The Rare Barrel

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The Rare Barrel
California, United States
Wild Ale
4.18 | pDev: 7.18%
Jul 09, 2020
Apr 07, 2016
Notes: Afterlight is a dark sour beer aged in French Bordeaux wine barrels. Fermented with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus, this decadent sour beer presents notes of dark chocolate, dried cherries and vanilla. Dark and alluring, Afterlight entwines flavors of both beer and wine.
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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by SHODriver from North Carolina

A: Poured into a duvel tulip to a beer so brown that it's essentially black. The beer is topped by a finger of rocky deep tan head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of leather and chocolate with oak and some sour cherry notes. Really nice nose.
T: Taste is sour cherries, chocolate, oak, and leather with slight hints of funk and vanilla. Juicy red berry notes with a nice layer of acid. On the swallow it's more cherries, chocolate, leather, and oak with some slight lingering funky sourness.
M: This beer has a body which is fairly moderate. It feels slightly slick and syrupy on the palate with an adequate amount of carbonation. The finish on this one is drying due to the acidity.
O: This beer is incredible. The fruity flavors mixed with the savory chocolate notes are just awesome. The complexity on this beer is fantastic and the flavors meld together very well. This beer is an absolute joy to drink and one that is worth seeking out.

Jul 09, 2020
Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Pours espresso colored with a rather thin beige cap; dots and a few streaks linger as the head fades

Smell: The Bordeaux oak barrels present along with blackberry and cherry tones; a hint of chocolate

Taste: Acetic from the outset, with the blackberry and cherry flavors subsumed by the sourness; some Bordeaux oak barrel in the middle that keeps it dry and there is a hint of chocolate that hangs around from start to finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; quite puckery

Overall: I was hoping to get more out of this than the acid as there are some nice flavors here; I guess the years in the bottle have made this more acetic over time

Jun 13, 2020
4.42 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Feb 24, 2020
Photo of sd123
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by sd123 from Georgia

3 years out and tastes like balsamic vinegar

Oct 30, 2019
4.25 by mattreitz49 from Florida on Sep 29, 2018
3.94 by 22Blue from Kansas on Aug 11, 2018
3.75 by oline73 from Maryland on Apr 23, 2018
4 by t2grogan from Arizona on Nov 10, 2017
4.21 by reebtaerG from Maryland on Nov 02, 2017
4.21 by vfgccp from New York on Nov 01, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

another killer beer from the rare barrel, but honestly, in my now somewhat extensive experience with their beers, they just dont age all that well. every single one i have ever had fresh has been amazing, and every single one i have ever had that has been cellared has been so over the top sour as to be almost unappealing. the intense caustic acidity is better here than in others, but its still way too much, past even vinegar into that malic acid harshness realm, which to me has to be a flaw. that said, the flavor in this beer is still absolutely incredible if you can get past the tooth decaying sourness. i could almost swear there has to be fruit in here, it seems hard to believe that there isnt, and that all of this raspberry and dried cherry character comes from the bordeaux barrels alone. there is a ton of red wine character too, dried fruity jammy aspects and the tannins, but this is a fruitiness almost beyond wine, very impressive! cranberry, cherry, and wood later on, slick and full bodied going down, the acid comes on late but it comes on hard, toned back even by 20% or so this would be an all time great, but its just too much. this much have been epic when it was brand new, but like all rare barrel stuff in my experience, the cellar has turned it into an acid bomb. still delicious, but thats a shame. small doses only for me at this point, but amazing depth of flavor from the barrels and still some funkiness too!

Oct 13, 2017
4.25 by Kurmaraja from California on Oct 11, 2017
4.15 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana on Sep 28, 2017
4.09 by emottram from Massachusetts on Jul 03, 2017
3.75 by BEER88 from Washington on Jun 24, 2017
3.75 by IckyT2012 from Florida on Jun 13, 2017
3.55 by Frosty11161 from California on Jun 12, 2017
4.02 by Sk8sean86 from Massachusetts on May 18, 2017
Photo of scottfrie
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by scottfrie from California

750ml bottle into snifter. 2016 bottle.

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a finger of fizzy dark tan head that quickly bubbled away into nothingness. No lace.
S: Tart dark sour notes of black cherry skins and black currents mixed with hints of chocolate, caramel, and leather. Musty barrel character shines through with hints of oak and vinous red wine. Light acidity shines through on the nose as well.
T: Follows the nose with sweet notes of dark fruits and red berries mixed with tart cherry skins and bright acidity. The finish is full of greasy and smooth oak, light caramel, and leather. I get hints of current, red grape, and chocolate in the aftertaste. Flavors remind me of an oud bruin.
M: Medium-full body with fizzy, slightly prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is initially greasy and slick, but bright and tart acidity quickly dominates with a solid blast of lactic and acetic acid. Drying finish with some clinging gritty tannins.
O: Definitely reminds me of an oud bruin with strong acidity and complex dark/red flavors. Perhaps not as deep and rich and some Belgian counterparts, but everything works together very well.

Mar 21, 2017
4.41 by Run4theRoses from South Carolina on Mar 12, 2017
3.5 by cjgator3 from Florida on Feb 19, 2017
Photo of floyd_pugman
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by floyd_pugman from California

Beautiful dark chocolate color. Nose is signature RB sour funk, with notes of dark chocolate covered cherry. Palate is highly acidic, with lemon and lime flavors, with chocolate fudge coming in next and dried cherry and other dark fruits following. A well-made beer, but these RB sours have gotten far too acidic for my palate, which makes it hard for me to enjoy the complexity of the remaining flavor profile. But those who like acidic sours should enjoy it.

Feb 10, 2017
4.2 by SadMachine from New Jersey on Feb 04, 2017
4 by smartassboiler from Illinois on Jan 30, 2017
4.43 by jeremiahoden from Indiana on Jan 10, 2017
4 by jschott75 from Illinois on Dec 28, 2016
4.25 by Immortale25 from North Carolina on Dec 26, 2016
Photo of Drinkerofales
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Drinkerofales from California




The aroma hits you with a bit of funk, hidden behind the winey/lemony wall.

Flavors of the sweet dark malt in the background are over powered by lemons, tart plum, rich wine, and sour candy.

Before you buy this, make sure you are into sours, or you will be sad.

Dec 25, 2016
4.5 by Lucoli from New York on Dec 14, 2016
4.43 by Petegrieco from Massachusetts on Nov 29, 2016
4.43 by Masters from Massachusetts on Nov 22, 2016
4.47 by JamesStreet from Louisiana on Nov 20, 2016
4.46 by Ristaccia from Nebraska on Oct 09, 2016
4 by knicks19947 from New York on Oct 06, 2016
4.25 by suckaj from Florida on Oct 02, 2016
4.5 by Sweffin from Wisconsin on Sep 25, 2016
3.94 by kingjohnh from New Mexico on Sep 24, 2016
4.5 by allstar255 from California on Sep 21, 2016
4.35 by GolfingGq from California on Sep 09, 2016
4 by largadeer from California on Sep 06, 2016
Afterlight from The Rare Barrel
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 71 ratings