Beer Brief #37 – Pentagram

Brewery – Surly Brewing Company, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Beer – Pentagram

Style – Wild Ale aged in red wine barrels

ABV – 6.66%??? (see additional notes at the end of this post)

Color – Dark mix of garnet and brown with a light tan head

Aroma – Tart cherries, oak, vanilla bean, leather, cotton candy, vinous

Flavor – Lemon tartness, cranberry, cherry, citrus rind bitterness (without the citrus aroma or flavor), mineral/metallic hint, touch of caramel?

Verdict – This brew definitely matches it’s description. There’s no doubt it is a Brettanomyces beer aged in wine barrels. Lots of sour and bitter fruit are evident, along with strong vinous and dry characteristics. It is probably one of the most unique wild ales I’ve had and is complex and enjoyable. However, I have had people tell me they enjoy it more than Surly Five, which I can’t necessarily agree with.

Additional Notes – Surly doesn’t list the ABV for Pentagram; not on the bottle or on their website. I did a little web research, and most places I found an ABV had it listed as 6.66%. Typically, when I find numerous sources listing the same ABV for a beer, I will use that as my official stat for a beer brief. In this case, it might be a rumor or a “placed” stat. I mean, c’mon. What are the odds that a beer named Pentagram has an exact ABV of 6.66%? Not sure what I’m talking about? Think about it…

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