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Sal Mortillaro II's picture

89 Rating: The Illustrated Man by Independence Brewing Co.

December, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

The Illustrated Man by Independence Brewing is being evaluated as a Wild Specialty Beer (Category 28C) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. 

This beer pours a dark brown color with opaque clarity due to the color and a light haze. A beige colored velvety head quickly forms but is modest and somewhat fleeting, though a persistent ring forms around the edge of the glass.  Though the overall aroma for this beer is on the light side, it does not lack depth.  A clean, lactic note is at the forefront followed by notes of slight roast and light chocolate.  Juicy blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry aromas blend perfectly with the malt and are slightly pastry like. 

No hops are detectable in the aroma of this beer.  In the flavor a moderate lactic tartness really helps to bring the flavor of the berries to the forefront and helps to balance a moderate-low malt sweetness.  Hop flavor and hop bitterness are negligible in this beer and do not play much of a role in the flavor profile.  The flavor of light chocolate, light roast, and light bready yeast linger in the aftertaste. 

This is a medium body beer with lively carbonation which drinks fairly smooth and does not linger in the mouth after sipping.  Overall, this is a unique beer which juxtaposes flavors not commonly found together in beer; the roast and sour aspects of this beer play off of each other all while being tied in by the sweetness of the malt and the flavor of the berries.  Fairly easy drinking, this is a well done and rather fun beer which will appeal to the palates of both sour lovers, due to its unique combination of flavors, and those who are interested in learning about sours, due to its clean lactic sourness.