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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 vfgccp
4.44/5  rDev +4%

Jun 2013 bottle, opened Sep 2014

A - Really nice head; 3 fingers of creamy white foam with ok retention and lace. Moderately opaque apricot body.

S - Wit-to-saison-like aroma. Wheat bread, orange, hay, dried cilantro, lemon zest, rose water, plant stems, and a wisp of blackberry jam.

T - Really nice balance. Creamy wheat, tart raspberries, black cherry, bitter herbs, dried grass, and bright sour blood orange.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body. Nice dry finish.

O - A well executed, clever take on the style.

4.44 Bottleworks XII
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.00 4.25 3.80 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.01 10% 0.40
S - 4.60 4.60 4.65 4.50 4.68 4.25 4.55 20% 0.91
T - 4.80 4.45 4.50 4.30 4.33 4.25 4.44 40% 1.78
M - 4.60 4.50 4.55 4.25 4.38 4.25 4.42 10% 0.44
O - 5.00 4.75 4.70 4.00 4.40 4.40 4.54 20% 0.91

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this bottle as part of a trade with BA Black_Rider. Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle with a bottling date of 6/11/13 etched on the side. Poured into a Belgian style tulip glass with an exaggerated flare around the rim.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful hazy golden amber color with notes of apricot and peach flesh depending on how the light diffuses through the body. Atop the body sits two fingers of stark white fluffy meringue-like head that retain for white some time before eventually dissipating to a half finger perma-layer of bubbles across the top. A steady stream of carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass to replenish the head.

Smell - Wonderful blend of ripe raspberry and lactobacillus tartness waft out of the glass, taking over any more traditional elements on the nose you might expect from the base witbier. There is also a nice presence of oak and some wine characteristics come out as well. There is even a faint bit of citrus zest that begins to come through on subsequent whiffs.

Taste - While the aroma was very good, it was only a prelude to the fabulous blend of flavors going on in the taste. Bright acidity and tartness come through from both the raspberries and the lacto, but there is more than just tart--the inherent characteristics of the raspberries come through in a very distinct way, but manage not to overpower the other components of the beer--this is still very much outside the realm of "fruit beer". The barrels come through in a nice way as well, lending a funky oak element along with nice vinous notes reminiscent of wine must.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation that plays well with the high levels of acidity and subtle puckering feel on the palate.

Overall, just a really well-done beer. It's not as full-on sour as many of Bruery's best offerings, but I think that's to it's benefit. The sourness is just one component of a beer with a lot of depth and interest to offer. I love how the use of fruit and lacto take the subtle bit of tartness that you often find in classic witbiers and turn it slightly on its head, amping up the sourness, but not at the expense of the overall beer. I'd love to get my hands on some more bottles of this.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. On-tap for the 3rd Anniversary Party at the Phoenix Club. 5/29/11.

A: Pours a clear yellow under a huge 2-inch thick white head which quickly fades and leaves spots of lace.

N: Funky, wonderfully sour fresh raspberry, red wine, oak tannins, grass/hay.

T: Bite of astringency, tangy citrusy zest and sour with a wallop of sweet fruits, tannins and vinous notes.

M: Moderate body and semi-full carbonation. Finishes sour and tart, wheaty and fruity.

O: Very good. Went back for more.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden yellow with a nice white head. Good looking sour

S - Light tart raspberries, lemon, sweet tarts, and oak

T - Soft Berliner Weiss with straw and a light earthy grassy up front. As it goes in there is a light tart presence, sweet tarts and raspberries. Nice soft and balanced

M - Soft mouth feel, light tart aspect, and slightly chalky like after you eat a sweet tart

O - Good sour that is well balanced with light tartness and some good fruit presence from the raspberries

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
8% ABV, 2013 Edition

A - Hazy golden yellow in color, raspberries add the slightest tint of pink to the beer who's head, despite the billowing carbonation, disappears from acidity.

S - Undeniably sour, the aroma is rich with lactic acidity that kills head retention but smells o-so good. Spicy notes of coriander manage to make their presence known through the fresh raspberry fruitiness and red wine barrel oak and tannic grape skin undercurrents.

T - While the aroma bursts with sourness and fruit, the flavor immediately commands attention towards it's imperial wit base; big orange peel-like citrus and coriander, along with hefty pale malt and soft wheat. Crushed frozen raspberries leave a lingering light tartness that recalls the fruit while it's sour mash, aided by the oak aging, brings lactic acid through the finish that destroys any wine flavor.

M - Sparkling carbonation dances on the tongue while the otherwise silky smooth-textured beer courses over the tongue. The bone-dry finish is sharp with acidity and raspberry tartness that ends up lingering more prominently than sourness.

O - The Bruery's Bottleworks XII has a lot going on; layers of complexity continue to unveil in this big beer from it's impressive imperial witbier base through the deep finish. Fruit thrown in the mix while oak aging in red wine barrels makes for a unique sour that crosses all sorts of boundaries for a delicious beer worthy of aging.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a glowing golden yellow, opaque, monstrous 2 fingers of near white head, quickly dissipates, very light looking head. Lacing is pretty decent.

S - Oh ya, lots of sour (mildly vinigary) raspberry, some light wine tannins, almost has a light sugary clove-like (or some kind of spice i cant quite put my finger on) to it as well

T - Acidic and sour up front, transitions nicely into a huge sweet fruity sweetness as the raspberries kick in finish leaves some tannins and minimal puckering sourness lingering through the finish.

M - Medium bodied or so, definitely on the heavier end of the spectrum for what it is, pretty serious carbonation that works fantastically for this one!

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Photo of JulioH
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice cloudy orange beer. Smells like brett right off the bat. It looks like orange juice was poured in. Taste is very refreshing. This is a wild beer. It could be a Berliner, a witbier, a sour ale, it can be whatever it wants to be. Body is a bit thick.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Original batch provided by Ditmier tonight .. Thanks buddy. Pours a hazy pale yellow.. foamy white head... good lacing.

Nose is big lactic... almost yogurt like... raspberry is way in the background..

Flavor has a fair amount of tannic notes with berries that almost seem "old"... pretty tasty, but seems way past prime... a bit of oak on the finish.

Light body.. good bubble... very drinkable despite my above negatives.

Thanks Eric... There cannot be too many of these left in cellars.


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Photo of GJ40
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Duvel glass. 2013 Edition.

A - Heavy yeast build up around the top of the bottle as if stored upside down for a while. A huge white head! Golden with a slight haze. Big chunks at the bottom.

S - Fruity, floral and slightly funky. Not especially strong but nice.

T - Nice leading tartness followed by a good depth of flavor including raspberry, red wine, sour cherry and sour apple. Smooth and well balanced.

M - An active discharge of fine bubbles. Almost a Pop Rock effect. It grabs your attention but it doesn't distract.

O - A very tasty beer! There's a wine characteristic and/or richness that would limit how much or how often I have this but it was well worth a try.

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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 emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Joe for sharing this one!

Pours a hazed orange with rapid champagne streamers of carbonation in the glass, with visible remnants of raspberry seeds floating around also. Thin layer of surface foam that parts quickly and leaves some spotty flecks of foam in the glass.

Aroma is sharply acidic, less overt fruit at this point, more acidity and light wild funkiness.

Taste is moderately sour, puckering and finishes very dry. Some light fuzzy raspberry skins lend a fruity bitterness almost, maybe from the tannin in the seeds or skins. Very quenching and pretty drinkable, though fairly acidic. A good one to share.

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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 Resuin
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter. Served at cellar temperature. This was bottled 06/05/13, so has about 8 months of age on it.

Appearance: Pours an apricot-like orange/amber and gives a couple big fingers of head which quickly dissipate to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Nice mild funk, mild grapes, raspberry, peach, green apple. The raspberry really takes prominence in the second half of the aroma - pretty interesting, and even more as it warms. Really nice mild-sour, fruity aroma.

Taste: Raspberries, green apple, sour grapes, mild funk, peach, lemon/lime. Really well balanced and delicious. Just the right amount of sour for me, which isn't that much.

Mouth-feel: Pretty well carbonated with a medium, creamy body. Finishes a bit dry, but a quite nice amount.

Overall: Very impressed with this beer. Hits my personal taste on just about everything. Nice mild amount of sour, with a little funk and really nice fruited flavors. Berries and brett go really well together in my opinion.

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Photo of peensteen
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Laim

Hazy golden colour, one finger of white head, some lace as well. Smell is funky, raspberry and oak, brett, lemony and fruity, some spice with tart with a lingering lactic acidity as well. Taste is of tart raspberry, oak, sour lemon and mild citrus fruit, barnyardy brett, funky all the way through, drying finish with lingering fruit and oak. Spritzy high carbonation, dry medium body. Exceptional stuff, drinks like its 5%, could see myself drinking a lot of this.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A tremendous thanks to Beerenauslese for bringing this to the early January tasting at the Taproom. 2013 vintage. Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass, but... If I knew what I was getting myself into, I would have pleaded for the bartenders to find a flute Champagne glass for me!

Really fantastic in appearance for a wild ale - thick and viscous, with a frothy white head that never seems to go away. Unusual, considering the higher amounts of acidity in these kinds of beers. Cloudy, with a fair amount of sediment, yet at the same time, tons and tons of carbonation jet-streaming upwards in an elegant manner - nearly wholly refined akin to a high quality sparkling wine. This is especially remarkable given the style of beer at hand. I love it, whatever it is.

Wow! This is one of the most complex, riveting aromas I've ever experienced on a beer of this caliber. Right up the front are vinous, sweet oak, and fruit elements that are very similar to a high quality brut rosé out of Champagne. And, with those types of wines being among my all-time favorites, this aroma is worth drooling over. Huge, and I mean HUGE, notes of sweet, slightly tart raspberries, blueberries, and ripe currants, with a toasty oak and malt combination, inviting flavors such as toffee, marzipan, vanilla, honeysuckle, and caramel. Starts sweet and toasty, and finishes with a slightly stinging acidity both from the fruit and sour cultures at hand. Slightly lactic at the nose, but mostly crisp and unbelievably inviting.

I think when I took a sip of this for the first time, I was automatically in love. If you've ever had high quality Champagne with raspberries floating on the inside, or at least a slightly sweeter brut rosé, this evokes that, and so much more. At first, the explosion of sweet jammy raspberries are immediately evident, with a touch of kirsch, cassis, and cherries at the finish. The oak takes over, reaching more vinous and fruity heights, and imparting light tannic qualities as well as spices such as light leather, vanilla, and toffee. The oak continues to melt and meld with the malt profile, that is highly rich in lactic and sweet nutty qualities, yet, due perhaps to the fruit used, or the quality of the red wine barrels at hand, it NEVER feels buttery or too toasted. This is crisp, creamy, tart, acidic, dry, comfortably effervescent, and so much more. Goes above and beyond to satisfy the palate and allow, at the same time, a plethora of flavors that keeps on giving each and every time. This is a masterpiece - a true privilege to drink.

This may be a controversial statement, but THIS is perhaps the greatest beer the Bruery has ever made, and ever will make (at least for now). Why? The alcohol is just high enough, and it displays only the best aspects this brewery is known for - excellent oak blending; sour, fruit infused notes; sweet, yet not over-the-top maltiness; and, the always caramel forward, thick forward mouth feel their beers are known for. Tasting like this a whole full year after being bottled - why, it's the stuff of wizards. I want a whole case of this. Mind blowing, life changing stuff. Get your hands on a bottle as soon as you can.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Playground in Santa Ana, CA as Raul did his thang thang.

Choo choo! The Bruery is a locomotive that just won't quit! Where am I? The Black Forest? This thang is just glorious. So tart and clean... Raul could swear that he is in a bubble bath with Behatti Prinsloo.

Just wow...

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.16/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour is light golden amber, mostly transparent with a fairly tight white head. No red in the appearance, but there is plenty of raspberry in the nose. Its fleshy but not super bright, there is a hint of barrel and a touch of leathery bret. Taste is little brighter raspberry with a fair bit of lacto. Finish is highly carbonated and muddles the flavor in back a little with a touch of sulfer. Soft creamy body and actually pretty dry.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a glowing, hazy apricot color with deep golden center and a one finger white head. The head goes down fairly quickly, but leaves a thin surface of large bubbles.

S: Coriander mixed with lemon zest and tart mixed berries upfront. The raspberries are there, definitely with an underripe note to them. A nice lactic aroma as well with just a trace of brett. Fantastic smell.

T: A big load of lemon and intensely tart raspberry upfront with a great lactic sourness. The wit base comes through nicely here, with a touch of coriander and some wheat. Finishes tart and clean with some ripe raspberry and a touch of wine barrel.

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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 BastardKing24
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a yellow/orange color with a fizzy head that falls fast,

Smell is deep lemon, tart raspberry, funky wet hay, and wheaty malt.

Taste is like the smell with a lactic sourness up front, then fades to a luscious raspberry and hefty wheat beer base. Acidity is medium to low on this sour but it blends nicely with the overall experience. Well done for the style of an imperial berliner weisse / witbier.

Mouthfeel is decently carbonated despite the head completely disappearing, and its just ever so slick as it is 8% abv.

Overall I think this is on par with other bruery sours and quite a nice addition to their lineup which is quite impressive to say the least.

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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 PHBoiler
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a cloudy light blonde. Very inviting nose with some hints of berries and lemon. Absolutely delicious. Maybe the best beer I've had from The Bruery, certainly the best sour I've had from them. The witbier base is completely on point with berry flavor that isn't cloying and lemony tartness that is refreshing.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle courtesy of axeman9182 pours an opaque gold color with a modest, fine-bubbled white head. Retention is great, lacing - not so much.

Nose is pretty heavenly...raspberries on top of lacto - yes please! There is some definite underlying funk and cantaloupe rinds.

Taste has some seedy berry flavors with some leathery brett and fruity tartness...but its not really all that sour. The funk leans more feet than earth. Mouthfeel is good, the tiny carbonation and moderate sweetness give it a full and creamy feel. Raspberries are nice, but the rest of the beer is pretty meh.

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Photo of dar482
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a hazy golden wheat color.

The aroma is beautiful. Tons of lactic, apricot, reminds me tons of Fou' Foune, along with some sweet grain.

The flavor has sour lemons, tartness, apricot, maybe a hint of raspberry. A hint of booze with a good amount of sweetness to the tartness.

A fantastic beer and surprisingly has hints of Fou' Foune.

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