The Beer Formerly Known As (TBFKA) La Tache
The Ale Apothecary

The Beer Formerly Known As (TBFKA) La TacheThe Beer Formerly Known As (TBFKA) La Tache
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American Wild Ale
Ranked #132
Ranked #1,092
4.3 | pDev: 7.67%
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
The Beer Formerly Known As (TBFKA) La TacheThe Beer Formerly Known As (TBFKA) La Tache
Notes: The Beer Formerly Known as LA TACHE is the table sour produced year-round by The Ale Apothecary. (TBFKA) LA TACHE is made of malted barley & wheat and Goschie Farms Cascade Hops. The hops are used only for aroma as the balance of the beer comes from acid produced by our house lactobacillus culture. She spends up to one year in our barrels during a long, relaxed fermentation prior to a month-long dry-hopping (yes, in oak barrels!). Our sensory experience is lemon citrus & fermented orchard fruit nose over earthy undertones. The palate finishes with soft lactic acid balanced by the malt body.
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 283 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 3/7/19.
This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance a mellow woody orange color with a finger and a half's worth of white foamy head softly dissolving to leave a small concave lace.
The aroma had a strong sour citrusy tart character with a touch of white wine, small whiff of acidic funk, orange zest, grassiness, small barrel woodiness and a touch of honey sweetness.
The flavor leaned towards the sour side initially but developed more of a nice balance between the sweet, the tart and the sour. Mild funky grassy to honey flow permeates just before an aftertaste of honey coated orange zesty grassy funk occurs.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fairly dry texture making this one more of a sipper. Finishes crisp with plenty of dryness.
Overall, nicely done American wild ale well worthy of coming back to.

Apr 05, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque bright orange with a finger of fluffy white foam, some lacing. Dryer general fruit preserves, juicy and tart citrus, white wine, expressive oak, dry hops, grass, must, and orange zest. Taste has more funk, but generally is much the same, hops are surprisingly potent, oak too. The yeast and fruit combine well toward and through the finish in a funky and zesty way that serves to drive the taste. Starts dry and light in the feel before opening up with the oak, hops, and tartness, complex feel. More proof AA doesn't make a bad beer

Mar 29, 2020
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4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got this because I had to use a gift card at one of those hoity toity places in Oakland. It's not anything I'd buy except that it seemed to be close to the hoppy beers :) It's very sour and makes me salivate profusely; although, maybe I should press the button on my medic-alert bracelet before I salivate to an untimely end! I suggested to my wife that she might want to cook with this one while I'd move on to a Torpedo, but she's not cooking with an $18 beer! My SO went to Culinary Institute of America, so she could validate the very loquacious and cerebral reviews on this one and was very intrigued/ sampled a few times, but I'm on the wrong side of the railroad tracks on this beer; so I'll rate it respectfully, force it down (almost done), and go back to my hoppy beers. I'd once brewed 5 gal of wort with a gal of honey and it got better with age, so maybe this one should sit in the wine cellar for a year brfore use, but it's too late for this one as it's already down the trap both figuratively and now literally =)

Dec 29, 2019
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brother_rebus from Maine

4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very lambic like. Muted carbonation but fuller on the thickness than a tyical lowerabv american sour. Honey, oak and wine are all pretty obvious. The malts give a little earth to it too. Tasty beer and would buy again.

Nov 26, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber-gold with a very tall, persistent lumpy white foam head.

Perfectly tart lemon-lime pairs with some mild straw funk in the fluffy medium body that finishes semi-dry, exhaling wild honey.

Sep 10, 2019
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tjaub95 from Tennessee

4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Has a wonderful hazy amber/orange color; Initial pour has a big, 3 finger head; Mild lacing with little head retention

Smell: Oak forward funky smell; with hints of peaches, lemons, apricots, pine, etc

Taste: Very tart, but in a good way; pine; mine-rally; pear; tangerines; oak; ginger; funky

Mouthfeel: Something I think Ale Apothecary has just nailed is the body of their beer, it's present, but not super heavy either; Prickly carbonation; with a dry finish

Aug 20, 2018
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kitch from Hong Kong

4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A 750ml bottle, batch bottled on June 23rd 2017. Poured into a 3 Fonteinen stemmed glass.

Appearance: A hazy golden orange colour with a big almost three finger white head that had good retention and left lots of nice lacing.

Aroma: Tart, peach, apricot, oak, funk and citrusy lemon.

Taste: Tart and sour, stone fruit, peach, apricot, white grape, oak, funk and lemon.

Mouthfeel: Dry, medium to light bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Very nice and refreshing with good complex flavours.

Jul 18, 2018
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Wild_Fermentation from California

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden Sunset Orange Hues
Deep Tangerine Orangina Creamsicle Softness
Cut Short With Fast Acidity, Quick Lactic Bite
Lingering flavors of ACV, Vanilla, Mandarin Orange, Wood

Jun 29, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a slightly hazy yellow, with a small head and lots of lacing.

This smells like lemon, white oak, white wine, piney hops, clean lactic acid, fruitcake, and apricot.

This is really nice and very complex. The hop character is sparkling, citrusy and sprucey, and adds a lot to the beer. There’s a nice oak character- it’s almost like white oak or something, it doesn’t feel like the usual oak character you would get from something like this. There’s some slight malt sweetness, stone fruit, lemonheads, and a heavy and compelling acidity.

This is light bodied, sparkling and refreshing, with a lively level of carbonation.

I really enjoyed this one. This brewery’s beers are always a treat.

Mar 13, 2018
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 9/30/16
Palate Contaminants: none

The color is a medium orange-gold. Not a whole lot of head or lacing. Still, it has a nice glow.

The scent is funky citrus. It's tangy, and I'll refer back to Five Alive again, but it just is. Maybe Five Alive mixed with Squirt.

Taste is unsurprisingly tart. But I still can't pick out the exact citrus fruit. Maybe because it's really more of a peel taste. Tangelo peels/skin? (There's also a pear cameo.) The funkiness lines up with some sort of forest character, moreso moss and broadleaves than pine, which is the usual. To round out the last leg of the oddball combination, it's even lactic. I actually wish I had some acidic cheese to try with this. I also get some mineral nature, like the stone taste one sometimes gets in a white wine. The complexity increases with temperature.

Carbonaiton is a bit prickly, but like everything from Ale Apothecary, the weight is substantial (medium-heavy for the type). The aftertaste has little of the citrus twang, leaving the funky forest and mineral cheese.

I love creativity.

Mar 04, 2018
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KensWorld from Florida

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled Dec 18 2016. One year on hold in celler at 50deg. Wow how it has aged to perfection. Hops have dropped but the complex funky sourness has evolved into a total masterpiece of a Sour. Unripened Pear and Apple, has this Pineapple and Ginger bight to it. Finishes with a creamy smoothness. Has many Geueze characteristics and is actually more complex then most of them. One of the best Wild Ales out there! Solid 5.00

Dec 16, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

of course i am aware that these beers are very process intensive and small batch, but man are they expensive! you get what you pay for, but for this price, i could drink a couple cases of something else, or an extravagant bottle of wine or something, really. not saying it isnt worth it though, this is a really cool beer, interestingly called a table sour, thats new to me at this strength. the beer has wonderful soft oak tannins, a bright piney hop profile that makes it feel new and alive, and a pretty complex acid taste thats more compelling and nuanced than a standard lacto derived twang. there is some nice farmy funk here too, some cool sweetness from the malt and a ton of body, leaning into a dried apricot fruitiness, white wine zing, and some wooded warming alcohol, very natural to me, yet also very complex. i also get sticks and leaves, dried berries, and vanilla and honey sweetness, as well as some wheat malt. very interesting beer, kind of sits a little heavy and acidic at the same time in the belly, but its a joy to put down. the yeast profile here is really unique, and it tastes incredibly mature and patiently made to me. not as hoppy as i thought it might be from the description, but they are real well integrated into this clever beer. at this price point, i wont be revisiting this anytime soon, but it was cool to get to drink this beer with my good friends and colleagues!

edit: i have liked this more and more each time i have had it, quite nuanced and complex, especially at temperature, but the price still seems absurd for it...

Oct 08, 2017
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cbingham24 from Arizona

4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Golden honey, frothy, cloudy and lively
S- Funky with hints of oak
T- Funky, dry, tart and sour with hints of honey and oak
F- Light body, effervescent carbonation, acidic, tart and tingly
O- A little more tart and funky than I like but otherwise a perfect example of why these guys are so popular. Personally I think Sahalie is their best beer but this one doesn't suck either.

Jul 17, 2017
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biboergosum from Canada

4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml weirdly corked bottle - from notes, thanks to doktorzee for providing this (among many other stellar offerings) at his recent bottle-share.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, rather loosely foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which leaves some approaching iceberg profile lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of mildly funky yeast, white grapefruit rind, tart red apples, white wine vinegar, grainy pale and wheaten malt, clover honey, some vanilla-forward oakiness, a further tropical fruitiness, and perhaps a minor lactic sourness. The taste is some tart apple, orange, and grapefruit fleshiness, spoiled milk, gritty and grainy pale malt, a lesser edgy wheatiness, gently woody acidic white wine (Pinot Grigio?), estery honey, earthy yeast, more as yet muddled exotic fruity notes, and some tame leafy and grassy green hop bitterness.

The bubbles are quite active in their swirling and probing frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, the sour and tart essences here somehow capable of minding their manners, it would seem. It finishes off-dry, that tropical fruitiness really doing well to linger like a boss, thankfully quelling the already docile funkiness.

Overall, this is another damned fine offering from this backwoods brewing concern - it's a sour/wild/infected ale, and I'm not complaining about it in the least. That should tell you everything and anything about how good this one is - and thanks again, Greg, for the wallet-saving share!

Nov 15, 2016
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peensteen from Canada

4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pale golden colour, ring of white head and no lace. Smell is funky and lactic, vinous and an almost gueuze like quality, lemon and stone fruits, nectarine and a well integrated oak. Taste is funky with a ton of fruit flavour, peach and apricot, lemon, moderate sourness and acidic, oaky and vinous with a dry oak barrel finish. Lightly carbonated, medium creamy body. Absolutely outstanding, hands down one of the best beers of the year for me.

Aug 25, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros. Bottled May 15, 2014

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear golden hue with a thin white head that fades to leave spotty lacing.

S - Aromas of very nice funky house yeast strain, great wine barrel notes. Chardonnay wine, very light light tropical fruit notes. The nose is super fragrant.

T - Taste is similar to the nose and has nice funky notes. Really nice yeast strain with good barrel and wine notes. Very light, tropical notes. Faint sweetness is really.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer, excellent wine notes.

Serving Type: bottle

Apr 01, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing, May 15, 2014

Nice foamy fluffy fizzy head hits 1.5 finger but fades quickly, little lacing, clear golden tan color.

Nose nice tart golden sour, fruity bright stone fruit little citrus, light vinous and wine barrel notes, little juicy and fair funk, quite grassy funk, lemongrass and general grassy malt.

Taste brings more of the same, nice tart generic fruity, sour funk with grassy farmhouse sour funk, grassy malt, tart citrus, lemongrass, touch of lemon candy and acidic sour bite flemmy note. Then mild toasted oak barrel, some vinous wine flavours, tart funk late, little flemmy dry finish, little lemon tart funk.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, little tart flemmy, nice carb.

Overall pretty nice, good funk level, nice acidity, pretty enjoyable.

Apr 01, 2016
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Beervana from Canada

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft golden orange colour with a thin white head that comes to life when agitated. Nose is about as funky as they come; blue cheese, moldy peach, a bit of woodiness, somewhat earthy. Taste is much more mellow; peach, nectarine, apricot, oak, definitely vinous, a bit of orange pith, some winter spices on the backend. Not too sour at all. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, definitely drying, soft carbonation.

Overall, a seriously impressive beer. A very intricate sour that packs in a lot of taste without any bold, punch you in the face flavours. Some of the flavour that I'm getting I've only previously tasted in world-class Belgian lambics. Wish this beer wasn't so pricey or I'd buy another couple of bottles!

Dec 16, 2015
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anteater from Oregon

4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This may be the beer that most closely resembles champagne that I've had. Very pleasant aroma and taste. Kind of like a very like, perfectly balanced saison with less dominant yeast character. Impossibly light mouthfeel. Very unique and tasty.

Apr 16, 2015
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SierraFlight from Virginia

3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared during #bottlecherwednesday at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Poured into a tulip. Golden-yellow slightly hazy appearance with a thin white head that quickly fizzes down to nothing. Aroma is lactic funkiness, citrus, tropical fruit, bready malt, and oak. Taste is tart/sour tropical and citrus fruit, grassy hop bitterness, oak, buttery, and vinous on the finish. Medium-light body, smooth, thin texture, fizzy carbonation, dry finish.

Mar 02, 2015
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SaltySizzle from California

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic mouthfeel. The way this has been bottle conditioned makes this apparent. One of the better carbonated beer out there. So tasty, I flew in from California to visit the brewery. Life changing experience!

Feb 15, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours with a gorgeous color and sprite lively thick foam head. The nose is sour and tart with an earthlike mineral and cherry fruit tone.

The flavor is sour, tart and acidic with huge doses of pear and light touches of Apple. The feel is prickly and a touch high in carbonated bubbling.

Jan 04, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a medium gold color.

The aroma smacks of stone fruit, unripen apricot/nectarine, lemon zest, a truly inviting aroma, despite lack of fruit addition.

The flavor is sharp with lacto tart, old lemon, dried lemon peel, a bright carbonation like champagne, pluot, unripen stone fruit, and dry for days. Hints of earthy notes.

Oct 21, 2014
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ThePorterSorter from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a well carbonated, hazy straw yellow that's consistently topped by a foamy white head throughout drinking. There is no sediment and minimal lace. The nose is predominantly funky with a slightly tart grainy sweetness. Similarly, the taste brings forward tart lemony cracked grain upfront, which transitions into lingering yeast, a slight booze, hinting bitterness, and citrus in the finish. It's definitely a light bodied, effervescent farmhouse that captures some serious funk while maintaining excellent drinkability. This definitely hits the spot, would recommend and drink again given the chance.

Jul 23, 2014
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draheim from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL (bottled 4/10/2014, 7.75% ABV) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy pale straw color w/ a big monstrous white head of tiny champagne bubbles typical of a wild ale, with lively, vigorous carbonation.

Aroma is light and tart, with just a touch of grassy, citrusy funk. Very nice and clean.

Taste is citrusy, vinous, bready, tart and bright. Lemons, spices, pear, all finishing with a clean acidity. The perfect level of sweetness to balance the subtle sour character.

Mouthfeel is light and enjoyable, finishes nice and dry.

Overall, this is a truly outstanding beer, one of the best American wild ales I think I've ever had. I could drink this every day if I could afford it. Glad my friends were willing to pick this up for me when they were down in Bend last weekend.

Jul 22, 2014
The Beer Formerly Known As (TBFKA) La Tache from The Ale Apothecary
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 283 ratings