Brown Recluse
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

Brown RecluseBrown Recluse
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Wild Ale
4 | pDev: 14%
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Ohio, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Brown RecluseBrown Recluse
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 94 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle 79/372, 2011. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Brown. Duh. Not much head, just a ring of foam.

Smell - Acetic vinegar notes. Maple syrup cuts the acidic notes. Cherry aromas, as well.

Taste - Nice sour. Slightly acetic. Becomes more so in the finish. Red wine and cherry flavors. Very similar to the smell.

Mouthfeel - Nice clean sour, which is surprising from Jackie O's. I don't love the acetic sourness, but it's good.

Overall - It's nice without being fantastic. Sour, but missing the complexity.

 550 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Bottle courtesy of csmiley. Thanks dood!

2011 - Bottle #99/372

Brown Recluse pours a dark mahogany brown color. It’s not opaque. Light cuts through at every angle. It features some really nice dark cherry colored highlights throughout. The color is nice. It’s unfortunate that no head materializes. A few bubbles appear on the surface, but disappear quickly. That’s it. Not bad, not great.

The nose is a tad weak, but smells pretty good overall. It starts out with a mix of sour cherry, oak, and plum. It’s an interesting mix, but it works. While wild yeast is definitely here, there’s not any overt evidence of funkiness. Not a bit. There are some secondary notes of oak, vanilla, leather, and tobacco. Surprisingly, I’m not getting any maple syrup. That’s a tad disappointing. Still smells alright though. Alcohol is buried. I’m not getting any.

The flavor is interesting. It’s also good. It seems rather straight forward. It does start out with a nice sour cherry flavor. It is vinegary and quite tart. I wouldn’t say it’s mouth puckering though. There is a bit of dark fruit and a red wine quality to it. Oak, vanilla, and tobacco are all secondary. They add some nice depth and complement the other flavors nicely. I’m still not getting any maple syrup. I wish there were more of that flavor here. Perhaps it’s just buried. Alcohol is never a factor. Finishes tart with a touch of oak and vanilla.

Brown Recluse has a lighter body. Carbonation is extremely light. It’s soft, but I wish there were more bubbles here. It feels thin and a bit watery. It’s not exactly bad, but it’s not great. Average sounds about right.

Brown Recluse is interesting beer. I like the flavor quite a bit, but am left wanting more body, more bubbles, and at least a little maple syrup. Perhaps that’s just time’s effect on it. It’s still good stuff. It just doesn’t pack the ferocious bite I’d hoped.

 1,934 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shared by the late chswimmer (RIP). Thanks! From notes.

A: Pours a clear brown body with a tan head.

S: Tart cherries, lactic sourness, oak, vanilla.

T: The taste isn't all that sour; it's more tart than anything. Cherries, nuts, red wine. Small vinegar burn in the finish. I like the vanilla character; it works well with the red wine. I don't often detect it in this strength in wine-barrel aged beers.

M: I don't like the vinegar burn in the finish. Low carbonation.

O: Meh.

 486 characters

Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap during the event this weekend at Jackie O's. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with a layer of cream off white head that fades to a layer on top of the beer.

Smell: Sour vinegar with some tart red wine notes. The is a mildly nutty sweetness from the malt.

Taste: Sour vinegar and red wine show up as they did in the smell. I'm picking up some maple syrup, and enjoying it. The finish is tart and funky.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The maple and sour notes went together quite well. I never would have thought of it, but it wasn't mind blowing either. I would have this one again.

 683 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Mahogany-brown with an off-white head

Smell: Dark malt and fruits, brown sugar, cherries, oak, touch of maple sugar.

Taste: Not particularly sour, I get cherries, oak, vanilla, brown sugar and a bit of maple syrup. A bit muddled.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with low carbonation

Overall: Not particularly impressive.

 333 characters

Photo of readbaron
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dunt for sharing this one.

Pours a dark murky brown with a small ring of bubbles, super limited carbonation.

Smell is decent. Sour, and that's about it. A hint of maple sweetness, but only a hint. Some chemical burn at the very end, but it's muted. It does, however, distract.

Taste is the highlight - very sour - more so than I thought it would be. Vinegar, but not harsh. There's a softness to the sour that blunts the edge of it and makes it very smooth to drink.

Feel is pretty good. There's something about it that coats the tongue in an odd way. Not bad, but unusual.

Overall, a tasty beer. I've been impressed with the Jackie O's sours.

 658 characters

Photo of BrewerB
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Urbancaver for the Jackie O's hookup. I'd not heard of the brewery until he mentioned it to me and it's certainly not something I can purchase in my local area. This is bottle 311/372, 2011 version.

Pouring this into a Cantillon flute, it forms a medium brown with reddish highlights. Foam formation was scant and no retention.

Upfront tart, sour-cherry like nose yields to a semi-sweet chocolate. Slightly smoky and a very mild barnyard.

Nutty undertones blend with the tarter, sour character. Light vanilla. The maple syrup noted on the label is detectable but at a level I might not detect were it not explicit. Long, dry sour finish keeps the taste buds puckered.

Light bodied with a moderate-low level of carbonation.

My experience with sour ales is fairly limited and even more so with a sour brown ale. That said, I find RR's Supplication to be a far more complex beer with a more developed, pronounced sour character and a more vibrant mouthfeel. While this is certainly not a bad beer, I'm not sure I'd seek it out again.

 1,054 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a murky brown color with pretty much no head just a few bubbles at best. No lacing what so ever.

S- Quite a bit of funk. Cherries, vinegar, wood and sourness.

T- Quite a bit of sour, but at the level I can handle. Some darker fruits, woody, hay and a lot of Earthy notes. I'm acutally surprised that I can drink this one with relative ease.

M- Medium in body and fairly light in carbonation.

O- I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle a bottle of this one on my own, but splitting would be ideal.

 505 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

bottle number 290 of 372.

poured into a tulip glass. I shared my bottle with both wedge9 & ryan585.

Appearance: This beer is a dark and murky brown bodied beer with absolutely no trace of a head or carbonation. The beer almost looks like dirty muddy mop-bucket water.

Smell: Strong sour funky smell, the acidic smell of vinegar and granny smith green apples.

Taste: Mild to moderate funkiness and granny smith apples. Mild acidic bite tastes sort of like lemons and vinegar. Not really complex tasting, but its effective and is still tasty brew.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied beer and low carbonation. Wish the beer was more carbonated.

Overall: This is my first Jackie O's beer. It was good. It was not the best looking beer and needed some more carbonation to bring this beer to life, but it tastes and smells good.

 827 characters

Photo of ZX6Chris
2.35/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

WTF? How does this have a B+?

Looks like a normal beer when you pour it, smells rather tasty. A little tart and sour in your mouth and then nothing. Finishes very watery and flat. Not very good at all. I'd consider this an avoid.

I got a free taste so I'm not upset but my dumbass buddy traded a fucking Rare for it. What a dumbass.

 334 characters

Photo of badboyrsl84
2.34/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark carmel colored brown in the glass the only visual head is a white lacing around the beer.

Smell- sweet aroma with a little sour cherry in the end. Almost one trick pony

Taste- a nice sour taste starts out but falls flat in the end. Some sour cherries and finishes with a sweet lacing of maple syrup.

Overall- avoid the hype. It's ok but nothing special. Thin and watery is the best way to describe this.

 421 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to henway for my first Jackie O.

22oz bottle Dated 2011, Bottle 70, Batch 372 poured into my Bruery Tulip.

A - Pours a nice medium brown with almost no head, just a few dark tan bubbles form on one edge.

S - Apple, toffee, maple. Very nice.

T - Here comes the sour. Tart apples, carmel, cherry.

D - Nice sourness, low carbonation.

O - My first Jackie O, and it did not dissapoint. The maple was a nice balnace and I really enjoyed it.

 447 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thorpe for this... pours dark brown, a little watery on the fringe, an off white head, ok head but not lace... really love the nose, lots of maple syrup mixed with lactic sourness and cherries, maple comes off very nice and the balance is awesome... the taste is more sour than the nose and not as much maple or as good but still tastey, molasses, brown sugar, oak, and sour finish.. enjoyed and I’d gladly have again

 429 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. 2011 vintage. Bottle #282 of 372.

3.5 A: Fairly clear deep mahogany brown color. Just one finger of creamy beige head. Retention isn't all that great and little lacing is left.

4.5 S: Wow, this has really developed since the release. Much more sour than I remember anyway. Lots of tangy lactic acid with lots of black cherry, grape, plum, a touch of tobacco, and something like fig. Ever so light roastiness. Remnants of the maple syrup at a well received layer of complexity. Oak and vanilla from the barrel. Musty basement type brett funkiness. I remember liking the nose on this, but it's much better now.

4.5 T: This has developed a bit of a pucker factor. Tart cherry and plum with not quite ripe grape and tobacco again. Good bit of vanilla and almost as much oak. Soft, supple tannic astringency. Lots of tangy lactic, but also some acetic acid. Musky basement. Just a small contribution from the maple syrup. Good bit of sourness to scratch that itch with tons of complexity and flavors that complement each other.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Carbonation is just a touch higher than average for the style and is very spritzy. Creamy on finish, but light up to that point.

4.5 D: I'm really digging this right now. If you have a bottle and have not had it yet, now's a good time to open it. This has turned out to be one of my favorite JO's brews. It's just too damn bad this was my last bottle. I wouldn't have traded as much if I knew I'd like it this much.

 1,492 characters

Photo of Gtreid
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Pretty simple, it was brown. I had to force a head from an aggressive pour, and that quickly faded and left no remenats of it's existance.

A: Chocolate, caramel, and tartness. Lots of tartness. Oak barrels with tart cherries, and sour red grapes.

T: Sweet and sour. Sour cherries and grapes lead to a subtle sweetness from the syrup and oak barrels. Finishes very sour, very dry (I'm guessing that the syrup was fully fermentable and lead to the unusally dry finish) and light. No hint of alcohol in this one.

M: Carbonation was on the lower side which made it rather oily.

O: Good, not great IMO. The sourness was a little over the top for me. I wish there would have been a little more sweetness from the syrup to balance it out. But, a good offering. Skal.

 800 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really enjoyed this one. poured into a snifter and started out my night on 6/29 it was wonderfully sessionable and a nice change from the normal heavy abv offerings

nice dark brown pour yields a small but intact head that does its job of settling in and rounding out the glass quite well, in fact it does not seem to fade at all

Aroma is tart cherries, nice notes here. I love that aroma, not that huge horse funk, but the nice cherry and oak notes that still offer touches of sweetness in them. Really rounds it out nicely and makes for a tremendously pleasing aroma. nice sweet notes tucked around inside of the deep tartness. Really nice light spices in here now. Currant maybe with touches of grape skins and a rich, subtle tone that is simply to die for. Really well done I have to say. Each sip became easier and easier to drink and I watched the bottle vanish in no time flat.

 885 characters

Photo of abecall98
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again Adam (Loki83) for sharing this beer.

A - pours dark brown. Head is little, if any, and the beer is not viscous. A little underwhelming compared to other sours.

S - dark fruits. Sweet and sour dark fruits. I get hints of figs, plum, and some grape. Sweet maple is also present. Very pleasing.

T - the beer starts off very sour. The dark fruits come through and a nice carbonation helps bring the flavor all over. The beer finishes with sweet maple. Very nice.

M - the beer pours ugly with no head, but carbonation exists. Though minor, the carbonation helps the beer foam up and deliver the flavors to all taste buds. The beer finishes bubbly and sweet. Very good.

O - I enjoyed this beer a lot. A different sour, with a play on sweet and spur I guess.

 769 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with tsatem on 6/13/2011

from notes.

A - medium brown body, red light through the edges, no foam to speak of.

S - sour, maple, light vegetal nose.

T - Tart, light earthy sweetness, light oak.

M - light, somewhat thin, lively

O (D) - Great! it's really tasty, very drinkable, nicely complex, and still quite approachable.

 333 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Thorpe for the share. I am not the hugest fan of dark sours, by and large, so I do not have high hopes here. The brew pours a dark, murky brown, and is tinged with red glints. The tan head is short-lived, and recedes into a wispy film. I'm getting some vinegar and oak, and some dark berry melange from the nose. The flavor adds a good deal of sweetness, black cherry, currant, and some toastiness to the mix. Thinner feel. Overall I don't mind it, but don't love it.

 477 characters

Photo of Spider889
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the beer I was looking forward to the most at the last Jackie O's release. It had the most extreme description and sounded like it would prove to be the most sour. I think it delivered on both accounts.

Served in a tulip, the beer is a flat looking black cherry color. No head on it, just a small ring of bubbles around the edges. Left no lace.

Smelled pretty damn sourific. Lots of funk in here - damp basement and mildewy mustiness. Sour cherry and acidic brett as well.

Tart brett up front on the flavor. Then comes sweet but biting sourness like the first seconds of an atomic warhead. Cherry and apple lead into an even deeper level of mouth watering sourness. You can tell that all the various bacteria has worked its magic on the Recluse. Some tobacco and maple is on the finish.

Dry. Not as oaky as I had wished, but this keeps it from being even more dry.

Overall I really liked this. As far as the Jackie O's sours go, I honestly think I still preferred Quincedence. But this is a close second. I believe that age will likely be kind to Brown Recluse.

 1,075 characters

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 144/372

Pours a beige fizzy head. Color is a dark copper amber brown.

Aroma: Sour and tart. Cherries, spice, and oak. The maple syrup shows very lightly. Pretty nice aroma. A clean, tart sour.

Taste: Huge sour profile. Mouth puckering goodness. Cherries, oak, and vanilla. Vinegar flavors. The maple syrup shows a bit more. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Sour and tart. Lighter bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends really clean for the level of sourness it has.

Overall, this was very sour and something I really enjoyed. Easy drinking and definitely a big surprise.

 576 characters

Photo of TheDudeRules
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

Bottle 144/372

Looks like a leather colored liquid with an off white head. Oh goodie another boring brown ale by the looks of it. Hold the phone here. This smells sour and I mean tart sour. Crap. I really don't dig sours at all. Brown ale and sour. What did I do to deserve this seventh circle of hell? I decided to man up and have a sip. Close my eyes and open up. Hmmm. Is this possible? This is pretty good. It's tart but not nicely not too over the top. Carbonation is rather low but it works very well for everything else that was going on.

On paper I would say no thanks, but thankfully I went ahead with it. Very enjoyable.

 667 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Veldrid for this one. Poured from a 22oz. (#33/372) bomber into Lost Abbey stemware. Shared with schen9303

A: Standard pour yields an almost completely flat beer. No head. Beer is a dark, almost opaque brown. No lacing with poor legs. Doesn't really get much worse. Clarity saves it from being a 1.

S: Nose is a slightly tart grape along with some raspberry. Moerately aromatic with a nice tart funk. Vanilla from the barrels also. Decent.

T: Opens tart prunes and raspberry. Kind of like a Flanders Oud Bruin. Woody and puckering towards the middle where the sour really kicks in. Robust with notes of tea leaves at the end, creating a slightly accented bitterness right before a filmy, puckering, tart, dry tea leaf finish. Really unique and tasty.

M: Light to medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Lively and puckering in the mouth. Goes down abrasive with some small bubbles on the side with a messy finish and a lingering aftertaste. Appropriate and real nice body.

O: Aside from the appearance, Brown recluse is a really well made wild ale. Robust and with a different approach than most other wild ales I've had. The tea leaves accentuate the overall woodiness nicely. Worth trying.

 1,212 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a muddy brown with a thin light tan head.

S-the nose is heavy dry oak, almost sawdusty, a decent sour cherry with notes of dark plums.

T-still a fair bit of oak but the fruit flavors are slightly muffled. lots of sour cherries and some dry leathery brett behind.

M-light body, highly carbonated, grainy on the palate with a fairly dry crisp finish.

D-decent sour, lots of oak to it and the flavor becomes somewhat blurred as the brett is slightly overpowering and has eaten too much of the flavors.

 510 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one at DLD.

A - Pretty dark brown colored beer with an off-white head that left a little bit of stick on the sides. Not overly impressive looking, but it looks fine.

S - Tart and sour notes, reminds me a bit of a Flanders Red more than a wild. Some darker funky fruits hit the nose as well.

T - Tastes very good. There is a bit of oak from the barrels that is quite nice along with more of the Flanders Red qualities. The beer has a nice tartness and a good full flavor. Sour with just a touch of maple syrup that adds nicely.

M - Fuller bodied, good carbonation.

O - Pretty good beer, really enjoyed drinking this and got a bottle in a BIF from Thorpe as well that I'll have fun cracking open.

 736 characters

Brown Recluse from Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 94 ratings