The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness: Stout Brewed With Wild Yeast

tart of darknessI’m a sucker for puckers. That’s why I loved The Bruery’s oak aged wild ale aged in oak barrels – Tart of Darkness. A mouth-puckering sour black ale.

4.5/5

look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Purchased in Attleboro, MA

Appearance- Pours a deep brown body with translucent cherry highlights. A 2 finger off white head rises quickly and sticks around for a minute or so, eventually leaving a thin ring of foam.

Smell- I can definitely tell this is going to be a great sour just by the characteristic wild-ale smell that I get just after cracking the cap – a funky, barnyard, fermented fruit aroma. Once in the glass, the aroma clue into it’s tarness with sharp lactic and citrus aromas. There’s some roastyness in there too.

Taste- A huge punch of sourness is the first thing that hits the tongue – sour berries, citrus, lactic tartness. Oak, and some funk come up next , followed by a subtle sweet breadyness. The finish is slightly roasty, you get the stout character late in the tasting.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, which is fitting for a sour stout. Medium carbonation.

I absolutely love sours, so I really enjoyed this one. Definitely one of the most sour I’ve ever tried. The slight roastyness works nicely here. Recommendable.

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Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout

kbs

Just got my shipment of Founders KBS goblets.. so what better time than now to crack one open?!

Full Review:

Final Rating: 4.64/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured at cellar temperature from a 12 oz bottle into a Founders KBS snifter glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Appearance- Pours a deep brown color that is translucent on the pour but opaque and black once in the glass. The head is modest and brown, reducing to a ring of foam. Leaves a little lacing.

Smell- Super fudgy.. chocolate brownies with hot fudge, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, coffee beans, semisweet chocolate. Some booze.

Taste- The first touch of the tongue reveals a sweet butterscotch, bourbon, caramel, vanilla bean flavor that meshes perfectly with milk chocolate and coffee notes. The finish is absolutely fantastic with a roasted, charred, nearly burnt malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Thick but smooth, rich, velvety and smooth. Low carbonation. Milky.

KBS did not let me down.. such an amazing beer that is rich, flavorful, and complex without being overly boozy or cloying. Lives up to the hype.

Justin Blåbær: Bieber’s Evil Twin

blaeber

 

This beer, brewed by Denmark’s Evil Twin Brewery, boasts one of the most disturbing labels out there, and an equally as creepy description:

OMG! It’s JUSTIN BLABAER!!! If you have “Blaeber fever,” then this is the only solution. We stuffed so many blueberries into this beer–it’s going to make you shout “Oh, Baby!” “

It was quite delicious though:

Final Rating: 4.41/5
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Kwak glass.

Appearance- Pours a super cloudy grapefruit colored body with light, light red fizzy head that reduces quite quickly to leave no lacing or retention.

Smell- Quite perfume-like, sweet berries dominate the nose but not in an overpowering way. Blueberry, raspberry, strawberries, sweet red wine.

Taste- Starts off tart and lactic, progresses to subtle berries, raspberry and blueberry, finishes with a very nice freshly baked bread, biscuity, malty note. Very complex.

Mouthfeel- Thin yet refreshing, medium carbonation.

I was pleasantly surprised with Justin Blabaer. Tasty but not overpowering, the berries were nicely balanced here.

St. Lamvinus – Another Masterpiece from Cantillon

stlam

 

This review is a few days old, I enjoyed this beer in a hotel room while vacationing in the White Mountains with my lovely lady! It seemed like the perfect occasion to pop the top off of this classy brew, which could be considered a hybrid of beer and wine. It’s a lambic style beer brewed with Merlot grapes and aged in oak barrels. Here’s an excerpt from the Cantillon website on how it’s brewed:

“The grapes, of the merlot and cabernet-franc varieties, are soaked in Bordeaux barrels containing two to three years old lambic. The beer is not blended before the bottling. The foam is caused by the addition of a liquor which starts the fermentation.

The Saint-Lamvinus Cantillon is a rare product, available only in 75 cl (1/1) bottles.”

It gets a 100/100 on BeerAdvocate for good reasons. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.46/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a Cantillon tulip glass. Purchased at Wakefield Liquors in Wakefield, RI. Opened while on vacation in North Conway, NH!

Appearance- Pours a hazy, raspberry colored body with a 2 finger, fizzy, light cherry colored head that reduces really quickly and leaves no lacing or retention.

Smell- Tart sour grapes, funky barnyard, red wine, cherries, citric acid, acetic acid, oak, and an old mustiness that blends very nicely with these aromas.

Taste- Starts off pretty tart, but not sour, with dry fruity notes, specifically grapes, cherry skins, and citrus rind. The follow through is subtly funky with fermented fruit and oak, wine barrel notes. The finish is woody and tart. Very nice

Mouthfeel- High carbonation, refreshing and quenching.

St. Lamvinus was awesome but I wasn’t expecting anything less of this Cantillon masterpiece. Glad I got to try it, can’t wait to try the other one in my cellar in a couple decades 😉

Firestone Walker’s Double-Double Barrel Ale

ddba

I’ve been meaning to try this Firestone Walker Reserve Series brew for a while now – and finally go to experience this masterpiece in all it’s wonder tonight. Meet DDBA, a massive 12.0% ABV imperial english barleywine that packs some serious flavor. How you ask? Why don’t you read my full review:

Final Rating: 4.54/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Firestone Walker pint glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

Appearance- Pours a clear copper body with a generous 3 finger off-white head that sticks around from a while and leaves no lacing.

Smell- Smells absolutely fantastic.. sweet vanilla, butterscotch, freshly baked sugar cookies, caramel, bourbon, toffee, slight booze. I really can’t wait to taste this.

Taste- First off is an instant burst of sweet butterscotch, french vanilla bean, sweet bourbon-caramel, toffee. On the follow through is a subtle hoppy bite, finished by a slight roasty note. I would have give this a 4.75 in this category if the finish was more roasty, which is something I prefer in bourbon barrel aged beers (especially barleywines). Very nice nonetheless.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, definitely a sipper. Low carbonation. Very smooth for 12% ABV.

I was super impressed with this Firestone Walker offering. This is what an English Barleywine should taste like – sweet and balanced, without being an alcohol-bomb or cloyingly hopped. Very nice, and probably my new favorite of the style.