Tart Of Darkness | The Bruery

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Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Batch 2 was aged in spent Black Tuesday barrels.

Added by ajcobb24 on 06-22-2011

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Reviews: 371 | Ratings: 2,422
Photo of andy712
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoy sour beers and the occasional stout, but the thought of a sour stout did not intrigue. Then I tasted this one. To be sure, I get a lot more sour than stout from the TOD, but for me it is the right mix. It pours like a stout, opaque with about 3/4 inch of head. The head dissipates about mid way through leaving just a ring at the end. The carbonation was pleasant; I did not find it low on carbonation as others noted (purchased on tap at the Beer Garden in Eugene). The smell is sour (cherries mostly) with some stone fruit coming through, and oak. Taste (in order it seemed) was sour cherry, oak and the dark roasted grain. None of these components overwhelmed the others and the balance was just right. This is mostly a sour, but with some terrific complementary flavors.

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Photo of colts9016
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have another variation of this beer hiding in my cellar. When I first hear about a tart sour, I was like ooh, but what the heck is going taste like. Well my questions will have answers at the end of the review. Poured into my Surly Furious glass at 45 degrees. A two-finger medium tan head with okay retention, the head is creamy and foamy; furthermore, the head did not leave any lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is dark brown/black and is opaque. I can see any lacing on the glass.
Dark roasted malt, bready, toffee, caramel, a sourness, fruity, earthy, wood, citrus, pine, coffee, and some chocolate.
Dark roasted malt, toffee, funky, fruity, earthy, wood, citrus, pine, light coffee, and some chocolate.
Medium plus carbonation, medium body, a touch of astringency, and full finish.
The carbonation really helps with body of the beer and gives some lightness. I really like the idea of sour stout, I was not sure what to expect from this beer. The stout is excellent the flavors meld well together and finishes strong. I really like this beer, cannot wait to try the one with cherries and vanilla.

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Photo of stortore
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a snifter at first, switched to a tulip glass. 2016 edition, had 11/3/16.

Pours dark, mostly opaque, with a one inch quickly dissipating head, no noticeable lacing. The smell is tart, cherries- more as it warms, some yeast, vinegar, light malt, light chocolate, some vanilla, light red wine when fully warmed. The taste is some big sour up front, tart, cherries, light plums, some malt and vanilla. The tartness does linger on the finish. Smooth, lighter bodied than expected, well carbonated. Not overly acidic for the level of tartness and sourness.

This is a good, enjoyable sour, but really wouldn't stretch it into calling it a sour stout- no roasty malts, etc. Good flavor and aroma, enjoyable to drink, but a pretty high price point for what you get.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black in color with just a fractional amount of light penetration. There's a fingernail of brown around the rim. Aroma is of black licorice, roasted barley, plum, caramel, and a hint of smoke. Initially I taste roasted barley and a burst of sour brettanomyces. At the back of the palate I taste roasted barley and smoke and then I'm left with a lingering tardiness from the brettanomyces. The mouth is lightly chewy and alcoholic. An amazing sensory rollercoaster!

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This one is kind of tough to review to style, but I suppose Wild Ale is the best description. Although I am curious on how the base beer was brewed as it stikes me as a cross between an American Stout or a Black Ale.

From the bottle: "Sour Stout Aged in Oak Barrels", "...this sour black ale", "Sauerstaut", "...contortion of style and flavor"

It is a muddy/dirty dark brown to black with some grape juice like shading. Not much head here. Just a bit fizzy on top.

Smells very, very sour and very acidic. Vinegar, sour dark fruits, and hiding in the background some roasted malt and chocolate.

It really tastes pretty much like it smells other than the background aromas come to the foreground a bit more, especially after you adjust to the very dominant sour flavor and acidness. There is an almost overbearing vinegar, sour cherry, or more like cranberry. The oak is very faint, but as mentioned, the darker smoky malts and chocolate become more noticeable and begin to balance it a bit. It tastes like a black ale with no hop profile. There is a lingering balsalmic vinegar taste along with a red wine flavor.

The body is heavy if we are talking wild ale. As for a stout, a bit thinner. Not as carbonated as I would have guessed, but still a crisp bite to it.

Enjoyable beer overall. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone indifferent on sours.

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Photo of LAp
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An exciting beer. One that arguably would have fit better at our Flanders Red tasting than Oude Tart. Pours a deep brown with a touch of red, alongside a mocha head. Nose is much more flanders red than stout. The palate is dominated initially by lactobacillus sour, touches of balsalmic vinegar, and dark cherry (with the slightest hint of raspberry). The stout element comes only at the end, as a dark, roasty finish. Mouthfeel is medium (again, more Flanders Red than stout). An impressive chimera. The art of this beer lies in its reservation with incorporating the stout elements. The base of this beer is an extraordinary sour, altered from its style-of-origin only by its darker color and unique finish.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT 9.4 FL. OZ bottle
Served in a beer flute
2013 Edition

This beer pours black with no light coming through. It is topped with less than an inch of mocha head the disappears almost immediately leaving no trace of its existence.

The smell is tart cherry, plum and even a little chocolate.

The taste The sour overwhelms the stout. I can detect hints of roasted malt, but after three years the sourness is omnipresent. I can get some dark fruit notes. This is sour, and I am loving it.

Medium to mouth puckering mouthfeel

As soon as I smelled this beer I knew that I would like it. It is a delicious sour stout. I would like to try it freshly bottled to see exactly what three years did. I would not pass up another opportunity to try it again.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My first sour stout! It pours a dark brown (looks more like a porter, IMHO) and the minimal tan head disappears almost immediately. The aromas are dar chocolate, roasty char, and sour - lots and lists of sour.

The taste has waves of sour, all the way through the taste - and then some dark chocolate and roasty flavors at the end to rein the sour in just a bit. The feel is over the top, just wave after wave of effervescent magnificence.

And now I've gotta search for more sour stouts.

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Photo of ReviewingUnderInfluence
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Next to zero head of a light brown colour on a dark brown body. Not much to look at but looks can be deceiving. Sour, mouthpuckering lemon, dark fruits, some more lemon, hints of roast coffee and nuts, some red wine, balsamic and more lemon. She's a sour stout alright!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tart of darkness pours black with a small tan head. Sour and oak aromas. Taste is smooth, lots of sour and oak. Great feel. Overall very solid sour.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate-ruby with fading tan foam. 4
Concord grape, wine barrel, and vanilla. 4
Chocolate, a gentle Balsamic hum, slight tart, blackberry, hints of burnt toffee, root beer barrel, and some deep wood. 4.25
Crisp, light, soft. 4.25

Lacto sorbet fizz makes for a nice body. Fruit and sour are perfectly balanced. A great food beer, but is it a stout? Either way, subtle, round, and mature. 4.5

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Photo of mac31
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tart, bright acidic backbone smacks the palate right away. The sour notes-bright, acid, (light) vinegar, tannic-like-reverberate along palate. At times I found my mouth puckering. This was followed by sweet cherry, chocolate, some vanilla and a baking spice of some sort, possibly cinnamon(?). This is a very interesting meld of flavors, it works. As the beer warmed and evolved chocolate covered cherries (think tootsie roll chocolate) became a more apt description. The acid, brightness, and tartness remained pretty intense and consistent from start through the finish. The sour note was a little much for me, but moderate when compared to other styles/sours on the market. Overall I liked the beer, didn't love the beer. I've had three or four Bruery sours so far and when they are on, they're on. When not, they are pedestrian and pricey. I lean toward the latter with this one.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 750 ml bottle at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Wausau. This is 2016 release, and it's now about two months old. Poured right from the fridge into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep coffee/cola brown with about an inch of light khaki head that dissipates fairly quickly like soda down to nothing--no film, no ring, no lacing. At the edges where the light strikes through, the beer is a slightly ruddy golden brown.

S: The sour notes fairly well dominate the bouquet, with their apple cider vinegar tones. Underneath, and quite subtle, there are some roasted malt and coffee notes. Just a touch of chocolate coming through, as well.

T: Tons of sour right up front, with a white wine or apple cider vinegar quality to it. It's a bit arresting when you're looking for some semblance of stout there. Toward the middle, there's seems to be a bit of building citrus hop astringency, but it's difficult to tell with how intense the sour is. Moving toward the back, you begin to put up some of the fruit--I'm getting mostly cherry and raspberry--and traditional malt flavors. Even at the close, the malts take a backseat to the sour fruit, but it does finish with a bit of roastiness, along with the subtle vanilla and oak from the barreling. The aftertaste has lots of sour, and there's a lingering taste of chocolate-covered cherries left on the palate.

F: This one is medium-bodied with very low carbonation. It does have quite a creamy and smooth feel in the middle, but most of the sensation is that bright astringency. It leaves quite a wine-like impression.

O: I haven't had a lot of different sours, but this is certainly the first sour stout that I've tried. It's a very interesting marriage between the sharp sour notes and the earthy and roasty stout malt bill. It works much better than I thought it would. This one is so sour that it's definitely a sipper, and I would think it would work best as a digestif or dessert beer--I have a feeling it would be phenomenal paired to anything with dark chocolate. I don't know that it was worth the price I paid for this bottle, but I'm glad that I got to try it.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown, almost completely prohibits light to pass through. Has a large tan brown head upon pouring...but completely settles down to nothing. Aroma is delicious, notes of tart cherry mingles with light roastiness, cacao and brief vanilla. Very bracing tartness upon first sip...a huge blast of lactic acid. A smooth finish that has medium body. Definitely a tasty dark sour

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice black with minimal head and lacing. The smell is, as expected, very tart. It reminds me of sweet tarts. At first sip, it is very tart and sour. There is almost no stout taste when first sipped. However, as it warms up, the malty presence will be there in the sip and the lingering aftertaste. This is where it shines. I would recommend serving this on the warm side similar to a stout.

Generally, I don't like sours, but I love stouts. This combination works well for me and is really the only sour beer I would seek out to drink.

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Photo of yung_peli
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Very dark brown, reddish hues, slightly transluscent, mocha head that recedes quickly, no lacing
AR: Dark fruit, plum, chocolate
T: Follows nose, oak, lactic funk, roasty, hints of caramel, well balanced and good tart/sour factor, some bitter tannins on finish
M: Low carbonation, somewhat thin but rounded body

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Photo of ajm5108
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with almost zero head or carbonation. Aroma emits lots of rich dark chocolate with a distinct undertone of tart berry (raspberry / strawberry / a little grape) & just the faintest earthiness from the oak. It smells decadent & inviting, like chocolate strawberry cake. The taste loses some of that stout backbone & really focuses on the tart berry flavor, especially upfront. It has just the right amount of tingliness for me, tart & sour but not lactic or vinegary. The chocolate malt comes in towards the end & helps even it out and finishes easy. Picked up a distant bourbon note as well from the barrel aging. Just enough to give the end character but not clash with the rest of the beer. A rare style done expertly.

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Photo of Mistamakkus
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The first soured stout I've had the pleasure of consuming. At first, a sour stout sounded absolutely horrendous, even though I'm a huge fan of both stouts and sours, but wow. This beer delivered. Very fruity and creamy up front, but as the acidic mouthfeel wears off, you get deep, roasty malt flavors on the back end. Starts like a good tart wild ale, finishes like a dark roasted stout.

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Photo of Jovial_Libations
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour out of a 750 ml bottle into a glass. Pours dark with beige head, plenty of carbonation.

Smells sour and sweet with hints of oak. Tastes tarty and fruity, lot of citrus, blackberry. Perfectly balanced. Very refreshing.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hits that dark brown appearance, looks clean inside. Small beige head goes away quickly. Aroma was wildly sour, wow, way up there on the 1-10 scale. Some roast behind that, a little bit of oak. Smells a little fruity, even though this isn't the fruited version.

The mouthfeel and taste are super sour and dry. Its not a thick ass viscosity stout. A real treat at under $20 for a bottle. Subsequent to its release, they came out with the even better cherry and vanilla version which gives more balance and complexity to the mouthfeel.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

A: Dark brown. Poured 2 fingers high of foam.
S: Tangerine. Black berries. Moderate chocolate.
T: Sharp sourness. Slightly roasty aftertaste. Dry. Low bitterness.
M: Medium body. Low carbonation.
O: The wildly sourness dominant the taste, unfortunately. I expected it would be more stout and oak centric but it's definitely not. The overall profile is actually similar to some Flanders Oud Bruin, not as special as the web page claimed. It also very pricey here, so disappointing.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shy or deceptive black, with a quickly fleeting tan bubble head.

Smell is purple grape, and a lot of it, with black pepper, red wine, oak, and a hint of rotting peach funk.

Taste is smokey brown-like malt, with red wine, tart grape, sesame seed, and toasted tortilla. A little acetic vinegar emerges, but it's not a tongue shredder for even a moderate sour drinker. Oak and vine become more forward over time.

Full and frothy, finishing dry.

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Photo of THSmusicman
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml. bottle poured into a Teku glass.

Look: Like a relatively low ABV stout, light shines through. The head is a half finger of off white, bubbles.

Smell: Wow! Smells sour! Smells like cherries, blackberries, raspberries, a bit of apple, a bit of oak and the stout shows up on the back end with a brown sugery, malty smell.

Taste: This beer is very tart! Picking up all of the fruits, the oak, a slight vanilla taste, and the roasted malts on the end of the sip.

Feel: Feels very smooth and almost creamy. I attribute that to the stout part of this beer. It goes down very smooth.

Overall: This beer is absolutely amazing! Definitely a top 5 for me. I was a bit off-put by the idea of a sour stout because I didn't expect either flavor to shine very well but this proved me very wrong! If you like mouth-puckering sours and stouts, you must grab a bottle of this!

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Photo of ta_hagen
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

By far one of my favorite's from The Bruery... The taste is very nice as well, malty, yeasty, very nice tartness, with some hints of chocolate, nice little funk. Medium body, with a very nice dry, slightly bitter finish. A dark fruit upfront, reminiscent of a fine stout, with a very nice, very sour finish. Overall, a great lovely happily tasty brew that will make you pucker with good tidings.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage
Bottled On: 6/22/15 #223
Bottle Conditioned
7.2% ABV

Poured into a chalice a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice small quick/fizzy/creamy light tan head, which does leave some small islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, funky, tart, with some nice chocolate, roastyness. The taste is very nice as well, malty, yeasty, very nice tartness, with some hints of chocolate, nice little roastyness, nice funk. Medium body, with a very nice dry, slightly bitter finish. Overall, a very tasty brew. I've never had a bad brew from them, but then again I've only had about 13 of them, so far.

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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,422 ratings.
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