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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 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 mothman
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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!

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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 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 Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dan for this one. Nice funk and acidity in the nose. Quite funky and Belgian-esque. Very impressive. Earthy with light citrus in the flavor. Mild oak. Moderate acidity. Light. Dry. Thanks again to Dan for this one. I hadn't sought this one out, but was super happy to have it show up.

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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 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 drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Dan, thanks Dan. Glad you could make it down to DC for the tasting. Served in a snifter. Beer is sort of brown / amber with a haze, wispy white head, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate retention. Looks fine.

Aroma is gueuze holy holy gueuze, tart, oaky, brett, harsh, strong, bright. Smells great.

Beer is thin in body and has a tart finish, a really nice beer overall, bretty / oak character, sour throughout, I'd definitely have this one again, best sour to date from this brewery.

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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 sweemzander
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a lightly hazed orange hue. Small white froth and bubbles.

(S)- A huge nose of funky cheese, dry hay, and subtle lactic oak.

(T)- Oaky, with the subtle lactic bits. Not as funky as the smell was, but more of the oak shines through. Not as sour as expected, but its very subtle at this point.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A nice quick sharpness that is signs of a present acidity that grows into a softer oaky funk.

(O)- I love New Glarus' experimentation beers and this is no different. Time might help this develop more, but it really showcases what oak and funk can do together well. I look forward to trying this again in a year or so.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RoamingGnome for this bottle!

Served chilled in a Duvel tulip

A - pours a murky light brown-yellow, loads of carbonation, yellow-white head, about 3 fingers worth

S - wow, very intense sour, tangy citrus, a little funky, the oak creeps in in the end

T - again, very sour lemon/grapefruit up front, then a solid amount of bitterness overtakes the palate.

M - Thin, a bit dry, this would be quite refreshing on a hot summer day, good amount of carbonation

O - a different beast than Enigma that I recently got hold of, more intense in all aspects, not as sweet. Probably the most sour of the sours I've ever tasted in my short sour-history. Very solid, really glad I got a chance to sample this one. Definitely recommend.

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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 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 RoamingGnome
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 9/13/12 Tasting Notes

500 ml bottle poured into CBS snifter. Served this slightly chilled.

A) Pours out a light acorn brown with a little haze. There was a good 2 fingers of froth, which slowly settled to a dusting. Not much lacing.

S) Distinctly yeasty and a bit funky. There's some spice to this, combined with a nice earthy/oaky aroma. A bit of flower petal. You could pick up the sourness.

T) Wild and funky. Nicely spiced, mild pepper on the backend. This is has a pleasant woody/earthy/grassy flavor that mingles with the sour, creating a mouth watering experience.

M) Medium body with a pretty zesty amount of carbonation. The carbonation combined with the sourness created in this brew provide a pleasurable mouthfeel. As indicated above, my mouth was watering like crazy after each sip, which really made me want that next sip all the more. I think I'm beginning to understand the allure of this style.

O) Just happened to be at New Glarus for this release, and I must say I'm glad I scooped up two bottles. I am admittedly not someone with much sour experience, but this brew really grew on me with each passing sip. It's not the type of beer I could see myself drinking everyday, or after mowing the lawn, but it is the type of beer I could see myself having a total craving for under certain circumstances. Highly enjoyable... If you can get a bottle, give this a try. Glad to recommend...

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Photo of thebigredone
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to lem4prez for hooking me up with this!

Smell is a combination of funk/sweet tarts/oak. Nice, but not extraordinary.

Taste is lemony/funky/a bit oaky with a nice sour kick at the end. Very tasty, and frankly a bit more puckering than I was expecting, which is great.

Overall, this is a very nice sour. Probably more of what some people call an entry level sour, but it's still quire good. After tasting this, I am really looking forward to trying everything that comes out of NG's new lambic cellar!

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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 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 russwbeck
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
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!

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of tewaris
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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

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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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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 Urbancaver
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
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

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