Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
55 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 489
Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is dark brown with a hint of dark red on the edges and a small amount of light brown tan head. Nose has a hint of smoke, musky mossy brett, faint touch of cherry. Taste is strong, musky brett, more malt presence. A bit of dark chocolate, notes of smoked meat, lots of sour cherry and a bit sweet in the back. Creamy feel, grainy carbonation, slick finish.

 360 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Backlog of reviews from last week in CO, KS and KY. This was reviewed fully at the time of consumption to my phone at Moraine Park CG, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

A- Dark brown body poured out of a 375ml bottle into a chalice. A light nutty tan head forms on the beer to around half a finger with a frothy foamy consistency. Head retention is decent and a medium ring remains. Sheets of lace at the top of the glass with drizzle and spots below that.

S- Sour lactic acid pours out of the glass even in the aroma with the whiskey barrel coming in strong along with that. Wet oak, vanilla, raisin, caramel and molasses dark brown sugars.

T- Extremely sour lactic lemony acids decimate the taste buds with only a bit of room for other things to shine. Whiskey and vanilla come in and are smoothed out quite a bit. Brown sugar, toasted nuts, green apple, vinegar, wet oak, tart cherry, vinous grapes and molasses hints are pale in comparison to the acid. Strong brett horsey barnyard.

MF- Light end body that is beyond bone dry and the sourness probably plays into that. Carbonation at a moderate level with a foamy and somewhat creamy consistency. The finish is very very sour.

The first few sips show a lot of promise with whiskey vanilla and wet oak playing into the equation heavily but the sour takes over fast. Lactic acid destroys the palate and takes away somewhat from the overall experience. The aroma still holds up well after time, however.

 1,459 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013/Batch 2.

Appearance - Poured into a Fantome tulip. Color is dark brown with a beige head starting at about a finger. A partial cap remains along with spots of lacing.

Smell - Tart cherries and blackberries with a big sour vinegar kick, caramel and molasses hiding underneath that along with just a little bit of chocolate. Whiskey and oaky vanilla are faint but are quite nicely blended.

Taste - Wow, definitely big sourness here. Very vinegary and acidic with no funk noticeable. Other flavors from the nose are pretty much buried, or at the very least way less distinct. Dark fruit, and vanilla/oak in the finish stand out.

Mouthfeel - Pretty nice feel to it, has the light smoothness of the 'porter' base beer and the carbonation is kept in check. Sourness forces this to be a sipper for sure. You get the feeling this is in the higher realm of ABV for sours but not much of the nearly 10% is obvious.

Overall - The scent delivers what's advertised and hints towards greatness, the taste unfortunately didn't live up. It's a good beer, but I found the sourness too overbearing to mingle with the porter base and whiskey barrel. 375ml solo was quite fatiguing. It will be pretty interesting to see how this ages.

 1,225 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.81/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

 218 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
3.89/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

January 15, 2015

Draft, Taster Snifter

A – Black with some touches of dark brown. Big tan craggy head, with high retention.

S – Brett funk and some mild lacto aroma, acidity even on the nose. Chocolate malt present in the background, though very faint, and some spicy notes, perhaps from the hops but rye-like.

T – Funky barnyard with some sweetness, somewhat fruity, and mild lacto acidity. Malts are not very prominent, mostly providing backbone for the souring Some rye-like spice present here as well.

M – Maltiness and spice help balance the tartness, but is wholly bent in the tart/acidic direction. Somewhat light bodied considering the carbonation and barrel aging.

O – A very interesting beer, but the souring is overwhelming what I imagine is a fairly spectacular base beer instead of complementing it. Could have showcased the base more to be truly exquisite.

 893 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the Crooked Stave taproom at the source. Poured into a Crooked stave snifter today, 1/17/2014.

Poured dark brown, very dark cola coloured perhaps black. Small pinky-worth of tan head, ok retention, lots of sticky lacing.

Smells faintly tart cherry, fairly restrained. A slight bit of dark malts, signified in coffee and a little roast. But it's not a particularly exuberant nose.

Flavor is super sour. 7/10 sour. Very acidic, not funky at all. Very tasty and combines well with a little bit of chocolate sweetness that comes out more as it warms. But make no mistake this is a very sour beer. Oak and a dry Cherry tartness on the finish.

Medium bodied, very dry. Good carbonation. Drinkable and refreshing.

Reminds me of a poor man's Supplication. Not as complex, just as expensive. I would recommend just going with Supplication.

 850 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

July 2015 Batch 6

Pours a dark brown color with a tan head little to no head after a 1 finger head pour, smell of wood and whiskey sour dark fruit with chocolate , brett , taste follows the nose sour up front with oak and whiskey in the middle tart finish, lower carbonation on this with a sour acidic mouth feel, really tasty nice depth of oak, fruit,brett, it is on the sour side and pricey @14 a bottle

 406 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
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!

 987 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 417 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had alongside grand cru, port, and wine barrel. all poured dark as night. nose is vinegary dark sour with s whiskey tinge. taste is the same with sharp sour notes dancing with whiskey heat. not a huge dark sour guy and this did not convert me into a fan, but not a bad brew. dug it over the port.

 296 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 168 characters

Photo of Evilyak
4.15/5  rDev -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.

 540 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

B3. Pours pretty darn black, thin dark tan head. Cola, cherry and dark fruits, funky old barrel and lactic sour, maybe a touch of chocolate. Pretty sour, a touch of vinegar, dark fruits, a touch of whiskey flavour without the heat, and some powdery dry bakers chocolate in the finish. Medium body, medium-low carbonation. Great stuff.

 334 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to ablackshear for this bottle!

Vintage 2013 / batch 2.

375ml bottle sealed with pressure cap and thick maroon wax.

poured into Assassin Teku.

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with red hue when held up to light. this beer is almost black it is that dark of a brown color. Thick cap of creme white / tannish colored head that drops down to a thin ring around the glass.

Smell: Ample amounts of sour cherries and oak. Aromas reminicent of a malty Flanders Red sour ale.

Taste: Very similiar to the nose. Moderate sourness is delivered in this adult beverage. Sour "pie" cherries with dry and earthy oak notes. Some maltiness that is very similiar to a Flanders Red offers solid balance to balance the sourness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Slightly dry feel. Drinks well below the almost 10% abv. It drinks more like its a 6% beer.

Overall: I like the Grand Cru Nightmare on brett slightly better than this beer. Didnt get much bourbon influence from those Leopold barrels, it was more oak flavor without any bourbon goodness.

 1,074 characters

Photo of Magister_Beav
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I can't unpucker my mouth. It is so sour it hurts. Did I mention it's sour. Once you get over the shock, there is a pleasant whiskey flavor. The whiskey isn't overwhelming as is often the case. There are also some lingering sweet notes in the aftertaste. I can't stop drinking it.

 284 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 198 characters

Photo of erk0607
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
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

 347 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Back label says 11/2014 Batch 3.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/8 inch light brown head that doesn't retain well before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and some faint, wispy surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Intoxicating aroma of oak, Brett funk, sharp whiskey and lactic acid. Black cherry and a touch of booze.

T- The whiskey and Brett come forth, then the sourness kicks in and draws out lemon acidity on top of notes of blackberry and more black cherry. The sourness is a bit intense, almost overly so as the oak and whiskey flavors start to blur. Aftertaste of fig and raisin. I like the barrel notes that are present in the front end of the flavor but the intensity of the sourness muddles the finish.

M- Highly acidic feel is perceived from the tip of the tongue all the way down to the back of the throat. Not wholly unpleasant, but the imbalance is a bit of a turnoff. Medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- The smell on this one is divine but, in the end, it's a bit too sour for my liking. Has nice complexity, yet I feel the nuances are lost amid the intense pucker after multiple sips. Definitely the most sour Crooked Stave beer I've had thus far.

 1,294 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

 376 characters

Photo of Mongrel
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - looks like a less carbonated cola, with a fizzy little head that dissipates quickly but leaves a small frothy ring for the entirety.

S - smells like certain wine barrel aged barleywines I've had, though there is a sweet hint of boozy bourbon. There's plum, golden raisins and a little licorice. Acetic funk develops a little later on and brings a tart white wine presence to the nose. Deeply intriguing and inviting nose.

T - first sip is perfectly sweet with plums, cherries and raisins, and a little warm bourbon. Again, like a barrel aged barleywine. But then the tartness kicks in at the back of the palate and takes this beer to the next level. Like the nose, one is reminded of tart white grapes and white wine -- a strange juxtaposition with the sweet dark fruit flavors. As the beer warms there's creamy vanilla from the bourbon, which is really nice paired with the big cherry presence. This one's a real complicated and enjoyable sipper.

M - mouthfeel is fuller than one would expect given the tartness, but still has a nice bit of effervescence to it.

Overall, it's tough to pull off dark sour beers, but this one's a real stunner. There's not a clue of the big 9.6 ABV in this beer. Another home run from Crooked Stave.

 1,239 characters

Photo of sittinggc
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 404 characters

Photo of Austin32
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was a really excellent beer. Pours extremely dark red/brown, almost black under lower light. I would not instinctively think sour and whiskey flavors would blend well....but they totally do. The whiskey notes very much support the rich sour flavor that first hits your palette and come together nicely at the end.

 318 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 1,206 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The nose is acidic with balsamic and vinegar like twang, lots of Brett, molasses and strong tart cherry.

The flavor is punch to the taste buds with a powerfully tart cherry but a natural sweetness. The cherry flavor is complimented by a barrel derived vanilla that works so well. The end is sour, but sweet and helps to round out a fantastic ale.

 347 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark brown with a loose, thin off-white head that rests in a halo around the glass's perimeter with minimal lacing (some oily residual) and no visible sediment. The nose has slightly roasty caramel-like malts upfront followed by some tart plum and cherry fruitiness. The taste brings forward tart, unripe plum flavors, whiskey sugars, dry tannic bitterness, and an airy maltiness. The beer has a medium body with good fruit and barrel qualities and drinks with an airy mouthfeel despite bring laden with heavy flavors. Unfortunately, the beer's long-lasting, dry finish can become tiresome after some time. Dark sours are tough to pull off well in my opinion, but CS makes this beer seem effortless - definitely a repeat if/when available.

 761 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
4.37 out of 5 based on 489 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!