1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Tart Of Darkness - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

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

2,004 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,004
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 256
Gots: 660 | FT: 67
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,004 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeastLU
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of waddellc2
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of tviz33
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle, served in a Duvel tulip. Real excited for this as this is my first sour. Not sure what to expect.

A- The beer pours a dark but transparent brown with a one finger tan head that quickly recedes to nothingness.

S- The smell sure is sour! There's just a little roast in the background, but the sour dominates.

T- The taste is even more sour. It almost covers everything else up, but there's some sweet fruit and funk in there too. The roast flavor is almost completely washed out.

M- The feel is quite nice. Not as heavy as expected and good carbonation.

O- This beer was quite good for not knowing what to expect. I regret not splitting the bottle with anyone, but then again, no one else wanted any. I would recommend sharing this one with friends.

Photo of thegerm87
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of seandamnit
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of dwagner003
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of plinythederek
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of gcamparone
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Purchased in Attleboro, MA

A- Pours a deep brown body with translucent cherry highlights. A 2 finger off white head rises quickly and sticks around for a minute or so, eventually leaving a thin ring of foam.

S- I can definitely tell this is going to be a great sour just by the characteristic wild-ale smell that I get just after cracking the cap - a funky, barnyard, fermented fruit aroma. Once in the glass, the aroma clue into it's tarness with sharp lactic and citrus aromas. There's some roastyness in there too.

T- A huge punch of sourness is the first thing that hits the tongue - sour berries, citrus, lactic tartness. Oak, and some funk come up next , followed by a subtle sweet breadyness. The finish is slightly roasty, you get the stout character late in the tasting.

M- Medium body, which is fitting for a sour stout. Medium carbonation.

I absolutely love sours, so I really enjoyed this one. Definitely one of the most sour I've ever tried. The slight roastyness works nicely here. Recommendable.

Photo of ncelauro
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Tom-Peters
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of derftron
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013 bottle split with friends into a snifter

smelled great. sour cherry stout smell. dark and fruity

poured very dark like a stout, mild carbonation and lacing

mouthfeel was nice. pretty standard

taste was very very sour. dont get me wrong, I love sour beers but this one was way out of balance. the souring agent completely took over and left very little to taste. I really was searching for the fruit that I could smell, but it was buried beneath the sourness. pretty let down given the price and reputation of The Bruery. I can name 20 sour beers that are better than this one. maybe aging would help, but I doubt it.

Photo of ChicagoNick
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Chugs13
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage- 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Almost opaque black, dark ruby colors at the bottom and more so when held to light. A fizzy tan, light mocha colored head quickly fizzled out to absolutely nothing. Some carbonation bubbles rising within the beer, but the dark color makes this hard to notice giving the appearance of a completely flat beer.

Less aroma noticeable than expected and quite different than expected. Chalky, chocolate roasted malt, sour pie cherries, as it warms a bit of lactic funk comes out and maybe just hints of oak.

Very nice taste, big sour pie cherry and lemon citric sourness/ acidity, not a whole lot of funk. Has a bit of that chocolatey roasted malt, but it really takes a back seat to the sourness. Hints of dark fruits at times.

Lightish side of medium bodied, lots of lingering acidity. Very drinkable.

A really nice beer, not terribly complex, but a nice unlikely combination of styles.

Photo of kris_n
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of ESPNman
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Delirium Noel snifter.

A - Completely black. Jet, ink-black blackness. No head to speak of at all. No retention, no lacing.

S - When it first came out of the bottle, all I could smell was a lactic sour note that was overwhelming. As it warmed up a bit, some of the stout base came through. Still, that sour really overwhelms, but in a good way.

T - Wow. Overwhelming tartness. Cringe-inducing, eye-watering tartness. As it warms, some of the sweet stout notes come out. A little molasses, a bit of cocoa, and some earthy roasted malts. Finishes dry, and mouth puckeringly sour.

M - Good, dry, pretty thin, moderate carbonation.

O - This is a fantastic sour beer. It doesn't have the kind of vinegar-sweetness that something like Dutchess has. It's not a flanders-style sour. This is a wild ale, and it is a great representation of the style.

Photo of TTAmod
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap...10 oz. serving in a snifter.

A: Dark brown (nearly black) beer with a pretty thick off-white head to start with. The head dissipates very quickly and there's really nothing left after that.

S: Smell is pretty sour. Smells like cherries and other fruits with the unmistakable bacterial smell that sours are known for.

T: This trend continues into the taste, as well. Very, very strong sour notes along with mainly cherry. The sourness is relentless through the entire taste. No bitterness or roasted malt taste to speak of. Vinegar and strong fruit on the way out.

M: Pretty low carbonation...has the mouthfeel of a wine, almost. Body is pretty light. Easy drinking with no alcohol taste.

O: As usual, pretty good stuff from the Bruery. There's definitely enough sourness to make any sour lover happy. Not enough depth or complexity, though, and the appearance left much to be desired. Would recommend!

Photo of Raziel313
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of bamarado
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Brewer1980
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is so pleasant! I have had it from the bottle before, and was lucky enough to find it on tap in Northampton, MA.

It pours a dark dark brown. Appearing as if it may be a stout!

Once you smell it, that is when you know that you are getting into something really nice.
So much of a sour fruit smell.

The taste! It's great! Its got that sour and tart cherry taste. With a nice creamy finish.

There is so much going on in the mouthfeel of this beer. It has so much character.

I want to drink more and more of this.

Photo of PatGreer
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of biegaman
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The base for Tart of Darkness is only 5% alcohol but must have been dark and sinister-looking as any stout; barrel-aging has only muddied the complexion further, making it appear even darker yet. It's also killed off head retention, giving the beer a more daunting, oily complexion.

The aroma has a creeping sourness but is far more forward with notes of hazelnut, milk chocolate and a distinct Coffee Crisp-like flavour. There's elements of sweetness and roast, both of which are rarely witnessed in this style. There's very subtle hints of black licorice and oak too.

Roasted malt brings the complex flavour of American Sour Ales to another level, as hard as that may be to believe; it combines tastes of cocoa powder and instant coffee with the soured fruits and vinegar tang to create a chocolatey version of a port- and balsamic-like profile.

That being said, Tart of Darkness really doesn't drink any different from other sours; it has a stinging, throat-scrapping acidity, zippy carbonation, and fermented-fruit like tartness, beyond which no real roast can be appreciated. It's a delight if you like sour, repulsive if you don't.

Regardless of the base beer, when The Bruery reach for their special, magical blend of bacterias and yeasts you know how that movie is going to end: sour, delicious and pricey. These guys have done for 'funk' what Scorsese has for De Niro and DiCaprio or Burton for Depp: they work together almost exclusively and the genius of one has no doubt made the other a star.

Photo of Gonger19
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 2,004 ratings.