El Cuatro | The Ale Apothecary

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El CuatroEl Cuatro
128 Ratings
El CuatroEl Cuatro

Brewed by:
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.12%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
EL CUATRO is made of barley and caramel malts co-mingling with lactobacillus and brettanomyces. After brewing and conditioning, the beer is transferred into brandy & whiskey barrels to age for over a year during an extended Brettanomyces Lambicus fermentation. Prior to bottling, the beer is blended with a small portion of year-old SAHALIE. The only hops added to this beer arrive from the aged SAHALIE. 
The brandy barrels and wild yeast fermentation give EL CUATRO a plum & cherry fruitiness balanced by the slight toast of the malt body.

ABV varies by batch:

5/2/2015 = 8.79%

Added by Alieniloquium on 07-04-2013

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by Beerandboards:
Photo of Beerandboards
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of MitchB2
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Went to Bend to mtb and drink liquid perfection during the central oregon beer fest.

AA had a tasting night at Crows Feet Commons.

We had the free samples of La Tache and Sahali.

They also had El Cuatro for sale.

$6 for a sample.

What the hell, we're on vacation.

I sipped the El Cuatro. The first thing that popped into my brain was:
"This is the best beer I have ever had"

I said nothing.

I slid it over to my GF.

She sipped it.

She said, with no hesitation whatsover, "This is the best beer I have ever had".

Enough said.

 536 characters

Photo of chiefbender
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of ehammond1
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zonian1
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml, foiled and corked bottle, shared courtesy of doktorzee at his (ok, sour-only, essentially) tasting party a few days ago. From surprisingly thorough notes - uno, dos, tres, cuatro!

This beer pours a glassy, medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and yet fizzy tan head, which leaves a bit of peninsular outcrop lace in places around the glass as things very slowly dissolve away.

It smells of acrid red apple core, further tart apple vinegar, some cherry-forward Pinot barrel notes, slightly separate generic vinous and spirituous Brandy essences, a hard to really give a shit about gritty and grainy mixed malty thing, subtle peppercorn spices, a touch of indistinct funkiness, and verdant hops that might have seen better days. The taste is lightly sour cherry, apple, and red wine grape fruitiness, a muddled bag of wooden stave characters (vanilla and spice, really), sneaky bready caramel malt, more thankfully ethereal earthy spiciness, subtle lactic beasties, a weird and almost medicinal chalkiness, and some still strangely understated leafy, weedy, and not even perfumed floral green hoppiness.

The bubbles are typically supportive in their genial frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, the sourness really only of the fruity sort, and I am totally freaking ok with that! It finishes trending dry, but still rather frooty, the mixed orchard character really still running the show here.

Overall, this is certainly another crazy and wild and 'what the hell were they thinking' brew, but in the end, it somehow just works out. As is patently obvious, I am not a fan of this style of beer, for myriad reasons, but every once in a while, the stars align, and I can see what all the bloody fuss is about. Sort of - the stupidly well-obfuscated 20 proof booziness here might have something to do with that.

 1,879 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of distantmantra
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of Sammy
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of leschkie
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of blabaer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of KensWorld
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch July 31 2017.

Perfection in a bottle!

45 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled March 23, 2013.

Appearance - Slight haze to the orange body. Nice white head, with discrete bubbles. Settles to a collar and a few wisps.

Smell - Fascinating aroma. Pale malt. Sweetness. A bit of oak. Some acids. Fruity apples and grape.

Taste - Apply acids. Like a granny Smith. Sweet pale malts. Oak and light bitterness. Some yeasty esters. A hint of that brandy in the back. Booze lingers.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and a bottle sweet. Well carbonated.

Overall - Always a fascinating beer from Ale Apothecary. No exception here. The Brandy barrel keeps this interesting,.even if it's subtle.

 647 characters

Photo of beerloverofbham
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of JamLand
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TreeBear
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of HoppyBastard1
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of TheGent
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rowbow
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of CaptainFleeker
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of NRo
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Bill for sharing this one!

Poured a hazy darker orange tone, ample foam that was loosely textured and sudsy. Spotty lace in the glass. Soft aroma of musty oak, Brett yeast, and acidic apple. Taste was similar, not over the top sour, more of a moderate tartness and mild fruity funk. Dry tannic aftertaste, some apple based malic acid impressions. Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall this was a nice cohesive wild ale, a touch mellow.

 463 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big huge thank you to Steasy66 for scoring this one for me while in Oregon.

Appearance. Pours a hazy orange-gold with a finger of bubbly white head that quickly settles to a skim.

Smell. Sweet red apples, fresh oak and light funky yeast, yellow grapes, and some light citrus and floral notes.

Taste. Sweet white grapes, oaky white wine and brandy, some citrus fruit and red apples. Fairly sweet and quite fruity with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, strong but soft carbonation.

Overall. A very nice nice beer but probably my least fav of the 4 AA beers I've tried.

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El Cuatro from The Ale Apothecary
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 128 ratings