Darken
Upland Brewing Company

DarkenDarken
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Style:
Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #30
ABV:
9.1%
Score:
88
Ranked #8,292
Avg:
4.05 | pDev: 10.62%
Reviews:
18
Ratings:
64
From:
Upland Brewing Company
 
Indiana, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  0
Gots
  13
SCORE
88
Very Good
DarkenDarken
Notes: Darken is a take on an “old ale” or Flanders Brown Ale. We added spices to the mix to create a pleasurable and more heavily nuanced flavor profile. Aged for long time periods, always in oak, creates a harmonious brown sour ale.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 64 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by SHODriver:
Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a tulip to a deep brown topped by a dense and long lasting finger and a half of light tan head which leaves excellent lacing as it fades.
S: Smells of sour cherries and vanilla with some hints of spice and chocolate
T: Taste is sour cherries, spices, vanilla, and oak. The finish on this one is lingering sourness, vanilla, oak, and spice.
M: This beer has a medium feel on the palate with effervescent carbonation which is prickly at times while the beer has a drying finish from the acidity.
O: Overall this is a really interesting beer. The flavors and complexity make this one a satisfying drink and each sip seems to bring something new. The nose was better than the taste on this beer but it's still very nice.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of puck1225
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very enjoyable, drinkable beer!

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Very dark brown color with a creamy white head and good lacing. Funky, slightly smokey smell and taste. Very nice combination of spiciness. Very complimentary with food. Nice representation of the style.

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Photo of wcampbell69
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle, Batch R-17, bottled June 2017. Served in a MadTree Teku, the beer pours a dark brown color with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a while. There's also a lot of lacing. The brew smells like cherries, ginger, peppery spice, coriander, grainy malt and chocolate. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some anise, oak, dark bread, dark berries and earthy flavors noticeable too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and a bit creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. It's also smooth and easy to drink. Sure doesn't seem like it's 9% ABV, the alcohol is well hidden here. I thought this was a pretty good sour brown ale, wish I would have bought more!

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Photo of vande
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Dave. Thanks man.

Dark brown body with a quarter inch of soapy beige collar. Aromas of oak, brown sugar, mint, funk. Similar flavor with a nice blend of sweet and sour. Tasty!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DangerDawg
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bnes09
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Super dark for the style. Minimal head. Dark berry and light balsamic aroma. Aggressive and pungent vinegar flavor. Some black currants and mild burnt malt. Gets better as it warms. Balsamic flavor dissipates slightly. Medium body and dry finish from the acidity.

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Photo of maz
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The base seems t be a very good dusky Oud Bruin woth moderate tartness. The spices make for a very unique flavor overlay (the spices made me think of the mix that goes into some of the more interesting Winter Warmers).

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Photo of MaximalC
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep chestnut color with a meager cap of khaki suds. Sweet and sour aroma evokes toffee and vinegar dressed in a subtle melange of spices. Habituation reveals a distinct note of horseblanket as well.

The taste is definitely complex. The spice character comes through stronger than anything else—the grains of paradise and rye first and foremost. Bready, toasted malt, soy sauce, and caramel juxtapose balsamic vinegar and mild, lactic acid betwixt the spices. Alcohol is dazzlingly well-concealed for its weight and could be downright hazardous if sufficient quantities are on hand. Warming reveals notes of coriander and even currants. Fine carbonation and medium-light body produce a smooth mouthfeel that grows in substance from front to back.

Overall, this is a balanced and complex sour ale that takes things a step farther than your traditional oud bruin. It has a few rough edges on account of the ambitious recipe, but it mostly comes off as a very engaging and enjoyable Belgian-style brew.

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Photo of ystazi
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 7/2017. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of tart lemon, lime, red/green apple, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, berry, red grape, hay, straw, grass, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, and biscuit; with light notes of nuttiness, oaken vanilla, chocolate, peppercorn, coriander, ginger, anise, leathery/musty funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky/light acidic yeast, dark/beady malt, oak, and light spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of tart lemon, lime, red/green apple, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, berry, red grape, hay, straw, grass, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, and biscuit; with light notes of nuttiness, oaken vanilla, chocolate, peppercorn, coriander, ginger, anise, leathery/musty funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Mild lactic tartness and yeast/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart lemon, lime, red/green apple, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, berry, red grape, hay, straw, grass, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, biscuit, nuttiness, vanilla, chocolate, peppercorn, light funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/light acidic yeast, dark/beady malt, oak, and light spice flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance, and zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from tartness and yeast/oak spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, fairly acidic, and lightly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Zero warming alcohol for 9.1%. Overall this is an excellent Flanders oud bruin style! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/light acidic yeast, dark/beady malt, oak, and light spice flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mellowly acidic/tannic/drying finish. Perfectly balanced fruity Brett complexity and dark/bready malts; nice oak presence and mild complementing spices in the background. Not overly lactic with pleasant acidity. A really enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at One Mile House. 8oz pour served in a wine glass. This is billed as a "spiced sour ale" per the menu

A: pours a very dark opaque purple with a small brownish head that dissipates quickly and leaves sparse lacing

S: brown sugar, candied plum, cherry, spice. Sourness really doesn't come through on the nose

T: sugar and prune notes up front followed by a fairly intense sourness, with a peppery spice character on the finish. While I enjoy these flavors individually, they clash in this beer

M: medium-bodied with plenty of carbonation and a dry finish thanks to the sourness

O: this is my first "spiced sour ale" and the clash of flavors make it no surprise that this it's not a widely brewed style. A nice attempt what it is, but not for me

C+

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Photo of beergoot
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly opaque brown body; rich, dense, creamy head. Sour aroma; some notes of roasted grain (very faint); some earthy spiciness. Big sour flavor; phenolic notes; perhaps a hint of cinnamon. Medium body; rather weak and effervescent; tart, sour dryness.

An okay beer. Sourness and vinegar-like qualities abound yet there is little I can detect of brown ale or barrel-aging qualities.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of heysuz
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pat61
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: black deep dark brown under a 1" very finely beaded tan cap with fair retention

S: smells like a bowl of figs and dates sprinkled with expensive balsamic vinegar and a shake of black pepper and anise

T: Johnathan apple level tart, Dried fruit, berries, balsamic, black pepper, anise, slight ginger heat, low chocolate.

F: medium light body, high carbonation.

O; Complex, big full flavored beer.

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Darken from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 64 ratings