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Bottleworks XII - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Bottleworks XIIBottleworks XII

Educational use only; do not reuse.

128 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 1,008
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 23.42%
Wants: 368
Gots: 241 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: julian on 02-28-2011

Imperial Witbier, 8% ABV, sour mashed 1-2 days, and fermented with a blend of Berliner Weisse culture and Belgian Witbier yeast. Beer is barrel fermented in large red wine barrels (132 gal. barrels). Raspberries are added to the beer towards the end of fermentation directly to the barrel, and aged on the raspberries for a minimum of 1 month. The Berliner culture contains souring bacteria and the raspberries will add acidity to the beer. Brewed to commemorate Bottleworks 12th Anniversary.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 128 | Hads: 1,008
Photo of jbaker67
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dense hazy orange, uneven frothy head dissipates quickly to rest in a swirl on the surface. Aroma is apricot, citrus, raspberry vanilla cream, lactic tart funkiness, oak, fruity red wine notes, earthy barnyard. Taste is lactic tart malt notes, witbier origins evident, mild acidity and citrus, soft raspberry notes coming through the middle, grapes and vinous character to finish. Medium body, mellow sourness and acidity lends a lot of drinkability, well balanced.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-EBF sample pour. A slightly cloudy yellow color we some orange highlights. Thin white seam of foamy head.

S-Generic fruitiness that also brings with it a tartness. Funky yeast. Some spiciness in the nose as well. Underripe berries. Dry grain.

T-Flavor is sweet and tart. Tart berries and fruits (not specifically raspberry). Wheat and oak. White wine. Funky yeast and wine grapes. Finishes with its sourness.

M-Surprised by its ABV. Feels and tastes like a 5% beer. Crisp feel and prickly carbonation.

O/D-A cool beer with a cool description of how it was brewed. Refreshing to drink for sure. There was plenty going on in this brew.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A - Dark gold, clear. Eggshell color head w/ decent retention.

S - Light vinegar, horse blanket, not much else.

T - Very light sour taste, lemony, a little raspberry tart. Not a lot of Belgian funk (horse blanket) like on the nose. A kicked-up Berliner Weisse.

M - Very creamy for the style. Rich and pillowy. Very soft carbonation, but enough to be refreshing. Best part of the beer.

O - Had it before at the Anniversary parties and thought it was better. Don't know if that is because I knew it was vintage or this will actually age well. Hoping for the later.

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Photo of popery
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellowish orange. It’s quite cloudy. White head of fine foam, fairly small in size. Little lacing. Dissipates after a minute. Aroma has some really nice raspberry flavor combined with oak and vinous flavors. Jammy berry, tart and flavorful. Moderate funk. Nice stuff. Taste has a good deal of oaky bitterness, moderate sourness, mild raspberry. Doesn’t quite live up to the aroma. Some vanilla. Light feel, very mild pucker. Nice sour.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, brouwers

appearance: served in a 12oz unbranded snifter - really a ridiculous looking beer - a straw-colored milkshake with cream white foam

smell: blind smells are misleading - the wheat tricks my nose into smelling lighter fruits like peach and apricot

taste: a berliner milkshake - blend of tart and sweet raspberries, big wheat notes, not particularly tart - moreso sweet with funky hay/wheat tones. sour apple, lemon, chalk, fruit skin, oak

mouthfeel: creamy and lush - one of the more unique beers of the day

overall: worth a go, but hard to call this a wild ale, more "imperial witbier" or "derivative imperial berliner"

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this to round out a decadent 30 hour stretch, Joe. I didn't expect to see this in a hurry. Also, I'm reviewing this as a wild ale and not a wit.

Mildly hazy orange with a dense, pinkish white head with great retention and mild lacing, this is an especially beautiful beer. The nose has plenty of lactic acid berlinerweiss culture with the coriander being quite noticeable. The witbier base is great and bears no semblance to Orchard Wit. Dry, grainy, mildly husky with a fresh, fruity raspberry character that's rather mild, there's also some grassy hay. The palate opens with a clean lactic sourness, fruity and with some mildly tart raspberries. Fresh and vibrant, I get some coriander and lavender as well. Mild tartness and clean lactic sourness on the finish, this is an inspired blend between a witbier and a berlinerweiss. Light in body with a medium-high level of carbonation, this is great stuff.

**Edit 04 Jan 2014**

Drinking a bottle of the new batch, thanks to Abraham. The nose is beautiful, bright and fragrant with a wonderful, clean raspberry aroma along with a moderate blend of wheat, lactic sourness, citrus, funk( earth, dust, must) coriander. More coriander and orange peel than I remember the original batch having. The palate has a bright raspberry fruitiness, tart, bright and super clean - no seed character whatsoever. Pairing really well with the wit beer base and the moderate yogurty lactic sourness, this beer is medium light in body and finishes dry, carbonic and spicy with a touch of funk. A little citrus sourness is present too. Really good. 4.25/4.25/4.25

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Photo of rudzud
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros, poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a light hazy peachy orange with reddish tint hue with a thin white blanket that left a thin halo and wisps.

S - Aromas of legit Belgian wit beer, great Belgian spice notes, super faint red wine notes here which I was not expecting, raspberry is faint to, much fainter than I thought it would be, light musty cellar as well.

T - Taste is nice and sour, not overpowering, more nice wit notes and Belgian spices, the red wine is faint, more musty cellar, slight raspberry seed, not much raspberry flesh. Raspberry is much fainter than I would have liked. Hmmmm

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, drinkable, light on the tongue.

O - Overall I was surprisingly underwhelmed by this beer, can't believe how mediocre this is. veryi unfortunate.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Greenbush shifter. Thanks Uncleserg!

Appearance is cloudy, white yellow straw.

Smell is tart, light wheat malt, sour raspberry, some lemony citrus, Belgian wit yeast.

Taste is tart upfront. Some acidic flavor and light wheat malt. Tartness lingers in an amazing way. Sour raspberry comes through and blends well with the tart flavor from the yeast and bacteria. Reminiscent of a berlinner weisse.

Mouthfeel is very nice for style. Medium low carbonation and alcohol can not be detected.

Overall a great imperial sour wit! I have yet to have a sour from The Bruery that I didn't enjoy and I think this is in the top 3. I could easily drink a bottle or 2 of this

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

2013 Vintage

Appearance: Slightly cloudy light-amber color. Moderate white head that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell: Tart raspberries and mild funk. I also get a faint bready aroma.

Taste: Tart raspberries and touch of funk. The beer finishes fairly dry with a bit the raspberry and mild funk notes. The beer is tart rather than sour.

Mouth-feel: Fairly light bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: A good sour. I will add, upon letting it warm a bit above the recommended serving temp, the taste profile came across more balanced and vibrant.

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Photo of birchstick
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to my man KevSal for hooking me up with this bottle as a welcome back

A - pours a darker, golden yellow with a little bit of a head that quickly goes away

S - nose is raspberries, lactic sour, and bready malts with some yeasty notes floating over it

T - starts off with a whallop of lemon and raspberries up front. The sharp acidity is tamed by some cereal and bready malts. The sourness of the raspberry comes back with a vengeance, albeit some of the red wine barrel aging helps tame it. The dry tannic flavors linger on the palate.

M - medium bodied, spritzy and ends dry

D - overall, this is an intense beer. Lot of sourness packed into it, however there are enough other things going on to not only cut into the sourness but add very nice layers of complexity. Very much recommended for those who like red wine barrel aged beers, and especially framboises.

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

This is a very interesting beer with a lot going on. Compared to other Bruery sours, the sourness is dialed back. The raspberry flavor is subtle (although it could have just dropped off a bit since this was bottled in 2013). I could have done without the spices, which overwhelmed the flavor profile a bit.

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Bruery mercy-poured into a taster after I pleaded with the bartender to give me a pass on the "bring a toy" rule they were using to restrict access to a few choice beers. Didn’t hurt that I bought a couple of bottles, too. Appearance is pink-orange with a white collar. Aroma is funky, lactic, oaky, citrus, grape skin, raspberries. Taste is tart berries, acidic, and funky to open. Light fruit sweetness and oak bitterness supply some balance. Medium bodied, thin crisp texture, lively carbonation, dry abrupt finish.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

'13 bottle into a CS snifter

A- Pinky width head with very high retention. Golden sour, somewhat foggy. Very little to no lacing.

S- Smells like a golden sour, and am not getting any fruit characteristics. Yeasty, bready

T- Citrus, bready golden sour. Some pineapple. Taste is where this one shines, which is what you want.

M- Minimal creamy mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation in the M.

O- This was a good sour for The Bruery; I have heard that this is the one for sours with The Bruery, it was good not great. When CS is in my backyard, I am critical on sours.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle from a trade with Sean I think. Thanks dude! 2013 edition pours hazy golden yellow with a huge fizzy white head that dissipates relatively quickly. Aroma of funky yeasty wheat malts, very vinous in the nose with some light raspberries, mild coriander type spice, and plenty of tart sharp sourness. Smells oaky and extremely dry. Flavor is light raspberries, funky wheaty malt, yeasty, but of spice bite, tart and lactic through and through, super dry, plenty of oak. Some Berliner influence, but not the huge unpleasant wheat note I get from those (a good thing in my book). I was hoping for a bit more raspberry and red wine but everything here is integrated into a very light and airy brew with very high carbonation and high drinkability. Not bad.

I actually started enjoying this not as it warmed a bit. Got juicier and fruitier throughout. Yum.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer appears hazy and light orange in color. The beer has a thick white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite pleasant, with scents of funk, raspberries, and coriander. I did not enjoy the flavor as much as the aroma, but found the beer favorable nonetheless. Plenty of tartness to be found here, with a healthy dose of raspberries. The body is moderately thin, with a solid carbonation level. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good beer and I would definitely like to have it again sometime.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy gold, translucent, with a finger's worth of white head and moderate visible carbonation.

S: Some funky barnyard, berry fruitiness and mild oak tannins. Not bad, but nothing to blow the metaphorical lid off the glass.

T: Barnyard and some lacto funk, tangy and a bit grassy under the wheat malt. Some Belgian fruity yeast esters, a lemon citrus lactic tartness, and some sweet berry flavor towards the end (apparently raspberries, but it honestly struck me as more strawberry). Hints of Brett funk. Quite dry and attenuated at the end.

M: Light, bubbly body - almost like champagne. Low alcohol presence.

O: This was pretty good, but it really didn't live up to my (fairly high) expectations. Perhaps some time in the cellar will allow more characteristics of a sour beer come through. I expect some of the berries to drop out, but frankly they weren't predominant fairly fresh so I don't expect the beer's flavor to suffer particularly.

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Photo of spicelab
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle shared at tasting. Reviewed from notes.

Opaque apricot with a strongly rising pillowy white head. Recedes just as curtly with scratchy lace.

Bright and pungent citrus acidity joined by a lively herbal grassiness. Chalky sherbet, orange/lemon Pez.

Raspberry sherbet, modestly sour and very rounded from the wheat. Rockmelon, spicy lemon and a raw grassiness. Great stuff.

Palpably thick from the wheat, moderate carbonation, buzzy acidity.

Excellent. So much going on but somehow simple and addictively drinkable. Impressive coup.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a whole bunch of head (pretty much the entire glass) and has pretty good retention as well. The head is pure cotton-white while the body is a dull lemon to pale straw that appears as hazy, golden lemon when held up to the light. A considerable amount of lacing has already been left behind.

Nose- Starts off with lots of fleshy, dark red fruits. Raspberries first but then some cherry. Notes of acetic acid and indications of red wine and red grapes. This starts to mellow and shows light stone fruit notes- some peach and apricot. Even a little bit of pear and some citrus (lemon, mostly) are revealed after swirling. Bottle shows a spicy sour note that touches on soy sauce, some sweet and sour sauce.

Taste- Definitely dominated by stone fruits and dark red fruits but both are less boisterous than those shown on the nose. This is much more delicate and sublime and is definitely not as sour as I guessed it was going to be. Peach, apricot, cherries, and a little bit of raspberries but not as much as their specific addition would indicate. Some straw on the finish along with slight acetic acid that gives a little bit of pucker on the end. No real indication of heat and pretty drinkable. Some spiciness on the finish- pepper, coriander, but also something else. Slight earthiness that has hints of barnyard, fungus, and stinky cheeses. Softened by dominant notes of peach and pear- raspberry is mostly on the edges. Some complexity and presence but this beer is more about incredible balance and integration. Already, really good to great in my opinion but I want to see how it opens up. Seems to lack a certain je ne sais quoi that would make it great. Still, very very good. Slight hints of wheat, some citrus (lemon at the forefront). Some hints at champagne or mimosas. Very clean tasting.

Mouthfeel- A little more than light bodied with a nice effervescence that has some expansion. Slight tingle on the tongue with a dry finish. Just as delicate as the pallate.

Drinkability- Very accessible sour that shows what aspects of a Berliner Weisse can do. Twenty bucks a bottle seems quite reasonable but I probably wouldn't go through the trouble of acquiring this again.

Overall- Very good beer that flirts with being great. I don't think it quite reaches that status but I'm sure most would disagree. Definitely worth a try and I would not balk at the price- it's worth it.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was provided by Duffman929- thanks man! Pours a hazy yellow with some floaties present. Not a whole lot in the way of head. The nose starts with some citric funk followed by lemon and wheat. The raspberries work their way through with tart notes and a bit of oak comes through at the end. The taste matches the nose with a light refreshing wheaty tart palate. Reminds me of a beefed up Berliner. I wouldn't call this beer overwhelmingly sour, but it does have a nice dash of tartness. Notes of lemon and raspberry again followed by some hints of wheat at the back. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Overall, the 8% is non existent which works well for this brew. A nice unique brew and worth a try.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice oddity shared by Brad at a recent tasting, poured into a becher glass, close as I could get, sorry.

Beer is pink and hazy with a nice white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation, looks good.

The nose is quite lactic with some raspberries and a little bit of oakiness or something a little tannic.

Beer is sweet at first with some nice fruit flavor, heavier body than I expected, the forward and midpalate are thick and creamy with a strong lactic sourness and then it all stops. About 75% of the way back on my palate the taste disappears for a moment and then the bitterness from wood or the tartness from the raspberries comes up and the beer finishes a little too dry.

I enjoyed it, it was like a really heavy berleiner with syrup in it in the end. I don't know why it had to be so high in ABV and there seemed to be a connectivity issue with the flavors on the palate. Still enjoyable but I like my sours to be lighter and more effervescent. I think the lactic character of this beer could have bee complemented with some carbonic acid and a thinner body.

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Photo of cvm4
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a cloudy, honey color with a white fizzy head that doesn't really stick around.

S - Light wheat grains, earthy funk, faint raspberry and lemon. The nose really isn't a wow factor to me as it smells of a wit with none of the extras described on the label.

T - Tart raspberries abound (may'be mistaken for lemon) with a nice wit base. There's also a sweetness that really balances out the sour.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Has a dry finish and is smooth.

O - The smell was the only letdown about this beer. Otherwise, it's kind of a big deal.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy/murky yellowish orange straw color with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is quite funky...more so than I was expecting. Some pleasant peaches with strawberries and raspberries along with wheat scents. Some brett with lemon zesty aromas. Definitely has berliner-like aromas. Taste is just as it smells but with more strawberry flavor than I was expecting. A lot of hay though, with a ton of lemon and some very tart flavor. Not overly sour, but borderline. The lemon really comes through nicely in this beer. Nice acidic finish with more wheat. Mouthfeel is very good for this style. Drinkability is high. Overall...they call this an Imperial Sour Wit. The only other imperial berliner I had was from Lips of Faith, and this one blows that outta the water. Would like to have picked up more from the red wine barrels, but it was a great beer regardless. So glad I FINALLY got my hands on a bottle of this.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amazing beer. Pours a muddy copper with a think head, probably the weakest point of this beer. Just uninteresting to look at. Smell is raspberry, pineapple, lemon, and wheat. One of my favorite smelling beers ever. Taste is a lot of lemon tartness, mild honey sweetness and wheat. Lots of bread. Very crisp carbonation and light body. Like a dry lemon / raspberry soda. Terrific!

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Photo of Phelps
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the December 2011 Clusterfork, poured into a mini champagne flute.

Pale rosy peach, very cloudy. A big, frothy one-inch head of pure white becomes a soapy top layer and sticks to the glass in sticky walls.

Doesn't smell like much. With effort I can make out grain, wheat, pear, hints of barnyard funk and a suggestion of sourness, but it’s all very faint.

The flavor hits like a surprise party and is a big step up from the aroma. I get a huge flavor of candied peach slivers, which is odd because this brew was made with raspberries. Hmm. Vinegar and sugary lemon lend tartness to floral sweetness. Ripe raspberries are in there as well, providing tartness. Touch of grain at the finish.

Moderate, massaging carbonation breaks the beer into silky fizz. Sugary medium body and a clean, spritzy finish.

Bottleworks XII was easily my favorite Bruery beer of the day. It’s bright and packed with flavor, yet so light and vibrant I could drink it all day. Which I did.

UPDATE: popped a bottle of the 6/10/13 vintage and drank it in Feb. 2015. Not a huge difference from the fresh version, though there does seem to be more pineapple and barnyardy funkiness in the aroma. The flavor, too, is funkier. And seems to have a little less raspberry. Not better overall; but not worse either.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours papaya orange. Dense white head that dissipates into a layer. Love the color.

Barnyard, orange peel, smells like a lot of bacteria with a minor fruity undertone.

Sour raspberry, apricot, dry oak, very faint pear. Grassy earth notes. Lemon pang. Very tasty.

Soda pop carbonation and mouthfeel. ABV tastes around 6.5% - well hidden. Drinkability is good.

Unique and solid sour. One of the best The Bruery beers out there. The Bruery is getting damn good at sours.

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Bottleworks XII from The Bruery
94 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.