Be Still
The Ale Apothecary

Be StillBe Still
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Wild Ale
Ranked #332
Ranked #3,021
4.19 | pDev: 12.89%
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
Be StillBe Still
Notes: Brewed with roasted barley and biscuit malts, the structure of Be Still comes from acid produced by Ale Apoth's house lactobacillus as well as acid from brettanomyces and pediococcus activity during 10 months of slow aging in rye whiskey and fresh pinot noir barrels. The rye and wine portions are then blended together and allowed to sit on cascara (the sun-dried exterior fruit of the coffee bean) and cocoa nibs... adding depth and complexity.
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a tan foam ring. Smell has whiskey, chardonnay backing cocoa, raisin, wood tannins, grape, roasted barley/malt, unsweet tea, vinegar and faint brett. Odd, or so I thought, then I tasted it, even more odd! The taste is like a firework, the whiskey starts us shooting upward with cola, chicory, and molasses, then the flash of chardonnay and vinegar, followed quickly by the bang of bbq sauce, mushroom, cascara, soil, and wood. Then the cocoa, smoke, dried dark fruit and berries linger into everything that has come, like the smoke chandelier of a firework, fading into a slightly sour, acidic and bitter finish. Complex but very strange, more interesting than it is good. Feel is woody, boozy, acidic, slightly tart and hot.

 752 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

very unique beer here, pricey, as is all the stuff from these guys, and gorgeously packaged in a wine shaped bottle with a cork, stunning visually really, but id rather have it in more conventional packaging for less money, but the aesthetic here is unrivaled. the beer is a neat one, an oud bruin type as a base, i was expecting lambic for some reason, but happy to have something different in my glass here. its got a shiny deep brown color to it, is almost still from the bottle save for a few areas of patchy surface bubbles, and leaves long legs on the edges of the glass as i swirl it around. a neat aroma to this, a flemmish sort of acetic vinegar element first, sharp and astringent and immediate, this is really sour. the cascara is cool here, a really neat and unconventional add to this, notes of raisin, black tea, and light pour over coffee from it, a little sweet, very earthy, and plays super well with the deepest malts in here. some cool roast as well, faint smoke and a little chocolate as well, but maybe not from the nibs, complex but really puckery. the flavor is really neat here, its wild as much as it is sour, and has a ton of wood on it, vanilla and tannins bleeding in, more sticky raisin and date, tobacco, lemon, nail polish remover, and toffee. i also get the rye over the wine on the barrel side, spicy and perfect with the still but fuller feel of this, it sips like a soured whiskey, the wine has nice supporting fruit notes on the back end too, like a port or something, with some of the same sugar and booziness. i wish this wasnt quite so acidic, its really hot as a result of that, and is hard to drink more than a little bit of, but the flavors are fantastic and truly unique. i think the cascara is an awesome layer, and the bitterness the cocoa provides is needed. very complex, sure to cellar well, i dont mind it being uncarbonated at all, and im glad i got into this one with some friends. hope to check this place out next month when i am in oregon!

 1,993 characters

Photo of WA_Brian
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2017 bottle. First time they came in 500ml bottles.

L: Dark brown, almost a bit rusty in color with the red tones. No carbonation so no head. Few light brown bubbles.
S: Leather, cocoa, hint of dark fruit.
T: Red wine, bitter cocoa, coffee. A lot going on here.
F: Thin, light acidity. This is bottled barrel still so it has no carbonation but it's actually hard to notice.
O: I've had an earlier batch of this beer and I wasn't a big fan back then and I'm still not a big fan. It's drinkable and surprisingly it's hard to notice the lack of carbonation. It's a weird mixture of flavors and I'm guessing it's the cascara that I like the least. Parts of this remind me of a red wine, but then comes the cocoa nibs, cascara and rye. I don't care for how it all comes together. It's my least favorite AA beer. I actually find this beer fairly well done for what it is, but I don't really care for the flavor.

 906 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.22/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown ale with no carbonation. Aroma of chocolate malt notes with some dry fruits and sour notes is a weird mix. Taste is a mix chocolate notes with strong sour notes, some light funky ester with some caramelized notes, dry fruit and light residual sugar notes. Body is about average with no carbonation. Seems like the recipe included everything but the kitchen sink and not sure the overall mix is really well balanced.

 449 characters

4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ale Apothecary Be Still

A: This purposefully uncarbonated beer pours a deep, unassuming brown with rusty, reddish hints. It is a bit hazy, though mostly clear, especially at the edges. Obviously, no carbonation or lacing are present, but there are slight alcohol legs. Viscosity appears to be medium, happily yet surprisingly as syrupy can be a worry with still beer of 8%+. 3.75/5

A: Tart red currants, tart cherries (could be the cascara), and tons of dark fruit (especially figs) dominate. Leathery Brett blends with lots of rich red wine fruitiness and cocoa. Finally dry, spicy rye whiskey and alcohol finish it out. The only drawback is that a sour vinegar does seem to take the aroma over as it warms, though not entirely. This is exceedingly complex and sophisticated, and if it were not for what wine drinkers would deem "off-flavors," could appeal greatly to fans of that libation. 4/5

T: Despite the warning from the aroma of what could have been overly sour vinegar, the flavor comes through delicately and as sophisticated as the bottle implies. Sure, up front there is definitely tart cherry and acidic red currant, but it gives way quickly to sweet figs, dark chocolate, and fruity Pinot, all in perfect harmony. Finally, as in the nose, spicy rye whiskey and dry, leathery Brett (plus some tannins) come and clean the palate out, leaving behind a hint of tobacco and toffee. Exemplary and so unique in its execution, this is a perfectly balanced beer that really edges into wine flavor territory. 4.75/5

M: Again, this is obviously flat, but it works due to how wine-like the beer reads on the palate. The mild acidity helps keep it a little lively as well and causes the slightest pucker. It is pleasantly viscous (more than it seemed). There is some tannic drying and slight alcohol heat in the very back end, but neither is unpleasant, rather it seems like a red wine even more so. 4.75/5

O: There is not much like this beer out there. Ale Apothecary may be expensive, but they are all so interesting and generally so well-executed that it is hard to call them overpriced. Everything about this completely flat beer just works. It is obvious that they were going for a wine-like brew (from the bottle to the cork to the label to the appearance to the flavors and so on), and they succeeded, coming out like a Bordeaux blend. Needless to say, it is completely delicious and will score most highly with dual fans of wine and beer. Still beer is still fairly underground, but with prominent names like AA and Cory King of Side Project showing interest, this could become more popular in the future. Drink near room temperature for best results. Pair with Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." 4.75/5

 2,713 characters

Photo of TreeBear
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The acidity and the dark fruits makes you forget about the (purposeful) lack of carbonation. Lots of dark fruit. Somehow still has a good mouthfeel even though there are no bubbles

 180 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a unique and very complex beer that seems to me to be quite under rated. I'm a big fan of this brewery and this one is also one that should not be missed for the complexities of all aspects, look, nose, mouthfeel, flavors and finish. Perhaps a one of a kind type of blend/brew. Wine drinkers will love this one.

 322 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch 6/25/14.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with no head. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with roasted malt, cocoa powder, earth, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with sour cocoa powder, roast, fruit, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a tasty mix of stout and sour qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 565 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Oregon, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a flat dark raisin brown color with not head or lace, as expected.
S: Tons of coco and coffee come through on the nose along with a few tart barrel notes as well.
T: A very complex beer unlike nothing I've ever tasted. I get flavors of coffee, coco, cheesy funk, rye and vinous red wine. Rye whiskey is noticeable and adds a nice mellow spicy complexity. Buttery barrel finish, with lingering leather and fruit juice in the aftertaste. The tartness is subtle, like red berries.
M: Medium full body, surprisingly full mouthfeel, with the faintest suggestion of carbonation. The mouthfeel is so nice I don't ever notice the intentional lack of carbonation.
O: This was awesome. Just an all-around interesting and complex beer. The list of ingredients does not sound like they would work well together, but some they do. Definitely a pricey bottle, but I wish I had bought more.

 931 characters

Photo of derftron
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Tried this beer after a Timbers game at Baileys Tap room.

some guy I was sitting next to popped the bottle. Having had most Ale Apoth beers, I asked him how it was. I am not a fan of non-carbonated beers, and the price tag on this one is quite steep. He generously poured me about 6oz into a snifter.

appearance: blackish/brownish/red no head or carbonation

smell: sour, red wine, chocolate, malt. all over the place. very interesting

taste: this beer is really cool, and just another example of master craftsmanship by Ale Apothecary. As I said before, IM not a fan of "still" beers, but with this one I barely even noticed. immediate sour/red wine notes gave way quickly to chocolate and roasted malts. It pump fakes you into thinking sour off the bat and then it disappears into a completely different profie. crazy crazy beer. after a few sips and trying to figure it out, I just stopped thinking and enjoyed it. the two different barrel treatments come and go at different times as it hits your palet.

still not sure I would drop the $35 on this, but this is an awesome beer that I will definitely try again. highly recommended.

 1,154 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%

One of the most unique beers around - I expect no less from Ale Apothecary. Like just about everyone, the intentional stillness of the beer gave me some trepidation. After drinking, I believe it was the right choice for the beer, particularly compared to the very active carbonation of most Apothecary beers. The cascara brings big cherry notes and some tannin and the cocoa nibs impart a cocoa flavor less reminiscent of chocolate than the fruitiness of roasted cocoa pods. The price is high but well worth it for such a unique experience.

 541 characters

Photo of themind
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Heavy wine notes immediately show themselves upon popping the cork. No head is present, a deep grape mist seems to dominate the aroma. taste is wine, grape, slightly tart citrus. There are multiple layers of flavor to this beer, it's very hard to describe. The finish is dry, I have never had a beer like this, its most unique. If you like wine, this is your beer. A monster of the most unexampled proportions.

Bottom Line: The new Hill Farmstead is here and it's name is Ale Apothecary.

 489 characters

Photo of jtmartino
1.5/5  rDev -64.2%

Yikes. Not a fan of this one (nobody at the tasting enjoyed it).

Reminded me of a Tart of Darkness that was opened and left out to get flat and oxidize. With more chocolate.

The rye and pinot don't play well together. They form a harsh, almost astrigent flavor that's hard to get past. There's an acetic quality that combines with the pinot barrel character to give the impression that it was blended with a red wine that had turned bad. Yuck.

The best part of the beer was the cocoa. I think it was added as an after-thought because Paul knew this beer needed something to distract from its flaws.

By far the worst beer I've had this year, and certainly the worst beer I've had from AA. What a waste of $35...half the bottle ended up down the drain.

 763 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 7/18/2014.

Appearance - Flat. Deep amber body.

Smell - Coffee. Chocolate. Light vinegar. Light brett. Interesting.

Taste - Sharp tartness. Coffee is probably the strongest flavor. Some deep caramel and chocolate. Immediately gone and wine-like flavors kick in. Sourness takes over and tannic flavors linger into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat. Medium heavy body.

Overall - Intense, but extremely flavorful. Fascinating beer.

 484 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received in a trade and shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark brown hue with no head, nice legs though. Looks well, still. 4.25 (x .05 = .213)

S - Aromas of lacto, brett, pinot, rue whiskey, not much chocolate our coffee, just loads and loads of pinot noir barrel. Nice rye too. 4.25 (x .2 = .85)

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Loads upon loads of pinot, the rye is light and subtle and the chocolate. The chocolate and wine are so complex, earthy, mineral. Thick flavours, tart, sour, lacto. 4.5 (x .45 = 2.025)

M - Mouthfeel is flat sure, nice sour notes, heavy. Alcohol is there though is a solid feel 4.25 (x .1 = .425)

O - Overall the nose and aroma really pop, . Chocolate and wine, delicious 4.25 (x .2 = .85)

Total Rating Score: 4.36
Serving Type: Bottle

 803 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%

No head obviously, thick super pitch black, thick legs. 4.25

Nose is really interesting, wine vinous red wine aromas, into sour obvious lacto funk and sour malt, vinous wine with even pinot barrel notes. So much wine, and faint malt, but no roast or cocoa.4.25

Taste sweet pole, then big tart sour lacto funk, lacto sour all over! Sour grapes and pinot barrel, big red wine but tart and soured. Very mild dark malt, with faint roast. Cocoa really comes through too, creamy cocoa and fudgey dark choc like, little chewy fudgey, with nice sour lacto. Faint booze. Finish is sticky sweet, tangy and acidic with nice sour lacto lingering, sour black malts, little cocoa. 4.5

Mouth is heavier bod, no carb obviously, mild booze warmth, sticky thick syrupy. 4

 757 characters

Photo of jakewatt135
4.81/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A little odd at first sip. I had to get my head passed the flat nature of this beer. I have little experience with any beer that is or is nearly flat. After a sip or two I got passed it and loved everything about this beer. Lots of great roasted flavors complimented by chocolate and a touch of coffee. The wine barrels were something I really noticed in the finish with the slight sour and I felt that they brought the whole experience together beautifully.

A few non beer loving friends enjoyed this thoroughly. Great beer all around, and thought provoking. One tip, he says not to age because it is flat and will allow oxidation to occur and ruin the beer.

 660 characters

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
5/5  rDev +19.3%

So many flavors here. The acid isn't too strong, and the rye spices come through perfect. The coffee & cocoa are backend treats. This is very different and a welcome addition to the sour trend. The no carb is perplexing at first, but you almost immediately are glad it's flat. It allows the complex flavors and aromas to reach you unabated. I'm glad I got more than one bottle. Seek this one out.

 396 characters

Photo of kscaldef
2.5/5  rDev -40.3%

Really hard to form an opinion on a 1oz sample pour. More like Fernet or a bitter herbal vermouth than beer. Need to revisit this with a larger pour.

10/31 update: revisted. Still don't care for this.

 203 characters

Be Still from The Ale Apothecary
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 126 ratings