Pentagram Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels
Surly Brewing Company

Pentagram Aged In Rye Whiskey BarrelsPentagram Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels
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American Wild Ale
Ranked #168
not listed
Ranked #2,251
4.34 | pDev: 7.14%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Pentagram Aged In Rye Whiskey BarrelsPentagram Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels
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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 62
Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Vintage

A: poured into a Duvel tulip to a dark brown beer topped by a small and slightly rocky cream colored head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of sour cherries, funk, and a little rye spice plus some oak. maybe a little chocolate and toasted malt
T: Taste is slightly tart up front with the cherry note followed by some toasted malt, leather, building sourness, strong funk and oak with some light spice. Hints of furniture polish and acetone. On the swallow there's chocolate, leather, rye spice, oak, tart cherries, funk, and slight lingering tartness and acetone.
M: This beer has a body which is on the lighter side of medium and slightly slick. Carbonation is effervescent and slightly prickly while the beer has a drying finish from the acidity.
O: Overall I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but I'd say it's very well executed. It has some really nice flavors and a great amount of complexity. As the beer warms the flavors continue to develop. This one held up well to aging too. This tastes familiar but also new at the same time. It reminds me a little of Nightmare on Brett along with a mix of Bruery sour beers. Really nice amount of sour on this one makes it approachable instead of super puckery. Worth a try if they bring this one back.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewer's notes:
This tart, dark beer is fermented with Brettanomyces in stainless fermenters, aged in used red wine barrels, then aged further in High West Rye Whiskey barrels to create a layered aromatic profile. Pentagram’s core flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak, and classic “Brett” barnyard funk are still present, surrounded by the distinctive character of rye whiskey. Enjoy immediately or age at cellar temperature for a couple years.

750ml bottle. Capped and waxed. Website specs this at 7%ABV. Stamped bottling date is '06/27/16'.
Reddish brown colored body, looks rather murky when back lit. Partial finger of very light tan head with the first pour, which disappears to some bubbles rising to the surface and a thin ring. No lacing.
Aroma is very much of the red wine barrel, along with oak, rye spice, and faint barnyard funk.
Taste is sour cherry, red wine oak barrel, rye spice, and barnyard funk which includes tobacco and leather. Quite the combination of high sour and lower level earthy funk.
Medium mouth feel with minor mouth puckering. Has a drier finish, with the aftertaste being the sour cherry trailing off. Good carbonation.
The first flavor is so close to a red wine, but then the chocolate malt and funk bring the beer to a more complex earthy note, with the spicy addition of the rye barrel. This beer has aged well.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle. Pours deep reddish brown. Big khaki head. Smells of green apples, red wine acidity, brett, and a whiskey barrel aroma that contributes a soft vanilla backdrop. Tastes of green apples again. Spikes to a strong red wine and dark fruit sourness. Red wine lingers throughout. A little brett here, but it's mostly red wine. A little bit of that whiskey vanilla flavor, but it does little to soften a sharp beer. Medium body. It's not very easy to drink and I may not be able to finish my glass, but that may just be my preference and not a criticism of any component of the beer.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Both on tap and in bottles, Barrel-aged Pentagram is a terrific beer - while I don't generally like a lot of barrel in a sour, the rich wine elements to the beer make this a perfectly complementary mixture. The rye barrel does add a bit of sharpness to the beer, but it feels appropriate - it adds further depth to the mouth feel.

Very, very good.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml gold wax bottle, 2017 vintage. Aged in red wine barrels then rye whiskey barrels. So technically a double barrel version? Served in a teku glass. Pours a dark brown-reddish body, one finger white head, good retention and no lacing. Smell is tart dark fruit, tannic red wine, touch of cider, oak, a bit of vanillin, and I think a bit of rye spiciness to it as well. Flavour is more of the tannic red wine, cidery green apple, vanillin, oak, touch of toffee, dark fruit, moderate acetic tartness. It reminds me a lot of Five, but a little more rough around the edges, slightly more barrel character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and slightly slick, good carbonation and easy drinking, full of flavour despite the relatively low ABV. Great stuff for sure, lives up to the reputation of Five.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

hot diggity this is good! i think the additional ageing in rye barrels really improves this, and smoothes over a lot of my little nit picky critiques of the already awesome and pioneering base beer. for one, the rye adds an obvious spice intensity to this which i think gives it even more complexity, but it also grounds it in earthy grain, which was sort of missing for me before, even though its in the spirit, it permeates deep. secondly, the wood and the sweetness of the whiskey cut some of the vinegar harshness to the sour profile, this one used to be a slow sipper for me in its original form due to the caustic acidity, but its awesome to have that tempered a bit by the additional barrel treatment! a much more drinkable beer as a result. i like that the red wine in here is still on display, and there is a woody funkiness to the original that is not lost here either. caramel and vanilla and pepper notes come in, fresh red grape, plum, and prune, along with a little honey and toasted marshmallow, barrel char, and black tea. i love all thats happening here, its complex but it has purpose, and its super unique with the characteristics of both barrel sets really still holding their own identity in here. sourness is still really high, but the woodiness is needed and its there. bigger and way fuller bodied than i remember the original being, and that a nice feature too. one of the best surly beers ive ever had...

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Photo of ipeters1017
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown with a tan head. Lots of bubbles, quickly dissipating head, typical for a sour. Smells of candied fruit and booze--you definitely get the whiskey character. Taste is tart cherries, woodiness, maybe a bit of smoke? There's also some nuttiness. The Brett funk is very present. Super acidic. Feel is medium-bodied, very carbonated, and a dry finish. This is far and away the most complex beer I've had to date. Kind of a grower. Not entirely my thing, but there's a lot going on and I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Surly teku. Shared with schen9303.

Nose is oak, vinegar, booze, sour cherries and ethanol. Beer opens chocolate, cherry and oak. Woodiness is apparent. This one is more sweet and juicy than tart. Hints of roast, lactose and more tart red fruit in the middle. This is actually very enjoyable. Body is light to medium with ample carbonation. A touch overcarbed with an accented finish and a filmy, lingering aftertaste.

One of the very very rare dark sours that I actually like. This is impressive.

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Photo of maximum12
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ML bottle dated June 2016 that looks like it was made to throw at jack-booted thugs, with an ironic gold-waxed cap. Split with my wife.

The pour is an opaque dark brown. Tartness, wine, whiskey coming off the surface. Simple & direct.

Double Barrel Pentagram has developed a kick over the past nine months! Fresh it was very whiskey-forward, while this beast has allowed the tartness to come to the fore. The wine & bourbon interaction is what drives this: neither is predominant, but both are strong, & the sharpness of the wine imparts an interesting twist on the whiskey. Wheeee! Underneath are prunes - do brewers realize nobody drinks prune juice unless they’re being water boarded with it? - oak, faint caramel & dribblings of vinegar. Finish is smooth, heavy tartness. One of those rare “wilds” that I am going to have no trouble putting down for 12.7 ounces.

So many wine-barreled beers are crap - mixing wine & beer is not, in general, a good idea (don’t believe me? Try it with your Ernest & Julio Gallo & trendy NE IPA some time), but the bourbon welds this into a true-tempered brew. This is what Surly is capable of - let’s get rid of the smoked banana urine stained lagers & do what they were born to do - make great beers. Even morphed by ¾ of a year, this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tons of rye barrel, this improves on the base beer quite a bit. It's tart and funky with lots of vanilla and a nice warming note. It's not as cherry forward as the base as the barrel masks a lot of it.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany, transparent, beige head
S: Red wine, caramel malt, oak tannin, earthy Brett, vanilla, leather, cherry
T: Light sour, vinous, vanilla, oak, rye, earthy Brett funk, red grape
M: Medium
O: Much more complex than regular Pentagram. Definitely smooth even though there is a lot going on

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Photo of gatornation
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cola color with nice tan lacing and a fresh cap upon settling. Red wine spice , dark fruit tobacco and barrel are on the nose very nice. BA pentagram starts just like regular Pentagram, tart cherries with mixed fruit, a dose of spicy malts with tabacco and wood, nice funky brett is present ., and then in the finish wood and rye mix in , its like to separate tastes on the palate for me . Wine was first with rye whiskey at the end, very good. and sour in a very mild way. Mouth feel was tart We split bottle 3 ways and reaally like the compliment of the double barrel.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml waxed bottle into a stemmed Surly glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark and hazy brownish amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and a slight finger of off white head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A funky and nicely boozy aroma with a scent of brett, rye whiskey, and red wine. Big funky and tart scent of brett yeast. Lots of barrel presence. Rye whiskey with some hints of vanilla and oak. Red wine scent of grapes, cherries, tannins, and acid. Good hints of tobacco and leather. Dark fruit hints of fig, raisin, and prune. A really good complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a funky, sweet, and nicely boozy taste with notes of brett, rye whiskey, and red wine. Big presence of brett yeast with some barnyard funk and tartness. Barrel notes of rye whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Red wine notes of red grapes, cherries, tannins, and acidity. Dark fruit notes of prune, fig, and raisin. Also some nice notes of tobacco and leather. A really good taste.

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

Overall: A really great variant on one of my favorite sours. Good rye whiskey presence that balances well with the red wine barrel and brett notes.

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Photo of BigIslandfarmer
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Dark amber with a red hue. One finger of white head quickly fades. Smells of dark fruits, vanilla, leather, rye whiskey, a little bit of the wine comes through. Definitely brett funk as well. Taste follows smell with less of the booziness. Hard to pinpoint the tastes as every sip is different from the last. A lot going on in this beer. Good balance of sweet, funk, sour, and spice. Mouth feel is medium with the beer coating the tongue nicely. Overall a very well made beer. The complexity keeps it interesting. Will be even better with some age.

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Pentagram Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 62 ratings