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Tart Of Darkness | The Bruery

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Tart Of DarknessTart Of Darkness
2,443 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,443 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of flannelman808
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with hints of purple. light tan head in small quantity.

S: Lots of tart dark fruit maybe a suggestion of chocolate.

T: Tasty stuff... Black tart plumb and lemon intermingle with grapefruit juice and maybe a touch of lime zest. Chocolate isn't really there though It would have been a nice accent. Nice balance of acid and sweet to finish with a high degree of dryness.

M: Arid

O: Good well made beer, I would have it again.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark, a finger or so of tan head.

S - Chocolate, some roastyness, a small bit or sourness.

T - Mostly sour and tart notes notes on this one, a bit of funk. Touch of citrus. Some slight stout flavors come through in the finish, coffee chocolate, but not much.

M - About medium with a decent amount of carbonation.

O - Good. I am generally not into sours but I really like this beer.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to a few BA’s for this beer (have three left!) – Cavery, mrmiles, and Amdy. Cheers all! Shared with my brother-in-law while on vacation in Michigan.

Appearance – Pours a relatively dark brown color, though not opaque, into a tulip glass. One can see the consistency is lighter than heavier. With a moderate pour, slight mocha colored head is achieved that dissipates quickly leaving slight lacing.

Smell – The first instance is the typical stout aromas – burnt malts, chocolate, and some coffee roast. But this aroma almost immediately fades to the typical sour. Nice tart and barnyard funk, cherries, oak, lactic notes, and citrus.

Taste – Quite impressive. I was hoping I’d enjoy this stout since I love JP’s Madrugada Obscura. This did not let down. While the stout characteristics dominated up front, they were on the back end in the taste. The initial flavors consist of sour cherries, tartness, barnyard funk, wet hay, and oak. As this fades the stout flavors begin to emerge (though not as pronounced – this is more of a sour than a stout in my opinion). A nice charred malt and slight cocoa flavor emerges, mixed with just a hint of coffee. Overall, mainly a sour.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, plenty of carbonation. Not as heavy as I first expected, but one must take into consideration this is only a 5% “stout”.

Overall – A wonderful beer. Very glad I was able to try this (and a big shout out to mrmiles for giving me this as an extra) and am very happy to have a few more to age for a year or two. Recommended.

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Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Bruery tick provided by womencantsail. Thanks, Andrew.

Appearance: Dark brown body verging on black, with a short-lived light brown crust.

Smell: Surprisingly stout. I was expecting more of a dark Flanders style beer from this, but it really does have a substantial stout base. Quite roasty and charred, but also very lactic. Mild fruitiness comes out as it warms.

Taste/mouthfeel: Very sour, leaning heavily toward clean lactic sourness. The stout base is still surprisingly prevalent, lending some nice roasty and bready notes. It's an intriguing mix of flavors. There's a touch of cherry-like fruitiness and barrel in here, but it's buried beneath the lacto and roasted malt. Very unique stuff, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.17/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a bottle with BHOBS and Alucard4

Look: Black as night with a 1/4 tan head and no retention

Smell: Right off the bat are hints of sour cherry not really what I am looking for in a stout. If you search hard enough you will find hints of chocllate malt and some oak

Taste: The sourness that is overpowering hides all of the characteristics of a stout. All you pick up is the sour cherry it is a one way street in my opinion as far as taste goes. The taste is not bad but it is in no way a stout

Mouthfeel: Very water for a stout with a medium amount of carbonation

Overall: If you go in thinking this is a stout you will be let down because this is essentually a sour made with black patent or chocolate malt or roasted barley. It looks like a stout and that is about it. If you are a fan of sours you will appreciate this beer.

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Photo of Klym
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smelled this thing and decided to pour it into a tulip. Shared with Cavery.

A: Pours black with a very light brown head that is darker toward the bottom. Nice thick two finger head with a one finger ring of lacing when tilting the glass. The beer seems thin-looking though, which is strange with the very stout appearance. As I drink this thing it really leaves monster curtain lacing.

S: This thing smells like a flanders. Sweet and tart dark cherry notes with some woody notes, a bit of chocolate and some spice. True to the name, I'm guessing this one will be tart.

T: Woah, tons of weirdness to this one but I'm loving it. Starts off with a classic flanders tart cherry start that I expect it to finish out with, then it fades with some blueberry notes and finally quickly and suddenly u-turns into a burst of more stoutish flavors, with a highly condensed shortbread/graham cracker mix dipped in coffee with blueberry lightly infused chocolate drizzled ontop and the tart dark cherry staying as an overhang. Very funky, very interesting, pretty delicious!

M: Medium-light bodied with tons of carbonation, again very flanders like. Slides down easily and leaves a little tartness burn on the back of the throat.

O: This was super interesting, I definitely recommend trying it. There are tastier stouts out there, but this one is very unique and complex. Very glad to have tried this and big applause to the bruery for such a bizarre and fascinating beer. If you love to ponder a beer and defuse it, look forward to some hours spent on this.

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Photo of Cavery
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared with Klym, recently acquired from the provisions.

Poured into a generic tulip/snifter... one of those in between glasses.

A: Brown/Black completely ink black opaque coffees. A conservative pour yielded a solid two fingers of head that left scrambled egg on a nonstick pan lacing. Some of the patches of lacing are really thick, with some abnormally sticky textures. A layer of foam sits atop the beer with a larger than normal creamy off-white hat.

S: Smells a lot like a flanders oude bruin to me, very typical bretty character. This offering doesn't come off vinegary at all, if anything there is certainly a restrained oaky wood character to the nose. Fresh bread and butter pickles come to mind with a level of sweetness that dominates any potential vinegar notes. A bit of a kimchi linger. This is interesting. Sweet Chinese red bean desserts come to mind. A refined and restrained nose with specific notes.

T: Whoa bam, super ultra tart blueberry flavors with an intense puckering tartness. I was NOT expecting that level of in your face sourness. vinegars are subdued, but weird flavors peak up through the tartness. Faint swirling smokey roasts break through the warhead sour intensity to reveal the first ever coffee cream warhead. I mean what in the world. This is absolutely a blend of styles to the point that it is almost its own beer. Familiar stout flavors hide behind an incredibly puckering and tart beer. Roasts coffee, cherries, blueberries, and almonds make for a tart breakfast of champions. In between flavors of biscuity deep fry, and sweet potatoe chips. Honestly there's some mind-blowing complexity here.

M: Microfiber bubbles form a wet suit-like fabric over the mouth. This thing is ultra-fine, but thick feeling in the mouth. A full body as far as I can tell, but I guess it depends on how you interpret the mouth. This is either a full bodied flanders oude bruin, or a medium-light bodied stout. In either case, this is an absolute head trip. An ultra drying mouth leaves you with just enough moisture to avoid the feeling of an oral desert. This is a tropically drying mouth feel, where humidity keeps just enough moisture in the mouth to avoid sandpaper dryness. So crazy, so insane, and so cool.

O: I wasn't ready for a beer like this, but I also assumed it was possible. This was a very challenging drink in terms of palate exploration. First off, you have very strong associations with specific beer styles that seem to converge in this beer. On one end you have a flanders oude bruin, and on the other you have a stout. In this beer, you get imperial stout flavors in a flanders oude brown sensory experience. Not only is it quite literally that, but new flavors emerge in the simultaneous experience of both styles. Blueberries emerge between tart sweetness and coffee roastiness. Blackberries creep up behind the drying up flavors of the blueberries. This is new and exciting for me. Such discipline in maintaining the integrity of two totally different styles, yet deconstructing them in a way that it becomes possible to combine them. I applaud this effort loudly, and I think The Bruery's craft is second to none in the American Beer movement. They are at the top with a select few other breweries, and this beer is yet another piece of compelling evidence in the assertion of that fact.

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Photo of grotonmarketguy
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My boy Nevins came through with this bottle. We both agreed if you close your eyes you'd think this was a Cantillon. Some sort of blend between a stout and a Geuze. A black Geuze. Simply amazing. Not alot of barnyard funk in the nose as this is pretty young still but tons of sour. How did they do it? I'd say a bit more body than say Cantillon Geuze and a very faint (toffee) sweetness is hiding way in the corners. Wish I had more of this bad boy for the beer cellar.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bruery Tart of Darkness Sour Stout, 5.5% abv

A: It has a deep black hue with cola colors at the edges. Mild carbonation with tiny bubbles and no lacing.

S: Some malt but mostly sweet dark grapes with souring and vinegar notes. The last finish has a tiny bit of cocoa but the vinous notes override.

T: What a crazy merging venn diagram. It initially starts out with a huge tart almost gueze sourness to it. There are notes of tannins, grape skins, and sour black cherries. The final taste has this transition chocolate maltiness to it. It feels like when a Transformer goes from something bizarre like a bidet into a crazy cyborg.

M: The mouthfeel is nothing like the traditional stout in that it imparts a huge dryness and has none of the coating that you traditionally associate with a non-imperial stout. It performs so strong in the tart category the stout shows up brazenly at the end of each sip. Again, just a really strange finish overall.

D: This feels like eating ahi tuna and ice cream concurrently. There is a huge enjoyability to it, however, the fact that it straddles two divergent styles makes it sacrifice a purely drinkable experience. However, this might just be me being curmudgeonous and oppositional to change.

Narrative: Walter Chambers wasn’t the best pharmacy technician. He wasn’t the best mortician either. Somehow it was his relentless work ethic that kept him powering through both occupations day in and day out. After a solid 3 hours of sleep, he would saunter in, smelling of formaldehyde, dark circles under his eyes. “Yeah, car…car problems and…so did we get that Abilify shipment come in?” His dark wrinkled suit had strange stringent notes that wafted through the CVS pharmacy. “WALTER!” He snapped out of a brief nap and realized that he could see his breath in the ice cold body preparation room. “Walter, I told you to prep the gauze wrap and you go off for a sno-” Walter slipped back into blackness.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Bruery Snifter. Pours a deep black. Had a nice tan head but dissapated to a ring. Ok lacing.

Aroma is interesting. Has that coffee roasted smell. Not a ton but then has that tart funkiness that a good sour has.

Taste is similar. You get that tart sourness of a good sour like temptation and then on your tongue lingers that roasted malt flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and dry. Mid to high carb.

Overall im impressed by this one. Didn't think much of it at first glance but I'm glad I picked it up to try.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is dark brown, bordering on black, with a large brown head.

S: There is a very pronounced lactic sourness which is the first thing I pick up. A mild roasted malt character and some subtle notes of sour cherries. There is oak in the background and a hint of chocolate.

T: The flavor is very sour, as I expected. A nice complexity comes from cherry and dark fruit flavors. A more subtle roasted malt note than you might anticipate with plenty of oak and hints of lemon zest and grass.

M: The body is on the light end of medium with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Really a solid beer and one of the Bruery's better sours to this point.

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Photo of IKR
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark brown color, almost black but you can see it';s brown at the edges. Moderate beige head that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell: Mild funk, faint roast malts, and slight acetic notes.

Taste: Mild roast notes, citrus tones and very mild acetic notes, and a touch of funk. very faint tobacco notes are present in the finish which is fairly dry. Very interesting combination that works for me. i couldn't detect any alcohol, but then again it's only 5% ABV.

Mouth-feel: Moderate body with a fair level of carbonation.

Overall: Even though I do detect some slight roast notes, personally I'm categorizing this as a Wild Ale. A very unusual damn tasty one.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cool light brown appearance, almost transluscent despite the dark color. Aroma was definitely tart, sour, salivation inducing. Stay around, you'll get the usual suspects in a stout aroma, chocolate, mild coffee, even a little wood, even though I don't think this was barreled. Might even be cherry and another citrus aroma/flavor to it. Very impressed.

Oh yeah, big ol' sour taste surges in the lead, the typical irish dry stout flavors follow, this is SO easy to drink, no alcohol, no massivity of most (but excellent) Bruery stouts. Very easy to drink, while complex, unique, and loveable. I dunno if its the sour component, but I'd swear this has the slightest touch of cherry to it. Its like a soured, sessionable, small beer version of Cherry Chocolate Rain. It ain't equal parts sour/stout, its sour first, stout later.

Pretty good deal to at ~$15 for a 750. Wish I bought more. This is my favorite new beer of 2011 so far.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1 off tap:
Basically black. A ring with spotty lacing.

Burnt things. Raisin, prune, roastiness.

Burnt coffee flavors, light maple, mint, ash, oak mixed with sour grape; the sour levels here are very low.

Light and crisp. Tastes very watered down, flavor is muted.

Definitely not my cup of tea. This hybrid doesn't do it for me. My glass was the first of it off the Provisions tap line, maybe something went wrong but I definitely cant see this being an A beer. I didn't get much of any sour nor funk.

RE-REVIEW of Batch 2:

Definitely did I have a bad pour. Goes to show that you really have to give some beers a second chance if you think you received a bad batch or keg or bottle or whatever.

The beers color remains the same, while the smell is tartness and darkness.

The taste is sour cherry, oak, light vinegar, warhead sour, oh so bloody sour. Can't remember last time I had a sour so sour. The sweetness is a bit overwhelmed by the sour pang.

Light mouthfeel, mid levels of carbonation.

All together a very tasty beer, any sour craving will be quenched with this batch # 2.

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Photo of Overlord
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a surprising treat.

Pours a robust dark brown/blackish color with a small light head.

Smells is overwhelmingly acid washed funk, with maybe the tiniest bit of roasted chocolate. Very tiny. The stout aspect of this really only presents itself in the appearance and in a tiny bit of residual "heaviness" in terms of malt profile. It adds very little in terms of flavor or aroma.

Taste is a ton of overlapping sour notes, both an unidentifiable, quasi-citrus front-end, plus a surprisingly funky, earthy back-end that crinkles with barnyard mustiness.

I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised by this. Only slightly heavier than a "standard" sour, it is a complex, robust addition to the breed.

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Photo of aknight
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opening my first bottle of Bruery's Tart of Darkness I wasn't sure what I was going to think but I love all things sour and all things Bruery so I had to load up. This is amazing. It pours a dark, deep brown with a finger of head which quickly dissipates. The aroma is of sourness, almost vinegary. This is a truly sessionable stout, not huge like a certain other Bruery stout but if you love sours you would be able to drink this all night long. There is so much sourness going on that I don't get much else. There is some malt that is noticeable but this is largely about the sour. This is an amazing beer. I'm going to have to go back for whatever the Provisions store will let me buy.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

597th on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 ML

Split with GuruDel

App- A softer brown with deep garnet edges. One finger quick receding head. Dots of cling on this one. Not really a stout app. A little darker but was still fairly light.

Smell- No trace of a stout at all. Smelled mnd blowingly alternative to it. Was very tart, soft, citrusy, damp and sour.

Taste- No stout as I had mentioned. It was just a very tasty sour beer as Tyler and Patrick are known for. The oaky, sour notes are balanced, with a sweet,sour, pucker taste.

Mouth- Medium bodied and Medium/high carbed. Left a nice soft sour note.

Drink- Damn, This was so different but so tasty. So glad there is a 2nd bottle in the cellar on this one. Well crafted indeed.

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Photo of ajcobb24
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown beer. Not as deep dark brown to black as you would get with a Chocolate Rain or Black Tuesday. Some head (about one half of a finger)

S - you really can tell that there is something different about this stout. You get the common stout smells (oak, chocolate, coffee), but then you get some type of cellar funk usually experienced with an American Wild Ale or a Lambic. Very interesting.

T - I like Parabola and KBS as the standards for stouts. Being that those are slightly different styles than this one though, I would have to say this is probably one of the best of this style that I have had. You get some upfront cellar funk (probably from that bacteria that they put in there), and this then morphs into the more common heavy coffee and chocolate notes you get with other stouts.

M - Very full bodied. A little less than an American Imperial Stout, but that is to be expected with the lower abv.

O - Very good beer. Not the best that I have had, but definitely worth a buy. Adding the American Wild Ale funk in with the traditional stout tastes could take some acquiring to, but I personally liked the meld.

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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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