Alengrin (4329) - BELGIUM - MAY 21, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bruery’s sour stout, 2014 vintage, from before the Terreux label. Coarse, irregular, pale greyish beige, loose head quickly reduced to a wafer-thin rim around the edge of the glass and in the end vanishing altogether; very dark mahogany brown colour with ochre hue and lively fizz, blackish in general appearance, but still largely translucent, more so than an average stout of whatever substyle. Pungent, attractive aroma of red wine vinegar, blackberry, wet wood (even ’old furniture’), wet leather, nut shells gathered from a damp forest floor, overripe sour cherry, toasted bread, subtle vanilla-like oak tannins, some vague caramel, elderberry, crabapple poached in dry red wine, vague balsamico, moldy lemon peel, hint of varnish-like solvents and something very subtly ashy - in all, much more sour (even hinting at Flemish red in certain ways) than stout. Sour onset, puckering even, teeming with sour fruits: unripe blue plum, blackberry, sour cherry, even lemon juice - a crisp lemony acidity which dries the corners of the mouth immediately. Sweetness is limited to an absolute minimum and so is dried mushroom-like umami. Carbonation is spritzy at first but unsurprisingly calms down as the consumption of the bottle progresses. A more ’sedate’ lactic tartness shows up as well, but it is the sharper lemony acidity which keeps burning its way throught the palate, over a slightly oily, caramelly malt body providing a hint of faint background sweetishness; all the way at the back, a very vague chocolate touch reminds you of the fact that this was once a stout. The finish also adds lovely drying wood character, including retronasal oak tannins, pairing well with the aromas of sour berries, unripe stonefruit and wry grape peel. The fruit tartness and lemon sourness completely dry the throat after swallowing, leaving behind a burn best compared to balsamic vinegar; hops are nowhere to be seen and play only a virtual, purely structural role, as is the case in most sour beers (and certainly the traditional ones). Well, this is quite interesting... The sourness is all around and distracts a bit from underlying qualities, but if you are into sour beers, this surely is a must try. Like last year’s Zwanze by Cantillon, however, I get the feeling that the attempt to create a sour stout lands somewhere in the middle between both, effectively resulting in something much closer to a Flemish red / ’oud bruin’ (a very dry and sour one in this case, admittedly). I was hoping for a bit more stout character, a thicker ’black’ maltiness or even an ashy, roasted effect like in e.g. To Ol’s Sur Maelk or even 3 Fonteinen’s Zwet.be, but once I got over this expectation, I certainly enjoyed this beer. Bone dry, very sour indeed, but at the same time a complex beer thanks to the wood ageing. Classic, but not very suitable for those who are not so much in love with sour beer styles as I am, I’m afraid...
pressboxjoe (398) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 16, 2016
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
So I had been blown away by Kane’s Lost Contact sour cherry stout and reviewed it positively and the only other review on the beer was meh and the reviewer wrote that he considered Tart of Darkness superior. So I’ve been looking for it ever since, and now I’ve found it ($22.99/750ml). It’s nice and it has a plummy cherry flavor with undertones of dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. Like any other decent porter basically. Low-ABV beers aged in bourbon barrels always turn sour so it makes sense to add brett into the mix to accentuate the positive, if you will. This is a good beer. I happen to prefer the thicker and bolder Lost Contact, and also, 3 8-oz pours will "only" run you $18, making Lost Contact a better buy. The trick is you can’t take it with you - Lost Contact is brewery only, and may be a one-off. Tart of Darkness, on the other hand, is here to stay. I like TOD, but I like LC more. I’m probably not going to get to drink much more of either, for price or scarcity, but I am not too worried - I think sour stouts will be so commonplace in a few years we won’t even miss those that are gone, or too costly.
SeniorZozo (1092) - Budapest, HUNGARY - MAY 5, 2016
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tasting session @ Budapest // Very heavy and unique beer!
Deep brown in colour, thin beige head. Aroma has cola, cherry, balsamic vinegar, sour lemon. Taste is sour and lemony. Very acidic brew.
joshmcg000 (388) - Iowa, USA - APR 22, 2016
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2014 edition. Funk and roast aroma. Sour, roast malts,oak and vanilla. Very good.
Simonsen (1074) - NORWAY - MAR 25, 2016
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Flaske. Svart uklar farge. Lavt karbonert uten skum. Smaker druestein,eple,eddik,eik. Meget bra
danlo (2378) - Darlington, Durham, ENGLAND - JAN 23, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle. The Bruery 2013 Edition. Pours a black-brown colour with a reddish tinge and tan foam head that diminishes. Aroma of sour plum, woody oak, vanilla, soya sauce, funk. Taste is tart dark fruity plum, berries, cherry, sour and sweet, funky, balsamic vinegar notes, with woody oak & vanilla, spice and some drying tannins. Slick mouthfeel, medium bodied, soft carbonation, sour oaky earthy finish. Very drinkable.
jhamp9 (1608) - Corinth, Texas, USA - JAN 17, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear mahogany pour with an off white head that fades quickly. Aroma is vinegar, roasted malt, and tart fruits. Taste is tart berries, cider vinegar, earthy, and wood. Light body.
rouhlas (2573) - GREECE - JAN 11, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle at the Hoppy Pub, Thessaloniki, courtesy of Constantin. Almost black color with beige head. Yeasty and malty aroma, funky, barnyard notes, tart fruity, vinous, wood. Sweet and acidic taste like aroma. Medium oily body with soft carbonation.
Dirishman (2) - Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA - JAN 8, 2016 does not count
4.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This sour is incredible. I'm a huge fan! I use this to celebrate at times most people would pop a bottle of bubbly. Every sip gets better and better as it slowly decreases in temp.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
blueshockey24 (397) - Colorado, USA - JAN 4, 2016
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bomber. Pours black with thin tan head. Aroma is sour chocolate and oak. taste is sour with a faint chocolate appearance plus oak. Finish is tart. Not my thing but it has a lot going on.