Only opening four years ago, Wicked Weed has already made a name for itself in the brewing world, focusing on wild ales and hoppy west coast ales. Two friends, Walt and Luke, dreamed it up while they were drinking beer, of course. They brought in a good friend, Ryan Guthy and his parents, to join in on the vision and in a mountain house in North Carolina Wicked Weed was officially born. After a few months a space was found and the brewery was built out.

Wicked Weed Malice bottle

Malice is part of the Royal Cache series from Wicked Weed, part of the Barrel Reserve series, so each one is aged in a different type of barrel. Malice is aged for five months in wine barrels and was also brewed with 110 pounds of tart blood oranges and 25 pounds of tamarind. It is also brewed with 100 percent brettanomyces and comes in a 500ml bottle.

There are five other beers in the series.

  • Indulgence – Brett strong ale with Muscadine grapes aged in wine barrels
  • Amorous – Dry hopped sour IPA aged in used Brett and Sour barrels
  • Capricious – Wild IPA with mango aged in oak
  • Divergence – Bourbon barrel aged sour porter with coffee • Passiflora Blanc – Wheat wild ale with passion fruit and hibiscus aged in oak

Malice pours with a fairly aggressive head, give or take two full fingers of frothy white foam appears after a somewhat gentle pour. The color of Malice is really nice, it has a golden and orange hue almost like thinned out honey.

Up front I smell a lot of lactic sour even though this is a 100 percent brettanomyces beer, I am assuming that is from the Blood Oranges, because overall there is a ton of citrus on the nose. However, the tartness could also be from the tamarind as well as some of the sweetness. I smell some of the funk as well, but overall a lot more tart and sweet notes are coming through.

Wicked Weed Malice

The initial taste is funky citrus on this one; it doesn’t really follow the nose very closely at all. The wine barrel adds some dryness and the very familiar taste of wine right when the beer touches your tongue. There is a little bit of tart sour going on, but the main flavor is the funky sour. The tartness comes from the citrus, as I can taste some orange and lemon peel sharpness. There is also some sweetness from the orange and tamarind that helps to make this beer have a lot going on.

Wicked Weed Malice
BREWERY: Wicked Weed Brewing
LOCATION: Ashville, N.C.
STYLE: American wild ale
ABV: 6 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $11
RELEASE DATE: 2013
AVAILABLE IN: 500ml bottles
BEERS POURED: One
This is a really well done beer by Wicked Weed, they are certainly not my favorite as I have not been overly impressed by their offerings, but thought they did a great job executing Malice. It is balanced really nicely with both sweet, tart, funky and earthy notes and is very drinkable. I think the wine barrel does a great job of mellowing the beer out and I do taste some of the notes from the wine coming through, however, don’t really get a lot of the oak. Perhaps because the beer was in the barrel for five months it didn’t pull out flavors that deep. This is a really great beer if you happen across it, probably not something I would go to crazy heights to get as there are a lot of this style that I personally like better, but it is definitely a well done beer that I very much enjoyed.
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