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

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

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

296 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 296
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 7.71%
Wants: 86
Gots: 83 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.66% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 07-19-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 296 | Reviews: 25
Photo of Immortale25
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Back label says 11/2014 Batch 3.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/8 inch light brown head that doesn't retain well before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and some faint, wispy surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Intoxicating aroma of oak, Brett funk, sharp whiskey and lactic acid. Black cherry and a touch of booze.

T- The whiskey and Brett come forth, then the sourness kicks in and draws out lemon acidity on top of notes of blackberry and more black cherry. The sourness is a bit intense, almost overly so as the oak and whiskey flavors start to blur. Aftertaste of fig and raisin. I like the barrel notes that are present in the front end of the flavor but the intensity of the sourness muddles the finish.

M- Highly acidic feel is perceived from the tip of the tongue all the way down to the back of the throat. Not wholly unpleasant, but the imbalance is a bit of a turnoff. Medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- The smell on this one is divine but, in the end, it's a bit too sour for my liking. Has nice complexity, yet I feel the nuances are lost amid the intense pucker after multiple sips. Definitely the most sour Crooked Stave beer I've had thus far.

Photo of Plower
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No competition against this beer. Crooked Stave, loaded with Brett and Whiskey Flavor. Okay, so its like all 5s in every category except price. Its a whiskey sour beer that is highly drinkable.

Let's put it this way, if you love sours you should buy it, if you don't love em skip it...cuz its like 15 bucks a bottle. You gotta pay to play unfortunately.

Photo of infinitebruner
3.89/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

January 15, 2015

Draft, Taster Snifter

A – Black with some touches of dark brown. Big tan craggy head, with high retention.

S – Brett funk and some mild lacto aroma, acidity even on the nose. Chocolate malt present in the background, though very faint, and some spicy notes, perhaps from the hops but rye-like.

T – Funky barnyard with some sweetness, somewhat fruity, and mild lacto acidity. Malts are not very prominent, mostly providing backbone for the souring Some rye-like spice present here as well.

M – Maltiness and spice help balance the tartness, but is wholly bent in the tart/acidic direction. Somewhat light bodied considering the carbonation and barrel aging.

O – A very interesting beer, but the souring is overwhelming what I imagine is a fairly spectacular base beer instead of complementing it. Could have showcased the base more to be truly exquisite.

Photo of KYGunner
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The nose is acidic with balsamic and vinegar like twang, lots of Brett, molasses and strong tart cherry.

The flavor is punch to the taste buds with a powerfully tart cherry but a natural sweetness. The cherry flavor is complimented by a barrel derived vanilla that works so well. The end is sour, but sweet and helps to round out a fantastic ale.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/2014 Batch 3. Poured from a bottle into snifter, the beer is a dark, almost black coloring, with a wisp of brown bubbling on the surface. Aromas of subtle dark chocolate, bitter coffee, plum and date, earthy highlights, tart cherries, whiskey spice and booze, and some woody spicing. Flavors are very sour and tart forward, with a cherry overtone on a backbone of old world fruit and warming booze. Smoke ghosts linger on your tastebuds after a while. Dig in a bit, and you'll find some chocolate and coffee character, as well as that whiskey spice and warmth. Very smooth and robust, yet dry and crisp at the same time. The aftertaste is more of the chocolate, coffee, and smoke, after the sour and tart notes clear the deck. Dry, sour, puckering, tart, lingering finish. This is a tasty damn beer.

Photo of StrongRepublican
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2014 waxed 375ml bottle into a CS branded snifter.


A: Dark brown with hints of ruby at the edges. Thin chocolate colored head, lasting tan collar.
S: Huge barrel aroma, char/burnt oak, toffee, milled barley, slight tartness/vinegar.
T: Sharp acidity up front, balsamic vinegar, hints of caramel, bread crust and sweet malt intermingle with lingering sourness. Barrel character is prominent but not overpowerering - oak/char/woodiness/toast.
M: Carbonation levels are perfect to highlight crisp sourness, quickly fading to a slick finish.
O: Rich and complex, it changes with every sip but is fantastic from start to finish.

Photo of GmAn613
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

W o w w i e

Photo of whileseated
4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not a Baltic Porter, but definitely the best beer I've had this year, and it's December.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: oily black body but not as viscous as I expected - finger of dark mocha foam slimmed quickly into a thin collar and left delicate patterns of lace behind

S: berries and wood, something herbal and medicinal in the background; vague hints of a darker malt cocoa and some distant dank funk, like (yes, I'm gonna say it) wet horse blankets

T: lots of impressions occur quickly, ranging from chocolate syrup to tart dark berries to drying wood and lemon pith; sour but with flashes of bittersweet chocolate, and maybe even allusions to a dark wine, dry and full of berry

M: fairly full-bodied and full of tart tingle, smooth but puckering astringence and drying wood keep it tight and lean despite a pulling density

O: Surprised to see it classified as a Baltic porter, but I don't know exactly what to call it either. This is some crazy stuff - forget styles - as long as you don't mind the dark pucker, you have to try this if you see one. This is an extraordinary beer. The label says a "dark sour ale" and I found it to be akin to a wild ale with some chocolaty characteristics.

Photo of LittleDon
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11 oz. pour at the Crooked Stave Taproom on 12/7/14. One of my favorites for 2014. Dark brown-red with a small amount of head. Coffee yoghurt best describes the aroma and taste. The yoghurt funk is much more prevalent in the aroma with the coffee as a backdrop. The flavor components are more balanced with a bit of oak thrown in. Tart with a medium body and carbonation. Save this one for last, your taste buds may be worn out afterwords.

Photo of tonyrocknroll
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Lots of things going on with this. Funky sour, cocoa, espresso, and oak. Crazy winter beer.

Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Backlog of reviews from last week in CO, KS and KY. This was reviewed fully at the time of consumption to my phone at Moraine Park CG, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

A- Dark brown body poured out of a 375ml bottle into a chalice. A light nutty tan head forms on the beer to around half a finger with a frothy foamy consistency. Head retention is decent and a medium ring remains. Sheets of lace at the top of the glass with drizzle and spots below that.

S- Sour lactic acid pours out of the glass even in the aroma with the whiskey barrel coming in strong along with that. Wet oak, vanilla, raisin, caramel and molasses dark brown sugars.

T- Extremely sour lactic lemony acids decimate the taste buds with only a bit of room for other things to shine. Whiskey and vanilla come in and are smoothed out quite a bit. Brown sugar, toasted nuts, green apple, vinegar, wet oak, tart cherry, vinous grapes and molasses hints are pale in comparison to the acid. Strong brett horsey barnyard.

MF- Light end body that is beyond bone dry and the sourness probably plays into that. Carbonation at a moderate level with a foamy and somewhat creamy consistency. The finish is very very sour.

The first few sips show a lot of promise with whiskey vanilla and wet oak playing into the equation heavily but the sour takes over fast. Lactic acid destroys the palate and takes away somewhat from the overall experience. The aroma still holds up well after time, however.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is dark brown with a hint of dark red on the edges and a small amount of light brown tan head. Nose has a hint of smoke, musky mossy brett, faint touch of cherry. Taste is strong, musky brett, more malt presence. A bit of dark chocolate, notes of smoked meat, lots of sour cherry and a bit sweet in the back. Creamy feel, grainy carbonation, slick finish.

Photo of Mongrel
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - looks like a less carbonated cola, with a fizzy little head that dissipates quickly but leaves a small frothy ring for the entirety.

S - smells like certain wine barrel aged barleywines I've had, though there is a sweet hint of boozy bourbon. There's plum, golden raisins and a little licorice. Acetic funk develops a little later on and brings a tart white wine presence to the nose. Deeply intriguing and inviting nose.

T - first sip is perfectly sweet with plums, cherries and raisins, and a little warm bourbon. Again, like a barrel aged barleywine. But then the tartness kicks in at the back of the palate and takes this beer to the next level. Like the nose, one is reminded of tart white grapes and white wine -- a strange juxtaposition with the sweet dark fruit flavors. As the beer warms there's creamy vanilla from the bourbon, which is really nice paired with the big cherry presence. This one's a real complicated and enjoyable sipper.

M - mouthfeel is fuller than one would expect given the tartness, but still has a nice bit of effervescence to it.

Overall, it's tough to pull off dark sour beers, but this one's a real stunner. There's not a clue of the big 9.6 ABV in this beer. Another home run from Crooked Stave.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark brown with a loose, thin off-white head that rests in a halo around the glass's perimeter with minimal lacing (some oily residual) and no visible sediment. The nose has slightly roasty caramel-like malts upfront followed by some tart plum and cherry fruitiness. The taste brings forward tart, unripe plum flavors, whiskey sugars, dry tannic bitterness, and an airy maltiness. The beer has a medium body with good fruit and barrel qualities and drinks with an airy mouthfeel despite bring laden with heavy flavors. Unfortunately, the beer's long-lasting, dry finish can become tiresome after some time. Dark sours are tough to pull off well in my opinion, but CS makes this beer seem effortless - definitely a repeat if/when available.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to ablackshear for this bottle!

Vintage 2013 / batch 2.

375ml bottle sealed with pressure cap and thick maroon wax.

poured into Assassin Teku.

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with red hue when held up to light. this beer is almost black it is that dark of a brown color. Thick cap of creme white / tannish colored head that drops down to a thin ring around the glass.

Smell: Ample amounts of sour cherries and oak. Aromas reminicent of a malty Flanders Red sour ale.

Taste: Very similiar to the nose. Moderate sourness is delivered in this adult beverage. Sour "pie" cherries with dry and earthy oak notes. Some maltiness that is very similiar to a Flanders Red offers solid balance to balance the sourness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Slightly dry feel. Drinks well below the almost 10% abv. It drinks more like its a 6% beer.

Overall: I like the Grand Cru Nightmare on brett slightly better than this beer. Didnt get much bourbon influence from those Leopold barrels, it was more oak flavor without any bourbon goodness.

Photo of dar482
4.61/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark brown color with some reddish hues.

The aroma is wonderful of barrel character along with tart cherries, vinegar.

The flavor follows very tart with a nice hint of sweetness then onto an onslaught of lemon tartness, then onto tart cherries and a heavy black currant. There's a medium minus bourbon barrel character that cleans the beer up on the finish.

Absolutely delicious.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

i guess i never realized there was a difference between this and the bourbon barrel, i thought they were the same thing, but evidently not, and i may even like this one better, its not quite as sweet, but maybe that has to do with age. dark raisin colored beer with some viscosity and an inch or so of stained tan foam. it smells like dried cherries and dark malt, more of a quad type than a porter type, dense but chocolate forward and not as rich as it looks. i smell a ton of funky sourness and whiskey, sweet but not too sweet, and woody. the flavor leads on slow sourness that starts with a more simple yeast profile, not too far off a base saison, but it escalates in both sourness and acidity, to the point where the finish is pretty darn intense. its cool in a dark beer, and i now definitely get porter here. not sure its baltic porter though, is this lagered? i didnt think crooked stave did that. bitter barley and cocoa flavors collide with again that tart cherry fruit essence, before the whiskey flavors take hold. moderate vanilla, less intense and syrupy in feel than the bourbon, and showing the oak itself a little more cleanly. well hidden alcohol too, i would have guess 6 or 7 percent abv, never nearly 10. the feel is the best feature, and i cant find a flaw. its thick but not too palate coating or heavy. its clean finishing without caustic acidity, and its carbonated just enough. its got a wonderful slippery texture and is made even more unique by the way it feels in my mouth. wonderful beer here, absolutely sensational.

Photo of Chico1985
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013/Batch 2.

Appearance - Poured into a Fantome tulip. Color is dark brown with a beige head starting at about a finger. A partial cap remains along with spots of lacing.

Smell - Tart cherries and blackberries with a big sour vinegar kick, caramel and molasses hiding underneath that along with just a little bit of chocolate. Whiskey and oaky vanilla are faint but are quite nicely blended.

Taste - Wow, definitely big sourness here. Very vinegary and acidic with no funk noticeable. Other flavors from the nose are pretty much buried, or at the very least way less distinct. Dark fruit, and vanilla/oak in the finish stand out.

Mouthfeel - Pretty nice feel to it, has the light smoothness of the 'porter' base beer and the carbonation is kept in check. Sourness forces this to be a sipper for sure. You get the feeling this is in the higher realm of ABV for sours but not much of the nearly 10% is obvious.

Overall - The scent delivers what's advertised and hints towards greatness, the taste unfortunately didn't live up. It's a good beer, but I found the sourness too overbearing to mingle with the porter base and whiskey barrel. 375ml solo was quite fatiguing. It will be pretty interesting to see how this ages.

Photo of spoony
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 375 ml bottle (dated 2013, Batch 2) into a snifter.

A-The brew is nearly black with a reddish sheen on the top. No visible carbonation. The head is thin and short-lived, and fades to tan collar of foam. I do not get any lacing.

S-This is a very sour beer...I smell sour cherry, vinegar, and lemony acidity. The sour flavors are moderated somewhat by a boozy bourbon aroma that is almost brandy-like in terms of the sweetness, vanilla, caramel, and oak. There is a bit of cocoa in there too. Intense and rich.

T-The taste, like the smell, is very sour and delicious. I taste lots of bourbon barrel, i.e., vanilla, oak, caramel, and even a bit of orange. The sour flavors are cherry, lemon juice, and vinegar. The malts peak through and provide a bit cocoa that dulls the bite of the sour flavors just a bit.

M-The feel is heavy for a sour, but it fits the beer well. There is a slightly oil feel that coats the palate and a moderate carbonation.

O-With this beer and Batch 60, Crooked Stave has really killed it in 2014. Between the fruity, sour berry-like flavors, the bourbon/barrel flavors, and the malty/porter flavors, there is a ton going on in this particular beer and it is busy, but works quite well. I will be really curious to see how this ages.

Photo of lmperialChad
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Nightmare on Brett pours an opaque deep dark brown with hints of red caramel and a very thin head. One of the darkest sours I've seen, but probably not quite as dark as the Bruery's Tart of Darkness. I got some chocolate and Granny Smith apple juice on the nose, which did not fully foreshadow the explosive flavor journey that was to come. My palate was hit with a momentary dash of chocolatey, carameley sweetness that was soon followed by a tremendous wave of sourness -- lemon, blackberries, Granny Smith apples, and tart bing cherries. The degree of sourness reminded me of an extremely tart fresh squeezed lemonade. The intense fruity sourness flows over your palate like a wave -- gradually growing from the moment it first touches your lips until it hits a pinnacle of bold sourness that tests the threshold of your sour taste buds before rolling back into that sweet chocolatey, caramel malt backbone with hints of oakey vanilla. The flavor journey concludes with a delightful finish of incredibly smooth whiskey notes. This is the third bottle of NoB that I have bought over the past week because I am just addicted the unique flavor complexity and intensity of this beer. I loved the use of the Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels to age this sour ale, as I thought it played very well with both the chocolate malts and the tart sourness. A truly spectacular beer from Crooked Stave. Definitely within my top three sour ales of all-time and my favorite Crooked Stave release to date.

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Darkest dark sour that I have seen. This ring of lacing around the glass. Little to no head.

S- Boom! Tart bing cherries/whiskey slight soak. Some funk, but because of the style, the funk is rather tame.

T- Pucker, vinegar (not the bad vinegar sour), bing cherries, and the slightest of whiskey barrel aging. Just the right amount for a sour.

M- Kinda thick for a sour, but not bad. CS is crushing it.

O- Another great brew from CS. Glad I got RS this year, as I see this becoming hard as hell to get from here on out.

Photo of Stevedore
4.01/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the Crooked Stave taproom at the source. Poured into a Crooked stave snifter today, 1/17/2014.

Poured dark brown, very dark cola coloured perhaps black. Small pinky-worth of tan head, ok retention, lots of sticky lacing.

Smells faintly tart cherry, fairly restrained. A slight bit of dark malts, signified in coffee and a little roast. But it's not a particularly exuberant nose.

Flavor is super sour. 7/10 sour. Very acidic, not funky at all. Very tasty and combines well with a little bit of chocolate sweetness that comes out more as it warms. But make no mistake this is a very sour beer. Oak and a dry Cherry tartness on the finish.

Medium bodied, very dry. Good carbonation. Drinkable and refreshing.

Reminds me of a poor man's Supplication. Not as complex, just as expensive. I would recommend just going with Supplication.

Photo of birchstick
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour at the brewery

A - pours a really dark brown, almost black color with a soft white head.

S - the nose consist of some darker brown malt notes with some stale barrel character hanging over it all.

T - the taste takes a huge jump from the nose. Sour and slightly caramel up front and through the middle. A ton of sourness suddenly makes it's presence felt and wakens up the tongue. Some of the barrel softens the blow on the acidity, but the sourness fights back and wins over the pallete. The sourness lingers for a while afterwards. I also noticed some subtleties of the barrel came through on the finish once it warmed up quite a bit. Really nice!

M - mouthfeel is full and smooth. Finishes dry from the acidity.

D - overall this is a pretty solid offering from not only Crooked Stave but from an American brewery. I can see some thinking this might be overly sour, but I think the malt and barrel ageing help soften it and add a nice complexity that would otherwise be lacking. Recommended!

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one was tapped about 5 minutes before I got to the barrel room. Serendipitous it seems.

Pours very dark brown, murky, almost black. Like a nightmare. Except it's pretty close to heaven. Large off white/tan foam, some rockiness. Head settles to a thick collar. Nice lacing. Rich, but a bit too frothy for a Baltic porter. Who cares, really? Besides the rating

Aroma is full of stuff. Chocolate, leather, caramel, char, vanilla, faint florals, spice and some woodiness. Sour for sure. The aromas don't really come through until the first sip

And yowza, that's a great first sip. Up front blast of sour dark cherries, then pure sour stuff with some funk spice. But the ending and finish are great. Chocolate, smooth caramel (like a Werther's candy), rich yet faint butterscotch just under the surface, vanilla, leather, blackberry...and on and on.

Served at cellar temperature as it hadn't cooled down since being tapped. Fine with me. Dammit, Jim, that's good

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom
97 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.