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Reviews for 2018

July 2018 - Best Sour Ale & Best Fruit Beer

July 2018 - Best Sour Ale & Best Fruit Beer
This month's Beer feature is Best Sour Ale & Best Fruit Beer

Best Sour Ale & Best Fruit Beer Reviews

Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Belgian Red Ale
97 points
Mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of apple cider vinaigrette on endive salad, silly putty, and craisins and nuts with a round, tangy, effervescent, sourish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, very long spicy cherry compote, arugula with candied lemon and balsamic, and pickled tropical citrus finish. A wonderfully vivacious and mouthwatering Flanders red ale with a beautiful balance of sweet and sour fruit notes.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Alexander
97 points
Dusty mahogany color. Savory, sour aromas of reduced lemon with balsamic, sour cherry kefir, and lettuce greens with pickled veggies and vinaigrette with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-long sourdough cherry toast with lemon-kiwi marmalade, marinated artichokes, nuts, and brandy barrels finish. A complex, delicious and flavor pack sour fruit beer that will rule at the table.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Caractère Rouge Ale
97 points
Dull burnt sienna color. Fruity, attractive aromas and flavors of dried sour cherries and toasted honeyed cranberry bread with a round, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, layered, very long cherry balsamic vinaigrette on lettuces, reduced lemon, and lime spritzed green apple finish. A fantastically flavorful, mouthwatering and appetizing cherry fruit beer that will triumph at the table.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Grand Cru
96 points
Murky bronze color. Aromas and flavors of dried cherry vinaigrette, honeyed cranberry bread toast, and pickled melon with a satiny, tangy, finely carbonated, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long yuzu-pomegranate chutney and marinated artichoke hearts finish. A sensationally flavorful, complex and artfully crafted sour ale of the highest order.
Brouwerij Timmermans Kriek Lambicus
95 points
Brilliant light garnet red oak color. Fruity aromas of candied and dried cherries, honeyed fruit cake, and pleasant cherry cough drop with a satiny, tangy, finely carbonated, off-dry medium body and a tingling, distinctive, long sourdough with cherry chutney, lemon verbena, mesclun with cherry vinaigrette, and almond cookie finish. A rich and commanding kriek that pours forth with an army of cherry flavors and nuances.
Pearl Street Brewery Sour Winter Gose
94 points
Minutely hazy dull gold color. Woody, floral, complex aromas and flavors of pine blossom, singed orange peel, toasty herb peppercorn muffin, and lavender and verbena with a satiny, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, distinctive, long orange spice cake, citrus juice and granita, pretzel bread pudding, and hints of coriander and cardamom finish. A great gulpable gose brimming with attractive citrus and herbal flavors within fine salty frame.
SweetWater Brewing Co. Through the Brambles Blackberry Sour Ale
94 points
Dark copper color. Sour aromas of citrus vinaigrette, bitter melon salad, and crushed red and dark berries with a supple, puckering, finely carbonated, sour medium body and a tingling, interesting, long sourdough raisin toast, kumquat, and gooseberries finish. A fabulously tart and mouthwatering sour ale that will triumph at the table.
August Schell Brewing Co. Funk Junction Peach Wild Ale
93 points
Murky light gold color. Fruity aromas of fresh crushed peaches and nut bread with a supple, tangy, effervescent, sweet-and-sour full body and a seamless, medium-long nectarine vinaigrette on romaine with croutons and Meyer lemon finish. A brilliant, tart and tangy wild ale with very pure peach flavor.
Pearl Street Brewery 17 Up Anniversary Gose
93 points
Dull hazy yellow straw color. Citrusy aromas of lemon curd on raisin toast, limeade, and hint of thyme and lavender with a supple, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium body and a compelling, medium-long warm buttered baguette, lime Italian ice, and parsnip and arugula finish. A classically structured gose with a fun infusion on lemon, lime, and perhaps an herb and spice or two.
pFriem Nectarine Barrel-Aged Golden Ale
93 points
Hazy sedimentary golden yellow color. Attractive aromas and flavors of honeyed peach skin and flesh, creamy Hawaiian bread pudding, and panettone with a satiny, tangy, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a seamless, captivating, medium-long apple-kiwi relish, honeyed white grapefruit, wheat wafer, and edible flowers finish. A delicious and pure peachy Belgian ale that will be great a s summer sipper or at the table.
August Schell Brewing Co. Lunar Interference Berliner Weisse
92 points
Medium brown color. Roasted, sourish aromas and flavors of coffee, chocolate yogurt, and sourdough dark rye toast with a satiny, tart, effervescent, sourish medium body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long melon and sprouts, kiwi vinaigrette, and chicory finish. A unique dark and roasty take of the Berliner Weiss style that really works and is quite approachable.
Brouwerij Timmermans Strawberry Lambic
92 points
Nearly opaque dull sunburst color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry fruit leather, oily roasted nuts, fruit custard tart, and hint of banana taffy and silly putty with a round, vibrant, finely carbonated, off-dry medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long berry tart, orange blossom honey, and hint of peppered arugula finish. A rich and flavorful fruit lambic with a super approachable and satisfying style.
Harpoon Brewery Lime-y Vice
92 points
Murky light gold color. Citrusy, floral aromas and flavors of fresh squeezed lime, delicate spice and herbal tea, and lavender with a creamy, finely carbonated, sourish medium-to-full body and a silky, complex, long fine sea salt brine, artisan citrus sports drink, and radish spouts and pea tendrils finish. A superb, creamy, lightly sour, skillful crafted gose with a great salty lime flavor and indulgently luxurious texture’ will appeal to shandy fans looking for something more serious.
Indeed Brewing Co. Wooden Soul: In the Thicket Barrel-Aged Raspberry Golden Sour Ale
92 points
Pale minutely hazy ruby copper color. Sourish aromas and flavors of raspberry butter on sourdough and raspberry-lemon vinaigrette on mesclun with a satiny, tart, effervescent, sour medium-full body and a tingling, distinctive, long buttered toasted baguette, pickled red berries, mixed peppercorns, and smoked nuts finish. A great marriage of sour ale and fresh tart raspberries that whets the appetite.
pFriem Barrel-Aged Frambozen Lambic Ale
92 points
Brilliant ruby color. Sour, earthy aromas and flavors of raw macerated berries, pickled root vegetables, lacquered wood, and bark and grape leaves with a slightly chewy, tangy, finely carbonated, sour medium-to-full body and a tingling, subtle, long rye toast grilled with cumin oil, smoked nuts and chocolate, and peppered artichoke salad finish. A serious, contemplative lambic with deep savory flavors and a bright rosy future in the cellar.
August Schell Brewing Co. Solar Evolution Flanders Red Style Ale
91 points
Ruby color. Interesting aromas of peppercorns, cedar pencil shavings, and cocoa with a supple, racy, finely carbonated, sourish medium-to-full body and a tingling, layered, long kumquat, cranberry vinaigrette, marinated hearts of palm, and fireplace ash finish. An interesting mash-up of bright sour and toasty wood and earth notes will make this a fun beer for the table.
Bravo! All Star Sour Power Blackberry Berliner Weisse
91 points
Brilliant light ruby oak color. Fruity aromas and flavors of sweet blackberry and strawberry jam on raisin toast and honeyed cherries and strawberries with a supple, tart, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, long craisin-beet relish, buttered buttermilk biscuit, and arugula with raspberry vinaigrette finish. A fantastically appetizing flavor ride from sweet to sour and savory makes this a must-try Berliner Weisse’ especially for Beaujolais Nouveau fans.
Samuel Adams American Kriek
91 points
Clear sunburst color. Aromas and flavors of honeyed toast and spiced fruits with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy lemon poppyseed muffin and sour cherry relish finish. A very tasty and approachable intro lambic that will be great on it’s own or with food.
Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA
91 points
Minutely hazy old gold color. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit sorbet, lemon scone, and white grape with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, long peppered greens, grapefruit peel, and peppercorn muffin finish. A great, invigorating grapefruit IPA that is sure to please.
Stanley Park Brewing Salted Watermelon Sour
91 points
Clear light gold color. Attractive aromas and flavors of pickled melon rind, lemon herb scone, and dandelion and greens with a supple, lively, effervescent, sourish medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long sourdough and pretzel bread toast, salted limes and celery, and malt vinegar kettle chips finish. A toothsome, salty sour berry with great balance and nice nuances of flavor.
Indeed Brewing Co. Wooden Soul: Cherry Dust Wood-Aged Red Ale
90 points
Bright sunburst color. Aromas and flavors of honeyed cherry compote, pencil shavings, sweet pickle relish, and bbq wood smoke with a round, tart, frothy, sourish medium-to-full body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long sour apple and quince, lime vinaigrette on greens, and nuts finish. A playfully smoky and sour wood accented ale that will be versatile.
Pearl Street Brewery Raspberry Tambois Sour Belgian-Style Ale
90 points
Brilliant ruby color. Fresh, fruity aromas and flavors of fresh crushed raspberries, honeyed toasted cranberry nut bread, and marinated beets with a supple, racy, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long apple cider vinaigrette on endive pear salad, toasted raspberry oat scone, and pickled citrus and melon rind finish. A zesty and refreshing raspberry sour ale with fine poise and purity.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Classic
90 points
Dull bronze color. Aromas of white balsamic vinaigrette on lettuces with sourdough croutons and dried apple with a supple, lively, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length honeyed mulberries and quince and starfruit finish. A mellow sour ale with a very traditional style and effortless drinkability.
Brouwerij Timmermans Framboise Lambic
89 points
Brilliant light ruby ruby color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry phosphate, toasted sourdough with berry preserves, and cocoa powder dusted cream puff with a supple, crisp, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a smooth, engaging, medium-long spiced berries and apples, candied lemon peel, and honey finish. A fun, framboise with a nice balance of sweet and light sourness.
Brouwerij Timmermans Oude Kriek
89 points
Sedimentary brick red color. Attractive aromas of honeyed toasted graham crackers, cherry butter on cinnamon nut bread, granola and s’mores, and fine charcoal with a lightly tannic, puckering, petillant, sour medium-to-full body and a tingling, nuanced, long lemon zest with goose, white balsamic vinaigrette on endive, fancy pickle juice, and nutskin finish. A bracingly sour and epically proportioned old lambic.
Knee Deep Brewing Co. Man Juice IPA
89 points
Minutely hazy gold color. Aromas of orange zest, frosted orange cake, and pine sap and resin with a supple, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, very long bitter orange, rapini, rye toast, and pepper finish. A juicy and astringent IPA with a nice hint of bitter orange.
Revival Brewing Co. Pinky Swear Berliner Weisse
89 points
Cloudy red oak color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry Greek yogurt, pickled melon rind, boiled potato and cabbage, and bubblegum dust with a supple, tangy, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, engaging, medium-long buttered potato bread toast with lemon zest, berry skins, wheat wafer, and mineral water finish. A very pure, clean, and precise Berliner Weisse that has a perfectly approachable style.
Spencer Fruit Series Grapefruit IPA
89 points
Clear deep amber color. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit marmalade on toast and sweet potato chips with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long pine, peppered greens, and grapefruit zest and juice finish. A solid, even, malty grapefruit IPA that will cover a lot of bases.
Uncle Billy’s Salty Old Soul Gose
89 points
Light emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of honey buttered toast, lemon and kiwi relish, and jicama with a supple, tangy, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, amusing, buoyant lime spritzed radish and fresh baguette finish. A well balanced, super approachable gose that bridges the sour gap for lager drinkers.
Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co. Strawberry Lemonade Ale
89 points
Dusty coral orange color. Candied aromas of strawberry juice, lemon sorbet, and peach-orange tea with a supple, effervescent, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length strawberry pop tarts and frankenberry cereal, watermelon candies, and cream soda finish. A nostalgic flavor stroll down the childhood breakfast and candy aisles.
ABK Rose Frisch
88 points
Steely sunburst amber color. Aromas and flavors of berry soda, lemonade, and lemon candy with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, medium-length lemon soda and sherbet, honeyed fruitcake, and mango with lemon verbena finish. A super fruity, easy drinking summer sipper; try as cocktail with gin.
August Schell Brewing Co. Grain Belt Blu Blueberry Lager
88 points
Brilliant red oak color. Floral aromas and flavors of berry scone, raw blueberry juice, and marigold with a supple, bright, effervescent, fruity medium body and an even, carefree mixed berry sorbet, buttery shortbread cookie, raw apple cider, and waxy honeycomb finish. A nice fruity berry quaffer for picnics and beach coolers.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Fruitage Ale
88 points
Clear mahogany color. Savory aromas and flavors of waxy fruit, pickled berries, rubber sap and leaf, and hint of varnished wood with a supple, tart, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length endive salad with cherry vinaigrette and buttered brioche finish. An interesting sweet and sour mash up that will work nicely at the table.
Vancouver Island Brewing Ukidama Lychee Yuzu Saison
88 points
Gold color. Interesting aromas and flavors of fresh cracked green peppercorns, yuzu peel, lime and curry leaves, and thyme and rosemary bread with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a warming, stimulating, medium-long exotic tropical fruits, grassy herbs, dried flowers, and radish finish. A clever, very dry take of a tropical-accented beer that will be fun to pair with Asian fusion dishes.
Vancouver Island Brewing Tidal Series Grapefruit Agave Gose
88 points
Hazy golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of fresh sliced grapefruit and rising pizza crust with lemon zest with a supple, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, medium-length nut toast, grapefruit yogurt, and cucumber with salt finish. A tasty, well balanced grapefruit flavored gose.
Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co. Relaxin Raspberry Fruit Ale
88 points
Pale burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate raspberry milkshake with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a seamless, buoyant spiced cherries, hot cocoa with pretzel bread toast, and candied lemon rind finish. A smooth and easy, chocolate raspberry treat.
Pearl Street Brewery Pop Gose
87 points
Minutely hazy red oak color. Perfumed aromas and flavors of candied lavender and lemon zest, herbs de Provence, and floral triple milled soap with a slightly chewy, tart, effervescent, sourish medium body and a sleek, long cucumber mozzarella sandwich on sourdough toast, pickled pomegranate, menthol rub, and eucalyptus flower water finish. A bold, in-your-face floral gose.
Barley Creek Brewing Co. Mango Saison
86 points
Ruby color. Attractive, tropical, herbal aromas and flavors of fresh tropical fruit salad, endive and artichoke salad, and delicate chives and herbs with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length pizza crust with lemon zest, radish and citrus relish, and root vegetables and bitter greens finish. A nice snappy, lightly tropical fruit flavored beer.
Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co. Sconnie Smash Fruit Ale
86 points
Neon Siam color. Attractive, sweet aromas of maraschino cherries, marzipan cookies, and pralines and macaroon with a velvety, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity sweet medium body and an interesting, medium-long grenadine, MacDonald’s cherry pie, and mineral water finish. A startlingly bright and tasty cherry beer that will satisfy sweet indulgences.
Great Dane Brewing Neds Red Flemish Style Red Ale
84 points
Mahogany color. Vegetal, sourish aromas and flavors of roasted Brussels sprouts with berries and lardons, spinach salad, and sourdough toast points with a supple, tart, effervescent, sour medium body and a tingling, odd, medium-length spiced sour apples, cranberry kefir, artichoke and watercress, and nettles finish. Too many off vegetal notes and excessive bitterness on the finish holds this sour ale back.
Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale
84 points
Gold color. Confected aromas of vanilla shortbread sundae with extra maraschino cherries and cherry tart with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, fruity light-to-medium body and a breezy amaretto gelato, anisette cookie, jicama, and wheat wafer finish. A pleasant cherry ale quaffer.
Samuel Adams Raspberry Lemon Gose
84 points
Minutely hazy sunburst color. Aromas of lemon cream scented candle, berry scone, and oatmeal with orange zest with a supple, sweet-and-sour medium body and a smooth, breezy rye cracker, citrus and cucumber water, and raspberry-kiwi tart finish. A snappy, crowd-pleasing gose with pleasant fruitiness.
Blue Pants Brewery Gose
82 points
Gold color. Buttery, fruity aromas of melted butter on white bread, dried stone fruits and oranges, and wild flowers with a glycerous, bright, fizzy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, cheery saltine, starfruit, caramel corn, and radish finish. An ok quaffer, but too buttery and not sour enough for the style; this is more of a cream ale.
Spencer Fruit Series Peach Saison
81 points
Dull gold color. Vegetal, savory aromas and flavors of zucchini, roasted corn and husk, peach pit, and wax with a supple, crisp, effervescent, bone-dry medium body and a brisk sourdough toast points, cauliflower, asparagus and turnip, and radish sprouts finish. A mild, rather vegetal brew for the table; try with roasted vegetables and cheese.
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