Tart Of Darkness | The Bruery

Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness
Liked This Beer
4.23 w/ 2,440 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,440 |  Reviews: 373
Photo of derftron
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013 bottle split with friends into a snifter

smelled great. sour cherry stout smell. dark and fruity

poured very dark like a stout, mild carbonation and lacing

mouthfeel was nice. pretty standard

taste was very very sour. dont get me wrong, I love sour beers but this one was way out of balance. the souring agent completely took over and left very little to taste. I really was searching for the fruit that I could smell, but it was buried beneath the sourness. pretty let down given the price and reputation of The Bruery. I can name 20 sour beers that are better than this one. maybe aging would help, but I doubt it.

 625 characters

Photo of ChicagoNick
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Chugs13
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage- 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Almost opaque black, dark ruby colors at the bottom and more so when held to light. A fizzy tan, light mocha colored head quickly fizzled out to absolutely nothing. Some carbonation bubbles rising within the beer, but the dark color makes this hard to notice giving the appearance of a completely flat beer.

Less aroma noticeable than expected and quite different than expected. Chalky, chocolate roasted malt, sour pie cherries, as it warms a bit of lactic funk comes out and maybe just hints of oak.

Very nice taste, big sour pie cherry and lemon citric sourness/ acidity, not a whole lot of funk. Has a bit of that chocolatey roasted malt, but it really takes a back seat to the sourness. Hints of dark fruits at times.

Lightish side of medium bodied, lots of lingering acidity. Very drinkable.

A really nice beer, not terribly complex, but a nice unlikely combination of styles.

 941 characters

Photo of kris_n
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of ESPNman
4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Delirium Noel snifter.

A - Completely black. Jet, ink-black blackness. No head to speak of at all. No retention, no lacing.

S - When it first came out of the bottle, all I could smell was a lactic sour note that was overwhelming. As it warmed up a bit, some of the stout base came through. Still, that sour really overwhelms, but in a good way.

T - Wow. Overwhelming tartness. Cringe-inducing, eye-watering tartness. As it warms, some of the sweet stout notes come out. A little molasses, a bit of cocoa, and some earthy roasted malts. Finishes dry, and mouth puckeringly sour.

M - Good, dry, pretty thin, moderate carbonation.

O - This is a fantastic sour beer. It doesn't have the kind of vinegar-sweetness that something like Dutchess has. It's not a flanders-style sour. This is a wild ale, and it is a great representation of the style.

 861 characters

Photo of TTAmod
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap...10 oz. serving in a snifter.

A: Dark brown (nearly black) beer with a pretty thick off-white head to start with. The head dissipates very quickly and there's really nothing left after that.

S: Smell is pretty sour. Smells like cherries and other fruits with the unmistakable bacterial smell that sours are known for.

T: This trend continues into the taste, as well. Very, very strong sour notes along with mainly cherry. The sourness is relentless through the entire taste. No bitterness or roasted malt taste to speak of. Vinegar and strong fruit on the way out.

M: Pretty low carbonation...has the mouthfeel of a wine, almost. Body is pretty light. Easy drinking with no alcohol taste.

O: As usual, pretty good stuff from the Bruery. There's definitely enough sourness to make any sour lover happy. Not enough depth or complexity, though, and the appearance left much to be desired. Would recommend!

 918 characters

Photo of Raziel313
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of bamarado
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Brewer1980
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is so pleasant! I have had it from the bottle before, and was lucky enough to find it on tap in Northampton, MA.

It pours a dark dark brown. Appearing as if it may be a stout!

Once you smell it, that is when you know that you are getting into something really nice.
So much of a sour fruit smell.

The taste! It's great! Its got that sour and tart cherry taste. With a nice creamy finish.

There is so much going on in the mouthfeel of this beer. It has so much character.

I want to drink more and more of this.

 528 characters

Photo of PatGreer
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of biegaman
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The base for Tart of Darkness is only 5% alcohol but must have been dark and sinister-looking as any stout; barrel-aging has only muddied the complexion further, making it appear even darker yet. It's also killed off head retention, giving the beer a more daunting, oily complexion.

The aroma has a creeping sourness but is far more forward with notes of hazelnut, milk chocolate and a distinct Coffee Crisp-like flavour. There's elements of sweetness and roast, both of which are rarely witnessed in this style. There's very subtle hints of black licorice and oak too.

Roasted malt brings the complex flavour of American Sour Ales to another level, as hard as that may be to believe; it combines tastes of cocoa powder and instant coffee with the soured fruits and vinegar tang to create a chocolatey version of a port- and balsamic-like profile.

That being said, Tart of Darkness really doesn't drink any different from other sours; it has a stinging, throat-scrapping acidity, zippy carbonation, and fermented-fruit like tartness, beyond which no real roast can be appreciated. It's a delight if you like sour, repulsive if you don't.

Regardless of the base beer, when The Bruery reach for their special, magical blend of bacterias and yeasts you know how that movie is going to end: sour, delicious and pricey. These guys have done for 'funk' what Scorsese has for De Niro and DiCaprio or Burton for Depp: they work together almost exclusively and the genius of one has no doubt made the other a star.

 1,513 characters

Photo of Gonger19
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of DantheMan75
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of pourmeadrink
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ipc2000
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Flabbyjandro
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Canti4341
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of MajorBuckeye
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Cyclone8
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of firstlighthiker
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Baab200
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Acropora
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Tart Of Darkness from The Bruery
Beer rating: 92.9% out of 100 with 2,440 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.