R&D Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
4.81/5 rDev +11.9%
500ml bottle, shared at a tasting. Reviewed from notes.
A: Lightly hazed medium amber body under a finger of ultra-fine white head that settles into a ring. Great.
S: Smells like Wisconsin: earthy, woody, piney, cheesy, citrusy, and lactic. Wonderful array of funk, sourness, and complexity.
T: Everything from the nose, plus some additional notes of tropical fruit (cantaloupe and mango), crisp lactic acidity, and a supremely oaky (almost buttery) finish. Amazing.
M: Creamy, lively, medium-bodied. Great.
O: Quite simply one of the best American Wild Ales I've ever had. If it were easier to trade for, I'd love to have more.
05-19-2014 01:40:08 | More by woosterbill
3.81/5 rDev -11.4%
500ml brown glass bottle with appealing classy label and branded iconic pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with Duff27 and served into Cantillon stemware in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - for which I have tremendous respect. Batch 8.5 bbl. 5.4% ABV confirmed per the label. Brewed December 09. Bottled March 12. Reviewed as an American wild ale since it's an American-brewed self-identified "sour ale."
Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a one finger wide head of off-white colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. Lacks frothiness. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Complexion could be softer. Consistency could be more even and full.
Body colour is a translucent semitransparent orange-copper of above average vibrance. Appears well-carbonated. Clean; there are no floating yeast particles.
Overall, it's a lively appearance for a sour and I find it quite attractive, but it's not unique or special. Certainly appealing. I'm excited to try it.
Sm: Tart fruits - peach primarily. Rich oak. Plenty of sourness is present, but it doesn't seem pucker-worthy. Clean lactobacillus is the main contributor, but there is a light bacterial character and some funky brettanomyces yeast notes. Crystal malt. Kisses of apple cider/apple juice. Floral hop character.
No alcohol or other off-notes are detectable. The sourness is noticeable but unintimidating, and acidity doesn't seem as high as usual for a beer in this style. It's an alive, inviting aroma of moderate strength. I'm really excited for the first sip.
Mf: Has a lovely dryness with some acidic twang. Perfect coarseness. Medium body. Slight overcarbonation. Good thickness. Refreshing. The coarse dry feel of the texture coupled with the refreshing clean sour flavour teases the drinker; I keep wanting to come back for the open even though the body drags a bit. Overall, it's got good presence on the palate.
Not gushed, hot, boozy, oily, astringent, or harsh. The texture helps coax out more depth of flavour at the expense of drinkability.
T: It's not as fruity as you might expect/hope for. There are touches of orchard apple/apple cider/apple juice as well as some orchard peach, but the fruity touches are quite buried. It's got a nice lacto-induced sourness to it and feels Belgian in character. Belgian pale malts, light sourdough malt character, neutral malts. It's a bit bacterial, and never feels too clean or clinical to be a truly wild/spontaneous beer like many American sours tend to. The oak is a bit more prominent than anticipated, and feels a bit chalky and neutral rather than toasty and/or rich.
Lemon. Juicy esters. Subtle farmhouse citrus character. Brettanomyces funkiness. Some earthiness. Hay. Straw. Reminds me a bit of a gueuze. Vinegar. Light acetic touches.
Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. It's complex and subtle enough, but doesn't push the envelope. There isn't much nuance or intricacy here, but it's a well balanced beer and has a cohesive build. It's not gestalt, but it comes together nicely.
I'm really quite liking this one.
Dr: I'll easily kill this bottle alone and I'm very grateful to Duff27 for the opportunity to try this lovely brew. As good as it is, it can't compete with New Glarus' other superior sours. Absolutely worth trying, and very well executed for an American sour. It's extremely drinkable, and I'd recommend it to friends and trade partners any day of the week. More damn solid work from one of our best breweries.
I think the oak, lemon, and funkiness have really developed with age. They taste beautifully integrated in a way I can't imagine occurs fresh. As this warms, it just gets better and better. A great gueuze-esque American sour across the board.
03-11-2014 22:57:29 | More by kojevergas
R&D Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.