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Tart of Darkness

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Not a lot of reviews on sours have been posted on the blog and it surprises me as I’m fond of them, but I rarely set them aside for me to save for a review. I can count the number of sours I’ve posted on the blog, maybe four, this would be my fifth or so, definitely not a milestone, but lets treat it as such, it’s variety people! I can’t recall drinking a Sour Beer that’s been worthy of a Five Beer Caps rating and I’ve set a goal to search for one in 2013. How’s that for a New Years Resolution?

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Today we’ll delve into Tart of Darkness, a sour beer from The Bruery in Placentia CA, it is a Sour Stout aged in Oak Barrels. This is a beer that was very aromatic despite the serving recommendation of 50°F. When you pour the beer and reach to sniff, you’ll notice that it has a very strong tart smell. The aroma of sour cherries is also noticeable and although the bottle reads it, I couldn’t pick up any of the “roasty” ingredients.

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I love anything sour like warheads and sour patch kids and when I took a sip of the beer, I was reminded of that kind of sour. I could taste some citrus peel and sour cherries, the combination of these two flavors up front I enjoyed. I’m not an expert when it comes to serving temperatures, but when it comes to beers from my personal experience, a beer on the warmer side has a lot more character and that’s what happened with the flavors of this beer. The roasted character flourished just enough, it wasn’t strong, and you got some of that smoky oak and malt. A full bodied sip as expected for a stout with a nice coating of the tongue from the carbonation. I was puckering the entire time I drank this from the sour dry finish and waiting for kisses, but my wife was nowhere to be found, as is normal during my beer research.

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This is a sour that went in a different direction, but a good direction. It’s a very drinkable beer, despite being on the extreme end of the sour spectrum, I enjoyed drinking it. A lot of people out there love this beer, I’m not there yet, but its worth giving Four Beer Caps out of Five. Pick one up and share with some friends.

Rating4

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Throw one back for me ~ cheers!

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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Empty Bottles

 

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Fantôme de Noël

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Fantôme de Noel is a Saisön brewed by Brasserie Fantome in Belgium. This is the last of the four bottles I wanted to review before Christmas Day. I didn’t get a chance to get this one posted before Christmas Day, but the name of the beer suits today’s post as Christmas has passed and we are left with the fantome or ghost of Noël.

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This Saisön is definitely interesting. It has a variety of bread yeast funk, with a citrus/tart aroma of cherries and grapes, not exactly an aroma that evokes Christmas, but maybe that’s what Noël smells like in Belgium. The pour goes flat immediately, the carbonation and head dissapate right away. It’s an easy beer to sip with flavors of dry fruits like currants, grapes, cherries, and apples and I didn’t get any Christmas flavors at all; it’s a Farmhouse Saisön and that’s probably how Christmas is like in the farm, not a lot of moms or gramma’s baking. I’m really surprised this is 10% ABV, as the alcohol is not present in the taste or aroma and it didn’t feel, like the alcohol creeped up on you. The beer has a tart dark cherry aftertaste that leads to a peppery finish.

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This is closer to a sour and I couldn’t think of it as a Christmas or Holiday’s type of brew, but what do I know?! It’s an OK tasting beer and next year if you want to drink something that reminds you of Christmas, skip it and grab one of the ones I previously reviewed. I’d say go for it around the fall or if you want to drink a sour, but there’s better ones out there. Two Beer Caps for this Belgian Saison that left even this Grinch, wishing for Christmas flavors, but as a Saison or Sour, Three Beer Caps.

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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Empty Bottles

 

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