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 | website

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: 51 | Ratings: 460
Photo of DocPage
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the third beer from Crooked Stave I tried during my trip up to Denver. The only thing that I can say would be wrong with Nightmare on Brett is NOT trying it. 5.0 all around.

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Photo of Beer_Line
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark. Smells of fruit, vanilla, light coffee roast and a tinge of whiskey. So much barnyard funk in this one. It is wonderful, the horse blanket remind me of an old cantillon. Crooked stave really kicks a$$ with these variations of NoB

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Photo of Plower
4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No competition against this beer. Crooked Stave, loaded with Brett and Whiskey Flavor. Okay, so its like all 5s in every category except price. Its a whiskey sour beer that is highly drinkable.

Let's put it this way, if you love sours you should buy it, if you don't love em skip it...cuz its like 15 bucks a bottle. You gotta pay to play unfortunately.

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Photo of Schimms
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
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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Photo of vfgccp
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nov 2014 batch 3, opened Aug 2015

A – Beautiful black mahogany body. Fine khaki head settles into a medium halo with nice retention and lace.

S – Flip’n fantastic. Deep caramel, vanilla, charred oak, warm pumpernickel bread, sour raisins, brisket, bread pudding, and toasted crème brûlée.

T – Oh man, this absolutely lives up to the hype. Delicious with stellar integration and balance. Wonderfully dry. Burnt-crust on fresh baked country bread, mouthwateringly tart red plums, rich vanilla, deep woody oak, burnt maple syrup, and saddle leather.

M – Smooth, medium-full body with a sharp tartness and a lingering creaminess that coats your palate through the finish.

O – World class. Fantastic depth, balance and flavor. One of the best sours I’ve ever had.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Jet Black, with a thin lacing of head around glass
Smell: Strong whiskey, and coffee, with subtle malts
Taste: Good amount of lingering of whiskey, def need another one
Feel: Big body and awesome end taste
Overall: Just great, would love to get my hands on another one

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Photo of gholmes
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
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 LittleDon
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11 oz. pour at the Crooked Stave Taproom on 12/7/14. One of my favorites for 2014. Dark brown-red with a small amount of head. Coffee yoghurt best describes the aroma and taste. The yoghurt funk is much more prevalent in the aroma with the coffee as a backdrop. The flavor components are more balanced with a bit of oak thrown in. Tart with a medium body and carbonation. Save this one for last, your taste buds may be worn out afterwords.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: oily black body but not as viscous as I expected - finger of dark mocha foam slimmed quickly into a thin collar and left delicate patterns of lace behind

S: berries and wood, something herbal and medicinal in the background; vague hints of a darker malt cocoa and some distant dank funk, like (yes, I'm gonna say it) wet horse blankets

T: lots of impressions occur quickly, ranging from chocolate syrup to tart dark berries to drying wood and lemon pith; sour but with flashes of bittersweet chocolate, and maybe even allusions to a dark wine, dry and full of berry

M: fairly full-bodied and full of tart tingle, smooth but puckering astringence and drying wood keep it tight and lean despite a pulling density

O: Surprised to see it classified as a Baltic porter, but I don't know exactly what to call it either. This is some crazy stuff - forget styles - as long as you don't mind the dark pucker, you have to try this if you see one. This is an extraordinary beer. The label says a "dark sour ale" and I found it to be akin to a wild ale with some chocolaty characteristics.

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Photo of Moose90
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from 12.7oz bottle

A — Pours a deep and dark brown hue out of the bottle, almost black, though there is some brown clarity around the edges when held up to the light. There is a deeply dark brown head that forms initially, but fades quite quickly due to the acidity. Looked like a stout upon first glance.

S — Smells intensely fruity and bright. Completely unexpected but very appreciated. Lots of cranberry, raspberry, funk, lemon, little bit of barnyard, dark chocolates, bitter roasted coffee. There is a good bit of vanilla, caramel sweetness as it warms, little bit of oak and char.

T — Fantastic depth of flavor here, lots and lots going on. Starts very acidic, tart, and bright, with notes of cranberries, raspberries, cherries, tart apple. Rolls into a bit of a Brett showcase with a bit of barnyard and funk, fresh hay and horse blanket. Moves to a roasty, deeply rich and almost charred finish. Very nice finish of roasted coffee beans, unsweetened chocolate, bitter tobacco and leather. Good bit of light oak and vanilla sweetness from the barrel on the finish. A total amalgamation of flavors here, just fantastic.

M — Medium bodied, high carbonation, very acidic, bright, clean. Enjoyable.

O — Great overall, this was completely unexpected, and this beer absolutely exceeded or met whatever hype it may have had. This is Crooked Stave's crowning achievement, plain and simple. Seriously fantastic.

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Photo of M_chav
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
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 dar482
4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark brown color with some reddish hues.

The aroma is wonderful of barrel character along with tart cherries, vinegar.

The flavor follows very tart with a nice hint of sweetness then onto an onslaught of lemon tartness, then onto tart cherries and a heavy black currant. There's a medium minus bourbon barrel character that cleans the beer up on the finish.

Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one was tapped about 5 minutes before I got to the barrel room. Serendipitous it seems.

Pours very dark brown, murky, almost black. Like a nightmare. Except it's pretty close to heaven. Large off white/tan foam, some rockiness. Head settles to a thick collar. Nice lacing. Rich, but a bit too frothy for a Baltic porter. Who cares, really? Besides the rating

Aroma is full of stuff. Chocolate, leather, caramel, char, vanilla, faint florals, spice and some woodiness. Sour for sure. The aromas don't really come through until the first sip

And yowza, that's a great first sip. Up front blast of sour dark cherries, then pure sour stuff with some funk spice. But the ending and finish are great. Chocolate, smooth caramel (like a Werther's candy), rich yet faint butterscotch just under the surface, vanilla, leather, blackberry...and on and on.

Served at cellar temperature as it hadn't cooled down since being tapped. Fine with me. Dammit, Jim, that's good

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Photo of MattyG85
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Funky_Funky_Brett
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
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 GuitarIPA
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
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 GarthDanielson
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/2014 Batch 3. Poured from a bottle into snifter, the beer is a dark, almost black coloring, with a wisp of brown bubbling on the surface. Aromas of subtle dark chocolate, bitter coffee, plum and date, earthy highlights, tart cherries, whiskey spice and booze, and some woody spicing. Flavors are very sour and tart forward, with a cherry overtone on a backbone of old world fruit and warming booze. Smoke ghosts linger on your tastebuds after a while. Dig in a bit, and you'll find some chocolate and coffee character, as well as that whiskey spice and warmth. Very smooth and robust, yet dry and crisp at the same time. The aftertaste is more of the chocolate, coffee, and smoke, after the sour and tart notes clear the deck. Dry, sour, puckering, tart, lingering finish. This is a tasty damn beer.

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Photo of Sintech
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
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 Spinaltapped
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
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 lmperialChad
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Nightmare on Brett pours an opaque deep dark brown with hints of red caramel and a very thin head. One of the darkest sours I've seen, but probably not quite as dark as the Bruery's Tart of Darkness. I got some chocolate and Granny Smith apple juice on the nose, which did not fully foreshadow the explosive flavor journey that was to come. My palate was hit with a momentary dash of chocolatey, carameley sweetness that was soon followed by a tremendous wave of sourness -- lemon, blackberries, Granny Smith apples, and tart bing cherries. The degree of sourness reminded me of an extremely tart fresh squeezed lemonade. The intense fruity sourness flows over your palate like a wave -- gradually growing from the moment it first touches your lips until it hits a pinnacle of bold sourness that tests the threshold of your sour taste buds before rolling back into that sweet chocolatey, caramel malt backbone with hints of oakey vanilla. The flavor journey concludes with a delightful finish of incredibly smooth whiskey notes. This is the third bottle of NoB that I have bought over the past week because I am just addicted the unique flavor complexity and intensity of this beer. I loved the use of the Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels to age this sour ale, as I thought it played very well with both the chocolate malts and the tart sourness. A truly spectacular beer from Crooked Stave. Definitely within my top three sour ales of all-time and my favorite Crooked Stave release to date.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

i guess i never realized there was a difference between this and the bourbon barrel, i thought they were the same thing, but evidently not, and i may even like this one better, its not quite as sweet, but maybe that has to do with age. dark raisin colored beer with some viscosity and an inch or so of stained tan foam. it smells like dried cherries and dark malt, more of a quad type than a porter type, dense but chocolate forward and not as rich as it looks. i smell a ton of funky sourness and whiskey, sweet but not too sweet, and woody. the flavor leads on slow sourness that starts with a more simple yeast profile, not too far off a base saison, but it escalates in both sourness and acidity, to the point where the finish is pretty darn intense. its cool in a dark beer, and i now definitely get porter here. not sure its baltic porter though, is this lagered? i didnt think crooked stave did that. bitter barley and cocoa flavors collide with again that tart cherry fruit essence, before the whiskey flavors take hold. moderate vanilla, less intense and syrupy in feel than the bourbon, and showing the oak itself a little more cleanly. well hidden alcohol too, i would have guess 6 or 7 percent abv, never nearly 10. the feel is the best feature, and i cant find a flaw. its thick but not too palate coating or heavy. its clean finishing without caustic acidity, and its carbonated just enough. its got a wonderful slippery texture and is made even more unique by the way it feels in my mouth. wonderful beer here, absolutely sensational.

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Photo of spoony
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 375 ml bottle (dated 2013, Batch 2) into a snifter.

A-The brew is nearly black with a reddish sheen on the top. No visible carbonation. The head is thin and short-lived, and fades to tan collar of foam. I do not get any lacing.

S-This is a very sour beer...I smell sour cherry, vinegar, and lemony acidity. The sour flavors are moderated somewhat by a boozy bourbon aroma that is almost brandy-like in terms of the sweetness, vanilla, caramel, and oak. There is a bit of cocoa in there too. Intense and rich.

T-The taste, like the smell, is very sour and delicious. I taste lots of bourbon barrel, i.e., vanilla, oak, caramel, and even a bit of orange. The sour flavors are cherry, lemon juice, and vinegar. The malts peak through and provide a bit cocoa that dulls the bite of the sour flavors just a bit.

M-The feel is heavy for a sour, but it fits the beer well. There is a slightly oil feel that coats the palate and a moderate carbonation.

O-With this beer and Batch 60, Crooked Stave has really killed it in 2014. Between the fruity, sour berry-like flavors, the bourbon/barrel flavors, and the malty/porter flavors, there is a ton going on in this particular beer and it is busy, but works quite well. I will be really curious to see how this ages.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer- you should get it. Dark, opaque, color, tan head, less than a finger of head, decent lacing and retention.

Smell is good. Not great but still very good. Sour and coffee in even measure.

Tastes fantastic. Lots of sour, decent coffee and smoke flavor, a little bourbon. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is great- full bodied, well carbonated. I love this beer- too bad it's so expensive but well worth it if you like sours or are looking to go somewhere different (very different) with your stout game.

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Photo of birchstick
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour at the brewery

A - pours a really dark brown, almost black color with a soft white head.

S - the nose consist of some darker brown malt notes with some stale barrel character hanging over it all.

T - the taste takes a huge jump from the nose. Sour and slightly caramel up front and through the middle. A ton of sourness suddenly makes it's presence felt and wakens up the tongue. Some of the barrel softens the blow on the acidity, but the sourness fights back and wins over the pallete. The sourness lingers for a while afterwards. I also noticed some subtleties of the barrel came through on the finish once it warmed up quite a bit. Really nice!

M - mouthfeel is full and smooth. Finishes dry from the acidity.

D - overall this is a pretty solid offering from not only Crooked Stave but from an American brewery. I can see some thinking this might be overly sour, but I think the malt and barrel ageing help soften it and add a nice complexity that would otherwise be lacking. Recommended!

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Darkest dark sour that I have seen. This ring of lacing around the glass. Little to no head.

S- Boom! Tart bing cherries/whiskey slight soak. Some funk, but because of the style, the funk is rather tame.

T- Pucker, vinegar (not the bad vinegar sour), bing cherries, and the slightest of whiskey barrel aging. Just the right amount for a sour.

M- Kinda thick for a sour, but not bad. CS is crushing it.

O- Another great brew from CS. Glad I got RS this year, as I see this becoming hard as hell to get from here on out.

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
95 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.
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