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La Tache | The Ale Apothecary

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La TacheLa Tache

Brewed by:
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States

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

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 232
Reviews by popery:
Photo of popery
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darkened yellow. Slightly cloudy - you can still see through it. Fizzy white head. Little lacing and the head dies away quickly. Very faint diacetyl note. Nice acidity. Some raspberry, lime, orange, lemon, apricot, plum. The taste is quite tannic, very woody. The carbonation gets in the way of the flavor, but there's also some more tart fruit in there. Blackberry, raspberry, lemon, plum. Everything under ripe. A little bit of butter in the finish. Mouthfeel is prickly, effervescent. Carbonation is too high for me. Otherwise, the feel is rather light for the abv. It's just ok and, really, a bit of a disappointment to my expectations for this brewery. It's overcarbonated and somewhat lacking in flavor, ultimately. Still, it's also easy to drink and hides is strength well. Kind of a mixed bag.

 809 characters

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!

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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.

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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 bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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 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


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 232 ratings.
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