Tralfamadorian | Tired Hands Brewing Company

very good
13 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Tired Hands Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barrel-fermented Biere de Garde. Brewed with oats and fermented with PA wildflower honey in a blend of our favorite barrels. Conditioned for almost four months before being tapped.

Added by ShanePB on 04-12-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 60
Photo of russwbeck
2.27/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Picked up from HopKilaMonster. Thanks man!

A: No pop on the growler and no head despite a vigorous pour. I'm worried this has gone flat despite it not being much more than a week old. A lot of bubbles race through the beer, but they don't last long. The color is dark brown, but see-through at the edges. 3.5

S: Booze, some sweet malts, whiskey, vanilla, and sugar. There's a lot going on here, but overall the takeaway is sweet. Let's see how balanced the taste ends up being. 4

T: Damn. This growler is way flat. It is really impacting the taste. It's all stale malts, whiskey, and sugar. It could have been a contender! But instead, it's just meh. Taste falls off in the middle. 2

MF: Flat, flat, flat. Thin body. No carbonation. 1

O: Really disappointing first shot at Tired Hands. I will give them another try. 1

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Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to BA eagles22 for hooking me up with a 1-liter growler of this. Poured into a matching TH oversized wine glass, the brew appears dark brown to mahogany with hints of lighter yellowish coloration seen around the edges. When held to the light, a deep ruby is seen through the body. A finger of off-white head rests atop and fades to a thin film leaving some spots of lacing effect on the glass.

The aroma is tangy and fruity with soft alcohol and overall wild notes. A little bit of earthen aspect, brett and raw oak. As the brew warms up, more of the barrel comes out with a hint of vanilla that really exaggerates the fruited notes to the nose.

The flavor is just as tangy and tart as you might expect based off the aroma. Mild seedy fruit flavors somewhat reminiscent of raspberry are present from start to finish. There is a mild barrel character present mid-palate that extends into the aftertaste. As the brew warms up, it gets raw and woody with a hint of must and damp aspect almost like mushrooms. The alcohol that once was completely masked, starts to show itself with a warming effect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. Despite Tired Hands having issues in the past with flat growlers, I am pleased to see this one perfectly carbonated despite a cap that was pinched and not put on correctly. This brew was not exactly what I was expecting for being advertised as a Biere de Garde but despite it being quite wild, I think it is decent. Not something I would get excited about and want to drink again but not bad and worth a try if it isn't gone by now.

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Photo of Etan
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler from agold. Thanks!

A: Pours a burnt amber with a small off-white head.

S: Smells lightly acetic, caramel, red wine tannins, sour citrus.

T: Taste brings dry oak, some very light toffee notes from the malt, a bit of vanilla, fruity tartness.

M: Light-bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: While this was good, it didn't blow me away. It was a bit simple and restrained for a barrel-fermented soured biere de garde, albeit very drinkable and even refreshing.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Tired Hands on release day.

A: Deep maroon/mahogany colored body with a creamy, almost nitro looking, tan head. Nice amounts of lacing and thin film of retention on top.

S: Dark red fruits, black cherry, caramel malt, oak and some dry tannins. There's a slight sour edge on the aroma but it's not that pronounced.

T: Mildly sour on the palate with plenty of the wine barrel coming through. A nice blending of the oak, wine, sour qualities, more black cherry and underlying malts.

M: Quite creamy, carbonation was really nice and it drank incredibly smooth.

It sort of reminded me of a Guillemot-esque beer, which is no bad thing. Nicely done.

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Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32oz swing top growler graciously given to me by NJOssie thanks again for the opportunity amigo!

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany with a 1 finger dull white crown that shows little retention and no lace.

Smell: Nice tangy borderline vinegar acid notes (almost cherry like with a lemon tinge) that come off like a nice oud bruin...but one that is more sour than sweet. Also a hint of must (not quite funky), vanilla, and a touch of lightly charred (if at all) oak.

Taste: Same as the nose but a bit more "one note" with the tangy acid taking the lead. I do feel like I'm detecting a mix of very mild bourbon and brandy flavors in the background though. I enjoy the muted quality of the barrel in the flavor profile of this one. Kind of compliments the sheer drinkability of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low carbonation. It does compliment the flavor profile though and you do get a tiny spritz of carbonation on the swallow.

Overall: Overall I like this beer more than my other scores might indicate. It's quite drinkable, thirst quenching, and quaffable. The flavors do seem a bit muddled though, giving this beer an "experimental" feel at best. That could have been the brewers intention though. Good beer either way. Best one out of the eight beers I've had from this brewery so far.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Tired Hands 1st Anniversary party. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark brown color, tiny off-white head, no lacing.

S- Fruity and sour, some cherry, oak and vanilla.

T- Quite tart and vinous, great fruity flavors of cherry and red grape, some oak, tannin, vanilla. Barrel character is mild and complements the tart and fruity flavors nicely.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, very dry.

O- A really interesting, highly drinkable beer. Not sure in what respect this is a biere de garde, it strikes me as a bit more of just a general American Wild ale, but whatever you wanna call it, it's very tasty.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1L growler, fill/drink 4/12/13
HF stemmed wine glass

A: Pours a deep dark brownish reddish color. Didn't get tons of head. Just a collar of light tan around edge of bulb of glass. Leaves some lacing actually. Slight carbo.

S: Smells like a Flanders style red. Dark tart pie cherries. Some oak. Some tannic notes. Maybe some cocoa.

T: Get that tartness up front. Some of that cherry note that you smelled. Then it fades with the malt bill. You taste some dark fruit and some cocoa powder. Finish is slightly tannic and dry.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Tired Hands

Deep mahogany pour with a small, creamy cap of off-white head that retained nicely and laced the glass. Nice aroma of dark dried fruits, tannins, and some good barrel notes. Overlaid on a sweet caramel malt base, a healthy dose of red wine, dried black cherries, and even a little strawberry, mildly tannic, bringing in an acidic sourness that was not at all intense, and very well-balanced; again, a nice barrel quality appearing throughout the session, showing some Guillemot-ish characteristics (makes sense, as this was partially aged in Guillemot barrels). This beer surprised me, as it was a bit more full-bodied and "intense" than most of the softer and/or hoppier IPAs and saisons that Tired Hands offers, and it almost seemed more in line with the stuff that Russian River puts out. And of course, there's nothing wrong with that.

Great quality brew overall, and probably in my list of top 5 beers Tired Hands should offer year-round...on tap and in bottles.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-dark mahogany color with a smallish light tan head and some lacing

S-dark cherries, oak, wine, sweet caramel malt

T-caramel malt, oak, sour cherries, hints of raisin, nice contribution from the barrels here, overall works well together

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, crisp and slightly puckering

O-really enjoyed this beer, great blend of flavors, wish it were bottled

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from growler into a snifter. Reverse cascade of bubbles create a small ochre head on top of the stunning ruby tinged brown body. Excellent clarity. Head drops down quickly to slim layer and stays there.

Aroma is a very pleasant mix of dark fruit characters, oak, and lactic/malic acid. Big hit of tart cherries up front, vinegar, subtle oak, and plum. Exciting nose that shows some complexity and refrains from one-dimensionality. Not a very powerful aroma, but it is a very inviting one for sour lovers.

Wow! Quite tart. One of the most sour beers that I have ever had from Tired Hands. Notes of oak, tannin, subtle vanilla, sherry, and slight balsamic. Lingering lactic acid is reminiscent of yogurt. Carbonation is almost dead by this point. But sharp tang does a good job replacing that. Palate coating sour beer. Giving me some indigestion...well worth it!

Absolutely love this beer. Might be one of my favorite Tired Hands beers to date. It rivals Supplication, though it is not quite as sour and it is not quite as carbonated. It's sour, it's drinkable, it's interesting. And on top of it this beer is a rare treat. They need to bottle this.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at TH and a 1L growler.

Pours a dark, clear mahogany with a thin, bubbly tan head that fades to a thin collar with some legs of lace. Aroma is dry and oaky, with red grape skin, raisin, a touch of vanilla, green apple, brown sugar, and red wine. Medium thick body, light carbonation with a crisp, dry finish that lingers with a touch of acidity. Flavor produces a fruity sweetness not found in the nose that settles on the back of the palate while a slightly sour grape skin and tannin bite swirl in and out of each sip. By geographic proximity this makes me think of McKenzie's Cuvee McK (and I suspect this may share a barrel (or at least type of) with that beer) but this is less oaky and much easier to drink at a lower alcohol. A little fuller bodied than this year's HF Norma and a little stronger in the sweet fruit and sour contrast. I liked both Guillemots, but this easily beats both for me.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Growler poured into a Tired Hands wine glass.

Pour: Dark mahogany body with two fingers of foamy, light copper head. Head dissipates to a ring and leaves a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Big red wine and oak off the bat, with some lemon tartness and a touch of funk. A nice caramel and toffee peak through. Finishes on the nose with some light tropical fruits, lemon, and red wine tannins.

Taste: Woah... red wine and oak again immediately, but this is much more complex than the nose. Tart lemon and funk mix with a gently sweet caramel. Some mulled cider. Lots of oak through the entirety of the body. Finishes tart with lemons and pears, caramel, and then bone dry. As it warms, a light bourbon barrel presence comes through.

Mouthfeel: Really exceptionally drinkable. A nice tart bite. Not too sweet at all. Incredibly dry.

Overall: This was very, very impressive. Hands down Tired Hands best beer yet. Very reminiscent of Norma from Hill Farmstead, and a touch more complex. Amazing job Jean!

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Photo of Darklight
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Tired Hands Brew Cafe on 4/12/13.

A: Reddish brown. Very dark maroon color. Thin light tan head, almost nitro like as someone else has pointed out. Very nice looking beer.

S: Smells like a Flanders Red to me even though they are calling this a Biere de Garde. Getting tart vinous notes, dark cherry, oak, wine barrels, and acidic fruits. You can definitely tell this was barrel aged before you even take a sip.

T: Getting everything I was getting in the aroma. Every sip is a pleasure to behold. Perfect balance of tartness and dark acidic fruits. Finishes with a nice slight earthiness.

M: Creamy, light carbonation. Earthy, dry finish. Very nice.

O: Again TH is saying this is a Biere de Garde, but I'm getting Flanders Red in the aroma and taste. Either way it's a great beer. Gave it all 4.75's but may bump those ratings up as I get to drink more of this. Think this would be a great starter beer for people trying to get into sour/tart beers. It's a perfectly balanced sour/fruity beer and I could sip on this all day/every day. Think I have a new favorite from Tired Hands. Hope they bottle this some day.

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Tralfamadorian from Tired Hands Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 60 ratings.
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