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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) | Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged)Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged)

Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.66%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 07-19-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 448
Photo of gholmes
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

When we tasted nightmare, and my buddy put this as his untappd check-in comment, my first statement was "this is a watershed beer moment." You really get a feel for how complex and flavorful sour beer can be and how well they can balance the tartness with other flavors. That's a moment I won't soon forget.

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Photo of Spinaltapped
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

New beer from one of my favorite breweries.

Look: Pitch black with minimal khaki head. Very low carbonation and a small pool of bubbles like an oil slick on the top. Handsome beer.

Smell: Dark fruit, plum, vinegar, roasted malt,brown sugar, vanilla. Absolutely mouthwatering.

Taste: A blast of lingering acidic sour, unripened fruit (cherry, raspberry, plum) followed by a nice wave of chocolate malt and vanilla. VERY sour. Like 9.5/10. What is most surprising is the amount of barrel notes in this guy. Minimal Brett funkiness, a bit of leather. Very little apparent bourbon/booze. A definite sipper, but a phenomenal one.

Feel: Medium body with low carbonation. Dry, wine-like finish.

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Photo of maximum12
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beerisheaven for this lovely, artistic, red-waxed 375ML bottle. I just checked the master spreadsheet & this gentleman has sent me 127 beers over the past 8 years. Damn.

Wax & cap part without a whisper of a hiss, even with the hearing aid turned up to 11. The pour is 4 A.M. dark with only a loose coalition of bubbles drifting here & there. The nose is full of whisky, which in this strain of brew, is usually beaten & vanished by the wild bugs; not here. Whisky, plum stones, strong chocolate, vanilla sweetness. Wow. Consider my expectations upended.

Nightmare on Brett continues its assault on my assumptions in the mouth phase of the trial. Tart & drying, with a strong shot of whisky is the cover story. Underneath is faint chocolate, leather dog chew, acidic, distant peat, sharp cranberry & lemon. The lack of carbonation doesn’t detract at all, & I’m bringing this to my lips frequently.

I haven’t been impressed with Crooked Stave – until now. This is one of the few barrel-treated wilds where I can actually taste the barrel, while also adding complexity so the beer isn’t ‘just sour’. Layers & layers, tasty, a true sipping sour. Beautifully made, excellent brew.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours an extremely dark brown, essentially black, with a creamy tan head. Really impressive lacing and head retention.

S: Dark and funky with some toasted oak and whiskey notes. A bit of caramel hidden behind lots of tart cherries and raspberries, bread crust, and a touch of chocolate. Everything here is really subtle and balanced.

T: Tart cherries mingle with dark malt and a touch of whiskey. Some oaky toastiness, plums, very restrained malt character and assertive sourness. Finish is mostly dry and vinous, with a lingering balanced tartness.

F: Medium-plus bodied with minimal carbonation and a silky mouthfeel, with no hint of that near-10% abv.

Thoughts: This beer is crazy good. I’ve had some pretty mediocre experiences with dark wild ales before, and this is not one of them. Extremely complex and extremely balanced, with no trace of the actual strength.

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Photo of erk0607
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark, opaque, slightly brown-black, nice beige head. You'd expect this to be a dark beer upon first pour.

Smell: Sour cherry, fruits

Taste: Sooooour. And tart notes of cherry on the aftertaste. Not much else besides the cherry to speak of. A step below a sour candy.

Feel: Smooth, slight foamyness on the tongue

Overall: Delicious

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Photo of frasergrove
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottling. Pours a rich and thick dark brown/amber, completely impenetrable by light. A thin whispy head that settles completely. Aroma is a mix of sweet cherry, rich dark chocolate, with funky and vanilla undertones. Big pop of tartness up front! Sour! Tart cherry, under ripe raspberry, smooth and big bodied with a surprisingly refreshing finish. A delicious dark sour!

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Photo of sittinggc
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received this as a an extra. Dated 11/2014 Batch 3. Poured into tulip.

Look: Very dark. Brown head with good retention.
Smell: Vinegar. Dark fruits. Bourbon undertones.
Taste: Very tart. Dark fruit. Nice Bourbon notes on the tail end.
Feel: Full bodied. Booze is not detectable.

Overall: Really glad i got to try this beer. Really nice and well balanced. Will seek out more Crooked Stave in the future.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, my serving is in a little sampler snifter. Bottle date is 11/2014 Batch 3.

Pours dark, with a tiny silky head, and very fine carbonation. Smell is tart and dark fruit, maybe plum. Can't pick out a lot of detail, but it smells really tasty.

Taste is very tart, light bourbon, unripe plum. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, but not quite the beautiful texture I like. Overall, very good.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark blackish brown with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger tan head which quickly settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A sour, fruity, and boozy aroma with a scent of brett, whiskey, and cherries. Upfront scent of brett lacto yeast with lots of funk and sour hints of cherry. Barrel scent of whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Some subtle roast hints of chocolate, coffee, and smoke. Also some hints of tobacco and leather. A really nice complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a sour, fruity, and nicely boozy taste with notes of brett, cherries, and whiskey. Big funky taste of brett lacto yeast with notes of sour cherry. Fairly acidic and tart. Barrel notes of whiskey, oak, vanilla, and wood. Light roast notes of chocolate, coffee, and smoke. Light notes of leather and tobacco. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, tart, acidic, and fairly smooth.

Overall: A very good barrel aged twist on a sour. Nice combo of brett and whiskey flavors.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

what a visual disconnect. i poured this black beer with a tan head and would have expected a roasty stout, but got this beautiful, sour thing instead.

it's sour. holy shit, it's sour. vinegar. there's sweetness, and whiskey, and perhaps other elements, but that's just sour. i really think this is one of a kind, but it's one note, too.

in terms of being unique, and pushing everything i might expect, this beer does that and then some. but it's not an everyday beverage - more like it's to be experienced once and placed as a benchmark.

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Photo of charlzm
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Consumed on October 21st, 2015. Poured into a Teku glass. Served at below 40 degrees F but allowed to warm almost to room temp during consumption.

Beer pours a very, very deep dark brown... okay, okay, black. A two finger dark tan head forms and slowly settles, providing some lacing and sheeting all the way to the bottom.

Aroma is tart, sour fruit and a dash of whiskey.

Flavor is intensely sour, which dwarfs all other flavor notes. Hints of dark chocolate malt flavor lurk in there somewhere, as do fleeting tastes of wood and a slightly salty and smoky whiskey note. But make no mistake: the predominant flavor is sharp, acidic sourness.

Mouthfeel is ever-so-slightly thick and smooth with a touch of alcohol heat. Definitely a sipper.

Overall, the sourness is out of whack with the other flavors, though it's still a tasty beer for what it is. I personally prefer Wicked Weed's Black Angel more in the same general category of dark sour.

Thanks to Zonk for the bottle!

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Photo of Sintech
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown.

Smell - Very strong funky nose!

Taste - Tangy, tart, delicious!

Mouthfeel - Full body. Low carbonation.

Overall - This is one of the best offerings from Crooked Stave. Highly recommend!

Grade (A-)

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Photo of M_chav
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So this is an exception beer, maybe one of the more complex sours I've ever come across. I wish I would have bought more than 1 (dammit!) seriously good. Starts with a crazy dark stout like pour, thin lacing and a small foamy top. Aroma is all wood, whiskey sweetness. the brett is on top and strikes the nose. The taste is not for the faint of heart, this is seriously complex. so much going on here. the whiskey is real and amazing. the brett covers the heat, the dark currants equal the brett. damn this is incredible. maybe a beer for someone with a developed palette because I wouldn't have been able to really appreciate this a year ago. seek this out and enjoy, this is incredible. Well done CS!

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Photo of GuitarIPA
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Been a long wait, but worth it
L - very attractive black with hint of ruby, minimal head, some reddish lacing
A - terrific, dark sour cherries, hint of sweetness - presumably from barrel aging
T - follows nose with plenty of dark berry flavor, tart sour flavor, great linger - flavor stays in tongue but sweetens between sips.
F - tart sour, dry finish, followed by light sweetness that coats tongue, great carbonation - lots of bubbles
Overall - great beer that improves sip to sip

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Photo of Schimms
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours very dark, opaque with the minimalist of head. If there was any, it dissipated before it hit the glass.

S: Smells very strong - sour to the max. Hint of whiskey. Slight brett.

T: Only picking up the EXTREME sour - no idea that there is any whiskey involved at this stage. Can't taste the alcohol - hidden in the sour. MINIMAL brett - disappointed with that. I love a more present brett.

F: Very dry - great finish.

O: Huge, mouth/face puckering experience of a sour ale. Great one-time experience - too pricey for the beer? Doesn't live up to the expectations advertised on the label, but a great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Austin32
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a really excellent beer. Pours extremely dark red/brown, almost black under lower light. I would not instinctively think sour and whiskey flavors would blend well....but they totally do. The whiskey notes very much support the rich sour flavor that first hits your palette and come together nicely at the end.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Jet Black, with a thin lacing of head around glass
Smell: Strong whiskey, and coffee, with subtle malts
Taste: Good amount of lingering of whiskey, def need another one
Feel: Big body and awesome end taste
Overall: Just great, would love to get my hands on another one

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Photo of Magister_Beav
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I can't unpucker my mouth. It is so sour it hurts. Did I mention it's sour. Once you get over the shock, there is a pleasant whiskey flavor. The whiskey isn't overwhelming as is often the case. There are also some lingering sweet notes in the aftertaste. I can't stop drinking it.

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Photo of gatornation
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

July 2015 Batch 6

Pours a dark brown color with a tan head little to no head after a 1 finger head pour, smell of wood and whiskey sour dark fruit with chocolate , brett , taste follows the nose sour up front with oak and whiskey in the middle tart finish, lower carbonation on this with a sour acidic mouth feel, really tasty nice depth of oak, fruit,brett, it is on the sour side and pricey @14 a bottle

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer- you should get it. Dark, opaque, color, tan head, less than a finger of head, decent lacing and retention.

Smell is good. Not great but still very good. Sour and coffee in even measure.

Tastes fantastic. Lots of sour, decent coffee and smoke flavor, a little bourbon. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is great- full bodied, well carbonated. I love this beer- too bad it's so expensive but well worth it if you like sours or are looking to go somewhere different (very different) with your stout game.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nov 2014 batch 3, opened Aug 2015

A – Beautiful black mahogany body. Fine khaki head settles into a medium halo with nice retention and lace.

S – Flip’n fantastic. Deep caramel, vanilla, charred oak, warm pumpernickel bread, sour raisins, brisket, bread pudding, and toasted crème brûlée.

T – Oh man, this absolutely lives up to the hype. Delicious with stellar integration and balance. Wonderfully dry. Burnt-crust on fresh baked country bread, mouthwateringly tart red plums, rich vanilla, deep woody oak, burnt maple syrup, and saddle leather.

M – Smooth, medium-full body with a sharp tartness and a lingering creaminess that coats your palate through the finish.

O – World class. Fantastic depth, balance and flavor. One of the best sours I’ve ever had.

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Photo of zonker17
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 batch 2 consumed 5/19/16. Poured to Duvel snifter, near black, small head that quickly diminishes. Smells of funk, slight wood. Big lacto, followed by berries. Searching for whiskey but not finding. Medium body and medium light carbonation.

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Photo of Beer_Line
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark. Smells of fruit, vanilla, light coffee roast and a tinge of whiskey. So much barnyard funk in this one. It is wonderful, the horse blanket remind me of an old cantillon. Crooked stave really kicks a$$ with these variations of NoB

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Photo of DocPage
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the third beer from Crooked Stave I tried during my trip up to Denver. The only thing that I can say would be wrong with Nightmare on Brett is NOT trying it. 5.0 all around.

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Photo of Moose90
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from 12.7oz bottle

A — Pours a deep and dark brown hue out of the bottle, almost black, though there is some brown clarity around the edges when held up to the light. There is a deeply dark brown head that forms initially, but fades quite quickly due to the acidity. Looked like a stout upon first glance.

S — Smells intensely fruity and bright. Completely unexpected but very appreciated. Lots of cranberry, raspberry, funk, lemon, little bit of barnyard, dark chocolates, bitter roasted coffee. There is a good bit of vanilla, caramel sweetness as it warms, little bit of oak and char.

T — Fantastic depth of flavor here, lots and lots going on. Starts very acidic, tart, and bright, with notes of cranberries, raspberries, cherries, tart apple. Rolls into a bit of a Brett showcase with a bit of barnyard and funk, fresh hay and horse blanket. Moves to a roasty, deeply rich and almost charred finish. Very nice finish of roasted coffee beans, unsweetened chocolate, bitter tobacco and leather. Good bit of light oak and vanilla sweetness from the barrel on the finish. A total amalgamation of flavors here, just fantastic.

M — Medium bodied, high carbonation, very acidic, bright, clean. Enjoyable.

O — Great overall, this was completely unexpected, and this beer absolutely exceeded or met whatever hype it may have had. This is Crooked Stave's crowning achievement, plain and simple. Seriously fantastic.

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
95 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.