Blue Sunday Sour - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blue Sunday SourBlue Sunday Sour

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

114 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 543
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 25.86%
Wants: 38
Gots: 111 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lackenhauser on 07-13-2008

This unique anniversary libation, heritage-blended from our library of barrel-soured beers, exhibits deeply layered flavors of malt and oak, with a tart finish.
Pairings: wild game,poultry & charcuterie.

17.1° Plato 8.7% abv
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 114 | Hads: 543
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spot on a sour style, with blue fruit, blueberry? Sour aroma that draws you in. Dark coloured body with geneorus soapy head. Complex, sourness malted away, and oak melowness. ken's bottle from recent Michigan trip. Highlight of a tasting. Very decent drinakbility for a sour. A little ageing helped.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I hate to call a sour generic, because they are all so distinctly different from one another. this one though, takes me someplace ive already been. I like going there and all, but I like when this genre takes me away somewhere new. pours a bright copper new penny color, clear as day, with a few fingers of lazy white foam. the nose is fruity sour, like a mix of dried and fresh pitted fruits, and a whole lot of acid. the yeast flavor in this beer is more sour than funk, more bacterial than saison, and somehow the flavors are all warped into a strange sugary conglomeration. the alcohol feels wine-like, the fruits feel like candy, and the sour is concentrated heavily towards the front of my tongue. its would be dryness is compromised by the residual sugar, but there is a nice oaky prominence to the finish that is really lovely. its good, but lacking some of the complexity and mouthfeel dynamics that makes this style so fun. good carbonation but the sweetness makes it feel heavy just the same. one bottle of this is about all I can stomach, but I appreciate the effort from new Holland like I always do. you can score a better sour for your buck, but if you cant get enough, give this one a shot.

edit: the 2014 edition is far superior to earlier releases, a bit darker in color, and a more refined sour finish. fruity but far dryer. definitely worth revisiting this vintage if you were similarly uninspired by earlier ones. bumbling up a few marks for this years.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The sour ale pours out as a brown color with a quick dissolving tan head. Strong sour smellalong with some tart cherries or raspberry aromas. There are also some aromas of wood in there too. Tasted sour and just a little fruity as well. It was pretty light feeling and had minimal carbonation. Overall this beer is pretty good for someone who's into this style. It really takes a lot for me to get these under my belt but I try to anyway.

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Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a mahogany color with a modest head; squiggly lacing hangs around

Smell: Oak, blueberry, black raspberry, rhubarb and cherry tones with a hint of caramel underneath

Taste: The fruit tones appear, up front, bringing both sweet and tart flavors, while hints of caramel and tea provide a base underneath; the lactic tartness lingers throughout though the oak and sweeter, fruity elements are more assertive in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; slightly puckery

Overall: Not as tart as I was expecting, this is a nicely balanced beer that is very enjoyable; I like the range of fruit flavors as well as the candy caramel tones underneath; this would be a great beer to use to introduce a neophyte to the world of sour beers

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Holland's sour wood-aged program continues with Blue Sunday Sour- a fruit heavy sour ale that favors the funky-fresh dry taste over that of candied sweetness. It's a beautiful beer that's both inviting and challenged in its complexities.

With hues of deep ruby red and purplish tones, the beer starts its fruit crusade immediately upon the pour. A violent pop of the cork leads to a highly effervescent character to start. Champagne-like, the beer builds a excitable head that looses its fizz soon after but allows a collar of foam to wrap the edge of the glass and with no real lace to mention.

Sharply acidic, the fruit sourness is front and center with the scent of ripening blueberries, blackberries, black cherries, and sour grapes. Acetic vinegar-like acids, the musty funk of vine-dried fruit, and clean lactic sour notes all swirl about the nose with only a hint of oak, tobacco, and fruit sweetness in support.

Flavors fare similarly as the commingling of fruit juice sweetness and tart berries, apples, limes, salt water taffy and grapes alternate in the beer's early command. But as the beer transitions to middle palate, the sweetness fades and the sourness takes hold- red wine vinegar, dry tart cider, reisling and limes deliver a complex dry taste. Finishing woodish with weathered oak, cellar must, and leather; the beer is dusty dry and with a linger of sour fruit.

Medium-light on the palate- the early malt textures and slim residual sweetness is quickly sliced through by the beer's acidity and clean lactic character. Lightly astringent and powdery in finish, the beer has a long draw in between where the initial taste fades and the finish doesn't present itself and causes the beer to feel thin and watery until the closing bitterness, alcohol warmth, and wood tannin takes hold.

Where the beer exhibits all of what's good about Sour Ales, especially the fruited varieties; it still lacks the depth, complexity, and intensity than authentic Belgian versions can display. Though simplified and somewhat one-dimensional, its a very pleasant and characterful Sour Ale that will satisfy even the most serious fans of the style.

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Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Leftover bottle from a local beer dinner. Label was different that the one pictured, indicating New Holland's 12th anniversary, with the number 12 juxtaposed over an oak barrel.

Into a small stemmed flute this poured a burnished orange, visible streams of micro bubbles rapidly pulsed through it. The retention was good, and left arcs of lace inside the glass.

Wet wood, possibly an old bourbon barrel in use here. Very mild amount of wild funk, and I do stress mild. Pretty tame.

Effervescent feel with slight astringency, remnants of bitter oak tannin in the drying finish. Some tobacco and medicinal Brett flavors peek through the murky fog. Carbonation is good, but the astringency kills it a bit for me. It may be splitting hairs, but this isn't truly sour. Overall it has some interesting barrel character, but is too dialed back and muddled to really stand out.

Shared this bottle, which is probably the ideal way to enjoy it, in a smaller serving.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left sudsy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of sour black cherries.

T - Great sour taste. Great black cherry taste with a hint of spices.

M - It was crisp and had a puckering bite. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was a surprisingly good sour ale. I had avoided this because the label looked a little cheesy but it delivered on taste.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes out to the kind trader who sent me this bottle. I had heard about it and really wanted to give this one a try seeing as it kind of flew under the radar. Received it yesterday and put it right in the fridge and popped the cork on the 750ml corked and caged bottle after dinner last night. Served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 09/24/2008.

After I popped the corked I immediately let it flow into the glass as it looked as though it could be a gusher relatively soon. What ensued was a very nice pour actually. Rich dark tan colored liquid quickly hit the bottom of the glass. Cloudy and hazy with a ridiculously nice looking head on top of it. About three fingers of tan came up over the top and settled down still to about a fingers worth after a few moments. Rich side glass lacing just stuck and clung to the glass with every swirl, really just pushing the envelope on this one. No visible sedimentation that I could see.

The aroma was a little lighter then I had hoped. Still though, letting it warm up really started to pull all of the pieces together. Rich notes of tart cherries, some light spiciness and a decent touch of oak. I really wished this came across a little big fuller as if it did it could have been tremendously good. Even still though, lots of dark fruit, tart funkiness and a nice earthy, woodsy like smell blending together very nicely on this one. Before discussing the flavor, let's take a moment to reflect on the carbonation and feel of this one. I was damn close to giving it a five here, it really was just that good. Huge carbonation and a medium feel that combined in my mouth to froth up to an unbelievable level. Silk like smoothness, and the finest carbonation bubbles, really well done in that regard. The flavor for me was kind of mixed. First I expected it to be a bit more tart then it ended up being, that being said, it was a damn fine ale. Started out almost sweet with a oak or wood like flavor coming across the tongue, you could almost taste the brown sugar in this one. Rolling through some nice notes of cherry then came over me. Decent funkiness in through the middle and the finish, but it was actually almost blended out by a cherry like sweetness and more hints at a sugary touch. A nice sipper none the less and I tried to cherish every last drop of this one.

Overall I really did not think this was bad at all. Not a mind blower, but still a very solid effort. I am not sure if super tart wild ale was the way they were going on this one or not, but it turned out to be a more balanced, barrel aged ale then I would have thought. Very solid edition to their lineup and I am glad I got to try it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Derek for sending this one my way. I've been wanting to try it out for awhile now. I believe this is the 2008 release/vintage.

A: Good thing I wasn't pointing the bottle at anyone as the cork exploded out of the bottle as soon as I took the cage off. Pours a dark amber color with a couple finger's of khaki head.

S: An interesting aroma to this beer. Quite a strong vinegar presence along with a lot of oak which gives the beer a strong vanilla note. Some chocolate, strangely, and a bit of dark fruits. Some alcohol notes as well.

T: Dark fruits such as cherries and currants are prominent on the flavor and are really accentuated by the balsamic and red wine vinegar notes. A bit of a grape juice flavor and plenty of oak and vanilla. There is a minerally character to the beer, too.

M: Medium in body with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: This beer was really strange/interesting. I liked it for the most part, but it did have some slight harshness at points, particularly the alcohol on the nose.

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Photo of oline73
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a mild off white head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt with strong blueberry notes. There is a tart vinegar note as well.

Taste: A bit sour with some sweet malt and blueberry. The blueberry isn't nearly as prevalent as it was in the smell. The finish is tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A nice sour, but not earth shattering. It was nice to be able to taste the blueberry. The sourness was good but not too strong. I would have it again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter at SmallBar - Fullerton.

Seeing this on-tap, I had to try it. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a finger of cream-tan foam. The nose comprises funky berries, green apple, sour grape, and what may or may not be toffee in the background. The taste follows closely, with each of the sour/tart components competing with each other for dominance, though it's all in vain, as they just end up bleeding each other out, creating a melange of odd tastes on my tongue. It's hard to explain, beyond me just saying it's unpleasant. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat oily feel. Overall, a sad little sour, one that doesn't know what it wants to be, so it just drops out of society and fails at panhandling.

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Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a purple/scarlet with minimal head. No head retention & lacing

S: Sourness & woody notes

T: Follows the nose, a little blueberry as well up front. More of the same, leafy & woody hops surface as well as this warms. Finishes tart, with a little blueberry, some dryness & little bit of leafy hops

MF: Medium body & minimal carbonation

Okay, nothing special. I get more hits than misses from these guys. I've drank a lot of good sours/wilds lately, this doesn't measure up. Not bad, but I won't buy it again either

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/6/2012. Pours slightly cloudy ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of sour cherry, apple, cranberry, pepper, oak, clove, earth, leather, hay, grass, funk, red wine vinegar, and earthy yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky notes. Taste of tart cherry, apple, cranberry, clove, pepper, oak, leather, hay, grass, earth, red wine vinegar, and earthy yeast spiciness. Fair amount of earthy fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart fruits, clove, oak, pepper, leather, hay, grass, earth, red wine vinegar, funk, and earthy yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of flavors; with a nicely moderate acidity balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick, acidic, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice sour red ale! Very nice flavor complexity and balance of acidity; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly cloudy ruby color with a small, bubbly off-white head that has weak retention, quickly reducing to a ring of bubbles on top. Thin lacing forms on the glass.

S: Nice cherry aroma with a good bit of oak. Slightly funky and tart. There is a little bit of barnyard/horse blanket and a little tobacco as well.

T: Again, more cherries with a nice tartness. A little bit of dark fruit as well, some plum mixed in. The oak comes through with a touch of vanilla.

M: Light to medium bodied. Not overly tart, slightly dry finish.

O: Pretty good wild ale. Not overly sour or fruity, but in the middle for both.

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Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of fizzy tan head. Color is a dark ruby brown.

Aroma: Light sour notes. Cherries, oak, and funk.

Taste: Vanilla, spices, sour funk, sour cherries, and oak.

Mouthfeel: Very fizzy with some sourness. Light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, a very fizzy sour. The feel was like brute or lebleu. Not overly tart. Relatively drinkable, but nothing I was crazy about.

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Photo of billab914
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip. It looked brown at first but it gets a real nice mahogany red color as the light hits it. A thin off-white head barely covers the top of the beer.

The aroma is tart and acidic with some sour dark fruits to it as well. It's a little sharp with some vinegar to it, but the sour dark fruits are good.

The taste follows through with more sour dark fruits throughout. It's got a bit of a sour wine like character to it. The oak definitely shows up in the finish as well. It's moderately acidic, but not too bad.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was a pretty decent beer but not a standout in the style. It just seemed to lack complexity to the sourness to me. Not bad overall though.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass, vintage 2015.

Deep crimson, hints of brown but just a bright dark red with mahogany hues all around. Very clear, with some nice forming middle column carbonation, a hint of one finger tan head, but manages to settle to a simple puck and creamy collar. Very neat looking body color I must say.

Excellent bouquet on the nose. Hints of Flander style oud bruin character, light toasty wood notes, moderate acid and caramel. Not much hinting fruit aromas though, but still very nice quite impressed here.

Palate is real slick and seems buttery flavored as well. Diacetyl in a wild brew? Hard to say really didn't seem like that was coming from the nose, but boy does this come off odd. Good round full body from oak hinted aging but with a moderate malt backbone. Good soild mouthfeel, a hint of mixed mild cream and simple acidity that is easily cut through a decent to thick malt body. Not much fruit character, perhaps some mild hints of steely grapefruit a bit, but also not slick too much on the finish either. Time wares off more of the butter character interestingly.

Overall comes off like a pretty neutral Oud Bruin, with much more depth taken from oak aging. Not sure if this is faulty, but it's still very well done, but boy if this had some decent red fruit flavors and quality it could be really special.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cork excitedly flies off into my open palm just before I got the chance to remove it, luckily the beer doesn't foam over. A very careful pour into my 25cl tulip though produces a five-finger thick, dingy tan colored head the quickly rises two more fingers in height and over-flows my glass. The beer is a very dark, cherry color that shows a lightly hazed, red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of tart cherry skins, a slightly moldy-wood note, some mustiness and a touch of warming alcohol notes in the finish. As the beer sits for a while some light lacquer notes become noticeable in the nose as do some caramelized malt notes. There is not a whole lot going on in the nose for a sour beer, though it is not bland.

Somewhat sweet tasting with only a light, though noticeable tartness. Flavors of cherry up front are offset by light oak notes of soft buttery oak, woody spice that even gets a bit hot in the finish. The second pour of this is a duplicate of the first except that this time I eat the foam before it can overflow my glass. The head tastes of spicy oak. Very fizzy tasting because of the excessive carbonation; the excess is quickly swirled away though and this leaves the beer still effervescent with a light body that has just a bit of malt heft to it. Despite being quite light, the oak seems to intrude just a bit on the funky sour flavors; this is more because the funky notes of this beer are so soft and subtle than because the oak is overbearing. The sourness here is soft and definitely lactic in focus, but it does nicely offset a touch of cherry-like fruitiness as well as just a hint of sweetness and malt character. The malt actually contributes a significant toasty, biscuit character at times along with a bit of caramel.

It wasn't a great sign when my first pour of this bottle was knocked over by me after getting a bit too enthusiastic with my dogs; they enjoyed licking the beer off the floor but I only laughed because I knew I had way more of this beer than I needed. Now this beer is certainly not bad, so don't let me leave you with that impression, 750ml is just a whole lot of beer of something that is not truly exciting. There aren't any off flavors and nothing is overbearing. I will admit though that this is much more well integrated and tasty than Moxie; so they are moving in the right direction at least and I will certainly continue to try and procure these interesting beers. This just isn't funky and sour enough for my particular taste, but I think it is a great introduction to the malty Flemish type of sour beer because it is so tame.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage Bottle from Food and Friends in Philly.
Pours a crystal clear reddish brown with a decent sized tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top. Funk and oak permeate from the glass as soon as the cap gets cracked. Vanilla, lemons, sour cherries, brown sugar, and a hint of balsamic round out the nose nicely. The flavor is tart lemony acid. There's a brief sugary sweetness up front that quickly gets swallowed by lemons tart cherries mouth puckering lactic and carbonic acid abounds. The finish is fairly dry with a sharp lingering tartness. Very little of the oak or brett funk survives into the flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a tart sharp mouthfeel. This smells wonderful but the taste is bracingly tart. I enjoyed it like munching on sour patch kids, but on the plus side I forgot how hot it was while I was drinking this.

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Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Ken, 750ml into some tulips. 2010 vintage, civic day tasting.

Poured a mahogany brown, with a tan head. Mild retention and a thick collar stick around. Nose has some sour blueberry, acetic notes, mild funkiness and some sour greenery. Taste is more balanced, some sourness and blueberry notes again. Some lemon, acetic acid, oak, and adequate sweet malts to restrain the sourness. Medium mouthfeel, with a fullness to it. Some pucker in the finish, solid flavour and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a murky dark amber with a fluffy head of off-white that slowly fades into a gentle cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of pedioccocus up front with hints of cilantro, vanilla, mixed berries, and lemongrass.
Taste is of the aromas with a citrusy key lime standout atop tart berries, yogurt, and vanilla custard.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a sweet tart pucker that is sweet up front and a tart, dry finish. Pretty balanced for a sour. Nothing out of control in this one.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 bottle into a tulip

dark brown pour , big head. smell is of sour tart cherries. taste is meh..cherries but very malty. way too malty. just an okay taste but not great by any means.ok feel. good carbonation.

overall just okay. not really recommended.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured an amber brown in color with reddish highlights and had a finger worth of frothy head leaving plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: had a crazy variation of aromas going on consisting of plum, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, peaches, and some mild bretty funkiness.

T: the tart, plum, and dark fruit flavors were more prominent on the palate with vanilla oaky accents and a touch of peachy notes in the background.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild dark fruity, oaky, and tart finish.

D: it was drinking pretty ggod and was a decent wild ale but was lacking on the sour bite that I usually look for in the style.

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Photo of Viggo
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, thanks to hoppymeal for hooking me up a while back.

Pours a clear dark reddish brown, some orange highlights, huge light tan head forms and settles down to a medium sized layer, leaves some lace spots on the glass.

Smell is weird, very fruity, lots of woodiness, funky sour, rotten fruit, apples, some caramel, horseblanket, very strange.

Taste is slightly better, a bit nutty, really strange and fruity, kind of rotten, wood, lemon acidity, a bit of whiskey, sour fruit, very weird finish, like nutty sour fruit.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with high carbonation, very weird beer. Thanks Derek!

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, vintage 2010. Served in a tulip, the beer pours a dark brown/reddish color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is tart apples, grapes, and some oak. The aroma was strong right out of the bottle, but it got weaker pretty quick. The brew tastes like tart apples and cherries, grapes, oak and some blueberries. It's mostly tart, but the sweet fruity flavors show up a bit more as the beer warms. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, the alcohol isn't very noticable at all which helps makes this brew easy to drink. I think this is a good overall beer, I think it's worth trying.

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Blue Sunday Sour from New Holland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.