Featherleggy Bulrusher | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

13 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cps98 on 01-24-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 43
Photo of bbtkd
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anderson Valley Featherleggy Bulrusher, 5.8% ABV, unknown IBU, style is American Wild Ale. Pours black with medium thickness, with one finger of tan head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing. Nose is sour, taste is mostly just sour, though not the overpowering and lingering kind. Can't really pick up much Wild Turkey, but there is a smoothness to it. Some fruitiness trying to fight it's way through the sour. Decent mouthfeel, went down quick. Overall a decent beer, though not my favorite style. Had to try it though since I make it a point to try all stout variants, I like Anderson Valley, and because of the name.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 10-oz. draft (I think)
Glass: Clear tulip glass
From: 50/50 Slater’s in Anaheim Hills, Calif.
Price: $8.50
Purchased: June 1, 2016
Consumed: June 1, 2016
Misc.: Reviewed as an American Wild Ale

Had never heard of this one, but I generally like Anderson Valley beers, especially the boozier and more unique ones. I originally wrote down 12 ounces, but I think it was actual 10 ounces. The “Sour Stout” label at Slater’s initially piqued my interest. After doing some research, found out it was a “unique beer is made by souring our Barney Flats Oatmeal stout in wild turkey bourbon barrels for up to 18 months. The acidic and fruity profile is reminiscent of cherry cordials and chocolate cake.” Jeez, Sour Stout is right, but reviewing this as an American Wild Ale.

Poured a dark brown, murky color with two fingers of frothy, tan lacing when I got it. Did not notice any bubbles. Very good spotty lacing. Very good retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled sour mostly (Slater’s calls this a Sour Stout) compared to stout. Got bourbon, sour cherry - much better than Alpine’s Dark Elixir, tart cherry and light chocolate. Like cherry chocolate candy. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted a nice mix of sour cherry and boozy bourbon. Also chocolate, chocolate covered cherry shell, tart cherry, oakiness and light wood. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Oaky, sour finish. (Feel - 4.00)

I really liked this one. Much better than Alpine’s Dark Elixir, the only other comparison I could think of off the top of my head. Would have it again for sure. (Taste - 3.75)

3.84 | 86 | B+

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Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

14oz tulip on tap at Final Gravity.

A: Pours near black with a dense and soft light tan head that faded into a well retained collar. Sheets of lace where left down the glass.
S: Nutty, butterscotch, light red vinous quality, smooth chocolate milkshake and flaked oatmeal creamy richness. Smells a lot like the base oatmeal stout but with more buttery oak and a hint of red wine.
T: Follows the nose but not as buttery. Base stout is creamy with oatmeal and mild chocolate. Red wine barrel is light with a candy tartness in the finish. The tartness is definitely vinous as opposed to berry. Smooth and mild flavors. Could be more sour but as it it’s a nice little twist on an already delicious oatmeal stout. The aftertaste is light and easy with flavors of mild roast.
M: Medium-full body, fluffy and non-distracting carbonation, very soft mouthfeel with hardly any tartness. The finish is drying with a touch of gritty tannins.
O: Enjoyable but needs more oomph. Pretty much their base beer with a hint of sour red wine. Good but could be much better.

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Photo of jco3rd
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a really nice dark color. About a quarter inch of head.

Smell was definitely good and appropriate for a stout aged in port.

I was expecting something sour (it was listed as a sour stout on the tap list) but this was almost a bit too vinegary. I have had port aged beers before (Track 7 had a port aged beer on tap that was delicious) but this one seemed to be almost too much.

Because of the puckering taste, the mouthfeel was a bit astringent as well.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at City Tap House

Listed as a "stout aged in port barrels for 18 months."

Served in a tulip glass, a dark cola brown, ruby tints around the edges, with a small cap of off-white head that receded to a wispy ringlet and left some nice stratifying lacing on the glass. I can't lie: I loved the aroma of this beer...dark malts, more sweet than roasty, thick with vanilla and dark fruits, widlflowers, candyish and spell-binding. None of the off-notes other people mentioned. I took a good whiff before every sip. Nice complexity in the taste; usually stouts and fruits are hard to successfully mix, but I think they nailed it with this beer. Slight tartness up front, cherries, plums, red wine, slight acetic twinges are countered by the smooth maltiness and big hit of vanilla and butterscotch. Like the aroma, it's a bit candyish (kind of reminds me of the effect obtained in ST Oak-Aged Pumking), which may turn some people off, but I think it works well here. Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied, and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
2.41/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A sad miss for Anderson Valley. These guys do craft beer very well normally, but this ambitious brew misses the mark entirely. Nose is heavy on vinegar and the taste is just, I don't know, skunky. This doesn't taste like an intentionally sour beer; it tastes like a beer that went sour. Big difference. I'm disappointed, because the brewers at AV are totally capable of making this work.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a tulip

A dark brown, near ink black body sits under a one finger khaki cap. Some mild spider web lacing. Aroma of dark cherry, cocoa nibs, coffee beans, balsamic, brown sugar, and caramel. The sour element is a little faint in the nose, which works well with all of these other scents floating around. On the palate, cocoa and coffee hit first before a sweep of sweet brown sugar and caramel. The finish is a mix of roast and port with some sour balsamic notes. Medium body, good carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Barney Flats is not my favorite Oatmeal Stout, but this soured version is pretty damn tasty. The barrel aging smooths out the body nicely and adds some interesting layers of flavor.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a massively dark brown with a two finger light tan head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, vanilla, red wine spices, wood, and earthy funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, red wine spice, port, earthy funk, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I was really surprised to see this one on at one of my local spots and had to try it based on the owner’s suggestion. I was really surprised when I found a light earthy funkiness hanging around in this style. The port barrel aging actually added a very nice spicy and sweet aspect to this one while not overpowering the rest of the brew. A must try if you get the opportunity.

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Photo of mltobin
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Varga Bar in Philly.

Appearance is dark brown with a finger of light brown head to it. Its` nose has plum, cherry, wood and chocolate. An interesting aroma to be sure. The taste is citrusy with lemons, malts, some cocoa, a weird combination of flavors. Mouthfeel is tart and bitter, some vinegar remains afterwords. A unique beer that I feel was pretty good...won`t seek again however.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.96/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown with a thin tan head and not much in the way of lacing. The nose carries a moderate amount of diacetyl. As drabmuh points out, this was mixed with a bit of vanilla and oak, creating something akin to cake batter. Whatever it was, I didn't really enjoy it. After it warmed up, some moderate lactic acid came through as well as just a touch of vinegar.

The flavor is a bit better. Moderate roast and oats plus a fair bit of acidity. Very mild acetic presence and a touch of dark fruit. Medium body with a dry, sour finish. Okay, but I really can't get past the nose.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Churchkey DC into a snifter glass.

A faint tan head is produced almost sort of off pink on the edges. A simple dark walnut black/brown body is presented. Looks alright, not much more I can say about that. Doesn't provide any lacing but keeps a simple collar.

Bouquet seems very "perfumy". Herbacious. THen after some time a distinct nose of balsamic vinegar takes over, and then some faint caramel in the background. Real interesting mix, I was digging that.

A creamy palate hits, with a mild tart and roast action. Some nice chewy malt, deep dark rich balsamic, and interestingly "meaty". Afterfinish brings some faint cocoa as well, which plays real interestingly with the tart qualities.

Overall I was really digging this one. There's a lot of flavors all over this, but it still manages to stay balance although just barely. Real nice body on this beer too, enjoyed it, but it's a wild ride, haven't had a beer taste like this before.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer smelled like cake batter, interesting but not a common flavor found in beer. Served in a snifter at Churchkey in DC. Beer is brown with a mild haze, some head minimal lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is strong with sugar, caramel, vanilla, maybe a little diacetyl.

Beer is like drinking a butterscotch candy and vanilla extract, it is super sweet, very vanilla forward, some diacetyl definitely, strong, not a fan ultimately.

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Photo of cps98
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Churchkey in DC. Here is what they had to say: Barney Flats aged & soured in Cali Port Barrels.

A - Poured into a snifter at ~48deg. Color was a dark black not letting any light through. No real head to speak of but a nice ring of off white bubbles did line the glass.

S - I got very subtle hints of coffee, and some black cherry. There was a very mild Belgian floral yeast note present.

T - The first thing I got was sour cherry/grape then a second later very light hints of coffee and milk chocolate. I really enjoyed layers of flavor this beer entailed.

M - Nice and sour at the beginning of the drink but then mellowed to a nice medium bodied smoothness.

O - This was my first dark sour beer and I really enjoyed it's layers of complexity.

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Featherleggy Bulrusher from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 43 ratings.
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