Valley Of The Heart's Delight | Almanac Beer Co.

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Valley Of The Heart's DelightValley Of The Heart's Delight

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by largadeer on 01-30-2014

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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 798
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle I brought to share at Retsinis' tasting.

Bottled February 2013.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, cherry, apricot, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour apricot and white wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is quite tasty with its sour fruit and wine combination.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Feb 27, 2016
Smells amazing, looks and feels like juice though.
Fantastic barrel aroma, vanilla, oak, and apricot round it out.
Tart and juicy apricot flavor with ample barrel characteristics, vanilla and oak. Faint Brett in the aftertaste. Puckering and verging on sour, dry and not as acidic as many other Almanac beers.
Really nice, though a bit thin bodied and lacking carbonation. Overall it's very good.

April 20, 2016
Picked up a couple more bottles a couple months later. Barrel aroma seems diminished and more acidic. Taste is also more acidic, perhaps this grows over time. Still has a pleasant apricot flavor, tends to lose carbonation quickly. Overall it still tastes good, but not without minor flaws.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml, bottled Feb. 2013.

A: Pours a hazy light orange with a solid 1-finger thick white head which fades to a cap leaving spots of lace.

N: Bright citrus and fruits, some acidity in the aroma, faint cherry sweetness.

T: Tart and bracing, apricots noted along with lemony citrus zest, fresh and lively, with a trace of white grape.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Finishes tart and fruity.

O: Refreshing and well done.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

thanks to my brother for sharing this with me, enjoyed chilled in a goblet.

The color is a very hazed looking golden with quickly dropping head of white to a ring. The smell is fruity with a tangy funky tropical scent with lemony lactic odor. The feel is super tangy with lactic acidic texture with mild sweetness and dry astringent pucker inducing feel with lasting acidity after the swallow.

This is very tart to the point of almost as acidic as lemon juice ( a small taste of lemon concentrate was sampled side-by side) with light fruity lactic acid and somewhat tropical tangy like pineapple flavor.
There is a drying astringency to the mix of bacteria and almost a spiced aspect in the finish.
This is a very sour wild ale -the kind you want to share rather than drink a whole 12oz of, but for what it is it is very tasty

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 04/01/15 notes. On tap at Gingerman in NYC.

Pours a hazy, bright deep yellow color with one inch of bright white head and low carbonation evident. Super sour, especially in the taste, with a lot of vinegar, citrus hops, lemon, white wine, apricots, earthy notes, and funk. Acedic, moderate body and low carbonation.

Overall a very good beer, super sour, especially in the taste. Lots of fruit and vinegar; kind of reminded me of some Bruery sours. A 4 oz. pour was perfect for me.

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Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
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 Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy pale body. Not much of a head. Very thin collar.

Smell - Stone fruit. Smells like apricots. I don't get much cherry. Smells acidic. Light grain.

Taste - Wow, it's sour. Stone fruit. More of the cherry flavor. Pale malt and some grainy malts. Intense sour finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium light, but really sour. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Overly sour for me. Detracts from the fruit flavor, but amplifies the grain.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Flat simple orange body, minimal rising carbonation but a little bit manages to poke out through the middle. No collar, barely hanging on, looking like a fruited lambic of sorts, but a nice orange tangerine hue all seems to stand out.

Interesting and unexpected nose. Huge notes of pancakes and maple syrup. A spec and slight hint of butter. Ground white flour. Mild sensing tartness and peaches to apricot nose. Mellows out after a bit of time but gives to more fruit quality as time goes on. Very unique wild yeast forward brew.

Mild palate lacking very much in anything particularly interesting or grabbing attention. Slightly wet but little malt depth. Mid palate comes out neutral, borderline seltzery with hardly any fruit character at all. Moderate tartness and lemon character, not giving much fruit variety, sweetness, or anything memorable. Watery, with perhaps a little bit of tannic wood coming out in the aftertaste.

Surprisingly underwhelming, lacking in depth, fruit character, and far too light bodied for barrel aging. A decent wild brew, sure but doesn't come off as anything special let alone memorable.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Light haze on a soft yellow-peach body. White head settles quickly with little-to-no lace.

S - Fruity, restrained and well rounded. Red apple, cantaloupe, white cherries, apricots, and sour cranberries.

T - Smooth well balanced sourness, green grape, macintosh apple, sourdough, dried apricots.

M - Medium frame. Maybe medium-full to style. Strange, dry cream finish.

O - A deft balance of fruit and sour; fairly restrained for an American Wild ale.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran last night.

Pours a murky golden orange, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like apricots, lactic acid, and white wine. Smells only moderately sour, not too crazy.

The taste is similar, this is moderately sour, with some sour white wine flavors, lactic acid and such. I'm getting a bit of apricot, not really getting any cherry, and I have no idea what a loquat tastes like. I wish this was a bit fruitier, given the three different fruits, but it tastes really nice.

This one is light bodied, airy and spritzy in the mouthfeel, with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.

Not bad at all here, tastes great, but could be a little more, I think.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a hazy light copper body wit a thin white film that is supported by a tight little carbonation. The body is a pretty cloudy and with each sip nice little foam clouds form on the glass.

S- The nice tart fruity aroma has some earthy stone fruit notes and a cherry skin finish with some delicate apricot notes.

T- The full tart slightly dry jammy fruit flavors has some earthy dark cherry skins underneath and a gentle tartness hangs on the tongue after the finish.

M- this beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a gentle astringency prick to the little crisp fizz.

O- The full dept of tartness blends with some more acidic fruit character that is bright and is nicely melded together. Very tasty.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy copper with a quickly dissipating, white head. Aroma of sour and tart notes, some apricots and cherry notes, pale malts, light wine notes and oak notes, and hints of spices. Flavor the same with a great blend. Average texture. A really cool beer.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into a shaker

hazy orangeish yellow color with a slight head. smell has a lot going on and i get a good amount of peaches. you can tell this one is going to be sour. taste is massively lip puckering and by far their sourest beer to date. great fruit notes throughout and the finish is on point with a lasting fruit flavor. love this stuff. lip puckering sourness thoroughout.. great job

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

EBF sample. Pours a hazy yellow/orange color. Smell is a pretty intense sourness. This beer is brewed with apricots and after finding this out, I can totally get it. Flavor is very bright and tart. A mixture of various unripe fruits. White wine, lemons, acidity, apricots. Finishes with some oak. The flavor lingers and lingers, leaving tart, bright fruits. A nicely concocted sour brew with a fresh, pale fruity flavor. Memorable.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Woooo. Super up front sourness. Almost like sucking on a lemon. Faint hints of the apricot and whatever the hell a loquat is. Not getting much in the way of wine barrel. It's delicious.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter hazy golden color with white fizzy head. Light fruits, apricots, cherry tartness, funk, and oak on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes tart and dry with just a hint of fruity sweetness snuck in.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle from 2/2013. Poured into a stemless glass 12/11/2014.

A- Hazy, cloudy, opaque, whatever you want to call it- beige-yellow body with half finger white head with minimal retention, no lacing. It seems very pulpy, like orange juice but with chunks of pulp. A bit nasty in appearance, there is no getting around it.

S- Lots of lactic acidity, apricot sweetness, tropical fruit, a bit of mango, grainy pale malt, and a bit of vinegar. However I would not have known there were cherries in this from the smell alone, other than what it says on the label. Smells nice and lactic, with a nice complexity from the fruits. This smells great.

F- Jesus Christ, this one has gotten sour with age. Lactic acidity is at 9/10 with a stinging, dryness that leaves a distinct but distant impression of tart stone fruit sweetness. Dry, tannic finish that was probably from red wine barrel use. Very nice sour with good complexity, a bit oversoured at this point.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, dry and tannic on the finish with a lot of sour acidity that makes this slightly challenging. Very refreshingly sour.

O- Very nice AWA, I certainly liked this one even at its high price point at $17 for a 375ml. It lacks any kind of funk, but the acidity and fruit flavours is up to par with some of the other highly-regarded American Wild Ales out there.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle sealed with signature Almanac pressure cap.

poured into SP wine Stem at fridge temp.

Appearance: light orange bodied beer that is slightly opaque. Lots of suspended chunks in this beer. A large 3 finger tall head that drops down to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Acetic sour and vinegar notes that are fairly mellow, but you definately know that they are there. Citrusy and musty funk, white wine, and dry toasty oak.

Taste: mild sourness 4/10. Acetic sourness and vinegar notes. Lots of apricot, stone fruits, and citrus(oranges and lemons) with a hint of cherry sweetness. Cracker malts. Mild musty funkiness and a hint of white wine with dry oak note. Slightly briney. Lingering acetic sourness that finishes clean after a while. The cherry flavor really explodes in this beer as it warms up! A Hint of vanilla sweetness also shows up when it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Semi dry finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Really balanced and drinkable sour beer.

Overall: Another great Almanac sour. They really know how to make great sour beers consistently! This is at the top tier of the Almanac sours that I have tried so far.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Feb 2013. Thanks, Chris!

A hazy light peach with a dense white head that falls off leaving little lacing. The nose is bright with your cherries , apricots, peaches and a moderate lactic sourness. Funk is minimal , and there's a noticeable fleshy, pulpy fruit aroma, especially apricots. A little dough is present.

The palate opens sharply sour with a blend of lactic acid, raw apricot, peach skins and cherry sourness. This is followed by a lemony mid palate that enhances the acidity. Drying and sour on the finish with fleshy fruit and a sourness not unlike aged foufoune( read: heading in an unpleasant direction ). Minimal wine barrel character here, although a moderate grape character is present. Light in body and moderately carbonated, this is solid stuff.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opnened on 2.28.14

A - Pours a hazy off-orange with a fizzy near white head that is gone fast.

S - Funky, lots of stone fruits, cherry, subtle wine.

T - Similar to the nose, but cherry and wine are sronger, and welcomed.

D - A light body with good carbonation.

O - Finally, I geat a good Almanac. Very nice fruit and funk.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle served in a tulip. Pours a bright golden orange with a loose, 1/8th inch, bright white head that quickly dissipates. Digging the nose - tart, light stone fruit, yeast and a pleasant acetic quality. Taste consistent with nose - apricot is clearly defined and theres also a kiss of lactic sweetness towards the back. Mouthfeel is light in body with a bright acidity which overshadows the carbonation. There's also an tart dryness that lingers in the throat between quaffs. Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I dig this beer. My first from Almanac and I'm thoroughly impressed!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A-Cloudy deep yellow, one finger head that doesn't last long, not much carbonation either.

S-Very fruity. Apricots and other fruits. Slight cherries, oak and grapes as well. Mild tartness.

T-Fruits and citrus all over the place. Apricots, cherries and lemons. Grapes as well. Slight oak. Ends with a nice sour note as well.

M-Medium bodied, slight carbonation, nice sour finish.

O-An amazing citrus driven sour. There are beers that are more sour but the fruit flavor in this beer is amazing.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage served at Ale Arsenal.

Beautiful semi-opaque golden yellow. Smells fruity (peachy?), but not tart. But it tastes VERY tart. Delicious. Puckery. Very much to my liking.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on-tap, Chucks Central District

Hazy peach body - lots of ripe fruit - apricot, peach, cherry, grapes. Vinous and oak notes from the wine barrels compliment everything nicely. Nice tartness, a bit of lemon citrus, dry finish. Good stuff - the best of the latest batch of almanac beers

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Valley Of The Heart's Delight from Almanac Beer Co.
4.27 out of 5 based on 798 ratings.
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