Surly Pentagram Flanders Red Ale, I mean, American wild ale, 6.66% ABV (naturally) was first released in kegs and bottles in February of this year. My earlier posting on a Beer called Pentagram was the unblended version from 2 years earlier. I bought a few bottles and opened one up finally last night. Here are the notes I took:
Surly Pentagram, bottle, aged, what? 10 months, nine? Not sure. I wrote about a beer with this name when we tapped it in 2011, as part of the Surly 5th anniversary celebration, when it was one of the threads that would later become Surly Five. IS this the same beer, or a new one? Whatever it is, it's called Pentagram.
I bought a bunch of these when it was released in, again I ask, what? January, February? I forgot. But I haven't opened one since. Until tonight…
Deep magenta hue, with ruby-tinged highlights. Small brown-tinted head rests above.
Aroma is flush with wine-like flavors, which are swiftly subsumed with sour. Each new sniff (shout out to D L-H), the flavors widen, deepen, grow in complexity.
Deep malt, chocolate tones emerge just to be cover by the wine barrel's work. Just plain ol' gorgeous. I could drink it in deep all night long.
Now, to taste: Ah! Starts out bright, fresh, vibrant, bursting with bold flavors. Sourness isn't overbearing and is exquisitely balanced. Lush, juicy dark fruit flavors continue on the palate, some oaky/woody-ness, a bit of caramel malt, but mostly the sour cherry. All together it's a lot of mmmm, and a good dose of ahhhh.
Let's read the label, shall we? "Beware! This arcane seal guards an enigmatic brew that is FUNKY, DARK, and SOUR. If you choose to break the seal, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! 100% Brettanomyces Dark beer fermented in stainless and aged in used red wine barrels. "Brett" is a unique yeast strain that produces flavors that would be considered offensive if they were not intentional. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak, and classic "Brett" barnyard funk balanced by dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at cellar temperature for a couple years."
What it is, is rather remarkable and definitely delicious. I have two more bottles that I intend to age even longer. What will it be like at one and a half years? Two? But right now I can't wish for anything better.