La Petroleuse
The Brewer's Art

La PetroleuseLa Petroleuse
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Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
Ranked #26
Ranked #15,521
3.96 | pDev: 9.09%
The Brewer's Art
Maryland, United States
Very Good
La PetroleuseLa Petroleuse
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 61 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a cork and cage bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Pours a cloudy honey brown color with thin off-white head. Scant ring of lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malts... honey and fruit.

T/F: Sweet and fruity... just like the nose. Molasses and brown sugar, raisin and plum, honey. Slightly herbal... mild hopping for bitterness and to clean up the sweet malts. Fairly light bodied... aggressively carbonated. Creamy... medicinal at the finish.

O: A reasonably good beer. A little sweet and not as complex as I was hoping but very drinkable. One I'd have again but wouldn't seek out.

May 29, 2018
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A biere de garde, eh? This strikes me as a mesh of belgian pale ale and some biere de garde characteristics. I think it carries what you'd want to see, but there is the unfiltered edge to it that kind of clogs the experience and is a slight detractor. Carbonation is a bit too aggressive also. Overall, not too shabby really. And it's growing on me over time.

Jan 06, 2014
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a chalice at Brewer's Art.

A big golden amber orange body that glows nicely. Served with a very creamy top, slightly tan colored with very thin bubbles set together. Not much noticeable carbonation, but nice in this glass.

Big punch of yeast on the nose, and large amounts of maple sugar like sweetness. Quite nice, with some good dryness as well.

First taste is a tonic water quinine then some the maple sensing sugar action kicks in. Nice controlled almost french toast like sweetness but with a yeasty punch. Tight carbonation, almost dry white wine like finish with some creamy character to match also.

Not too bad overall, not much farmhouse like senses, but definitely good controlled dark Belgian sucrose that comes out more like maple. Very nice.

Dec 31, 2013
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fourstringer from Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL corked & caged bottle into a matchy-matchy Brewer's Art goblet. Moderately gentle hand. Label reads, #191 9/20/2014. This has been in the cellar for about a year.

A: Orange-amber with good clarity. 1.5 fingers white head that fades to a coating at 2 minutes. Light lacing.

S: Malty fruit. Floral notes. Orange. Grape. Apple. Spice & pepper. Toffee. Caramel. Traces of indistinct hop. Initially there were some faint soap, acetone notes that disappeared with the first sip.

T: Malty sweetness with interesting herbal character initially. Followed by strong (black/white) pepper notes. A light English-type hopping on the back end closes with a fairly dry finish. Perceivable alcohol and a bit boozy for 7-8% ABV. Pepper. Spice.

M: Moderate, creamy carbonation with a moderate body. Solid.

O: Ok, full disclosure: I've only had about half a dozen different Biere de garde in my beer-drinking life, max. However, this one is the best. Nice malt, good balance, and really love the pepper notes. Overall, a pretty complex brew. Not sure if the extra year of aging made much of a difference, though.


Dec 30, 2013
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Chaney from District of Columbia

4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

#191 9/20/14

Served in a Port City snifter.

A: Poured out a pretty clear, orange-amber color, with a slight chill haze and some soap-like bubbles that died down rather quickly.

S: Lots of inviting white pepper and fresh bread dough. Smells great and very different from the norm.

T: I was worried that this was going to be completely devoid of sweetness. I'm glad I was mistaken. To merely call this sour dough would be cheapening it. I would say this was more dessert-like than that. It was sort of like the sweet doughnuts given out at the Great American Restaurants (Sweetwater Tavern, Carlyle Grande, Coastal Flats, etc. in DC). Awesome spicy, honey-infused, yet savory finish.

M: Spritzy and feels very comfortable on the palate. Not too sweet due to the peppery spices, but the honey character is most evident. Mild splotchy lacing.

O: One of my favorites so far in 2013. I will definitely try this again and insist on trying it very soon just to make sure my bottle wasn't a mere fluke.

Jun 05, 2013
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nickfl from Florida

4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with a small head of white foam on top of a clear, dark cooper colored body. It settles down quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Rich, high quality malt with honey and toffee notes.

T - Smooth, amber malt favors up front. toffee and light caramel in the middle and a finish of smooth bready malt worthy of an Oktoberfest.

M - A medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - A nicely made example of a rarely brewed (in the US at least) style. Smooth with a great, deep malty profile.

Jul 27, 2012
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: thin head on a clear copper body. Minimal lacing.

S: caramel, toffee, musty yeast and fruits.

T: caramel malts, Gum, pepper, light breads and barley. Apple fruit sweetness.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.Fairly oily.

Overall: I am fairly unfamiliar with the style. The brew overall seems to follow the style well and is fairly flavorful.

Jul 27, 2012
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ckollias from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 750ml Belgian bottle, which was corked and caged, out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a frizzy, white, 3-finger head that has a good retention and leaves a decent trail all the way down the glass.

S: Spicy Belgian candy, alcoholic, and yeast aroma fills the nose.

T: Similar to the smell an alcoholic Belgian candy flavor crosses the palate. Very yeasty and fruity aftertaste.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and heavy carbonation

O: Really good example of a Biere de Garde. Nicely spiced and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

Dec 30, 2011
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DeanMoriarty from California

4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750ml corked and caged bottle in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into a Forestinne branded tulip glass - thanks fellas!

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange hue with a massive fluffy off-white head that lingers a while leaving a good amount of lacing in its tracks.

S: Sweet malt, bubble gum and juniper berries, saltine crackers, with a faint hint of earthy hop in the mix as well.

T: The taste is similar to the nose, but less sweet with a real trippy yeast strain that I can almost recognize but escapes me - definitely unique and amazing though. The hop that was found in the nose comes through in the flavor as well - rounding out the overall mix nicely with a lingering resiny quality that lasts after the other characteristics have subsided.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with vigorous carbonation that mellows as the brew warms, finishing clean and dry. As mentioned in the flavor there is a lingering bitterness from the hop that lingers a while - very nice! A sipper but an easy drinker - took a 1/2 hour enjoying this one after a fat dinner - no complaints here at all!

Jul 11, 2011
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JamnesCameron from Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this bottle from AleWatcher in the Blind BIF #4. Thanks Jeff. Review is done blind.

Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy orangey/coppery hue with a huge off white head, lots of big bubbles with a meringue-like cap. The head really stands up, not much of a drop after a few minutes. Not sure if I'll get any/much lacing out of this one.

Aromas of some sweet malt, pepper, dry crackers, chardoney grapes, a little winey like unoaked white wine, otherwise a very clean aroma, hard to pick out anything more distinctive.

Flavors of bubble gum, yeasty, green apples, grainy malt, a bit of a carbonic bite. Hint of black pepper from yeast, not spice. An edge of a sour tang. Very light bitterness. Finish is short, with a carbonic acid/club soda flavor in the fade. As it warms, the finish gets longer, more malty, and sticky, with more of a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, with a good prickly carbonation. A little sticky sweet, not cloying. Malty/filling like a biere de Garde should be. Good thirst quencher, though.

Overall very good drinkability. Complexity builds as it warms up. At first, I couldn't detect much at all in the aromas and flavors. But as it warms, it bursts open with a lot going on.

Mar 19, 2011
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altarego from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mil bottle, corked and caged. Arrived right before a snowstorm in the hands of a friend.

Appearance: Pours a tawny, coppery hue, with a thick, creamy relatively persistent, off-white head.

Aroma: Rich, sweet, toast notes dominate with undertones of yeast character spice.

Flavor: BIG, BOLD caramelized, bread fades into the same yeast characters found in the nose. Residual sweetness is pronounced, but balanced with an appropriate carbonic bite. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich body balanced by the barest, most slight alcoholic warmth. No astringency, smooth finish.

Overall: This is a fine beer, and one of the better American examples of Bière de Garde I've tasted, just a bit more balanced than Schlafly's version. It's also an excellent beer on draft, though the style really ought to be drunk aged from the bottle.

Jan 28, 2011
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msubulldog25 from Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Brewer's Art brew, arriving in a caged/corked 750ml brown bottle. Poured to a 'La Chouffe' tulip. A late summer send by yourefragile; cellared ever since (thanks, Michael).

Label marked: "142 12/1/11", with a slightly lower 7.0% abv.

"A portion of the proceeds will go to programs that empower women's entrepreneurship"

A: After a healthy 'thup'-cork removal, pour commences. Lovely gold-toned amber with a fine haze and not-so-fine silty cloudiness. So freakin' what? Talk about 'rustic farmhouse ale', here you have it - only made in Pennsylvania, US-of-A. Billowing pile of khaki bubbliness fills the tapered glass stem, barely avoiding spilling over the top at 3+ fingers. Plenty of carbonation, cloud-cutting streams that twist and turn. Spotty lace, really just a handful of odd-shaped dabs.

S: Musty hay and indistinct (but fairly intense) nose-twitching spices. Sweeter and fruitier (mashed pear, white grape) with a cracker-bread malt finish.

T: Sweet malt and fermented fruits (apples, pears, green raisins) and sprinkles of cinnamon, then a heartier yeast tang and drying black pepper. Plenty of herbs and dry grass, a flavorful complement to the lighter and more sugary moments. Great balance, and interesting start to finish.

M: Prickly carbonation is lively without ever tiring. A little chewy, a little thicker than a few others I've tried. Once the initial bursts of carbonation subside, feel smooths and a light coating of malt stickiness and yeast builds. Very good for the style, though not something you want in every beer...

D: Really good; light and rather refreshing despite a mid-high alcohol punch that demands some respect. Easy to sit and sip on after some menial housework - I'll bet it's tasty with a meal, or in the backyard on a warm summer evening. I'm happy to have had a chance to try this one.

Dec 10, 2010
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to wrightst for this brew.


Pours a very nice cloudy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, very nice two-finger thick/creamy off-white head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of yeast, slight touch of bananna/corinander, pepper. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, alittle bitter, yeasty, with a nice touch of spice. Medium body. Drinkable, another tasty brew from Brewer's Art.

Aug 09, 2010
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akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL from the Wine Source. A perfect beer for a beautiful Central PA day.

A: The bottle took some persuasion before it finally popped. Poured into a tulip, a thick creamy foam quickly filled the volume. The while head slowly receded but left absolutely no lace behind. Really! I swear! The bière de garde is a golden copper, bright if not mildly hazy.

S: The roasted malts, toasty grains, jump out on the first sniff. The bread is undeniable and unavoidable but quite nice. A fruity resonance, pears and apples, with a hint of spice cuts through the malt.

T: The Belgian influences, especially the yeast strain, can't be denied. The fruity pop, sugary with pear and apple, lends itself well to the ale. Belgo-French spices transition the yeast to the malts. Those malts, bready and filling, are an abrupt reminder that the French border has been crossed. As the first wave of malts fade, citrusy hops emerge. They aren't dominant but do add a zesty change of pace. The breadiness lingers, overtaking spices and fruits in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel isn't very heavy, jumping nicely from yeast to malts to hops (and back to malts). The pepper spice brings this close to a saison but the grains pull it back.

D: A bit on the heavy side, the full flavor and alcohol make repeat visits difficult. A blurring of the lines between BdG and BSPA.

Apr 03, 2010
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy, orange color with a large, white head of foam that had big bubbles of carbonation. It left behind soapy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity (like a Tripel), candy-like sweetness, bubblegum and malty caramel. Really interesting aromas because it smells like a variety of Belgian-style ales.

T - Nice yeasty spiciness and sweet malty caramel. The was a floral hop presence and some citrusy bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale that finishes dry.

D - This is a really interesting and tasty. It doesn't really taste like a Biere de Garde, but it tastes like a great Belgian ale.

Mar 25, 2010
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allforbetterbeer from Colorado

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks beandip for this...
Tall bottle with a cadged and wrapped cork.

A: Pours with a huge head, seems impossible to pour without making a huge head. I tried to pour it gently, still got 5 fingers of billowy white head that retains really well, and laces all over the place. The body is a cloudy orange, nicely vibrant.

S: Sweet yeast, a little sweet fruit, maybe some light citrus, and lots of bread. Amazingly inviting.

T: Imagine turning a fresh loaf of bread into beer, adding extra yeast, some spices (coriander) and a sugar glaze, and then bottling it and waiting to drink it for a year. That is maybe what this beer tastes like. Malts paired with yeast form the backbone of the flavor, with some noble hop presence to balance. Some nice spices dance around the edges. The aftertaste is pleasing and lasts for a long time.

Mf&D Very carbonated but not overly so. Good for the style, very drinkable and pleasing. Like fresh sweet bread.

Overall: A very nice beer, (my first of the style) and after doing some research, it seems to fit the bill well. I loved every bit of it, and wish I had more.

Mar 15, 2010
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Pecorasc from Oregon

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL format bottle, caged and corked. Thanks for the beer Hank. Let this sit out for a while and then poured into a tulip glass. Needs to be poured carefully, completely overflowed on my first try.

A- Poured with a giant, slightly off-white head. The foam takes it time falling back into the beer, with small bubbles combining to make larger ones and the sticky top layer throwing lacing on the walls. A slightly hazy, amber colored beer that changes hues with differing angles of light. Some beading, but less than expected from that initial eruption. A good amount of carbonation was likely lost in that initial pour.

S- Dominated by phenolic spiciness and alcohol. Noble hops are detectable and a malty sweetness complements. Background notes of dust/oxidation and spices. Aroma of witbier, dubbel, and triple all wrapped up into one.

T- Phenolic and dusty up front, quickly producing some heat in the nose. A quick crackle of carbonation leads to a snappy and bitter hop finish, unexpected but welcomed. There is definitely an acidic wheat-like tang that makes this even more refreshing.

M- Thin bodied with big carbonation and dry finish. Perhaps a bit overcarbonated, even for style. Certainly refreshing though.

D- The thin body and decent flavors hold up well to the near 8% alcohol, giving this beer above average drinkability. A nice interpretation of a rarer style. This is a brewery I never heard of until the beer arrived in the mail, glad to have had the opportunity.

Mar 04, 2010
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Daniellobo from District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice ale with a lively, spicy, and sweet sense.

Presentation: 750 ml brown corked bottle. Label design with a black and white image of the head of a lady covering her face with a colored French flag, and the name of the brew on top. Back label along the perfunctory legal notes adds briefly that "a portion of the proceeds will go to local programs that empower women´s entrepreneurship." Shows O.G. Plato (16.4), and Alc. by Vol. (7.0%). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber hazy pour, with a very generous head, medium retention, nice surface memory and a bit of lace.

S - Yeast and fruit notes over a tingling spicy sense.

T - Delicate spicy range, peppery, coriander... Woven around a nice fruity and yeasty range, with a nice sweet malt touch holding it together.

M - Light to light-medium body with a tingling fine carbonation that enables a crisp finish.

D - Great drinkability with an enticing range. Alcohol is nicely integrated, and makes for a deceptively quaffable brew.

Notes: Very solid offering from Brewer´s Art, the first I try, and apparently a very recent and limited bottled offering. This sure renews my interest to try to stop by next time I´m in neighboring Baltimore. Probably my first Bière de Garde, and seems about right I guess, feeling to linger in my memory back and forth between a trippel and a saisson and then doing its own thing.

Jan 30, 2010
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

Poured a hazy amber color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of citrus with some spiciness. Tastes of fruitiness, the same spiciness, some citrus, and yeastiness.I found this to have a dry and bitter aftertaste.

Notes from: 7/12/04.

Dec 23, 2008
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John_M from Oregon

3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Max's during 72 hours of Belgium.

The beer pours an attractive honey amber color, albeit with virtually no head retention or lacing. The beer really smells more like an aged cider then beer, and frankly the aromaas are quite intriguing. On the palate, again one gets the perception of an aged ale, with notes of apple cider, sherry and licorise. The beer has a very soft, plush mouthfeel and comes across as a nice, easy going, easy to drink ale. Abv. is very well disguised.

This beer is just delightful on cask.

Apr 02, 2008
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Gavage from Nevada

4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy orange copper in color with a 2 finger head that lasts quite a while. Nice lacing paints the glass.

Smell: orange citrus and yeast are easy to pick up.

Taste: fruity, caramel, yeast, pepper spiciness, orange rind, hint of muskiness / earthiness, and barely a hint of alcohol. Overall a flavorful and well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth and a touch dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors stick to the tongue. Medium-heavy bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a great beer IMHO. Well balanced, flavorful, and interesting. Everyone should try this one.

Feb 23, 2007
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Umbra from Maryland

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of those rare Brewer's Art brews that I've heard about for some time, but never saw. Eventually hunted down at Mahaffey's. Pours a light orange brown with a spotty offish head. Retention nonexistent and lacing average at best. Tropical fruits and yeast aromas.

Flavor is of a bunch of spicy goodness. Fruity malts that come out a bit one sided with whiffs of yeast on the finsih.

Very light and creamy. Finishes very clean with the carbonation being tingly. ABV is stealthy. Got this one because, for some reason, I thought it would be a good low test lunch option. I was wrong.

Nov 10, 2006
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ManekiNeko from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at RFD's in a pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange topped by a healthy and creamy offwhite head that left thick sheets of lacing. A thick layer of foam was pretty much omnipresent.

Smell: Hearty whiffs of tropical fruits and oranges with some great spiciness of pepper and coriander. Notes of bergamot.

Taste: Oh yeah, that's spicy. Sweet and fruity malts with a nice dosage of aged hops (I'm assuming Saaz here). The hops were maybe just a titch too strong, but not enough to really harm this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with gentle carbonation. Palate cleansing.

Drinkability: Wow, this is the shizzle. High octane. I want more.

Jun 12, 2004
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oberon from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a nice sticky head,aroma is spicey and very orangey.Taste is malt tilted with some decent fruitiness I get a touch of yeast as well,the alcohol content is pretty well hidden.I have had four or five brews from these guys all Belgian style they seem to do a decent job.

Mar 11, 2004
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SheepNutz from Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a pint glass. It pours a medium amber color with 2 fingers of head. There is lots of lace left on the glass. The smell is fairly malty, with some sweet orange and apricot to it. The taste is fairl malty as well, still some sweetness and fruit. A very nice spicy finish. The mouthfeel is very thick and strong, and the drinkability is fantastic for a 7.8% beer. A very nice offering from The Brewer's Art.

Mar 09, 2004
La Petroleuse from The Brewer's Art
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 61 ratings