Greetings and happy fourth to you all! I trust you are all enjoying some delicious craft beer during this holiday weekend. I always look forward to holidays to break out or conquer at least one special or rare beer. This holiday is no exception and I have been very excited to topple the whale that is Crooked Stave’s crowning achievement — Nightmare on Brett. This is a whiskey barrel aged dark sour, it should be chock full of complexities and sourness. The barrels used for this particular beer are from Leopold Brothers, a small craft distillery just a stones throw away from Crooked Stave in Denver, CO.


This beer is the top of the range for Crooked Stave, while they are well known for their massive catalog of Brett Beers, this is one of the few that gets the barrel treatment. This can and will stand toe-to-toe with any sour out there. Let’s savor this one and take the time to appreciate the holiday, celebrate our independence and celebrate the massive growth of quality craft beer in America. I never expected to see this beer outside of Colorado, yet here we are, in Bellingham, enjoying this gem. Cheers!

Brewery: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project — Denver, CO
Beer: Nightmare on Brett — Leopold Bros. Whiskey Barrel Aged
ABV: 9.666% get it?
Cost: $14.99 / 500ml/16.9oz bottle

Appearance (4.5/5) —Pours a deep and dark brown hue out of the bottle, almost black, though there is some brown clarity around the edges when held up to the light. There is a deeply dark brown head that forms initially, but fades quite quickly due to the acidity. Looked like a stout upon first glance.

Aroma (4.25/5) — Smells intensely fruity and bright. Completely unexpected but very appreciated. Lots of cranberry, raspberry, funk, lemon, little bit of barnyard, dark chocolates, bitter roasted coffee. There is a good bit of vanilla, caramel sweetness as it warms, little bit of oak and char.

Taste (5.0/5) —Fantastic depth of flavor here, lots and lots going on. Starts very acidic, tart, and bright, with notes of cranberries, raspberries, cherries, tart apple. Rolls into a bit of a Brett showcase with a bit of barnyard and funk, fresh hay and horse blanket. Moves to a roasty, deeply rich and almost charred finish. Very nice finish of roasted coffee beans, unsweetened chocolate, bitter tobacco and leather. Good bit of light oak and vanilla sweetness from the barrel on the finish. A total amalgamation of flavors here, just fantastic.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5) — Medium bodied, high carbonation, very acidic, bright, clean. Enjoyable.

Overall (4.5/5) —Great overall, this was completely unexpected, and this beer absolutely exceeded or met whatever hype it may have had. This is Crooked Stave’s crowning achievement, plain and simple. Seriously fantastic.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend, may your beers be delicious, fresh, and thirst quenching.