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: 52 | Ratings: 477
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 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 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 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 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 Immortale25
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -3%
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 Stevedore
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Rutager
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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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 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 KYGunner
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of zonker17
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 batch 2 consumed 5/19/16. Poured to Duvel snifter, near black, small head that quickly diminishes. Smells of funk, slight wood. Big lacto, followed by berries. Searching for whiskey but not finding. Medium body and medium light carbonation.

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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 ThePorterSorter
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of gatornation
4.07/5  rDev -7.1%
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

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Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
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 charlzm
4.07/5  rDev -7.1%
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 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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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett (Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
4.38 out of 5 based on 477 ratings.
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