Church-Key The Lactese Falcon | Church-Key Brewing Company

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12 Ratings

Brewed by:
Church-Key Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Flanders Sour Brown Ale.

Added by Viggo on 09-29-2007

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of Beelzebeer
2.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pint on tap

A - dark mahogany brown with nice 1" head, semi-quick dissipation

S - Sour. Semi-harsh nose, with some smoke.

T - More smoke than what I was expecting. Very sour that stays and stays. Astringency. More smoke than what I was expecting. I'm not really into smokey beers, but it's not bad if you're into smoke. Maybe a little much, but not that much.

M - A weird kind of slick/thin combination. Not a huge fan.

O - Not bad. Don't know how much more I'll drink in the future, but glad I had it.

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Photo of soju6
1.59/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Purchased bottle @ Church-Key Brewery.

A: Dark brown color with a small head and no lacing.

B: Cheese with a lingering sour aroma.

T: Strong tart taste with some cheese flavor and a bitter finish. A sour aftertaste that just lingered.

F: Medium body, somewhat creamy with some acidity.

D First sour ale and definitely not what I was expecting. A unique brew. All I can think of is spoiled milk.

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Photo of TerryW
1.49/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Not so good. A very extreme style that is sour and full of off putting smells and tastes. I soldiered my way through one bottle trying to give it a chance but just couldn't find any merit in this one. I have one bottle left in the fridge and I'm afraid of it ...

Too bad, I usually like what comes out of this brewery.

Any body want a bottle just for the sake of adding a notch to their beer belt?

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Photo of stagger
2.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Number ratings hardly apply to a beer like this, which is so far outside the norm that it would not be recognizable as "beer" in a blind tasting. I didn't quite know what to think about most aspects of it; my reactions veered between disgust and fascination. A serious brew for dedicated fanatics. (Note: of the six people tasting this last night, I was the only one whose reaction deviated too far from plain revulsion - everyone else found it utterly rebarbative.)

A - Cola-brown, thin head which dissipates quickly, little lacing. Not bad.

S - Whoa! Blue cheese, mainly.

T - Very sour, lots going on here but mightily unpleasant in the main. Hard to focus on the cavalcade of flavours when the cheese boomerangs back on you at the aftertaste and overwhelms everything else. Main flavours noted were blue cheese, asiago/artichoke dip, and strawberry vomit. The closest analogue (should you wish to approximate this at home) might be Petrus Aged Pale with a dash of balsamic vinegar and a whopping handful of blue cheese crumbled in it.

M - Best part of the beer. Very lively with medium body.

D - Split this bottle between six people and we still couldn't finish it. A rare drain pour. A bomber is too large a serving size for this. It was suggested that it come in airline bottles - and that each little bottle be split six ways...

Ceeder noted that if you hold your breath while drinking it has the aspect of dry apple cider. Another wag added that "if you refrain from tasting or swallowing it, it's quite tolerable." I can imagine this being more agreeable as part of a meal instead of being the main feature.

Warning: even if you only have a few sips, the aftertaste and smell repeat on you for hours afterward, making each bottle arguably a great value in terms of a time/money ratio.

Note to Church Key: The label looked cheaper than some I've seen on homebrews, and there were no "liner notes", which a drinker might want on a beer like this.

Thanks so much to MeisterBurger for a drinking experience that we will never forget. Came as part of CanBif5, with a warning label: "spectacular failure." Certainly was!

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Photo of notdan
2.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Just visited the Church Key brewery on the way home from the cottage yesterday and picked up a few bombers of this and some growlers of the West Coast Pale Ale. This one is the first sour I've ever tried so I don't really know what to expect... let's see how it goes.

Pours a dark coppery brown with a nice thick foamy head. Mostly settled down to a ring around the glass but leaves a bit of lacing. The smell I find surprisingly appealing. Dark fruity tart smell with a bit of brown sugar... kinda smells like sour candy. Taste mostly follows suit, though it has more of a sweet caramelly matly flavour at first, then transitions into moderately pleasant sour berries. It's nice at first, but I am really not a fan of the aftertaste; it's got a bit of an aged blue cheese thing going on. Mouthfeel is fine. This isn't great for drinkability though, I enjoyed sipping on it at first, but had some serious trouble finishing off the bomber.

Overall this is an interesting beer. It has some strong points and it's definitely something different for an Ontario brewer. Given that this was my first sour, I can't say what should be done to make this better, but I do agree with some other reviews that it is pretty funky.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.52/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Darkly opaque with a sticky tan head. Solid foam. Aroma is cheese and sour ass, some grape and malty caramel sugars. Flavour is unsurprisingly sour and dark sugars and molasses. Also some soy sauce, red wine, those little foil-wrapped cheese cubes and unripe fruit. Somewhat sweet with a mildly bitter finish. Heavy body + moderate carbonation. I want to like this but it really is a bit much. Leans way to far to the funky side and could use a bit of balance.

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Photo of Sammy
1.34/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This is waste matter from the plant and not fit for bottling. A Frankenstein of an experiment. Hey, if something works it's good, but an experiment gone horribly wrong, dump it. Looks like vampire blood and that brown stuff in the glass. The taste is creamy cheesy and then whoh! aroma is rotting something in clothes. Taste of horrible cheese remains for hours. I drank very little before dumping the bottle..and my glass out.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.8/5  rDev +61%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap at Volo.

It came in a pint glass (kind of surprising for an 8% sour ale) and was very dark brown, pretty much black. A small tan head quickly dissapears leaving a scarce smattering of lace. The aroma is woody and lightly acidic with a touch of caramel. Moderate sourness greets my tastebuds on the first sip. Chocolate malt and roasted barley grainyness is more noticeable than other in other sour ales Ive tried. Some restrained cherry and vanilla flavors lie in the background. The finish is minerally and acidic with some nearly cloying sweetness. Fizz is moderate and compliments the acidity.

This beer is a little one dimensional and light on the sourness. It also has english brown ale or porter characteristics that seem a little out of place. Still quite good though.

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Photo of wjimson
3.53/5  rDev +49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this at C'est What in Toronto. Opaque brown in colour with little head. The smell is not too evident, but slightly acidic and cheesy.

The taste is of sour cheese, but subdued. I have had some sour tasting beer so far, but this one tasted mild for its style. In fact the taste is watered down, I believe, so that it can be more drinkable. It does have a complex flavour of cheese, wine vinegar, and malt. I presume it will be decent to be served with fish and chips.

The drinkability deserves a 3, because I enjoyed the whole pint, despite my friend across from me telling me its bad, and the waiter telling me that no one else liked it.

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.5/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz draught

8.0% ABV

I tried this beer on October 5, 2007 at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto. The aroma of the beer is blue cheese. The bartender told me it was 'blue cheese meets beer'...I laughed....I sniffed...and damned if he wasn't right. The colour of the beer was a reddish brown. The mouthfeel was full and creamy with some mild carbonation. The taste was very similar to the smell. Beer with Blue Cheese. This was my first sour...and it may be my last!

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Photo of Derek
2.14/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Hazy cola colour with a light tan head. Very little retention, light lace.

S: Very cheesy (parmesian or athletes foot?). I was seriously afraid to taste this, but was assured that it tasted alright. Some sour fruit, bubble gum fruity esters and slight breadyness.

T: Slightly tart, dark fruit, light bitterness, bready, brown sugar and a light cheesy taste.

M: Light to moderate body is creamy, slight acidity.

D: It's not aweful, but I couldn't imagine having a pint of this.

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Photo of Viggo
1.06/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at C'est What? Festival of Small Brewers. Seemed like a neat experiment when I first heard about it. A day later I can still smell what is probably the most disgusting thing I have ever come into contact with in my life.

Pours a very cloudy brown, some red in the edges, thick tan head, lots of lace, doesn't look half bad, but thats where the storybook ends. Smell is something else, I can still smell it as I type this review. Its like somebody ate a whole bunch of moldy stinky cheese, and rotten fruit, and then puked those up and served it to you in a glass. I was hoping the aroma would be a little bit deceiving of the actual flavour, but that was wishful thinking. Take the aroma, and add some salt, and some cheese rinds, and more vomit and thats basically what it tastes like. Mouthfeel is sickly sweet and heavy, oily and nasty, low carbonation, and the flavour lingers forever, like when you puke a little bit in your mouth and can still taste it until you wash it down with something stronger. I hate to bash brewers but Church Key has created something I would have been embarrassed to make, and more embarrassed to have other people actually drink this. I feel like I've been violated, and its something like this that almost makes me want to cut out my olfactory bulbs to get this reek out of my nose. A whole table of us couldn't finish a 3 oz sample, and one guy could only choke it down by holding his nose. Shame on Church Key for this monstrosity.

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Church-Key The Lactese Falcon from Church-Key Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.36 out of 5 with 12 ratings