Pentagram (Unblended) | Surly Brewing Company

12 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
In honor of Surly Brewing's fifth anniversary we brewed a 100% Brettanomyces fermented brown aged in used red wine barrels. Brettanomyces is a yeast used in place of "normal" brewing yeast, it produces a unique flavor profile. Pentagram is a single barrel "tasting" of Five.

This listing is for unblended Pentagram on draft/cask only.

Added by jsanford on 02-01-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 37
Photo of irtsy
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My review follows feloniousmonk's rather closely because I found it hard to explain this one.

I would like to thank Surly for making such an interesting and wonderful beer. For me to sum this brew up in so few words would do it a disservice, but I can firmly say that this is one of the most interesting beers that I have had in a long time.

First smell was raisin, wood, grape, a bit of chocolate, and something a bit off. First pour was a muddy chocolate, with a caramel head that quickly dissipated into a tighter, flat, ring around the glass. First taste was overwhelming in the best way possible.

The first thing that I tasted was a mish-mash of fruits, wood, chocolate, and a hint of coffee, all wrapped up in sour. After I settled into my first glass, a lot of the overpowering flavors calmed and I was left with a beautiful beer. The taste stuck around, and the carbonation relaxed my stomach.

Thanks Surly, I appreciate it.

 936 characters

Photo of MNPostal
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at MN Winterfest 2011

I am a big fan of sours and wilds and this one does not disappoint. This is by far my favorite sour and quite possibly my favorite beer I have ever had. The taste and aroma is amazing. I am anxiously waiting the release of 5 to see what the final result is.

 288 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pentagram, early kegging of the still-maturing Surly Five. Brettanomyces yeast and pinot noir barrel-aging in a brown ale. Hey this sounds like a Rodenbach.
Advance tapping courtesy of me, because.

The photo is not indicative of the beer's appearance at it's peak. I should know tonight, since I poured over 100 glasses. Yikes.

Murky brown, nearing black, with ruby tints at edges, a big head on first pour, but it slims down to a tight brown ring.

Perfect funky/wild/sour aroma, very reminiscent of Flanders Reds. Slightly sour cherry & grape notes, plum & raisin, blackberries.

Taste: sharp, sour snap right up at the top, big puckeration, small bitterness. Sears the tongue and palate with twisted fruit flavors, nice brown ale buttress below. Holy heck, this is good, and is sure to make the soreheads drool. Wonderful blend of the barrel and the yeast. Excellent mouthfeel, great grippoing texture. Raisins and port wine character begin to dominate the flavor, along with sour cherry and grape. Malt feels richer further in, all in all, the various parts pull together to create something sublime. Lovely, lovely stuff that is tasting better as the glass empties out.
I would love to swim in this, or at the very least, take a bath in it.

Here's to five years! Was it all working up to this?

 1,312 characters

Photo of icefisherman
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying holy crap was this sour. Appearance was ok kinda basic dark brown no real head to speak of. Smelled of red wine and a slight tartness not bad. Taste blew me away holy funky soury delisiousness. Mouthfeel was nice big bubblys somewhat on the thin side but nice. I could have drank about 3 more of these bad boys but the 2 I had were still going down way to fast.

 384 characters

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Whistle Binkies South last night for Surly's 5th anniversary party. Had about 3 glasses of this. The keg sold out in half hour. Served in a tulip:

A - Dark brown with a bit of mahogany hues mixed in. Light foam ring around the edges. Really no head or lacing.

S - Tart funk and cherries. Red wine smell really comes through. Other dark fruit flavors of plums and cranberries.

T - Tart cherries, strawberries and cranberries. Brett funk and a bit oak. Really tasty and funky!

M - Nice tart tannins. Carbonation is really nice. Sour jaw clencher.

D - Really easy to drink. Nice smelling and tasting brew that I was so happy to try. After about 2 glasses, I just savored the third and smelled it the entire time. Really a nice treat. Now I have to wait till they bottle this glory.

 802 characters

Photo of Penguin3200
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the pentagram at groveland tap last night for te anniversary party. Second sour in my book, and still not sure what to think. I can agree that it seemed very young and disjointed at the finish. Poured a nice murky brown/reddish with a nose full of rasnerry, black licorice, and funk.

Taste was sour, tart, and begging for rich food to cut the sour. Overall was happy to get to try it and lookn forward to getting a few bottles of the blend "5" at release.

 461 characters

Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BLB.

Served in a chalice with 1/2 finger of beige head. Color is a dark ruby red hued brown.

Aroma: Cherry, oak, spice, and some funk. A bit sour, but not overly done. A little young yet.

Taste: Brett and funk here. Some cherries with some tartness. More sour than I was expecting, but still fairly mild compared to others. It does have the medicinal notes that come along with some brett beers.

Mouthfeel: Sour and mildly tart. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with fruit and tart notes.

Overall, a decent sour from Surly! It is young and I think time is really going to help this beer which is why I am now really looking forward to 5. Congrats to Surly! Here is to 5 more!

 714 characters

Photo of pdoran10
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a very murky dark brown color into a tulip at cafe 28. Very little head.

Smell is nice sour tartness with hints of cherry and very noticable barnyard funk from the brett. Seems like a complex full on sour.

taste is musty funky tartness with hints of dark cherry coming through. Nice sharp tartness. Finish is dry with flavors not lingering.

Mouthfeel is pretty dry and substantial with moderate to low carbonation.

Nicely drinkable sour could really sip on many glasses of this. Would love a slight bit more carbonation.

 538 characters

Photo of evanlarkin
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark and a bit muddy. A big head that fizzes down very quickly. It's just like a quickly poured cola.

Not knowing how else to describe it, it smells like a drier version of Coca-Cola.

Champagne-y. Sour grapes. Very sour grapes. Not at all like any beer I've had before. Think green grapes, carbonated.

Light, once again mostly reminding me of a cola.

I wouldn't have several in a sitting, but I could see myself making it a part of my rotation. Not bad, but the sourness makes it hard on the tongue. So, drinkable in moderation.

 583 characters

Photo of boomer31
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Blue Nile as one of many anny parties

A - Pours a dark murky mud brown with a huge near white head that leaves very quick and you're left with a thin scum on top

S - Much more funk and damp basement than was expected. Some fruits like cherry and a hint of wood. Very nice

T - Bright tart fruit and brett funk. For a young (I assume) beer this has nice balance. Becomes almost sweet in the back. No lingering tart.

M - Nice thin high carb. The fruit tartness leaves this dry.

D - Nice balance between tart, sour and sweetness. Not overly sour and not overly dry. Very nice

If this is a hint of what to come...I can't wait for 5!!

 652 characters

Photo of b33rknuts
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried on tap at Cafe Twenty Eight, Served in a Surly Darkness Tulip.

Arrives with a lone finger of Rocky tan head over a dark brown body that shows red hues where light passes through on the edges. only slight lacing sticks to the glass as the liquid drops

The smell is of tart cherries with slight woodsy undertones.

flavors of cherries, raisins and dark fruit, all very tart and sour. there is no overwhelming vinegar character, very well balanced.

There is a wonderful effervescence that just dances all over the tongue but finally settles into the sides of the cheeks as you swallow.

Overall a fantastic beer, very appropriate for food pairing, cant wait to try the blended batch once its bottled.

 707 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Served at Cafe 28 on 1/31/11 by Todd Haug himself for the celebration of 5 years of business. Poured into a snifter glass a dark brown color with some reddish highlights. The head is fairly slight and a tannish color that collars around the rim of the glass. The aroma has a more sour note than I expected and has a nice tart fruit like aroma with hints of cherry and pineapple. The flavor is really nice for a such a "young" beer with notes of cherry, plum, and raisin all accentuated with an underlying sourness. Minimal funkiness. Light mouthfeel. If this is only a hint of things to come from Surly Five then I am extremely excited. A wonderful first step into making Wilds.

 685 characters

Pentagram (Unblended) from Surly Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.