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Valley Of The Heart's Delight - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Valley Of The Heart's DelightValley Of The Heart's Delight

Educational use only; do not reuse.

71 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 71
Hads: 678
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 23.53%
Wants: 118
Gots: 116 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 01-30-2014

This sour ale is inspired by the agricultural history of the Santa Clara Valley. Long before it became Silicon Valley, it was known as the Valley of The Heart’s Delight, a fertile basin overflowing with fruit orchards. Brewed with foraged apricots handpicked by the Garden To Table non-profit, this collaborative beer celebrates and supports their mission to promote urban farming in San Jose.
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Reviews: 71 | Hads: 678
Photo of CraftFan5
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First time having this out of the bottle. 375 ml into a champagne flute.

A - A pale yellow-orange with plenty of streaming bubbles. White head consists of fairly large bubbles and fizzes away quickly. Inviting

N - Whoa, tons of tartness and funk with the requisite apricot aroma. This is one of the most aromatic sours I've ever experienced.

T - This is what wild ales are supposed to taste like. You get that strong foundation from the barrel-aging, and just a mind-blowing amount of apricot. Extremely tart and funky. Delici.

M - Almost painful on the tongue from the tartness and carbonation, and this is not a bad thing. Dry on the finish; I need some more.

O - A real winner. Best offering from Almanac I've had. Cheers!

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a pale orange or medium deep yellow in color with an average sized head. The head is very fizzy and more like a champagne head than a beer head. Retention is not very long on this head and it comes down to a wisp of bubbles on the edges of the beer fairly quickly. Not much lacing here.

S- This beer is fruity right up front in the scent before a bang of tartness. Fruitiness is primarily tart cherry in the scent, but a little bit of citrus and the apricot is in there as well. The back half of the scent is primarily tart and just a touch dry from the wine barrel.

T- Starts off with a bang of tart cherries and a fruity medley of the apricots and loquats. I have no idea what a loquat is, but I assume it has a fairly citrusy flavor that is mixing in with the cherries and apricots. The tartness picks up a little after the initial fruitiness, but never becomes too aggressive. A slight dryness comes after the tartness fades towards the end, and just a touch of wine flavor comes through in that dryness.

M- This beer has an overall feeling most similar to champagne. It is light and very carbonated on the tongue. The lower level of tartness makes this easy to drink, but not quite thirst quenching.

Overall, this is probably my favorite of the Almanac sours I have been able to try. It is fruity and tart, yet not so tart as to make you pucker. Just a very good beer overall.

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Photo of impending
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75


375ml into a delicate glass. Pours a fully hazed honey orange, pure white froth retains as a ring, minor lacing.

Handed this blind and asked to guess the fruits - the answers could be legion, everything advertised and so much more. Perfect balance of sweet to sour share an imagined cinnamon.

WoW this is tasty, a liquid sweet tart. Again the multitudes of fruits real and imagined. Exquisite sharp dry bite, white grape skins. Lip smacking goodness

Lively spritzy thin mouthfeel which so seeps into crevices it seems less is swallowed than was sipped.

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Photo of jjdc
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lovely golden yellow that just looks like summer. Ripe fruit nose that is solid, but not huge. This one is quite a bit more sour than most Almanacs, but quite amazing. The interplay between the fruit is superb. You get hints of tart cherries, citrusy apricots and perhaps loquats as the beer rolls over your tongue. The pucker keeps things taut and crisp. This is super refreshing. One of the best from Almanac.

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Photo of pkalix
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! nice pucker factor! sweet fruit flavor, this is easily the best of the bunch with the blueberry, I remember, coming in second. this is really nice!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, golden wheat color with a medium white head that goes down quickly. Scent is very fruity up front. Not sweet fruit, but the kinda fruit aroma you get when you walk through a field of trees or plants that grow fruit. Tart aromas with a hint of chardonnay. More chardonnay as the beer warms a bit. Taste is very tart up front. Loquats, lemons, and apricots provide a lovely fruity balance. The cherries are very difficult to find in the flavor. This one is pretty sour. A good amount of wine barrel...I'm assuming chardonnay barrels were uses. The fruit and sourness mesh so well with this one. Has a slight wheat flavor to it. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp. Somewhat puckering. Drinkability is extremely high. Overall, this beer is outstanding. To me, it drinks like a berliner. Perfect for a hot, summer day. You could tell me the ABV was 4.0%, and I would believe it. A lovely, dry, sour ale with a lot of stone fruit flavor.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Light haze on a soft yellow-peach body. White head settles quickly with little-to-no lace.

S - Fruity, restrained and well rounded. Red apple, cantaloupe, white cherries, apricots, and sour cranberries.

T - Smooth well balanced sourness, green grape, macintosh apple, sourdough, dried apricots.

M - Medium frame. Maybe medium-full to style. Strange, dry cream finish.

O - A deft balance of fruit and sour; fairly restrained for an American Wild ale.

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Photo of BobbyDigitali
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Aged bottle (Feb. 2013).. Oh so good. This one had Apricots, Loquats, and Cherries. The new batch (2015) has solely Apricots. Can't wait to taste the new batch after cellaring a year or two.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a nice light and hazy orange with a finger of white head that is quick to fade to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of fruity tartness, some nice malty aromas, and the slightest amount of funk
T: taste starts off with a nice smack of tartness, followed up with some apricot and cherry flavor along with some nice oakyness from the wine barrel. swallow brings a nice crisp lemony tartness and a bit of funk on the finish.
M: lighter side of medium in the mouth with adequate carbonation and a drying finish
O: Incredible, it's kinda like a fruity berliner weisse but they didn't mention the use of any wheat...

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Photo of Rocknrao
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy burnt amber color. Mildly fruity nose. Smells of pears and apricots. Tastes like a good sour ale should. Light bodied tartness like dried fruit from a bulk bin.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebereej for sending this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from 375 mL bottle into a Florida Berliner Bash snifter.

A: Hazy gold, with a thin white head but lots of bubbles forming streams up the sides of the glass.

S: Some nice barnyard funk, a mouth-tightening tartness, white wine, and fruity (though I'm not sure I would have called it apricots - just a fruity sweetness).

T: Tart apricots, white vinous character, tartness and a moderate amount of wet, funky barnyard. Dry and tart on the finish with woody tannins from the barrel.

M: Light champagne-like body with tons of carbonation sensation, and very low alcohol presence.

O: A really nice, well-done sour. Quite light, enjoyable and drinkable. This is one of my favorites of Almanac's small-bottle sour series. Excellent beer.

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Photo of carmike813
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought this when i was out west for vacation...

First off i have to give big credit to the bottle art. I love the Almanac font they use with the top-to-bottom sideways way of the label. The tree on the other side is cool looking with the "FARM TO BARREL" on the back side. I dont think anyone does better bottle art than Almanac, really cool.

I poored into a tulip glass.

Quick dissapating soda like head to the poor, it fizzed away immediately, but what you would expect form a sour

Sour funk, apricots, deep cherry. Very little wine barrel coming through the nose but pretty damn good to the senses

Big sour coming through with the wine barrel clearly coming through. Has the finish of a Reisling. The cherry is the most noticable with the apricot slightly behind. Excellent sour brew

Tangy carbonated acidic feel, ligh light body

Really enjoyed this sour, one that is easy to find and worth the try. High recommendation

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage served at Ale Arsenal.

Beautiful semi-opaque golden yellow. Smells fruity (peachy?), but not tart. But it tastes VERY tart. Delicious. Puckery. Very much to my liking.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can Raul type right now? He almost cannot. This is simply amazing. Let's equate, shall we? In N Out after a bender; a bubble bath with Olivia Munn; Dodger Stadium at twilight... PERFECTION!

Glorious apricots that must have been picked by Aphrodite because Raul just cannot, he cannot...

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Photo of blockdude
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite sours, and in my opinion far better than any almanac beer. The body has some very enjoyable floral notes with a lot of apricots and cherries. There is quite a bit of carbonation and acidity, but it is not overbearing. What I enjoy most about this beer is its earthiness and the fact that everything tastes so fresh particularly the apricots and cherries. I would say that the bottle version can be hazier than on tap and although it probably looks better on tap, it ages very well with more noticeable barrel qualities over time.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Hazy gold with a thin ring of white head. Head, while minimal, is persistent and leaves good lacing.

S. Apricots, lemon, peach, lacto, barnyard funk. Traces of cherry, strawberry, and slightly pungent cheese. Very good.

T. Fleshy apricot, tart peach flesh, dry white wine, hints of bittering hops, yeast. Fruity, dry, and nicely sour.

M. Moderate to high carbonation, good blend of fruit and tart notes...it's never overbearing or hugely puckering. Big dry, white grape finish.

O. An excellent wild ale and another awesome entry into Almanac's Farm to Barrel series. The complexity of flavors on display is quite impressive...absolutely loving the apricots in this. Not as sour as some, but presents a depth and well-roundedness that should be applauded. I really dig this beer and am glad to have tried it.

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Photo of spoony
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 375 ml bottle (no date) to a teku.

A-The beer is a dull orange color with a light haze. I can see a few streams of fine carbonation in there, but the white head fades quickly to a thick collar. No lacing.

S-The aroma is moderately funky (more lactic than brett) with a nice dose of sour fruit. I get apricots mostly, but also some peach, and a little bit of lemon and orange. Very sour, but very clean smelling.

T-The taste is similar to the smell: it is clean, but sour. The apricot fruit is delicious and pure tasting. I also taste some peach and lemon and I get a little hit of dry oak. The finish is drying and sour. Nice.

M-The body is on the light side with fine carbonation of average to above-average volume. A great fit for the beer.

O-This may be my favorite Almanac beer. It is easily one of the best sour beers I have had in a while. It doesn't have the complexity of other sours and that may be OK because the fruit flavor here is very clean and pure. No bourbon or tequila or whatever barrel intrudes. It is just fruit and it is delicious.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright hazy yellow. Fizzy head with good retention.

The apricot really shines. Fruity with a little bit of orange and vanilla. Funky and pungent, sour.

Very sour and the apricot finishes strong. White wine.

Medium body with high carbonation. Crisp and clean.

I really enjoyed it. The apricot tastes so good and sticks around long in the finish after the pucker is over.

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Photo of wakeuptothesun
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I absolutely loved this beer and am looking forward to getting a couple more. Definitely sour. Had it back to back with the sourdough ale and this one prevailed victorious by a long shot in my opinion. Thanks Almanac for this awesome beer. It was similar to Anderson Valley's Rosy Barl to me. Next up, the bourbon sour porter. Should be great!

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a hazy light copper body wit a thin white film that is supported by a tight little carbonation. The body is a pretty cloudy and with each sip nice little foam clouds form on the glass.

S- The nice tart fruity aroma has some earthy stone fruit notes and a cherry skin finish with some delicate apricot notes.

T- The full tart slightly dry jammy fruit flavors has some earthy dark cherry skins underneath and a gentle tartness hangs on the tongue after the finish.

M- this beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a gentle astringency prick to the little crisp fizz.

O- The full dept of tartness blends with some more acidic fruit character that is bright and is nicely melded together. Very tasty.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy orange. Soapy white head that recedes fast.

Aroma is tart candies. Funk. Excellent aroma.

Tastes of tart and sour candy, oranges, tangerines, apricots, wine notes.

Medium mouthfeel. Nice and dry.

Another great and highly drinkable wild from Almanac.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy light golden yellow with noticeable carbonation, but minimal head retention. There are flocks of settling yeast and strands of pulp visible as well. The nose is tart and fruity with notes of dog's breath, honey, apricot pit, and hinting cherries and acetone. The taste is fruity and funky with lemony acidity, a grainy backbone, and lingering apricots in the finish. It's light bodied with approachable sourness, a recognizable fruit presence, ample carbonation, and a dry fruity finish. This beer, although pricey, is incredibly well-honed and drinks with minimal complaints - perfect for summer.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on-tap, Chucks Central District

Hazy peach body - lots of ripe fruit - apricot, peach, cherry, grapes. Vinous and oak notes from the wine barrels compliment everything nicely. Nice tartness, a bit of lemon citrus, dry finish. Good stuff - the best of the latest batch of almanac beers

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Photo of More_betterness
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light golden body topped with a fairly large, tight bubbled head for a sour/barrel aged beer. After a few minute the head recedes to a thin film with slightly thicker ring around the rim of the glass.

S: Big tart stone fruit and sweet cherry, followed by a mild acidic tartness. Floral citrus zest and a tick of barrel character make themselves known as it warms. Acidity is there, but is very restrained. Very balanced and inviting nose.

T: Tart cherries and citrus, followed by a bit of lactic tingle. A sweeter note of baked stone fruits and a slight graininess round out the flavor. Again very restrained acidity for a AWA, but a great showcase of fruit with a measurable tartness. Delicious.

M: Thin and effervescent, with a lingering tingle along the gumline. Standard for an AWA.

O: Not as aggressively sour as most AWAs in this class, but a great exercise in balance between acidity and fruit character. Love it and wish I had another bottle!

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Photo of atone315
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very opaque golden yellow with a finger to finger and a half of nice, white head. Smells like lemon, I had a real hard time picking up the apricot. Taste followed and agreed with my nose, this one is at my upper limits of sourness.....which is a good thing. Will definitely seek out and drink again, and again, and again.

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Valley Of The Heart's Delight from Almanac Beer Co.
93 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.