beans, herbal mint, peanut dust, and generalized lactic, milky sourness. The aftertaste breathes of graphite, basement muskiness, chalky oakiness, char blackened chocolate malts, lemon zestiness, puckering Brett juiciness, apple juice, grapefruit zest and sweetness, bready plum pudding, and vinyl plastics. The body is on the thin side, and the carbonation is medium. There is excellent slurp, sip, cream, froth, and finishing pop. The mouth is initially coated with creaminess, only to be sucked dry with pucker and dense astringency from the yeast. The abv is shockingly easy, and the beer drinks very, very well.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was a tossup between the aroma and the taste, with the latter winning by a hair. From the time you crack the bottle you get this insanely complex, deep, dark, and wild aroma filling your nostrils. The “darkness” does get a bit lost here, and if you closed your eyes while whiffing you would be surprised at the beer’s color when you opened them. The taste, however, rectifies this gap. While the funk takes up a large, and continuing, portion of the sip, it leaves enough room for not only the depth and roast of the malts to shine though, but the barrel aging (spent Black Tuesday barrels) as well. The amazing thing is you can actually taste the similarities in the wood, with all that inherent dirt, graphite, and muskiness, without the intense boozy heat all soaked into Black Tuesday. This is a fantastic blend of styles and is extremely well executed. As a warning, the level of tartness and pucker here are quite high, and if you aren’t a big fan of the style, expect to be shocked.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage
Poured into a Duvel tulip.

HUGE thanks to rrryanc for being insane and just hooking me up with this beer! Thanks man!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy black with a wisp of a finger tall, dark khaki head that recedes very fast, leaving no lacing behind what so ever. The head retention is consistent with barrel aged beers, especially sours.

Aroma: Wow, sour cherries right away; imagine smelling tart pie filling. There is a strong, funkiness from the Brettanomyces that absolutely fills your nostrils as soon as you smell the beer; damp, musty hay and even a little bit of pineapple. You can definitely tell that this has spent quite a lengthy time in bourbon barrels. Rich, woodsy aromas of oak, vanilla and coconut leap out toward your nose. There is only a mere flirtatious hint of the roasted malts that the base stout is comprised of. The roastiness definitely melds well with the oaky aromatics.

Taste: Very acidic, vinegar soaked cherries right away with cascading notes of lemon juice, lime peel and a sublime pineapple forward mustiness from the Brett. Insanely dry and mouth puckering with it's sour astringency. There are huge and complex lingering notes on this beer, as with most sours. The oak barrel slaps your palate as soon as the dry finish closes; with it's high tannin presence and in your face impressions of bourbon(duh), vanilla and toasted coconut. Then a very unusual flavor rears it's head; Something i've never tasted before in a sour, or beer in general for that matter: A whisper of a smoky moldiness that carries a distinctly woodsy characteristic. A very interesting and unique flavor to say the least. Its only there for a moment, but it is definitely there. A consistent presence of lemon juice is loitering around during all of this very complex and long finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: An exercise in excess; The Bruery takes it to the next level in every regard in this batch of Tart of Darkness; They decided that aging a sour stout in oak barrels wasn't enough, so decided to age the next batch of it in bourbon barrels which have previously held their 19% stout, Black Tuesday. Craziness, but it works very well, overall. Although the roasted malts poke through a bit more in the finish as the ale warms up, I do wish that they poked through the myriad of sour and barrel complexities a bit more assertively. I'd highly recommend this beer to any sour fan in a heart beat. I couldn't ask for a more interesting beer to drink for my 50th review.

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Photo of Jonada
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. 2012 release. Served in a Dogfish Head signature glass.

Appearance: Dark, dark brown, but not quite black. Poured about a finger of a tan head that dissipated very quickly to a thin collar. Body is nearly opaque.

Smell: Sour cherry, tart green apple, with some chocolate and roasted malt underneath the sourness.

Taste: Big, almost mouth puckering sourness hits you right upfront. Sour cherry, oak, leather, roasted malt, and lactic character. Once the sourness fades, you're left with a dark roasty coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied (or at the very least light end of medium) and acidic. Carbonation is bordering on high

Overall: I wouldn't have thought the sour and stout characteristics would complement one another, but they end up working well together. It's a good beer that's worth trying, though given the price point, I'm not sure it's good enough to justify future purchases.

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Photo of yankeepride
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Shop near me decided to release some stuff it was originally going to use for a sampling, so good timing was mine that day. Poured it with some Sunday brunch with the wife, and wasn't sure what to expect from my first "sour stout." It came out dark, but not black hole dark, more like used motor oil through the light. The light fizz went away very quickly. I didn't notice anything having to do with it being a stout with either smell or taste until it was about an hour in the glass, when some room temp warmth finally brought out the faint smell of a stout. Otherwise, it was all sour cherries, with a start of tart, with tart in the middle, and then a strong finish of tartness. It's wicked sour, but it cleans up nicely and doesn't leave any sort of lingering aftertaste. Overall, it's damn good, but at a pretty pricey purchase level.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A- pours black with a paper thin offwhite head that immediately fades.

S- dark cherries and a lot of barnyard funk. Oh yes

T- incredibly sour and viciously tart. Tons of dark cherries, oak, and leather come through with a vicious pucker.

M- medium bodied, on the thin side.

O- unreal beer. The price tag is outrageous (as you'd expect), but the beer is so good that you need to try it once.

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Photo of metter98
4.17/5  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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear very dark amber (almost black) in color with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation some ruby red and orange highlights. Pours with a half finger tall sudsy head that quickly reduces to a couple of small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tart sour cherries.

T: Similar to the smell, this beer has strong flavors of tart sour cherries that dominates and lingers. Tart enough that it almost makes you pucker.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Significant amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: I'm a fan of sour beers and I really enjoyed this one but it is a pretty intense amount of sourness and not one for someone new to the style (it is almost overwhelming). This is not the easiest beer to drink but is one that can be slowly sipped for enjoyment.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled in a Duvel tulip

A - pours a dark brown, thin, lots of carbonation with a mocha head that fades completely over a few moments

S - sour hits from even a few feet away, lemon, cherries, grapefruit, then subtly some chocolate undertones

T - wow, incredibly complex. Intense sour character initially, one of the most sour beers I've tasted - again, lemon, and sour cherries, followed by sweet, subtle chocolate malt underneath, finishing with a bready malt note

M - sour, tart, but finishes smooth

O - quite interesting, the sour stout. makes for a very complex brew that I actually liked quite a bit. I would definitely try this one again

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black to dark brown with a beige head. Collar retention with spit wad floating in the middle.

Smells like sweet tarts and cola caramel. Wine-y.

Tastes like it smells: Sweet Tarts predominantly. There is a little roast malt vanilla in back but more like a BSDA than a stout to me. Not very complex but the flavor that is there is nice.

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Photo of Mertzy81
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.06/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of Pencible
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

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Photo of shand
4.65/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of MudDrinker
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of emyers
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
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...

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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
92 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.