Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett - Grand Cru
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett - Grand CruCrooked Stave Nightmare On Brett - Grand Cru
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Baltic Porter
4.22 | pDev: 10.19%
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett - Grand CruCrooked Stave Nightmare On Brett - Grand Cru
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 158
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oak, vanilla, dark cherry and plum in the aroma. Some bourbon but subtle. The bourbon comes out much more in the flavor, particularly if you've let it warm. I expected some cocoa or licorice but it's notthere. Acidity, at this point, is moderate. Distinctly Crooked Stave; you couldn't mistake this for any other brewery.

 321 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into oversized wine glass

A- pours a dark brown color with a small fizzy light tan head that disappears to leave just a ring around the edge, a few alcohol legs left behind

S- tart dark cherry aroma up front with some balsamic vinegar, funky earthy brett, toasted oak and a hint of chocolate

T- dark cherry flavor follows the aroma with a lactic sourness, tart vinegar mixes with toasted oak and bourbon, hint of vanilla and chocolate on the finish

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues to a dry finish

O- quite a different and welcomed take on a baltic porter

 643 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a modest tan head; the head fades quickly but it leaves a smattering of lace all over the tulip; leggy, too

Smell: Tart cherry with chocolate undertones; funky and oaky, with a hint of Bourbon

Taste: Lactic cherry, at the outset, with chocolate, oak and Bourbon tones developing underneath; increasingly acetic, after the swallow, the chocolate tones build somewhat, adding another dimension; dry, tart finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very interesting dark sour; the best in the current batch of Crooked Stave's I have tasted recently

Thanks, JMBSH, for the opportunity

 666 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with some slight transparency at the edges. Reddish flecks. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Cherry tartness. Chocolate. Whiskey. Oak. Smells like a very deep roasted oud bruin.

Taste - Very oaky. Very tart. Deep caramel and dark fruit sourness. Some roasted malts. Whiskey barrel adds a nice vanilla component that cuts the sourness a bit. Woody finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Flavorful. A little harsh.

 508 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle into tulip. Bottled 5/23/13. Thanks Chris!

A: Pours just a shade lighter than black beneath a finger of fizzy short-lived light brown head. Head quickly faded into a fuzzy collar that left a few steaks of thin lace down the glass.
S: Dry hints of tart cherry skins, woody oak, faint spicy whisky, and deep roasted malts. Acidic smelling and musty.
T: Follows the nose with dominating and tart flavors of red berries and un-ripened fruits. Mild flavors of chocolate and roast poke through, and the finish has a kick of earthy must and barrel funk. The aftertaste is full of oak, dark malts, slight caramel, and faint whisky.
M: Medium-full body, fizzy bubbly carbonation, with a tart and drying mouthfeel. The tartness is candy-like and acidic.
O: I’ve had better dark sours but this was a good beer. Tartness is in your face and dominating. Enjoyable to sip but nothing I need to drink again.

 912 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.41/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

375ml cellar reserve bottle that a regular trader hooked me up with for being a trustee, very cool. Dark black, minimal head. Looks pretty much like the cognac version I had on tap. Aroma is very vinous, grapes, cherries, vinegar, obviously going to be sour. One thing I did not like is that as it warmed I got a poopy dirty diaper quality out of the smell so I had to knock the score, eww. This wasn't manure it was baby poop. Flavor is sour, dark fruits, cherries, not bad at all but it upset my stomach acids. I got heartburn almost immediately and I've been drinking sour beers for a long time. Another thing I was a little let down by was that I couldn't really taste nor smell the whiskey barrel. Maybe its because this beer is already a year old but it would have been nice. Overall this is good if you like dark fruity sours but its not for me.

 852 characters

Photo of dar482
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer pours out in a dark reddish brown, almost black color.

The beer has dark cherries, blackberry, raspberry. There is vinegar and a good amount of tartness, some balsamic, red wine, with wonderful oak and drying quality.

An absolutely delicious brew with wonderful complexity and dark fruit.

 299 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.47/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pour is dark, black esq., with a bubbly tan head. Nose is charred wood and some marshmallow. Lacto sourness and cherry, a touch acetic in the nose. Taste follows, not really acetic. Strong carbonation, Lighter body. Less wood, more cherry. Lacto is fairly present mid palate with notes of marshmallow and vanilla.

 313 characters

Photo of jeonseh
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark almost black beer with an slight off white head that sits just on the edges with an island of foam in the middle

S - Sweet cherry, dark chocolate, light tartness, milk sweetness, slight raspberries, slight alcohol presence. Really one of the best noses for a dark sour porter I've smelled.

T - Tart vinegar and lemon up front as well as sour cherry. There is milk chocolate and roasted malt from the porter aspect. There is some Brett near the finish as well that gives it a nice farmhouse funky aspect as well as some slight warmth and mustiness from the alcohol barrels

M - Heavy carbonation with a dry finish from the oak. Slight chalkiness from the roasted malt

O - Really an interesting good dark sour that is balanced with tartness, cherry flavor, good aspects of the porter, and a slight presence from the alcohol. Really impressed by how they managed to make this tart yet still keep the aspects of the Baltic porter

 943 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at AndrewK's tasting.

Batch 5/23/13.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, fruit, whiskey, and funk aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and slight cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a medium 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 good beer that is quite sour and puckering.

 575 characters

Photo of jbaker67
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown pour with a khaki head. Aromas of balsamic vinegar, red wine, chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Hints of whiskey, some lemon, a bit of grass, roasted malt, caramel, and dark fruits. Whew, a lot going on. Complex flavors of balsamic vinegar, caramel, chocolate, tannic red wine, whiskey, and oak. Notes of vanilla, dark fruit, some grass, and roasted malt.

 366 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: bottle from the '13 Cellar Reserve

Deep brown-black pour, opaque, with a small but firm cap of tan head that retained well and left gentle lacing on the glass. Aroma of dark roasty malts with a burst of tartness, dark fruits--cherries and red wine. This beer reminded me bit of Tired Hands' Guillemot Nebula, and that's a good thing. The taste followed the nose, tart black cherries, red wine, lacto, good notes of bourbon-soaked oak, all backed up with dark malts bringing in hints of burnt caramel and unsweetened chocolate. Medium-full body, tart, but not overly puckering, moderate carbonation, and a warm boozy kick. Very nice overall.

 652 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle from cellar reserve membership this year. enjoyed from last year's cellar reserve glass.

a - pried the wax and opened the bottle. when i filled my glass the brew poured a deep black with chestnut highlights. there was a reasonable head with the pour and nice lacing painted the glass as i sipped the brew.

s - dark and tart. cherries. red wine. sweet n sour candy.

t - really nice and tart dark cherry flavor. vinous. tart. delicious.

m - fairly tart but not puckering.

o - overall, a really nice take on a dark sour. the whiskey barrel seems to add the right angle for the tartness. nothing porterlike about this beer. glad i have a few more of these!

 664 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into HF stemmed glass. Batch 23 from May 2013. Thanks Bill (forgetfu) for sending this one.

A- Pours a dark brownish purple that appears a jet black in the glass, about a quarter to half a finger of slightly mocha brownish off-white head forms that has decent retention but fades to a flat top, some light lacing hear and there cling to the sides of the glass.

S- Aromas of dark fruits, plums, cherries, grapes, burgundy, merlot, a little bit of vinegar.

T- Grapes, raisins, plums, burgundy, vinegar, finishes with a more vinegar, a little bit of red wine, and a faint presence of chocolate and raisins in a lingering aftertaste that resembles the porter qualities. Fairly complex but just a tiny bit too vinegary for my liking.

M- Medium bodied, slight vinegar acidic feel to it, medium carbonation, abv very well hidden.

O- This was a nice dark sour that still showed signs of the original base beer before it was taken over by a vinegar acidity. The final product was fairly complex and decently acidic yet drinkable. Not my favorite dark sour I've had, but definitely one worth trying.

 1,114 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle had at The Festival in Portland.

Pours a dark murky brownish black color, nice creamy head with bit of lacing.

Nose tons of sour and light lacto funk, pedio too I think, a horseradish aroma, nice toasty buttery oak, light acetic, light sour cherry, light phenolic booze.

Creamy lacto funk sour but not super, tons more buttery oak and barrel notes, dark caramel malts soured, hint of choc covered tart cherries, light acidic bite and acetic acid, some warming phenolic booze again.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, light flemmy and sticky, decent carb.

 558 characters

Photo of dbc5
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle poured into Barley Creek wine style glass.

A: Brown to black pour with a fluffy cream colored head. Nice lacing on the way down the glass. Looks great.

S: Tart cherries, some wood, clear acidity. Perhaps a bit of roast from the dark malts in the background, but this one is all about tart acidity on the nose.

T: Sour cherries is the first thing that hit my palate. Moderate sourness. A bit of oak and some whiskey flavors. At the very end, I'm getting some subtle chocolate covered cherry like flavors on the palate.

M: Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. For me, this doesn't drink like a 9.6% beer; not getting much in the way of alcohol heat.

O: A really enjoyable beer, although I did prefer the other 2013 Crooked Stave Cellar Reserve that I've had, Origins Grand Cru, which I thought was phenomenal. I really enjoyed this beer.

 865 characters

Photo of mroberts1204
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to poonamibaxter for sending this to me and asking for nothing in return! A true BA.

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a khaki head that lingers. Smell has that typical Crooked Stave characteristic of oak. Sour cherry. Vanilla, bourbon, and oak is dominant. Huge vanilla. Taste is lactic sour immediately, then followed by the delicious huge oakiness that I detected in the nose. Finishes with cherries and some mocha/chocolate. The finish leaves me a bit disappointed but I'm just looking for something wrong with the beer at this point. Where is the alcohol? It drinks nothing like a beer at 9.66%. More like 6%. The sours coming out of this brewery never disappoint.

 686 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to ablackshear for another awesome extra!

375ml bottle pressure cap and waxed.


poured into Crooked Stave tulip.

Appearance: Opaque dark brown to a medium black bodied beer. 2 fingers of medium to dark khaki colored head that drops down to a thin cap that stays around forever. Lacing coats the glass and its a little better than spotty lace.

Smell: Tart cherry and an acetic note. Wet oak. A hint of slightly boozey and sweet bourbon.

Taste: Starts off with tart cherries that are on the low end of moderately sour. A healthy dose of wet oak and some sweet bourbon to taste. A hint of smokey malts and tootsie rolls. The beer is vinous, acetic, and tannic. Wine like note dominates the finish with more tart cherries a very faint hint of spicy rye. That is seriously complex beer here!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation levels. The carbonation is spot on. This is a big sour and its even hardly boozey. The beer feels oily and is fairly smooth. It also has a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is the second 2013 Crooked Stave Cellar Reserve beer that I have had the privilage to drink. The other was Origins Grand Cru. And Wow... Both are truly stellar sour beers. This beer is listed as a baltic porter, but the beer doesnt have much of anything to do with a baltic porter in my opinion...its a sour beer all the way. I also noticed that both origins grand cru and nightmare on brett grand cru have very similiar flavor profiles despite the very different base beers. Crooked Stave really knows how to brew some complex and deverse sour beers! Crooked Stave does a great job of "thinking outside of the box" when it comes to the craft beers they brew and barrel age.

 1,738 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

more cellar reserve series stuff courtesy of drlovemd83, a fantastic BA and friend. the grand cru came with lofty expectations, and maybe I overbilled it, but I liked this less than its simple single barrel forefathers. the pour is that same nefarious red tinted dark brown nectar with a minimal off white head, and the nose is still piquantly sour, vinegary, and lactic, but the taste is very different. instead of the big vanilla and oaky char notes like the bourbon barrel version, this one falls flat on the finish, as if lacking an identity of its own. there is more of a tannic red wine sort of vibe to the taste and feel, which is fine in its own right, but the smoothness is absent from earlier versions. the alcohol is also more apparent in this edition, and the body seems less, although that may be in my head. its hard to look at a crooked stave beer objectively anymore for me, they are so intriguing, challenging, complex, and of course fantastic. its hard to be critical of such a good brew, and by almost any other standards, this is flawless, but I am trying to rate this one in the crooked stave context, and in that regard its a step below the other nightmare beers in my opinion. still outstanding and worth going after.

 1,240 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 6.7.13
Batch 23/May/2013
ABV is 9.666%

A - Pours a very dark brown-black with an active fizzy brown head that quickly fomrs a ring around the glass.

S - Cherry, oak, bourbon, a touch of tartness.

T - Cherry and bourbon with a wood tart tingle finish.

D - Mild to medium carbonation with a medium body.

O - Cherry, Brett, woody, bourbon - So Delicious. Good choice for the Cru.

 410 characters

Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett - Grand Cru from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 158 ratings