La Tache | The Ale Apothecary

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93
outstanding
33 Reviews
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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:
33
Ratings:
228
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
21.5%
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
36
For Trade:
6
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 228
Photo of peensteen
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.41/5  rDev +3%
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

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Photo of jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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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 anteater
4.11/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of SaltySizzle
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of draheim
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle with a date of 12/21/12 poured into a snifter. The brew appears a pale golden yellow color with a big white cap that fades back leaving patchy lace on the glass. A swirl effortlessly revives.

The aroma opens up a little awkward and not that desireable with notes of burnt plastic and strange phenolics. As it breaths, the plastic dissolves a bit and in its place is mostly a lemony lactic character.

The taste is tart and fruity like pear/apple and wheat with a kick of alcohol that feels mildly like perfume. The aroma showcased some real plastic off-character and thankfully that is mostly muted in the taste.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A unique wild that starts off harsh and grows on you as it breaths and opens up.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to OakedCanuck for the awesome in person trade this past summer.

A 750ml corked bottle that is bound with string. The cork loudly pops and I anticipate a gusher but the beer stays put. A straw pale yellow brew pours into my glass with a huge frothy white head, crazy carbonation bubbles up from the depths of my glass.

Nose is of pear, sweet grass and tropical fruit

The taste opens up with pear, grassy notes and a slight funk. The taste of Belgian yeast is in the finish.

Overall really good stuff. The taste is fairly delicate with the funk being light. Nice balanced flavours. I want to try the other offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

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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 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.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml 7/5/2013 bottling date . into a snifter.

pours a light golden color, big foamy head. tart smell .. yeasty..wow! taste is super sour and just terrific. white grapes and ends super dry. medium bodied with high carbonation.

overall superb!! recommended.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle corked with string holding back the cork, no cage, I can't recall seeing that before in nearly 2000 reviews, poured into tulip 13/11/13, Dec, 14, 2012 bottle, cheers Liam for sending the bottle

A clear golden yellow with a hint of green, you might have a hard time jamming more bubbles in a glass, a tornado of bubbles barfs off the bottom with streams popping up from everywhere, three fingers of bone white foam has good retention but nothing sticks to the glass

S lots of fruit, green apple, mango, pear, peach and pineapple, a little funk works well with some oak, vinous notes I can't place, Sauv Blanc barrels maybe? intense nose, everything comes in strong, floral notes and more fruit, I could smell this all day, near perfection going on here

T a little grassy with less tropical notes then the nose, mild funk and vinous notes are still doing great things but the nose was a hard act to follow, wood and some foreign spice I can't place for the life of me

M fairly light and airy, almost explodes when it his your tongue, fruity finish with just a little grit

O quite impressive, I can't believe how quickly I devoured this bottle, loads of tropical fruit and white vinous notes mix up with the mellow funk, I need more brews form these guys

I've uncovered a hidden gem and I'm considering a move to Bend with the hope that there's other obscure breweries I've never heard of pumping out this sort of quality. This one hits all the spots, look for these guys and if you find them please set one aside for me.

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Photo of Rutager
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thank you to Steasy66 for this!!

Appearance. Pours a hazy straw-gold with a finger of white head.

Smell. Floral and funky, sweet hay, light fresh wood, light apples and pears. Very nice.

Taste. Light fruits, apples and peaches, medium-light in the sour dept., some fresh wood, lightly floral, light funk. Again, very nice and no alcohol to be found.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body (a little light), medium-strong carbonation (a little strong).

Overall. Fantastic stuff. Like a sour saison. This brewer really knows his shit. Thanks again Ryan!!!

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

Bottle shared by Todd. Thanks! Served in a plastic cup.

A - White foam settles to a solid cap and splotchy lacework. Hazy orange body.

S - Big brett aroma, with loads of tropical funk to it. Notes of lemon, perfume, stone fruits, vinous oak; very saison-esque.

T - The taste is quite similar, but with even more brett character. Dusty, with a slightly medicinal note, but otherwise there are hefty doses of tropical and stone fruits, and a vinous oak character in the finish.

M - Medium-full body, pleasant carbonation, soft texture, and a dry finish. Alcohol is immaculately concealed.

D - Great stuff! Would love to drink this again. Really impressed with Ale Apothecary so far. Could imagine working through a 750ml bottle over the course of an evening.

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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.

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

A: Pours the color of--dare I say it--a tasteless American macro-lager, but with a frothy, continuous pure white head. The carbonation is very visible.
S: Pretty subtle aromas. Some grapefruit, and melon, but with a little bit of musty . Smells similar to a Berliner Weisse, but with less lacto and wheat scents up front.
T: Immediately, I pick up lemon verbena and sticky honeydew melon, with some white wine, and finishes with oak. Rolling it around my mouth on another sip, I notice some almost indistinguishable notes of Cascade hops, some wheat and more of the lactic acidity.
M: Excellent mouthfeel. Lingering effervescence.
O: An exceptional wild ale from a brewery that seriously knows what they're doing with both spontaneous fermentation and oak barrels. This bottle was opened exactly six months after the bottling date. I'd be curious to know what younger and older versions of this would taste like. Very subtle, but highly recommended. I look forward to tasting later vintages of all their beers.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 4.17.13
Batch: Dec 21 2012

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a very active fizzy white head that fades fast.

S - Citrus - lemon, funk, slightly nutty.

T - Tart oakiness, very subtle citrus, buttery wood.

D - Tons of carbonation and very light body.

O - Smells great, but flavors are not quite there. I would let this one age a bit more.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Dave for sharing this. Bottled December 21, 2012.

Just like the Sahalie, body is light yellow and a bit hazy. Good white head and nice retention. The nose has a bit of faint sulfur and cheese underneath very nice wheat. Behind that there's some lemon and faint spice. Flavor is similar with a bit less acidity than the Sahalie, but same wonderful complexity. Body is very light with mild acidity. Super easy drinking.

Again, just wow. I am really impressed.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch Nov 09 2012
10.78 alc vol

The beer is light golden with a small, fizzy white head. The aroma offers lemons, wild yeast, grass, funk. Herbal and earthy tones with a delicate sweetness balanced by a light funk. Highly drinkable and really smooth on the palate. This one is a sleeper. Light spice quality. Beautiful balance and so easy to drink. Where is the alcohol presence? Masterfully hidden. A truly fabulous beer.

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La Tache from The Ale Apothecary
93 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.
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