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Old Growth - Trinity Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old GrowthOld Growth

Educational use only; do not reuse.

56 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 141
Avg: 3.53
pDev: 20.11%
Wants: 102
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trinity Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rye726 on 10-07-2009

Flemish-inspired Brown Ale aged in French oak barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 141
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with a short beige head that died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of vinegar and sourness are present in the nose. The smell gets stinger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of vinegar along with notes of sourness and oak. Faint bits of sweetness are also perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a very good representation of the style. It's a little sour and tart, and the vinegar is not overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours orange/chestnut with a sliver of tan head. Never clears, no head retention or lacing

S: Sourness & aged hops, fades a bit as it warms

T: Tartness, sourness, choke cherry, acidic notes & crazy oaky dryness up front. Sourness/tartness, raspberries, tart cherries, & tongue stripping dryness, a little almond sweetness/dryness shows up as this warms. Finishes tart, tart, tart with puckery sourness & just a little too much acidity for my liking, but only just

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation, enamel being stripped on teeth...

A tough one to drink so mind numbingly sour, only for the stout of heart. Sour beyond belief. Glad I got to try it, but bloody expensive. I'm sure some wine drinkers might dig this

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

surprised this is rated as low as it is, thought there was a lot of hype about it? anyways, the beer is darn good, yet not adding much to the genre, despite the addition of toasted almonds to the brew, which i wanted to taste a lot more than i do. while there is a distinct nuttiness amongst all the lactic sour intensity and acidic chocolate malt, that earthy vanilla milky complex never arrives. not much head or real carbonation to this, it could use about 25% more of these than it has, but other than that, the beer is great. nice acidity, some simplicity too for trinity, who is known for bizarre recipes, clay aging and the like. this is a bit more straight forward, very much in the oud bruin style, with all the sourness coming on the tail end. mild malt body, almonds flash in for just a second mid palate when i search for them, but a higher dose of that would set this beer apart.

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Photo of beergoot
1.82/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Bottle Number: 1116-11, Barrel Number: SBB2, NBB3 (maybe a 9 vice 3 at the end), SBB4

Brownish red body with absolutely no head or lacing. Smell is a strong, red wine vinegar and cheap red wine. An intense, tongue-twisting acidic and tart flavor; brutally intense fermented cherries. Heavy body; glass smooth; very dry.

Jesus Christ! I don't know if a fresher version would have been better (the label states it can be cellared indefinitely), but unless extremely intense vinegar and sourness is your thing, this beer has very little going for it. It certainly hasn't aged well. This is a tongue ripper with an abysmal feel to it. The aroma is the best thing and almost seems promising for a wild ale, but the taste just slams you with a mouth cringing twang.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.04/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Rated Appearance a 1, but added a point for having a cool label...

Zero head. Brew is slightly dirty looking and way dark purple in color.

Tons of green apple and nuttyness on the nose. Way tart vinegar aroma. Whew!

The favors in this beer are mind numbing. Hands-down one of the most tart and mouth drying beers I've ever had. Tons of green apple, not so much lemon... Lots of deep dark cherry, nuts, bready vinegar. Carbonation is nearly nonexistent, but it's not such a bad thing, IMO. Sweetness is level and well done. Dryness replaces bitterness and is nicely done.

Is this beer over done, yes. Is it amazingly delicious, yes. I highly recommend this beer for any true sour lover. Trinity nailed this blend, even-though I prefer batch #1 more.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is obviously an extreme beer, extreme in the acid department for sure, especially in the nose. Thanks to Colin for sharing this 2009 bottle.

THe look is a nice brown color that is almost clear and has little head or lacing, reminds me cognac in the glass.

The smell is kind of ridiculous in the acid department, reminds me of nail polish remover and paint thinner, although in some ways I don't mind it in an weird way. Really acid and tart smelling, maybe the slightest bright unripe fruits as well.

The taste is better, it hits the acid notes at the back of the palate big time, but the front is actually somewhat elegant in its fruit and funk. It's a tale of two parts of the tongue, the back lights up with sour and the front has a nice mixed bag of flavors.

Overall this is a good to decent beer, definitely lacks in elegance but it does the job if you like sour beers!

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Photo of bamadog
2.42/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Got this one in a trade quite some time ago. Based upon some of the earlier reviews, I was a little nervous to try this one as I thought it might rip the enamel straight off my teeth... Review is from notes taken on 12/2/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a deep, mahogany, near red -- looks quite a bit like a deep red wine; no head to speak of, no carbonation bubbling up, me thinks it may be a tad bit flat... Nothing left on the sides except a slight oily residue. Normally with sours I expect a huge, lasting and frothy head, but nothing here... disappointed.

Smell: Smells like a sour should, but due to the lack of carbonation, nothing is really coming up in a robust manner; heavily tart, acidic and a bit like malt vinegar. I would think would carbonation, it would be very appetizing, but alas, and again, disappointed.

Taste: Heavy acidity and tartness, and it definitely makes me pucker; dark and overripe fruit and a touch of vinegar.

Mouthfeel: With no carbonation, the only thing giving the body any dimension is the heavy tartness that makes me pucker a bit. The acidity leaves the mouth salivating and the belly is left warm for the same reason.

Overall: Let down, big time. I've had typically pretty good luck with cellared beers, but I'm beginning to think my luck may have changed a wee bit. I don't think I'm going to be able to finish this and I'm disappointed because I was looking forward to a challenging beer. At least the bottle has a cool label.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.31/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to aussy13 for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

Bottle # 1058-11. Barrel # 582/NBB3.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some fruity and slight vinegar aromas. Taste is very much the same with a super acidic and puckering finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good sour with some great aromas and flavors.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.26/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Numer 1209-11 Barrel Number SB2, SB4, NBB3 poured to NBB globe. The beer pours a thick rich brown with amber mahogany edges in the light. Flat though, not much of a head to report nor lacing or retention. The only thing about this beer that isn't welcoming or impressive. The nose is a pleasant blend of tart fruit character, sweet malt, oak, vanilla, and dark fruit - the former being most prevalent. The flavor follows suit with a pronounced tart sour character that dominates the flavor throughout: first flavor you encounter and lasts until it's the last thing you taste. The oak and vanilla and malty sweetness are much less prevalent than in the nose but the fruity character is a bit more bold. Finishes crisp and actually quite smooth. Medium bodied but nut much carbonation. Overall, I really enjoy this beer! I am told each bottle tastes a little different so I will be heading back to pick more up. It's a bit pricey at around $25/bottle but I would cellar a few and save for a nice occasion. It's interesting to see people's reaction to the beer. I didn't pick up any of the unpleasant characteristics others commented on. Perhaps its this bottle or batch. I would recommend for sure.

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Photo of Spider889
2.07/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle #661 presented with a cool Dr. Suess label.

Pours reddish in color, quite cloudy with no head.

Smells tart and fruity - strawberry and raspberry and LOADS of vinegar.

Tastes like vinegar as well. Off putting at first. The first sip was so acidic it shot straight through my nose - heavy burning and fusel alcohol. Ketchup... aye cap'n, ketchup. Raspberry eventually makes an appearance once you adjust to the vinegar.

Extremely dry and acidic. The acidity makes drinking more than a few ounces of this painful. Glad this was shared within a group or it'd have wound up a drain pour. That said, I still don't think it was all finished at the end of the night.

Overall quite sour - if you want a kick in the nuts then this beer will deliver. Unfortunately I want kids some day. Those poor Lorax...

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle sharing at Beermongers, Portland, OR
Thanks to writerLJberg for the share!

Gotta love that Dr. Seussian artwork. Poured a murky, ruddy brown with a thin whitish head that receded to almost nothing. Aroma of tart cherries, acetic acid, and booze-soaked wood. Taste of tart and sour cherries, but not too lip-puckering (after reading other reviews, I have to wonder how long this bottle sat in the cellar, and if it indeed mellowed out a bit with time), more acetic acid / vinegar, chewy bread, and hints of citrus, oak, and wet grass. Medium-bodied, quite acidic, but still pretty tame compared to other members of the style, not to mention pretty low in alcohol. I liked this one. It's no RR Supplication, but it's still pretty good.

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Photo of jcartamdg
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cherrywood brown with no visible head, slight carbonation. Aroma of lacto, cherries, sour grapes and slight vinegar. Taste follows nose sweet and tart. Cherries up front with vinegar in the back. The sour sticks around and puckers well after the last sip. I love this beer, my only knock is I would like a little more carbonation.

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Photo of Domingo
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow…reviews seem to be all over the place for this one. I never would’ve guessed.
Pours a medium amber to brown color with fairly limited carbonation. It never dies completely, but it’s never more than a slightly thicker mouthfeel than something flat either.
The flavor profile is both simple and complex at the same time. Sour citric notes alternating with a balsamic and soured English brown ale character. Some sips will make you pucker, while others lean more in the direction of a traditional vinous-like brown. At the end of the day, I like that flavor, though.
The real knock on this, much like the visual, is that the carbonation is so mild. It doesn’t need to be a weissbier or anything, but the body’s lacking for sure.
I like this beer even if it’s a bit too still. The flavor is something I never tire of and I really do hope I can get more of it in the future.

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Photo of craytonic
2.19/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

In short: Battery acid

Appearance: Dark mahogany brown, decent tinted-white head

Smell: Very harsh, vinegar, lactic acid, heavy oak, vanilla.

Taste: Possibly the most sour beer I have tried, it was tough getting through a few ounces. Heavy vinegar and acid, with some dark fruits as well. Heavy oak and vanilla also. Oh it burns.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, it probably stripped off my taste buds

Overall: A few ounces was too much, taste with a thimble.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Matt at a recent tasting, thanks, the fabled Old Growth, this is going to be rough.

Beer is amber / brown with a mild haze, thin off white head, no lacing, low retention.

Aroma is interesting, heavy, malt, solvent, acetone, strong acetic acid, strong lactic, really harsh, like paint thinner.

Beer has a subtle light sweetness on the front end, thins out immediately into a mixture of solvent flavors, strong acetic, tartness at the back corners, definitely vinegar and acetone in this one, it is hard to drink and burns so good. It wasn't bad, it was like a Consecration on crack in the middle of holding up a small grocery store because the trashy girlfriend he started hanging out with once he started on his bender thought it was a good idea, and Consecration on crack will do anything for that bitch. I might have it again.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.71/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From 11/05/11 notes. Thanks to Craytonic for sharing this bottle. Poured into a snifter. Bottle #688, barrel no. Nbb3 -10.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of very sour fruits, vinegar, lactic notes, oak, and light vanilla. Insanely sour and super vinegary; not that great of a nose.

t - Tastes of very sour, mouth puckering fruit, vinegar, acidic notes, light oak. Burns a bit; seems cleaning solvent-like.

m - Medium body and very tart and aceiic, with low to moderate carbonation. Burns a bit and hard to get down a few ounces.

o - Poured myself about 5 ounces of this and it was about 3 ounces too much. This one is crazy tart and is like drinking vinegar; not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my sister Jen for bringing me a present when she visited Garden of the Gods! This bottle is hand numbered 1029-11, from barrel 5B2/NBB3.
Pours a relatively clear mahogany brown. No head whatsoever. Gets a bit cloudier midway through the bottle, and pretty muddy on the last little bit.
Smells of under-ripe peaches, sour cherry, plum and blackberry. Lots of tart, funky fruit. Simple caramel malt and some hay-like notes, as well.
The flavor opens with dominating sour fruitiness almost immediately. Green apple, sour grapes, unripened peach and cherry. Light malt sweetness is plowed over by the brett pretty handily. Oaky vanilla, brie cheese and some dusty barn hay in the mix towards the end. Not the most sour beer I've ever had, but it's assertive. Light bodied, with perky, finely bubbled carbonation. Finishes very dry, with lingering sour cherry. I guess it would be the beer equivalent of a cherry Sour Patch Kid. Could be a little more complex. I'm guessing the level of tartness buries some of the gentler qualities.
I have to admit that the bottom half of the bottle got tough to drink. The sourness is manageable at first, but seems to accumulate rather than dissipate. Even sipping slowly, this gets overwhelming. It needs a companion, like a good creamy cheese. My palate never seemed to adjust. The price tag is pretty crazy, as well. Not something I'd normally be able to afford. I remember when a $12 bottle was outrageous.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased from Trinity, approximately $25. Bottle number 1020/11-10 from barrel number SB2. Into a NB Globe.

A: Pours a dark, dark red that almost verges on brown. Tons of garnet hues when held to the light. No true head develops, just a loose collection of bubbles around the edges. Really is a pretty color when held to the light.

S: This smells incredibly sour, tons of acetic acid and almost straight up acetone. Notes of vinegar and lemon juice. Some insanely sour cherries in here as well. A definite oak barrel presence as well. Smelling this makes my saliva glands cringe.

T: Incredibly sour, but tasty as well. Tons of lemon and sour cherries, a bit of an almost balsamic vinegar note. Big time oak barrel. Insane amount of acid that lingers long after I swallow the beer. The amount of acid here is pretty incredible, I'm pretty certain that the enamel on my teeth if it could talk would be begging for mercy. There's a little bit of funk in here that pairs nicely with everything. Really sour, but fairly tasty.

M: Not a ton of body, carbonation is pretty much non existent. Just a touch of carbonation. Finish is dry with tons of lingering flavors.

O: Definitely one of the most sour beers, if not the most sour beer I've ever had. Pretty one dimensional, but I really am enjoying getting my sour fix. Interesting beer, and one that will be interesting to see how it ages.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle. Number 479-10, barrel number SB4. Bottle opens with absolutely zero pop and pours with no carbonation at all. Dark, clear rust color with no head. The aroma is strong acetone and nail polish with some dark cherry notes as well. Sweet start with a strong transition to acid like tart/sourness. Sourness sticks around and somewhat agitates the throat. Some cherry in there as well. Overall, one of the most sour tongue ripping beers I have had in a long time. I mean, this things will make you cough if you inhale through the nose to deeply when taking a sniff! Watch out!

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.77/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: This is the only normal aspect to this beer. Old Growth has the appearance of a red wine wine: a cranberry brown color with clear edges and almost no head.

Smell: There is enough solventy and acidic aromas to cause your nose to burn. Just incredibly sour, with a ton of lactic and vinegar notes. Sour cherries and decomposing red grapes provide some fruit notes. Behind the sour madness is a good amount of funk as well. A little bit of oak pretty much gets lost behind everything else that is going on.

Taste: The flavor is entirely over the top and complex at the same time. The sourness is incredible, I can barely believe how strong it is. Lactic acid, red wine vinegar, very tart cherries, some lemon, a little bit of currant all provide the sour notes. The fruit all feels like it is decomposing, which works very well with the sweaty funk that I get in the background.

Mouthfeel: The first sip starts puckering and salivating, but soon enough it blows right past that. This is acidic enough that it feels like it is melting your teeth, tongue, throat, and anything else it touches. Very dry, very sour. This beer is not messing around.

Overall: This is the most sour beer I have ever had, bar none. It burns the taste buds off your tongue, feels like acid going down your throat, and dumps acid into your stomach. For some reason, I love it. I drank the dregs of the bottle, and they were delicious. At the same time, I understand why this is such a polarizing beer and most people do not like it.

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Photo of sarro
2.7/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to forgetfu for the generous trade.
Bottle numbered "408-10", barrel SB4 from 2009 & features a nice Dr.Seus-style, colorful label.
OG pours a light, hazy brown. It smells very tart and nearly burns the nostrils if you get in close enough. Mouth feel is low and accompanied by low carbonation. Taste like a "liquid [nuclear] warhead"--straight vinegar and balsamic vinegar with an unbearable nail polish remover finish. Hits the back of your throat and doesn’t let up.
I could barely finish 2 oz of this beast. I was warned about this one, but unfortunately that’s also part of the reason I wanted it!

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Photo of Stabone33
2.12/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up the bottle Sunday, 7 Aug, drank 9 Aug. Bottle 1009/11-10, barrel SB2. Bottom line: Maybe there's a reason brewer's yeast is brewer's yeast, but I get a vision of what the first accidental brewers may have found at the bottom of their flooded barley jars eight thousand years ago.

Pour was unexpectedly flat…no head whatsoever, especially considering other reviews here. Beautiful dark amber, almost mahogany. Acetone nose that disappears quickly, replaced by the barest hint of oak gall, unpeated scotch, maybe a hint of milk farm and lactic...butter..ish...ness.

First taste was shocking. Reeling -- first impression was that I just drank from a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Vinegar taste is overpowering. Vinegar slowly devolves into harsh vanilla extract on tart fruit. Lemon zest on the sides of the [vinegar] palate if I force it over there [vinegar] and fight the urge [vinegar] to get it past my [vinegar] tastebuds as [vinegar] quickly as [vinegar] possible.

Mouthfeel is decent, but clings to the roof of the mouth and triggers compulsive swallowing from excessive saliva that goes on for many minutes.

This beer might be used creatively and successfully over fish ‘n’ chips or drizzled on Irish corned beef, cabbage, and potato...but I would not drink it. Again.

Really disappointed with this beer considering Trinity's consistently outstanding other offerings. I understand the experimental adventure typical of "Wild Ales," but I have to say...brewing novelty beer that tastes this bad isn't really an achievement when thousands of years of experimentation have brought us to Brewer's Yeast as a means to an end. If "wild" yeast was the best form for brewing, we'd still be using it to brew Budweiser.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.77/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks again to TurdFurgison for sharing this one.

A - Brownish colored beer that looked kind of dead. No real head, not really anything else. Kind of an ugly looking beer, particularly for an American Wild.

S - Monsterously sour smelling beer with some candy and off-chemical smells. Not really sure what to say about this, it smells slightly unpleasant due to the chemicals.

T - It's incredibly sour, which I'm assuming is suppose to be the focus of this. It's almost too sour to drink, and the chemical aftertaste makes it a little bad.

M - Lower carbonation, medium bodied.

O - If it's novelty sour you're going for, this one actually is a winner. Not a huge fan, as the taste just isn't all that good. was fun to try, but wouldn't be interested in getting this one again.

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Photo of DefenCorps
1.27/5  rDev -64%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Um, a B average? "Thanks", Mike

Pouring a clear cherry-red with no real head or lacing, this is a decent looking flemish red. The nose opens (and closes) with a blend of acetone, antifreeze and cherries and vinegar. As Masterski notes in his review, this is barbaric stuff. Intensely solventy, there's some burning plastic as well in there. The palate opens incredibly acidic with flavors of bile, vinegar and acetone. Opening up a hole in my palate, I can feel my brains fall into my esophagus. Sour and vile, this is malt vinegar, not beer. Awful, between 7 of us, we maybe drank 1oz.

As an aside, this beer made me think of the songs "Unmercifully Beaten" and "Masochistic Rampage" by the band Unmerciful.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml waxed bottle shared by xpimptastikx. Thanks!

Pours with a darker than expected cherry-mahogany hue. A thin, fleeting wisp of custard head sticks around for a minute but dissipates entirely. The aroma is a mixture of acetone and malt vinegar with a hint of berry in the background. Intrigued, but cautious...

The warnings about the insane sourness of this beer are legit, but not in the enamel-melting lactic pucker that other sours are known for (e.g., Beatification Batch II, Veritas 004, La Folie). Instead, Old Growth resorts to a sour chemical burn as it hits the back of the throat. A leeching, green sourness plays off notes of leather and tart fruit juice up front, but the finish is all vinegar. Makes the cheeks sweat and the stomach churn a bit. Old Growth is fun to try, but I can't say that I personally would recommend it.

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Old Growth from Trinity Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.