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Sour In The Rye - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Sour In The RyeSour In The Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.

283 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 283
Hads: 2,348
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 338
Gots: 666 | FT: 74
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 08-09-2009

We brewed this ale with around 40% rye as a base malt and let our sour yeast and bacteria eat away at it in oak barrels for over a year creating a sour ale with a complex character of rye spice, oak and a subtle funk.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 283 | Hads: 2,348
Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured an almost light brown with one finger tan head that died quick without much lace on top of an aroma that has a touch of sweet or tropicalesque fruit but also a large sour and tartness to it (want to say cherry b/c that's first thing that comes to mind). Medium bodied, not chewey but a little filling, the rye helps smooth out as well, this beer has a crisp feel and dry finish that perfectly complements and balance the sourness of the beer, and the spiciness and very mild sweetness of the beer helps round it out. A complex brew that I can't really get a handle on but know I like and a great beer for all to try.

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Photo of mattbk
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy, just on the border between amber and brown, slow moving bubbles.
S: An amazing aroma. Sour yes, but there's tons of fruit and complexity, pear, golden raisin, pineapple, wonderful. Maybe the slightest vinegar, but I'm very much looking for that and it may be a figment.
T: Certainly puckering, but again, some very nice complexity. There's some dark fruit here, very subtle, and even some pineapple . No vinegar I can detect. Cherries. The rye flavor is very subtle, just an underlying spiciness that you might not know was there if it didn't say so on the bottle. Slight amount of oak character as well. It is very high on the acidity scale, and that makes it less sessionable. This beer, with the high amount of sour and the overwhelming complexity, is not a beer you can drink many of. Still, I love this beer. It's wonderful.
M: I very much like the mouthfeel on this beer, it is certainly dry, but a bit of protein-y fullness. It is quite carbonated.
O: I wish this beer turned down the acidity just a tad - to let all the subtle notes come out a bit more. I think there could even be some malt sweetness underlying, but that's hard to get as well. But, it is very good. Give this to someone that appreciates good beer and wine for that matter. They will enjoy it.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful, clear dark copper beer. Very little head with zero retention.

S: Very sour smelling, a little bit earthy with a nice hit of the spicy rye. A nice smelling beer.

T: Sour and acidic to be sure. The sourness hits right up front, with cherry and lemon pith. Some earthy funk behind it. The rye doesn't really come through until the finish, where it really breaks the sourness and adds a spiciness.

M: Moderate body, really heavy on the carbonation.

O: Not the type of beer I would want to drink every day, but damn tasty. The sourness is up front and potent. The rye is awesome as a balance to the sourness, it adds a spice that cuts right through.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the couple with the bottle of this for the generous pour! Sometimes you gotta just love beer geeks!

This pours a hazy caramel-amber with thin foam. There’s a sharply tart and sour touch of funk, with a hint of wet hay backing it up. Tastes zesty, spicy and vibrant—I know that’s not a flavor description per se but that was what ran through my mind while sipping. This beer definitely lives up to its name as it finishes sour, tart, acidic with a dry end. Wow.

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Photo of ckollias
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this bottled brew out a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy orangish hue with a thin white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a decent trail.

S: Extremely sour and tart aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is an extremely tart and sour flavor.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Amazing sour brew!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a burnt orange color with good carbonation yielding a dirty cap. A good amount of bubbles, some light lacing presents itself.

S: Not really funky per se but the rye really pops on this. A nice little booze sting on the nose with some acidity, wood

T: Pretty tart upfront, a nice like lacto lockjaw feel, lots of rye follows providing a unique contrast of sour and spice. The heat picks up, wood and vanilla provide yet another contrast as it becomes a little sweet for a moment.

M: Medium bodied, carbonated well for the style. Plenty of flavor and tartness.

O: Very nice.

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Photo of ADZA
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear mandarin hue with one finger head and some subtle lacing here and there,the smell is mandarins,spicy rye,slight oak,tangerine and an ever present woodiness usually only smelt in fine wines,the mouthfeel is light bodied and a touch spritzy but spot on and the tastes are mouth puckering sour with hints of tangerine,mandarin,a slight hit of spicy rye,cheddar and finished with a nice hit of oak and sour citrus and overall it's a beauty of a beer that I would definitely drink again and be nice to age to bring out more of the oak quality and this delicately tasted quite fresh cheers.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a 3 Fonteinen Wine glass

A- Pours a nice dark copper color, very clear, lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom almost champaign like. 2 Finger white head that dissipates to a nice white ring around the glass. Lots of Lacing as well.
S- The aroma is sour acidity right away, sour lemon, sour apple, funky.
T- Taste is very nice, allot more in your face then the aroma. Nice and puckering right away. The acidity is there but not overpowering, slight sweetness as well, sour lemon, apple, nice fruity notes, sweet and sour love it.
M- Light mouthfeel, really easy drinkability, clean finish, well carbonated.
O- Really impressed with this sour. Haven't had too many of The Bruery's sour beers, this one did everything i was hoping it would. Refreshing, sour, cant taste the alcohol at all. Glad i have this bottle to myself.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First time trying SiTR and poured into a Teku
A: copper color, with inch of quickly dissipating head leaving some lace behind in thick lines but not too much
S: Smell is a bit faint but still nice. Tart/sour notes come through like grapefruit, apple pineapple
T: Awesome, puckering sour and slight sweetness in the front. Cherry, grapefruit notes
M: Rolling small bubbles and a nice sour coating that lingers for a few seconds

Overall one of the best sours I've ever had with phenomenal citrus notes coming through. Can't wait to try the Kumquat one

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Photo of Stevedore
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75cl bottle generously shared by Benish on 15 August. Poured into a Bell's snifter glass.

Pours a cloudy orange-straw coloured body, reminding me of peach skin. Thin white head that disappears fairly quickly. Thin white collar remains on this beer throughout. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells very sour, in a lactic way. A little bit of lemon and citrus zest to add onto the lactic nose. But yes, this beer is very sour smelling.

Tastes very acidic, too. Lactic acid straight up. Lemon and citrus zest adds a small bit of sour fruitiness to it, but it is very much dominated by the sour lactic acidosis here. In the end, there is a bit of a spicy finish as well. Not boozy, very tasty and sour.

Medium to light bodied brew, well carbonated. Very sour but not wincingly so. Mouthpuckering with a spicy finish. Very easy to drink, dangerously so, despite the high sour quotient.

One of the more sour beers out there. Not particularly complex at all, but very good at what it does bring to the table. Don't know if this is worth $22 a bottle but this is a very good American wild. If you like sours, it's worth trying at least once.. if you don't like sours, please do not buy this beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the big bottle into a perfect pint glass. My first taste of a Bruery product.

Pours dark copper with 1/8 inch white foam. Oaky notes, woody. Powerful sour flavor, from the very start. Puckering tart. Hints of the advertised rye. Profoundly sour from start to finish. Full of flavor. The oak really lends a great balance. Fantastic.

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Photo of philbe311
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A finger's worth of ultra smooth and crisp bone white colored head... Limited retention give way to a inviting yet slightly lopsided lacing and thin to moderate collar... The color is a light to medium copper with a slight ambient glow... A slight bit of carbonation within...

S - Tart cherries... A bit dank and a bit musky... Some light woody notes... A bit of a tinge of vinegar... Pleasant and not overpowering...

T - Light bing cherries... Some faint strawberry notes as well... Sweet red grapes... The spiciness of the rye appears on the finish in a very subtle fashion... The finish has a slight lactic character that lingers and packs an enjoyable punch on the finish...

M - Medium bodied... Clean and crisp... Even and consistent... Surprisingly smooth... Limited carbonation... Sleek... A bit chalky on the finish... Slightly depth... The finish has a bit of a bite to it...

D - This is arguably the most well balanced and smoothest American Wild Ale or Sour Ale that I have ever encountered... It's smooth, sophisticated and deeply complex... I can't say a single made thing or make any suggestions for improvement... Probably the single best beer I have had from the Bruery... I highly recommend and suggest any BA to seek out and enjoy...

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Photo of stewart124
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared during a brewing session.

Dark Copper on color and the cloudiness picked up as we reached the bottom of the bottle.

Sour cherry in the nose. Some slight floral notes.

Whoa! Huge tartness. Really amazing. More tart cherries, grapes and some bit of spice that I am guessing the rye adds.

Very drinkable but I am glad this was sampled amongst a group. It may have been too much for one person. Alcohol was hidden well but after awhile my jaw started to hurt. Still a great beer.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a copper pour with 2 fingers of fluffy head which dissipated quickly. the scent is of souring bacteria (hooray lactobacillus!), some brett notes as well, a funky/boozy smell somewhat reminiscent of nail polish but not in a bad way at all. OH HEL YEAH ! the taste is a very sharp acid/sourness just like battery acid.. lemon like tartness, flavors of cherries, oak, grapes/wine. this is exactly what i needed after a day of sweating my butt off at work - a very refreshing sourness that can only be found in pure lemon juice. medium in body but high carbonation and high acid content make it a very easy to drink light beer.

i know this one is often passed up on due to the high price, but holy hell am i glad i paid it.

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Photo of Amalak
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. It has a hazy opaque caramel color. With a good foamy white head that leaves behind some lacing.

S. It has a very strong lemon and sour scent to it.

T/M. There is a massive amount of diacytel sourness to it. There’s a grassy undertone and there’s a hint of a rye maltness at the end. It has a long finish. There’s a bit of grape and dark fruit taste. A bit of watermelon sweetness. There’s some alcohol. It hit’s fairly full bodied. It is extremely carbonated out of the bottle.

O. This is an increadibly flavorful sour. The rye is very much underneath, which is dominated by the rye. But the aftertaste is very much flavorful and true to the label.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into tulip 14/7/13

A hazy liquid that has an amber orange glow to it, lots of bubbles at first looking a little slow in the thick liquid, two fingers light tan foam sits for a few sips leaving a few tiny random patches

S smells sour with a healthy amount of funk, dried apricots, peaches, apple, work well with the oak and caramels, maybe a little lemon pez and apple pie filling

T brown sugar and has more of a hard candy flavor, spicy rye malt I wasn't really getting on the nose, a nice mix of sweet and sour with a spicy kick, cider notes, and just a hint vinegar

M thick liquid with prickly carbonation, leaves your mouth a little slick and slimy, sour but not over the top, fruity brown sugar with just a little funk linger for ages

O sweet and sour work well for this one, I'm curious what age would do but the 20$ price tag might be a little much. pretty well rounded and worth buying at least once

reminds me of a Flanders Red and Bruin with more funk and I rather enjoyed it, well concealed booze and an interesting mix of flavors

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Photo of MacQ32
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - pours a golden straw hazy amberish color with a finger of light tan head decent retention and good lacing

S - Lots of sour fasntasticness! Citrus lemon and reminiscent of vinegar. Mild woody/oaky aromas

T - Amazing sour puckering and citrusy punch. Lingers and lingers. Absolutely fantastic

M - lightish bodied and perfectly carbonated

O - absolutely amazing, pick it up. Top 3 sours for me personally.

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Photo of Kjanisch7
4.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

MIND-BLOWING. I've drank around 10 bottles of this beer, and each time I have it, it's the same reaction; brilliant.

A: Striking orange-gold combo.

S: Vinegar-citrus awesomeness. Super tarty smell that sets you up for what you're about to drink.

T: BOOM. Huge hits of tarty goodness and citrus. So well rounded and beautiful your head may explode.

M: Perfection in the carbonation department. Well-balanced all the way through. Each sip gets better and better. When the end of the bottle comes, you want to cry.

D: Usually too many sours in one day will upset my stomach, but if I had a large supply of this beer, I could probably clean it all out. Soured perfection.

If you haven't had it, GET IT NOW.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. Holy cow! The aroma of this one hit me like a punch to the face. The very moment the bottle cap was removed I was instantly witness to a bouquet of fruity acidity. Apples, pears, green grapes all floating on a sea of white wine. The appearance was also enviable. The beer is a hazy, effervescent burnt orange with an extremely large head for a sour beer. (Ah, the wonders of bottle conditioning!) The off-white head quickly dies down to a thin lace, but never seems to go away completely.

The beer is medium-bodied and has an extremely tart flavor with an underlying fruitiness. The acidity is very sharp and aggressive up front, with nairy a trace of malt or graininess underneath it. At mid-palate, it softens just a bit and allows some sweeter fruit and oaky notes to come forward. On the finish, the acidity seems to return with a real vengeance, scouring the palate with a tannic abrasiveness and leaving the mouth dry and salivating for more.

Like all sours from The Bruery, this one is very aggressive in its acidity and does not hold back. I don't think I taste much of the rye spiciness, as it seems completely overpowered by the force of the sour flavor. Nevertheless, this is one of the better American-made sours I have had that is not from Russian River. Despite the price, I will likely buy this again the next time it is released. It is definitely worth revisiting, but it's not for those who are new to sour beers.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, the final veritable Yankee (in an overall sense, don't put that Civil War era shit on me!) offering for me tonight, in deference to the celebrations going on south of the border today and tonight.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium rusty brick amber colour, with two fingers of tightly foamy, wanly creamy dirty white head, which leaves a few instances of pencil-drawn mountain range lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of sour, tart, indistinct orchard fruit - maybe cherry, maybe some apricot - but it's all really just basic acetic acid to me, baby, with a mildly funky, kind of cheesy yeastiness, bready pale grainy malt, and battered leafy hoppiness straining to be seen and heard (or I guess, olfactorily relevant). The taste is a big ol' smack upside the palate - pungently sour, acidic 'fruit' esters, acetic acid overload, with some emerging cherry fruitiness (the kind with an actual sugar component, though still quite understated at that), some relatively mild lactic funk, a grainy maltiness that strains hard to show off the inherent spice rye character, and equally burdened leafy, grassy hops.

The carbonation is mildly peppy, nothing really worthy, heft-wise, of challenging that acerbic attack on the tongue, the body medium-light in weight, and not really all that smooth - see everything written here thus far for a clue. It finishes pretty dry, the emasculated fruity tartness, and (possibly) lingering hops really holding it over any malty aspirations.

If there is to be a new world challenger to the throne of Cantillon, then this may be it. It's a little too bad that they had to throw in a rye component here, because it sadly goes unloved, seeing as it doesn't prick the tongue as harshly as the yeast and acid so capably do. Once acclimated, a caveat hardly used this side of the pond, this is generally palatable, but methinks for the wrong reasons, at least a tad, I suppose.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color, hazy, medium-frothy head. Canned apricots, acetic acid, a hint of biscuit. On the palate, quite sour, mostly lactic acid, but there is still some malt backbone to balance. Alcohol well integrated and doesn't stand out. Texture is creamy, with medium carbonation.

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Photo of draheim
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL into a tulip. Pours a crystal-clear amber w/ a 1-finger head that settles quickly to a thin collar. Practically zero carbonation, just the occasional lone bubble, rises from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is tart, funky and vinous with a hint of bready sweetness.

Taste is lactic and sour, puckeringly acidic. Green apples, dry woody oak. An underlying sweetness serves as a firm counterbalance to the tart acidity.

Mouthfeel is refreshing and crisp w/ a super dry finish. So drinkable.

Overall an excellent beer from The Bruery, certainly in league with any of the Russian River wild ales. Just barely worth the high price tag.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottled acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 11/22/12. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours a musty orangey brown with a thick finger and a half head. A hazy film stays on top of the brew but doesn't lace very much.

Smells funky for sure. Sour lemons, vinegar, yeast, tart mustyness and faint sweet oak.

Now that's tart. None-too-subtle puckering crab apple, lemon, sour cherries and vinegar with lighter underlying notes of spicey rye, very subtle vanilla oak, funky yeast and some earthy character. My taste buds are too busy being pummeled by the tartness to detect any booze whatsoever. An interesting mixture of fruity sour and more subtle earthy sweetness.

Slick lightish medium body with a pretty strong dose of bubbly carbonation. The tart, puckering lemon/vinegar lingers on the tongue for a good long time.

I'm still just dabbling in these sours so while this isn't something that I'm going to necessarily crave it was an enjoyable departure from my typical big stout and IPA routine. I'll most likely buy this again sometime and I'm certainly looking forward to trying the kumquat variation in the near future.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a pint glass. What better way to treat myself on my birthday?

A: Pours a hazy reddish-orange color. I'm VERY impressed with the head this pours - it's about one fingers high (off-white shade) and superbly creamy. Granted, getting such head to form requires an aggressive pour, but even still, its retention is quite good.

S: On the nose at least, the sourness is more acetic than lactic to me. Beneath this assertive tartness lies some nice fruit esters - cherry, peach, and apricot come to mind. Even if it's not really deep, I usually enjoy these vinegary sours a lot, especially when they have a level of balance to them. I don't pick up much rye, though.

T: A good puckering bite starts this one off (in addendum, the sourness seems more lactic than acetic, unlike what the aroma suggested to me). The fruitiness reveals itself after the sourness leaves the palate, with some pleasant cherry notes to go along with tart crab apple and lemon juice qualities. It's in the finish and aftertaste where I notice the rye malts; they both provide a subtle spiciness and a palate-scrubbing sensation. It's actually fairly complex: some sips accentuate fruitiness, others accentuate the oak barrel (even providing a distant flavor of vanilla on occasion), while others bring out the rye notes. The only thing for me to really complain about is a slight lack of balance...as excellent as this is, it's perhaps a half step blow La Folie or Rodenbach Grand Cru in terms of delicacy.

By the way, in the name of contrarianism, I decided to pour the yeast in about 2/3rds of the way in, and I'd reckon it's made the beer a bit harder to drink. Keep the yeast in the bottle, trust me.

M: For about a half second on the palate, it's fairly creamy...and then the oak tannins, rye malts, good carbonation, and sourness give it a slight roughness to it - which is nothing out of the ordinary for the style. Not the easiest drinking sour, but the moderately high ABV is hidden flawlessly.

O: On these kind of occasions, I can totally justify spending $20+ on a bottle of sour ale (because YOLO 'n' shit) only for yours truly to consume solo. Thankfully this is good enough where I could easily justify doing such a thing again. Actually, it's pretty fantastic where I'd purchase this somewhat commonly...goddamnit, I've been suckered in by another sour ale. STOP DRAINING MY WALLET DRY, DELICIOUS YET EXPENSIVE STYLE!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a brown 750 mL bottle into a Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass. Bottle looks to be marked from the 2012 batch, so it's had a little time to develop.

Appearance - Deep cider-looking brownish orange with moderate clarity and a finger of dirty white sparkling head. The foam clears after about a minute, leaving almost nonexistent lacing.

Smell - Vinegar, green apple juice, with some musty funk and faint notes of cinnamon candy as well as some hints of oak.

Taste - Initially tart, but fades away smoothly into some spiciness and notes of yeast. Subsequent sips reveal oak notes and lemon juice acidity..

Mouthfeel - Crisp and puckering, but not overwhelming. Causes some moderate salivation. Finishes dry and clean.

Overall, a wonderful sour. The spiciness from the rye isn't as present as I'd hoped it would be, but it's there if you hunt for it. I would drink this quite a bit if I lived in the San Diego area, but there is a local wild ale that reminds me a great deal of this one that is much easier to get.

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Sour In The Rye from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.