Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) | Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged)Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged)

Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.66%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 07-19-2013

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 508
Photo of LAp
4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with no head. Nose is dark saison hybridized with earthy brettanomyces funk. Notes of dark fruit, cherry, and raspberry. The palate opens with sweet fruit, predominantly raspberry and cherry. More than even earthy or clean, the sour has the character of ripe fermenting fruit. Mouthfeel is medium with subtle carbonation. An absolutely incredible, nuanced

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Photo of brians52
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer!! The raspberry slaps you across the face like an Andre the Giant open hand chop. Continues to improve as it warms and opens up obviously, so take your time with this one.

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Photo of Beejay
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A ruby chestnut as it pours, black in the glass with a hint of dark brown then held to the light. Dark brown head on top.

S: Acidic sour note at first, then a big luscious raspberry aroma, a touch of booze. Like a big jar of tart, sweet, jam.

T: Big luscious juicy raspberry, followed by a lovely tartness. Very jam like but with an astounding sourness. I am not picking up much of the whiskey, but a touch of oak shows itself in the finish.

M:Medium in body the the near effervescent carbonation makes it feel lighter.

O: This is the best beer I have had is a long, long while. Holy fuck this is good. This beer transcends simply being a beer, and becomes an experience.

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Photo of KevCan
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 12 oz. bottle at my parents' house. Bottled September 2015. Poured into a mini St. Bernardus snifter.

Look: Dark brown, little head.

Smell: Very strong brett smell. Wet horse blanket to the extreme. Sour cherry.

Taste: Sweet on the tip of the tongue. Extremely tart/sour cherry, puckery.

Feel: Very acidic/dry.

Overall: Very well-done. A supremely drinkable sour.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice. The whisky is present but restrained, allowing the sour base to take centre stage. A rather vinous and fruity flavour, with the whisky offsetting in the end.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.81/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black with a milky tan blanket.

Smell is chocolatey, roasty, smoked wood and milk. Not a lot of the sour or fruit elements come through on the nose.

Taste is really oaky and acetic, very dry, with really sour cherry.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As yeast is commonly responsible for ethanol, and bacteria is that for acidity, its rare to find sour ale of imperial strength. Yet, Crooked Stave brewers, blenders and madmen employ specialized whisky barrels to propel a strong, dark sour ale into imperial status.

Tarnish bronze and swirling with a sepia stained creme, the ale swirls with oakiness, mustiness, sour and fruit into the nose. Its taste is toasty, dryly malty and with a hint of fruit-centric sweetness.

As the ale explodes on the middle palate, its plethora of fruit and spice is revealed as apple, grape, lime, lemon and pomegranate begins to pop off the tongue. A fast followup of toast and peppercorn ensure an even-keel balance but the additions of vinous acidity and its confident nuances pushes the taste into the spicy, oaky and lightly peated realm.

Medium-light in body, the beer is robust for sour. but its cleanly acidic bite and oak tannins reduces the malt to a dry and toasty finish. Citrus peel seems on the singed side while it trailing peppercorn bite is a beautiful sour and whisky spicy combination with a quick aftertaste.

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Photo of Benish
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured a dark brown color (think color of prune juice) with a film of brown head.

Smell: plums, cocoa, little vanilla, possibly moldy fruits, and alcohol at the finish.

Taste: a touch of cocoa at the beginning. Very rich flavors with plums, raisins. Also notes of tannin. Heavily sour throughout. Very dry and slight whiskey notes at the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied and slick.

Absolutely delicious. Bottled July 2015.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown color with tanish colored head. Whiskey, tartness, funk, dark fruits, and some oak on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes tart and dry with whiskey.

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Photo of Funky_Funky_Brett
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was blown away by smelling just the cap after opening a bottle. Second time I had the opportunity to try this offering from crooked stave and it is so so well done. It is incredibly sour. The near 10% abv is hidden well. The taste is potent and it opens up more after sipping on it. Raspberries come through strong here

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Photo of gholmes
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

When we tasted nightmare, and my buddy put this as his untappd check-in comment, my first statement was "this is a watershed beer moment." You really get a feel for how complex and flavorful sour beer can be and how well they can balance the tartness with other flavors. That's a moment I won't soon forget.

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Photo of Spinaltapped
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

New beer from one of my favorite breweries.

Look: Pitch black with minimal khaki head. Very low carbonation and a small pool of bubbles like an oil slick on the top. Handsome beer.

Smell: Dark fruit, plum, vinegar, roasted malt,brown sugar, vanilla. Absolutely mouthwatering.

Taste: A blast of lingering acidic sour, unripened fruit (cherry, raspberry, plum) followed by a nice wave of chocolate malt and vanilla. VERY sour. Like 9.5/10. What is most surprising is the amount of barrel notes in this guy. Minimal Brett funkiness, a bit of leather. Very little apparent bourbon/booze. A definite sipper, but a phenomenal one.

Feel: Medium body with low carbonation. Dry, wine-like finish.

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Photo of maximum12
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beerisheaven for this lovely, artistic, red-waxed 375ML bottle. I just checked the master spreadsheet & this gentleman has sent me 127 beers over the past 8 years. Damn.

Wax & cap part without a whisper of a hiss, even with the hearing aid turned up to 11. The pour is 4 A.M. dark with only a loose coalition of bubbles drifting here & there. The nose is full of whisky, which in this strain of brew, is usually beaten & vanished by the wild bugs; not here. Whisky, plum stones, strong chocolate, vanilla sweetness. Wow. Consider my expectations upended.

Nightmare on Brett continues its assault on my assumptions in the mouth phase of the trial. Tart & drying, with a strong shot of whisky is the cover story. Underneath is faint chocolate, leather dog chew, acidic, distant peat, sharp cranberry & lemon. The lack of carbonation doesn’t detract at all, & I’m bringing this to my lips frequently.

I haven’t been impressed with Crooked Stave – until now. This is one of the few barrel-treated wilds where I can actually taste the barrel, while also adding complexity so the beer isn’t ‘just sour’. Layers & layers, tasty, a true sipping sour. Beautifully made, excellent brew.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours an extremely dark brown, essentially black, with a creamy tan head. Really impressive lacing and head retention.

S: Dark and funky with some toasted oak and whiskey notes. A bit of caramel hidden behind lots of tart cherries and raspberries, bread crust, and a touch of chocolate. Everything here is really subtle and balanced.

T: Tart cherries mingle with dark malt and a touch of whiskey. Some oaky toastiness, plums, very restrained malt character and assertive sourness. Finish is mostly dry and vinous, with a lingering balanced tartness.

F: Medium-plus bodied with minimal carbonation and a silky mouthfeel, with no hint of that near-10% abv.

Thoughts: This beer is crazy good. I’ve had some pretty mediocre experiences with dark wild ales before, and this is not one of them. Extremely complex and extremely balanced, with no trace of the actual strength.

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Photo of erk0607
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark, opaque, slightly brown-black, nice beige head. You'd expect this to be a dark beer upon first pour.

Smell: Sour cherry, fruits

Taste: Sooooour. And tart notes of cherry on the aftertaste. Not much else besides the cherry to speak of. A step below a sour candy.

Feel: Smooth, slight foamyness on the tongue

Overall: Delicious

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Photo of frasergrove
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottling. Pours a rich and thick dark brown/amber, completely impenetrable by light. A thin whispy head that settles completely. Aroma is a mix of sweet cherry, rich dark chocolate, with funky and vanilla undertones. Big pop of tartness up front! Sour! Tart cherry, under ripe raspberry, smooth and big bodied with a surprisingly refreshing finish. A delicious dark sour!

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Photo of sittinggc
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received this as a an extra. Dated 11/2014 Batch 3. Poured into tulip.

Look: Very dark. Brown head with good retention.
Smell: Vinegar. Dark fruits. Bourbon undertones.
Taste: Very tart. Dark fruit. Nice Bourbon notes on the tail end.
Feel: Full bodied. Booze is not detectable.

Overall: Really glad i got to try this beer. Really nice and well balanced. Will seek out more Crooked Stave in the future.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, my serving is in a little sampler snifter. Bottle date is 11/2014 Batch 3.

Pours dark, with a tiny silky head, and very fine carbonation. Smell is tart and dark fruit, maybe plum. Can't pick out a lot of detail, but it smells really tasty.

Taste is very tart, light bourbon, unripe plum. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, but not quite the beautiful texture I like. Overall, very good.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark blackish brown with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger tan head which quickly settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A sour, fruity, and boozy aroma with a scent of brett, whiskey, and cherries. Upfront scent of brett lacto yeast with lots of funk and sour hints of cherry. Barrel scent of whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Some subtle roast hints of chocolate, coffee, and smoke. Also some hints of tobacco and leather. A really nice complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a sour, fruity, and nicely boozy taste with notes of brett, cherries, and whiskey. Big funky taste of brett lacto yeast with notes of sour cherry. Fairly acidic and tart. Barrel notes of whiskey, oak, vanilla, and wood. Light roast notes of chocolate, coffee, and smoke. Light notes of leather and tobacco. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, tart, acidic, and fairly smooth.

Overall: A very good barrel aged twist on a sour. Nice combo of brett and whiskey flavors.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

what a visual disconnect. i poured this black beer with a tan head and would have expected a roasty stout, but got this beautiful, sour thing instead.

it's sour. holy shit, it's sour. vinegar. there's sweetness, and whiskey, and perhaps other elements, but that's just sour. i really think this is one of a kind, but it's one note, too.

in terms of being unique, and pushing everything i might expect, this beer does that and then some. but it's not an everyday beverage - more like it's to be experienced once and placed as a benchmark.

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Photo of charlzm
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Consumed on October 21st, 2015. Poured into a Teku glass. Served at below 40 degrees F but allowed to warm almost to room temp during consumption.

Beer pours a very, very deep dark brown... okay, okay, black. A two finger dark tan head forms and slowly settles, providing some lacing and sheeting all the way to the bottom.

Aroma is tart, sour fruit and a dash of whiskey.

Flavor is intensely sour, which dwarfs all other flavor notes. Hints of dark chocolate malt flavor lurk in there somewhere, as do fleeting tastes of wood and a slightly salty and smoky whiskey note. But make no mistake: the predominant flavor is sharp, acidic sourness.

Mouthfeel is ever-so-slightly thick and smooth with a touch of alcohol heat. Definitely a sipper.

Overall, the sourness is out of whack with the other flavors, though it's still a tasty beer for what it is. I personally prefer Wicked Weed's Black Angel more in the same general category of dark sour.

Thanks to Zonk for the bottle!

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown.

Smell - Very strong funky nose!

Taste - Tangy, tart, delicious!

Mouthfeel - Full body. Low carbonation.

Overall - This is one of the best offerings from Crooked Stave. Highly recommend!

Grade (A-)

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Photo of M_chav
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So this is an exception beer, maybe one of the more complex sours I've ever come across. I wish I would have bought more than 1 (dammit!) seriously good. Starts with a crazy dark stout like pour, thin lacing and a small foamy top. Aroma is all wood, whiskey sweetness. the brett is on top and strikes the nose. The taste is not for the faint of heart, this is seriously complex. so much going on here. the whiskey is real and amazing. the brett covers the heat, the dark currants equal the brett. damn this is incredible. maybe a beer for someone with a developed palette because I wouldn't have been able to really appreciate this a year ago. seek this out and enjoy, this is incredible. Well done CS!

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Photo of GuitarIPA
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Been a long wait, but worth it
L - very attractive black with hint of ruby, minimal head, some reddish lacing
A - terrific, dark sour cherries, hint of sweetness - presumably from barrel aging
T - follows nose with plenty of dark berry flavor, tart sour flavor, great linger - flavor stays in tongue but sweetens between sips.
F - tart sour, dry finish, followed by light sweetness that coats tongue, great carbonation - lots of bubbles
Overall - great beer that improves sip to sip

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Photo of Schimms
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours very dark, opaque with the minimalist of head. If there was any, it dissipated before it hit the glass.

S: Smells very strong - sour to the max. Hint of whiskey. Slight brett.

T: Only picking up the EXTREME sour - no idea that there is any whiskey involved at this stage. Can't taste the alcohol - hidden in the sour. MINIMAL brett - disappointed with that. I love a more present brett.

F: Very dry - great finish.

O: Huge, mouth/face puckering experience of a sour ale. Great one-time experience - too pricey for the beer? Doesn't live up to the expectations advertised on the label, but a great beer nonetheless.

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
4.39 out of 5 based on 508 ratings.
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