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R&D Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10%
Wants: 165
Gots: 31 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: 4DAloveofSTOUT on 08-11-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TectonicFun
1/5  rDev -76.7%

TectonicFun, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of russwbeck
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The bottle is very informative, I like seeing stuff like brew date and other information right on the lavel. The beer pours out of it without head. Brown in color with shades of yellow. Very clear and bubbly.

The aroma is tart, malty, bready, and sour. Overall I'd call it sweet and a little vinegary.

Moving to the taste, it's a bit bland. Sour and tart. Same malts and breadiness as the aroma. Really nothing more than a base American Wild Ale.

Light body, lower than average carbonation, decently drinkable.

It's sort of a base beer and nothing else. Nice research attempt, hope they improve on it!

russwbeck, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the brewery after a panic stricken white knuckled drive over hills and through woods in the desperate hopes that I could land a bottle if all the out-of-staters, Great Taste attenders, and rabid local fanboys hadn't gobbled up all the bottles. Whales, garbles, garble, garble, blah!

Into a taster glass, pours a straw yellow with orange highlights and a thin white skim. A fairly steady stream of bubbles rides the glass. Rumors of this beer being a brown were, errr...erroneous.

Smells of wet grain, straw, lemon drop, and rose water. Funk is present but subdued.

Lactic creaminess on the front end. Middle is light with a gentle prickle of lemon sourness. Heavy mineral and salt throughout. Finish is very salty and mildly soapy. After the initial soft sourness, there's not much oomph or substance lurking. The aftertaste consists of a long lingering sodium fade akin to gargled saltwater.

The body is light and the carbonation ample but not overly prickly.

Well, like most New Glarus beers there's a cleanness here that makes this accessible and approachable. That said, there's also a training wheels aspect here that leaves me wanting more. Those accustomed to bigger, more boisterous and buggy sours will likely leave disappointed. Those looking to share a nicely, albeit slightly underwhelmingly, constructed beer or and as an introduction to the style should be pleased. Maybe some more time will instigate the bugs?

BarrytheBear, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of WastingFreetime
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'Fresh bottle' review for a baseline against which to compare my other bottle's future cellaring evolution.

Brewed : Dec '09 Bottled : March '12
4 3.5 3.5 4.5
Pours into my wine glass a pretty standard hazy amber color with about 20 seconds of a fizzy 0.5cm head that dissolves to nothing, no lacing is present. The body is thin, crisp, and light; carbonation is on the lower side of medium strength. In fact, it feels slightly less over-the-top soda-pop fizzy on the surface of my tongue than most American Wilds I've had to so far, and I'm actually impressed by that because it doesn't distract or hinder the flavor at all.

Speaking of which, fresh, this presents only a beginner's level of Brett yeast character. Flavor and aroma profile are very much like a freshly brewed Cran-bic with the cranberries removed and medium levels of oak tannins added... Medium amounts of apple cider vinegar comes in first and tapers off somewhat *too* smoothly and rapidly as the tannins rise to fill in the vacuum. With only the barest whisper of raunchy funk to frame it, it feels like the sketch of something that -could- become a work of art.

The stand-out feature that seems to accentuate the woody apple vinegar party is a nice whiff of floral perfume that pops out upon first cracking open the bottle, but fades out over time. The wood does provide a garnish-level spike of vanilla that appears as the glass warms up, but I wish I could have had both the vanilla and the florals at the same time.

Time will tell if cellaring further brings out either more funk or a more aggressive sourness, either of which would help to ink or color in this sketch of a masterpiece.

WastingFreetime, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of eyemustard
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

eyemustard, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of zrab11
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

zrab11, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.81/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

B+

kojevergas, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7%

acurtis, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of hooliganlife
4/5  rDev -7%

hooliganlife, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of FalconA
4/5  rDev -7%

FalconA, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of Atomicskis5
4/5  rDev -7%

Atomicskis5, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of bbadger
4/5  rDev -7%

bbadger, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of Lukafer
4/5  rDev -7%

Lukafer, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of jawneyt
4/5  rDev -7%

jawneyt, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little to no head. Hazed golden orange in color.

Flavor profile is very sour and acidic. Lemon zest and melons. Barnyard musk and some some cobweb flavors.

Mouthfeel is sour upfront, but it ends clean. Lighter bodied.

Overall, a really nice sour that is easy to drink. Very enjoyable!

mothman, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -7%

JAHMUR, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of LoveStout
4/5  rDev -7%

LoveStout, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -7%

TurdFurgison, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -7%

djrn2, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of SirWalkAbout
4/5  rDev -7%

SirWalkAbout, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of CoolEthan
4/5  rDev -7%

CoolEthan, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of redblacks75
4/5  rDev -7%

redblacks75, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -7%

KAF, Jul 24, 2014
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R&D Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.