Tart Side Of The Moon | Brewery Vivant

very good
57 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 367
Photo of Honus1
2.47/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

OK, I love sours, I love stouts! I love sour stouts! This is not good.

Nose is sour grapes and dark fruit

Look and mouthfeel are appropriate for the style, dark, opaque, flat, no lacing

Taste is boozy on the front, sour balsamic vinegar in the middle, moving to dark fruit and then a terrible, terrible lingering aftertaste of astringent malt

Better when warm, I honestly have it a fighting chance, ferociously bad when cold.

I may spill this on purpose.

 461 characters

Photo of mhksuccess
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into RR goblet
it looks extremely dark almost black again this could be lighting in my house
there was no head and no lacing
smell is funky fruity (dark currants, cherry) tartness
kind of like you can smell that funky tartness
and the taste followed slight tartness and extreme funk
dark cherry
very smooth nice pretty easy to drink for almost 10% ABV
DEFINITELY PUT A " Lunatic in my head"
this maybe one of the best label plays ever
would drink this again it was definitely enjoyable

 507 characters

Photo of tbdkev
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, motor oil brown with some light lacing. It pours like a stout, but is probably more appropriately compared to a black IPA. Dark fruit notes hit the nose. Taste is nice blend of dark fruit, primarily grape, with some notes of black licorice. I'm normally not a fan of black licorice, but this brew pulls it off pretty well, with a sweet, pleasant finish.. The hint of grape, along with the heat of alcohol (9.8%), lends some wine-like qualities as well.

 466 characters

Photo of PincheNorteno
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My frame of reference here is Jolly Pumpkin's dark dawn stout , plus a lot of stout drinking in my years. Tart side is in a class of its own. Intense dark chocolate and cherry flavors, toasty malt with burnt candy sugar and an odd hop presence that reminded me of black olives. This was a pleasant surprise, it pours relatively flat and has a cherry red hue at the edge of the glass. The mouthfeel is not too syrupy, with a little bit of life to it that is absent from most heavier stouts. Hats off to vivant for releasing this unique brew.

 540 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a deep pitch-black color ale with a medium size dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of roasted malt with tart cherry notes, some tart notes and some black chocolate. Taste is a complex and rich mix of cherry, roasted malt deep black chocolate notes with light lingering residuals sugar notes with plenty of fruits notes. Body is full with an oily texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. This is a very complex mix which is not as tart as I was expecting. I could see myself drinking this once in awhile but just too powerful for regular consumption.

 591 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Acquired in a trade w/ Skrip, thanks again man!

A- The pour is far more stout-like than expected, black as night, large light-brown head with medium-large bubbles that recedes quickly with no lacing.

S- The aroma really piques my interest! Tons of dark roast and sweet malt give way to sweet dark fruits, sour fruit, apricot, cherries, and tart granny smith apples. Also some coffee and chocolate come through. One of the most complex and compelling aromas I've found in a beer!

T- The flavor mostly matches the nose, just less pronounced, with coffee and dark roasted malts at the forefront, sweet/caramel malts and dark fruits secondary, and the sour/tart flavors come through just enough to make their presence known. Very tasty, but some flavors could be a bit more pronounced.

M- The mouthfeel is medium to thick, somewhere between a porter and a stout, with light carbonation and a slight stickiness. A welcome touch of booze is present, but not much for a ~10% beer.

O- This absolutely exceeded my expectations! Probably the best dark wild/sour ale I've tried!

 1,072 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 9.8% dark sour farmhouse ale in a can? My interest is peaking so hard right now. Thanks hugonaut!

It is indeed dark - as dark as the darkest stout with a thin beige cap of carb.

Oooo... das nice. Powdery cocoa, mushy red berries show some tart characteristics... faint coffee, fermented chocolate, I like where this is going.

Quite the accurate description. Bright, tart farmhouse flavors layered with mocha, cherry, vanilla. One of the more interesting beers I've had lately. The natural cherry fruitiness fits nicely with both the roasted malt and the semi-sour saison flavors.

This tickles me precisely where I like to be tickled.

 641 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to a very generous trader for including this extra. Pours a pitch black with a small, espresso-colored head. Looks how a good stout should look. Scent definitely has those wild notes. Tart, somewhat musty, and some nice dark cherry aroma. Lovely tart aromas with dark chocolate and dark malt. Hints of raspberry as well. Taste is tart up front...tart cherry with hints of booze. Delicious chocolate and roasty malt flavors. This is great, because you get all the characteristics of a good IRS, but there is a pleasant cherry tartness to it. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated and slightly sticky. Drinkability is high...there is a hint of booziness, but it works really well with this beer. Overall, this beer is awesome! It is up there with Tart of Darkness and Madrugada Obscura.

 787 characters

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Can poured into snifter

A - Pours a deep black with a slight reddish hue when held to the light. Minimal carbonation, which is surprising for a "sour stout". Looks like a basic RIS.

S - The smell is very interesting. Versus other sour stouts I've had, the stout is very apparent in the nose. Smells more like a fruited stout, with hints of roast, coffee, cherries and raspberries. Smells very good.

T - Excellent. Well integrated stout roast with what tastes more like raspberries and blackberries then sour funk. A little sweet, a little sour, and a little bitter. On the back, some coffee bitterness washes away what sour there was and leaves a sweet aftertaste.

M - Can't find the 9.8% anywhere in this. Extremely drinkable. Almost refreshing for a stout. Not too thick and not too thin for the taste. It's quite juicy.

O - I am completely wowed by this one. Similarities to Lindley Park (although a bit more tart) and Raspberry truffle abduction (each flavor is much more integrated in this). This is definitely not a "sour stout" in flavor. It's more like a mimicked fruited stout. I hope this doesn't stay a one-off.

 1,131 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a tulip. Thanks for the can Matt!

(A)- Pours quite pitch black in color. Produced a nice cap of effervescent brown froth that dissipated fairly quickly. Some good lacing left behind even.

(S)- A deep roasted raisin, coffee, and cocoa profile overall. An ever so slight hint of a light acidic tartness on the backend.

(T)- With the acidity comes a very nice chocolate covered tart cherry combo. Bits of raisin on the tail-end with a slight dry, almost oaky finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level. It feels a touch think and syrupy, but that does go really well with the dessert-like chocolate covered cherry this has. Definitely a sipper.

(O)- If this beer was a mistake, it sure was a successful one! A good tartness meets a very rich and chocolatey deep stout/dark ale. Very intriguing and I enjoyed every sip.

 836 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can into a La Chouffe tulip.

A- pours like motor oil with a 2" dark cola head. Big waves of lacing remain on the glass.

S- dark fruits, some funk, big chocolate notes

T- it's like bramble without the bourbon. Huge chocolate, slightly sour raspberries and blackberries, some roast and molasses.

M- medium body and carbonation. Abv hidden very well, creamy and smooth.

O- 3/10 sourness. very enjoyable beer. Wouldn't call it a sour at all, more of a RIS with dark fruits.

 494 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

thanks to egrace84 for giving me a can of this beer to try out!

tallboy can poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 fingers of medium brown head. Drops quickly to a ring around the glass with no cap.

Smell: roast malts, milk chocolates, black cherries. hint of lactic sour note.

Taste: This beer starts off with roasty malts and mild bitterness. The cherries are not too far away from the start of the beer and offer a mild tartness with some tannic wood and earthy qualities into the beer. Its a little bit vinegary on the back end, might even come across as a briney flavor. Finishes with an ashy bitterness that lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Does feel like its almost 10% with well hidden abv. semi to moderately dry finish.

Overall: It tastes just like a soured imperial stout. Didnt get much of a farmhouse influence that was advertised to be a component of this beer and always a manstay of brewery vivants beers. But I guess that when I hear farmhouse I am thinking about brett flavors and yeasty beers most of the time. My 2nd sour beer in can! I think thats a cool little "novelity" in the craft beer world!

 1,193 characters

Photo of Thaddeus
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep dark brown with a murky appearance. Average sized head with dark brown foam.

Aroma & Taste: Had nice chocolate, coffee and toffee notes to it. Not as tart as the name suggests, possible slight ginger notes to it. The coffee was stronger as an aftertaste. Enjoyable if you like dark beers with coffee and toffee notes.

 335 characters

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark, but too thin looking to be described as motor oil-like. Dark tan fizzy head fizzles to nothing very quickly. No lacing.

S: Definitely tarty funk. Chocolate - loads of dark chocolate. Roasty chocolate. Sweetness coming across as dark fruits. The smell is really awesome.

T: Strong roast and java, backed with dark chocolate. Definitely tart, which becomes more evident with the strong sweetness of dark cherries.

M: Medium body. A bit boozy. Thinner than I think it should/could be. High carbonation.

O: I'm kinda all over the board on this one. The appearance wasn't bad, but not great. The smell was awesome and the taste was very good. The mouthfeel left a lot to be desired. Overall a nice beer, but definitely overpriced.

 738 characters

Photo of finstadp
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Tartside of the Moon from Brewery Vivant was a very intriguing beer. The appearance was a very dark brown or almost black. The beer had a dark and milk chocolate aroma. The beer was very full-bodied. The flavor was very dark and tasted very similar to coffee. This beer was the only beer I have had that was similar to a Guinness and I found that very intriguing.

 367 characters

Photo of GRPunk
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into a Chimay goblet.

A- Oh so dark. I don't know why I didn't figure on near pitch body based on the name. Somehow I'm reminded of soy sauce, brown head forms at 1/2 finger and quickly drops to the lightest film. Good stick.

S- Really unassuming at first. Dark bread, some licorice, maybe a hint of light smoke? Very light, tart fruit in beginning. Maybe a little chocolate. Warmth brings things forward. A little wine-like with some vinegar qualities. A little more chocolate. Actually, downright robust by the end.

T- Rich star is bready with a little chocolate. Very tart finish, mix of tart cherries and under-ripe berries. Hint of vinegar. A little woody.

M- Lots of carbonation at first. Sticky sweetness in a lingering finish. Quite full bodied.

O- It's good. It's pricy. Maybe a little more pricy than great. Nearly 10% ABV (9.8 I believe) doesn't present itself in a negative flavor or feel, but it sure catches up with a guy on an empty stomach.

 972 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If there were points allotted for creativity, I would give this one a 5. So go ahead, Brewery Vivant, Have a Cigar!

From the can, the beer was poured into a flute glass. It poured a near black color with a reddish tint radiating a woody dark fruit aroma. Only a slight head topped this one. In the initial taste, one gets chocolate and coffee in the front with grape skin and chocolate covered cherry toward the back. I was a little confused by the lack of fruit and sourness, though one can detect a certain level of vanilla from the aging process. The tart dark chocolate is more apparent at the finish. For a farmhouse ale, I really did not get the funk I was expecting. It seemed more like a sour laced with chocolate.

There is a Tart side of the Moon really, as a matter of fact its all tart.

 800 characters

Photo of wyatt13
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My dad picked up a couple cans of this a few months ago during a trip to Michigan. Poured from a pint can into my Cigar City snifter.

A - Pours a midnight black that is utterly opaque. A dark brown head fizzles away in only seconds. Oily appearance with lots of carbonation.

S - Lots of vanilla and tart cherry notes right up front. A good deal of bitter chocolate. A bit of umami.

T - Vanilla and cherry again take the lead here. A mild puckering lingers like the acidic twinge of cranberry juice. There's definitely a bit of heat here from the alcohol as well. Quite interesting.

M - Initial impression is high amounts of carbonation and thin-bodied. The puckering tartness dries out the mouth a bit.

O - A very interesting beer -- not exactly what I was imagining when I read "dark farmhouse ale" on the front of the can. To me, it was more of a stout with a good amount of tart cherries. Whatever it is, I'm glad I tried it and could see myself in the mood for this beer again.

 986 characters

Photo of Rope
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into Chimay chalice

Dark oil, definitely can't see through it. A thin tan head. Very pretty.

Sour fruit up front, but quickly over powered by roasted coffee.

I wish the taste followed the nose. The coffee taste still follows, but the sour fruit the dominating flavor. Interestingly, it reminds me a little bit of Stone's Vertical Epic 11-11-11 with a slight peppery taste at the end.

Good thick coating, small bubbles.

Very interesting beer, certainly unique, but I never need to try it again.

 551 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thick silky black with high viscosity and minimal head. The nose features vague vinegar notes backed by chocolate and cherry. As the beer warms and opens up, the tart cherry character comes on stronger and pairs nicely with the deep dark chocolate notes. The taste is not nearly as tart as the nose leads on. There is a vinegar component there, but the fruity sweetness seems to really cut out any strong acidity. Chocolate plays a big role on the flavor as well and holds up the fruity notes quite nicely. Mouthfeel is thick and mildly carbonated. Honestly, with a name like Tart Side of the Moon (awesome label art btw), I was hoping for something much more sour.

 673 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Thanks to my man Ryan for hookin' me up with this can!

I know there's an expectation for a Pink Floyd reference here, but y'all know I lean toward a Chinese Donny Osmond here... Anyway, this stuff pours a surprisingly deep black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises rich molasses, cocoa, light roasted malts, and a sharp spine of vinegar-coated cherry. The taste brings in more of the same, with the gulf between the thick, sweet, and roasty molasses and the sour, vinegary fruit (approaching a strong red wine at times and ripe tomatoes at others) somehow widening despite them being closer. Perhaps it's like those ideas concerning quantum-style space travel, where a huge stretch of space is simply folded under, bringing the origin and destination physically closer together while still maintaining that distance in an absolute sense. Something like that... The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat sticky feel. Overall, the Manichean nature of this beer leaves me confused, conflicted: Sometimes the disparate flavors meld in a sort of complimentary manner, but at others they simply bicker and argue over who killed which tastebuds. I'm not sure what to think, really, but I am left with a some sort of positivity when the dust settles, so I'd say it's more than worth a shot.

 1,373 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Kevin for sharing one of these. Saves me having to gamble on a four-pack myself... Never know how sour-dark beers are gonna turn out, but I was excited for this one. Pours a dark and deep black color with some shimmering ruby-red peeking through and outlining the glass, only when held directly to the light. The cap is fine-bubbled, tan, and creamy, showing decent retention.

Aroma starts off with a bit roasty malts first and foremost. A mellow combination of tart and sweet outlines the edges of the roast; grapes, cherries, raspberries, apple skins. Despite the undeniable tart fruit notes, the roast never looses its mojo, though it's a softer and mellow type of roast rather than being over-the-top heavy; no real char or smoke here. Some subtle coffee notes, not getting much chocolate - maybe just a very, very small hint of cocoa powder, but I think I'm just stretching for that one. Surprisingly not as complex as I thought it would be. More so just an overlay of some fruity tartness on a body of conservatively roasted malt.

I've got a generic, medium-roast stout in one hand and a generic, tart-but-not-puckering wild ale in my other hand. I can't decide which one to drink first, so I shove both bottlenecks into my mouth and down the gullet they both go, side-by-side, flavors of two completely different monsters just attacking my palate at once. Welcome to Tart Side of the Moon. It's like a half sour / half stout, that isn't really that sour and isn't really that stout-y. Mildly tart cherry and apple skins hit first as the tartness quickly fades into more of a sweetness than anything.

It mellows out with a substantial dryness as the malts catch back up; roasted malts, coffee beans, faint cocoa. The whole thing kind of dies down into a creamy, roasted coffee coating that covers your mouth with an abbreviated cherry sweetness to it. Like using Amaretto flavored cream in your coffee. I also pick up some mild oak flavors in the finish that weren't found anywhere else. Medium bodied, thinner than expected with ample carbonation and a slick, oily mouth feel.

I'm still not too sure how I feel about sour stouts. This one wasn't bad, but it didn't blow my socks off or anything like that. It was good, but I don't know if I'd ever buy a four-pack myself. It's hard to get roasted and sour flavors to play nicely together. This beer was a solid attempt, and has kept my hope alive for advancement in the style, but it's not gonna be the one that swoons me for life. Definitely worth a try, though.

EDIT: 4/1/2013

After having had this a few more times from the can and once more on tap at Vivant, I feel compelled to bump the score up. The beer is still very enigmatic to me, completely explainable at times. Sometimes it's more sour than stout. Sometimes it's more stout than sour. But maybe that's part of the appeal. Whatever it is, something keeps bringing me back, and that's gotta count for something, right? I wonder how these will age.

EDIT: 4/29/2013

Again, every time I have this, I like it more and more. This time on tap at the Twisted Rooster. The roast was a little more subtle, allowing the tart flavors to stand out a bit more. Still never became overwhelming with tartness, though - very well balanced. Is the variation on this beer strong, or is age beginning to work its magic? I guess only some more time will tell. But I have to bump up the score a bit more. I enjoyed this last pint very much. Smell was a bit more damp and musty but the flavor was great.

 3,519 characters

Photo of Etan
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another wild ale in a can from Vivant - this time it's an imperial stout that they soured. Pint can into a stout glass.

A: Pours out black and thick, with a nice tan head. Looks like an imperial stout.

S: Smells of roasted malt, coffee, light acetic acid, dark chocolate.

T: Heavy roasted grain, moderate vinegar and cherry tartness, cocoa, slight metallic note, charred bread.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: Pretty good. The roasted malt could be toned down a bit.

 482 characters

Photo of dfillius
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass

A: Moderate pour yields 3/4 finger of dark brown head that starts out dense, then fizzes away very quickly :-(. No head remains after 30 or so seconds. Typical of a sour, but still, I like more head. Opaque black liquid is perfect. Lack of head brings it down.
S: Chocolate, raspberry, citrus tartness.
T: Chocolate, slight coffee with a tart edge to it. A terrific mix of sour and RIS. The best I've had yet from Vivant. So well balanced between the sour and the sweet and the roast. No skimping on the sour notes in this one. Cherry, raspberry, and pear flavors are contributed by the souring.
M: Slight heat, but the 9.8% is well hidden. Full and diverse. Finishes bright and clean with a slight amount of bitter roast lingering.
D: Excellent. Keep the sips coming! I would order another at a bar. I might try to snatch some more of these up! Thank you Brewery Vivant!

 897 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Type: 16 oz can
Glass: Goblet
From: Plum Market in Ann Arbor
Price: $15

Appearance: pours a little motor oilish. dark brown almost black but with a hint of red. a small tan head that fades quickly and leaves nothing behind. good looking big beer

Smell: smoky malts, a touch of fruit.

Taste: Sour, cherries, slight coffee/roasted malts, bitter chocolate. very complex, very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter, slightly creamy, not as heavy as expected

Overall: This is an interesting beer. but i really like it. I like the bitterness being balanced by the sour, its an interesting take and turns out well. really glad i stumbled on this one. Loving Vivant and hope they keep up their interesting and unique Belgian beers. Definitely try some if you can find it

 773 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Tart Side Of The Moon from Brewery Vivant
3.97 out of 5 based on 367 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.