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Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

336 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 336
Hads: 2,246
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 285
Gots: 764 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 336 | Hads: 2,246
Photo of SerialTicker
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$20 bottle. Bottled 4/24/14 and poured 11/20/14. The bottle says the fresher the better, so we'll see. I hadn't seen this specific beer at my bottle shop before, and I read some great things about it, so I made the plunge.

Appearance: Aggressive pour gave a super loud hiss of carbonation with a little dark brown head that fizzled away faster than I've ever seen in a beer -- left is no sign of carbonation. It sits in the glass looking like fruit juice. Held to light, this is a ruby black color with perfect clarity.

Smell: Talk about an aroma hard as hell to describe. I can pick up notes of... everything. First and foremost, obviously, yeasty funk. After that, I'm picking up -- or imagining -- all sorts of things: grapes, dates, red wine, maraschino cherries, leather. It's just really hard to accurately describe this beer's aroma. I will say that I don't think it smells like a stout much at all. I guess if I really think about it I can pick up an essence of chocolate or something like that, but in a blind tasting, I probably wouldn't pick up on that aroma.

Taste/feel: Just call it Tart of Tartness. Hits the tongue with a moderate mouthfeel all-around -- the carbonation works nicely with the sourness as a way to get the salivary glands going. The taste is about identical to the aroma, I think, with the grapes, red wine, maraschino cherries, and yes, leather. The "essence of chocolate" thing doesn't come through at all in the flavor of this beer though. The sourness is reasonably high on this beer, but it's not the sourest beer I've had. The sourness/tartness is reminiscent of cranberry juice, I think. Tart of Darkness still has a good punch of it though (naturally), and it's got a super dry finish.

I'm left a little bummed out. Maybe I'm just getting a little annoyed with Bruery's pricing, or I'm just expecting too much. Whatever it is, I think people are overrating this beer a little bit just because it's their way of trying to compensate for the price they paid for this beer. It's a great beer, but the price is just too high for me to seek it out again. Where are the stout characteristics? They're basically nowhere to be found. I was intrigued by the idea of a sour stout, but this doesn't taste like one at all. It's a very good beer I'd probably recommend to others to at least try, but again, the price makes it too high to make it worth returning to -- at least for the next few years. And whenever I do get it again, I'll be aging it a couple years or so to see how it turns out. (2,525 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.06/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Consumed from a recent vintage bottle on November 17th, 2014. Poured into a Bruery tulip (hey, proper glassware!). Serving temperature: 50 degrees F.

Beer pours more or less black. A heavy pour is required to coax a head out of this brew. The resulting half-finger of off-white foam does not stick around long and soon the glass is totally bereft of all traces of a head. No legs in evidence. Beer is very still in glass.

Aroma is sour cherries. Period, full stop. I really didn't get anything at all from it but an acidic sour fruitiness.

Flavor is tart (surprise!). Think of Popeye and that's probably what I looked like drinking this. Aside from the assertive, acidic sourness, there is a very mild note chocolate from the dark malts. Low/no bitterness. The flavor is very one-dimensional, though no flaws are in evidence.

Mouthfeel is still and slightly thin.

I'm surprised by all the love for this beer. I found it to be drinkable but not much else. If the stout character was more evident, then this beer may have been more interesting. As it is, I finished the bottle myself but I don't think I'll be buying this one again. (1,150 characters)

Photo of Beerswag
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%

Looks Smell is green apple, a little roast , mostly fruity esters, interesting profile.the color is more black than brown, yet some brown hues are coming through the glass since the body is looking on the light side. More fruity sour than vinegar sour, is refreshing, sour-green apple, good amount of large bubbles, making for a light and refreshing beer, I like the paradox. The hints of chocolate and barrel remains on the palate and nose. Heavy Soups and Stews, red meat, heavier dishes, low-medium spice/herb dishes. (520 characters)

Photo of Reedbrew
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Overall a great beer though just had a 2013 in 2015 and felt it was better fresh. With age the tastiness became less sharp and the stout favors flattened. The carbonation seems less too. Much preferred it fresh. Anyone else? (227 characters)

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

On tap at local WOB. Poured black (was dark at my seat) with minimal head into a snifter glass. Smell was of tart fruit and faint coffee/caramel. Mouthfeel was light with more carbonation than expected. Taste was tart fruit, sour, cherry, fig, maybe some dates. Very faint cocoa/coffee/caramel. Aftertaste is acid/sour but not offensive. Overall, tasty and well done. (374 characters)

Photo of FutureMan91
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! One of my favorite beers but it has heavy Brett,Lacto and bourbon. Not for someone who doesn't like sours or barrel aged beers(20$-35$ 750ml)they offer a beer, Mélange 1, that is a similar beer but with bigger stout character. I prefer this because its so damn tart its like bourbon but sour. Just so full bodied and original, no style to even describe this masterpiece of a beer. (386 characters)

Photo of ELS
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at the Coffee District in Delray Beach, FL

L - Nice dark stout color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Leaves no lacing.

S - Sour fruit with a a hint of cocoa. You really have to smell it multiple times to pick up any stout like characteristics.

T - Starts out slightly sour and surprisingly almost no stout flavor at all. If you tried this beer blindfolded you would likely not realize it was dark in color. I pick up sour fruit which is pleasant and as it warms the sourness really comes through which I feel is the best part of this beer. It has a dry finish which a previous reviewer compared to drinking a merlot. I think that's it exactly.

F- The mouthfeel is thin which I feel is the best way to brew a sour. Works well for this beer.

O - I can't help comparing this beer to JK's Funky Metal which is also a sour stout. Where Funky Metal does a great job of contrasting the roasted stout flavors of coffee and chocolate against the sourness of that beer, ToD does not have such complexity and just doesn't measure up. It's a good sour beer but definitely not the best and somewhat pricey for what you get. (1,145 characters)

Photo of Beer4B
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 - poured at The Bruery.

Really, really good. Lots of tart cherry that they somehow blend with the stout nicely. I like this beer fresh but the 3 years of age really do this beer well. (191 characters)

Photo of Motleydrunk56
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

25.4 oz Bottle.Dark brown poured into a 20 oz Firestone glass.Smells like Berry and Vinegar.Very strong wine taste to it.I wanted to like this so bad because I had heard so many good things about it but to me the flavor was just Nasty.Extreme SOUR taste was so present that I could not get around it to decide what the other flavors were.Made it through about 3/4 through the bottle and then it became DRAIN POUR.And at 19.99 a bottle that hurt.If you like wine this might be better suited for you.But for me I can`t recommend it to a Beer drinker.Needless to say I will not be buying this anytime soon.Sorry Bruery.Thumbs down. (629 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Pours very dark purple/brown. Slightly translucent. The nose indicates this is quite tart. Notes of berries, neutral oak, and malts. The taste follows the nose. Again quite tart. Not traditional stout flavors, more oak/berries/tart. Very smooth, medium body, and high carbonation.

I was nicely surprised by this ale. I assumed it would be similar to JP Obscrura but I was wrong. This is more a dark fruited sour over a sour stout. It's a bit pricey but a sour folks need to try. (480 characters)

Photo of don1481
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

750 ml bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours very dark and very fizzy. Head dies down very rapidly.

Smell: WOW sour notes. Lots of fruit smell. Smells refreshing.

Taste: Just like the smell. Pretty good, but not overpowering with the sour. Nice.

Mouthfeel: less fizzy than I would have expected. Very clean and crisp.

Overall: very good, not quite to amazing. But very nice. (387 characters)

Photo of sanitarium16
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a red wine glass, served at room temperature.

A: Coming out of the bottle, a dark brick red to light black. In the glass the beer was black with some deep red hues. Minimal quater inch head with moderate lacing.

N: Sour cherries, black cherry, some cinnamon spice, chocolate truffle, chocolate covered cherries, black currants

P: Medium-bodied, very tart cherry up front, black currant. No definitive hop character.

F: Slight chocolate on the back end. Smooth, lingering.

O: An awesome, very drinkable sour. No much stout characteristic here, other than the color. Did not detect much oak either. This bottle was 2014 release. Still have a 2013 release; curious to see what an extra year in the bottle will yield. (764 characters)

Photo of chefbigjon
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I need to taste this next to Oude Tart because I swear it's the same beer, if not extremely similar. I have had this on draft and in a bottle now, I want to love it, but I just don't get any stout whatsoever. Very, very sour. As sours go, I have had better. (257 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a cola color with a fizzy, off-white head that leaves almost no lacing.

Smells of tart fruits and a bit of roasted malts.

Tastes of big tart fruits with some supporting roasted malts. Lemon, sour cherries, sour grapes, and balsamic vinegar lead off. This gives way to a bit of roasted malts with chocolate and coffee. Touches of oak and vanilla come through, but are slight. Finishes with plenty of tangy fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a well done, tart wild ale. If you can come to terms with the price ($20.12 for 750 mL), it is certainly worth trying. (618 characters)

Photo of MDHopster
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Not my usual style. Most interesting beer of the year. Tart is understated, reminiscent of biting into a lemon but not as strong, more like wild cherry tart. Oak aged but subtle. Like Carolina style pork BBQ without the spice. On draft 6 oz glass at White Oak Tavern in Ellicott city, Md. Best sipped (307 characters)

Photo of d5001986
3.75/5  rDev -9%

750ml bottle poured into a Spiegelau tulip.
2013 vintage

A: Pours a thin looking black with thin, fast dissipating head. (2)

S: Tart plum, cherry, vanilla, and oak. (4)

T: Quite sour up front. Plum and cherry pits over light chocolate, vanilla, and oak. (4)

M: Medium body. Slick, effervescent, and acidic. (3.5)

O: I enjoyed the extreme sour. Too acidic though.. All in all a tasty brew, but probably not worth the high price tag . (3.75) (455 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
1.52/5  rDev -63.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pour is purplish black with a soapy ring. Nose is heavy sweetness, disoriented malt sugars and berry sweetness with a light leathery brett presence. Taste is awful, strong acetic acid and extreme residual sugar with tons of malt sweetness. Virtually no stout flavors other than too sweet, finish is bretty and bitter with high acid levels and a slick oily feel. Rough drain pour. (379 characters)

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

One year of cellar aging. 2013 bottle

The tart of darkness has great balance and is welcoming, like well worn leather pants.
Tart, tangy with a hint of spunk. The liquid delivers a puckering satisfaction

Mouthfeel is glorious, almost glandular.

Salivating, I let it slide over my palate. Long, strong and effervescent, sublimely coating the back of my throat.

I linger for a moment to fully grasp the largeness. I enjoy balanced sours. This is in the flavor profile of others such as the Flanders Oud Bruin (512 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown to black, stout like with a purple tinge, bubbles cling to the side of the glass everywhere like bees to honey comb, good carbonation, half finger of beige head fades fast to a foam.

S: Sour, balsamic vinegar, light fruitiness, very much like a Flanders red or Oude Bruin. Slightly lactic, plain yoghurt quality. Sour fruit like raspberry but more non descript sour.

T: Sour, sour, sour. Lemon juice, balsamic qualities. Reminiscent of Flanders Reds, Oude Bruins. Oak quality very present. Also, a dark toasted stout quality is hinted in the background. Light fruity tart quality like blackberry juice.

M: Thick acidic body, medium high carbonation.

O: Very well crafted beer. The best American sour I’ve had. Creative in making it a dark stout like and sour at the same time. Fine and complex so much so that it’s a classic. (847 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle from Fonduevoodoo in CanBIF Spring 2014. From notes.

A - Poured black with one finger of beige head that went fast. Decent spotty lace and virtually no retention.

S - Dark fruit, sour cherry, yeast, tart, old coffee, wood, overripe dark fruit, tobacco. Pretty cool and complex.

T - Holy shit this was sour. I wasn't expecting the sting that this gave off at all. A very aggressively sour stout that featured tart notes, tobacco, musky wood and lot's of acidity.

M - Stinging acidity, strong carbonation, medium to full body.

O/D - This was a pretty nice stout. Sour and complimented by those robust stout flavours but perhaps dominated by that sourness. All the flavours seemed to come together to form a pretty complex and enjoyable beer. (757 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. Pours the color of cola with no head. Nose expresses tart berries and roasty malt. Taste is tart; however, there's a dark malt profile, but it is really just in the background. There's also a salty quality. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body and slightly puckering. Overall, an interesting beer, but it needs an identity - it falls somewhere between a dark sour and sour stout. (390 characters)

Photo of PeterParker
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:
This is a momentous occasion. Probably the only time I'll try this with the price tag, this was a grad gift from my girlfriend, very exciting.

Pours near black with a minimal head and not really any lacing.

On the nose, it is definitely sour! I'm getting mustard and pickle juice. Very slight roastiness.

Holy Jesus! Extremely sour! At first sip I think I'm sucking on a Warhead. Taste is primarily unsalted pickle juice. It's more of a savory sour than a sweet sour. Like pickles instead of lemons. Very little in the way of stout characteristics. So different.

Very thin with medium carbonation. Doesn't feel at all like a stout. Aftertaste of tartness won't seem to diminish.

Overall this is just so different. I'm not getting any "stoutness" really, but the sourness is there in abundance. Good because it is so different, but for the price I probably wouldn't shell out another $20 for a bomber. (927 characters)

Photo of fgmiele
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dark black..white minimal foam head tops. Sour grapes nose.. Definitely a wild yeast strain evident here. Sweet like wine. Taste is sour and puckers yet rounds out like a merlot.. Very different. Mouthfeel thick and heavy. Overall different.. Refreshing (267 characters)

Photo of slackattack
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 edition. Poured from bottle to red wine glass as suggested by the label.

A- dark, almost black. When held up to the light just a tad peeks through and shows the color of black cherry.

S- sour cherry off the bat, but the dark, roasty, almost smoked malt comes through if you breathe in deep and slow and let the sour wear of a little.

T- sour cherry, red wine, cheeks pucker a bit at first. After the fruit, the sourness turns into a lingering balsamic vinegar. Disclaimer: the label says balsamic, but i don't think I'm reading into it, it really does have that flavor. At the finish, tons of toasted malts, chocolate, and smokiness. Gets really complex without going overboard

M- more carbonated than you think it is. Coats the tongue and the flavor lasts forever.

O- really good. Sour stouts get me going and this one is a stud as far as I'm concerned. Big fan of The Bruery and this is outstanding. (912 characters)

Photo of yesforbeer
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Maybe one of the best sours I've tasted. Wine like, even old wine like fruit with gobs of acidity leaning your palate and bringing you back for more. The aromas of red fruit and cherry and the perfect carbonation make this a top 10 all time sour. ;;; (250 characters)

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