Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett | Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On BrettCrooked Stave Nightmare On Brett
561 Ratings
Crooked Stave Nightmare On BrettCrooked Stave Nightmare On Brett

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:
Dark sour ale aged in Leopold Bros whiskey barrels

A demonic dark sour, Nightmare on Brett takes on many facets during its transformation to the sour side. Initially aged in large oak foeders with our mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria, this beer is then transferred to bourbon and whiskey barrels. The various spirit barrels bring on a new life to this beer as it conditions for months, while obtaining additional bourbon and whiskey characteristics. Dominated by dark fruit aromas and flavors, the underlying cacao notes meld with an acidic tart berry finish. With each batch release being a unique blend of barrels, the multiple variations of Nightmare on Brett released throughout the year prove that with creativity and experimentation, anything is possible.

Added by Mebuzzard on 07-19-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 561 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of jaydoc
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +3%
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.

 1,549 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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.

 1,113 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Currently #4 in the Top Colorado beers. I've been drinking Crooked Stave since they were brewing at Funkwerks, so my hopes are high seeing as this is their highest rated beer.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded black and red pry-off crown cap. 375ml/12.7 fl oz format. Appealing creepy label art.

"Dark sour ale aged in Leopold Bros whiskey barrels." 9.666% ABV. Batch 3 (11/2014 vintage).

Served chilled into a goblet and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: ~5cm in height. Khaki colour. Somewhat creamy, somewhat frothy, but not as soft or robust in appearance as would be ideal. Retention is nice for the ABV - ~2 minutes. Leaves no lacing or coating on the sides of my goblet as it recedes. Yields no legs when the glass is tilted.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast/lees are visible within, but its opacity makes determining if it was filtered or not impossible.

It's a nice looking sour ale - certainly a darker hue. Not unique or special in appearance, but it looks adequately carbonated and I'm eager to try it.

AROMA: Lactobacillus is evident, and I think I find some pediococcus bacteria as well? No overt funkiness from brettanomyces, but I guess I could see some brettanomyces lambicus contributing some of the complex sourness...I'm just not picking up on any bruxellensis.

Cherry pie crust, faint acetic aromatics, a blip of raisin (though that could be from Belgian yeast), subdued oak.

Sourness is mild - maybe 3-4/10 in terms of intensity. Barrel character is quite restrained if not reticent; I honestly wouldn't know this was whiskey barrel aged if handed a glass in a blind tasting.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests a well-balanced complex sour ale with a pleasing bacterial intricacy.

I find no off-notes. ABV is well hidden.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Wood is present throughout, evoking subdued oak but not overt whiskey; there's no alcohol warmth, rich white oak, whiskey spiciness, or barrel vanillin. The reticence of the whiskey barrel is actually fortuitous, as it allows the bacterial intricacy to take centre stage - and boy is this beer's bacteria presence right on the money for the style. Though it isn't puckering in its sourness, tending more towards a mild 4/10 sourness in terms of intensity, there's ample bacterial complexity, lactobacillus and pediococcus dueling with faint brettanomyces flavours for dominance.

Dry and slightly coarse from the heavy wood presence, but smacky enough to be refreshing when coupled with the beer's perfect carbonation and slightly chewy mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, adequately thick, and approachable. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Some tannins are present, drying it out and bending it towards tasting more like a wine barrel aged beer than a whiskey barrel aged beer.

Dark malt sweetness keeps it anchored. Belgian saccharomyces yeast throws out faint notes of spice and raisin. Cherry pie flavours nod to the beer's obvious Belgian influence, tipping a hat to Rodenbach. Some tart fruit/berries.

What really works here is its balance and harmony; despite its many layers of bacteria and yeast-derived flavours, it still comes off tasting like a gestalt whole of a beer, exceeding the sum of its parts. Superb depth of flavour. Mellow flavour intensity. High flavour duration; that smacky lactic acid sings through the aftertaste.

Luscious and delicious.

OVERALL: I find myself inhaling this in spite of its near 10% ABV; it's dangerously drinkable and supremely tasty. Crooked Stave defends their high reputation with this incredible ale, a sort of soured Baltic porter that fuses subtle barrel flavour with wild yeast and bacteria. Undoubtedly one of the best ales brewed in my home state and a beer I intend to revisit. Up there with New Belgium's La Folie and Odell's Friek in terms of superb Colorado sours.

High B+ (3.97) / VERY GOOD

 3,898 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

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

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

Photo of vfgccp
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

 791 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -8.9%

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Crooked Stave Nightmare On Brett from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 561 ratings