Infusco | Rock Art Brewery

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Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by a unique yeast’s ability to gently weave character and flavor into the beers if ferments. A sweet body balanced with a big alcohol warmth and a touch of hops. Lingering rich flavors add to the complexity. Try aging this one for a year or two at cellar temperatures and compare the flavors that will emerge.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 65
Photo of mactrail
2.13/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark near black color in the glass. Looks innocent enough.

Tastes like a hosed-down house fire from last week. Murky, burnt grains, with a peculiar sweet undertone. Bitter without any actual hop flavor. Strong and intense flavors wear out their welcome quickly. This was one of the bottles at our Strong Beer Tasting that no one came back for seconds to.

From the 22 ounce bottle purchased at Total Wine in east Tucson. Of course they would sell Rock Art products since the label gives it a Southwestern appearance. They even shelve it with the other Arizona beers, like they know of even care what they sell. I would avoid everything from this brewery after tasting three of their products.

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Photo of jtierney89
1/5  rDev -70.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a deep mahogany with lace of grey head. Smells of dates, dark berries, and burnt leather and kerosene. Doesn't smell like something consumable.

It doesn't taste all too consumable either. Big body with a heavy date taste along with a nice burnt leather alcohol finish that lingers. Probably not finishing this bottle. What happened here with this beer? I normally like rock art.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.22/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Coal black pour with a quickly diminishing fizzy khaki colored head that offered no lace.

S: Soft smoky charred wood, dark roasted barley, and some silty black coffee roast for the nose’s sake.

T: The flavor was hearty, dark, and rich, filled with roasty malts, and a silty minearality of charred wood and a fine sweetened dark coffee roast. Brief glimpses of toasted citrus peel come mid way offering a bitter roasted treat of citrus hops. Oily roast finish, passing citrus mentions, and a smooth eloquent roast makes for a dark, yet smooth bitter/sweet ordeal. Dark fruit of figs add accents as well some tea like bitterness rounds things out with an alcohol warmth.

M: Black oily roast, full bodied, coffee like texture that leaves you with a lasting dark roast bitterness.

O: Overall the label says it best, this aint no mommas boy or daddys girl drink. Darkly roasted beast filled with a earthy bitterness and campfire minearlity smoothers your tongue with a charred coating. Bitter, yet eloquently smooth, makes your tongue beg for more. Drinks like a smoked dark ale.

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Photo of threeviews
4.08/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

A- Pours a deep, deep copper color without much of any head. The label reads, "Dark Ale..." and that is what you get.

S- Complex: smoke, tobacco, toffee, oak...and as it warms sweet caramel comes to the fore (while the smoke mellows). If nothing else, consume (i.e. sip) this brew at nothing-less-than cellar temperatures to balance out the aromas (of which the smoke dominates when cold). Despite it being listed as a Belgian beer, the usual breadiness that is generated from the yeast does not come through.

T- Again, comples and balance with this brew is key to its enjoyment. Everything in the taste can be found with the smell. Smoke, tabacco, sweet caramel with a nice dry, oaky finish. Despite the 8% ABV, the alcohol is nicely hidden. Like the smell, the (supposed) Belgian yeast profile is not detectable...possibly due to the strong flavors imparted from the malts.

M- Possess a moderate carbonation which complements this brew well. Your tastebuds are left jumping all over the place from the smoked and caramel malts used resulting in a long lasting finish.

O- I have never been a fan of smoked malts (like Bamburg)...up until now. This is one bold, complex brew as well as one of the most daring beers I have sampled in a long time. Not an everyday selection, but ill I try this again?...of course!

I'm not one to cellar beers, as I have been largely unhappy with them as compared to fresh. However, I might just have to try that with Infusco and see if cellaring will be kind to this concoction.

Once again, nicely done Rock Art.

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Photo of silentjay
2.2/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a muddy brown with a smallish head that quickly recedes to absolutely nothing at all. It looks completely flat.

not yeasty, like the bottle description would suggest, in the aroma. pure smoked malts.

smokiness again is most dominant. burnt bacon, peat smoked malts...some dark fruits and chocolate and black pepper and some firewood.

very flat with a medium body and a lingering smoky finish.

I must admit, I'm not a big fan of smoky beers, and this one was a bit too smoke dominant for me to enjoy.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
4.42/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not much of the way of head, it fades very quickly but what I did notice was a khaki color. A dark crimson body color. Although, there is a lack of head there is some nice lacing.

I get a sweet vanilla, hazelnut, toffee and caramel. This has a really nice aroma!

Wow! Chocolate which I didn't smell at all. Also caramel, toasted bread, toffee, dark fruits I'm thinking raisins (also slight bourbon taste?)and smoke. Not much of the way of hops, mostly roasted flavors and malt. Very tasty!

Medium body, medium carbonation but fits well with the beer. A little dry feeling.

Another fine tasting brew from Rock Art. I really enjoyed this beer, I don't know why it received decent ratings. I did taste something interesting, I saw no mention of it but I believe a distinct bourbon flavor was noticeable. I did notice a smoky oak flavor that someone mentioned. Nonetheless a very tasty beer!

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Photo of krisandajt
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew comes courtesy of mymrnngjckt, who has provided me with most of my top shelf brew. Top notch BA...

Appearance: Pours a a surprisingly dark, murky black color that reminds me more of a good stout than a Belgian Ale. Not too much head, but I'll attribute that to my girly girl pour. There's some decent retention, and the lacing ain't too shabby neither.

Smell: The comparisons to a stout don't stop with the appearance, the nose is rather chocolaty. This particular bottle is about 2 years old, so I don't know if age has played a part here, but still...chocolate. There's also a slightly smoky characteristic to the brew, and a slight yeasty sort of quality.

Taste: The smoky quality comes through, but the chocolate doesn't. There's a bit of dark fruit, but it's not as potent as I thought it would be given the style. To be honest, if you told me this was a smoked beer, I'd believe it. Still, it's not a bad brew.

Mouthfeel: A medium to full body, which given the other qualities of the brew is surprising. Good carbonation, the beer has a smooth almost creamy texture.

Overall (Drinkability): It's not exactly what I expected, but it isn't terrible. I haven't tried it fresh, so I don't have much to compare it to. I don't think I would turn down another, but I don't think I'd look particularly forward to trying another.

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Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had as part of the Central NE BA Meetup, from '07 I believe.

A dark raisin murky brown color with a light head.

Nose of dark malts, aged malts, sweet smoked wood, choc covered raisins, light licorice, cherry wood, sweet molasses, brown sugar, lots of dark fruit, complex.

Taste is sweet aged malts, light Belgian candi sugar, light booze, little bitterness from the malts, lots of smoked apple and cherry wood, smoked raisin even, molasses, caramel, touch of minerality, finishes smooth with lingering smoke and sugars, as well as fruits.

Mouth is medium bodied, soft and delicate not so strong anymore, with decent carbonation for the age.

Drink is decent, light booze, touch of sticky malts, aged malt taste too.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to garlicfire for this beer.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, very slight yeast note, some hops, figs, raisins, plums. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with some yeast notes, and hops, some dark fruits. Medium body. Drinkable, kinda reminds me of a BSDA, but falls short of one.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours from 22oz. into pint glass a brown color with some haze and a nice two-finger, dense, tan head.

S: Peat smoke, dark ripe fruits, chocolate, roasted grains. Hops are hard to detect.

T: Roasted malt with peat smoke, dark fruit and ripe fruit tannins. Hints of chocolate and sherry. Some alcohol warmth becomes noticeable.

M: Creamy full body with a alcohol warmth becoming noticeable.

D: This is tasty and complex but given more time to age and meld flavors it would smooth out and be even better.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.61/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My initial impression was definitely European, but not necessarily BSDA. Dark mahogany body with a solid, tan-ash head that lasts pretty well but nails it in retention. Nose is smokey-caramel, with classic notes of bacon along with some interesting ones like dark fruit and anise.

Dry body, plenty of caramel sweetness that meshes nicely with the fig and plum notes. Darkly herbal in its own way, with some phenolics for good measure. Decent mouthfeel, good strong body. As with any Rock Art, your mileage may vary, but it's a strong take on Beer, but not BSDA. Way too interesting and unusual for that...

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Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Brought back by my housemate on trip to Vermont. Consumed 12/20/09.

A) Opaque. Pours with a two finger, tan head. Creamy and stick lacing. Did I mention black in color?
S) Alcohol. Smoky. Pepperoni. Molasses. Very complex aroma.
T) Black pepper. Smoky - like smoked gouda. Tastes like a Pepperidge Farms sampler in liquid form. Ends with a subtle hop bitterness.
M) Thick. Chewy. Smooth. Full body.
D) A very good concoction. Complex flavor. Good aromatics.

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Photo of far333
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque and murky chestnut colored with a thick and fat and chunky and rocky oatmeal colored head that sits up high at two inches and slooowly recedes back to fine cap.

Aroma of dark malts and ripe plum, faint yeasty notes. Rich flavors of cocoa and crusty brown bread, some peppery spice and root beer. Fig and plum emerge, followed by notes of brandy. Oaky highlights, some leather as well.

Full mouthfeel punctuated with stinging tingly carbonation, finishes mildly tannic. Tasty beer, unexpected from Rock Art, good stuff.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark, slightly translucent brownish black. Head was a mocha brown, with almost a purple tint to it. Started as a 2 finger frothy head that went to a thin layer that clung to the sides of the glass. Aroma was slightly smokey with a bit of sweetness. Taste was initially slightly astringent with some lactose flavors. Mellowed out over time to have a touch of bitter smoke. Needed a touch of carbonation in the mouth to combat a slightly thin beer. Pleasant to drink, just flavored enough to savor.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque brown color with thick rocky head that drops to a thin layer. Smells more like a rauchbier than anything Belgian, it's really quite surprising.

Taste is quite smoky as well, with some of the dark fruit and molasses flavors you'd expect to see in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Very tasty if not exactly what I expected. Medium body is enough to hold up to the strong flavors.

Overall it was an interesting beer and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't at all what I expected.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Fairly deep and murky brown color with a finger of white head. A touch of red in it when held up to the light.

S:Hints of BBQ with quite a bit of smoke. Never smelled smoked in a Belgian beer. Quite a bit of malt but something is a little bit off. Not the most pleasant nose.

T: Really nice and smokey for a Belgian beer. Again something is a little off. Quite sweet. A little bit of dark fruit as well. I think this is too all over the place.

M: A little bit thin in the body for the style.

D: For the price not that upset. It has some really nice points but I think it has too many things going on that do not mesh well with each other.

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Photo of imagineiii
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my trusty Duvel tulip. Deep brown on the table, deep ruby in the light. 2 fingers of offwhite head with varying bubble sizes. Retention and lacing are pluses.

Nose is very sweet. Normal dark belgian scents of molasses and grapes are hidden behind something else. almost smells like sweet onions.

plum and raisin come to mind first but tastes are too faint to stand up to the bitter alcoholic heat in this beer. has a minty astringency at first, almost medicinal, lingers. turns into...smokiness? and powdery dark chocolate. bizarre. not all bad, but bizarre.

mouthfeel isnt half bad. carbonation is right, beer is smooth. slightly slick.

nothing about this beer blows me away (however, i think it might if was served with a blackened burger with blue cheese and red onions, on a hot summer day of course) it is however, a number of things:
a) 4 bucks
b) local, from some really creative and talented brewers
c) a belgian style from a state whose bottling brewers hardly ventures out of english and american styles.

bravo for the effort, i will be drinking another one of these with said burger sometime in the future.

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Photo of AltTrinker
3.11/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Comes in a 22 oz. bomber bottle with no bottling date indicated. Pours a very dark, ruby red color with a foamy coffee appearing head that has good retention.

The nose has a smoky BBQ aroma. The taste also has a prominate smoky character mixed with a bready sweetness and the flavor of BBQ sauce. Dried fruit, prunes and raisins, also comes through. The mouth-feel is moderate and the finish dry.

The smokey, BBQ flavor is unusual for this style and it took me a while to adapt to it. I like the beer, but it is not one of my favorites. This beer would probably have been more enjoyable if I had paired it with a Taylor Farm smoked gouda instead of having it on its own as a nightcap. Oh well, I'll know better next time.

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Photo of williamherbert
4.1/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The appearance is deep red-black. Tall rocky head. In the light it takes on a deep purple. Opaque.

The smell is a very smoky initial aroma wafting. Dark grainy sour(-ish) malt. Dark grapes. Dark and rich and comiplex all around.

The taste is grainy dark toasted barley, topped with heavy smoky BBQ. Ends like a dark, dark ale; like a dark Belgian ale with a sour(-ish) barleywine flavor. Raisins, plums.

The feel is thick but very dry on the tongue. Terrific dry red wine feel. I like this beer despite that it's sooo dark and wine-like. Pretty good.

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Photo of Overlord
2.15/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to iconoklaztor for the extra. Unfortunately, I will now rip on this beer.

Pours a murky brown. Light brown head. The only color I really don't like on beers is brown. This looks like mud.

Smells ... rancid. Medicinally laden malt, brown sugar that's grown stale. Just bad. Taste isn't much better. Lots of saccharine, chemical sweetness, a weird cloying vanilla, and that same horrible earthy/musty/medicine spiciness. Alcohol burn to go with it.

Mouthfeel was okay for the style.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried a bomber of this Belgian Strong Dark Ale over last winter. The liquid was a slightly hazy, very dark brown upon pouring with a foamy, tan head. Sheets of lacing and good retention. The nose was very malty, dark fruit, figs in particular, wheat bread, caramel. The flavors were mostly caramel malt at first, but I also got yeast, rich fruit (figs, dates, prunes?) and some smokiness. The mouthfeel was slick and a little oily, medium to full bodied. Unusual for a Belgian Dark in general and not sure if I'd recommend it to fans of the style...

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like - Very dark with a nice pancake battery head.

Smells like - Sweet malt, licorice and a tiny bit of smokiness

Tastes like - A bit like lapsang tea with a sweet, creamy malty back. Its nice and smoky and well balanced.

Mouthfeel - A bit too sweet but pretty damn smooth.

Drinkability - One 22 oz bottle is nice for a fall evening or to share. This is a beer that does not need to be in 6 packs.

Personally I love it. I like the maltiness and the smokiness. Its sort of like a sweet smoked imperial porter. I've not tries too many of Rock Art's bigger beers but I applaud their creativity.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours nice caramel clear with an off white head that recedes and leaveas a bit of lace on the glass. the nose has a lot going on deffitely a bit of smokiness, some sort of fruit esters, and maybe some sugars of some sort, belgian rock, or molasses. the taste follows with a lot going on but a bit too much smoke to really detect it all. the nice full body with a bit low co2 make this a bit of work

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Photo of WesWes
3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice smokey caramel malt scent along with a mild Belgian yeast fruitiness. The taste is decent. It has a dry caramel malt flavor that's slow going down with a fruity yeast finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good beer. I'm not completely in love with the smokey character though.

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Photo of grub
1.73/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Lupe hooked me up with this as part of the 80s BIF. thanks jason!

22oz bottle. sampled july 26/08.

pours a dark muddy brown with a small dense light brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is not what i expected - and not in a good way. sour cherries. alcohol. old coffee grinds. burnt chocolate. nail polish remover. rubber. raw oak. bit of vanilla. some caramel sweetness. buttery toffee. a musty/earthy component too. not looking forward to the taste...

taste is not good. cold stale coffee. raw oak. artificial vanilla. alcohol. sour cherry. burnt chocolate. bit of nail polish remover. bit of cardboard and rubber. black licorice. earthy and musty. not quite as bad as i expected from the aroma, but certainly not pleasant.

mouthfeel is ok. medium-light body, thinner than i'd expect. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is not good. this one went wrong almost from the start and just didn't get better. sadly, this one seems to be past its prime.

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Infusco from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 65 ratings