Upland Brewing Company

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Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #1,284
4.26 | pDev: 10.33%
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States
Notes: A stronger version of a Flanders Red Ale aged in previously beer-stored bourbon barrels for some light oak/bourbon character.

Previously known as Malefactor and Gilgamesh
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 423 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish copper body with minimal head and no lace. Aroma is booze, wood, some tart fruits like cherries and hints of sweet malts. Beer is light to medium bodied, goes down smooth, sharp but not a biting sour edge, has a cherry taste with hints of caramel malts and kept smooth by a woodiness and finishes slightly boozy. Good balance and easy to drink and maybe not spot-on for style but worth trying anyway.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Jan 18, 2020
Photo of beersampler6
3.54/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Quite a nice sour - not really my style but I could appreciate the skill it took in making this beer. Great balance of the bourbon barrel aging, sour puckering fruit and malt. Looks fairly red-orange with just a little fluffy white head and spotty lingering lacing. Aromas matched the flavors with the bourbon, wood, tart ripe fruit and malt all coming through clearly. Not too sour, not too much warming alcohol. Smooth fairly mild mouthfeel and good carbonation.

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beersampler6 from Michigan, Jul 14, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Formerly known as Gilgamesh; later known as Crimson.

Unknown vintage; drank 7/28/15 @ Sheffield's.

Semi-opaque red appearance.

Minimal tan head; minimal lace.

Oak, mildly tart cherry & marshmallow notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Cherry, oak & marshmallow flavors up front; a mildly tart finish.

My dream sour; balanced, flavorful and not puckering. Delicious.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, May 06, 2019
Photo of lilalibby
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer is beyond dangerous. Tastes and smells like arcade candy. A must try, it will surprise you with its flavor. Also akin to the flavor of certain kombucha; makes sense considering it is fermented with microorganisms.

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lilalibby from Nevada, Jul 12, 2018
Photo of SHODriver
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a nice deep red that is almost brown. Slightly hazy and topped by a dense three finger head which retains well and fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of sourness, oak, sour cherries, and vanilla with some slight toasted malt. HInts of funk and chemicals on the back end(chemicals in a good way)
T: Taste is tart cherries, smooth vanilla, toasted oak, slight band aid, hint of caramel. and slight plastic. Swallow is more cherries, and oak with more caramel, vanilla and oak with some lingering funk.
M: This beer is about the middle of the road when it comes to mouthfeel and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is adequate and just below prickly while the acidity gives the beer a drying finish.
O: It started out great on the nose but the taste just couldn't keep the momentum going. Really nice complexity and surprisingly gentle on the palate. I expected this one to be a bit of a bruiser from the nose but it didn't punch me in the palate. Worth a try but there are others that are better.

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SHODriver from North Carolina, Apr 27, 2018
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 10/2017. Pours slightly hazy reddish orange/copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big tart cranberry, raspberry, cherry, plum, lemon, lime, orange, pear, melon, green apple, currant, red grape/wine, hay, straw, grass, oak, wheat, caramel, brown sugar, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of leathery/musty funk, bourbon, oaken vanilla, pepper, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark/bready malt, and bourbon barrel notes; with geat strength. Taste of big tart cranberry, raspberry, cherry, plum, lemon, lime, orange, pear, melon, green apple, currant, red grape/wine, hay, straw, grass, oak, wheat, caramel, brown sugar, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of leathery/musty funk, bourbon, oaken vanilla, pepper, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light lactic tartness and yeast/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart cranberry, raspberry, cherry, plum, lemon, lime, orange, pear, melon, green apple, currant, red grape/wine, hay, straw, grass, oak, wheat, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, vanilla, bourbon, light funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark/bready malt, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/tartness and yeast/oak spiciness balance; with zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from tart/spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy, fairly acidic, and lightly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Mildly warming alcohol for 11.2%. Overall this is an excellent Flanders red ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark/bready malt, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the ABV with the mildly acidic/tannic/drying finish. Not overly lactic, but still has solid tartness. Perfectly balanced fruity/funky Brett/Lacto and dark/bready malt complexity; with nice bourbon barrel presence. Very well attenuated and not overly sweet for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

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superspak from Michigan, Mar 17, 2018
Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is hazy light mahogany red in color and somewhat resembles cherrywood. It poured with a short white head that left a collar around the edge of the glass and a small patch of bubbles on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of cherries are present in the nose along with notes of oak and bourbon.
T: The taste starts off a little sour and has flavors of oaky vanilla from the bourbon along with notes of cherries.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a pleasant sour to sip that has interesting flavors of cherries, oak, and vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

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metter98 from New York, Mar 12, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A finger worth of off white head on top of a deep red beer. Almost a red shade of brown.
The smell is tart and acidic. Some oak a long with fruit.
Taste is slightly acidic with some alcohol. Some bourbon and wood.
Feel is thin with a tartness and a little alcohol burn.
Overall, this is strong willed. Not a fruity sour, but a good one. I think this is the first Upland sour I've had that's been bourbon barrel aged instead of wine or oak barrel aged. You can tell but it's good.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A ruby brown color. No light through it, kind of murky. Head drops to a film quickly. A definite tart sour presence on the nose. Grape, Apple. Subtle alcohol. Almost a vanilla from the bourbon, but just a hint. Taste, kind of a sweet tart candy quality to it. Similar fruity presence as the nose. The mouthfeel, well carbonated. Refreshes as you drink. Overall, this is no enamel stripping sour. Pick this up again NYD. (Next time they release it.)

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NoYouDidnt from Indiana, May 01, 2016
Photo of FBarber
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark red with a tan head. Smell is very funky and fruity. Definitely get some cherry notes in there and grape mellowed by an oaky smell. Taste is in line with the smell. slightly tart cherry mellowed by the barrel aging. Im not sure this beer would be so good without the aging. Definitely a nice offering from Upland.

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FBarber from Illinois, Mar 18, 2016
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vanilla, oak, Concord grape, red wine tannins and lacto. Definitely some traditional Flanders red qualities. Shorter finish. Earthy. More tart than straight sour. Sweetness rounds out the sharp edges. Real good.

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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts, Nov 24, 2015
Photo of TheBrewBrotha
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(bottle date: 9-11-15)

Pours a murky brownish red with a kriek aroma, kinda like dark cherry puree to the nose. The taste was great and probably one of the best Flanders I've had in a while. Fruity upfront with a tangy kick to the back of the throat after. A bit winey but very subtle with mild carbonation and no head. I unfortunately didn't get any of the bourbon character at all in this beer but mostly got hit with cherries and maybe some faint vanilla notes. Great beer by Upalnd IMO.

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TheBrewBrotha from California, Sep 24, 2015
Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite nice. The base beer is a very repeatable Flanders red ale with a lot going on. The bourbon barrel aging adds additional undercurrents of flavor and complexity.

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krome from Illinois, Sep 02, 2015
Photo of Vonerichs
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky brownish red, hazy, little head or carbonation.

Smells true to Flanders Red style. Sour cherry, vanilla, brown sugar, funky.

Slightly sour. The oak stands out, but is not a bourbon/boozy, straight wood. Cherries and funky. Vanilla.

Medium body, leaves the tongue puckered. Sour.

Upland is hit or miss to me, this one hit. A very good representation the style.

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Vonerichs from Colorado, Aug 31, 2015
Photo of Furlinator
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A strange combination of bourbon, fruit and funk in the nose. Less bourbon in the flavor with moderate tartness and lots of dark fruit. A unique and interesting brew.

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Furlinator from California, Aug 28, 2015
Photo of WesMantooth
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to @jzeilinger, this was the first of this style for me. Seems to be pretty true based on the description

Poured a auburn reddish brown with a an off white head.

Very sour to the nose. Typical belgian yeast aroma. Funky, with some fruit.

Tastes very tart. Mouth pickering, but good. Dark berries, fermented apples, a touch of oak (not really getting bourbon though), and a little apple cider vinegar.

Well carbonated. Duh. #belgium

I have tried a few sours before. This is my first review though. I would have to say this is a solid example. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to rudzud.

Light fluffy head, semi clear auburn ruby color.

Nose big fruity cherry sour fruit, candy like, tart funk, juicy sour malt, little oaky barrel

Taste nice sour fruit, candy notes, sour malt and fruit, tart cherry notes, little flemmy, reddish candy malts, etc, caramel, some bourbon and toasted barrel notes, vanilla even.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb, sticky flemmy, light acidity.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Aug 05, 2015
Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros at his cellar cleaning. Batch 1.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip clear chestnut hue with a fat mocha head that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of sweet bourbon, vanilla, caramel, light malt, no alcohol.

T - Taste is loads of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, malts, tartness, light apple skin, really mellow and smooth.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, no discernible alcohol.

O - Overall this beer was delicious, loads of light sourness, certainly not as sour as I've come to expect with Upland. This was a real treat.

Serving Type: Bottle

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Aug 02, 2015
Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris for this one!
Dark murky brown with a frothy skim.
Aroma is funky and fruity, seeded berries and a lactic funk.
Taste is savory and lactic, light balsamic, tannic dry oak in the aftertaste.
Medium bodied and creamy, tannic cherry skins. Overall it's complex and interesting, worth a try and to me a little better than Dantalion.

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emerge077 from Illinois, Jul 22, 2015
Photo of dar482
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer offers sour cherry, lots of vinegar flavor with apple cider and balsamic, a good amount of funk, lots of sweet plums and figs, a dry finish with some oak finishing the beer.

The beer is quite traditional with its complex qualities and tart. A reminder of a Flanders Red or more intense Rodenbach.

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dar482 from New York, Jul 04, 2015
Photo of Sparty1224
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled on date, but I believe this is from the end of last year. So maybe near 6 months or so old at this point.

A: Pours a hazy, ruby red or dark violet color. 1/4 finger off-white that sticks around.

S: Getting a lot of floral notes, ripe apple, cheese danish. Not a whole lot of bourbon or oak.

T: Big acidic notes up front, very tart. Beneath all the sourness lies some tart apple, tart cherry, oak, and a hint of bourbon sweetness.

M: Sour, but not extremely sour. It's a very pleasant mouthfeel for the style. Not boozy at all. Great carbonation.

O: Been really into sours lately, but this darker, more malty style of the Flanders Red isn't the most appetizing for me. It's nice and very balanced, very complex. But it's just a tad "heavy" for me. I also like the bourbon-barrel aging on this one, but would've liked to have had a touch more barrel presence in the final product. Overall, this is a great effort from the Upland sour program, and really makes me excited to explore the rest of their sours.

Recommendation: Apparently these Upland sours are by lottery only? Would definitely trade for this, or any sour from Upland.

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Sparty1224 from Michigan, Jun 10, 2015
Photo of JohnCassillo
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was able to grab a bottle on a recent trip to Indianapolis, and this is probably the best Flanders Red I've had. Moderately tart in taste, smell and feel, with a whole lot of cherry and bourbon, it strikes a fantastic balance with every sip. Obviously the bourbon element is what packs the biggest punch in the ABV, but it's not overwhelming at all. This is a beer worth locating and then waiting on for a bit if you can.

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JohnCassillo from California, May 29, 2015
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This may be the best looking sour beer I have seen. Brick red, opaque, with an orange tan head, lacing too.

S - Acidic smash in the nose, which seems right for an epic sour, a touch of wood, alcohol burn.

T - Amp up a Rodenbach - this hits many of the same notes as this classic, but more fiercely. The sourness is full and rounded, fruit notes in the form of cherry and tart plums. A touch of wood, a bit of bourbon alcohol, and a slight bitter note in the close.

M - Bright, moderate puckering, with a slight drying in the close.

O - This is a sour from Upland I can unequivocally get behind. Takes the classic Flanders red and turns it to 11, but without destroying the fundamental qualities of the original. Big, fat sour notes, fruits and oak, this is as epic as its name suggests. Excellent.

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Tsar_Riga from Indiana, Feb 22, 2015
Photo of uvachief
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby color with tan head that lingered. Lots of lingering lacing as well. Aromas of oak, sour fruit (guessing cherries?) with more sour notes. Tastes much the same. Sour cherry with overtones of oak and acidic flavors. Little touch of vanilla maybe. Bourbon. Very complex and balanced. Drinkable. Moderate carbonation. ABV hidden extremely well. Kind of beer that can sneak up and knock you out. This was aged about 6 months and it was very smooth.

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uvachief from Virginia, Jan 19, 2015
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep reddish brown into my snifter. A small, 1.5 finger head forms and retains about 1 cm very well. Lacing is a really solid wall down the side of the glass. The body looks even more red in the glass and gives an overall mahogany color to the beer.

S- Strong acidic sour notes hit the nose first. The overall impression of the sour is potent, but somewhat faint, like it is somewhat diluted. Still, huge sour cherry and whiskey barrel note ring through, On the back end the whiskey barrel takes over with some spiciness and just a touch of sweetness as the scent fades away.

T- The taste starts off with a medium to moderate sour bang. Cherries and acidic base beer make up the sour flavor profile, with a slight tilt towards the juicy cherries. The sour flavors calm down a bit in the middle and a slightly bitter and spicy whiskey flavor moves in. The whiskey and barrel flavors warm up the drink and then start to move the flavor profile towards a drier flavor before the vanilla and oak picks up. Semi-sweet vanilla and spicy oak ramp up at the end and linger on the tongue.

M- This beer is somewhere between slick and smooth on the palate to me. There is very little carbonation despite the relatively active head when poured. The alcohol definitely wamrs this up a bit and the sour flavor lends this to be sipped. Overall, I would describe the feel as oily, with some thick and smooth qualities, but also some thinner, slick feel to it as well.

Overall, this is a very good beer. The whiskey barrel aging adds a dimension to this beer that most Flanders do not have. The barrel warmth and whiskey flavors mellow what would otherwise be a very sour beer to make a more drinkable end product.

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Crimson from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 423 ratings