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R&D Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
R&D Sour AleR&D Sour Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

39 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 141
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 168
Gots: 30 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: 4DAloveofSTOUT on 08-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 141
Photo of woosterbill
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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.


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Photo of mobius387
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: golden yellow, lots of bubbles, thin white head. honestly, looks like an ipa

aroma: oak, funk, wheat, lemon. but pretty light overall.

palate: it stings, it drinks easy, its bubbly, pretty much all you can ask in the feel of a beer. great variety, every sip is fun

taste: huge oak and funk, some citrus, some maltyness, some cherry? very robust, very balanced, just flat out awesome

overall: honestly, this is about the best sour ale ive ever had. its not my favorite style, and it lacks a little bit in the aroma department, probably could be a bit funkier, but just about the most balanced, yet with enough kick, sour/lambics ive ever had. maybe could benefit from more of a fruit forward taste, like stronger lemon or cherry, but then again its very diverse in its offering. this is on par with upland lambics and the west coast sours ive had. great offering from NG!

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Photo of vespahulb
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Happy to have waited in line to snag a bunch of these.

Upon first whiff, I was really taken with the aroma. Cinnamon, gingersnaps, baking spice, lemon, wet hay, and stinky-yeasty-apple aromas envelope the nose. Damn. This is something incredibly complex.

In the mouth, the balance of tart, sour green apple and lemons with spicy yeast are seamless. Not so much of a malt presence, as the lactic acid is really the show here.

Overall, this is an astoundingly great sour. The complexity is there, as is the impeccable balance. I really look forward to how this one evolves over the next couple of years. Really something special.

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Photo of jlindros
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brewed Dec '09, bottled March '12, thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Pours light fizzy head that fades med pace with streaming bubbles, hazy candy reddish orange color light lacing and nice legs.

Nose is great, nice sour funk, lacto and some nice sour Brett funk, lactic acid and vinous notes, fruity sourness and tangy, nice mild vanilla oak, very tart and berry skin like tannin.

Taste blends nice sourness with buttery oak and lactic acid, nice Brett sour funk, nice lacto like creamy sourness, with tangy tart juicy fruit and nice acidic level. Nice toasty oak vanilla buttery oak, light bready note, nice tannic berry skin and vinous like with touch lemony funk.

Mouth is med bod, lighter but decent carb, sour lacto.

overall awesome, great all-around.

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Photo of rudzud
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade long ago. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice hazy amber hue with a thin head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of lovely lacto sourness, light oak and tannins, nice brett funk. Creamy light vanilla with oak. My minds eye likens this almost to beatification due to faint lemon berry skin.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of lacto, light brett funk, faint vanilla oak tannins, light lemons and green berry skin. Not overly sour, just sour enough. Really really pleasant.

M - Mouthfeel is a touch weak, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer was really tasty, very complex. Was scared that time works have affected this badly but man oh man was this tasty. Glad I held I to this as it was from one of my first trades way back when.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of mdfb79
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/17/12 notes. I bought this at the brewery a few weeks ago; almost passed as I thought the bottle was 2 Women Lager, luckily Sara saw it. Brought to the big Eclipse tasting to break up the stouts, poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a hazy, deep orange-brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smell is super funky; I love it. Smells of cheese, barnyard funk, oak, acedic, light fruits, apricots, and earthy notes. The nose is really reminiscence of a great Belgian gueuze; just an awesome nose for an American Wild.

t - Tastes of barnyard funk, cheese, earthy notes, oak, citrus, apricots, fruits, floral notes. Not quite as funky as the nose but still awesome; really loving this one.

m - Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Acedic body, pretty nice for a gueuze style beer.

o - Overall I was blown away by this one; I think it's one of the best beers I've had from New Glarus, and one of the best American made gueuze style beers I've had. My favorite from the R&D series so far, it is just super funky and cheesey. Wish I could have grabbed a few more bottles of this one, would love to have it again sometime.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Shango for hooking this one up! Pours an almost-clear golden, amber color with a medium-large white head that goes down rather quickly. Scent is WOW... great nose on this beer. Scent is extremely funky at first. Then, I get some ripe stone fruit aromas, lovely peach and apricot. Some sharp cheese-like notes are balanced with sweet oak and vanilla. This is a VERY inviting aroma. Just a hint of vinegar. Taste is initially tart and oaky... lots of oak. Light vanilla with apricot, peach, plumcot, nectarine, and a hint of white grapes. Wine-like flavors with sour, funky cheese flavors. Such a complex brew. Champagne-like finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this beer is absolutely fantastic. I was not expecting it to be this good. I wish I could have shared it with someone.

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Photo of caskstrength
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange, white bubbles, bright and fresh looking.

Funky lemon blue cheesy wonderfulness on the nose.

Sour funk, lemon, dry yellow fruit, grass. Yummy.

Nice pucker complementing the flavors. Dry enough without being a distraction. Well constructed, enough sweetness to balance the dry sour funk.

Very good beer. Competes with top shelf wild ales and lambics I've had. Definitely a step beyond the Cranbic and Enigmas they've churned out. Wish I had a couple more bottles.

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

Consumed 4/6/13

Big thanks to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this absurdly rare gem

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy, and quite a pretty shade of orange - hints of gold and hints of red - nice, bright white head, nice carbonation overall considering the aging

Smell: So gloriously potent, funky, and sour that the aroma seems to have filled the room - yes, magical - sour, funky, tart, with sharp acidity and some lactose - some light fruits and a lovely amount of oak - some hay and clean barnyard aromas

Taste: Lovely, lovely stuff - nicely sour, acidic and lactic - some Brett funkiness - oak, and a nice chewy woody character - tart, with some hints of lemon - some nice yeasty notes - pale malts under the background - finishes wonderfully dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, smooth, fantastic finish

Overall: Holy gueuze

This is one of the best American Wild Ales I've had that didn't come out of Russian River or Ithaca. New Glarus is consistently great, and this is still better than I expected. I'm beyond glad that I had a chance to try this.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to yeahnatenelson for crossing a huge want off of my list with this one. Shared with a few good people. It pours a murky and almost swamp-like amber color with some lighter tangerine tones near the top. Barely any head; just a white, fizzy ring that forms around the edge and stays for a while. Brewed in December 2009 and bottled in March 2012... Let's do it!

Holy sour! My nostrils flare the second I start inching towards the glass; the aroma is incredibly sour and tart, filled with lemon juice, green apples, hints of straight up lactic acid, white wine vinegar, and soft woody and oak notes. Deep inhales begin turning my saliva glands into Niagara Falls. Very faint, funky Brett finish... Very complex and fairly gueuze-like, or almost even like a miniature Beatification.

Lemony tartness hits up front with the first sip; intensely sour and puckering, just stretching my taste buds to the extreme with heavy, heavy heaps of lactic, vinegar, and vinous flavors. Despite the insanely sour nature of the beer, there isn't a huge acidic burn like I was expecting, which does wonders for the drinkability of the brew.

Lots of dry oak and a stale, slight funky and woody flavor oversees everything else. Lots of resonating fruits throughout; heavy apple, lemon, and pear. Brett and funk grows with warmth; plenty of wet hay and generous barnyard, wet cellar funk in the finish. Sharp, quenching, and bone dry, while remaining smooth and drinkable as hell.

Well, this was a fantastic beer. New Glarus just continues to impress me, and shows that they can not only handle nearly any style of beer, but handle them extremely well. This was both fantastically sour and extremely drinkable given the relatively low amount of acidic burn. Plenty of perfectly meshed oak and funk make this brew very gueuze-like. Bravo, New Glarus, bravo.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle from the August 2012 release. Poured into a snifter 11/28/2014.

A- Medium copper-amber body, half finger white head that quickly dissipates into a medium collar. Nice lacing, not much retention overall. [4]

S- Rich oak flavours, tannins, lots of funk. Followed by lactic acid, vinegar, slight hint of sweet wheat. This is definitely living up to the billing. Not as much citrus as Beatification would bring but certainly a ton of oak and acidity. Smells rich and sour, and surprisingly funky. [4.5]

F- Lactic acid, vinegar, oak, funk. There is quite a bit of strong funk that I did not expect. Rich, lactic, funky, leathery with a good Brett contribution. Nice complexity, a step below Beatification in terms of what it brings, but it is drinking really nicely right now with that similar level of complexity minus the lemon and citrus flavours. [4.5]

M- Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, soft and refreshing at the same time. Nice leathery sourness that lingers on the palate. This is drinking great right now; very easy to drink. [4.5]

O- This was a real treat to drink. It's another example of why Dan is one of the best brewers out there, and he's been doing it even before sour beers became the big fad that it is now. Rich, sour, funky and once again, sour. Very tasty and well worth what it takes these days. [4.25]

Final score: 4.42

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Photo of MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Sean? Todd also shared one of these a while back too, so thanks to both of you guys. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - White foam settles to a collar, wisps, and minimal lacing. Hazy red-orange body.

S - Aroma is a mix of lactic and vinegary acidity, light sulfur, stone fruits, and mild oak. Very convincingly lambic-esque other than the more present oak flavor.

T - The taste has a bit more stone fruit sweetness, with flavors of peach and apricot. Less acetic here, with more lactic sourness, and a touch of oaky vanilla.

M - Medium body, with pleasant carbonation, and a pucerkingly dry texture. A tad juicer than you'd expect from the style, and no discernible alcohol. Moderate acidity

D - This is a really excellent beer, and bodes well for New Glarus' 'lambic' program. It's definitely more sour and acidic side than traditional lambics but otherwise surprisingly authentic. Would happily drink this regularly even though I imagine it might cause stomach distress in large volumes.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan.

Ther beer is hazy and autumnal orangish brown in color with a small, fleeting head. The aroma is wonderful, with scents of oak, ripe fruit, sour funk, vinegar, wine. The flavor is equally as complex. Some cherry and wine character in a Flanders style. Immediately I thought this is the best sour / wild ale offering from new Glarus. Light to medium in bodied with moderately low carbonation. A nice acetic bite in the finish. A very tasty brew. Recommended.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a gueuze glass.

This has the appearance of a gueuze, from the dark cloudy golden and hay color to the small off-white cap.

There is a strong lemon kick in the nose. The aroma also has hay, pale malt, and some musty funk as well.

The flavor is strongly sour, with a good amount of lemon contributing to the flavor. There is a good mineral presence. What I like best is that it is quite sour and still nicely balanced and smooth. There is definitely more sour than funky presence here.

Sour Ale is somewhat acidic, with a medium carbonation, and a body that is average for the style. It has a clean finish as well.

Overall this is a solid offering from New Glarus; this is definitely one of my favorite beers they have made.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (forgot the size), poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a murky golden color, thin white head that recedes to a collar.

S- The aroma is great, there's a huge lactic tartness and musty funk, stone fruit and oak.

T- Taste follows the aroma with a potent lactic acidity, wet oak, stone fruit, lemon, and a nice woody funkiness.

M- Medium-bodied, has a smooth feel, nice carbonation, dry finish.

O- A very good American sour. I'm actually not a fan of a lot of New Glarus' sour/fruit beers, which are a bit too sweet for me, but this really hits it right on the head with a very prominent tartness and just the right amount of wood, funk and fruity flavors to round everything out. Delicious stuff.

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Photo of crossovert
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle.

Opens with a hiss and some carbonation jumps up towards the cap. A nice sour pucker is release in the smell. The beer is a hazy peach and has a fizzy head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is quite nice. It is initially pretty sour but after a few whiffs more scents come out. Cherries, vinegar, oak, grapes, some malt sweetness, and a very nice but not over the top but of cheesy funk.

The flavor is also great. Medium sourness that doesn't linger. Instead oak and vanilla dominate the finish. Up front it is acidic and sour with vinegar, sour apples, and lemons. Mid palate is malty and fruity. The funk isn't as prevalent in the flavor. It is mostly just a well-balance sour. The mouthfeel is pretty carbonated and it ends up pretty dry.

New Glarus strikes again.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to djcorrao for the bottle. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Slightly hazed orange. Small bright-white head. Tiny wisp of a cap. Collar is tiny with tight bubbles. No lacing to speak of. Solid carbonation.

Smell: Crazy tart with some.citric sour backing. White wine, lemon zest and juice. Crazy tart. Brett funkiness. Solid layer of oak over the top. Deeply complex with some lactic sourness. Powdery yeast with some hay and grass. Flowers. So very sour and oaky.

Taste: Lemon, oak, zest, and tons of brett funk. Some hay, grass, and powdery yeast. Floral and deeply sour. Tart lactic bite on the finish. Loaded with oak. Nice layered complexity. Straight up white wine pushed so far beyond normal fermentation. Grape and touches of granny smith apple. Earthy and damp.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light with a strong carbonation. Bone dry on the sip, but finishes less so.

Overall: Tony Stark must have been involved in the development of this magic substance.

New Glarus can do no wrong when it comes to sour and barrels. Crazy clean. So many sour and funk characteristics. I need to learn magic so I can keep this flowing for ever and ever.

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Photo of Duff27
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky Dark golden with a short white head. Collar left, minimal lacing.

Tarty aroma in the same vein of cranbic/apple ale

Woo! Thats a ride. "vinegary/lemon hints". Oak plays a huge role. I'd give it an 7.5 on the Duff27 sour scale.

Medium mouthfeel, well carbonated that works wonders.

A serious sipping sour says me. One of the best Wild Ale I've ever had, simply great. Thanks for sharing TATURBO!

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Photo of seeswo
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a light brownish orange with a sizable head. The nose is oaky, tart and funky. Smells fantastic. Tart, lemony/citric acidity are the major flavors with some complexity from the oak and an undefinable funkiness. Finishes nice and dry. The only downside is that this beer is light enough to occasionally come off a touch watery. I think there is a lot of room for growth in this beer and i'll be hanging on to several to see how they do over time. I've recently had a lot of world class international gueuze, and I am really surprised at what they have been able to do here in comparison. If you compare it to other American products, this is easily one of the best. Nice work NG!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange, peach color with a thin white head.

S - Sour with wet oak, tart cherries, grapes, wet hay and some funky yeast notes.

T - Fairly sour with grapes and grape skins, oak, lemon, wet hay. For how sour it appears at first it is very easy to drink.

M - Medium body with good carbonation and a very dry finish.

D - Very well done. Funky and easy to drink all in one.

Thanks to emerge for this one.

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Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark auburn orange color, fluffy head on top that slowly recedes and eventually breaks across the surface. Woody wet oak and minerals in the aroma, tart citric acid, funky signature wild yeast reminiscent of enigma, cranbic, and r&d gueuze. As it warms there's some wet hay and trace wet wood elements that emerge.

Sour and puckering in the first sips, citric lemony fruity notes, maybe some grapefruit and cherry skins to a lesser extent. Past the sharp sourness, there's a creamy sorbet middle and traces of Brett yeast in the dry oaky aftertaste. The sourness is very clean and there's some complex wild yeast character. Light to medium bodied, bone dry and quenching, zero sweetness, with a certain authenticity to it's farmhouse character. Certainly bodes well for their lambic program...

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Photo of Treebs
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle (I think?) served in a Deschutes snifter. I think dvelcich shared this one. Thanks Dan!

A: Pours a hazy apricot color with a pure white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin cap that leaves some sticky splotches of lace.

S: Malty sweetness, some light berry and tart stone fruit. Grassy with some lactic lemon and a little vanilla.

T: Oaky with some vanilla sweetness. Grassy with some slight lemon character. Tart stone fruit with a little bit wet hay funk. Light mineral quality to it as well.

M: Light bodied, spritzy carbonation and a dry finish. Really drinkable.

O: Really delicious. Very gueuze-ish. Definitely the best representation of the style this side of the Atlantic.

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Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple bottles at New Glarus in August during our raid over the border to the Great Taste of the Midwest. Always a pleasure. Both events. 500ML bottle split with my wife.

Leave an ounce or so in the bottle since it's gloppy & foosty. The resulting pour is a partly sunny orange that causes no joint pain. Nose is nicely sour without tearing out any graying nose hairs, plus a little apple, clean rain earth, straw. Nice. Very nice.

R&D Sour Ale is my kind of sour, leaving all my enamel on my teeth. Nicely tart, almost sour, with a kick of dry that sucks my saliva like water from a well. Lovely citrus. For a sour this is easy to drink.

Simple. Direct. Tasty. This isn't one of those depth-of-field beers, more of a sour for those who don't like gullet-ripping sours (like me). Delicious. A- from my wife, who never reached that level for a sour. Excellent. Another win from New Glarus.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

R&D label reads:

Spontaneously fermented in oak barrels for over two years.

final fermentation in the bottle.

Brettanomyces funk sour and highly carbonated!

Open carefully and enjoy.


500ml bottle poured into tulip glass.

review #475

Appearance: Brilliant and clear golden straw bodied beer. 2 fingers of white head that drops to a small cap. spotty lacing.

Smell: oaky, earthy, hay & straw, with mild funk to it. You get some hints of citrus notes mostly lemon.

Taste: The beer starts out with moderately sour lemons and hay notes. A decent of bretty funk and mustiness. Oak barrel and earthy notes compliement each other. Finishes with a touch of vinegar, a lactic sour note, and lemons.

Mouthfeel: this beer drinks on the lighter end of a moderate body. The beer has carbonation thats on the high end of moderate. This beer has a really delicate mouthfeel to it. The beer is very drinkable; its very easy to drink the 500ml bottle yourself.

Overall: This sour is really well balanced with nice complexity. Its a very brett forward sour!

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Photo of Etan
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the recent release graciously shared by Ravot. Thanks!

A: Murky orange body, small white head.

S: Heavy wheat and lactic notes. Sweet berries and horsey brett funk come out as the beer warms.

T: Moderate lactic tartness and plenty of oaky funk. Horseblanket, plum skin and green apple, drying oak, more brett notes.

M: Light with moderate carbonation.

O: Really good, very funky and balanced. Reminds me of some of the better Belgians.

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R&D Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.