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Blue Sunday Sour - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blue Sunday SourBlue Sunday Sour

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

119 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 119
Hads: 556
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 25.26%
Wants: 47
Gots: 122 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 119 | Hads: 556
Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2012 vintage...

A: Pours a translucent red color with about one full finger of off-white head. The foam settles quickly, leaving solid lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is cherries, spoiled fruit, sour funk, and bourbon-esque alcohol. There is more funk and rotten fruit than anything else.

T: Starts out tart and acidic. It's off. Way off. There are tons of spoiled cherry and plum notes. I get hints of old vegetation. It's pretty sour and just plain nasty.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet with the sour coming on strong right after. It's a total mess and I don't think it's infected. I just think that is how it is. There is lingering sour and alcohol in the finish.

O: Not a good beer at all. Skip it at all costs. I don;t want to drink this ever again. It's just plain gross.

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Photo of billab914
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
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 BeerImmediately
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Vintage into tulip.

Pours with a short 1cm off-white head over a pretty cherry colored body with light carbonation flowing up.

Aromas are somewhat dull, but grew on me w/time. Red wine vinegar, dark malt, molasses, sweet cherry. Very Flanders Red Ale.

Flavors replicate the aromas, with a rich, dark quality throughout. Rich red wine, vinegar, lots of oak, slight tartness - like a cherry skin.

Mouthfeel is pretty soft - not much carbonation. Lingering smoke-from-the-oak finish/film on the palate.

If you're expecting a traditional American Wild Ale, you may be disappointed... but if you think Flanders Red, you will likely enjoy more. I choose to enjoy.

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Photo of MeowTom
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2012

A- Dark, dark redish amber in color with a slight off white head that goes down to a rings and slight film over the top.

S- Crisp cherry/apple smell and other fruity smells. A very slight yeast smell included.

T- Sour and tart fruit flavor. There is a wild yeast taste left over.

M- Nice and clean carbonation with a dry finish.

O- Pretty darn good sour ale that has a lot good things going for it. I would love to try a big beer version of this someday.

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Photo of crossovert
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz purple foiled bomber. 2012 vintage.

It pours a deep black cherry red adn struggles to form a head. Eventually I got it to about 1 cm, rising to the rim of the glass. It recedes quickly with a few specks of lacing.

I like the smell on this one. Smells in many ways like a nice flanders red. It has a bit more of bluntness with some sugary sweetness due to the gravity. It has nice vinegar, berries, cherries, funky almost medicinal qualities.The oak is huge here providing a huge but mellow vanilla and wood scent. Medium sourness in the smell.

The flavor is definitely sweet but nice. The oak is again just pounding in this one. Medium to low sourness but it is pleasant. It isn't as light and zippy as it should be but it is nice. The funkiness in the aroma doesn't make it as much into the taste. The vinegar is mild and the fruit flavors are decently mellow.

The mouthfeel feels about right.

It is complex but the sweetness ruins it, they nee to dial down the gravity.

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Photo of DersOne
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a small wine glass.

A-No head or carbonation, pours a cloudy cherry wood color.

S-Sour cherry, with a fair bit of vinegar.

T-Big sour/tart cherry flavors that blend into sweet malt flavors, clean crisp and dry, low acidity. Not much vinegar flavor, which was a bit refreshing given the smell.

M-Light, clean, low bitterness, minimal tartness.

O-Above average sour, the tartness and cherry flavors are well-balanced with the malt and oak flavors to make for an easy drinker.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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 zaphodchak
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012. Deep ruby body. Faint soapy suds on the surface.

Beautiful Flemish red nose. Dripping with mellow oak, with some tartness.

Tart, quite so. Pretty funky, and some grape. A bit of oak character as well, it's well developed even for being young. Really quintessential oud bruin and for all the mellowness and richness, the finish is marvelously dry.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, supports the taste.

This would be a good one to get another and sit on for a year or so.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice and compact sour with a marked oak touch.

Presentation: 22 oz brown foiled and capped bottle. Simple label in faded purple, with a en embroidery frame and a few barrels highlighting this series. Back offers a small note pointing to intent and characteristics. Shows vintage 2012, and 8.4% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Deep amber/crimson pour, soft creamy head, medium retention, fair surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Sour nose, malty notes, oak…

T - Tart range, very compact and rounded, fruity notes, cherries, plum, remote apple, dash of wooded malt.. gives way to a noticeable sense of oak, sour vanilla...

M - Medium body with medium/full carbonation, rather spritzy at first with a shy dry touch under the sour finish.

O - Very well rounded. Quite a nice sour…

Notes: Quality offering, given the hype in some circles for sours I sure think this one deserves more traction. Maybe a touch too hefty in the Alc. but the way it is finished it actually works rather well. Nice one to try in any case, and I sure look forward to next years release.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours with a ruby caramel color. Great coloration. It looks wonderful in the glass.

The aroma comes in layers: some cherries, some sour berries. It’s flavor is tonguecurlingly sour at first sip, but opens up to a mélange of dark cherries, currants and a peculiar malt sweetness of some sorts that becomes more prominent as it warms. The beer itself is light bodied and the flavor finishes thin, with the tartness hanging around. It could use more time on oak, or more of an oak profile, as I enjoyed that aspect immensely, but the beer as a whole didn’t come together for my liking.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The vintage 2012 was poured into a tulip glass. In appearance it resembled the color of blended dark fruit juices and gave only a slight amount of head. A sour aroma was noted that is typical of the style. The initial taste was a shot of sour blackberry, as if a berry was eaten prematurely from the bush. The taste was very tart but gave hints of milder fruits. As the beer connects with the sides of the mouth, the slight oak flavor is noted in a modest degree. The tart flavor continues into the aftertaste, losing little intensity. A mild level of carbonation helps to cleanse the mouth after each swallow. A modest level of sweetnees is all that kept this from being a exceptional beer. Though very good, the taste is rather one-sided.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.28/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After being fooled into buying 4 bottles of 'Envious,' I decided I just wasn't going to buy any Blue Sunday... Well surlytheduff must have read my mind and decidedto toss one in as an extra in our most recent trade.

Served in a tulip and shared with my wife and brother in law.

Dark, prune-colored purple brown body with a small fuzzy head. Weak retention, no lacing.
Smells of oak, some dark fruits, and a bunch of malt.
The flavor adds a chalky tartness on the finish. Not really sour at all, and not really very good in my opinion... Too malty and too sweet-- i prefer dry sours, but the sweetness is too much because it cuts into the sourness too much and makes the finish remind me of sweet-tarts.

Feels medium-full with low carbonation.

Overall-- this just doesn't work for me. I was hoping for more... I like the brewery, but I have now decided to avoid their fruit beers and sours from now on.

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Photo of bbeane
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a chalice... Starts with a light head that disappears quickly leaving behind some lacing. Beer is ruby in color

S- Nice funky tart aroma with a hint of cinnamon

T- Was hoping for better based on the aroma... Not bad, but the nice tart pluckiness that hits your mouth first is eventually joined by a malty cherry sweetness

M- Light carbonation with a light/medium body

O- Not a bad beer by any means, but the malty sweetness was a little more present than I prefer for the style


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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


A: Like an apple juice/grape juice blend. Dark but completely translucent. Very frothy, albeit small head that stays clung to the sides.

S: Almost smells like gummy bears/worms in its sugar content. Barnyard sour upfront, quickly overpowered by oak that almost smells of bourbon.

T: Less tart than the smell. Oak is also more subdued. Almost has a wine like fruit taste and flatness.

M: Carbonation is low but still there. This beer doesn't contribute much to the mouthfeel which is good for being a sour imo. I wish the carbonation was more lively though. As I drink more I get the distinct burps that remind me of drinking too much brandy, gross.

O: Atypical beer, atypical for the style too. Not really toward my fancies though.

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Photo of b3shine
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to oversized snifter. 2012 vintage. Looks decent; darker in color, no sediment. Less carbonation than I ecpexted (next to none). Smells good; tart and funky. Tastes decent; earthy, funky, and sour. Mouthfeel is good for a beer of its type. Overall, a decent brew that I enjoyed, but is a little pricy for the quality.

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Photo of DCon
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle from Friar Tuck's in Fenton, MO for $13.49. Poured from the Purple labeled/foiled bottle w/ "15", The Cellar Series, & Ale Aged in Oak on the front into a 12oz Schlafly Tulip Glass. Has only 2012 Vintage on the front of the bottle, no bottled date.

This is Review #700 for me and I picked this beer because I haven't had anything from New Holland classified under a Sour/American Wild Ale style! I purchased this with the Founder's Better Half. Went this one first because I was so curious. Lets see what it presents to us!

Aroma- Tons of barnyard and oak from the beginning. Light cherries/sour fruits hit the nose too. Very sweet and very similar to a Gueuze. Enjoyed this aroma big time!

Appearance- Pours almost no head at all. Has a dark copper/light brown colored body with semi-clarity. Leaves tons of suds behind.

Flavor- The beginning of the drink is very sweet and has a nice oak feel to it. Almost has a cherry taste towards the middle or some type of sour fruit. No hops present and has a light bitterness level. Finishes semi-dry.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Tart, and puckers the palate big time at the finish!

Overall Impression- While NEVER having anything close to this style from New Holland, enjoyed greatly! Will be buying another one and aging for years to come. I would definitely classify this one as a Gueuze style though. The sour attributes and barnyard notes hit home, being one of my top 5 styles. Took a leap of faith on this one and without a doubt, made my night! Thanks New Holland! Keep up the good work.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, this is a dark purple/brown/burgundy type color. It seems pretty well carbonated. Smell is very funky, sour, tart, and acidic. Vinegar, raspberries, and lemon all come to mind. The taste is not as intense as the smell, but it is definitely sour lemon with some woody oak aftertones. This is very easy to drink as the alcohol does not seem to come through at all.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at slightly below cellar temp.

A: Nice reddish brown. Very little amount of white head. Minimal lacing.

S: Funky vinegar nose with some fruity undertones.

T: This is the best aspect. Great sour taste. Notes of apple cider vinegar.

M: Light body and carbonation.

O: This was surprisingly good. I will be buying another bottle or two.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into tulip - i cant recall who sent this, but thanks!

Pours a mostly clear burnt cherry color with some auburn hues. A thin head fades into filmy retention, with a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Decent smack or tartness in the nose with oak and berries. Dark cherry skin and white wine with some acidity. Hints of caramel malt too.

Starts off with a mild sourness, fairly tempered and round on the tongue. Oak and berry notes with cranberry-like acidity. Some cherry notes with more tartness. Hints of caramel and malt towards the finish, which is a little dry and warm.

Medium body, higher carbonation, tingly and dry on the tongue. A drinkable, fairly refreshing brew, but not especially sour.

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Photo of oline73
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
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 liamt07
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 KickInTheChalice
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. 2010 vintage. Thanks to bauermj for bringing this over.

Appearance: Slightly hazy cherry brown color with a rocky off white head that fades quickly and leaves nothing on the glass.

Smell: Slightly tart and vinegary aroma. Tart cherries, oak, some currants, and a little vinegar.

Taste: Not much sweetness, just a little bit of residual balsamic sweetness. Some tart cherries, currants, and oak. A little bit of lactic sweetness as the sip finishes.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium carbonation, lightly vinegary puckering, and a light to medium body. Slightly dry.

Overall: This is ok, but there is just not the complexity or strong flavors to really turn this into a winner.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Blue Sunday 2011

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours clear amber with two-inch tan head that lasts briefly but some foam rings stick to glass' interior. Vigorous effervescence. 

S: Malt vinegar is the dominant note in smell. Additional aromas include grapes, grape skin, wood, cherries, and a bit of vanilla. I get the impression that the beer will be a little sweet and salty. 

T: Yes, it is quite sweet, but not disproportionate to the sweetness found in a Flanders Red Ale like Rodenbach Grand Cru. Grape, cherry and vinegar notes follow next. The sourness in Blue Sunday is medium-light, so not as big of a player as I suspected. Wood and/or fruit pits join these elements for finish, which is astringent. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and paradoxically limp. 

O: I'm still amazed that New Holland was able to brew a decent, approachable American Wild Ale. It is definitely pedestrian and is therefore recommended mainly as an introduction to the style or as a relatively cheap sour fix ($12 for a 750 ml bottle). 

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
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 Pencible
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear dark mahogany, with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like sour cherry and tart cranberry and funky oak, with a little brown sugar and wild yeast and metallic hops.
T: It tasted like dark sour cherry and tart cranberry, with funky oak and and brown sugar and a little metallic hops. It had a clean and juicy sour aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a nice wild ale with a succulent sour scent and taste. Delicate but bold, with a bit of sweetness to balance the sour. This was a clean drink with fitting body, and the alcohol was well hidden also, so it was very easy to drink. May improve with age, but nice fresh. I'm surprised I had never heard of this before, but glad I got to try it. Not one of those wilds that'll blow your mind, but still recommended.

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Blue Sunday Sour from New Holland Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.