Yusef Lateef (Sole Composition Series)
Upright Brewing Company

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Belgian Pale Ale
4.14 | pDev: 14.49%
Upright Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: Upright Brewing’s Yusef Lateef is a liquid tribute to the legendary composer and multi-instrumentalist from Detroit, still performing over five decades into his career. The brown brew is a four cask blend of various lots with a pinch of elderflower and lavender, yielding a beer showing delicate balance. Beer for the thinker.
Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 10 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MasterSki
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Obscure brew from Kan. Thanks! Served in a tulip. Bottle #57 of 62.

A - Tan foam settles to a partial cap, collar, and specks of lacing. Hazed amber body.

S - Smells like Upright's other gin barrel beers; lots of elderflower and botanical notes, with perhaps a touch of mint and allspice. The more exotic flavors are supported by a pilsner malt backbone that imparts biscuit flavors, as well as a mild yogurt-like lactic tang. Interesting and unique.

T - The taste is similarly spicy, but with heavier use of allspice and perhaps cinnamon? Reminds me of ginger snaps with the mix of spice and sugar cookie malt character. Perhaps a touch of vanilla pale malt too for good measure. Light botanical notes that are further in the periphery.

M - Medium body, dry texture, with pleasant carbonation on the lower side of moderate. No obvious alcohol that I can discern.

D - I enjoy these Upright beers as they often challenge my palate and perception. This was perhaps a tad too sweet for my tastes, but it was a well-integrated blend of malt and spice flavors with the faintest touch of wild yeast settling in. Would drink again, but perhaps a bit too rare to easily reacquire.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy smokes - I can't think Ron enough for bringing this rarity to share. Bottle #37 out of a mere 62. This one pours a dark and dank copper with ruby that shines through when held up to the light. The beer looks a bit thicker than I expected, almost syrupy at first glance. The head reduces to a small, off-white skin after a few short moments of bubbling up.

The aroma of Yusef Lateef is fantastic - an excellent and unique collage of so many different things. Honey, cinnamon, herbal notes, light plum, black cherry, maple, and some sweet graham crackers. A perfect balance of sweet and sour, each battling for king of the hill inside your nostrils. Apparently this brew is made with elderflower and lavender. I wouldn't be able to pick those out on my own, but I'm guessing that they are introducing the soft herbal and leafiness to the aroma. So many things going on, so delicate and complex all at once.

As it first hits my palate, it is again a bit thicker than I expected, and even a bit chewy - this is perhaps a consequence of the beer being a blend of four casked brews. And once again, the flavor is complex and mesmerizing, just like the aroma. Warm apples, light cinnamon, herbal notes, leaves, florals, honey, lots of bready malts, faint maple syrup, and another cache of fruits including black cherries and sweet plums. What a great flavor profile! The fruits hit with a bit of a tart spritz that never reaches a puckering or sour level.

The heavy, bread-like malts couple so well with everything else, especially the cinnamon and apple notes, and I'm immediately reminded of a warm apple pie. The fruity tartness subsides quickly and leads the way into the soft but powerful finishing sweetness. Low carbonation, kind of strange for the style, but it wasn't distracting or anything like that.

What an absolute pleasure to drink. It's hard to discern exactly what style of beer this is, just because it's so unique and different. I wouldn't call it a Belgian Pale Ale, though, which is how it's listed on this site. Either way, many thanks to Ron for bringing this one by. I'd love to seek out more bottles of this, but seeing as how there were only ever 62 in existence, I might have a hard time with that. Such a shame, this beer is awesome.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 2.5.13

Bottle 18/62

A - Pours a very dark brunt-orange to brown with an active light tan head that fades pretty quickly, some floating specs.

S - Tart, subtle floral and wood, hard to place.

T - Herbal spice, floral, smooth, yet complex.

D - Low carbonation, thick body, yet smooth.

O - Unique, subtle yet impactful. Loved it.

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Yusef Lateef (Sole Composition Series) from Upright Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 10 ratings