Beer Reviews (Sour and Wild Ales)

In this section you will find reviews of sour ale styles like Lambic, Gueuze, Flanders Red Ale, Berliner Weiss, some (but not all) Saisons, and American Wild Ales.  On this page you will find a running tab of the beers that have been reviewed, with a brief description of each beer and its rating.  You can access the full review of each beer by clicking on its name.

My ratings scale is: 10 = perfection, 9 = excellent, one of the top beers in the world, 8 = very good, one of the top beers in its style category, 7 = good, a solid beer I’m happy to be drinking, 6 = average, not bad but not something I’m likely to buy again, 5 = below average, 3-4 = poor, should be avoided, 1-2 drainpour.

Winterborn (Seventh Son) Rating = 7  A pale ale made exclusively with Brettanomyces that brings out the pineapple fruitiness of Brett, tinged with some musty funk and a hint of tartness.

Tenacity (Actual) Rating = 8  A complex beer that spent nearly a year aging in oak barrels while the “wild” yeast Brettanomyces worked its magic.  Tart and fruity, with subtle hints of balsamic vinegar this Brett beer leans toward a lighter version of a Flanders Red.

Thumbprint Series Berliner Weiss (New Glarus) Rating = 8.5  Summary: A limited release from New Glarus Brewing in Wisconsin, this beer has a nose that combines overripe lemons, mild Belgian yeast funkiness, and tart green apple acidity.  The taste is fruity, tart and refreshing with a clean finish.  This light bodies, low abv, effervescent beer is my new favorite Berliner Weiss.

Marriage Parfait (Boon Brewery) Rating = 8   Summary: This beer is a Belgian style called geuze, a mix of young and old spontaneously fermented lambics, aged for 3-4 years in oak barrels.  It tastes like a mixture of tart lemonade and champagne—effervescent, dry, tart and lemony.

Curiousus (Actual Brewing) Rating = 7.0  Summary: A light bodied, effervescent beer that is tart and fruity.  Actual has brewed a faithfuldecent representation of the hard to find Berliner Weiss style.  A good introduction to sour beers, and a good low abv option for warm weather thirst quenching.

Candi-Man (Indigo Imp) Rating = 6.5  Summary: Similar in taste to many beers in the Indigo Imp lineup, fruity and mildly tart.  More like a high abv (7.2%) Berliner Weiss or a tart blonde ale than a Belgian Dubbel (as it is labelled).

Seizoen Bretta (Logsdon) Rating = 10   Summary: A farmhouse ale (Saison) from Oregon that uses Brett yeasts and is bottle conditioned with pear juice and yeast.  The fruitiness is balanced masterfully by a restrained acidity, while the Brett adds a layer of complexity. Orval meets a gueuze and they have a beautiful child name Seizoen Bretta.  The front runner for my favorite beer of 2013.

Summer Pale Ale (Indigo Imp) Rating = 7.5   Summary: An easy drinking, open fermented, bottle conditioned Belgian style pale ale.  A hazy amber beer in the Belgian blonde style, with fruity esters and candi sugar in the mix.  The smooth creamy mouthfeel makes for a good refreshing summer beer that would top most American Wheat Beers on the market.

Surette Provisional Saison (Crooked Stave) Rating = 6.5   Summary: A tart, dry saison that is something like a cross between a dry white wine and a tart apple cider (or as my wife says, this tastes like sour apple juice).  The acid gives it a cider-like quality highlighted by green apples and lemon zest.  More of an American Wild Ale than a classic Belgian saison.


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