Tart Side Of The Moon | Brewery Vivant

very good
367 Ratings
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Tart Side Of The MoonTart Side Of The Moon

Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jmunsters on 03-06-2013

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 367
Photo of Barnoloid
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was described to me at a GR bar by the bartender as a 'sour stout', though i've seen it listed as a fair few other styles. As I don't get too hung up on the label so let me enjoy this as it is, and enjoy it I did.

A nice looking brown to black pour with a tan head that lingers for a minute. Yeasty notes pair well along with dried fruit here to combine for a complex and well rounded ale. Not sure of the level of tartness, I mean - this is not a sour ale by the standards that others have set. If anything the sour/tart notes complement rather than overwhelm the rest of the taste profile. So remarkably this is a balanced yet also funky blend of all of its components.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a bit strange. It is a wild ale, but drank more like a Belgian strong ale to me. It was fairly boozy and was very dark. It had notes of dark fruit almost like a quad.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had purchased this CAN with a number of other Brewery Vivant CANs that I had CANquired in my travels. If you are ever in the Chicagoland and CAN get to one of their locations, Binney's Liquors remains a CANQuest (TM) source nonpareil! This was a score from my most recent visit. It has been in my backlog/queue/rotation since, but today is the day!

From the CAN: "Freshly Brewed in Michi[CAN -] Special Limited Release"; "Tier 3 Single Batch Release"; "BELGIAN INSPIRED DARK FARMHOUSE ALE This hearty dark ale is fermented with our rustic Belgian yeast strain which gives the beer a farmhouse tartness followed by big dark chocolate notes, and hints of black cherries. Fermentation temperatures often climb past 90 [degrees] F which builds the distinctive flavors. No adjuncts are added to this beer - these robust layers of flavor are yeast driven. Listen to that lunatic in your head, dust off that vinyl, pour the beer into a glass and sip your way into a happy, chilled out groove."; "GLASSWARE & PAIRING A goblet or small tulip allows one to quaff the roasty aromas and fully appreciate the farmhouse qualities of this delicious beer. Stilton or blue cheese, charred steak, black cherries & chocolate cake all work magic on your palate when paired with this beer."

As you CAN imagine, I have the 2011 remaster of "Dark Side of the Moon" playing as acCANpanying music as I CANduct this review, beginning with the Crack! A vigorous in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head that hung in for a while and then suddenly became wisps. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing precisely ZERO light penetration. Nose had an intense charcoal smokiness, underlain by a leathery smell along with notes of dark chocolate; dried dark stone fruits; a subtle nuttiness & blackberries (!). Mouthfeel was unexpectedly big, full, thick & creamy, like a dollop had been scooped onto my tongue. I was really surprised by this and it kind of gave me pause. The taste was very variegated with my initial thoughts being a Cadbury Fruit & Nut Chocolate bar, but made with Dark, rather than Milk Chocolate and then the smokiness began to set in, followed by a slight tartness, like persimmon. Wow! It was on the finish that I really began to sense the tartness, especially along my jaws, underneath my ears, at the hinge. I generally do not like Tart and/or Sour beers, but this garnered a pleasant reaction for me. The smokiness really began to permeate my sinus cavity and after a period, I could not taste much more than some and tart. Where was the alcohol? In mah feckin' haid, that's where, ye daft c**t! F**ksake, it came out of nowhere, like I had fallen asleep on the tracks, only to be awakened by the approach of a fully-loaded freight train! Oi! If several of their previous offerings had been dangerous, this was downright deadly!

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Photo of dar482
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer up front hints of chocolate, roasted malts, plums, sweet dark fruits along with spicy yeast notes as the saison part of the beer comes in. The mouthfeel is medium plus and creamy. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

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Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights; the head is rather modest but leaves some dotty lacing around

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, charcoal, cherry; limited tart tones

Taste: Unlike in the aroma, the tart cherry flavor pops right off the bat, with chocolate and coffee developing underneath; in the middle, the charcoal adds another aspect for a moment, but the finish brings a return to the chocolate and tart cherry elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting beer from 2013 that has held up nicely

Thanks, FlandersNed, for the opportunity

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Photo of erickehoe
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This particular can was bought in February of 2013 and stuck in a cellar for 2.5 years. Poured black with a 1/4 inch maroon head which quickly bubbled away into nothing. Smelled great: sweet, dark fruits like plums and dates. The taste and feel were lacking, however, especially when compared to having it fresh. No carbonation or hops to speak of really. While the front end sweetness and dried fruits and yeast and what not are all there, it lacks any real dynamism in terms of dryness or bubbly carbonation typically found in beers of this style. I'll go easy on BV since I loved this beer when it originally came out. Just couldn't cut it in the cellar.

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Photo of pants678
3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, off-white head.

Subdued roasted malt, chalky.

Equal parts sour, saison and stout. Chocolate, not coffee--the label says black cherries, I'm good with that. I'd prefer it be more stout leaning. Couldn't do this one regularly, still an interesting sipper.

Stout's viscosity.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz can from IAmJacksHopTongue that I have kept for almost 2 years now. Served in a goblet.

Pours black with a half finger of thin mocha foam that quickly disappears. Looks like a cola with a few bubbles at the edge but no lace whatsoever.

Smells of tart dark fruit, vinegar and mild roast with hints of cocoa in the background.

Full, robust flavors. Dark fruit, balsamic, roasted grains, cocoa, oxidation, vague tartness and a hint of alcohol. It rounds out almost like any aged imperial stout with those soft dark fruits, smooth roasted grains and mild oxidation. I've even had some aged stouts that have taken on a similar (but not quite as strong) tart and vinegar quality.

There is a pleasant creamy feel to its medium body but the carbonation has fallen flat. That tart fruit continues playing on the tongue in the aftertaste along with roastiness and faint cocoa.

Tart Side of the Moon (at least this aged can) is pretty good stuff. I enjoyed the well aged stout with the addition of a nice tart kick.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.56/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra in a recent trade.

Pours a dark, creamy looking brown, almost black, with a one inch head, and a lot of lacing.

This one has a slightly off-putting metallic aroma to it. This metallic aroma kind of overshadows the other aromas, which are admittedly good- including tart cherry and chocolate. Unfortunately these aromas seem slightly muted.

The taste has the same problem. I'm not sure if there were any canning issues, but this definitely has a sort of metallic issue to it. It makes everything else seem kind of muted- the "tart" side of the moon here is pretty weak, not much tart cherry or acidity at all. There's a little bit of funk behind some lightly roasted malt, and a good amount of chocolate.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp, slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

I had much higher expectations for this one, unfortunately it didn't live up to them.

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Photo of Locke
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure where they got the idea to include tart in the name. The idea that this was tart was nearly lost on the name, although you do get the slightest bit of sour/tart in the aftertaste. Nonetheless, it is a solid stout and worth a try.

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Photo of ribby
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Buschbeer's review is spot on with the details, though I liked it more than he did, and I am not a Brewery Vivant fanboy, I detested the farm hand farmhouse ale, as you can see from my review. Might be time to take myself up on the challenge of retasting farmhouse after chugging PBR (but where on earth can one buy a single of effin PBR, no effin way am I buying a 12 of that after the rooskies bought it) Received as a gift, 16 oz aluminum.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 Pint can
Served in a goblet per directions on the can

L - It is black. No light is getting through this beer. It is topped with a modest mocha head that quickly disappears. There are minute traces of lacing.

S - I notice a tart smell. It is fruity. Cherry comes to mind.

T - The taste is somewhat unique. Dark, tart fruit intermingle with roasted malt. The Belgian yeast comes through with some spice as well. Alcohol is noticeable at times.

F - Full

O - It starts out great with the cherry and roasted malt flavors. The finish is a bit lacking for me. The spiciness of the yeast comes in and changes the flavor, cleansing my palate of what I crave. It is almost like a saison finish to a dark, tart beer. It is an interesting experience, but at $17 a four pack, I will probably not purchase again, unless it is on tap somewhere (I have seen it at Slow's).

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Photo of stortore
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seems more like a Belgian Stout than a wild ale to me, and it's a very good Belgian Stout at that. Has nice body for the style. A pretty strong, desirable cherry taste comes through, but I'm not getting much tartness. Hides the ABV very well. Strong effort, well worth the purchase.

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Photo of Rifugium
1.66/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a can into an Else Wear stem glass.

Dark brown-black pour, looked almost like a stout. Ample head, good retention. Funky, syrupy fruit in the nose, acetic. Blehh...taste was pretty bad, an oxidized mess, dark coffee roastiness, stale fruits, vinegar, used tea bags, medicine, wet cardboard. Massively off, and no tartness whatsoever. Tasted like a bad fruit beer mixed with a bad porter. No real comment to make on the mouthfeel, other than "undrinkable." I'm just glad this was a small sample.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$4.79 pint can poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Semi-hard pour into the middle of the glass didn't do much. This is just a pitch black beer with some brown/red around the edges. Not much to get excited about. I will say that I really like the label, and the name of the beer is pretty cool as well. (3.5/5)

Smell: Deep, deep roasted malt aroma on this beer straight out of the fridge. Under that is a sour funk aroma that I was looking to dominate the smell. There's also some red grape in there that gives a bit of a red wine vibe. As it warms a bit, some dark chocolate starts to shine through which works really well with the dark fruit/red grape smell. (4.25/5)

Taste/feel: My first impression is that this is that this is what I thought Tart of Darkness by The Bruery would taste like. This has a significant roasted/almost charred malt flavor first and foremost, followed by sour grape accents that I also got in the smell. Near the end it has a wine barrel sort of taste with a little tartness too. The body of this beer is about medium, and there's a moderately high carbonation to bring out some even more flavor. The ABV of this is 9.8%, and it's hidden insanely well. There's absolutely no alcohol on the nose or in the taste, and there isn't any warmth either. There's that inkling that it's at least 7%, but 10%? Phew. (4/5, 4.25/5)

While I wanted some actual roast notes in Tart of Darkness, I want some more tartness out of Tart Side of the Moon. It has more tartness than Tart of Darkness does roast (marginally), but a little more would be perfect. The price may seem high to some, but it's a 16oz can, and it's a pretty unique sour stout combination. The can recommends a charred steak with bleu cheese among other things as pairables, and I think a charred steak with some bleu would be incredible with this brew.


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Photo of PaulyB83
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No canned on date.
Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours jet black, maybe a slight amount of light coming through on the edges revealing a milk chocolate looking brown. One finger light brown head that dissipated quickly.

S- Nice sour fruitiness, some dark fruits, some dark roasts.

T- Similar to aroma, the sourness is light but there. Really smooth and no overpowering flavors. Very nice combo of both tart and dark. Has a really sour cherry taste to it.

M- On the light side of heavy, kinda surprised how easy this is to drink.

O- This is definitely the best beer I've had from Vivant. Was really looking forward to this beer and was glad they released to distribution as I believe it was brewery only before. Not as tart as a few other sour dark beers I've had before but really I think sometimes a heavy tartness can take away from the base beer, especially if that beer is a dark one. Here I think the tartness and roasts are right on the same level with each other and that really helps with how smooth the beer is. I'd like to pick up some more of this and see how it ages.

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Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a good Michigan guy, tectactoe, for a can of this, a first for me: wild ale, canned, tallboy. What's the world coming to?

The pour is unexpectedly dark brown, rubbing up against black. The nose issues forth another surprise as loads of baker's cocoa clings to the nostrils, with just a touch of coffee/roast. Not much going on, but who objects to roasty chocolate? I'd eat it for lunch & dinner if I could.

Tart Side of the Moon comes at this whole wild thing sideways & backwards. Chocolate is still on top, but barely, as a subtle funk tries to undermine the bitter bakery goodness. Tartness sears the sweetness out of the chocolate in an interesting way, leaving behind a sweet sourness. Brushes of residual sweet sugars, roast, & dark fruit, if one pulls away the curtain, but these just add depth, & do little to dissuade the two tastes wrestling for dominance. I find myself reaching for the glass often, puzzled & pleased.

Confession time: I've let this languish in the fridge because I thought it was going to suck. Well, color me beet wrong. Applauding the unique effort, because this is a very good beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger foamy dark tan head with poor retention, that reduces to nothing. No glass lacing, and some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of sour cherry, raspberry, green apple, raisin, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, clove, light vinegar, funk, and roasted/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of sour cherry, raspberry, green apple, raisin, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, clove, toast, light pepper, light vinegar, funk, and roasted/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of raspberry, cherry, apple, raisin, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, clove, light vinegar, funk, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt and moderate tart fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with big robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian stout! All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of taylor714914
2.95/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Perfect beer to pair with Asian food. Why? Because it's straight soy sauce.

Appearance was almost stout like with a thin layer of head on top.
Smell was of faint tart funk and malt.
Taste was odd. Somewhere between a black ipa, a stout, and the funky aromas and esters of a farmhouse ale. Flavors moved between bitter black malt, noble hops, a touch of sweetness, a bit of tartness, and some roasted malts too.

Mouthfeel was heavy, syrupy, and not nearly dry enough for a Saison.

I Was really stoked to try this, but it didn't end up being anything I'd like to revisit soon.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a Russian River stemmed glass and consumed 7/10/13. Thanks to JohnnyHopps for throwing this one in as an extra.

Aroma: Very chocolatey is what came to mind immediately. Some coffee, a little bit of cherry tartness that is covered up by the chocolate. No real indication that this beer is sour. There is some rubbing alcohol type scent in there which is unfortunate.

Colour: Beautiful. The body is dark brown, nearly black, like a glass of Coca-Cola but darker and more opaque. Not much head, not much lacing, a thin collar. It pours rather viscously, which was a nice surprise.

Flavour: This is a very interesting beer. I get a lot of chocolate up front for sure.. with a little bit of coffee. But what makes it so interesting is that it transitions to a nice cherry tartness that isn't too strong. It's there in the background of the chocolate, almost like chocolate covered cherries. It's not too sweet or too bitter, it's balanced very well.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thick bodied and viscous. Not much obvious carbonation, though it certainly leaves a good fizz on the tongue. The aftertaste is basically chocolate covered cherry which is very nice. Very enjoyable to drink and there is no major indication of booziness as I drink it. The aroma is the only place where you detect it... still, it's a sipper.

Overall: Aside from the booziness in the aroma, this is a very good beer with an interesting flavour profile that is both straightforward and complex.. it all blends together well into something that my palate can easily figure out. I highly recommend this if you like your dark sours.

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Photo of Auror
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From Blind Bif 8. Poured from blind 16oz can into Crooked Stave snifter

Pours black with a pretty mocha head that dissolves quickly (might have to do with fan nearby.) Was hoping for a canned double IPA. Damn you blind bif! (4)

Dark chocolate, raisins, coffee, black licorice primarily. The chocolate aroma is pretty strong. And something odd I can’t pick out cold…. (4.25)

Dark roasted malt upfront, and is that…sour? This might not work for everyone, but I’m digging it. There’s a bit of hop bitterness too, but this is unmistakably sour. I can’t tell if this is meant to be a sour stout ala Tart of Darkness or some other sour dark ale. Since it’s got to be over 8% and there’s a plethora of roasted malt, I guess by default it is. The sourness is puckering and has a fruitiness resembling cherries and grapes, but I don’t think there’s any actual fruit in here, all yeast. (4.25)

Carbonation is medium with a medium body. The body is a bit chewy for a sour, with a dry finish. Alcohol is slightly evident, but not overwhelming or overly warming. (4.25)

The aroma showcased more acetic sourness as it warmed as well, and that head might not have had anything to do with the fan after all. I don’t know of any wild stouts from cans soo…yeah. Interested to see who makes this. Reminds me a bit of Funk Metal by Jester King, but it was a nice change of pace and an intriguing blind. (4.25).

The reveal… Brewery Vivant Tart Side of the Moon. It’s a “Dark Farmhouse Ale”. At 9.8%, this sour packs a punch. I dig the can art too. I’ve heard of Brewery Vivant, but I didn’t know they canned nor that they made a sour dark ale. Cheers!

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Photo of chugalug06
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance of a Stout. Caramel foamy head, rises with moderate speed. Brew is pitch black and thiner.

White grapes, metallic, chocolate, caramel, cherry.

Deep, dark, and roasty, full of sprite. Fresh. Woody, dry, intriguing sweetness, stinging carbonation, intelligent bitterness, grape and cherry, oak, coffee, lots of roasty (not smoked) caramel.

Very much recommended. A hit. Well done complexity. One of the best brews I've had from Brewery Vivant. Thanks abanton for the share!! Not a good summer brew, but would be killer late winter/late fall brew.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to ROBSTARR for sending this one down! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 16 oz. can into a TBBC pint glass.

A: Very dark - essentially black - and opaque. Forms a thin tan head with no visible carbonation.

S: Funky, vinegary, and some chocolate and coffee roasted malts that also impart some sweetness.

T: Roasted malts, cacao and somewhat less coffee, dark fruity sweet and sour cherries. The vinegar sourness is here as well, but a touch less so than the nose would suggest; but it's still quite present, and mixes with the funk. Hints of both hop and roasted malt bitterness at the end. The hang is sweet, funky, and mildly vinous.

M: Full-bodied but a bit lighter than expected, with a nice sticky mouthfeel. Relatively low carbonation sensation, and alcohol is noticeable but not "hot".

O: Really different beer here. Whether or not this was an accident, I quite enjoyed it. I suspect some Pedio was involved in souring this beer. As a friend of mine observed, were there a style of "Flanders Stout", I'm pretty sure this would be it. Recommended for sour fans looking for something different to try. And a cool-looking can.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can purchased at the brewery in late March. Poured in to snifter.

A - Pitch black with a thin layer of medium to dark brown head that immediately disappeared.

S - Tartness up front with a huge dark cherry aroma along with chocolate, roast and hints of toffee.

T - Tart dark cherry is the dominant flavour with chocolate, roast and some coffee notes present.

M - Medium body. Somewhat dry. Light carbonation.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with a two-finger tan head. The head recedes quickly leaving so very thin lacing.

S - Aroma is tart cherries, dark chocolate, and light roasted malts.

T - The flavor is tart cherries and dark chocolate. There is some roasted malts throughout. There is some light Belgian yeast in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel with a sticky dry finish.

O - Tart Side of the Moon is one tasty beer. The tart cherries and dark chocolate really play of each other nicely.

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Tart Side Of The Moon from Brewery Vivant
3.97 out of 5 based on 367 ratings.
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