Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
86 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
86
Ratings:
786
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
22.3%
 
 
Wants:
124
Gots:
134
For Trade:
18
Valley Of The Heart's DelightValley Of The Heart's Delight
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by largadeer on 01-30-2014

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 786
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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...

 287 characters

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden honey-orange. Paper-white head with impressive retention.

S - Similar to Dogpatch (i.e very sour and a little funky), yet with faint apricot presence underpinned by a thin layer of honey-sweetness.

T - Very sour (moreso than dogpatch). Refreshing, yet any true fruit presence is overwhelmed by the high level of acidity. A little funk is detectable as it warms.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. Fits nicely with the flavours.

O - If you prefer sourness over fruit presence, you'll love this. Not my thing, although I can appreciate its qualities.

 573 characters

Photo of jbaker67
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy copper with a quickly dissipating, white head. Aroma of sour and tart notes, some apricots and cherry notes, pale malts, light wine notes and oak notes, and hints of spices. Flavor the same with a great blend. Average texture. A really cool beer.

 257 characters

Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you anotherjoe for hooking me up with multiple bottles of this on more than one occasion, it is greatly appreciated. 375ml bottle poured into a wine glass, the bre appears a hazed golden copper color. An off-white cap appears and slowly fades leaving patchy lace sticking.

The smell is juicy like peach/apricot. Very fruity with vinous notes that get progressively more wild and tangy. A slight hint of brine and mineral aspect at first that blends to an earthy peach/apricot skin character. A very mild woody almost vanilla note is also present from the barrel along with a faint kiss of vinegar.

The taste is tart with peachy/apricot fruitiness and lactic tartness. It is juicy yet oak is present with minor vanilla aspects impart a sense of contrasting sweetness. A lingering sour fruit feel and raw oakiness blends to earth and fruity pith/pulp almost grassy with the skin of fruit filling out the rest of the profile.

This is a light bodied brew with modest carbonation. Plenty of tartness that gets minorly acidic when it warms up with a bounty of fruit and barrel character to balance it all out. I like this beer quite a lot, thanks again Anotherjoe!

 1,167 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy pale body. Not much of a head. Very thin collar.

Smell - Stone fruit. Smells like apricots. I don't get much cherry. Smells acidic. Light grain.

Taste - Wow, it's sour. Stone fruit. More of the cherry flavor. Pale malt and some grainy malts. Intense sour finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium light, but really sour. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Overly sour for me. Detracts from the fruit flavor, but amplifies the grain.

 472 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opnened on 2.28.14

A - Pours a hazy off-orange with a fizzy near white head that is gone fast.

S - Funky, lots of stone fruits, cherry, subtle wine.

T - Similar to the nose, but cherry and wine are sronger, and welcomed.

D - A light body with good carbonation.

O - Finally, I geat a good Almanac. Very nice fruit and funk.

 334 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 807 characters

Photo of popery
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangey yellow color. It's quite cloudy. Some sediment chunks floating around. The head is white with fine bubbles. Lots of lacing, residue left behind on the sides of the glass. Very good retention, kinda odd for a sour. Lots of fruit in the aroma. Particularly big on apricot. From what I remember from trying loquats, that's also fairly strong. Cherries are a bit in the background, though definitely noticeable. Mild wine. Some oak. A bit of cheesiness. Could use some cleaning up but it's a step in the right direction for Almanac. Mild lactic note. Taste is medium sour. Lots of underripe apricot. Some oak dryness. Still fairly messy with a moderate amount of bile flavor - I really don't know exactly what the flavor is, but it bothers me in a number of American sours. Some pale malt character lingers in the background. Medium-light feel. Somewhat effervescent. Good sour. Near the top of Almanac's releases for me. If they could just clean up whatever causes that bile-ish taste, I'd be a much bigger fan.

 1,025 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a really awesome fruit beer here, not totally sure what a loquat is, maybe another asian citrus type? hard to pick it out, not knowing what it is. the beer is hazy pale orange colored without much head or visible carbonation, but its far from flat in the feel, just looks it. the nose is apricot heavy, thats the only fruit i really smell, maybe a little lemon, and also some hectic sourness, more than brett this is lacto heavy, clean though, and mouth watering. the flavor starts wight he fuzzy and ripe apricots, and then the sourness that starts with a lemony tartness and progresses to full blow caustic acidity. the finish finally shows the cherries in this, tart and red and juicy, which is an unexpected flavor for the color, and an even more interesting twist for the sourness to cling on to. a crockery malt base is basically irrelevant here, as the fruit and bacteria do all of the flavoring. this series of little bottle special farm stuff from almanac has been a pleasure to drink through so far, they seem to have a real grasp for getting authentic fruit flavors is dry sour beer, its real tasty, and aside from the sourdough, this may be my personal favorite. big thanks as always to drlovemd87 for sharing.

 1,222 characters

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 264 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into a shaker

hazy orangeish yellow color with a slight head. smell has a lot going on and i get a good amount of peaches. you can tell this one is going to be sour. taste is massively lip puckering and by far their sourest beer to date. great fruit notes throughout and the finish is on point with a lasting fruit flavor. love this stuff. lip puckering sourness thoroughout.. great job

 400 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml
$13

Valley of the Heart's Delight looks like pink champagne as it fills the glass. There's a touch of haze but it shows off it's blush very well. Streams of perfectly white carbonation rush up the glass to the snappy, crackling white head keeping permafoam® on the surface. When backlit it is the color of a perfectly ripe apricot. Damn fine looking beer!

The sniffer is immediately met with metallic and mineral notes from the funk. Iron, wet stone, damp forest, must, and cobweb heavy attic. Surprisingly, all the fruits used are noticeable along with the barrel. Vinous notes lead the way the softly sweet apricot following closely before even handed Rainier cherries enter the fray. I'm not fully sure of locquat but there is a deep floral undercurrent. The apricot slightly tart and sweet, the wine barrel acidic, and all over a clean shortbread maltiness. The apricot blossoms with warmth.

Almanac nailed the funk on this beer. There's bright fruity acidity that's brings a pucker before soft lactic sourness flows through mid palate. The lactic segues flawlessly, almost unnoticed, into a long, manageable barnyard funk. Again the fruits are all present in even handed amounts. Damp wood barrel notes add even more depth to this bottomless brew. He shortbread sweetness adds a flawless base. This is good beer!

The body, while still working well, is the weakest link. Light and slightly flaccid, a little more oomph whether it be carbonation or hefty would help. This is only slightly off. The tartness invades every nook and cranny leaving firm sourness down the throat. Long lasting finish and high quenchability.

Valley of the Heart's delight is one of the better, more complex American wilds I've had in recent memory. It's brightly acidic, fruity, lactic, and has that great sweet and sour give and take going. A really great beer I highly recommend.

 1,875 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 816 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from my trip to Cali. Poured to a tulip glass. Strangely enough this looked like (even in the bottle) that it has about a 2.5 inch yeast sediment in the bottom. Shows in the pour. This one poured a cloudy yellow orange with lots of chunks--both white and reddish black colored (cherry skins?)--with no head at all. Weird. The aroma is amazing though. Lots of fruity apricots, tart fruits, some lightly sweet cherry, plenty of lacto sourness. Awesome. Flavor is tart and sweet apricots, definite vinous notes, lots of sour vinegar and lacto, dry oak finish. Mouthfeel is medium, maybe a bit heavy for the style. Honestly this reminds me a lot of Fou Fone with a little extra cherry and vinous sweetness. I don’t know if I got a weird bottle or what but it is an ugly brew. Nevertheless, pretty yummy and better than the rating shows since it is low from the look.

Hmmm...as this warms it begins to smell like latex. That can't be good. Had to drain pour the last 5 ounces because of the massive chunks floating around.

 1,028 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 457 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Golden sour with minimal head, medium retention to medium lacing. Schmedium.

S- Lemony, citrus, hay and funk. Some malty properties.

T- Mouth puckering sour. Lemon, peach sour. Tart with carbonation getting your mouth's attention. Earthy grains.

M- Thin like the style should be. Lots of carb.

O- Very good peach sour. Thanks Jeff!

 342 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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

 285 characters

Photo of jjdc
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 411 characters

Photo of brianmandell
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated February 2013

Pours a hazy peach color with no head - just a ring of white lacing. Lots of "floaties" and particles - obviously unfiltered. The last half of the bottle looks like a smoothie in the glass. Every sip leaves fruit sediment all over the glass.

Smells very interesting and fruity in the nose - sour peach nectar, apricot, cherry, and lemony citrus.

Taste is bright fruit up front - primarily apricot, some grape which is well integrated - vivid but not sweet. Bready malts and some cherry on the mid palate and finishes with a citrus lemony pop that fades back into the bready malt. Very dry, tannic finish. The taste is fairly sour. Minimal on the funk.

Mouthfeel is light and slightly oily. Carbonation is light to moderate but effervescent. Slightly creamy. I took off a little on the mouthfeel score due to the amount of sediment which is noticeable.

A very well done fruit sour. The fruits add to the experience and are very well integrated. The only real knock is some aftertaste of bready malt but it doesn't take away from the overall experience. The amount of sediment is also a little strange. The bottom half of the bottle was a beer smoothie. Was my bottle filled from the bottom of the barrel? Bottom line - easy drinking and tasty.

 1,274 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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...

 632 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A-Cloudy deep yellow, one finger head that doesn't last long, not much carbonation either.

S-Very fruity. Apricots and other fruits. Slight cherries, oak and grapes as well. Mild tartness.

T-Fruits and citrus all over the place. Apricots, cherries and lemons. Grapes as well. Slight oak. Ends with a nice sour note as well.

M-Medium bodied, slight carbonation, nice sour finish.

O-An amazing citrus driven sour. There are beers that are more sour but the fruit flavor in this beer is amazing.

 497 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 937 characters

Photo of Tuckersmth
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Fat angel in SF.
7%
Cloudy gold color
White thick head that dissipates after 30 seconds
Hints of apricot with crisp dryness
Tartness Opens up nicely as it heads towards room temp
Another solid sour performance from almanac.
Farm to barrel concept with local cherries and apricots

 293 characters

Photo of carmike813
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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

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

TASTE
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

MOUTHFEEL
Tangy carbonated acidic feel, ligh light body

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

 971 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is deep golden amber in color with a fairly tight white head. Nose is fruity with a balance of dry wood. Peaches seem most prevalent of the fruits involved but there is a tartness in back. Taste actually has a lot more cherry. The wood is still present, light touch of alcohol in the finish with strong carbonation and a very dry finish. Cherries run through the back, fairly tart and sour. Light notes of brett underneath, nicely done. Really like this brewery.

 467 characters

Valley Of The Heart's Delight from Almanac Beer Co.
94 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.