Sour Wench Blackberry Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sour Wench Blackberry Ale
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BA SCORE
82
good

123 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.15%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 08-05-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by Stoneman78:
Photo of Stoneman78
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at Hamilton's

Appearance is a cranberry red hue, interesting foamy pools of pink-red bubbles, minimal lacing

Smell is sugary sweetness mostly, tart candy, jolly ranchers, light fruit, cherries, vanilla, blackberries, fairly subtle overall

Taste is initially a light kool-aid sweetness almost, definite overtones of berries and tartness, some chalky residue and vinegar in the middle, finishes with bubbly light fruit, absence of any noticeable sourness here

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, watery texture, Pellegrino-like carbonation lingers long after the finish and is distracting

Drinkability is low, an interesting fruit beer that is somewhat tart but totally lacking in true sourness, the tartness reminds me of Alpine's Ichabod (but that one was also much sourer), the carbonation was also too powerful

I get the feeling that in a blind taste I would take this to be a berry kool-aid with selzer water and a touch of alcohol. I'm not a fan, but this could be a refreshing drink on a hot day. . .

More User Reviews:
Photo of magictrokini
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like bubbly cranberry juice with a big, rock pink head. Sweet rasberry nose. Refreshingly sour taste. Lots of rasberry more than blackberry flavors with a sweet malt back. Approaches the taste of a rasberry cobbler, but without the sugar. At least it made it fun to try something differrent.

Photo of ehammond1
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary Party
Blue Palms BrewHouse
Los Angeles, CA

Clear red, pomegranate, and slightly purple--a very strange, unique color. Interesting to say the least.

Powerful aroma of blackberries and some tartness, along with a musty, funky, (somewhat) off-putting, wet wood funk. Again, interesting.

Sweet blackberries and cardboard without a huge amount of tart sourness, though there's definitely some musty funk. The flavors don't come together cohesively at all.

Thin to medium mouthfeel without enough carbonation.

An interesting and unique beer, but not something I have any desire to try again.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.16/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Conflux of pink and purple, muddled, not really pretty, thin to no head. Aroma was funky, like feet, not good, even if some like funk, this was just sweaty gym sock.

Lacked either sour or blackberry characteristic, the wheat stood out, which was unfortunate. Very minorly tart. Fruit difficult to appreciate, as the bitterness blurs some things for me. Mouthfeel makes me think it was aged in cardboard. Thin at times.

Just not my thing, can't really get a good blackberry sour for some reason. Tasted at Stone's Sour Fest.

Photo of OStrungT
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a thick, fluffy reddish color head. The head fades slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a subtle backberry aroma. It smells slightly sour. It really has not more depth than that though. Sour blackberries is all I smell.

As with the aroma, I only taste sour blackberries. That is not to say that this beer is not good, just that is is very one dimentional.

This beer is highly carbonated, fitting the style well. It leaves, go figgure, a sour blackberry aftertaste.

This beer might be a decent session beer. Its lack of depth would make it easy to drink all night.

Overall: Will I ever have this beer again? I highly doubt it. There are many other better sour beers out there. Sorry Ballast Point.

Photo of augustgarage
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse - served in a snifter.

Opaque deep carmine liquid with an active pink head that recedes to nothing. No lacing.

Dark berry aromatics with suggestions of wine barrel, blackberry syrup, and perhaps mild hops.

Tart, sweet, wild, fruity; while the nose seemed faintly artificial, the full flavor of the plant, extending down to the roots is represented. Vague toast probably from malt. Medium finish is not quite dry.

Slick with low carbonation; not quite medium-bodied.

A unique flavorful fruit beer with an incidental sourness (that is by no means its defining aspect).

Photo of nickd717
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap. Next to Victory at Sea and Sculpin, this was really not all that impressive.

A - Bright red in color with a small pinkish head.

S - Aroma is blackberries and raspberries, a little like a fruit candy, sweet and only mildly sour,

T - Flavor is not too exciting, a little funky with blackberries and other berries, red grapes, sugar, and a little tartness.

M - Body is medium-light and palate is not bad, but rather boring for what is supposed to be a sour beer.

D - Average. It is fairly light, but the flavor gets a bit unpleasant after awhile.

Photo of Kegatron
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/18/10. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a hazy dark ruby, with a thin covering of pinkish-white foamy head. This stays pretty rich looking around the edges of the glass, leaving some sticky swathes of lace back. The aroma smells of berries, sugary malts, and a pronounced sharp grassy dankness. Sadly, nothing really sour to report here.

The taste is berry juice and sweet sugars. Some earthy and gritty hop character fills out the back of the profile. Just a touch of sourness (probably more like tartness) but much like the aroma, it isn't enough of a trait to name a beer after. Leftover earth and tang hang over into the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied overall, with a crispness to it that lightly prickles the mouth. Some slippery slickness underneath gives this easiness across the palate, at least giving the feel a little something to write home about.

Wow, this was a disappointment from Ballast Point for me, and just not because of the totally unearned name. The flavors just aren't that rich, or exciting for that matter, as my thoughts quickly moved back over to the draft board after being barely done with a 1/2 of the glass.

Photo of CenCalMario
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On top at Blue Palms.

Appearance is quite nice, nice carb, nice head retention- more than expected. Smell is light acidic, sour blend with Blueberries. Taste nice, low to med sourness, tart. Mouthfeel is good, not heavy or overly light. Refreshing. Overall a nice beer, would have another. Easy sour beer for transitional sour drinkers.

Photo of cbutova
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled and reviewed from notes taken during SDBW last week.

A- Semi murky pink body with a small creamy off white head. Decent head retention and the foam falls to a nice ring. Moderate spotty lace leaves the glass speckled with patches.

S- Something funky almost like hay and barnyard but not quite the same. Juicy berries fill out the rest of the nose with a fresh character.

T- Changes quite a bit here, somehow tastes like a black raspberry milkshake with great juicy berry hints and a nice tartness. Some lactic lemony tarts and fruity/berries all the way.

MF- Foamy and creamy texture to a light dried out body. Tartness at a low to medium level but does enough to add a huge compliment to the flavor.

Juicy and tart berry blast, somehow like a milkshake to me.

Photo of mrkrispy
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had this on tap several times at Ballast Point, Hamilton's and Obriens, a least two different batches. I didn't find much variability between them.

This pours a magnificent purple with reddish tones. Slight fizzy head quickly dissolves.

Aromas of berry, very forward. Sourness is evident, slight banana tone?

Beer is thinly bodied and fizzy. A wallop of tartness from the berries (Marionberries according to the Brewer). The fruit flavor is very very prevalent, very little hop or malt as a balance. The sour and tart flavors compound while drinking it, but then subside after a bit. With the subtle malts there seems to be a mix of yeast strains, like a German wheat mixed with a Belgian. I can't taste characteristics of many other sour beers but it doesn't have the characteristics of American wilds.

I find this to be an interesting beer. It isn't quite a lambic and it doesn't seem to be trying to fit the style of a Belgian style sour beer. Unique and I celebrate Ballast Point for that.

Photo of womencantsail
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

A: The pour is a dark crimson looking color with a huge pink tinted head that just won't go away.

S: The nose offers up some blackberry, tannic fruit skins, some mild notes of grass, and a bit of oak.

T: The flavor is somewhat blunt. Certainly astringent and somewhat bitter, almost, with lots of fruit skin and seed flavor. A bit of blackberry and lemon juice tartness.

M: The body is light to medium with a somewhat soft, but plentiful, carbonation.

D: Of the sour Ballast Point beers, this is my least favorite. The fruit flavor is not really there and overall, it's somewhat abrasive and harsh.

Photo of FosterJM
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1447th Review on BA
Draft to Taster
4oz

@Bruery Provisions for Experimental Sour Flight

App- A mismash of colors in the glass with purples dominating with a bit of pink and red highlights. A nice one finger head that left a little trace of bubbles on the top.

Smell- It was very similar to a artifical Lindemans, with a pungent blackberry note. I told callmecoon it reminded me of Boons farms from when I was younger. Just didnt feel like beer.

Taste- It was sweet, but not tart nor sour. A bit thick on blackberry but expected and didnt really give off a good craft well made flavor but more of a sugary drink taste. It was okay.

Mouth- A thicker body kinda syrupy with a thicker carbonation and a residual blackberry. About average for what the flavors brought to the the table.

Drink- Just okay, I was expecting a lot more out of this. Good thing it was a small pour.

Photo of HopHead84
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

7/20/2011

On tap at Home Brew Mart. A traditional German Berliner Weiss made with Marion Berries.

A: An enticing mixture of red and purple, with a frothy pink head. Good clarity and a very nice color.

S: Marion Berry and vanilla with a little wheat and grain, as well as a decided tartness. Lactic notes are pervasive and the berry influence is pronounced. The beer smells lightly sweet, but it's much drier than previous batches.

T: Lightly tart up front with a burst of Marion Berry. Faintly sweet, though not sugary like the previous batches, with some light grain and bread. Upper low to lower moderate clean lactic sourness throughout. Finishes tart and fruity, with lingering Marion Berry.

M: Lower medium body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry, sticky, and crisp.

Overall: A damn enjoyable fruit Berliner Weiss style beer. The increased sourness on this batch makes for a much more enjoyable and complex beer than the previous batches, which were more akin to a watered down sugary fruit beer. Refreshing stuff. After I drained my taster I was left longing for a pint. Try this new batch if you get a chance.

Photo of ChanChan
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the library ale house in Santa Monica Califas

Apperanace: ruby red in color with a one finger white head.

Aroma: Blue berry, raspberry as well as a sour note. The smell is faint in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with tons of carbonation very refreshing!

Taste: Tart, lemony, this is what I imagine would be the taste of pink lemonade with beer mixed into it.

Overall: This is a fun beer to drink the color makes you forget you are drinking a beer. It would go great on a hot summer day. I Would definitely buy some more if it was available in bottles.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the ColLAboration beer fest at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear red cranberry juice color with a foamy reddish-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is all about some tart and sour berry aromas. Taste is of sour berry flavors up front with some malt/grain flavors on the finish. There is a slight butter flavor that comes out as the beer warms. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing too exciting.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at the First Annual Stone Sour Fest, July 2007
This beer appears so different from your standard beer that it seems artificially colored; topped by a frothy, purple pink colored, two finger thick head. The beer is a clear, bright, cherry red color. This has a fruity nose to it that leans towards notes of strawberry, currant and some tart, berry-like notes, but it does not scream blackberry to me. Some berry skin aromatics add a touch of sharpness to the aroma, but there is really not much else noticeable here.

The beer is quite dry tasting and really not that tart at all. It is definitely packed with lots of, light tart, blackberry fruit character. I would almost guess that this is just a wheat beer that has had fruit added. It is not really sour at all and what tartness is here seems to be fruit derived. At the very most, the sour-bug character has just started. The body of this brew has a medium fullness to it, where some fruit derived tannins seem to add the palate coating character.

This is a weak example of a sour beer, though it is a decent fruit beer. If I had had this outside a sour beer festival, I might have enjoyed it more; I definitely would like to see a bit more sour funk here.

Photo of callmescraps
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this on tap at the Goat. Giving it a bid. I do love blackberries.

Appearance- Deep ruby, with an almost purple tint. A pinkish/purple 1/4 inch of head. It's nice looking.

Smell- Raspberry bubble gum. Very sweet and artificial smelling. Kind of good, kind of gross.

Taste- Raspberry bubble gum again. But followed by a somewhat unpleasant nuttiness. A weird tingle on the tongue. The finish is lousy. Nutty and weird. Hard to describe. (Obviously, sorry, I'm booting this one). It needs some more tartness. It's like a sweetened brown ale.

Mouthfeel- Would love some nice tingling carbonation.

Drinkability- Would be fine if I never had to deal with the aftertaste.

Pass. I had high hopes. This failed.

Photo of xnicknj
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on tap at bainbridge barrel house - served in taster

Pours a clouded purpley pink color with some darker hues. Thin head dissipates almost immediately leaving little lacing or retention.

Fruity tart nose with hints of blackberry and soft acidity. Touches of funky yeast and oak with red wine. A little understated.

Mild sourness with blackberries and dark fruit. Oak, red wine, red grapes and light funky brett. A bit watery and thin throughout, with occasional tart blackberry notes. Finishes a bit sour and dry.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, thin and short-lived on the tongue. Blackberry wild ale sounds promising, right? Unfortunately, this one is average at best.

Photo of Floydster
3.17/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

5 ounce taster glass at the Ballast Point 11th Anniversary Celebration today

Color was light puple/dark pink, and it had a small head but looked more like a soda than an ale

Could not smell anything but blackberries, the smell reminded much more of a wild ale than a fruit beer

I was right on target with my predictions are far as the smell went, and this beer was SOUR, way too much for me and a vinegar like taste that kept biting, expected more of a lambic type considering its appearance at first, very one sided beer with nothing else going on, would not drink this again

Could not even get through 3/4 of my five ounces after sipping on it for close to twenty minutes, not very drinkable

Photo of Overlord
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this had some sort of berry in it, but I couldn't pinpoint the flavor.

Pours a deep redish brown. Thin white foam. Berry/cherry tartness, with strangely muted flavors, and some sour apple backing. Almost no aroma.

Thin and somewhat flat.

Photo of Taybeh
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

on tap at the tasting room in Little Italy
this is a berliner weiss, and it is quite pleasant. Nice level of tartness and the blackberry comes out nicely. For all that, something is missing.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Walked in the door of Ballast Point this afternoon with my wife and jokingly said, "hey look baby, it's your beer!" seeing the name "Sour Wench". She got a kick out of it and we ordered a couple tasters (much to our liking) and decided on a 1/2 gallon of it to bring back to the pad.

From the tap to growler. Here's what was printed on their chalkboard - Sour Wench Blackberry Ale: ABV 6.0%, SG/IG = 1060/1015, IBU = 20

Poured from a growler into a Geuze Boon Lembeek glass for myself and a Lindeman's Framboise glass for the wifey.

A: Pours a real pretty cherry/candy apple red hue with a good head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing in its tracks.

S: I grow blackberries in my garden here in OB and am very familiar with the smell and characteristics of blackberries, and the smell is on point with what I pull out of the yard on a regular basis - pungent and fruity earthiness that is recognizably tart and acidic, balanced by aromas of fresh baked sour dough bread.

T: Right on point with the nose, but the berries are even more prevalent - really like chewing on actual blackberries; as sweet as they are they tend to be overpowered by their tartness. The finish is bready like fresh baked biscuits. Extremely well balanced and perfect coastal summertime drinker - love this one (as does the old lady).

M/D: Light bodied and right where it seems as though it may thin out, the carbonation comes through to give this one some depth and just enough body to give it some character as well.

The drinkability is ridiculously friendly, and the wife and my only gripe is that we only filled one growler with this stuff. Wish'd we had grabbed two - next time for sure!

Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Hamilton's and served in some sort of half chalice type glass. The smell was interesting and combined with the flavor you could detect a bit of black berry but there was also a bit of tartness and graininess. Very easy to drink but I don;t think I would order another one in the future.

Photo of rawfish
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A deep cardinal red with diving a few notches towards violet, very clear, foamy, finger high head, white but stained pink by the body of the beer. Relatively poor retention and no lacing on the glass.

At the time of drinking I was not aware that blackberries were the fruit in this beer. Slightly grainy eluding to the malt in this beer but largely fruity with cherries, red berries and shades of vinous acidity.

Momentarily grainy and slightly musty. Berries and bing cherry ring the palate up, thin flavor, slightly sweet before a pleasant sour flash releases with a clean finish. Alcohol is low and the tart flash leaves some dull lemony acidity on the tongue.

Watery body with tight prickly carbonation. Alcohol is blended with the sour flash which is refreshing but either long lasting or powerful.

A simple, one dimensional sour beer. It was great in the 90 degree weather. Refreshing and while watery and a bit grainy, fully features the blackberries. Not unlike a timid Berliner Weisse with light blackberry syrup.

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Sour Wench Blackberry Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.