Palace Of Cracked Heads
Modern Times Beer

Palace Of Cracked HeadsPalace Of Cracked Heads
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Wild Ale
4.45 | pDev: 8.54%
Modern Times Beer
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Palace Of Cracked HeadsPalace Of Cracked Heads
Notes: Palace of Cracked Heads is our red wine barrel-aged nectarine sour (Empty Hats is the base beer.) After 11 months in red wine barrels, we added 50lbs per barrel of fresh, organic, heirloom nectarines, which spent 5 months in the barrels before bottling. The resulting beer is saturated with fresh nectarine flavor & aroma, complimented by a hugely funky aroma & a loads of sourness.
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lucius10
lucius10 from California

4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet and tart, peach-nectarine, hint of funk, and hint of red wine nose on this one! Taste follows somewhat with a sour/under-ripe nectarine and sangria-like vibe on the swallow. Some salty notes show up as it warms and the juicy sourness starts to dominate the fruit a bit on the finish. Still pretty good...and a heavy-hitter coming in at 8.1% ABV.

Jun 17, 2020
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Teku. A beautiful slightly hazy burnt orange color with a small and fleeting white head. No trace of foam after a few minutes. Huge tangerine aroma which appeared on the pour and was magnified in the glass. Also subtle wood, red wine, and a bit of musty funk. Puckeringly tart on the first sip with a dominant sour tangerine and citrus flavor. Red wine, wood, vanilla, lemon, and grassy funk provided an interesting balance and reminded me of the Oud Bruin base. Dry and tart on the finish with a ringing tangerine flavor. No big yeast or other off flavors that I detected. Overall a most excellent sour!

May 21, 2017
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putonyourwalkingshoes from California

3.1/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

This is a review of the 2017 edition and I think this has to be a grossly different beer than what others have experienced. This beer pours an ugly ruddish brown but then again it is supposed to be an Oude bruin which isn't the prettiest of beers. Nice carbonation and actually the nose is quite nice.

The taste starts out beautifully but gets bombarded on the finish with that nasty yeasty taste that I've come across in bad gose beers also much like their cheaper beer- fruitlands.Perhaps they kettle soured this year but in either case a tremendous waste of $30+ tax. No matter how good the nose or mouthfeel was (acidity was nice) that after taste killed this beer.

Modern times has been killing it with these NE ipas and their BA stouts but I'm very skeptical ever buying their sours in the future.

Mar 30, 2017
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Phil-Fresh from California

4.46/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


A: Baked nectarines, moderate esters of dried fruit, moderately light malt presence, with a slight vinous note.

A: Deep orange color, totally opaque with a thin white head that slowly recedes to a thin film across the glass.

T: Moderate baked nectarines, some moderate dried fruit esters, slightly vinous, mixed with a light malt presence. There is a moderate sourness, giving the beer an interesting sweet, sour combination.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderately light carbonation. The beer has a moderate sourness, is not acidic.

O: Pretty solid; the nectarines provide an interesting spin on the Oud Bruin style. This beer has mellowed a lot over time and isn’t nearly as funky and fruit forward compared to being fresh. The dried fruit esters worked well, but did not perfectly compliment. While a bit sourer than other contemporary commercial examples, the beer is interesting and quite drinkable.

Apr 18, 2016
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SierraJosh from California

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is just perfect, so much citrus on the nose, minimal funk. The red wine barrel comes through in the taste, compliments the nectarine wonderfully, so much juicy fruit and flanders sour goodness. Truly a world class ale, seek this out.

Mar 14, 2015
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ThirstyMiner from California

4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I lucked out and was able to get all three fruit variations of the new Modern Times sours and had this one as my 1000th beer overall and it was well worth the special designation.

The nose on it is complex but the sweet aroma of the nectarines easily comes through and mixes nicely with the funk from the bugs in this beer.

The taste follows perfectly, with each sip bursting with juicy nectarines on top of a perfectly sour base that finishes cleanly. This beer stands with other fruit-added sours from Jester King, Upland, and Cascade, no problem.

Feb 15, 2015
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Rollzroyce21 from California

4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

- 750 mL bottle poured into Black Tuesday glencairn on 3-Jan-15

There's a rush of sweet nectarine goodness up front, followed by a brief splash of tartness that dissipates into a refined dryness. High fruit up front; high tartness in the back that doesn't linger. One of the best sours in my recent memory! Not sure how they would make this any better.

Jan 03, 2015
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ThePaleRider from California

4.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well this is the sour to beat all sours. Great sour that's loaded with nectarine aroma and flavor. The nectarine isn't overwhelming in the flavor, and really turns on in the end.

For Modern Times's first sour release this is an amazing brew, but the price point for your first sour release should be a little lower. $30 for unproven brew is just a little over the top. Please brew this again and I will gladly pay the price.

Dec 22, 2014
Palace Of Cracked Heads from Modern Times Beer
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 47 ratings