Guillemot Nebula | Tired Hands Brewing Company

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Guillemot NebulaGuillemot Nebula

Brewed by:
Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barrel fermented Dark Saison

Added by Rifugium on 12-01-2012

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 169
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I'm travelling back through my Tired Hands bottles. They seem to have taken a brief hiatus, and I think it's about time to start cracking into my only bottles left of these older gems. Guillemot Nebula, a dark saison. I poured this 375ml bottle into my stemmed OG Believer's Club glass. It has a solid black body, with a thick mocha head on top that shows signs of good lacing. The bubbles are like soapy water, slowly popping in the glass. The head recedes slowly. The beer resembles a stout with a huge head.

But the aroma clearly separates this from the stout category. Despite the blackness of the body, the aroma offers notes of tangy tangerine/mandarin, cranberry, sour cherry, oak, and then underneath all that: roasted cacao. It's tangy, funky, oaky...yeast and wood dominate this entirely.

Upon first sip, the tart aroma is confirmed. Citrus zest tang, semi-acidic, balanced by dark chocolate from the black malt. A deep roast quality on the exhale. Light smoke. Retronasal shows off the really excellent wood quality. Sharp carbonation, acidic, medium body, long finish, but hits the right mark for a saison.

This has held up incredibly well these past 3 years. Great carbonation, appearance, smell and taste. No signs of oxidation. A great example of what "Black Saisons" could be, stylistically speaking. The yeast and wood clearly have the most influence followed by the malt.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with OK retention and limited lacing. Aroma of vinous notes with some tart notes and light roasted malt notes are also perceptible. Taste is a mix of vinous notes with some tart notes and some light roasted malt with light oak notes also perceptible. Body is pretty full with medium carbonation. Enjoyable but did not have the depth I was expecting.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is black with a small amount of beige head. Nose has a light wood, some toasted grain, hints of roasted malt, and some sour cherries. Flavor is well balanced, a fair bit of roast, light booziness, some pleasant sour cherry, maybe some lacto in there. Well carbonated, light body, easy drinking, fizzy finish.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Kristina at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a n Abbaye de Cureghem glass.;-)

A - Pours with a dark tan foam that settles to a collar, wisps, and minimal lacing. Near-black body; one of the darkest Saisons I have encountered.

S - Mix of vinous oak, semisweet chocolate, farmhouse yeast, lightly roasted malts, a touch of bourbon. Complex, but all the elements blend nicely together.

T - The taste is more tart and heavier on jammy red wine, with the roasty flavors moving to the periphery. The sweetness of the malts and and oaky vanillin come out more as the beer warms. Oaky finish, with a touch of bourbon.

M - Creamy, medium-full body, with lingering stickiness amid the dry, tannic finish. Well-hidden alcohol. Quite hearty and enjoyable

D - One of the few dark Saisons I've actually enjoyed. Also the best thing I've had from Tired Hands. Would happily drink again.

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Photo of Jonada
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle into a 10 oz taster glass

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, basically black once in the glass. 1 finger of a brown head that dissipates to a thick collar. Body is opaque.

Smell: Red wine, oak, roasted malt, black currant, leather, mild spicy, floral yeast character.

Taste: Medium sourness is detectable right away. This yields to big vinous notes, dark berries, burnt malt, oak, and a smokiness that lingers into the finish and aftertaste. There's some earthy funkiness that comes out as the beer warms, but it's extremely mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a soft, almost creamy mouthfeel and medium fine carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: Another good bottle release from Tired Hands. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Light fizzy head, dark head, no light dark pretty much black.

Nose sour bacteria, funk and tart fruit, some brown malt sweetness, candy malts and caramel, sour dark malt like an oud bruin. Mild toasty oak.

Taste is sweet and tart, sour brown malts, oud bruin all over, with some vanilla barrel and toasted oak, creamy like, etc. Bacteria lacto funk with creamy lacto city, sour brown malts, etc. Nothing else really. Finish sticky flemmy, sour brown malts and lacto funk, booze all over the back end.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, decent carb, flemmy.

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Photo of rudzud
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with JLindros. I think this is batch 2.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a very dark almost black hire with a thin head that fades to leave light wisps and a thin halo.

S - Aromas of vinous wine barrels, funky yeast, lacto maybe, dark malts, light sourness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Darker malts, loads lacto, light sourness, the malts are strong with loads of rich malts and light funk.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, a bit thin.

O - Overall this beer was an enormous let down, light funk, messy.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours fudge brown and is capped by an impressive head that leaves a web of lacing behind

Smell: Caramel, sour cherries, lemon and earthy tones

Taste: Sour cherries and lemon, on the front end, with the caramel building in the middle; some chocolate and coffee elements appear, after the swallow, with a vinous aspect in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A wide variety of flavors in this beer with both sweet and tart elements as well as the hints of chocolate and coffee; excellent

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Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

A-dark brown color with a decent light tan head and little lacing

S-caramel malt, dark fruit, hint of leather, slight funk, little oak

T-dark caramel malt, sour cherries, raisins, little funk and yeast, red wine, oak

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, tart and viscous

O-interesting saison, unique flavors and pretty harmonious

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to Chris F. for sharing this one.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with roasted malt, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour and tart roasted malt and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of 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 tasty but the sour aspect comes across slightly better in the aroma.

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Photo of thebigredone
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Well, Monday just wan't my day for tasting beer.

Attempted Redrum was a bad bottle, and now my Guillemot Nebula is likely infected.

Taste is okay, some roast, no bourbon, and a big weird cherry finish on the flavor. The two other BA's tasting this and I were all unanimous inc alling out infection. Still drinkable, but clearly not what this was intended to taste like.

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Photo of kbuzz
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into Kane glass...both courtesy of 'beerontwowheels'...cheers kind sir!

A: dark...wasn't expecting it to be a dark saison. Some ruby red highlights, but mostly opaque. Half finger khaki head that simmers to a layer of patchy lace. Solid looking beer...could be mistaken for a stout based on appearance alone.

S: Funk, oak and red wine notes...slight acidic vinegar...and some roast in the background.

T/M: Nice, real nice. Follows the nose to a degree. A good bit of roast, some funk. Acidity is there but doesn't give you heart burn, just a nice tartness along the tongue. You do get just a touch of the alcohol warming believe it or not. Loving the mouthfeel...I'd call it a medium to medium-full. Carbonation is absolutely perfect...keeps the beer moving across the palate but stops just short of being fizzy.

O: Really nice surprise of a beer. Good for all seasons. Not necessarily a saison, but tasty nonetheless. Better than other comparable "dark" wild beers out there (JP, Brewery Vivant, etc...). Really dug this...will be looking for Prunus next or other botted Tired Hands beers.

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Photo of BeerLover729
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Impressive. thick tan head sits atop an opaque dark brown/black brew.

Serving it at about 50 degrees or so it is pungent right out of the bottle. Lemons, kumquat, sour grapes and tart cherries all followed up by char roasted nuts.

The attack is all grapefruit flowing into rich chocolate and nuttiness. The finish highlights the roasted char of the malts accented by the dry "corky" flavor i find in certain sours. This combo culls out the oak tannins and showcases charred barrel flavors. The whole melange leaves a persistent tangy mouthwatering effect.

This comes across as a full bodied saison. It sits as a medium weight brew on my tongue, which is heavy for my take on the style. The fizzy small bubble carbonation and acid itself take away from the smooth viscous texture but i def know its there.

Unique. Insightful. Contrived. Bold. Domesticated. Yum...i definitely yum.
The corky flavor i referred to, whether it be from some brett or pediococcus or lactobacterium, along with the roastiness of the malts used does produce some off flavors. Maybe its cause i am a sucker for sours...complexity alone this beer has something to offer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown. Small head but it's a small pour. Wispy surface.

Smell - Very fruity. Yeasty. Dark fruits. Some dark malts. Mostly yeast.

Taste - Very fruity again. More distinct dark fruit character. Bretty. Slightly bitter. Dark malts come through a little. Red wine, vinous notes.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Bretty and dry.

Overall - Good fruit character, which is apparently from the barrel, which is impresive. Dark malts never impress me in a saison though. Still pretty good.

Side note: I enjoyed this much more the second time. First time it was probably the 20th beer I had had. Palate was shot.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A wax-dipped, 375 mL bottle from inlimbo77; thank you!

A black body with a centimeter of beige head; mild retention and sufficient lacing. Aroma is of red wine, tart cherries, sour grapes, a bit of chocolate, and perhaps some prune. It tastes of tart cherries, grapes, and apple upfront, with a chocolate center. A bit of the bourbon and vanilla come through in the middle as well, especially as it warms. Dry oak, red wine, and the faintest hint of ethanol on the finish. Mouthfeel is tart and dry, especially on the finish. Lively and puckering up front, smooth in the center, but desiccating at the end. Overall, this is a wonderfully complex and unique beer. The darker ales in a red wine barrel seem to be increasingly common, perhaps due to their intriguing complexity. This one has a lot of great features, but almost seems like it’s trying to do too much all at once. Still, tremendously enjoyable!

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Photo of fdig23
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL wax-dipped bottle.

Appearance: deep dark brown, black in the center with a small off-white head.

Nose: Kinda restrained. Subtle sour cherries, a bit of lemon, lots of sweet sticky caramel and toffee, some syrupy coca cola.

Taste: Big sour black cherries and lemon zest up front, then the candy caramel comes through in the middle. It finishes with an earthy chocolate and coffee with a lingering sourness and clinging sweetness. Really nice balance of the sour cherry wine barrel aspects, sweet caramel bourbon barrel, and dark malty base beer.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy. Really impressive for the style and amount of aging.

Overall: Very impressed with this one. Expert blending of barrel-aged varieties of a tasty base beer. The sourness is rather restrained here and I think this could appeal to stout drinkers and sour fans alike. If you don't have a bottle, its definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle at Hunahpu Day 2013. Thanks Abe!

A- Pours a dark brown mahogany color, produces a thin mocha head that settles to a collar.

S- Funky slightly tart aroma, some vinous and cherry fruitiness. There's also a lot of oak from the barrel, which also lends some vanilla and tannins.

T- Moderate tartness with more grape and cherry, a decent amount of vinous flavor. There's also some roasted malt, a bit of alcohol warmth towards the finish.

M- Medium-bodied, nice carbonation, smooth, slightly dry feel.

O- An interesting beer, we drank this on a day chock-full of awesome beer so it didn't particularly stand out from that pack, but it's pretty tasty and definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thank you to Michael for sharing this gem.

Served in a Tired Hands wine glass.

The beer is chestnut brown with a soapy beige head. The aroma brings brown bread, wine barrels, oak, wild yeast. The flavor follows suit. Strong wine barrel presence. Sweet fruit and wild yeast with aggressive funk and barn character. A touch of cherry with some dark brown ale characteristics. A fine beer. Thank you.

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Photo of oline73
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was lucky enough to have this side by side with the Prunus. Served from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a small amount of off white head. The smell is less sweet than the Prunus. There is a mildly tart note along with a hint of oak. The taste is less sweet as well. I'm still getting a dark fruit note. The tartness is less than the Prunus, but it's still there. I would say this beer is a bit smoother. Some oaky notes in the finish. As with the Prunus, nothing is saying saison to me.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330mL bottle poured into Tired Hands stemware

Inky black pour with a frothy tanned head resting on top. Fades slowly into a wispy slick of retention with spotty lacing littered around the glass.

Complex, warm nose with hints of toasted malts, yeasty funk, tartness, cherries and toasted oak. Tannic with red wine, grape skins, bourbon and soft glowing heat.

Snappy sourness right up front with layers of cherries and grape skins. Fruity and vinous, driven by red wine character, tobacco, toasted oak and bourbon. Hints of vanilla and chocolate in the malt base, roasted dark tones and soft sweetness. Tart, funky yeast on the tongue with alcohol warmth in the finish.

Medium body, upper level carbonation, dry and bubbly on the tongue. Fascinatingly complex and interesting beer which offers much more than the typical barrel-aged saison (also, I found this to be more of a straight up wild ale).

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with with brown light escaping along the edges. Medium khaki head with some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with some light roasted malt, some biscuity malt, then some oak and earth. As it warms you get some Belgian estery yeast and some vinious dark fruits. Fairly complex.

The tastes follow the nose with some crackery malt, light roasted chocolate malt, earthy leather mixed with some dark fruity prunes and oak. Yeast esters emerge more as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carboantion. Finish is spritzy and mildly oaky; mainly on the dry side but on par for the style.

Overall it is hard to quantify this beer as there are not many dark saisons on the market and definitely fewer good ones. I feel the same way about this as I do with Black IPAs, even the best ones are just not for me. I enjoyed this but the flavor profile almost seems muddled and wild, which I understand is the goal with most farmhouse ales but the darker malts confuse and slightly clash with the Farmhouse yeast flavors.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml, released 2/17/13
Tired Hands wine glass (split with 3 others)

A: Pours out deep brown with reddish hues. Collar of off white, light tan head. Seems to have decent carbonation. You get some lacing bits on the glass after the swirl. Getting some alcohol feet.

S: On the nose, I get some basement like musty funk, probably from the wine barrel treatment. Umami for sure. There is come cocoa in there, maybe some spice that I can't place. Lots of oaky tannic notes. Not as much vanilla as I was expecting.

T: Tip of tongue, I got some tart funk. It is almost like Supplication, as others have mentioned. It's a pronounced wine barrel cherry like tart character. I get some cocoa in the malt bill and on back end which is pretty nice. I really don't classify this as a Saison category, but who am I. Finish is dry. Definitely tannic from the wood aging.

M: Big medium bodied. Larger than I thought. Coats the mouth.

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Photo of TriageStat
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip. Labeled as a dark saison, but I'm not sure that's how I would classify it. Does not conform to typical saison guidelines, but then I've never heard of a barrel aged saison before.

Poured a dark, opaque, almost chocolate color with a half inch of a mocha colored, lingering head. Small amount of lacing. The smell was rather intriguing, dominated by oak with hints of cherry, and something reminiscent of coffee. The upfront taste had a red wine quality to it, followed by bourbon, and finishes off dry and tart. Medium bodied, fine amount of carbonation.

An interesting beer, no question. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking it, and as the beer warmed the flavors deepened adding to the experience. However, I would probably not stand in sub 30 degree weather for three hours again for another one.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375 ml waxed and capped bottle served into a tulip. Big thanks to greenplastic615 for opening!

A: Dark burgundy/brown colored body with an initial thin off-white head. It settled quickly into a nice retention ring, complete with some thicker bubbles and minor lacing.

S: Rich red wine, wood, tannins, oaky bourbon, cherries, lemon, molasses.

T: Red wine and bourbon barrel blend are immediately evident. Huge red wine tannins, sweeter bourbon but not overpowering. The sour/tartness is really nice, full of cherries and lemon. A syrupy molasses note sticks and lingers on the back end.

M: Nicely balanced without being too thin or too syrupy. Medium bodied with just a ridiculous perfect level of carbonation. Classic Tired Hands.

I loved this one. It reminded me a lot of Domo which I thought was outstanding. The blended barrels play extremely well off each other. This is one I wish I attended the release for. Oh well. Thanks again for the pour Jason, you rock!

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Photo of WorldWideStout
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Opaque, dark brown body. Three-finger head that recedes down to about half a finger after my first few sips. Not much lacing.

S: The 50% aged in red wine barrels is immediately evident. Notes of cherries, lemons, lactic acid, and every once and awhile a little bit of sweet bourbon as well. Somewhat reminds me of Supplication.

T: I get fruit first - tart cherries and lemons again. This is immediately followed by vinous, musty red wine flavors. In the middle some notes of vanilla and bourbon come in, with lactic acid in the background. Towards the end the taste tapers away, and the aftertaste is that of slightly charred oak, lasting for a good ten seconds. The taste seems like a combination of Supplication and a Flanders Oud Bruin to me. No heat is detectable. If I had scored this after the first third of the bottle, it would have been a bit lower, but as it warmed up I got more complexity, especially with those flavors in the middle.

M: Lots of gentle carbonation. Not as evident as in most saisons, and is gone by about half way through the sip. There is a creaminess to the liquid that I enjoy (ninja edit: that's what she said), which is not typical in the saisons I've had.

O: A resounding winner, though not particularly reminiscent of a typical saison. I would like the flavor to be a little more present and less bitter at the end, and would enjoy being able to smell more bourbon and oak. A bit of spiciness from the wood would have made this even better, but it was a treat as is.

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Guillemot Nebula from Tired Hands Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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