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Anadromous - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AnadromousAnadromous

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

200 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 15.08%
Wants: 12
Gots: 26 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DucksFan16 on 06-02-2013

Brewed with Summit Hops. Aged in French Oak Pinot Noir barrels with Brett, Pedio and Lacto. Triple Fermented.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 39
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Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heard good things about this one; I've been holding onto it waiting to be in the mood for a good sour - and tonight is definitely the night. Batch #1 March 2013. 8.5% ABV confirmed. 30 IBUs. Love the label art; very original and fun. "Black sour ale with brett, pedio, & lacto." Reviewed as a wild ale. "Ale aged in French Oak Pinot Noir Barrels." "Brewed with summit hops. Triple fermented. First in stainless tanks with a Belgian yeast. Second in French Oak Pinot Noir Barrels with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus. Finally in the bottle for natural carbonation." Sounds damn tasty; expectations are quite high. 750ml brown glass bottle with art printed on the bottle and hood-and-wire cap (aka cage) over a cork served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Cost was $15.00 here in SoCal.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Cork yields a satisfying pop upon removal. Liquid slowly surges up, eventually necessitating a pour.

A: Pours a half finger wide head of nice tan colour. Smooth soft complexion; supple. Nice creaminess - especially for a sour. Decent frothiness and thickness. Retention is average - about two minutes. Even lacing as the head slowly recedes. Before dying, it does give way to a floater ring that remains for an additional minute. Quite an intriguing - dareisay a unique - head for a wild ale.

Body colour is a very dark ruby-black. Solid and opaque. No yeast particles are visible as a result. No bubble show.

Overall, it's looking quite appealing for the style - but it's unusual, which does have me a bit worried.

Sm: Dark malts. Great yeast complexity; I pick up the pedio and lacto but both are subtle. I don't get much in the way of brettanomyces or funkiness, but it's a bit biscuity. Not a spicy or herbal yeasty character; sour all the way. Cream. Dark malts. Buried roast. Maybe even some buried vanilla. Lovely oak and subtle, light red wine/grape notes. It's a bit too clean and clinical for a sour, in classic American fashion. Not the natural spontaneous aroma of a good traditional Belgian sour. A mild strength aroma overall. No hop character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Sourness is timid, and clashes with the dark malt build of the body. The oak is nice, but gets bludgeoned by overwhelming red wine notes. In this way, it's imbalanced; I'd prefer that the flavours complement each other and cooperate, but they come into conflict. Pedio is way too backgrounded. Most of the sourness comes from the lactobacillus. Not getting any brettanomyces or funkiness here. Lightly creamy. A kiss or orange zest. Tannic from the wine aging - to its detriment. It flirts with a cherry pie crust note, but never quite commits - much to my chagrin. A hint of dark sugarplum, which clashes with the sour notes. The sweet/bitter spectrum is zany here; I don't know that the brewer was really in control of this beer. Roast is buried, and luckily so because it really doesn't work well here. No real wild bacteria. The sourness is clean and clinical, not natural and spontaneous. Hints of vanilla are quite unwelcome. Some vinous character. Maybe some licorice (which I personally despise). A bit of raisin. Maybe even some molasses - which is horrid in a sour. It's complex in that there's a lot going on, but it has no subtlety. An unrefreshing mess of a sour. There are good elements here, but the notes clash too much for it to come off cohesive or holistically constructed.

The "black" aspect of this black sour ale really holds it back.

As it warms, the wine character matures but grows even more pronounced, further eclipsing the sour notes that should be the soul of the beer.

The finish really bothers me; it's too sweet and the dark sugarplum, raisin, and kiss of molasses really don't work well.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Clean (overly so). Unrefreshing. Too thick. Okay presence on the palate. Lightly chewy. A biteen syrupy. Doesn't really suit the flavour profile all that well. Overcarbonated - even though it's bottle conditioned; that's strange. Acidic.

Dr: Downable but I expected far better for the price and this beer's reputation. I wouldn't want this again unless it had some age on it - and only then to check if the pedio had finally surfaced. I like the concept of the beer, but the execution is wanting. I'll happily finish the bottle - and the ABV is very well hidden - but I really hoped this would be better brewed than it is. The pinot noir barrel aging in particular is sloppy and heavy handed, with no regard for subtlety. I wouldn't recommend this to friends. Its lack of balance really holds it back. A swing and a miss from Anchorage.

Overpriced.

Drinks fine from a stem-tulip. That's probably the best glassware for it; that or a teku.

Serve chilled.

C+

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4/5  rDev +5.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of N17shelfside
4.69/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Remembrances from drinking it last night:

Reminded me a lot of Supplication in the way that the Pinot Barrel really imparted of the red wine tannin feel. The balance of the funk was really nice, without any serious sourness. Looking forward to putting away a bottle for a few years to see what happens to it over time, I suspect that it is only going to get better.

Photo of Pinknuggets
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

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4/5  rDev +5.8%

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5/5  rDev +32.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of INFORMATION
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of fmccormi
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 750ml / 25.4oz cork-and-cage bottle to an oversized wineglass (HF stemware); not sure what the dating information is on this bottle, but my understanding is that it’s not so so old.

Appearance (3.75): Milk chocolate foam makes up the head, rising to maybe half a finger or a finger before dying down, showing little retention with just scattered spots of lace. The body is black with murky brown, tobacco-juice highlights. Looks kind of like a dark porter.

Smell (4.0): Dark, baking-quality cocoa powder, anise, plums, and other dark fruits—dates, maybe? Not so much of the molasses and toffee and other rich malt tones you might guess from the appearance—much more towards the dark fruit and dark chocolate tones. Oddly appetizing, for being so confusing.

Taste (4.0): Lactic sourness, no doubt about that. Tart cherries with a dark, fruity richness that calls to mind dates, prunes, anise, etc. There’s a tannic, red wine-like dryness, with some coffee bitterness, some lighter orange peel bitterness and just a hint of orange flesh sweetness . . . the palate definitely starts with the cocoa powder and coffee bitterness (which, as a single component, blends in with the tannic, lactic side of the beer very well), and then moves into that pruney richness, and finally finishes out with acidic, tannic fruit characteristics. This is kind of an odd one, but very tasty. No clue how strong this might be.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Lighter than the appearance and palate would suggest. Dry and tannic, on the lighter side of medium, and yet moderately rich on the palate with smooth carbonation . . . feels great, honestly. It’s like it has some of the richness of a big, thick, dark beer, but stays relatively light and dry from the acidity and tannic qualities. It feels like a soured . . . imperial porter?

Overall (4.0): This is a confusing beer, but quite palatable and enjoyable. I’d hand this to a refined red wine fan with an open mind any day of the week. It’s like an imperial porter with its cocoa and coffee (while lacking the fudge, caramel, molasses, and cream of a big stout), plus the rich, dark fruits and cherry sourness of a dry wild ale or lambic aged on cherries. The tannic, vinous character is what marries the different components so smoothly, I think. Well done. A tricky target to be sure, but I think Anchorage hit it.

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4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

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4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mikemacisso
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of DovaliHops
4.31/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1. Pours a pitch black color with a small, tan head that goes down quickly. Scent is quite heavy on the pinot barrel...it kinda smacks you in the face, which I love. Slightly acidic aroma with some lovely oak and sour aromas. As the beer breathes, you get some more roasty aromas. Roasted malt and sour, vinous aromas. Very inviting. Taste is not as sour as the nose, but very tart for sure. Very vinous in the flavor as well with some light alcohol warmth. The flavor really shows the roasted malt and chocolate flavors, still maintaining its delightful tartness. Some buttery flavors with hints of vanilla from the oak. The pinot flavors linger with each and every sip. Very tasty beer, Finishes with some more roasted malt and chocolate. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and somewhat soft, but it works in this beer's favor. Drinkability is very high. Overall, it is more sour that Zwet and JP Madrugada Obscura, but not as sour or acidic as Tart of Darkness. Nicely balanced and delicious! I can't wait to see how the yeast and bacteria work on this beer over the years.

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3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much no head, actual none, dark brown molasses syrupy barely any light coming through.

Nose lots of sour funk and toasty wood, light barnyard earthy funk, sour lacto funk, weird plant like earth, dark creamy brown malts too like fermented molasses, lots of toasty French oak too, light vinous.

Taste nice sour funk, fermented molasses little corn stalk starchy like, lots of earthy funk, pedo sour, creamy lacto sour too, light bitterness, light sour syrup, sweet flavours too. Lots of toasty French oak, bit buttery, vinous light wine flavours. Finish is dry sticky flemmy and molasses and lots of sour funk lingering.

Mouth is med bod, light carb, creamy but flemmy sour feel.

Overall interesting but nothing special, too much going on and not enough of the good parts... the dark weird malts don't help either.

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4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

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2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

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3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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Anadromous from Anchorage Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.