Anadromous - Anchorage Brewing Company

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AnadromousAnadromous

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BA SCORE
86
very good

44 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 44
Hads: 231
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 10
Gots: 36 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 231
Photo of harrymel
3.02/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #1, bottled March 2013

It's black with a rim of tan foam and a mirrored surface, much different than the foam coming out of the bottle rather persistently. Smells of lacto, lemons, a little toasted malt, some funky resin, a little oak and some co2. Flavor is robust with coffee and soil, then there's the lemony tart and some bitterness and harshness to it. It's rather heavy with a low carb and a semi dry finish. I'm torn on this beer, it has the makings of a really nice sour stout, but lacks some of the subtlety I enjoy in some other examples for the malt portion. The bacterial characteristics are a little too dominated by bitterness and almost an aspirin character. (680 characters)

Photo of bobhits
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love Anchorage they are just amazing. This beer however hits the "meh" notes on all cylinders.

Pours a black kinda stout like body thought a hair thin. A light head but the legs are meh at best.

I get a sour note in the aroma and some lactose which is known for killing other aromas.

Sharp sour backing, way back with lactos and dark flavors. Certainly some brett and some dark malts but they are killed by lactose and sour.

Creamy but not full bodied and with sour poorly involved.

I have to say after so much success this is an ok to good beer. It isn't great and for Anchorage that's a failure. (609 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

So tried this bottle while at The Festival in Portland, ME and then again later on in the night. Hands down my least favourite Anchorage beer. Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured into a Duvel tulip a jet black pour with minimal head. Just a micro tan halo really with minimal lacing. Pretty weak for a wild.

S - Aroma is equally as puzzling. Light brett, some earthy malt sweetness, lots of funk almost spoiled cream lactose going on here. Atleast its light in the booze...

T - Taste is a bit better...burnt malts, caramel, funky spoiled cream, faint brett, light oak barrel, almost an astringent bitterness on the finish. Just well, its messy.

M - Mouthfeel isnt bad. Light carbonation, astringent, bitter, but drinkable.

O - Overall, yeah. So much going on here results in a very clashing beer. I've got two more bottles, going to age the holy hell out of them to see if that makes things jive more. As it stands, I would not drink this again. (946 characters)

Photo of Akfan
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK so this beer rocks. It is a good intro for people wanting to reach into the sour world. It is tart rather than a total sour...the color pours a dark espresso coffee brown. Head is minimal. Odor has a def bacteria, sour feel. Taste is not a shock to my mouth. Goes in smooth, tart, no pucker, little alcohol feel, but the flavor just buries me. Love the oak and Pinot Noir flavor which is prevalent...just a great great beer one for all to try....this coming from an IPA geek... (480 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a small khaki head. Small collar. Wispy surface.

Smell - Lots of red wine. Roasted malt. Not a lot of brett. Dark chocolate. Little bit of vinegar and oak.

Taste - Somewhat sour. A variety of sour flavors. After the sour flavors die off, chocolate roasted malt surfaces. Red wine lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. A little ashy.

Overall - Not well blended, but a decent beer. (464 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.36/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The color is a brown dark enough to edge into black, with a touch of a red tint and just a little light sneaking into the edges. Light brown foam forms a tight little head that sticks together for a good while, not especially large but with strength. It leaves pretty good patching as it goes.
The smell and the flavor of this brew are rich, deep, complex, and certainly atypical, seeming to push the boundaries of what a wild ale can do and be. Pinot is a great element to add to the tangy tartness of this beer, and the added oak dryness curbs an additional not-quite-chocolaty sweetness. A tangy/tart green apple and earth mix make for a fantastic backbone for this beer. There's just a faint hint of roast, adding complexity rather than clashing. Tannins and additional tartness complete the overall effect, offer the desired sourness, and round it all together very nicely.
The body is medium but seems almost to flirt with the unknown, as crispness, a bright sort of acidity and a softer feel make you think lighter before some heft, creaminess and depth of flavor make you feel it could be heavier. It ultimately does rest somewhere between, though.
Anchorage really did this one up, making an unusual and complex blend of flavors that really come together. A bold move, and very well done. The $16 price tag may make some shy, but in a 750 the quality matches the price. (1,379 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 7.5.13
Batch #1
Mar 2013

A - Pours a dark brown, almost black with a light brown foamy head that fades away slowly.

S - Tart, Pine, very woody, some cherry and malty as well.

T - Dark cherry, wood, pine, and some tart fruits.

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - Sour ale aged in pinot, and it shows. Not much Brett impact on this one. (367 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We all know those deserts- those that share a chocolate and nut grounding. But then those bakers can't help but to introduce that element of citrus. It's odd, its unsettled, but there's something so compelling about them that it keeps you returning to the dish... this beer is the zymurgilogical equivalent of that.

As the wild ale pours the darkest brown before going black, it casts cola highlights as the ale feathers toward the edge. A creamy sheet of mocha-tan spans the ale, doing so with strong retention and island-like lacing.

Incredible sour apple aromas blend in with coffee underpinnings. Decorated with elements of limes and sea air, the scent takes a rounde savory tart scent. Even a tinge of mushroom, smoky chocolate adds to the sour and roast interplay.

The taste really takes off with the scorches sweetness that's rarely found in Anchorage beers. Its burnt caramel taste bleeds seamlessly into campfire chocolates and medium-roast coffee. And then there's the bitter limes, tart lemony taste and delicate cidery mix. As the short-lived sweetness quickly trails, the earthen sourness swells into minerally roast and a compelling dirty pepper quality.

Medium-light in body, this beer seriously flirts with sour thinning and malt robustness. Its creamy body folds in the acidity from sourness in a strange chocolate-slash-lemon dichotomy. Light astringency puckers the jawls as mild warmth keeps the beer porter-ish.

Anchorage got off their feet and onto the world's craft beer stage with the sour-citrusy interplay. Now they have turned into left field in exploring the balance of robust roast and sourness and its playing out marvelously. Though this isn't my favorite- it shows the promise and the dedication to quality and inquisition that today's craft beer audiences deserve! (1,803 characters)

Photo of andyfrancis
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Overcarbed. I popped the bottle to little fanfare, set it on the counter, got distracted by something else going on in the kitchen, only to come back a few minutes later to the bottle sitting in a puddle of its own mess, the mouth still erupting, with a slow constant trickle of dark, mocha bubbles over the side. Aside from that, it looks quite nice. Black with just a hint of brownish red around the edges in the light.

Fruity, raspberry sour and farmhouse funky cheese the nose, despite the dark color. Interesting and complex without being off-putting.

Just a hint of sweet chocolatey banana at first, quickly overwhelmed by cheesy funkiness and watery tart finish.

Despite the initial overflow, there isn't much of bubbly bite. It's pretty heavy compared to pretty much any other sour and leaves a light waxy coating.

They're interesting enough to keep me buying, but for me these Anchorage Brewing wilds/sours have been all over the map, Bitter Monk being my favorite. This one is slightly above the average. Could make for a nice dessert drink in a snifter. (1,070 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
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+ (4,906 characters)

Photo of N17shelfside
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (2,381 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (824 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.44/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 bottled in March 2013
Poured into a standard tulip glass

Appearance: (4)
Pours a deep black with a wispy, finger and a half tall, beige head. The head recedes fairly fast and leaves no lacing behind, which is consistent for a barrel aged sour. Upon uncorking the bottle, the bottle began to gush, but luckily my glass was nearby. Overall, this is a pretty killer looking beer.

Aroma: (4.5)
Tart cherry pie filling right up front, with sour notes of lemon and light acetobactor(think red wine vinegar). The acidic sharpness is sheathed in a wave of funky brettanomyces; wet hay, horse blankets and tangy pineapple. Just before the sour funk gets to be all encompassing, the Pinot Noir barrel comes into play, bringing notes of plum skin, vanilla and faint coconut. As the beer warms, a mere hint of roasted malt from the base beer shows itself.

Taste: (4.5)
As soon beer enters your mouth, you're greet with a deep, ever so faintly tart, black cherry and lemon rind presence that gracefully blossoms into also a very deep, dark and rich chocolate malt body with some nice roasted coffee and nutty notes. These dark stone fruit flavors are coupled with a nice, barnyard funkiness from the Brettanomyces. Surprisingly, the Pinot Noir barrel makes it's presence known not in the finish, but right in the middle of the taste. It's rich, vinous dark plum and cherry flavors intermingle and intertwine beautifully with the wild yeast, souring bacterias and roasted malts. The beer finishes dry, bitter, slightly tart with a moderate tannin presence(for barrel aged beer, that is). There are lingering notes of cherry and plum, as well as vanilla and coconut from the barrel.

Moutfeel: (4.00)
Full bodied, robust with soft carbonation.

Overall: (4.5)
An amazing, complex and unique sour from Anchorage brewing co. The sourness is very toned down and really allows the Pinot barrel to really shine and play with the dark, roasted malts. The sour head in me was really hoping for more of an assertive acidity, but I am more than happy that it has been dialed down enough for the other components for this beer to shine through. Highly recommended for the curious palate. (2,178 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is such a winner I had to give it a full review. I generally greatly dislike the newer "black ales" and find them a meaningless style. This one really works and lives up to what it purports to be. I'd actually call this a must try since it is so balanced, so integrated and such a wonderful example of a creative brew.

Pours black with a thin, dark khaki head. Decent looking.

Nose is complex and integrated with sweet black chocolate, sweet bing cherries and oak. The characteristics are all very distinct and yet balanced in a wonderful olfactory delight. I actually don't get the pedio, brett or lacto in the nose but I really don't care the nose is otherwise so nice. There is actually an identifiable pinot noir character in the nose which is really nice to see.

Mouthfeel is medium to full yet bright. It is wonderfully balanced with small bubbles and a complete integration of texture and flavors.

Flavor profile beautifully follows the nose. Rich chocolate, black cherry, light roasted grain and some light sweet coffee, all really well balanced with an acidic fruit sour. This is a wonderful use of brett, pedio and lacto used to enhance the flavors, not dominate. Burgundian pinot noir tones are present in the flavor profile which, like the nose, is really nice to see. This is actually a beer that wonderfully tastes like what reads on the bottle!

Finish is a light citric chocoate; light milk chocolate and cooked fruit. I think this is a creative beer that's not creative just for creative's sake; this one works beautifully. (1,557 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Batch # 1. Bottled 3/2013.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark 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, tart, and funky with fruit, wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit, dark roasted malt, and wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a smell that is more sour forward and a taste that is more roast forward. (685 characters)

Photo of mroberts1204
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Gusher! A quarter of the bottle ended up on my brothers table. The beer pours black like an imperial stout with a lighter body. Light khaki head. The aroma isn't too strong - light roast notes with a mild lactic note. The taste is lightly sour, mild roast , ash, rubber and a strong astringency on the back end. There are some barrel notes but most of the nuance is overwhelmed by the strong astringency and rubber. Borderline offensive. Maybe I got a bad bottle. I hope so. Not good. (484 characters)

Photo of DucksFan16
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The latest release from Anchorage Brewing Company, Anadromous - Black Sour Ale with Brett, Pedio, and Lacto.

Poured from a bottle into my Tulip glass. Very dark with a one-half inch light brown head that dissipates rather quickly. This beer almost looks as dark as an imperial stout.

The smell is slightly sour, with an aroma of dark cherries. Not nearly as funky as I was expecting, especially since this beer has brett, pedio, and lacto, but it surprises in a good way.

Taste is very complex. Fruity and sweet, with the dark malts playing nicely in the background. With a beer this dark, I was expecting more of a roasted malty flavor, but I think that the lack of that makes this beer taste much better and you are able to appreciate the different flavor profiles from the aging in French oak pinot noir barrels. I am really enjoying this one.

Medium mouthfeel, very smooth, and relatively low carbonation.

I continue to be extremely impressed by Gabe's mastery of barrel-aging. The label on this bottle states that over 40 different pinot noir oak barrels of sour beer were blended to capture the unique contribution of each. I would have to agree that the barrel-aging on this one is fantastic. Absolutely worth seeking out. (1,234 characters)

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Anadromous from Anchorage Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.