Left For Dead Sour Black Ale | Moonlight Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
19 Ratings

Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by popery on 05-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of elNopalero
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This was described as a sour mash black lager under the Moonlight tap handle.

From what little I know of the brewing process the sour mash is a result of the young (?) or new (?) mash being mixed with some of the already fermenting or previously fermenting mash. I may be completely wrong about that however it sounds interesting and love it or hate it I always find a Moonlight beer to be worth trying. This one was no different.

It appeared like a ruddy tea in color. Aroma and flavor both had aspects reminiscent of a well-crafted low-alcohol Manhattan. Although I was the only one in my party to make this comparison. I definitely got an aroma of maraschino cherry and sweet vermouth followed by a light roast. Upon tasting I found it to be slightly tart, with again some maraschino cherry and sweet vermouth dominating along with a pleasing roastyness. Hoping to try this one again sometime.

 900 characters

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of Diomede
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of rob133
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a dark black color with a thin finger of chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted sweet chocolate with some slightly sour cheery aroma. Really nice balance here.

T - Starts off with some building sour cherry flavor and a good roasted chocolate base. Through the middle, the sour transitions to a bit of tart with just a touch of hop coming through. The finish is a mix of sweet chocolate and sourness that lingers.

M - Medium-full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth and just a bit syrupy. The finish is a touch puckering and lasts for quite a while.

D - Very drinkable. The sourness is at a really nice and balance level throughout and works really nicely with the sweet chocolate malt flavor.

 792 characters

Photo of dmbsteve
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a two finger tan head. Good lacing.

Smells of roasted coffee and sour cherries.

Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and sour cherries. Quite delicious.

Mouthfeel is a little light. Carbonation is low. Drying finish.

Overall a very interesting beer. Never had one like it. I really enjoyed it. Not overly sour which makes it very drinkable.

 366 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a medium high tannish head, good lace and head retention.

S: Fairly light with some roasty notes.

T: While the nose is all schwarzbier, the flavour really makes it a sour version. Roasted malt with some dark chocolate and a lot of lactic acid and lemon. A strange combination, but it works.

M: Fairly light-bodied, pretty smooth, frothy.

O: An interesting experiment, I liked it quite a bit, even if it's not something that wows you from the get go. Very unique as Moonlight beers tend to be.

 542 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Monk's Kettle, San Francisco, on July 17th.

Moonlight Brewing's "Left For Dead" left me impressed. It's completely black in color beneath a tan, frothy head that holds well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The aroma expresses roasty malts with a lightly tart note.

In the flavor, the sour note gently permeates it and balances the caramel, chocolate, and roasty notes of the malt. A mid-level bitterness balances it, and hop flavor levels are low, floating delicately beneath the malt. It's interesting and refreshing, and ultimately, quite drinkable!

 592 characters

Photo of callmescraps
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spotted some Moonlight at the Goat. Had to give it a bid, even if I was a bit fearful.

Appearance- Black/brown. A thin tan head caps it nicely.

Smell- Roasty and smoky. Everything seems normal so far. Not overpowering, and nice for the style.

Taste- Then things get weird. It starts off nice and smoky, but not too much smoke. Then it gets tart. It's like smoked cranberries. It seems like two entirely different beers doing battle.

Mouth- It's pretty thin, goes down easy. Well, besides the weirdness.

Drinkability- One thanks.

Overall, this is more interesting than good. I like experimentation and all, but it doesn't mean I have to appreciate the end result every time. Oh well, I'll be eager to see what they dream up next.

 735 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ The Linkery in San Diego - a half-pour served in a tulip.

Nearly opaque garnet/auburn-tinged brown with a faint beige collar and slick. Decent lacing and some agitation re-invigorates the head, but retention is rather poor otherwise.

Moderately smoked malt, citrusy hops, and a faintly tart berry note in the nose. Carmelized sugar, coffee, and chocolate come out on the back end as the beer warms.

Smooth lactic tartness, cocoa, malt (roast, smoked, and chocolate) and some light fruity esters form a cohesive unit on the palate. A tarter milky version of Death & Taxes? A bit odd, but still excellent.

Moderate carbonation, creamy but still light-bodied. Lightly astringent and acidic.

The tartness adds interest to the flavor profile, but detracts slightly from the drinkability for me.

An interesting variant or conglomeration of styles - milk stout and schwarzbier combine to unique effect. Worth a try should you get a chance...

 952 characters

Photo of SShelly
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the surly goat.

Pours dark brown with low white head.

Aroma is light roast and cherry tart, pretty reserved.

Flavor follows the aroma with light roast large lactic tart burst and lactic mouthfeel. A bit jumbled but very interesting.

More interesting than tasty, I think I like death and taxes more.

 312 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this on-tap at Alembic in the Haight.

Served in a 20oz. nonic.

Appearance: Body is deep brownish black with caramel edges. Appears to have nice clarity. A loose ring of off-white bubbles chills on top for the entire session. No lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee meld with caramel and amber malt-like notes. Light bret and sour cherry appeared in the nose initially, but faded with time. Interesting, to say the least.

Taste: Roasted malt and red currants make up the bulk of the initial flavor profile. Leather, juniper, and bret-like tartness come together in the finish. I find the overall taste to be disjointed and odd, but I appreciate the effort.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied with light, prickly carbonation and a dry finish. The sourness and roastiness balance well as far as mouthfeel goes.

Drinkability: This was an odd beer, but I really enjoyed trying it. I think this sort of style (sour-schwarzbier blend) has some real potential, and I'd love to try a reworked batch. Love the creativity!

 1,032 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Left for Dead has a dark chocolate brown body with a firm and dense beige head which retains so solidly that I initially thought it was dispensed with nitrogen. It's a beautiful beer.

The aroma exhibits the dark roasted malts, coffee notes and breadiness of Death and Taxes, underscored by a unique and juicy tartness that immediately reminds me of sourdough bread.

The sourdough-like character comes through even more strongly on the palate. It's sour up front, but transitions into a coffee and burnt bread-like roast. The finish is brief, it's malty initially but unexpectedly drops off, leaving a bit of lingering sourness and roasted grain. Light bodied and very refreshing, this is a nice thirst quencher, though I don't know that I prefer it over regular Death and Taxes.

 812 characters

Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado, $3.00 a pint happy hour 5.28.2010.

1/4 finger tan head, small bubbles. Dark brown body, no visible carbonation. Nose featres caramel malt with some floral hops. The surprise is the taste, a bit sour up front, with a good dose of tartness, more of a sour cherry taste than anything. Mouthfeel is fairly full with good effervescence. A bit too funky too drink this all the time. I am guessing this is based on Death and Taxes, a true classic, and while this one-off isn't for everyone, fans of D & T should certainly seek this out for comparative purposes.

 575 characters

Photo of d0ggnate
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had the chance to try this beer yesterday at The Linkery's Moonlight event. It was fun drinking this and discussing the beer at the same time with Brian Hunt.

This one poured to my glass a deep, dark black/brown color with a very thin off-white head ring. Sparce visible carbonation rose from beneath the black brew. The nose was quite sweet, with notes of medium roast coffee and faint nutiness. I would describe the taste more on the sweet than the sour side. A distinct lacto-sweetness, with just a soft sour, faint tart characteristic. Definately not mouth puckering. Mouthfeel could be described as rich and nearly creamy. The beer's body was great and had just the perfect feel to it. Definately a complex and interesting beer. I was happy to have tried it.

 767 characters

Photo of popery
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Toronado. This was the Moonlight special on tap. It was listed as using a sour mash and is probably a sour mash version of Death And Taxes (though, there's also a sour version, Sour Puss). Anyway, this beer was delicious and refreshing. It pours quite black with brown edges in the light. A very small beige head. The aroma is light roasted malt with a clear lactobacillus sour backing. The sour lends a fruitiness, raspberries, grapes and apples. The flavor is refreshingly sour, though the sourness is rather mild, with some roasted malt notes. There's a light, floral hoppiness, as well. The mouthfeel is light and a bit bracing, in a very pleasant way. This is a terribly refreshing beer, easy to drink and satisfying without being filling. Good stuff.

 756 characters

Left For Dead Sour Black Ale from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 19 ratings