Love Child No. 4 | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
104 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
104
Ratings:
1,193
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
34.61%
 
 
Wants:
109
Gots:
363
For Trade:
46
Love Child No. 4Love Child No. 4
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Love Child is made by blending batches of beer, aged for between 11 months and 5 years in whiskey barrels (50%), wine foeders (15%), and stainless steel tanks (35%). The beer gets it's funk from Lactobaccillus and Brettanomyces (the same Brett used in Boulevard's Saison-Brett).

Added by johnsonni on 05-30-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 1,193
Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark golden amber color with dark ruby/copper edges and a two finger off-white head that quickly fades into a thick, lasting ring. Decent retention, lasting most of the pour with sporadic splotches of lacing left behind.

Sweet slightly musty/funky aroma with a decent barrel presence that's nicely integrated into the acidity and sweetness of the base. Damp oak with strong tannins and prominent vinous wine sweetness. Surprisingly not much whiskey since its 59% of the blend. Wine is only 15% but really stands out in the nose. Jammy berries, sour cherry, dark grape and currant. Delicate musty funk with lacto and sweaty Brett. Faint acetic character with light balsamic. Not solvent like.

Medium body, slightly tart with strong vinous sweetness and delicate acidity. Light funk with subtle lacto and sweaty brett. Dry charred oak presence but not too heavy/toothpick like. Strong vinous sweetness with hints of light and dark grapes, tart sour cherries, currant and other dark berries. Oak tannin, dry cherry skin and sharp acidity without being harsh. Subtle lingering acetic vinegar in the finish that leaves me wanting more. Kind of like a tamer version of a Russian River Tion beer. Flavorful, well balanced and easy to drink. Nice beer from Boulevard.

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Photo of pattycakes8401
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I actually had never heard of sour/funk beer before trying this, and in fact I didn't even know what style this beer was while opening the bottle. So, the sourness really caught me off guard upon taking the first sip, and I absolutely hated it. Fortunately, however, I like to stay open-minded and try to avoid being biased towards any particular style of beer, and after opening myself up to it a bit more I was really able to appreciate what complexities this beer had to offer. What did I learn? Sour beer is definitely an acquired taste. Anyhow, because of my unfamiliarity and inexperience with this particular style, I will keep my review brief and as unbiased as possible.

Look: Dark yet vibrant hazy ruby amber with a small white head that quickly settles into a thin splotchy film with a thick ring on the edges. Despite the lousy head retention, the color on this is beautiful.

Smell: Loads of red wine, musty oak, and lactic acid surrounded by sour apples, fermented cider, white grapes, and a touch of floral honey and balsamic vinegar. Makes the nose tingle.

Taste: Really fucked me in the tongue with the sourness, especially since this is my first sour. The red wine and musty oak come in strong again, along with sour apple, grape skin, lemon juice, and a lot of floral notes. All of this is potently imbued with lactic acid and pungent tartness.

Feel: Light bodied and smooth with a nice tingly carbonation, yet very tart and astringent, making my mouth pucker with a floral candy stickiness coating the back of the tongue, and ending with a very dry finish.

Overall: IPAs are not my favorite, but I like them because their bitter, floral, piney flavors remind me of the wilderness, almost as if it's "a drink of nature". This sour beer brought be the same feeling, except more vinous and citrusy, and with sourness instead of bitterness dominating the palette. Admittedly, the sourness was overwhelming for me and initially quite difficult to take down, but I'm assuming this is because I am new to the style and have not yet acquired the taste. So, aside from this, it was an oddly refreshing beer with a very colorful flavor profile, almost euphoric in a way. Did I think it was great? No. Did I like it? Sort of. But was I able to appreciate it? Absolutely. This is almost the exact opposite of my favorite style, the Belgian Quad, but it was certainly intriguing.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - A striking ruby orange color, largely clear, bright white head, very short, but persistent, and lots of lacing.

S - Spiky funk nose. Lacto and a touch of band aid, along with wood and boozy alcohol.

T - A surprisingly mild bite of acid, along with a hint of barrel. Fruit notes include green apple, tart plum, a hint of cherry, and of course, grape flesh and skin. The close narrows to a spiky acidic line.

M - Strong acidic line does not produce too much puckering. Given how big and burly this beer is, it is surprising how easy this is on the tongue.

O - I've had this one for a while, and it was definitely worth the wait. Given what I read about this one initially, I am glad I let it mature a bit. The flavors are well melded, and extraordinarily drinkable. A deep beer, with main layers, that still remains quite drinkable. Rock solid.

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Photo of Boto
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bomber best by 3-2016: This one ours a murky amber color. There was a good sized off-white head that dropped off to nothing rather quickly. No lacing. Interesting aroma. Some funk, a bit of red wine, some oak, maybe a touch of apple cider. The taste is good. Definitely tart and sour. Perhaps noted of strawberries and cherries. A touch of the oakiness. Alcohol is hidden completely. Surprisingly none of the whiskey barrels have imparted a noticeable flavor. Very nice.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Found this bottle in a box of old stuff in my father-in-law's garage. It may have frozen over the previous winter, but carbonation seemed fine when I popped the cork. Served in my 2014 Volo Zwanze glass.

A - A couple fingers of white foam quickly sizzle to a solid cap, thick collar, and some splotches of lace. Lightly hazed amber body with some visible bubbles.

S - Well hidden alcohol. There's an oxidative quality among the spicy oak and lactic tartness, although it dissipates as the beer warms up. Apparently there are some 5-year-old barrels in the blend, and then this was aged for another 18 months so I'm not totally surprised. Sweet, jammy, and still a bit malty, as one would expect from a 9% sour, with lots of berries and other red fruits. Still, dominated by oak, lacto and brett.

T - Pretty sour, although not quite as sour as Love Child #5. Heavy on lemon, sour cherry, and other tart berry flavors. Not as much wood and whiskey, and brett is less expressive. Actually kind of refreshing, but with a bit of malt heft to remind you it's a big beer. Again, well hidden booze.

M - Medium body, with pleasant, zesty carbonation. Definitely some of the sweet tarts, cottonmouth dryness to it that yields to tooth-coating candy stickiness. No real alcohol warming.

D - I think this is the best in the series. Wish I hadn't misplaced it a year ago and had it a bit fresher. I enjoyed the entire 750ml bottle during Game 1 of the World Series this year.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a goblet at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: translucent yellowish burnt orange, minimal head.

Smell: strawberry, kiwi, confectioners sugar.

Taste: sharp acetic tartness up front, but quickly gives way to lively fruit: strawberry, underripe kiwi, blackberry jam. Also oak, confectioners sugar, salt.

Feel: tingly, with a lighter body, perfect carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: this is a solid sour, with a nice fruit character that balances out the ample tartness. I do wish more of the whisky influence came through; I've had some phenomenal whisky-barreled sours, and this doesn't belong in that category. It's a delicious and enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of mactrail
2.82/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Reviewing this over a year after it was bottled. Color is a lovely clear copper red with a modest foam. Moderate fizziness on the tongue. Aroma is apple cider vinegar with a hint of paint remover. Flavors of white wine vinegar and an astringent woodiness. The ghosts of fruit and malt dance in the shadows.

The sourness makes the other flavors irrelevant. though there is a touch of fruit. Lips hurt and the acidity finds every scratch and sore spot in the entire mouth. Teeth feel coated. I respect the demanding brewing technique, but I have to ask why? The rest of the glass should take care of some of these fruit flies.

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Photo of Srs5768
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sour beyond compare, never quite had a beer where the brett and lacto united in such harmony to assault the palate (in the best way possible) with a relentless mouth-puckering explosion. Tart, tarter and tartest; this remains one of my all-time favorite American Wild Ales.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love Child No. 4 is a fairly elementary sour beer from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Overly sour with a definite barrel presence but little complexity, this one might be good for the sour novice or just a hot summer day by the pool.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip. Best by: 03-2016.

A: Pours a deep cranberry color with a very active and effervescent short-lived tan head that quickly fizzed away into a faint collar.
S: Complex nose with very musty scents of oak barrels and yeast dominating. I get notes of creamy and earthy brett, tart lacto, vinous and fruity red wine and black cherries, a just a hint of whisky flavors including tobacco, leather, and caramel.
T: Red berries including cranberry, tart and tannic cherry, and red wine hit up front followed by creamy and doughy brett, mild spice, with a finish full of caramel, tobacco, greasy oak, and a hint of cocoa. The aftertaste has a sharp kick of lactic acid but quickly mellows to buttery and greasy oak and slick whisky barrel. Over all the flavors are a complex mixture of oak, wine, and whisky mixed with tart and semisweet red fruit.
M: Clean and smooth mouthfeel despite being both dry and tart. The tartness is sharp and quick lived, but in a good way, as the greasy and buttery oak barrel quickly overpowers the dryness. Carbonation is on the softer side, and the mouthfeel has an overall creamy quality from the yeast.
O: A fabulous sour ale that was a pleasure to drink. Very clean and complex, I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Back label says Best By: 03-2016.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that doesn't retain long before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small side patch of sheer surface foam. Nearly no lacing.

S- Great lacto funk brings to mind green apple, sour cherries and fermented red grape juice. A bit leathery.

T- Slightly sweet at first and then the sourness kicks in bringing with it a nice funk complexity exhibiting notes of unripe pear, more green apple and maybe even a bit of fermented strawberry. A little vinegary and the alcohol presence is well masked.

M- Very dry with a solid pucker factor and moderate acidity. Medium-low carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Very enjoyable, though I liked the taste off a fresh bottle I had better.

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Photo of n2185
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed with the No 3 and 5.

A: Pours a clear copper with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: Lot more funk and must in the nose than in the fresh No. 5. Tart fruits come through as well, though not as sour. Smells better than the No. 5.

T: Tart cherries, sour lemons, and musty Brett character come through with some oak. The finish is tart and funky.

M: Medium-light body with lowish carbonation, this beer is less watery and more drinkable than the No. 5.

O: Much better with a year on it. Less outright sour and tartness and more funk, which is nice.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle.

Appearance: rich copper hue with a tiny bit of red tint. The body has just a touch of haze and a light effervescence; head is a finger of frothy ivory foam which subsides quickly. Brilliant color.

Smell: quite tart with just a hint of underlying funk and fruitiness. It hints at good things to come.

Taste: wow, a way more flavorful beer than suggested by the aroma. First, there's a rich and sweet caramel with a hint of toffee and fruit. This is followed immediately by a great big tartness that carries with it just a dash of funk. Complex and biting, this is one tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good carbonation and a decent creaminess. Not too bad, although with a beer like this it's hard to get a great texture with such attenuation.

Overall: zippy, peppy and way more drinkable than its 9% would suggest. I'm loving it.

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Photo of aleigator
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, red-brown glowing color, with a small, dense head.

Smells of balsamic glue, topped by yogurt and peas. The aromas come well together, thanks to the wooden barrel, apple peel and a whiff of sour lemonade, together with a high acidity and sweeter honey. This promises to be a very sour beer.

Has a well fitting medium carbonation with a slightly metallic touch to it, among a medium body.

Tastes of an uncompromising bitterness, built out of funky bretts, old creamy cheese, glue, fermented milk and young apple rind. Its wooden, leathery malts build the balancing foundation of this beer, while they exhibit just enough balance to handle the tart onslaught. Its apple sourness matures during the finish, adding a ripe, sweeter fruitiness to them, while the brew remains its acidic tartness.

While the beer is indeed utmost acidic and sour, it features a decent range of flavors, finishing with a well fitting malt sweetness. A straight forward sour, struggling with not becoming too one-dimensional, due to its dominant sourness, threatening to swallow all other flavors.

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Photo of spoony
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle (best by March 2016) into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces a short head of tan foam that fades quickly to a collar. No lace. The beer is reddish-brownish color...light amber, I guess. Nearly clear and no carbonation.

S-The aroma is quite tart with heavy cherry and balsamic flavors. I also get some grape to go with the lactic sourness and white wine barrel flavors. Musty not funky.

T-The taste is pretty damn sour. Cherries, balsamic, white wine, oak, and light suggestions of whiskey that linger more in the background. The finish dries out and gives just a little sting of alcohol.

M-The body is light to medium in heft with a little bit of stickiness. Carbonation is chunky and quick to fade.

O-This beer is a big sour in the style of Avery sours or maybe some RR sours. Light on the whiskey barrel with a nice dose of wine barrel in there. I found it to lack the complexity of the best examples of the style, but it definitely provided a nice mixture of cherry and balsamic flavors that reminded me briefly of a Flanders red.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, served in a snifter 4/13/2015.

A- Medium brown body, a bit light yellow hued in character but mostly brown. One finger white head, hazy, nice retention and good lacing.

S- Heavy oak, cider-like sweetness, lactic acid, a mild amount of funk, smells like there could be cherries even though there were no cherry additions. A small amount of lemon zest. Again, a lot of oak, reasonably dry on the nose.

F- Musty oak, above average amount of lactate for an AWA, small amount of funk, cherries, dark fruit, small vinous character, mild-moderate cider-like sweetness and a touch of lemon and leather. Plenty of oak as well.

M- Medium bodied, substantial but not thick, the barrel influence shines here although I cannot find any specific whiskey or wine barrel character. Easy to drink, dry and crisp, refreshing with good carbonation.

O- Just as good as the third iteration, a very nice definition of what AWA means.

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Photo of chinchill
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared large bottle.

This poured with a hazy amber body and a semi-durable head.
Quite sour and lightly funky. Way more wood (barrel) effect than whisky.

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Photo of priwen
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, burnt orange appearance with a moderate, eggshell colored head that dissipates rather quickly. Aroma of fermented fruit (cherry?) with hints of whiskey in the background. Whiff of alcohol. Very complex. Tart flavor that is almost overwhelming at first. After a few sips, I find the tartness to be very manageable. I can't pick out specific flavor notes, but the overall flavor is terrific! Finishes dry, but leaves a hint of sweetness on the lips. Medium mouthfeel. Overall: I'm a big fan of things that have a tart flavor, so I'm a big fan of this beer. For me it's definitely a sipper. I'm looking forward to trying more of this style.

750 ml bottle
Best by: 1-03-2016
Served in an Oversized Wine glass

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle from Tipples. Pours deep reddish orange color with a nice fluffy off white head. Aroma is muted with some metallic and cardboard notes, oak, some light sour funk, sweet fruit and a vinous presence. Flavor follows as a beautiful combination of sweet fruit, red wine, sour lacto, dry oak. Wow this is really nice. No sign of the whiskey here, but I am OK with that. The wine barrel and sour notes really take over. Medium heavy body, medium plus carbonation. Really nice beer overall.

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Photo of Damian
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 750 ml/1 pint, 9.4 fluid ounces corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Best by date: 03-2016
Served in a tulip

The crystal clear, mahogany-amber liquid was topped by a small, bubbly, light tan crown that quickly dropped to a lasting, bubbly ring. Splotches of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was quite interesting. Tart, funky and musty. Somewhat woodsy. Almost gueuze-like in complexity. Red wine came through strong. Vinous and oaky. There was a slight crackery malt sweetness. Tart berries were detectible. This reminded me a bit of a kriek.

The flavor profile was intensely sour and definitely not as interesting as the nose. Quite tannic and acidic with strong lemon and vinegar notes. Loads of oak and barrel character. Buggy. The brett notes came through big time. Tart lemon rind appeared in the finish, along with more vinegar.

The mouthfeel was frothy and fluffy. Lighter bodied for the style. A bit thin. The liquid contained a super fine, mellow effervescence. Toward the drink's end, I could feel the beer stripping the enamel from my teeth.

I remember Love Child No. 3 being a fantastically interesting and complex wild ale, but this beer lacked some balance and depth of flavor. Love Child No. 4 could definitely benefit from a bigger malt presence, less sourness and a lot more overall complexity.

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Photo of mverity
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber brown with hints of pink. Bubbly light tan head that faded fairly quickly into a medium collar. Pretty good lacing and decent legs. Aroma is tart dark cherry, cranberry and black raspberry; behind that there's some earthy woodiness. When I swirl the glass, the vinous woodiness really comes alive. Taste follows aroma with some wine barrel resin. Little bit of funk but the brett is majorly covered up by the sour lacto at this point in the aging process. Taste is also extremely tart and reminds me of a very sour jolly rancher. Very fruity, but quite sour. Medium carbonation and body.

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Photo of Kadonny
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 into a snifter glass.

A: A murky golden brownish color with a 2 finger off white (almost light brown) head. Nice lacing that does not stick around.

S: Holy sour Batman. Huge blast of tart fruit like apple, pear and white grape, some slight sweetness is there along with some earthy oaky smells. Wow, terrific.

T: The sour fruit just jumps right out at you. Sour apple, white grape, apple and pear that seem to start tart and stay that way. There is a little bit of sweetness but it gets tramped on by the insane tartness. Towards the end I got some more woody and oaky flavors with some alcohol (probably bourbon but I can't say I tasted bourbon per se) and some earthy tones. Finish is all tart an puckering and lasting.

F: Super sour and tart, prickly, alcohol and high carbonation. Really nice though.

O: Overall this is an awesome sour with a little different twist of the oak and bourbon (?) flavors, but they really work well together. This is an awesome sour that I will always seek out in the future. I have one more bottle to enjoy too, sweet.

Great beer.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The pour itself gets aromas flowing quickly to my nose and getting my taste buds watering. Pours to a murky honey brown tone of swamp water of a body. Head is a biscuity golden brown that fades to a skim quickly. No lace is left behind. nose is fruit resin sweetness mixed with dusty tartness that dances well together. Wow is all my brain can get out as I take first sip. A wonderfully brutal attack of sour quickly takes over the tongue. Astringent and full sour feel swarms the mouth with each sip. You get lemon peel and high quality boutique vinegar in the flavor along with a dry dusting of sour candy coating. This is a truely sour beer and not for the faint at heart. Mouthfeel is a real pucker up.

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Photo of Jonada
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a teku

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color with 2 fingers of an off white head that settles to a thin cap and collar. Body is slightly hazy with some light visible carbonation.

Smell: Lots of fruitiness. Sour cherry, red wine, peach, overripe apple, wood, some mild funk, strawberry and maybe a bit of brown bread. Lots of different aromas going on here.

Taste: Red grape, oak, apple cider vinegar, lacto, light toasted malt, black currant and sour cherry. Some whiskey character come through in the finish but it's more of a scotch whiskey than bourbon or american whiskey. Sourness is relatively high, borders on puckering.

Mouthfeel: Lighter end of medium bodied, maybe a little thin, with light medium carbonation. Finishes dry.

Overall: Really good, complex wild ale. Well worth picking up, but wouldn't recommend to someone new to sours as this one is pretty intense.

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Photo of kevanb
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series tulip glass. Enjoyed on 1.13.15, review from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a nice reddish copper color, garnet hues with a slight haze though fairly clear. A thick finger of bone colored head rises from the beer with great retention and spots of soapy lace left behind. The aroma is of tart cherries, stone fruits, oak, rich bourbon but with some sharp lemon zest and tannic acidity. The flavors seem to focus more on the wine barrel than the bourbon that was heavily detectable on the nose, plenty of tart cherry and dark stone fruits, red wine grapes, vinous oak barrel with strong tannins, lemon zest and some apple cider vinegar that lends a lot of sourness to the beer. The mouthfeel is nice, very carbonated, lively and zippy though coating and smooth, very full bodied with a creamy finish that is lightly dry.

Verdict: A very nice American Wild Ale from Boulevard, and a nice interplay between the wine and bourbon barrels, both getting their turn to shine. Nicely sour but not cripplingly so and the cherry and fruit profile fits in well with the barrel treatments.

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Love Child No. 4 from Boulevard Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.