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Otiose | The Bruery

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very good
69 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Otiose is an English word (pronounced ‘oh-shus’) which means “without practical purpose.” It was a beer developed by our brewers during a rare space in the brewing schedule simply to satisfy their own cravings for a sour brown ale fermented with guava. Rich with tropical notes and balanced by a mellow roast, this beer brings your mind directly to a decadent Hawaiian luau, complete with the roasted pig.

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 03-18-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 348
Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Snifter, reviewed from notes.

Pours a cloudy dark raisin brown color with a very short lived light brown head that faded into a thin but long-lasting collar. I get dark fruits, vanilla and lightly tart notes of berries and acid on the nose. The carbonation is soft but very frothy on my palate. Acid bites at my tongue but the mouthfeel is buttery and greasy. Full body. Flavors follow the nose with the addition of red fruits and a bit of apple. I thought this was nothing special but it’s not bad at all.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, spring '12
HF Wine Glass

A: Pours murky reddish hued brown color. Initially got nearly a full finger of light tan head. Leaves some sticky lacing all over glass on the swirl. Not a bad looking brew.

S: Getting that fruit character, but not sure its Guava. Actually pulling some tart cherry akin to a Flanders Red but less sour. Some caramel malt sweetness is there too. Maybe a touch of Balsamic vinegar like character too?

T: Some Flanders like tartness up front. Maybe not quite as tart, just like what I smelled. The malt bill is there in the middle of the mouth. Pulling some of those caramel like sweet notes. Meshes well with the light sourness of the brew. Leads to the typical dry finish. But it's not bone dry. This beers 8% ABV is really hidden. Drinks really easy.

M: Medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks Trxxpaxxs for a free bottle. Can't beat that price.

The beer pours a deep dark brown with a quarter inch of a dense tan head and a generous amount of lacing and murky looking sediment. The beer is quite effervescent and maintains a thin blanketing of head throughout drinking. The beer's nose is funky with lots of strong fruity esters and acetone and equally potent notes of a distinct guava. The taste is dank and sour with a hefty malt bill to bring balance and drinkability. It's really an impressive beer with initial sweetness, that's not distinctly guava, which changes as it trickles onto my palate and becomes this dry, tart beastly sour. The beer's %abv is not even a factor, almost completely masked by the beer's potent sourness. I'd place this beer as having a medium body with great fruit and sour characteristics that finishes super dry. I really enjoyed this beer and don't think I'd hold onto another bottle long enough to see how it ages...

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

750ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had good sours from The Bruery and I'm in the mood for the style.

Not paired with food. Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger khaki colour head - a bit thin - of nice cream and good retention. Body colour is a dark caramel-brown. Nontransparent; opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. A typical appearance for the style; there's nothing unique or special.

Sm: Fermented pineapple, tropical fruit esters, brown sugar, and traces of sourness. Too heavy on the pineapple. Kind of off-putting. An above average strength aroma.

T: Tart sourness hints on the climax. Caramel and fermented tropical fruit comprise the foundation. Little bacterial/wild yeast notes. Not particularly puckerworthy on the sour side of things. A weird medicinal note in the third act accompanies some acidity. Any oak is minimal. Balanced but underwhelming; I expect more complexity and subtlety in a sour. Some mellow malty notes in the late second act help guide it, but the backbone just isn't there.

Mf: A bit creamy. Coarse and tingly. Overcarbonated. Wet. Good thickness. Acidic.

Dr: Drinkable for its well hidden high ABV. It's quite pricey though. I wouldn't get this again; there are far better sours to be had at this price point - even from the same brewery. I'm glad I tried it, but it just doesn't bring the sourness and tartness as much as I'd like.


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Photo of stakem
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured in bruery snifter. The brew appears a dark brown with 3 fingers worth of thick khaki head. Some ruby clarity is noted when held to the light. A bit of patchy suds of lace stick to the glass and a swirl brings back a finger.

The smell is cheesy and funky with some fruited element that are minorly tropical along with earth and soft almost vanilla or caramel grain.The malt backing provided a nice contrast to the fruit and tart smell. As it warms up, acetone starts to poke through with hints of nail polish remover.

The taste has some caramel and vanilla sugar traces almost like figs, dates and molasses before getting sharp with lemony lactic acidity. There is a bit of lingering roast element almost a bit like bready grain towards the back. I think this brew has a very nice depth of compexity and despite having acetone in the nose, it is hidden pretty well in the flavor.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A pretty nice brew overall. There is just something about the dark burnt sugary quality of this brew that really plays well with the sharp acidity. The alcohol is masterfully hidden making this efforlessly drinkable. I find some Bruery sours to have an awkward amount of vinegar, this one does not have that which might be why I enjoyed it so much.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into taster - thanks pat

Dark amber-brownish color with thin layering of white head on top, fades into a few traces of film and lacing.

Stark sourness in the nose with funky yeast and tropical fruits. A bit of oaked wine, warming alcohol and earthiness. Hints of acid and vinegar.

Intensely sour on the tongue with acidity and hints of malt vinegar. Guava and tropical fruit add a touch of sweetness, but the beer remains pretty aggressive on the palate. Red wine, oak, hint of leather. Finishes dry and slightly rough.

Lighter medium body, high carbonation, extremely bubbly and full on the tongue. This one was a bit of a miss for me - a little too harsh and abrasive in feel and balance.

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Photo of beagle75
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tasting glass.

A: Hazy, medium brown color with over one finger of persistent cinnamon-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Floral and sharply oaky. Weak yeast funk is present but depth is lacking overall. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with oak, rye, cured tobacco, and moderate tartness. The middle turns toward the sweet as ripe generic fruit takes over. Wood is reasserted in the finish as other flavors become austere. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, balanced on the palate for the style, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: A respectable American wild ale, apparently inspired by Flanders-style sour beers but special in its own right. Oak outpaces fruit in all sensory categories, with the smell being the least developed. Flavors are much cleaner and focused on barrel and sour qualities, rather than brettanomyces complexity. This beer is as unapologetically original as Russian River's sour ales, and just as well crafted.

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Photo of jsanford
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a fizzy ivory head that settles to a thin ring and very wispy haze. Definitely smells like a Bruery beer, exhibiting their signature house funk, oak, sour fruits (doubt I would have guessed "guava", but ok), a touch of dark malt, and some vinegar. Taste is just as bracingly sour, with more vinegar and tart tropical fruit, more signature Bruery yeast, a touch of citrus, and a moderately roasty malt profile. Mouthfeel is crisp, with a medium body, ample carbonation, and a dry, puckering finish. Pretty intensely sour, honestly. Overall a neat sour, really pleased to try something so unusual.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Bruery tulip. Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a decent light tan head. Nose has a bit of guava an some slight acidity. Flavor pushes more acidity along with guava and light earth. Light and very dry. Much better than Sans P., IMO, but still not a huge winner.

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Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany color with a large, fizzy and frothy off-white head that leaves some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with generic tart fruitiness with underlying toasted/caramelized brown maltiness. As it warms I can detect some darker fruits including light fig and there is also a light oak, acidic and lactic presence in the background.

The tastes begin pleasantly oak a malt heavy, with a definite acetic, malt vinegar flavor joining soon after. As it warms I get some tropical and dark fruitiness, but a real secondary flavor compared to the generic sourness and brown malt flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with medium frothy carbonation. The finish has a balanced acidity and is quite easy drinking for being 8.2% ABV.

Overall this was a quality sour which I would purchase on a semi-regular basis due to the quality balanced flavor profile. Many people just want their beers super sour and do not enjoy the malt playing a factor but I am one that appreciates a quality malt backbone in any beer regardless of style. Reminds me of a toned down version of Marron Acidife from the same brewers.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a dark burnt sienna-like brown color. Produced a small cap of white froth. Good lacing.

(S)- A deep raisin, prune, and spicy oak acidity. Tiny hints at vanilla. Very very dry.

(T)- Similar to the smell. a nice spicy oak and dark fruit vinegar acidity combo.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Subtle tartness, but a definite dark fruit/oak/vinegar profile similar to a Flanders style.

(O)- Another solid sour by the Bruery. As I mentioned earlier, quite Flanders-like in style with a good profile. I think that in comparison to Marron Acidifie, Marron is a bit better if comparing similar beer profiles.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason or Chris - thanks to whomever it was. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Light tan foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and a few specks of lace. Murky dark brown colored body.

S - Smells a lot like a Flanders Oud Bruin, with malt, oak, and lactic sourness dominating. There's some nebulous fruit pulp in there, but I'd never guess guava from the aroma. Alcohol isn't apparent at all - would have guessed maybe 6%.

T - Again, a good amount of malt sweetness, with a brown ale profile that featured nuts, lightly toasted grains, and perhaps a hint of milk cocolate. Lactic acidity and oak abound, with some light tropical fruit flavors in the periphery. Not very acetic for a Bruery sour.

M - Smooth, medium body, with moderate carbonation. Dry and tannic finish, and well-hidden alcohol.

D - This is a pretty nice beer, and it's a step in the right direction for the Bruery sour program. It's nothing mind-blowing, but it's an enjoyable American spin on the Flanders Oud Bruin style. I'd drink this again, but I probably wouldn't actively seek it out.

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Photo of oline73
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark brown color with over a finger of off white head. The head sticks around pretty well and leaves some lace on the glass.

Smell: A bit lighter than most sour browns I've had. Definitely getting the tropical fruit and oak. I'm getting a mild funky with a touch of vinegar as well.

Taste: Follows from the smell with more tropical fruit. The guava is very nice with the sour notes. The oak is prevalent as well with some vinegar like sourness. The finish is fruity, oaky, and slightly funky.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with carbonation on the milder side with an extremely dry finish.

Overall: I was impressed by how well the tropical fruit went with the dark sour notes. The oak was quite good as well. I'm glad I have a few more of these stored away.

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Photo of jlindros
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Also shared with rudzud since the bible tells me so.

Nice creamy 1/2 finger head, fades semi slowly with nice head, hazy cola murky brown slight reddish sediment laden beer.

Nose great Flanders red, dark caramel malts, slight reddish. Great sour malt, tart fruit, some sour cherry and tart guava, little tart berry, and just a bit of funk. Just a touch of vanilla oak.

Taste starts light brown malts again, caramel reddish toasty, great sour malts, tart fruits, sour cherry, light soured guava, little raspberry even. Nice oak, toasty and vanilla, little brown sugar like sweetness, dusty oak, cherry vanilla caramel flavors, nice acidity, and little booze. Finish is a bit flemmy and acidic, nice lingering sour fruits and oak.

Mouth is fuller to med bodied, decent carb and soft booze, nice acidity.

Overall very nice, great tart sour fruits, nice vanilla dusty oak, nice malt balance to the sour fruit, good acidity, very tasty.

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Photo of rudzud
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with JLindros thanks to our rs membership.

A - Poured into a standard Kate the Great tulip a hazy chestnut brown hue that is quite dark with a one finger head that leaves a nice thin blanket.

S - Aromas of delicious guava notes. Mmmmm so freaking good and inviting with lots of sour barrel notes.

T - Taste is delicious with lots of faint fruits, namely cherries, with faint guava notes. Delicious sour tart barrels with tons of barrel vanilla. This is delicious. Super lightly sour and invitingly delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice for the style and superdrinkable for the style with nice light puckering notes.

O - Overall I really enjoyed this beer. Glad I have extra bottles damn the bruery can make good sours!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, dark brown pour with about a finger of off white head. Active bubbles raise up through the liquid.

S: Big sour hit with a boozy undertone. The guava is very noticeable, which I hadn't expected. I very much enjoyed the sour Guava Grove from Cigar City, so I'm excited about how this smells.

T: The taste continues the aroma, but is bolstered by a much stronger brown ale characteristic than I expected. The roast at the very end of the taste is a strange, but interesting addition to an American Wild Ale. Aggressive acidity with a nice guava hint. The booze is still noted, but the melody of flavors hide it well.

MF: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation. The sweet and sour mix is deliciously drinkable. So sour it makes your mouth ater.

O: This was very nice. Another reason I'm glad I'm in the Reserve Society. Bruery is doing American Wild Ales right.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Big thanks to bigsippin for helping this get to me.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed light brown color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention isn't very good and a small ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Boatload of fruits in this. Big kiwi and strawberry (or maybe just the guava). Melon and a light citrus. Super tart with plenty of acetic acid, but also a good bit of lactic as well. Caramel, oak, rotting wood, and maybe some toastiness.

4.0 T: Lot going on in the taste. Solidly tart with a formitable acetic acid (which is the usual for the Bruery). Lots of unripened fruit notes. Tangy lactic acid and fruitiness - strawberry, kiwi, melon, and of course, guava. Not toasty, but something along those lines. Caramel, oak, and a mild tannic astringency. Fairly sweet, but not too sweet. Just right. Normally I like a lot of funk in my sours (which this has little of), but the fruitiness plays well with the "brown components."

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Upper end of normal for the carbonation. Lightly spritzy. Smooth enough for how acetic it is.

4.0 D: This is tasty. Probably my favorite Bruery sour of the year (of which I've had many).

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Photo of jaasen64
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared during my cellar cleaning three days ago. Thanks to axeman9182 for this one. Reviewed from hand written notes while drinking. Poured into Lawson's tulip and split 4 ways.

A- Pours a pretty much opaque dark cherry brown with a little over a half finger of light off-white mocha brown head that slowly recedes to a thin layer leaving decent lacing. Average to slightly below average carbonation.

S- Mixed fruits with definitely some guave in there, decently tart with a tiny bit of earthiness and maybe a little bit of oak. Slightly above average aroma strength.

T- Lightly sweet guava with some brown sugar, finishing with some tart sourness. Decent, well balanced, not too much tartness but definitely a decent amount present.

M- Fairly light, nice carbonation, very easy to drink especially considering the 8.2% abv.

O- This was a decent wild ale flavored with melons. There was a nice sweet melon presence to it that finished with a decent tartness that wasn't overly strong. Definitely easy to drink. Not sure if I'd pay $20 for this, but it was nice to try.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt. Making our way through some nice Bruery beers tonight. Served in a Bruery tulip of course.

The beer is dark maple brown with an inch of tan head. Lasting retention and ample lacing.

The aroma brings mango, lacto properties, citrus, tropical fruits.

The flavor imparts some dark malt, with tropical fruits and a subtle bubble gum character. A bit of alcohol and sourness in the finish.

Sufficiently tart. Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Overall, this was fun and enjoyable. A solid beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Good white head. Nice lacing. Dark reddish body.

Smell - Fruity. I guess it's guava, but I don't know that I'd know that without reading the label. More raspberry to me. Acidic.

Taste - Intense acidity. Demolishes the fruitiness. It comes back to a cherry flavor in the finish, but this is a sour bomb.

Mouthfeel - Very acidic and dry. Overly so and at the expense of the flavors I'd like to come out more.

Overall - Doesn't live up to its aroma. Sourness kills the flavor. Otherwise clean and decent.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer! Thanks elliot!

Appearance: medium brown bodied beer with off white almost tan head.

Smell: Fruity, vinegar, tartness.

Taste: Mild tart with moderate vinegar presence. The guava doesnt quite taste like gauva; its more of a vague sugary fruit that actually helps to balance the tart and vinegar. The barrel give a hint of wood notes closer to the finish of the beer.

Mouthfeel: light end of a medium bodied beer and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Had CCB Guava grove(the sour version of the beer) a long time ago and did not think much of that beer. This beer is a huge improvement from the previous mentioned CCB beer. All that said with my second guava tried; I am not yet convinced that gauva is that greatest choice for a specific fruit to brew with. Still open to trying other beers brewed with guava though.

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Photo of Duff27
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half inch tan head On a reddish brown body. Leaves a collar and a little lacing.

ReTARTed smelling. Fruits!

"Vinegary guava sour." Nice fruity notes. Tame tartness, I'd give it a 3 on the 10 point sour scale.

Well carbonated, medium to medium-thin mouthfeel.

Pretty nice beginner sour here with good flavor. Hides the alcohol well. Don't expect world class and you won't be let down.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From being a RS member. 750ml bottle poured into my Bruery tulip, split with my brother tonight.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of sour dark fruits, oak, guava, some tropical fruits like passion fruit, acidic, and vinegar. Nice and sour, more sour vinegar than fruity.

t - Tastes of sour dark fruits, oak, spice, guava, vinegar, fruity malts, and passion fruit again. Lots of vinegar; again, nice and sour.

m - Medium body and high carbonation. Some acidity in the mouthfeel.

o - Overall a pretty good sour beer, though I preferred Sans Pagaie. I found SP a nicer mix of fruit and sourness, while this leaned more towards vinegar and sourness. Still a nice beer I enjoyed, and look forward to my other bottles of it.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 8.4.12

A - Pours a dark brown-orange with a small light tan head that lingers around.

S - Not much, some hard to place sweetness and a slight funk.

T - Smooth funky tartness, sweetness from the guava.

D - Good carbonation with a medium to light body.

O - Subtle sour funk and a nice sweetness.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Schlafly snifter from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a nice dark mahogany brown with a nice 1 inch very light tan head. There are some dense bubbles but they aren't as sticky and as it recedes it doesn't really leave lacing.

Tons of fruit sour notes start off with some nice vinegar notes as well. The fruit sweetness is very delicate but delicious. I can definitely notice the dark sugary notes of the guava fruit. The sweetness and tart vinegar notes play well together and there are some nice yeasty notes as well.

Flavor is intensely tart. Very strong vinegar notes with some malty grain notes and slight roast. There are some slight sweet fruit notes in the taste but they get overwhelmed mostly by the tartness. As the beer warms however they come to a better balance with the underlain sweetness. Woody notes are also perceived. The sweetness is definitely deep and reminiscent of the guava fruit. Body is crisp, tart and dry with some slight funk to it.

Pretty good sour but then again The Bruery knows how to brew them. Nice intense tartness. Not for the sour newbs but very well crafted.

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Otiose from The Bruery
4 out of 5 based on 348 ratings.
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