Surly Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Wild Ale
4.12 | pDev: 14.32%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: In the Surly brewhouse, brewing our Anniversary beers mean one thing: forget what ya know and try something different. In honor of FIVE glorious years we bring you a 100% Brettanomyces fermented dark ale aged in red wine barrels. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak and classic "brett" barnyard funk balanced by dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at cellar temperature for a couple years.
View: Beers
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 509 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MFauver35:
Photo of MFauver35
MFauver35 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -9%

May 17, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml light green wax bottle. Served in a Surly snifter.

Pours a dark brown body, one finger offwhite head, fair bit of retention, not much in way of lacing. It looks like a dark wine, really. Smells of lemon, touch of leather, deep rich roasted chocolate, touch of oak and red vinous character. A moderate acetic acidity. It reminds me a lot of Side Project Black & Wild in that regard. Very promising aroma that combines chocolate and acidity. Flavour impresses more, especially for a five year old bottle of Five. Milk chocolate, roast, touch of espresso acidity, oak, moderate acetic acidity, cocoa, touch of leather and lemon, with red vinous flavours lingering on the palate. Really nice complexity to it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lighter on the carbonation. Vinous flavours cling to the palate on the finish. Overall, a very damn nice brett wild with a nice vinous character to it. As mentioned previously, this reminded me a lot of Black & Wild in its complexity and combination of a dark beer with Brett and acidity. This has aged very well.

Sep 04, 2016
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Nov 16, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is drinking really nicely right now, the vinegar aspect of the sourness seems lower than some of their other beers like pentagram, and the red wine fruitiness here is incredible, a very complex beer that seems now like it had to be a little bit ahead of its time when it was first released. deep burgundy color, aroma and flavor both of slight farmy brett, bacterial sourness, oak and red wine tannins, sweet dried cherries, some german tasting malt oddly enough, earthy brewed black tea, raisin, and even cranberry, lots going on here. the sourness is middle of the spectrum, the funk is lighter than that, lots of room for the red wine notes to shine through, and lots of room for the grain, which often gets overlooked or is an afterthought in barrel aged wild beer, but here, its a distinguishing feature, dark and toasty but without the roasted bitter element, bready and european tasting, a neat platform for sure. this has done great with age too, no oxidation at all, and a super well integrated maturity about it and the sourness has not at all run away or taken over this. really well made beer, one of my favorite sours i have had from surly. they should make this one again, seems more complex and interesting than pentagram, might just be the age...

Mar 22, 2017
Photo of biniek13
biniek13 from Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -15%

Dec 13, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
doughanson78 from Washington

4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to thebigmp for sharing this one.

A: Black with some dark brown highlights when held to the light. Nice lace and retention on a slightly tan head.

S: Nice funk in the smell. Tart without being overly sour.

T: Tart and sour without either dominating. Some nice sweeter chocolate notes that's probably the reasoning it's not overly sour.

M: Light bodied. Medium carbonation. Very crisp with a dry finish.

O: An awesome sour. Had been less than impressed with other dark sours that I've had.

Oct 15, 2011
Photo of redliner8
redliner8 from Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jan 31, 2016
Photo of polishkaz
polishkaz from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Aug 18, 2012
Photo of kkrez
kkrez from Colorado

5/5  rDev +21.4%

Nov 14, 2011
Photo of The22Lou
The22Lou from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Jun 19, 2012
Photo of DangerDawg
DangerDawg from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Aug 09, 2013
Photo of furthurgone
furthurgone from California

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Mar 04, 2012
Photo of tmcelvain
tmcelvain from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at my local tavern - 10oz pour for 6 bucks, served in a tulip.

Nice dark mahogony color, but lacks much of any head. This seems true to the style, but for this ale it was a precursor to my biggest fault -

Super thin mouthfeel. I was about 4 oz in before the alcohol content began to build up a bit on my cheeks to give it a better body. This detracted a bit from the pleasing and complex flavor palette.

Very fruity and dry. A big departure from a lot of the other Surly products, but my complaints about the weight may stand to reason, as this is a fault I find with Bender/Coffee Bender as well.

Given those impressions, the flavors of sour cherry are very pleasing. I expected a funkier odor and taste, but my overall impression was a well balanced flavor and smell - a strong dark ale that you can sit for a long long time savoring a good number of.

Sep 01, 2011
Photo of emdawg
emdawg from New York

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Jan 01, 2012
Photo of wethorseblanket
wethorseblanket from California

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Dec 04, 2014
Photo of joh04587
joh04587 from Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +21.4%

Aug 16, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Almost black. Deep brown with a bit of red. Nice head as I pour it, but settles to nothing.

Smell - Cherries and lots of red wine. Some oaky mustiness. Dark malts. Some chocolate.
Taste - Much more red wine. Really dominates. Oak too. Cherry sourness. The dark malts aren't very prevalent here. Just an undertone of dark malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and pretty sour. Dry.

Overall - Without being a huge fan of dark sours, this is pretty good. Intense red wine. Mild dark malts. Works well.

Feb 17, 2014
Photo of gbbass16
gbbass16 from Missouri

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Philly82785
Philly82785 from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +21.4%

Dec 18, 2012
Photo of Pete27lax
Pete27lax from New York

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Aug 11, 2012
Photo of millelacsmark
millelacsmark from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Lewbacca
Lewbacca from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Nov 30, 2011
Photo of nanobrew
nanobrew from California

3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Apr 21, 2012
Photo of Moon2Goddess
Moon2Goddess from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just came back from the Common Roots Cafe where I had this on tap. Other patrons must not be in the market for sours, because the server was trying to warn me about!

Color: Very dark cherry wood or mahogany. Nice red tones on the edges where bits of light could pass through. No head to speak of in the glass I was served, which was a stemless wine glass.

Aroma: Fantastic! Instantly reminded me of the Rodenbach Grand Cru. The predominant aroma was sour cherry, then raisin, oak and malt.

Texture: Decent texture, low carbonation, medium body, not creamy or frothy, but very evenly consistent. There was a good amount of sediment at the bottom however, which became little white chunks and took on a funky smell at the very end. I did not drink the last swallow because of this. For this reason only, I am scoring it lower on mouth-feel.

Flavor & Balance: The wine barrels gave it a darker flavor and richness than some other sours. It was quite smooth, and maintained its sour characteristic throughout, there were no uneven moments when the sour suddenly attacked and made my lips pucker and the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The malty tones and oak from the barrels made it a very easy drink. I can honestly say I could taste all the flavors the brewers claim--tobacco, dark malt and Brett, along with sour cherries and grapes it was extremely balanced and quite delicious.

I have two bottles of this in my fridge, I hope they taste as good as it did on tap!

Sep 10, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz from Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Nov 21, 2011
Five from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 509 ratings