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Tart Of Darkness | The Bruery

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Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness
BA SCORE
4.23/5
Exceptional
2,443 Ratings
Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#900
Reviews:
374
Ratings:
2,443
pDev:
10.87%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
313
Gots:
810
Trade:
81
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,443 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours looking like cola. No head and very, very deep amber body.

S: sweet and sour cherries, brown sugar and a little confectioners chocolate. Little else but very good.

T: Initially the sourness hits pretty hard with sour cherry and strawberry. Late the oak, milk chocolate, toffee, roasted malt and brown sugar come in but these don't linger very long with the cherry still lingering to the finish.

M: medium to thick body and high carbonation.

Overall: Very good beer. May be a little over the top sour even for the style. But flavorful and a must try.

 562 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared during Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour grape and cherry aromas along with some dark malt notes. Taste is pretty much the same with a very grape-like aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some interesting smells and flavors.

 526 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

finally! I have been after this one for a long time, what a rare treat, a sour stout, not too many of these on the market. its got a velvety textured almost black pour, without a ton of visible carbonation, but just under an inch of fairly robust tannish head. the nose is sour, I mean real sour, as sour as anything ive smelled, save maybe their motherfunker. the sour trumps the blackness of the stout, and the chocolate malt, roasted barley, and barrel are all sort of muted behind the acidity and lactic funk of the nose here. the taste is a little more in balance, and it starts off dark and roasty as expected. I get subtle sweetness, spice, and more complex grain, but before I have time to contemplate any of that, it transforms instantly into a sour bomb, not overly acidic like some bruery sours, but softly feeling brutally sour, if you can imagine such a sensation. the huge body of this beer and its really dark malty earthiness keep the sour in check just long enough to form a really intriguing flavor profile. it is truly different, like nothing else ive had. the stout itself reminds me a lot of darkness, with some cherry and other fruit in the finish. the sour here plays on those fruit notes and carries it away. great idea, brilliantly executed. the bruery has a real knack for doing that, which is why I will always come up with the money to try their new stuff, especially the sours and wilds. this is a treasure.

 1,436 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out looking pretty good, nice dark black color with a light tan head on top. The retention is minimal just leaving a ring around the glass. There wasn't much lacing on this brew either. The smell of packed with sour notes, there is some oak in there as well. The aroma of some dark fruits come out but are quickly overwhelmed by the strength of the sourness. The taste is exactly what the label says, it's tart with a bit of the dark malts in there to balance it out a little. The mouthfeel is dry, tart and a bit thinner than I expected. Overall it's a decent beer, not worth the price tag in my opinion but was nice to share with some people.

 651 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of metter98
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is extremely dark red (black when viewed from afar) in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of tart cherries are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has tart flavors of sour cherries along with notes of vinegar.
M: The beer is light-bodied and very tart on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. It makes your mouth pucker.
O: If you can handle all of the tartness, this beer isn't that difficult because it isn't too sour. It is a good beer to clean your palate with.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Incredible sourness laid upon a dark and mysterious base. Flavors come out in new and evoking ways with dark grains, fruit and palate-piercing acidity. Aptly named, Tart of Darkness is as ominous, dreary and shaddowy as it sounds.

Opening with a dark plumb color with tawny bronze low lights, the beer simmers in the glass with tepid carbonation to give the ale a slight coffee-like appearance. Its dark and ruddish appearance is slightly haze and gives the ale a rather rusty darkness. Sparse on lacing, the ale almost prefers wine-like appearances over that of ale.

Savory and tart, the aromas nearly cause sweating and mouth whetting with its utter sour fruit character. Black cherries, plumbs, blackberries, blackcurrants and red grapes give a highly tangy but robust scent. A musty aura of sea air, weathered oak and saddle leather add to the beer's boisterous scent. However, its the vinous wine-like character that joins into notes of soy sauce, coffee grounds, dark chocolate and balsamic for a highly complex nose.

To taste, the beer's fruit strikes first- plumb and black cherry leading the way. But the savory sourness rises next with balsamic, merlot, sour plumbs, tangy berries and grapes to give the beer a wildly wine-like and briny character. Its thin sweetness seems to give the dark fruit a sense of "ripeness" before its dry cider taste takes hold. Yet a toastier, chocolaty and coffee taste lurks deep in the backdrop and assists in the beer's bold complexity.

Medium-dry early, the beer's dark fruit and slim sweetness thwarts its light carbonation to go from creamy to toasty-dry in a hurry. Its jaw-piercing acidity provides plumb skin astringency to heighten its sourness in finish.

I see this as a Flanders Red turn Oud Bruin, turn Sour Porter in the most unique and seductive way possible. Its a procession into a direction that allows its darker side to assist in its sour dryness. Simply sublime at every turn.

 1,943 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, 2013 edition. Purportedly (and hopefully) the unfrozen batch that recently made it to Alberta.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with prominent cola highlights, and two hefty fingers of rather fizzy, frothy, and tightly bubbly beige head, which leaves little beyond a few specks of lonely island lace around the glass as it quickly flashes away. Quite a loud beer, I'd say.

It smells of an acrid, vinegar-like sourness, like well-oxidized red wine, essence of cherry, lightly roasted bready, faintly caramelized malt, bitter dark chocolate, fruity cola dilute, a hint of woody funk, and a soft musty earthiness. The taste is still quite side palate-tickling tart, but now with a more overt fruity bent, the cherry, raspberry, and even unripe strawberry really coming through, yet up against a somewhat less than sturdy wall of gritty bready malt, bittersweet cocoa, and woody, nondescript oak. Some mild funky, almost cheesy notes and soft earthy hops add further, distracting complexity. No evidence of the 7 points of booze.

The carbonation is adequately sassy, and duly supportive of all the funk, tart, and acidity, the body on the lee side of medium weight, due to the same culprits, and weirdly more smooth than I would have thought at the outset. It finishes still tart and fruity, the malt and funk hanging on, but visibly fading.

I'm a bit surprised at the malt's lesser role here, though it could be that it was all that it could do to stave off the funky, acetic acid onslaught. This one's still all about the sour - it just looks dark. Glad I got a chance to hit a bigger serving, after missing out on this at GABF last year.

 1,667 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Beer Sommelier Antwerp Beer Passion Weekend stemglass. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I don't know why I keep giving The Bruery chances but this looked good. Acquired at a locla beer store for something like 23$.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger khaki head of very appealing cream, good thickness, nice smooth rolling foam, and brilliant retention. Colour is a very dark brown-black. Nontransparent but non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Bacteria, wild tart fruit, wild yeast, clean malts, and some cream. A mild strength aroma, but a subtle one.

T: Wild tart fruit greets you fully up front, giving you a rough awakening that mellows into a friendly greeting over time. It goes for the sourness, and I like it. Tart fruit - blueberries, grape, and sour raspberry - are all present, adding depth to the sourness and really bringing out the focus. It's pretty sour, but not quite puckerworthy. The clean malts dissipate on the finish, generating a nice fizzy effect that highlights the dying fruit. Little bacteria or wild yeast comes through, but that that does is fantastic. I'm actually rather impressed - a rarity for The Bruery's beers. It's damn good. Very bold with its flavours yet still masterfully balanced. Complex, vibrant, and multifacted. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Brilliantly crystalline coarse, tingling yet supportive of the slight touches of cream. The mouthfeel helps highlight the flavour while guiding you through. Carbonation is perfect. Truly a remarkable complement to the taste.

Dr: I have to admit The Bruery has impressed me for a second time. This is one of their few beers I'd get again, though I'm not certain it's worthy of the price. Quite drinkable for a sour. Hides its modest ABV well. I'd recommend it to friends, but it does hit the wallet pretty hard.

Certainly worth cellaring.

Would pair well with acidic foods, especially salads. Also berries.

A-

 2,096 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for sharing, I think this is a 2012 bottle.
Served in a mini-nonic, quick review transcribed from written notes.

Dark brown with glints of ruby in the light, tan foam on the surface, with spotty lace around the edges.

Apple butter aroma with some red wine vinegar sharpness.

Very sour and puckering, salivary glands get working into overdrive. Traces of roasted malt from the stout base, and some vinous dark fruit. Heavily acidic up front, and lightly drying in the finish. Overall enjoyable in small doses, though the sourness seems a little one dimensional and overpowering at times.

 606 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a modest amount of bubbling foam that quickly fades, leaving a ringlet; not much lacing

Smell: Sour cherry, with generous undertones of chocolate and oak, along with hints of coffee and smoke

Taste: The cherry flavors become increasingly tart as the beer is swirled across the tastebuds, releasing chocolate, oak, smoke and coffee elements; the acidity only increases, after the swallow, though the chocolate and roasted malt returns to add depth and the finish presents a hint of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation and a moderate pucker factor

Overall: Just outstanding; really enjoyed the layers of flavor and the interesting approach to the style; easily my favorite beer from The Bruery

Thanks, nicks6217, for the opportunity

Note: Revisiting the 2014 version, I find the beer has more of a vinous character, with a range of lactic berry flavors joining the cherry and I don't find as much of the chocolate or smoke from the earlier version; quite a good beer, but also different from what I remember

 1,085 characters

Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown with some light coming through when the light hits the edges. There is a half finger of off white head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Tart with some roast and fruit notes. I'm getting some vinegar and red berries. Just a little bit of sweetness to this beer.

Taste: This one is quite sour with some vinegar and red berry notes. The is a slight roasty chocolate notes in the background. A very nice balance to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a very dry finish. There is a slightly acidic quality here as well.

Overall: Usually I'm not a huge fan of roasty sour beers, but this one was done right. I would definitely have another one.

 760 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour cherry, green apple, cranberry, red grape, clove, oak, pepper, cocoa, light roast, hay, leather, red wine vinegar, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Incredible aromas with great complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with moderate barrel presence, and a touch of roasted notes; with great strength. Taste of huge sour cherry, cranberry, tart green apple, red grape, pear, clove, oak, light cocoa, light roast, toast, red wine vinegar, leather, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Big fruity acidic sourness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart dark and light fruits, clove, oak, hay, leather, light cocoa, light roast, toast, red wine vinegar, funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and fruity, earthy, and acidic yeast flavors with a fair amount of roasted presence; with a very nice puckering acidity and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a highly acidic, lightly slick, and slightly crisp mouthfeel that is excellent. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible sour ale! All around fantastic complexity and balance of flavors with big sourness; and very smooth to sip on, even with the big acidity. This was hardly representing a stout in malt backbone(no idea on age); but damn was this insane as a sour in general.

 1,643 characters

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Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 2,443 ratings
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