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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 SirWalkAbout
4/5  rDev -7%

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

bbadger, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of schneid
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

schneid, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of tfidler
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

tfidler, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of caskstrength
4.5/5  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.

caskstrength, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of KHM
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

KHM, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of brewcrew76
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

brewcrew76, Sep 04, 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 TectonicFun
1/5  rDev -76.7%

TectonicFun, Sep 02, 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 goodstrongbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

goodstrongbeer, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of tewaris
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Jason, thanks! From the recent release coinciding with Great Taste.

Clear amber with ample effervescence. Aroma is funky, musty, earthy with hints of balsamic. Tastes somewhat sour, oak-y and quite clean. Feels light and spritzy and finishes dry. I think they hit it with this one, I liked it very much!

4, 4.5, 4, 4, 4

tewaris, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of Khazadum
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Khazadum, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of Etan
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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.

Etan, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of Soneast
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Soneast, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of seeswo
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

seeswo, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of Urbancaver
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy Orange. Looks okay but not stellar. Smells awesome. Funky. Tart. Very interesting nose. Tastes sour but not overly acidic. Overall good mouthfeel. An interesting and very solid sour. A solid showing from new glarus and one I would love to have again

Urbancaver, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of Zenk
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Zenk, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of Duff27
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

Duff27, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Gonzoillini, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  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...

emerge077, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of vespahulb
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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.

vespahulb, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of crossovert
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

crossovert, Aug 12, 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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  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!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Aug 11, 2012
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R&D Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.