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Five | Surly Brewing Company

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509 Ratings

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 509 |  Reviews: 137
Reviews by motorhed:
Photo of motorhed
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of Schlais
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.65/5  rDev +14%

Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BMan1113VR for sharing this bottle at bu11zeye's 10,000th tasting.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is fairly straightforward. I get some tart cherries and toffee, with not too much else going on. The flavor is basically the same. The toffee and caramel notes stand out, but there are some tart cherries and oak thrown in for good measure. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 420 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of 1Adam12
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a thin cream colored ring around the glass.

Smell: Mostly cherry, with vinegar, light Brett funk and touches of oak.

Taste: Sharply tart upfront with cherry, vinegar and light roasted characteristics. Some Brett-horseblanket and vinegar, with loads of oak and pepper in the finish. Almost seem to be some tannins as well.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, fairly dry but very tart finish.

Overall: This really comes across like a sour Pinot Noir. Very good, but maybe a titch rough. I wonder if letting my other bottle age a while will smooth and balance it out.

Note from October 19, 2012: Aging does NOT improve this beer. Becomes more sour and loses complexity.

 758 characters

Photo of deebo
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at Republic release party for Surly's fifth anniversary beer Five.

A-Weak tan head that is gone almost immediately-a little hangs on rim of glass. Color is dark brown with reddish hue.

S-Boozy aroma, some caramel malt with a hint of an acid bite.

T-Upfront sour. The sour is not an overpowering Brett bite. A mild lactic acid bite, not acetic like some sours which makes it smoother than others. Mild malt flavor is also there.

M-Fairly tingly. Moderate-high carbonation. Thin body. No alcohol burn-hidden nicely for a stronger beer.

D-More drinkable than dark sours I've had such as Rodenbach Cru. This one would be easy to have multiple pints.

O-A good sour. A nice entry to sour dark ales for those that are new to the style and expect it to taste more like "traditional beer". Will be interested to see how these age in the cellar.

 860 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a sampling glass, green wax.

Pours very dark brown with a small light brown head with no head at all. Nose is malty, rich, sweet and very tart.

Taste is obviously quite sour but not over the top with tartness its quite refreshing and so smooth its a crazy beer, super drinkable and be your tasty.

 324 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to pete for bringing this to our last tasting!

750ml waxed and capped bottle poured into a darkness snifter.

pours out much darker than expected, almost black, a very dark ruby red color, tannish colored head.

intense barnyard brett funk and sour cherry. really attacks the nostrils.

sour pie cherries, tons of barnyard, musty brett funk, rich maltiness, tobacco, leather, almost a bit of lactic funk.

medium bodied, nice feeling carbonation, so intensely sour.

overall, a really solid sour, such an intense sour brett character with still a nice rich maltiness. reminds me a bit of bruery oude tart or marron acidifie, flanders red almost.

 659 characters

Photo of warmbier804
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ehammond1
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for sharing, womencantsail!

Dark brown with just the fainest of ruby edges. Thin khaki colored head. Spots of lacing left down the glass.

Dark fruit, roasted malt, and chocolate in the aroma with just the faintest bit of vinegar/sour character. The fruit consists of charred cherries and perhaps raisins. Interesting, though not particularly pronounced, vibrant, or aromatic.

The flavor is an interesting combination of roasted malt, dark chocolate, raisin, cherry, and a mild sourness underneath it all. While all that sounds good on paper, the flavors don't truly combine for all that pleasurable of a drinking experience. The roast and chocolate are dominant and the flavors are very muddied. I would prefer less roast and chocolate and more fruit and sour.

Thin to medium bodied with somewhat low carbonation.

A fair enough stab at the style, though not a particularly enjoyable drinking experience. An interesting and unique sour, but nothing very special.

 989 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown with hints of amber red. Starts with a lot of bubbly rising carbonation and a decent two fingers of tan head that quickly dissipates into a thin patchy layer. Lacing is very light.

Smell: Aroma is like acidic red wine with some vinegar. Sour and tart cherries, oak, lemon, and vanilla with hints of barnyard "Brett", tobacco, and some dark malts. Smells very balanced and complex. Very appealing.

Taste: Very fruity up front with cherries that are fairly tart and sour but not overbearingly so. Hints of lemon mix in with the cherries. A good presence of oak chips follows with light hints of vanilla, Brett and tobacco. Finishes with some dark roasted malts and some cherries that linger in the aftertaste. Very cherry forward tasting. Sweet and sour but nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very smooth and no alcohol burn is detected.

Overall: A very nice brew from Surly. I typical don't care for both cherry beers and wine but this beer avoids the aspects of those two drinks I find difficult, excessive syrup and a fermented fruit flavor. This brew manages to be fruity and sweet while keeping the sourness and tartness in check well. It is nicely balanced by the oak and other aspects. This is my first experience with a Wild Ale and I'm liking the style.

 1,399 characters

Photo of TKEbeerman
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Soonami
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.42/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a muddled brownish red burgandy, but a little darker than that description. No head. Aroma was weird. Sulpher and figs.

Taste was mildly sour and associated with vinegar, raisins, currants, figs, wood, but still muddled and less than impressive. Tartness is just muddled with all the other stuff. Gritty at times. Rarely has something I've had contained so much of a vinegary presence. This was like that recent bad Veritas but with carbonation (although still not as good as even Veritas 09).

More like an unintentional mild sour stout or something else, some roastiness and chocolate (very little) came through in the mouthfeel. What a conundrum this beer is. And don't forget, it also has a taste of Fonzie's jacket.

Cool bottle design. Other than that, don't believe the hype. I loves me some Surly and MPLS Town Hall, but come on homers, not everything is great from them, and this one is far from it.

 918 characters

Photo of jtladner
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of MFauver35
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of jpbebeau
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of jeonseh
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at DLD.

A - Dark, hazy brown with good carbonation .

S - Sour brown ale with tart cherries, lactic acid, slight vinegar and a funky blue cheese presence

T - Tart cherry up front with lactic acid that gives it a nice tartness and bite. Good blue cheese funk that comes on the back end and lingers on in the finish

M - Good carbonation with a slight creaminess to it. Light astringency on the backend from the tartness

O - Solid sour with a good balance between tart cherries, lactic acid, and a nice funky presence

 526 characters

Photo of daveytheformer
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of bif_fat_sellout
1.75/5  rDev -57.1%

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Five from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 509 ratings