Bamaboy1975 (242) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - FEB 7, 2014
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Incredible sourness laid upon a dark and mysterious base. Flavors come out in new and evoking ways with dark grains, fruit and palate-piercing acidity. Aptly named, Tart of Darkness is as ominous, dreary and shaddowy as it sounds.
Opening with a dark plumb color with tawny bronze low lights, the beer simmers in the glass with tepid carbonation to give the ale a slight coffee-like appearance. Its dark and ruddish appearance is slightly haze and gives the ale a rather rusty darkness. Sparse on lacing, the ale almost prefers wine-like appearances over that of ale.
Savory and tart, the aromas nearly cause sweating and mouth whetting with its utter sour fruit character. Black cherries, plumbs, blackberries, blackcurrants and red grapes give a highly tangy but robust scent. A musty aura of sea air, weathered oak and saddle leather add to the beer's boisterous scent. However, its the vinous wine-like character that joins into notes of soy sauce, coffee grounds, dark chocolate and balsamic for a highly complex nose.
To taste, the beer's fruit strikes first- plumb and black cherry leading the way. But the savory sourness rises next with balsamic, merlot, sour plumbs, tangy berries and grapes to give the beer a wildly wine-like and briny character. Its thin sweetness seems to give the dark fruit a sense of "ripeness" before its dry cider taste takes hold. Yet a toastier, chocolaty and coffee taste lurks deep in the backdrop and assists in the beer's bold complexity.
Medium-dry early, the beer's dark fruit and slim sweetness thwarts its light carbonation to go from creamy to toasty-dry in a hurry. Its jaw-piercing acidity provides plumb skin astringency to heighten its sourness in finish.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
sic1314 (3802) - Leiden, NETHERLANDS - NOV 2, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle share courtesy of Kermis. Poured deep dark brown with a tan head. Aroma of vinous fruit, dark chocolate and roast malt. Medium body, flavour is as the aroma, fairly tart and sour.
AndyReynolds (912) - Dayton, Kentucky, USA - NOV 27, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very puckering, cherries with a bit of chocolate. Interesting. Here is what Superspak has douched about it: " 750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour cherry, green apple, cranberry, red grape, clove, oak, pepper, cocoa, light roast, hay, leather, red wine vinegar, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Incredible aromas with great complexity of fruity/spicy yeast esters with moderate barrel presence, and a touch of roasted notes; with great strength. Taste of huge sour cherry, cranberry, tart green apple, red grape, pear, clove, oak, light cocoa, light roast, toast, red wine vinegar, leather, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness. Big fruity acidic sourness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart dark and light fruits, clove, oak, hay, leather, light cocoa, light roast, toast, red wine vinegar, funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and fruity, earthy, and acidic yeast flavors with a fair amount of roasted presence; with a very nice puckering acidity and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a highly acidic, lightly slick, and slightly crisp mouthfeel that is excellent. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an incredible sour ale! All around fantastic complexity and balance of flavors with big sourness; and very smooth to sip on, even with the big acidity. This was hardly representing a stout in malt backbone(no idea on age); but damn was this insane as a sour in general.". With a 4.4.
mabel (6559) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 11, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2014 [6104-20131214] Bottle. Yeasty toast and grains aroma. Hazy, dark brown body with a quick bubbly head. Sour fruity base flavour has a lovely oak undertone. Medium-full body is quite sour. Delicious. (8/3/8/4/17) 4.0
(@ Abraxas, Miami, FL)
JK (4603) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - NOV 15, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
GABF 2014. One of the best beers of the festival. Excellent sour cherry in the aroma and the flavor. Lots of fruit; and yeast as well. Full of flavor. Fantastic.
Sledutah (5100) - Utah, USA - DEC 14, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared at the holiday tasting
Dark mahogany with a small beige head, some lacing. Aroma is tart and dark fruit. Taste is tart fruit, dark berries with a dry finish
shoulderbroken (2179) - Tokyo, JAPAN - NOV 16, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Antenna America. Nice looks like a stout, but doesn’t smell like it. Aroma is grapes, gaffer tape, gooseberrries. Little bit of roast hiding there somewhere.Taste is fruity, initial sourness, dark fruit, white grapes, little bit of roast at the end. Much more sour than stout, but you can feel it poking its head up occasionally. Dr pepper! Later, blackberries, bit more roast, light sweetness. Nice.
tderoeck (5148) - Gent, BELGIUM - NOV 6, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
19/X/14 - 75cl bottle @ Beuk’s postponed Firestone Walker and other nice beers allowed as well tasting (Brussels) - BB: n/a (2014-1225) Thanks to beuk87 for sharing the bottle!
Bit cloudy red muddy brown beer, aery irregular off-white head, unstable, dissipates immediately, non adhesive. Aroma: earthy, vinous, sourish, tobacco, somewhat overripe fruit. MF: lots of carbon, medium body. Taste: very sour, bit vinous, vinegar, little bitter, tannins, red berries. Aftertaste: raspberries, some tannins, pretty sour, vinous, thornberries, earthy.
jayzz (395) - Illinois, USA - NOV 26, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Taste was tart fruit, sour, cherry, fig, maybe some dates. Very faint cocoa/coffee/caramel. Aftertaste is acid/sour but not offensive. Overall, tasty and well done.
bwa5879 (706) - Portage, Michigan, USA - NOV 25, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2013 edition, opened november 2014. Pours black with a few inches of fizzy khaki head that settled to a thin corona quickly. Very sour dark fruit aroma; bold grape, brown sugor or molasses, hint of fresh leather, tart funk, cottony and dr. pepper-esque. Fiarly low carbonation, extremely tart puckery mouthfeel, creamy viscosity, dry crisp finish. Intense sour flavor like sweettarts, funky leather tannins, a bit of roasted malts, vinegar-y or wine-y grapes, lemon juice. Magnificently sour, was hoping for more complexity. Perhaps less age would be an improvement?
teorn88 (2707) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 1, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
75cl bottle from Kings Arms, London. It pours a deep dark brown color with ruby edges and no head to speak of. Aroma is mostly sour and vinegar-ish, with notes of dried red berries, red wine, wood, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, funk. Taste is acidic from start to finish, with mild sweetness throughout. Notes of balsamic vinegar, vanilla, port wine, wood, red berries compote. Finishes tart, acidic and lemony. Light bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, good sour but lacks the stout notes it promises. More similar to an American interpretation of a Flanders red.