Malefactor (Gilgamesh) | Upland Brewing Company

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Malefactor (Gilgamesh)Malefactor (Gilgamesh)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A stronger version of a Flanders Red Ale aged in previously beer-stored bourbon barrels for some light oak/bourbon character.

Added by claaark13 on 02-05-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
381
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.93%
 
 
Wants:
303
Gots:
144
For Trade:
28
User Reviews
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 381
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’ve finally done it; I’ve crossed the $20 mark for a single bottle of beer. Granted, I’ve probably spent around $30 per bottle when it comes to the overall cost of some of my previous trades, but this was just off the shelf 27 bucks. Let’s see where all that money takes me…

Brewed eight months before the date of this tasting (gold emblem on the back of the label says “Batch Date 9-11”).

A: As soon as I popped the cork, I could tell some foam would eventually make its way to the top of the bottle. This time, though, it wasn’t a gusher – just a slow showing of light bubbles above the rim of the bottle after about five minutes. The pour pushes this thick foam into a bold two-inch head, as absolutely full and shining as vanilla yogurt. After a while, it settles to a bubbly tan retention, looking like powdered sugar on top of the hazy, toffee orange-brown body. Nice chunky lacing and some yeast flakes appear around the glass.

S: The complexity of this nose is absolutely heavenly; you can definitely recognize the barrel-aging. Fruits are full and flavorful – apple, peach, cherry, persimmon, and apricot – more fleshy and syrupy than anything. Reminds me of pie filling, especially because there’s a definite aroma of crusty, buttered bread. More complexity, even, with big, smooth oak and cherry wood over a moderate note of strong, clean alcohol. The funk is noticeable, yet balanced – musky, dusty, leathery, and herbal. Ends with an aroma of vanilla yogurt and corn. This is one hell of a nose; love it.

T: Oh god, what a supremely sour palate! Fresh fruit: lemon juice, lime pulp, cherry, and sour grape. Acetic and citric acid climbs all around the tongue, so sour and delicious; it wholly brings out the juiciness of the fruit flavors. Orange juice and peach, as well. The chewy funk of the yeast and malt backing reveals a myriad of thick flavors: corn flakes, fluffy white bread, flaky biscuits, lager yeast, and a clean herbal musk of hibiscus, guava, and leather. Bourbon is mild, especially because it is mixed with maple icing, vanilla bean, and chocolate flavors; it makes the alcohol much more woody than spicy. The aftertaste is a taste of red fruit juice and corn.

M: Lightly syrupy and smoothly refreshing. Not dry but bright in its gelatinous feel, adding to its character of fruity pie filling.

O: Ah, that bourbon barrel aging does a world of good for this beer; it mellows out an already super-sour beer. And because of that, this is one of the best Flanders ales I’ve ever had. What every brewer should aspire to when it comes to sour beer. Definitely worth the money – in fact, I think I’ll go buy another.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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 Vonerichs
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
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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Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, poured into a snifter, thanks Abe!

A- Pours a hazy reddish brown color, topped with a thin white head, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Tart aroma, funk, with lots of cherry and other fruit, oak and some caramel.

T- Great lactic and acetic tartness, the cherry fruitiness is restrained, with a nice amount of funk, bourbon, vanilla and oak remain mild but more noticeable towards the finish. Very tasty.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, dry, tart finish with a bit of alcohol sweetness.

O- A really nice Flemish-red-ish beer, the subtle fruit and barrel flavors are great. This was my first sour from Upland and was very impressed.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark red with some copper hues and a big 2 finger creamy off-white head.

Aroma is sour just like a flanders should be. Notes of vinegar and cherries along with a little oak. Not much bourbon in the nose.

Starts out with a vinegar sourness and some tart cherry flavor. A little bit of sweet bourbon comes on pretty quickly and is present throughout, but rather subdued. More sour fruit notes combine equally with the bourbon finishing sweet & sour. The bourbon adds a nice complexity to balance the sour.

Fairly creamy mouthfeel and medium-high carbonation levels.

I love flanders reds and the bourbon adds a unique twist to this classic. I was afraid the bourbon would be overpowering, but it really is delicate and subtle making it work.

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Photo of brystmar
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decent looking pour, though the aroma stands out more. Complex, fruity, hints or cinnamon too. Mild booze character in the nose as it warms. Taste follows suit with cherries at the forefront. Bourbon creeps further forward as it warms. ABV is totally hidden in the mix of flavors.

Top notch craftsmanship, though I'd expect nothing less from an Upland Reserve beer. Wish I had another bottle :(

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | 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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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.4/5  rDev +4%

This was a bottle from 2010. It tasted as if the sour had gone away and started to come back around. Very well-balanced beer that is worth the patience. Thoroughly enjoyed!

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Photo of craytonic
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: muddled ruby-mahogany brown, decent tan head and lacing

Smell: Dark fruits, berries, cherry, vanilla, oak.

Taste: acidic, but not overly slow, lots of dark fruits, cherries, oak and vanilla. Flanders red on steroids, although the bourbon is very light.

Mouthfeel: medium-full body with light carbonation

Overall: good upland offering, they keep getting better and better.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The ale was sampled at Winterfest 2013 in Indianapolis on 1/26/2013. Props to Upland for bringing several lambics and this beer.

The ale was poured into a sampler glass and was a darkish ruby red in appearance. It produced a head that was off-white in appearance. The initial taste was sour but not overly vinegary. Some Flanders ales make me feel like I am drinking a bottle of Worchester sauce. The acidity did not take away from the taste. Tart berry notes balance the acidity nicely. As the ale moved toward the aftertaste, one detects a hint of woodiness from barrel aging. Tart to the finish, the mouthfeel gave it a little staying power and even allowed for a mild warming sensation.

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Photo of nataku00
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a dark brown with some hints of amber and scarlet. Initial finger of tan color loose head dissipates quickly to a thin collar leaving minimal lacing. Well carbonated with tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is fruit vinegar, sour acetic acid, cherries and plums. Some brown sugar and toasted malt. Fairly mild nose.

Taking a sip, fruit vinegar, sweet and sour plums, cherries, a bit of tannin. Sweeter brown sugar and dark caramel mid tongue. Finish is dry with a bit of lighter sourness lingering.

Light to medium body with a soft carbonation that tickles the tongue. An interesting take on the style, with the alcohol very well hidden. Flavors aren't too bold though.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark musty hazy red with sticky lacing and tons of bubbles long after the pour around the edges..

S: Aroma of tart lacto and acetobacteria along with some musty barrel scents.

T: First a bit of a lactic bite along with tart cherry and oak flavors. malt flavors actually relatively present I believe due to barrel aging piece that might have slowed the souring down a bit, but then again, it is quite pleasant, so this is not a detriment to the beer. Bourbon flavors are sweet, muted from a prior barrel aging that is mentioned on the label. There is sweet berry flavors running along with a cherry and caramel.

M: Light mouthfeel , medium carbonation, extremely drinkable. Definitely one of the more drinkable Flanders Red Ales that i have ever had and staring at the rest of the bottle that is left... I am actually glad that i have this to my selfish self :) . I had a Supplication prior to this and while that is an epic sour ale, this is also Epic as the desciption has on the bottle.

O: Overall this is a very solid Flanders Red Ale. The list is short in this category which is one of my favorites that I like is much. Rodenbach, Red Poppy , Oude Tart. I have no idea where the 10.5% is hiding and I seriously doubt that it is actually up there that high... This went above and beyond my expectations. Another winner from Upland

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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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Photo of standardcherry
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served into my trusty Lawson's snifter.

A: Dark red/brown color.
S: Sweet tartness, oak and cherries.
T: Sour cherry, oak and a boozy taste. Lots of wine characteristics.
M: Light, nice carbonation. Very sour after taste. Alcohol is well hidden.
O: Very nice flanders but not my favorite.

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Photo of litheum94
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep cherry red with some tan head. Leaves some nice lacing and a small pool of bubbles.

Cinnamon, apples, sour cherries, bready. Some acetic flavors, with very light bourbon aromas, slightly smokey.

Super tart: green apples, cherries and some vinegar. Smokey wood tones. Not much bourbon; it presents itself through the woo more than anything. Dry, acidic, tart finish.

A great sour. Wasn't sure what to expect from the barrel aging, but it adds a nice, subtle component. Very well done.

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Photo of davey101
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure how to distinguish the vintage. The back label has a gold stamp saying "Batch Date 9-11" and the cork is stamped " 3-11". Regardless, its the first release. 750ml C+C bottle into a tulip glass. Opens with a loud pop and a very slow rise of foam up the neck. Huge thanks to muskabeatz for BIF'ing me this want!

A - Dark red body with an almost brown hue. Tall light khaki head dies down to a neat solid cap. Great lacing and retention. Looks pretty stereo typically Flanders.

S - Cherries and oak. Vinegar and soft acetic acid. There is a slight bourbon element happening in the background with some vanilla and char. There is some booze on the nose.

T - Lots of great Flanders notes. Soft acetic acid and vinegar followed by sour cherries and some Christmas spices. Light oak and vanilla on the finish with some warming alcohol present. Lingering tartness with a nearly dry end. Smooth and medium mouth feel.

O - A nice take on the Flanders style. I was surprised to learn that this was aged in bourbon barrels for a year. The bourbon notes are very tame, but they do mesh well with the softness of the bugs and the tartness of the cherries. Very good wild ale.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Mikkeller tulip

A - Deep, crimson brown with light carbonation trailing upwards. Has a nice creamy white head that sits on top throughout

S - A nice Flanders nose with cherry, oak, lemon, and grass trailing upwards. There is a slight sweetness that comes up with the cherry that makes it smell like cherry pie

T - Definitely a sweeter Flanders as there is a sweet cherry and sugary flavor shows up first. As it goes on, there is balsamic vinegar, oak, and lemon zest. It definitely has a nice tartness to it that makes it a well balanced sour. The finish is definitely rich cherry pie.

MF - Lots of carbonation that makes it has a nice creamy mouthfeel. The finish has a slight astringency to it.

O - This Flanders resides on the sweeter side but has enough tartness to allow it to be called a sour. The cherry is definitely the prominent flavor with the oak and lemon adding a level of complexity. Very approachable and would be a nice introduction into sours.

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade with dvelcich, thanks! Split with two other BAs.

Looks alright, good clarity, good head etc. Vinegar, fruit typical to Flanders style beers with the acetic sourness that comes with it. However, what makes it stand out is the good use of whiskey barrels... there are layers of chocolate/vanilla that go beyond oak.

And I suppose the strength. Also, the feel is more creamy than the sharp, crisp feel of Flanders style beers from Belgium.

4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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Photo of claaark13
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed a little below room temp. Poured into a HF tulip.

A - Very deep ruby with a thick head. It slowly dies down to a thin coating over the top.

S - Sour black cherries with mild oak. A hint of vanilla. Strong, pleasant nose.

T - Tart dark cherries, oak, slight vanilla, some leather. The barrel is mild and smooth. The tartness seems right on point...present, but subtle. Very balanced flavors. The finish smoothly carries the cherries and leather without much, if any, dryness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Great for the style. So drinkable.

O - For me, this is the best beer Upland has pushed out. I personally love this style and I really think they nailed it. The flavors expected for the style are on point. The finish is great. I actually think the back end of the flavor is what sets this apart from other Flanders Red. This instantly stormed into the top 3 for the style in my book.

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Photo of FBarber
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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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Photo of mattsander
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

A: Deep reddish amber, good clarity with a bit of sediment. More head than I expected, nice looking beer.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, spices (mace/nutmeg/cinnamon?), rye bread, cherry-sourness. A very complex but subdued aroma. Very unique spiciness with a long peppery finish and a touch of booze.

T: Echoes the aroma with a baked cookies kind of vibe. Sour cherry frosted dark rye spice cake.

M: Slippery and slick, subdued acidity. Very nicely balanced for 10.5% abv

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Photo of uvachief
4.4/5  rDev +4%
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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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Photo of Auracom
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by my great friend Jeff, thanks brah. 3-4 oz. poured into a FFF Teko on June 8th, 2012.

A - Honestly looks almost identical to Oude Tart - "Dark, ruby-rosewood coloring with a soft single inch of offwhite head. Good retention for a sour with great lacing to boot. Light alcohol legs."

S - "Epic" Flanders red profile may just do it. Acetic light fruit juices and lemon peels. The vinegar is a bit light in this one. Some herbaceous notes underneath. Slightly earthy as well.

T - Initial tart fruits, followed by light spicyness. Balsamic vinegar kicks in near backend and pushes through finish to a pitted and oak aftertaste with light tannin structures.

M - Light body, strong high carbonation, big dry finish. Very appropriate.

D - Good stuff, the complexity seemed to improve as I moved through this one and the backend/aftertaste here is quite good.

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Photo of roger617
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 served in a tulip glass

A: 4.0 dark brown in color, pours with no head
S: 4.25 sour up front, surprisingly not hit you in the face sour. Very pleasant
T: 4.5 the sour is very smooth and mellow on this one. An amazing blend of flavor
M: 4.25 carbonated very well. Smooth, silky
O: 4.25 my favorite sour to date. A great blend of flavors brings this one together very nicely.

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Malefactor (Gilgamesh) from Upland Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 381 ratings.
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