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La Tache | The Ale Apothecary

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
34 Reviews
THE BROS
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La TacheLa Tache
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
thealeapothecary.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 07-30-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
233
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
8.18%
 
 
Wants:
130
Gots:
37
For Trade:
7
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 233
Reviews by bishopdc0:
Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beervana
4.58/5  rDev +7%
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!

 723 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

FYI, the dry-hoped batch aged in red wine barrels was exquisite.

Something to note here that's critical for all reviews of Ale Apothecary is that batch and batch date are INCREDIBLY important. Where most brewers are going to strive for consistency batch to batch within a beer "name", Ale Apothecary uses the "names" as more ideas ... identities that change and express themselves differently in each iteration.

For example, some batches of Sahalie are aged in different barrels, hopped differently. Some batches of La Tache are dry-hopped and aged in pinot barrels; some aren't. Some batches of El Cuatro are in Brandy barrels only, some in Brandy and Pinot. Furthermore, they transform quite a bit in bottle over time (and are probably not really ready to drink for at least 3 months after bottling date).

With that said, all reviews / ratings are either a rating of a particular batch at a moment in time or an aggregate rating based on multiple experiences with different batches over time.

 1,000 characters

Photo of harrymel
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 21DEC12
ABV 8.14%

A nice clean lemon yellow with a solid sheet of bone white, super fine foam. Love to watch the solid column of bubbles rising from the center of the glass. Nose carries lemons, tartness, a touch of hay and manure, some hibiscus and some fresh cut grass, as it warms there is a leather and funk. Fucking A. Taste is initially nice and tart - not overly so at all - the tart character is well integrated with a nice earthen bitterness, plenty of lemon flavors, some soil, a bit of mushroom and water cracker. The beer feels light and easy on the palate, maybe a touch undercarbonated or something - although I like the way it feels, I can't help but think it could be better. Another outrageously complex beer from a brewery that reinvigorates my sense of boundaries for what beer is, and can be. Brilliant, artistic, intriguing and layered.

 864 characters

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of biboergosum
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

 1,565 characters

Photo of Tuckersmth
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of distantmantra
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of dirtylou
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split

12/21/12

Golden-yellow body, heavy carbonation. Another really lovely beer from the Ale Apothecary - self described as a 'table sour', dry hopped during its stay in oak barrels. Light, funk, lots of bright lemon citrus, hop juice, a bit acidic, sharp carbonation. It's a shame this stuff is so expensive (approaching Cascade levels), because these guys make wonderful beer with fantastic branding.

 419 characters

Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of woodchip
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Crazydaddyo
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Golden yellow body. Nice white head. Great surface foam and retention.

Smell - Wine barrel is strong. Bready malts. Slightly hoppy. More hoppy than I expected.

Taste - Wine barrel is strong here too, but sweet pale malts and a bready malt character that dominates. Hoppy flavor blends well. Interesting merger of styles.

Mouthfeel - A touch too sweet. Well carbonated.

Overall - Another interesting offering from Ale Apothecary. Similar to Sahalie, maybe less crazy.

 521 characters

Photo of Leftofthedial
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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La Tache from The Ale Apothecary
4.28 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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