Anchorage / Crooked Stave Between The Staves - Anchorage Brewing Company

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Anchorage / Crooked Stave Between The StavesAnchorage / Crooked Stave Between The Staves

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265 Ratings
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Ratings: 265
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 54
Gots: 44 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 01-09-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A sour ale fermented in oak foudres with 3 strains of brett, the beer was then aged for 11 months in cognac barrels.

20 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mverity
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep caramel brown with some light tan head. Fair lacing, good legs, thin collar persists. Aroma is dry hay, very light smoke, tart plum and dark cherry all with a big brett funk. Taste is much like the aroma with the dark fruits playing well with the earthy smokiness. I get a faint herbaceousness as well. High carbonation and medium body. Very bubbly on the tongue.

Photo of dirtylou
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, split

This is a very lovely beer - lots of grape jam, raspberry, oak, tart summer berries. Very vinous in nature - wine, berry, and wood all in harmony. I really enjoyed this and if I see more, i'm buying it. Great collaboration effort

Photo of BergBeer
4/5  rDev -5%

Look: Dark ruby-brown with vanilla head that just rims the glass. Legs are very active on this beer.

Smell: Huge straw and farmhouse funk hit the nose. Followed quickly by some tart lemon, sourdough, sour green apple, hints of earthy oak, red wine notes, peaches, barely there vanilla, cognac, more oak, and another big sour funk.

Taste: Hits the taste buds with a sour kick that lingers on the tongue for a bit the flashes away to straw, dark grape and red wine notes, big sour lemon flavors, some fruity peach like esters, earthy oak barrel, then an almost sweet chocolate malt for just a second, that gives way to another sour lemon kick with hints of cognac popping up all around. The aftertaste is a bit more subdued with hints of earthy oak, farmhouse funk and cognac. One very tasty brew.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp at first that bodies up as it lingers to a nice medium body. Hints of lactic and somewhat wine like. It's sticky on the tongue and goes down with a nice sour puckering effect. Very drinkable.

Overall: One tasty American sour. I love how it has that nice sour pucker but yet is balanced with the really nice earthy oak barrel and sweet cognac. This beer holds one of the deeper more complex bodies of a sour I've ever had especially after that initial sour punch this lovely sweet malt, farmhouse, oaky, lightly chocolate, Brett, almost red wine like body just coats the tongue and opens up really nice. One of the easiest drinking sours I've ever had.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Big want of mine for a while. ..two of my favs collaborating on one brew.
Purchased at Lokal Burger in Miami. Still pour ...caramel thin syrup looking. ..not much pop to the cork either. Smell is super funky...woody...a hint of chocolate.
Really nice.
Taste is funky sour..lots of critters in here. Caramel wood and a hint of the sweet cognac. Tart mouthfeel...but easy.
Overall a fantastic brew and I would love to add one to my cellar.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Shared by Sasha - thanks. Corked and caged 750ml.

A: Pours brownish with a thin (1/16-inch) white head which leaves a few spots of lace.

N: Plenty of oaky tannins, some flanders basalmic, and slightly funky brett.

T: More basalmicy flanders type tartness, a trace of cognac, red wine, fruity and funk.

M: Medium body and light carbonation. Finishes tart, vinous and oaky.

O: Not worth the price.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter, dark red brown with a short tan head that dissipates quickly, clear

S: balsamic vinegar, oak, sour cherries, dark fruits

T: the sour flavor here is quite powerful but balance by oak tannins, tart cherry, vinegar, hints of flavor from the cognac barrels slip in as the beer warms

M: medium body, quite chewy, mouthwatering

O: bottled Jan 2014, this beer was purchased in Orlando, Florida in May and cellered, it was an excellent purchase, thanks to the store owner who whipped it out of hiding behind the counter

Photo of Alequine
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an outstanding beer. It was not something that was known to me and I was able to share this with a friend which was outstanding as it made for more of this to drink. This beer was joyous to drink so in reading up on this beer I was disappointed that this beer has been retired. Travesty. This beer was made with such an artisanal touch - A sour ale fermented in oak foudres with 3 strains of brett, the beer was then aged for 11 months in cognac barrels. What details!

The beer poured a light brownish color with slight see through. No lacing visible. Poured light but smooth with a slight aromatic vinegary smell along with toffee and cognac in the bouquet. The mouthfeel to me was light but enhanced by the moderate carbonation. This is a tasteful balanced sour with the initial taste of light vinegar, cognac, toffee and fruit (grapes maybe?). The finish had a dry oakiness with a slight acidic ending with the swallow. This is an outstanding beer and was a very pleasant surprise to drink. I am very disappointed that this beer is no longer brewed. Bring it back!

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass at Shelton Brothers tasting at the Wine and Cheese Place.

A: Dark brown, cloudy, touch of red when light hits it, bubbly and leaves sparkling carbonation trails upon swirl.

S: Oak, tart, fruit, very pleasant.

T: Starts with sweetness from red malts, gives the slight impression of cherries, middle brings both sour and sweet into balance, finishes with a sour punctuation mark that leaves you anxious for the next sip! Masterfully done.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, very pleasant

O: Loved this beer! Reminded me of a red flanders with the malty sweetness. From start to finish this is well balanced, complex, and a joy to drink. Go find yourself a bottle!

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 3.27.14
Batch #1 Jan/2014

A - Pours a medium-dark brown with a fizzy dark tan head that fades pretty quickly.

S - Funky, oaky, a touch of sweetness from the cognac.

T - Tart, cognac, oak, Bretty is very subtle.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Very tart and lots of influence from the cognac. I wish it was a bit funkier.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

With the newer and more avant-garde brewers making ales of a century gone by, what's old is certainly new again as the ale makers of Colorado and Alaska join forces for a distinctive sour and toasted taste that harks to historic flemish ale.

Its tawny garnet brown appearance carries a sightly ominous haze- casting bronze and ruby aspirations agains the glass. Piquant aromas strike the olfactories with a sense of red wine vinegar, sour under-ripened fruit, cherry, grape along with a balance and tingle from peppercorn. Its toasty early palate is accompanied with steely caramel, light coffee and heavy kilned vanilla bean.

The tangy acidity overcomes the palate with sharp lime sourness and a backdrop of vinous dry cabernet, light balsamic, sour grape and cherry, crabapple and a salty-sweaty drift to savory things up a bit. Malt contributions are of toasted bread crust, lightly charred grain and oak. As the carmel and vanilla dissipates, the bright acidity becomes paramount along with that tangy fruit and peppery spice balance.

With the toasted char and peppercorn shining it the ale's dry finish, its light and acidic body is as refreshing as it is characterful. As its finish brings about palate-stripping thirst quenching effects, a cloud of sour fruit and wood lifts and seems to evaporate in the aftertaste.

Photo of draheim
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL (batch 1, January 2014) into a tulip. Pours a dark translucent brown w/ a minimal head.

Aroma is sour and oaky. Lots of wood and wild yeast, similar to a Flanders oud bruin.

Taste is clean and sour, sweet and oaky. Dark sweet malt, countered by a puckering tartness.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a clean dry finish.

Overall a tasty, moderately complex wild ale, similar to Collage, Silver City LeFat, and maybe a handful of others. Really nicely put together.

Photo of scottfrie
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into snifter. Batch #1, bottled January, 2014.

A: Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a thin but fluffy light tan head that slowly faded into a thin, bubbly collar. A few spots of wispy lace was left down the glass.
S: Funky, musty, and earthy brett on the nose with scents of red grapes, cognac, and a clean bright tartness. I get hints of red wine vinegar, stone fruits, and cherry skins.
T: Oak and cognac barrel, black cherry, red wine, mild vinegar, stone fruit and a clean but very mild acidity. The finish is buttery with a heavy, sticky fruity sweetness. The aftertaste is full of musty earth, stone fruits, slight caramel, and a hint of dark wine. Flavors are vinous, dark, and full of red fruit tones, and I get lots of cherry pits and just a faint hint of cheese as the beer warms.
M: Greasy and slick mouthfeel, oily, with a full and heavy body and very mild carbonation. The acidity is light, and there is no real tartness to the beer like you would have if lacto was involved.
O: A very approachable and flavorful dark sour beer. Definitley different than most other Anchorage beers with more acidity coming through than creamy yeast. Good, well executed, but not my favorite.

Photo of artoolemomo
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Also received with very little head. The head is a light beige with hints of khaki while the body is a dark amber with hints of maroon that appears as a mix of almost opaque maroon and dark amber when held up to the light.

Nose- Piercing acetic acid that recalls formic acid. Very tart with definite notes of stone fruits that arrange from peach, cherries, to apricot. Some other dark fruits. Swirling doesn't reveal much more than that.

Taste- This is a fairly interesting sour. The aroma seems a little more tart than the actual palate. Obvious fruit esters that range from cherries, plums, peaches, to apricot but also notes of vanilla and even hints of chocolate- nothing that I've ever encountered in a wild ale. Very fleshy with intonations of wine (red), perhaps something Spanish? Doesn't have much of a pucker effect as the finish is very dry and crisp. Cherry seems very much like Bing cherries. Slight funk and grassiness in the background. Minor straw. Almost great, I just wish it had a little more funk.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with very light carbonation. This seems to give it a little more structure. Nice dry finish.

Drinkability- This may be the easiest drinking sour I've ever had. While I haven't had that much of it, this seems like a sour I could drink a good amount of. Don't think I would pay the 17 bucks a bottle but as a part of this flight, it seems to be a deal.

Overall- Really good to great beer- pretty much in between. Definitely worth a try, especially if you can find it as a small pour.

Photo of BastardKing24
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Anchorage, so here goes.

Pours a brown color with a half finger white head that sits around for a min, than leaves a ring of bubbles and nothing else.

Smells like heaven. Big wallop of sour berries and cherries before i even finish pouring from about a foot away. Upon inspection, sour notes of vinegar and sour apple invigorate. There also is a bit of funkiness in there, as well as some major oak tannins and barrel aged goodness. This is perhaps one of the best smelling sours I have ever smelled. 5.0 easily.

Taste is not quite as funky and tart as the smell, but once you take a sip you realize this is not your everyday beer. Starts off with a sour apple and cherry pucker, and not so much vinegar. Its very balanced. The tartness subsides after about 2 seconds and leads to a malty and barrel-like presence, where you get the oak and cognac. It then fades to a less tart, less oaky, dry like wine finish that exceeds expectations. Its very rich yet at the same time envelops a restrained quality.

Feel is decently carbed, and has a tart intro with dry finish that leads you to the next sip, and so on. It perpetuates itself with each drink, so as to not become a total mouthwatering, salivating sour experience. Don't get me wrong, this is indeed sour, but it has a unique vibe about it so to speak.

Overall I recommend this to anyone looking for a nice wild ale that won't disappoint.
Serve in a snifter and enjoy.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy purple brown with just speckles of tan film.
Barrel and mustard seed acid nose – bracing but intriguing.
Raspberry balsamic, bit of vanilla oak, an acidic hit, purple grapes, and bits of dark rock candy.
Pomegranate finish and dry linger.
Light and clean.

No Brett (yet; this is a young bottle) which is surprising from Anchorage. The wood is underplayed, too – no cognac to be found. Pleasant, but nothing spectacular.

Still haven’t been wowed by this brewery.

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

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Firestone Walker snifter.

A: Pours a dark rich brown to mahogany in color, translucent. Forms a one-finger eggshell head with visible carbonation on the low side.

S: Funky, barnyard Brett, some cognac, toasted malts, and oaky tannins.

T: Funky tartness, oak dryness, cognac that doesn't dominate, and roasted malts. Near the finish is an almost fruity (cherry?) sweetness (possibly from cognac ethanol). The flavors remind me a bit of a cherry cola in overall impression. Some lemony citric tartness integrated as well, which increases as the beer warms. Sweet and tartness linger into the hang, which finishes dry overall.

M: Medium body, moderately low carbonation sensation, and has low alcohol burn.

O: This was a different beer, but really tasty. Not overly funky or tart, but balanced in its own way. The cognac flavors were unmistakeable, but well-integrated into the beer. Nicely done, and highly recommended. I am curious as to what the Brett will do over some years in the cellar.

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

- 5 oz. pour from 750 mL bottle into tasting snifter on 25-Jan-15

I bought two bottles of the first batch and tried one fresh. Lost my tasting notes, but

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle I brought to share at the post-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Batch # 1. Bottled 1/2014.

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, peach ring candy, apricot, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and peach ring candy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with an interesting peach ring candy I am getting in both the smell and taste.

Photo of chugalug06
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one dark brew! One-finger snappy off-white head rises and falls fairly quickly. No lacing, and moderate retention.

Dark, deep, sour funk. Tons of red cherrys, green apple, horsey, cider vinegar, cinnamon, kinda medicinal. Spicy.

Kinda thin and missing a bit. Sour is more funk than tartness. Flavors are tons of apple skin, lemon, orange, roasted cider vinegar, farmy funk. Carbonation is very light and enjoyable. Sweetness is also very nice and morerate. Bitterness is more dryness than throat pulling. Very light, airy, and crisp.

A solid brew. But, it's not quite what I had in mind for the collab. It's worthy and nice, but a bit hard to swallow @ $15/650ml. Kinda a standard issue.

Photo of pants678
3/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Lighter brown body but really no head foam.

Distinct smell of liquor.

Sour, definitely, but not piercing, the barreling may have curbed that. The berries stand out, probably work to the style's benefit. A fuller body would be an upgrade for me, I'm not getting much malt flavor. Or barrel. Still, has a cola-ish finish and is rich yet approachable.

Body's oily and very low carbonation.

Photo of mrkdwrds
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Anchorage is a favorite of mine, and if they keep producing beers along these lines that will continue to be true in the future. 750 mL cork and caged bottle served into a wine glass.

Between the Staves pours a rich amber/brown, with little head. Aroma is incredible - there is a fruitiness that seems signature of Anchorage beers to me at this point that is balanced by cognac complexity and sweetness. The taste is excellent - there is that same signature Anchorage taste accompanied by some oak, and a nice level of acidity/sourness. Mouthfeel is average for the style - well-carbonated, not too heavy. Overall a great wild ale, one of the better shelf offerings I've tried in recent memory.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle.

Darkest ruby. Little head. The nose is obviously tart, with a deep wine-like flavor. Hint of roast. Reminds me of the Almanac Sour Porter.

Smooth and almost thin, the mouthfeel is belied by the rich, deep flavor. Wine-like indeed. The tartness is funky, but fruity and balsamic. Tastes like a kriek or Duchesse. Long, lingering, acidic finish. A lot going here.

Very well done, very enjoyable. More like a Flemish ale than anything else.

Photo of ccrida
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Very nicely done sour in the Flemish style, with a just a kiss of vanilla and cognac. Smooth, a little acidic pucker but not pungently sour. Elegant really, with very nice depth, but on the relatively subtle side, particularly on the nose. Light and digestible body, highly drinkable, and outright delicious.

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown on the pour, very little head, some nice bubbles stay around the glass, though. Clear, and violet colored when held up to the light. Very strong smell. Dark fruit, sour, oak, alcohol, green apple. Pretty intense smell. Very sour initially, fades out to the cognac barrels with a small alcohol burn, even though the abv isn't huge. I keep coming back to the smell. It's unique and I like it, even if I cant quite figure out what the smell is. The taste has a little sweetness to it, as well. I don't have a lot of experience with cognac, but I'm guessing thats what I can't quite figure out in the taste. Nice sour level on this. There's a little bit of carbonation you can feel right towards the end. Creamy mouthfeel, as well. Overall a nice sour with a different twist with the cognac barrels.

Photo of ADZA
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%

A joy to have this drop to be honest after the big wraps and so on, on pour its s murky brown hue with a creamy one finger head and not much lacing, smell is wow cognac mainly along with funky oak and raisins I could smell this all day, mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and the taste is wow its such a balanced sour with cognac on the start followed by a funky Brett fest, raisins,, a touch of toffee, grapes and finished with a dry oakiness and overall sublime wish this was easier available cheers.

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Anchorage / Crooked Stave Between The Staves from Anchorage Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.