Valley Of The Heart's Delight
Almanac Beer Co.

Valley Of The Heart's DelightValley Of The Heart's Delight
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American Wild Ale
Ranked #76
Ranked #585
4.35 | pDev: 6.67%
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
Valley Of The Heart's DelightValley Of The Heart's Delight
Notes: This sour ale is inspired by the agricultural history of the Santa Clara Valley. Long before it became Silicon Valley, it was known as the Valley of The Heart’s Delight, a fertile basin overflowing with fruit orchards. Brewed with foraged apricots handpicked by the Garden To Table non-profit, this collaborative beer celebrates and supports their mission to promote urban farming in San Jose.
Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 877 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Great-Pyrebeers:
Photo of Great-Pyrebeers
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/18/2017. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy medium golden yellow/light orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big tart/tangy strawberry, apricot, peach, lemon, pineapple, green apple, white wine, wheat, cracker, oak, hay, straw, and grass; with light vanilla, leather, musty funk, white vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart/tangy strawberry, apricot, peach, lemon, pineapple, green apple, white wine, wheat, cracker, oak, hay, straw, and grass; with light vanilla, leather, musty funk, white vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness and yeast/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy strawberry, apricot, peach, lemon, pineapple, green apple, white wine, wheat, cracker, oak, hay, straw, grass, light funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance, and zero puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from tart/spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/acidic, and fairly tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Zero warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is an incredible fruited sour/wild ale! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink with the balanced tart/acidic finish. Outstanding Brett complexity, with tons of fruit. Nice wine barrel presence, without getting too tannic. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,107 characters

Photo of Damian
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12.68 fl.oz. (375ml) bottle purchased at Pemberton Farms, Cambridge, MA
Released February 2017
Served in a tulip

Hazy, brassy yellow appearance. The liquid was capped by a loose, soapy looking, bone white crown that quickly fell to a thick, bubbly collar. Patches of streaky lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was amazing. Strawberry notes dominated. Super fresh and bright. Good amount of bretty tartness. Some peach and apricot came through as well. White wine notes were also apparent. An oaky Chardonnay perhaps. Touch of citrus too.

The flavor profile was much more straightforward than the nose. Intense Bretty notes hit hard from the get go. Super sour and slightly funky. Citrus came through big time in the center. Loads of lemon. Strong oaky barrel notes as well. Touch of peach/apricot on the back end. Big lemon pith and oaky notes in the finish.

Nice frothy, lighter bodied mouthfeel. Really fluffy on the palate. The liquid contained a fairly aggressive, larger bubbled effervescence. Later, the carbonation settled to a more appropriate level.

Valley of the Heart's Delight had a terrific, strawberry forward nose but unfortunately lacked both fruitiness and complexity in the flavor profile. On a side note, it seems that this beer's fruit additions have changed repeatedly (this version contained apricot and strawberry, and past variations had cherries, mulberries, dates and loquat). Surprisingly, all these beers are listed under one heading on BeerAdvocate. Looking at past reviews, however, perhaps this should not be the case.

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Photo of blockdude
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite sours, and in my opinion far better than any almanac beer. The body has some very enjoyable floral notes with a lot of apricots and cherries. There is quite a bit of carbonation and acidity, but it is not overbearing. What I enjoy most about this beer is its earthiness and the fact that everything tastes so fresh particularly the apricots and cherries. I would say that the bottle version can be hazier than on tap and although it probably looks better on tap, it ages very well with more noticeable barrel qualities over time.

 556 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a really awesome fruit beer here, not totally sure what a loquat is, maybe another asian citrus type? hard to pick it out, not knowing what it is. the beer is hazy pale orange colored without much head or visible carbonation, but its far from flat in the feel, just looks it. the nose is apricot heavy, thats the only fruit i really smell, maybe a little lemon, and also some hectic sourness, more than brett this is lacto heavy, clean though, and mouth watering. the flavor starts wight he fuzzy and ripe apricots, and then the sourness that starts with a lemony tartness and progresses to full blow caustic acidity. the finish finally shows the cherries in this, tart and red and juicy, which is an unexpected flavor for the color, and an even more interesting twist for the sourness to cling on to. a crockery malt base is basically irrelevant here, as the fruit and bacteria do all of the flavoring. this series of little bottle special farm stuff from almanac has been a pleasure to drink through so far, they seem to have a real grasp for getting authentic fruit flavors is dry sour beer, its real tasty, and aside from the sourdough, this may be my personal favorite. big thanks as always to drlovemd87 for sharing.

 1,222 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Some bottle code, but can't tell if it's a date as it smudges and disappears.

Pours no real head, super murky sunny golden bright yellow color.

Nose big funk, sour funk, plenty of bacteria and some souring Brett too I think, apricot fruit, a little citrus, big peachy apricot stone fruit, soured stone fruit, acidic funk with some mild vinous wine notes, a little toasty oak, a little cheesy funk, and hint of berry.

Taste is very sour, incredibly tart and sour, plenty of acidity too, flemmy tart funk, cheesy funk, lots of souring bacteria and some Brett funk, a little bready malt on the back end, with big stone fruit again, sour apricot and peachy, a touch of citrus, dried apricots and maybe a hint of golden date , and just a touch of berry in the background if any, creamy bready wheat base, and a little gristy grain, a little raw woody oak and vinous white wine. Finish is flemmy but not much, quite acidic, big fruits lingering mostly apricot and stone fruit, citrus, and lemony sour funk lingering.

Mouth is med bod, super acidic, a bit flemmy, lighter carb.

Overall pretty nice, evn though it's prob a bit old tons of nice apricot and stone fruit, very sour and funky, enjoyable though, wish the mulberry and date were a bit more, but prob hard to get those out in a beer like this.

 1,300 characters

Photo of danasofia
4.96/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a goblet glass.

Look - Beautiful hazy, cloudy orange/amber. Completely opaque when held up to light.

Smell - Lots of dry oak, complemented by white wine, sourdough bread, and a very floral mix of citrus and strawberry and light apricot. Also a bit of cool, earthy, and leathery brett flavor.

Taste - Amazing. Very tart, with a strong leaning toward lemon with a deep background of white wine, leaves a warm, earthy oak flavor in the finish. The tartness brings out strawberry notes, while the barrel flavors emphasize a woody, apricot pit flavor (also present in the brett aspects of the nose). More prominent apricot as it warms and I get further into the glass. Really rich, textural, and delicious fruit flavors all around.

Feel - Light, but with plenty of sediment and stickiness. Smooth, refreshing, and dry, but really leaves a strong aftertaste and thirst-quenching presence of saliva. Definitely makes you crave the next sip.

Overall - This is an outstanding beer from a consistently outstanding series. Almanac's sour blondes never disappoint, but the complexity and interplay between strawberry and apricot, as well as the amazingly precise expression of their flavors, really makes this a winner.

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Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you anotherjoe for hooking me up with multiple bottles of this on more than one occasion, it is greatly appreciated. 375ml bottle poured into a wine glass, the bre appears a hazed golden copper color. An off-white cap appears and slowly fades leaving patchy lace sticking.

The smell is juicy like peach/apricot. Very fruity with vinous notes that get progressively more wild and tangy. A slight hint of brine and mineral aspect at first that blends to an earthy peach/apricot skin character. A very mild woody almost vanilla note is also present from the barrel along with a faint kiss of vinegar.

The taste is tart with peachy/apricot fruitiness and lactic tartness. It is juicy yet oak is present with minor vanilla aspects impart a sense of contrasting sweetness. A lingering sour fruit feel and raw oakiness blends to earth and fruity pith/pulp almost grassy with the skin of fruit filling out the rest of the profile.

This is a light bodied brew with modest carbonation. Plenty of tartness that gets minorly acidic when it warms up with a bounty of fruit and barrel character to balance it all out. I like this beer quite a lot, thanks again Anotherjoe!

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Photo of jeremiahoden
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of MLDucky
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bnes09
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful apricot aroma. Aggressive acidity with apricot and underlying berry flavor. Citric acid quality. Very well balanced. Like a dry, sour white wine. High carbonation. Dry finish. Excellent.

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Photo of lucas1801
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Moses_Malone
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gotti311
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Photo of ScotNH
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nuggetlover
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous haven't peed in 6 hours urine color... nose is barnyard in a bigly way, it is musty... taste is mild compared to the nose. Tart but not sour. Some mild dried apricot. Very refreshing. Crisp and tart.

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Photo of Port_Seat
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of HopsintheSack
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Valley Of The Heart's Delight from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 877 ratings