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Lambic - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

69 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 279
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 18.69%
Wants: 63
Gots: 61 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 04-26-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lambic Alström Bros
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 279
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage

Appearance -The beer was orangey yellow with a white head. Carbonation was visible.

Smell - The beer smelled oaky with very little sour to the nose.

Taste - The initial taste was very oaky. With the oak, notes of pineapple, a little lemon, and mild sour notes were present. This is far from puckering. The finish is very dry and oaky.

Mouthfeel - I get a mild sense of carbonation which allow the dry finish to stay put.

Overall - Other than the label, I would not know this was a lambic. It is a nice drink though.

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Photo of Myotus
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle (2014 vintage) into a stange.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of white foam that halves itself after 20 seconds. Yellow in color with a high amount of cloudiness. There is a plethora of very small, small, and medium-sized rising bubbles. Lacing is thick and moderate.
SMELL: Has strong aromas of sour yeast that entangle with mild aromas of hay, oak, earthy yeast, barley, and white grapes.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong sour yeast flavors and mild flavors of hay and oak. Mild earthy yeast, barley, and white grape flavors enter right after.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down somewhat rough. Finishes crisp. Sourness from the beer agitates the tongue.
NOTE: A bit basic in flavors, but still good. My first of its style. I'm glad I was able to try one as good as this.

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Photo of maximum12
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fiver29 for this random bottle from a brewery I’ve yet to try: always a good thing. 750ML bottle, 2013 vintage, split with my wife while watching “Finding Nemo”. Great movie.

The first glass is clear light orange, the second very slightly clouded, with the last ounce left in the bottle for research purposes. Very close to being still. Lovely odor of green apple, lemon, choked-out citrus, with a nice shot of tartness. I like where this is going.

Rivertown Lambic is a liquid I could slip into my wife’s drunk club (sorry, “Book Club”) as a white wine & get nary an upturned nose. Tastes like a nice white without the alcoholic bite: wine spritzer, white grape juice, de-bittered lemon, soft green apple. Finishes with umilled grain and citrus: the tartness crowns briefly and gently, with a side helping of dry mouth. You can tell this is a low ABV drink, as it washes all the trail dust from the my cube away in great big gulps. Are you supposed to gulp lambic?

This is a lambic for the fourteen and younger crowd, approachable, easy-going. I could see this as a Middle Ages table beer when the water was full of cholera. Good.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010: capped and corked

Appearance: Opens with a loud pop when I extracted the cork (I was expecting a foamer but that didn't happen) and pours a cloudy honey color with a spumous head that fades somewhat quickly leaving a few patches of lace

Smell: Lactic crabapple, with pear, oak, Sauvignon Blanc grape, grass, barnyard funk and hay

Taste: Oaky and dry, up front, with a significant lactic element; crabapple, pear and Sauvignon Blanc grape tones building; the tartness builds, into the middle, bringing barnyard funk and hay tones; the finish reveals a nice blend of the fruit and funky tartness

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not many reviews of the 2010 vintage here and perhaps none of them have this much age on it; wow, was I impressed with how this bottle has matured; would be hard to pick this out if one were asked to identify the American lambic from a group of Belgians

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +1%

A-Cloudy orange, not much carbonation or head

S-Nice tartness, acidic notes, little grapes and some oak

T-Starts with nice tartness, mild acidity, oak and grapes, slight lemon

M-Lighter, dry finish, not much carbonation.

O-A solid lambic, from 2011 all that is left is the acidic notes, can only wonder what it is like fresh

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Photo of NODAK
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong aroma of white grapes, vinegar, tart....makes the sides of my mouth tickle a bit at the thought of how much I may pucker at this one....smells a lot like a tart white wine really. And pours that way too. Somewhat of a straw color to it...head doesn't seem to be anything remarkable. A little cloudy.

Carbonation is noticeably low....the somewhat intense tartness hits me up front in the face. Wow. Definitely an acidic, white grape, wine-like experience here....after the tartness subsides, a note of grain does peek through, giving this more of a "beer" flavor. It isn't the most tart beer I've had, but it's certainly high on the scale.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, 2013 vintage poured into a flute
A: Hazy very light brown with a slight yellowish/pinkish hue. Almost no head but light bubbles
S: Sour - green apple/citrus, some oak, wheat and yeast
T: Also sour, green apple initially, a hit of funk, some citrus, yeast, wheat, and choke cherry
M: Light-bodied, pleasant carbonation, a light touch of tannins
O: Quite complex and tasty. My first Lambic and I'll definitely be exploring the style more. I'll try to buy another bottle of this to try with some age

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Photo of buschbeer
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 PINT 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a flute
2012 vintage

A - It is a golden color with straw highlights. I got very little off-white head.

S - The aroma is sour with some dank basement. I get some green apple and pear.

T - The taste is tart and vinous. It is acidic. The taste is not as intense as the smell. The sourness doesn't really linger in the aftertaste.

M - Sticky and moderate.

O - This is my first unblended lambic. I enjoy the sourness of the beer, but I would like more. With no experience with Belgian lambics, I am eager to try more. I like this one.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 2011 batch.

A- Pours a fairly hazy, deep golden in color. Small, off-white head that doesn't stick around long. No lacing due to lack of a head.

S- Fairly tart right up front, with a good dose of citrus. Middle of the scent turns toward a more oak focused tart flavor. Tart but not too sour overall.

T- Pretty much follows the scent to a tee. Starts with a moderate level of tartness, then moves toward a more grainy and oak flavor profile. Grainy, but there is still an underlying tartness throughout the middle of the drink. A dry, tart, and oak focused towards the end with a bit of lingering tart fruitiness.

M- Body is light and fairly highly carbonated. Pretty easy to drink, with even the tartness not holding you back.

Really just a decent sour. Nothing too special, but all the flavors and qualities of a good lambic are there in varying degrees. For the price tag of $10-12 it's not bad, but more than that, and you might as well use time and effort to get the Belgians.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 1.5.14
Thanks bstyle!
VIntage 2011

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a small soapy, white head that fades pretty quickly.

S - Tart, oaky, lemon, slightly floral.

T - Tart lemon and orange, oaky and finishes funky.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Nice tartness, oaky, citrus with a pleasant funk. Good beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Matt! 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a hazed golden yellow color. Some subtle white bubbles formed.

(S)- Quite dry but with a vibrant acidity. It oozes sour lemon head/peel. great yeasty bits amidst a potent sourness overall. Quite awesome for me.

(T)- Not as sour as the aroma foretold, but it is balanced nicely. Some wheat-like yeasty bread meets some acidic lemon rind at the end.

(M)- A spritzy carbonation level meets a light but zesty acidic lemon citrus overall.

(O)- It is definitely a successful lambic from the states. Always like to see more breweries around here try their hand at my favorite styles.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage.

Appearance - Pale hazy body. Not a lot of head. Thin white collar.

Smell - Lemony acidic aroma. Malty. A little grassy.

Taste - Very malty. Lemony sourness that builds. Puckering in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy for a sour. Malty. Pretty sour in the finish.

Overall - Not a complex flavor, but it's decent.

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Photo of schwemjw
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright golden yellow, no head. very bright.

S: Honey, tangarine with a dry white wine quality to it (kind of like a dry Riesling). Pungent acidic lemon with a crisp tartness. Young cherries and tart grape. inviting.

T: From the second it touches your tongue a sour funk and tart apple take over. Reminiscent of a cider. Strong yeast presence with a hint of limestone. lemon and hay round it out. A very tart finish that is quite long. Sour cherries come in with a vanilla back end note.

M: Clean and crisp with a long finish. body seems like but the carbonation is there.

O: A nicely balanced brew. Quite enjoyable. The acid and funk is there but in no way overwhelming. /91

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2011 vintage. Pours lightly hazy bright golden straw color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big tart apple, lemon, pear, grape, clove, oak, hay, grass, vinegar, white wine, funk, leather, and yeast earthiness. Awesome aromas with great balance and complexity of yeast and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of tart apple, lemon, pear, grape, clove, oak, hay, grass, pepper, white vinegar, funk, white wine, leather, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of acidic tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, clove, oak, hay, vinegar, grass, white wine, leather, funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of fruity/spicy/funky yeast flavors with moderate barrel presence; with a great malt/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Lambic style! All around great balance and complexity of yeast and barrel flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink with the moderate acidity. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rivertown Lambic 2012 

Appears apricot hazed hue with a light white head fine streaming bubbled carbonation. Fine speckled lacing left behind. Aroma light fruit hints of cherry peach I'm not sure which fruit this lambic uses, wild yeast notes excellent stuff acidic lactic yogurt notes. Flavors are pungent with tart lively acidity, bitterness from nutty earthy yeast and aged hops rolling complexity with hints of peach/strawberry Chobani yogurt dynamic yeast lively flavors great beer. Mouthfeel bone dry lively carbonation effervescent wine like great finish goes down as uber authentic lambic not like a sugar infused Lindemann, I'm in awe. Overall excellence in a bottle, these brewers are inspired keep the sour wild ale program kicking and you will be successful.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CBC Clerkenwell bottleshare

A: Dark orange color. Nice sized white head.
S: Lots of sourness and funky lemons. Pleasant.
T: Not as sour as I was expecting, but I did get tons of hay and funky lemons. Some mild wheat notes to balance it out.
M: Small bodied with medium carbonation. I enjoyed the dry mouthfeel. Pretty effervescent. Refreshing.
O: Very good lambic from Ohio out of all places! Very enjoyable.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy dark golden yellow color, topped with a thin, watery white head, leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Musty, sweaty funk, a solid amount of acidity, leaning a bit towards acetic. It smells better than I expected, there are some attributes of its Belgian counterparts here that are more present than you typically get in American sours.

T- Moderate amount of acidity, both lactic and acetic here but still leaning towards acetic. Some wheat and grain flavor, along with a bit of lemon and stone fruit.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, dry finish.

O- A very solid American sour. I've gotta emphasize though that this is not a lambic, and never could be (it also probably shouldn't invite that comparison either, which can only ever be unfavorable for itself), but besides the linguistic technicalities this is a really nice, tasty, drinkable sour.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a vast orange gold with minimal tan head

S - tons of sour and horseradishy heat. Smells fantsdtic

T - Fairly hard hitting sour horseradish flavors up front slightly watery aftertaste and finish. Great flavor though

M - medium bodied and drinkable

O - fizzes out towards the end but absolutely fantastic up front. I dont know why but I always associate a certain taste in many sours with horseradish... does anyone else know what im talking about?

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.4/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip. 2012 vintage. Like the Rivertown Gueuze I had a little while ago, the cap came off of this way, way, way too easily. While this beer may have been flat anyway, the gueuze should not have been.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed orange brown color. No head.

3.5 S: The nose on this is sharp and acidic. Loads of lactic acid with plenty of acetic underneath. Tangy and fruity with peach and apple. Melon and some vinous notes underneath. Hay and dry woody funkiness, but it doesn't hold a candle up to the acid. Oak without much tannic astringency.

1.75 T: Wow. On the pucker-scale, this one shoots right past mouth-puckering and straight to ass-puckering. Most of the time, the first sip makes a sour beer seem more sour than it is. Your palate needs a couple sips to acclimate back to sours. This beer does not apply. It's fully unbalanced with bracing acidity and unrelenting intensity. I can feel my tooth enamel dripping down my esophagus. If you can taste anything past the acid, you might say this beer is tangy and fruity. Again apple, peach, and vinous fruitiness. Hay and oaky woodiness. It's so damn sour that I can't keep it in my mouth long enough to discern any other flavors.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Not really any carbonation. Drinks like a thick water, which is a nice mouthfeel for a lambic.

1.5 D: If I'm dead tomorrow then it's probably because I finished the bottle by myself. Wholly undrinkable, even for the most seasoned lambic drinkers. I'm not a sour noob, so I'm not overreacting. This may be even less balanced that the Cantillon Kriek I had a while back. Brace yourselves, acid is coming.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a trade from one of you fine people last year but I have forgotten who, thanks bud! The first whiff of the opened bottle reeked of cider vinegar, uh oh. I poured a couple glasses and it was an amber orange color and while not quite translucent it wasn't turgid or anything. The aroma settled down after a couple minutes and it was less vinegar but still had an apple cider quality. Flavor was more cider, sour, apples, not bad at all. If you are judging this as a lambic you will be sorely disappointed but I do respect them for going down a difficult path. As an American wild ale its just fine. There are just some qualities to authentic lambic that Americans haven't nailed yet, maybe its the funk, maybe its the yeast, maybe its a je nais se quoi.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why is it that I overpay for Belgian-syle beer (especially sour ales) that are made by American breweries, even when I anticipate that they will sorely disappoint me? Answer- because every now and then, I am rewarded with excellence. That happened today.

Rivertown's Belgian sour experiments leads them to this 1-year Lambic, released in 2012 and has developed young taste and then given time to finish its fermentation in the bottle and building carbonation and foam character- dying out diligently along the way.

As the beer pours, it decants with light carbonation,yielding a soft creamy head and lacing delicately on the glass. Underneath, the rusty-orange elixir settles with a dense yeasty haze and diffused glow.

As the mouth reaches the rim of the snifter, the pungent tartness ensues. Aromatic with cider, under ripened berries and orchard fruit- soon to follow are the more earthy tones of cellar-like must, cork wood, sea air, horse hair and mild saddle leather. Sour limes, bitter citrus pith and light white wine vinegar come to live in taste and carry through to a finish of sharp acidity and soft wheat bread.

Where the ale is sour to taste, the flavors are very controlled- not to allow the texture to become astringent or bitey. Mild warmth and tartness finish the ale but with a short thin and watery stint in between. Clean, palate-stripping and refreshing - the ale is dry and wine-ish in aftertaste.

I'm happy to say that the ale is spot-on Senne Valley. If the glass blindly arrives at my table and if told it was an authentic Belgian Lambic, then I would have agreed. With few years under their belt, the Rivertown brewers have figured out the sour puzzle in masterful display.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. Fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Sweet wheat, tart green fruits, oak, wine, vanilla, lemon zest, funky Brett, lactic acid, pepper.

T - Very tart green fruits, sweet wheat, lemon zest, oak, wine, funky Brett, mild pepper and vanilla, lactic acid.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a tart and dry finish.

D - Very nice lambic. Great overall balance and complexity.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with malt and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1684th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute

Shared with JohnBoots and JCDenver

App- A still looking buttery orangey yellow. No bubbles. Just sat in the glass. Pretty standard "lambic"

Smell- So I really feel bad for opening this after L'Brett. There was nothing exciting about this. Still, oaky and a bit of butter behind it. Slightly dry and malty.

Taste- Its a bit better than I thought it would be. Although after the L'Brett. This fell a bit short. Slightly oaky, a little lemon and butter. A small amount of oak but generally we all felt it was good, above average but not the best lambic.

Mouth- A slightly sweet and lighter medium with a medium carbonation. The residual oak and butter is a little small.

Drink- Its better than average, but not the best beer in the world. Pretty solid.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Bright golden, thin lacing

SMELL: Musty, lemon zest, medicinal, bay leaf, pepper, tart, yeast, oak, faintly vinous

TASTE: Fresh sourness, oak, musty cellar, goaty, yeast, bready, lemon, faint cider, mint, strawberries, mineral

Most brewers steer clear of naming their beer a “Lambic” due to the Senne Valley indigenous affiliation and expectations that come with it. Rivertown is obviously paying homage to the originals with their own twist. From the pop of the cork and an amazing aroma, to the freshness of sourness and oak of the wine barrels, this one is here to impress. Top notch.

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Lambic from Rivertown Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.