Love's Armor
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Love's ArmorLove's Armor
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Wild Ale
Ranked #351
ABV:
8.1%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,848
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 8.15%
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
182
From:
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  64
Gots
  22
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Love's ArmorLove's Armor
Notes: Love's Armor is a blend of two complex, barrel-aged beers, Farmhouse Noir, a darker and stronger take on the Saison style, and Chavez, our Rye Porter. In the depths of this blend are full notes of chocolate and coffee, stone fruit and vanilla, and fainter wisps of tobacco, smoke, and worn leather. A dry tartness pervades, providing an area for robust interplay between malt-driven sweetness and microbe-induced funk. Deceptively potent and flavorful, Love's Armor is meant for sharing, and will compliment the heartiest of meals. While shimmering now with flavors of redolent of fine wine, encouraged to nature, Love's Armor will reward patience. Sante!
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 182 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy very dark ruby red/brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big sour/tart/tangy cranberry, cherry, raspberry, lemon, lime, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red/green apple, currant, red grape/wine, toasted oak, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, caramel, caramel, brown sugar, spicy rye, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, tobacco, smoke, leathery/musty/lacto funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/spicy/acidic yeast, wine barrels, and dark/rye/bready/light roasted malt notes; with big strength. Taste of huge sour/tart/tangy cranberry, cherry, raspberry, lemon, lime, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red/green apple, currant, red grape/wine, toasted oak, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, caramel, caramel, brown sugar, spicy rye, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, tobacco, smoke, leathery/musty/lacto funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate lactic tartness, Brett/oak tannin spiciness, and wine tang on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy cranberry, cherry, raspberry, lemon, lime, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red/green apple, currant, red grape/wine, toasted oak, peppercorn, hay, straw, grass, caramel, caramel, brown sugar, spicy rye, toasted bread, light chocolate/cocoa/smoke, tobacco, leathery/musty/lacto funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy/acidic yeast, wine barrels, and dark/rye/bready/light roasted malt flavors; with a fantastic malt/tart/tangy/spiciness balance; with no puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Fairly crisp finishing. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering tart/tangy/spiciness and carbonation. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/grainy, acidic/tangy/tannic, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is fantastic. Minimal warming alcohol for 8.1%. Overall this is an amazing barrel aged dark sour/wild ale. All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy/acidic yeast, wine barrels, and dark/rye/bready/light roasted malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV, with the mellowly acidic/tangy/tannic/drying finish. Great soft feel for the style, mellowly lactic. Perfectly balanced Brett/Bacteria complexity, wine barrel presence/integration, and nicely rich malts. Light residual sweetness with crisp dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and top tier style example. One of the best dark sours I've ever had. For being a blend with a porter, expected more roast; but they still nailed everything. I would guess the bottle was a few years old just based on how well balanced it was.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.57/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It was bound to happen someday, but eventually, there would be a time where a SARA beer didn't live up to its cult like status; this was that beer. The concept was difficult enough for me to reconcile my head with, a blend of a saison and a porter? Have you gone mad? That sounds as train wreck-y as about anything this side of the Strange Brew festival.

Pours a light brown color. The aroma is interesting you get kind of a this flanders oud bruin/red earthiness that lays on a lighter barnyard feel and sourness. Taste hits you with some acidic burn and bitterness. Man the nose was so complex and layered, but the taste just kind of punches you in the mouth with your eyes closed. It starts to make you think about being too many things at once to everybody. A mild vinegar mouth feel and dryness leaves the less desireable traits stuck until next pour and the negative cycle or downward spiral continues. At its best, you get some cool flanders and saison aspects, at its worst, it has a bitter porter lemon juice clash going for it.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. 2016 bottling. Poured from the 750 mL bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Dark brown and nearly opaque. Forms a thin off-white head with relatively low visible carbonation.

S: Malic and lactic tart, with just a touch of acetic aroma without coming across as overly acidic. Sour cherries, toasted malts. Vanilla and vinous, like a red wine tannic barrel. Some modest barnyard funk, and there are hints of chocolate in the malt bill. Nice, and a complex aroma for sure.

T: Tart cherries and malic acid, a restrained funk and a mild acetic again up front. As the tartness fades, it meets chocolate malts and red wine vinous with more vanilla and tannic oak. Dry oak and tartness in the hang.

M: Average body, maybe seems a little lighter than expected given the dark color. Good carbonation sensation. Alcohol flavors are noticeable for an American sour, but I think overall restrained.

O: I thought this was pretty tasty, interesting, and complex. I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of the sour flavors over the chocolate malts, purely from a personal preference aspect. But plenty enjoyable, and a nice balance of funk and tart and woodiness.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.98/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Dark coffee brown with a fuzzy tan bubbly head.

Smell is sort of like an Asian dish with toasted sesame and peanut, and a little backing char.

Taste is smoky char, peanut, and super sour acetic red wine vinegar with a thin bubbly body and a painfully dry finish due to the acidity.

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Photo of bshefftz
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderfully subtle and flavorful wild/sour ale, complex and dark and dusky with a slight sour pinch that doesn't overwhelm the rich undertones of chocolaty malt. Very much enjoyed this as I periodically delve into sour beers - they generally aren't my thing (I don't think making beer taste like mouth-puckering vinegar is much of an art - vinegar tastes like vinegar and is much cheaper) but this is a find that keeps my interest in the category. I'll keep my eye out for more SAR brews.

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Photo of floyd_pugman
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a SARA bulb. Nose is dark malt, chocolate, funk, wood, and a smidge of lemon. Looking forward to this. Palate is full of lemony funk and roasty chocolate flavor, with soft leather, vanilla and a titch of plum; delicious. The Farmhouse Noir and porter work very well together. I might like FM slightly more, but this is a really nice, balanced concoction that is mouthfilling and which my palate is not tiring of as it continues to invite me to the next sip. This outperformed expectations; will definitely buy again.

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Photo of shleepy
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quite dark color. Smells nutty, chocolatey, plummy. Taste and mouthfeel is smooth, creamy; I get some Nutella in there. Tasty and impressively dry, given the flavor profile. Buy it, if you get the chance!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Trey

A very dark brown with a thin, brown head with good retention, this looks solid. The nose is a blend of red wine, chocolate, sourness and funk, a very nice combination of an American dark sour and a Flanders red. Deep and earthy with notes of petrichor and mushrooms. There's also a really nice red wine character, fruity, mildly caramely, a touch jammy. A little vanilla is present, along with cacao nibs. Excellent.

The palate opens fruity and sour with a blend of fruity red wine, a mild caramel sweetness, leather, a complex buckwheat honey-like depth and a lactic acid brightness. The mid-palate has a little more fruit - brandied raisins, preserved cherries, raspberries - along with notes of cocoa and even a hint of roasted coffee. A little bit of mushroom and a touch of funk are present. Sweet and sour on the finish, both quite pleasantly so, there's a blend of fruity red wine, vanilla and lactic acid. A touch of vinegar is also present. Medium bodied and softly carbonated, this beer is an excellent dark sour, combining the best aspects of Consecration, Oerbier Reserva and Bon Chien.

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Photo of rudzud
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A -Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice darker brown hue with a thin off white head that fades to leave a thin halo.

S - Aromas of light roast malts and chocolate, light coffee. Very faint vanilla, leather, light tartness and cherries. Very light barrel notes.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of chocolate and light vanilla. Fair amount of tartness and cherries, light leather. Rather flemmy on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, thinner, flemmy.

O - Overall this was a rather underwhelming beer from SARA. Really just a mediocre version of Tart of Darkness.

Serving Type: bottle

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice fizzy darker head fades at a fair pace, little lacing, super dark ruby brown color.

Nose sour funk, tart lacto funk, sour lambic like notes, dark toasted malts, little generic fruity sour funk, acidic, little creamy porter note, mild cocoa and earthy leather like.

Taste starts very sour, tart generic fruity sour lacto funk, acetic acid, lactic acid, little creamy porter malt, malty with sticky syrupy and flemmy funk, earthy cheesy funk with little malt. Sticky flemmy finish, acidic. Faint vanilla barrel and vinous funk.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, syrupy, decent carb, big acidity and flemmy.

Overall pretty much tart of darkness, dark sour not quite my fav style, but done fairly well for what it is.

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Photo of cultclassic89
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

L: I want to rate this by style and for a dark saison, it doesn't get any better than this. Dark brown hue, porter like with a nice mocha head. Retains carb very well.

S: Roasty and slightly lactic. Some coffee here too that's nice.

T: Very similar. Porter like qualities with some lemon acidity and a hint of funk. The coffee and roast stand out.

F: Perfect for what it is. Medium light and effervescent.

O: Great dark saison, but this style will never blow me away. It's very similar to Jester King's Farmhouse Black Metal, maybe just a bit better.

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Photo of Matt_Zimmy
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

delicious blended beer from Sante.

Pours dark brown with a tan head. Lacing exists in small amounts.

Smell is strongly associated with Farmhouse Noir but the roasty-ness of the Chavez shows itself too.

Taste is similar. Sour chocolate and coffee. Bitterness of the chavez malt comes through towards the end, but not overwhelmingly so.

Mouthfeel is light, doesn't linger too much and pretty clean on the finish.

It's an odd brew, but it's delicious!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a neat beer here, blended, a rye porter and a flanders red type i think, courtesy of drlovemd87, a generous share. surprised to see so few reviews of this one, pretty limited i have to assume. its a murky thick brown colored brew with plenty of sediment cruising around in there, and a short light brown head, interesting look. smells mildly vinegary, definitely a flanders red sort of lacto thing going on, mature and acidic. i can smell the rye malt too, nice and peppery in there, a cool and unconventional combination to say the least. the flavor brings tartness and fruitiness, dried cranberries come to mind. milk chocolate, day old coffee, oak, and heavy red wine are also there, its a pretty complex arrangement, but something is short of amazing for whatever reason. the acidity seems a little out of place with the darker beer blended in, and there seems to be some sort of contradiction there. maybe thats a product of its age, hard to tell. for one thing, this tastes like nothing else out there, so i like it for being original, but these guys carry a lot of hype, and i expected to be floored by it. really cool to try something this limited and unique though for sure.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A bit of a gusher, but after settling the beer pours a jet black, non-oily, with a thin whispy light tan head that provides minimal lacing. The nose is more coffee and roasted malt forward, hint of vinegar, booze, and smokiness, but very little bitterness or yeast. The taste is more sour than malty, with muted notes of roasted malt and ripe stone fruits. The beer is medium bodied, vinous, dry, slightly roasty and has a touch smoky. Delicious beer, lot of good flavors, but all melded well together.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to Rocket80 for sharing this one.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with dark roasted malt, cocoa, and funk aromas. Taste is much the same with sour cocoa and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is a solid example of a sour porter.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 10.19.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a small dark khaki brown head that fades very slowly.

S - Tart fruit-raspberry, vanilla, roasted malt - complex and very welcoming. Wow!

T - Stone fruit, tobacco, leather, vanilla, so much!

D - Lower carbonation with a medium body.

O - A very complex and deep beer. Very layered and very good.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a light ruby on the edges. Milk chocolate head sits on the edges

S - Dark roasted malt and slight chocolate is what you get first as the porter presence makes itself known. Underneath that is where you get the light sour presence with a dark cherry and sweet tarts

T - Tart cherry up front with a light sweet tarts, lemon, lactic acid. The back end is light funky Brett and a light roasted malt from the porter. The porter adds a very slight aspect that balances it out well without adding too much that takes away from the tartness. Finish is the deep cherry flavor you find near the pit of a juicy cherry.

M - Really a soft beer with minimal carbonation. It has a slight bite to it from the tartness. The finish is dry and has light funk to that lingers on the backend with the big juicy cherries to it.

O - Really good dark sour from SARA that brings a multitude of flavors with cherry tartness from the lactic acid and a light roastedness from the porter

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with some reddish transparency. Big khaki head. Wispy surface with a medium collar.

Smell - Impressive. Chocolate and coffee roast. Acidic. Fruity. Kinda like cherries and stone fruit. I know that's redundant but go with it. Vanilla.

Taste - A little nutty. Chocolate. Lemony tartness. Masks the remaining flavors.

Mouthfeel - Medium high carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - I like this as much as I could have enjoyed a sour stoutish beer.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 9oz wine tulip glass at Trappist Provisions. Part of their sour tap takeover. Review is from my notes.

Pours a darkened, plum like color with blackened overtones. No light goes through this thing, but it does retain a little bit of a dark brownish color when examined closely. A nice frothy head about 1 finger tall tops the glass, leaving behind a generous amount of lacing. Carbonation looks plentiful. If I didn't know better, I'd guess from the appearance alone that this was a darker porter or Belgian-style dark ale. Looks good - pleasant and unassuming.

The aroma is definitely similar to a cross between the two aforementioned style, but given the addition of cherries in the beer, there's more going on than that. There's an initial cracked, roasted barley flavor, resembling a degree of ground coffee beans and cocoa nibs, but then there's a hint of acetic acid (oak, I believe), as well as a tart but mild flavor that reminds me of black fruit - dark cherries, yes, but also prunes and blueberries. There's a mild sweetness from the fruit and dark malts, as well as a slight musty aroma at the finish, but I'd never assume that this was a soured beer by any means. Funky, yes, but not over the top.

The flavor is something beautiful, however. Amazing, in fact. I actually nearly squealed like a total fanboy as soon as I took a sip of this. At first, there's a nice note of roasted barley, that's fresh, bright, and very reminiscent of a cast-conditioned porter, with only a little bit more alcohol to boot. Notes of coffee, chocolate covered cereal grains, and vanilla abound. And then, boom! There's incredible explosion of cherries at the finish that unbelievable. As this warms up, I get notes of juicy blueberries and blackberries as well. You know when you take a bite out of a juicy cherry, or if you've ever had a chocolate brownie filled with vanilla and fresh cherry jam that would leave behind a lingering, sweetened flavor on the palate? That's this beer. Gets even fruitier and cake-like over the course of drinking, and envelops notes of baking spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Slightly tart thanks to the fruit, but otherwise a wholesome drinking experience. Flavor-wise, this is a masterpiece. I can't think of any way it could be tweaked further.

This is a true privilege to sip on - perhaps how all dark, desert like beers should be made. The only difference is, this is not even that sweet. It's rich and flavorful and could work for many kinds of meals, but it pairs great on its own. If Sante Adairius isn't already considered one of the greatest farmhouse breweries in the country, I'll eat my shoes. Or, just drink more of this. It's definitely mind-blowing stuff in some respects.

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Photo of illidurit
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled several times, review from notes. Pours dark brown with ruddy red edges and a tan head. Aroma bursts with tart dark fruity wine notes, dried prunes and vague tobacco, earthy molasses. Flavor is fruity and leathery, with black cherry yogurt, balsamic vinegar, musty cellar, prune jam on dark bread, cheek-poking acidity. Really nice dark sour in the Consecration vein.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle into snifter.

Pours deep red, near black, with a thin short lived light tan head. The nose is tart and full of red fruits and slight funk and barrel spice. Rye comes through on the palate alongside tart fruits and hints of gritty grape skins, vinous tannins and woody barrel. Citrus peel, buttery oak, grape juice and tobacco all follow in the finish. The mouthfeel is greasy and lightly acidic. Overall it tastes good but nothing to get too excited over.

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Love's Armor from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 182 ratings