Joseph Formanek's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Entwined by Upland Brewing Co.

July, 2019
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Entwined by Upland Brewing Co. is a Barrel-aged fruited sour Brown Ale, with the fruit being grapes. As such, this is an extremely complex offering, with a cornucopia of flavors that actually come together very well. This is being evaluated as a Cat 28C Wild Specialty beer in the American Wild category, as a soured Fruit beer with Brown Ale as the base. 

A tart aroma is the first thing you note upon the pour, with a touch of caramel in the background. There is significant fruity cherry ester character along with grape aromas coming from the fruit. Very little wood character is noted, however. The beer has good clarity with a deep brown color with ruby highlights.  It has a small tan bubble head with fair retention for the style.  

A quite tart/metallic/quinine-like character greets you up front, with a solid background of a slightly-sweet brown malt flavor that lingers and adds complexity through the middle, finish and aftertaste. The sour character comes off as that of a malt vinegar. There is a considerable amount of fruity character evident, with beery and fruit esters combining with grape, raisin and oxidized wine notes. The wood character is very subdued. The overall tartness is moderate, but in good balance with the flavor intensity of the brew. There is a moderate level of carbonation and a dry finish.  The aftertaste while being dry does retain a considerable level of malt and tart character.

This is a very rich and complex brew that is quite enjoyable and approachable. My only quibble would be that the wood character is extremely subtle for a barrel aged beer in this category. However, that should not dissuade you from searching out and trying this brew for yourself. Cheers and enjoy!