Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

La Tache | The Ale Apothecary

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
32 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
La TacheLa Tache
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States | website

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:
32
Ratings:
226
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
21.78%
 
 
Wants:
130
Gots:
34
For Trade:
6
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 226
Reviews by msubulldog25:
Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, corked and bound with a tied string. Picked this up on a visit to Bend last August, purchased from Paul at AA's tiny brewery after a nearly hour-long "tour" and casual discussion about beer. Opened with a corkscrew and a soft pop on a Saturday night (split with my wife) to a pair of snifters and matched with a lemony cod, broccoli and wild rice dish at home.

Hand stamped date and ABV: "JUL 05 2013" and "8.68"% Alc/Vol

A: Golden pour, a little hazy, a little fizzy, with a sturdy whitish head - about 1/2 finger. Good lacing and an ever-present creamy swirl of film. Steady carbonation, too.

S: Grassy, wet hay and lightly floral notes with a nose-twitching sourness. Doesn't blow you away, neither does it turn you away. Good strength, intriguing.

T: Excellent lemon/lemongrass flavors, a little cake/shortbread. Mild apple/pear tartness, nothing to overpower the malts and prevalent yeastiness.

M: A little spritzy at first, plenty or carbonation and a lingering effervescence. Mellows in the mouth, becoming thicker and grainier by the second. Medium body, a little pasty in the finish.

O: Lovely beer that's all too easy to quaff, given its stealthy ABV. Waiting about 6 months to open this seems about the perfect amount of time, though I'm glad to try plenty more at shorter and longer intervals. Strong recommendation.

 1,349 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beervana
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
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 +7.5%
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 +5.9%
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 +5.4%

Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Tuckersmth
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of distantmantra
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of dirtylou
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
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 woodchip
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Crazydaddyo
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
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 -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Intlpostman
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
La Tache from The Ale Apothecary
92 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe