Blue Cheer | Bullfrog Brewery

Blue CheerBlue Cheer
Liked This Beer
4.19 w/ 34 ratings
Blue CheerBlue Cheer

Brewed by:
Bullfrog Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Black-n-Blueberry sour ale aged in retired oak bourbon barrels for two years with multiple strains of wild yeast.

Previously released as Bullfrog Sour Black and Blues

Added by akorsak on 06-01-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of largadeer
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle generously shared by corby112. Thanks!

Ruddy red wine-like appearance with a small head that recedes to a thin ring. The aroma is vinous and tart, with a somewhat muted berry character. It's a bit mineral and metallic as well. The taste is tart and fruity, vinous, lightly tannic and metallic. Moderate lactic and acetic sourness, light-bodied and dry with a tart, woody, slightly acetic finish. Pretty good overall, but certainly not outstanding. The fruit character is muted and the beer on the whole seems muddled and lacking depth.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared at ipa247's recent sour tasting by corby112. Thanks, Craig!

A: Pours a murky, ruddy vinous color. The head is light pink, retaining pretty well before retreating into a collar. Some sudsing on the sides of the glass.

S: Blackberries (which I thought were raspberries until I read the label), blueberries, oak, earth, lactic sourness. A lesser barnyard funk indicates brett was used, too.

T: There are obviously blueberries and blackberries in here. They're plenty tart, and they work nicely with the flavors of earth and lactic sourness in the main taste. Flavors of oak, earth, and barnyard funk take over as the taste progresses, drawing to an acetic close. The aftertaste resurrects the fruit flavors and a hint of tannins.

M: It has a lot of syrupy fruit residue; the carbonation doesn't clean this quite right, and the vinegar winds up coating the tongue, too. Light-bodied, with medium carbonation.

D: It's good, but not as solid as the other beers we tried that day, or even the other two Bullfrogs.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sean for sharing this rare treat.

A - Nice novelty with a purple beer. Bit of white foam that didn't stick around for long and left nothing on the sides of the glass.

S - There's a lot of oak, not really much bourbon. Good tartness with acetic acid, slight bit of berries on the nose.

T - Some oak, barrel, vanilla, some berries. There's a decent bit of tartness in this one. Not really a ton going on here, but there's a decent tartness and acidity that is enjoyable. Could stand to be a bit more complex.

M - Lighter bodied, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - Fruit could stand to be more present, this is pretty staight-forward but could use some more going on. Good, not great.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Purple body. Big head. Smells of bourbon. Blueberry. Bretty and earthy aroma. Vanilla too. Tastes of berries. Bourbon cuts into the sweetness. Earthy finish. Light tartness. High carbonation. Medium body. Amazed at how well the blueberry has survived in this. And that it isn't incredibly sour.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Mikey (MIkey711) for this one. 4oz. pour from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Cantillon flute. Had at a tasting on 6/4/11. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger pale, pastel pink head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear pink-purple. Lacing is non-existant. Par for the style.

S: Nose is berry sweetness. Very unique. Band-aid and Brett funk linger in the background. Not much to say here since I haven't had a whole lot of experience with the blackberry and blueberry aromas. Nice though. Not overly aromatic.

T: Opens tart and crisp. Blackberries are prominent. Straw, wheat, and blueberry sweetness in the middle. Dry tart finish with a sweet berry aftertaste. Simple but very clean, refreshing, and balanced.

M: Light bodied with good carbonation. Abrasive, bubbly, and lively in the mouth and crisp and refreshing going down. Dry finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. A lively beer.

O: There are sours that demonstrate complexity and there are sours that demonstrate balance. This is definitely the latter. It may be that I'm not familiar with the overall flavor profile here but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on. Still, this is a near perfect balance between sweet and tart. Very refreshing, crisp, and enjoyable.

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Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the many rarities treyrab shared at the Most Epic Fucking Tasting You Wish You Were A Part Of. Thanks, man!

The pour is clear raspberry red with a thin pinkish white head with decent retention and nice lacing.
The nose is great, with plenty of berry character. I get a lot of raspberries and strawberries, which is interesting, given that blueberries and blackberries went into this beer. Maybe its the bugs that are the cause this shift in the nose? In fact, it reminds me of the Frambozen I had earlier today. Moderately vinous with some vanilla, I'm rather surprised by the lack of bourbon here, especially since this beer spent 2 years in the barrel. The funk character is low, moderately grassy. Sourness is rather clean.

The palate opens with a big lactic sourness with some acetic character, along with a great blend of berries - strawberries, raspberries, sour cherries. The sourness is mostly lactic, and the funk is low as it is on the nose. Finishing very dry with low tannins and a blend of lactic and acetic character, this beer is light in body with high carbonation, resulting it being quite spritzy and juicy. However, it comes across a touch watery (unlike Frambozen), which is why I have to dock this. Again, this isn't as complex as some of the Belgian fruit lambics, all of which I prefer over this. In any case, I'm very thankful for having had a chance to try this rarity. Thanks again, Trey!

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BucketBoy
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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

Thanks to Sean (and Frank) for sharing this one - the last of the much-heralding Bullfrog rarities. Served in an Alvinne snifter.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a thin ring. Quick-moving bubbles permeate and attractive purple body - reminds me of blackberry juice.

S - Lots of oak, acetic acid, perhaps a hint of bourbon but mostly sharp oak. Surprisingly muted, with not a ton of the advertised blueberries and blackberries.

T - Taste is again somewhat understated, with a blend of fruity berries, oak and vanilla, and mild lactic acidity. Much more berry flavor the the aroma, but still kind of lacking in intensity.

M - Very dry and tannic, medium-light body. Moderately active carbonation, and no alcohol heat. Lots of oak.

D - I think this is my least favorite of the "rare" Bullfrogs. Perhaps it's fallen off, but I found the fruit character somewhat lacking. Nothing really wrong with this beer, it's just a bit bland and doesn't sufficiently deliver the advertisted flavors. Easy to drink though.

Edit: Sean was generous enough to open a bottle of this on a random Friday night. It was significantly better than the one we had at Epic Tasting #2.

A - Significantly better head retention yields a thick collar and wispy patches.

S - Tons more beery presence, and even a hint of the promised bourbon. There's a plastic note amid the oak and lactic sourness, but this is quite enjoyable.

T - Significantly more berry tartness, jammy goodness, and sourness here.

M - Similar.

D - A much better beer, and a good example of bottle variation, as I think these came from the same cellar lineage. In any case I bumped S, T & D up to 4.0 from 3.5.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010 rate.

From a bottle, pours crimson red, bright and glowing when held to the light, with a big, pink, cotton candy head that actually has little specks of blackberry seeds or something on top. Could not be more attractive to look at. Really perfumey nose, sweet and sour berries, lots of brett, and something deeper like powdered sweet tarts. Fresh blackberry and strawberry seeds in the mouth, tons of ripe flavors bursting out. Very lactic sourness on the finish, very tart and sour through out but with enough fruit sweetness to not be dry or thin. Some alcohol heat comes through in the finish, it's a really nice touch actually. Extremely rich, fragrant, and perfume-like. I would have liked a bit more balanced nuance between the sweet and sour elements, as the fruit is kind of muddled in the finish. Nice, big finish, a lot of brett and funk, really robust, a signature of some of the better Bullfrog sours I've had.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Via 750ml bottle. Big thanks to Deuane for breaking out this rarity on 3/28/09.

A - Poured a fiery reddish purple body with half a finger of pinkish foam that transformed into decent lacing. Lots of schmegma suspended throughout the body.

S - Sour, funky Brett with a hint of fruity blueberry, though not the fruit per se... more like flavored magic markers. Astringent, sharp and certainly sour. I can tell that this is going to be a pucker fest!

T - Yup, I was right. Sour and tart all the way with just a hint of fruity blueberry character. Blue Cheer definitely exudes a funky personality that just oozes with Brett. Finish is sour, tart and astringent.

M - Medium body with a syrupy texture and lively carbonation. Extremely sour on the palate. Finish is dry and astringent.

D - Not quite as intense as some other sour ales I've had in the past, but make no mistake... this is one sour-ass beer!

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared by Treyrab at the
"Most Epic F'ing Tasting Ever!" One of the most anticipated beers of the tasting.

Poured into a stone 4 oz taster. Looks so beautiful and sexy. A vibrant cherry with a light pink head, very hazy.

The nose is a little bit underwhelming, but still caries that signature musty Bullfrog Funk. Slight vingegar/lemony funk.

The taste is more complex than I was anticipating. Lovely blueberry flavors, on top of tart unripened blackberries. Very spritzy with some nice lemon backlashes. The carbonation is definitely alive and kickin'. Some very nice vanilla flavors accent the beer very well, with a light oakiness still present. Not acidic by any means, more on the sweeter side for a sour ale. Really glad I got to try this, I don't think I will be seeing this one ever again...

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml foil wrapped corked and caged bottle into a pint glass. Big thanks to Deuane for sharing his last bottle of this rare one-off Wild Ale from Bullfrog.

Pours a fairly clear cranberry (some suspended blueberry bits are floating around in there as well) with a finger of foamy pink head. This fires up very nicely, throwing thick swathes of lacing up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is Wow! Juicy blueberries with a prickly tartness that tickles the nose and some funky barnyard mixed in for good measure. I'm getting a light waft of heat in the nose as well. Make me wonder what the ABV on this ultimately ended up at?

Taste is very nicely balanced between the fruity sweetness of the blueberries and a smooth tasting tartness that at first feels like it could be souring but never quite gets there. Just a touch of funk lies underneath. Finishes lightly tart with a splash of residual berry juices. Like I said before, very nice balance to this. Nothing is overbearing feeling. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lower carbonation in the middle but prickles up more in the finish, nicely bringing out the tart flavors. Just a touch of warmth in the body but this goes down nicely overall.

This was my first of the Bullfrog bottled Wild Ales and I was impressed. Great balance between the tartness and more funky notes and the addition of the blueberries really added some fresh fruity character to the proceedings. I'm definitely looking forward to trying more examples of this style from them.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tim for sharing this rarity.

A: The pour is a hazed purple-red color, with a pink head that is well retained.

S: A nice tart fruit note. Plenty of blackberries and blueberries which provide tartness and tannins. Hints of grass and wet oak with a little bit of mustiness.

T: Mild funkiness with plenty of tartness. Lactic acidity along with tart blackberries and blueberries. Grass, straw, and oak provide some nice depth along with a little bit of acetic acid to the beer as well.

M: Medium in body with a moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish.

O: I was hoping this would be good, but wasn't quite sure what to expect. A solid beer, but it's too bad I probably won't get to try this again.

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Photo of mikey711
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep pinkish purple, with good transparency, not much lacing to speak of except it poured a Rose like head.

S: Lots of berry notes with some funky hay and earth notes. Some grape and blueberry skins, and a hint of oak. Fair mustiness present as well

T: I found this to be a very unique beer, the blueberrys provided a bit of sweetness and a tannin quality while the blackberrys added a tartness and a slightly puckering sour feel. Very earthy at times as well

M: I found the mouthfeel to be inconsistent, at times it was lively and bubbly, but it also the flavors seemed muted at times.

D: I couldnt have been happier finally trying this beer but i do think it may have peaked. I imagine that the fruitiness would have been much sharper, still this mellowed out quite nicely and i would jump at the chance to try it again

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Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark plum purplish color with a think pinkish foamy .5 head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Sweet vinous aroma with lots of dark fruit notes and a good bit of earthy funk. Slightly musty with some earthy oaky tannis and it's of dark berry especially blackberry, blueberry, grape and dark cherry.

Very sweet vinous medium body with a lot of dark fruit notes and a prominent tart puckering funky character. Not acidic at all with a decent amount of oak tannis. Very dry without any bourbon or vanilla. Lots of dark berry especially blackberry, blueberry and a strong grape presence. Very sry finish.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I pop the cork it fizzes up with foam just a bit, though not quite a gusher. The beer pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip with a nicely fruit stained, pale purple tinged, dirty pink colored head that starts out a fat three-fingers in height. The beer is a very dark, purple plum color that shows a hazy, cherry jolly rancher color when held up to the light. The berries are noticeable as soon as I start to pour this beer; The berry notes are quite volatile, though they get overwhelmed by the funk when I dive in for a deeper inspection of the nose. Earthy, musty, almost mushroom like notes lie just beneath the more dominant tart aromatics. This has notes to it that are similar to an oak aged red wine; a mixture of spicy, woody oak, a tannic note (despite this not being an aromatic compound) and of course the underlying berry notes. An extended dedicated, sniffing of the aroma at first yields a soft oak component and an almost nutty or grassy note, but then this is followed by a bright, ripe berry aroma that is more striking than I had previously noticed.

The first sip of this is quite dry and tart enough to make my cheeks pucker in just a bit. It picks up a fullness to the body in the middle and finish that compliments the dryness and the tartness quite well. The tartness has a nice roundness to it that makes me guess that at least a portion of the sourness is contributed directly from the fruit, though there is certainly more than would ever be contributed by fruit alone. Despite the rounded character, the sourness here is mostly lactic influenced. This finishes with a spiciness from the oak that adds a touch of warmth. While this does not have a ripe berry flavor to it this still is very berry influenced, the fruit really adds a dimension to this beer that is very evocative of red wine. It is quite interesting how the oak and the fruit really contribute a new world, red wine type note to the flavor; it is not the dominant note here, but definitely plays a significant role.

I really like the soft, almost creamy mouthfeel that this beer has. As it warms up it starts to pick up a touch of heat in the finish that is reminiscent of Bourbon. A second pour of this after a short break reminds me how sour this really is; while not at the same intensity as a "hard" Lambic, this is certainly as sour as many a traditional Lambic I have had. I really like the tart berry flavors that run through the flavor profile. This is a very tasty brew, if I had to complain it would be on the complexity. While I really like the interplay of acidity, berry flavors and barrel notes it could use a bit more funk to balance the other notes.

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Photo of treyrab
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks goes out for this beer. Having spent 2 years in barrels, I was very excited to try this. I anxiously awaited this and split it at the Philly Tasting of the Ages.

A: Unlike other Bullfrog Beers, this did not take a jackhammer to get the cork out. The cork came out effortlessly with a nice pop and nice sour funk bursts from the bottle. The beer pours an absolutely gorgeous berry red and purple with nice violet hues. A nice pink lacing sits atop the beer. Amazing look.

S: The smell starts with a nice dry oak and strawberry funk. Very dry smelling with some light lemon zest and underlying berry character. Not too much berry in this, yet it has the distinctive Bullfrog funky yeast. Two years in the bottle has done this one good.

T: Starts with a nice dry oak and lemon zest. The berry flavor is a bit more strawberry than blueberry, but the berry flavors are tart and funky. The berry flavors are a bit muted, and by no means sweet--rather dry and tart with some blueberry skins.

M/D: Nice and perfect prickly carbonation that really coats your tongue with sourness.

Overall, a great Bullfrog offering that was a masterpiece. Thanks again!

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #1900

Thanks to Sean for managing to hit a want of mine that I never thought I would try!

Pours a white head. Color is a ruby hazed raspberry red. Good retention.

Aroma: A lot of berries. Black and blue of course. A nice sourness with some funk. the bourbon shows a little. Oaky. Very fruity with a little acidicness. Awesome.

Taste: Tons of the same berries. The bourbon blends in nice. There is the same touch of lemon acidity I got in the nose and it comes with a hint of medicinal cherry. Oaky. Funky and sour. Old tasting, but the fruits still taste fresh.

Mouthfeel: Sour, but clean. Light bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, a great sour and I was super impressed. I never expected to try this and it was actually very good. The berry flavors were awesome. Very drinkable.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A foil-wrapped, corked and caged 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewpub.

A: The ale is an odd Lindeman's Framboise red color, brilliant with a touch of opaqueness especially when light shines through. A decent-sized head on pour slowly receded to a thin band.

S: The nose is perkily sour, tart with a high pucker factor. Berries emerge from the tartness, juicy with blueberry notes.

T: The ale doesn't hide its tartness, wearing the bite like a badge of honor. The funkiness is lively with a nice bite. Despite the intensity, berries are noticeable throughout the sip. The berry juices are sweet with a touch of sour freshness. The Blackberry and blueberry juices alternate in the finish, sweet but slightly tart. A great sour ale that can hold its own against Russian River's best.

M: The mouthfeel is lively, showcasing both brilliant tartness and soft fruit juices. Well worth the $20 admission fee.

D: I split the bottle with ksak. The tartness is overwhelming at times, so one bottle at a time is sufficient.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to treyrab for sharing this at our incredible tasting. This was the fifth beer that we enjoyed on the first night of the tasting.

The body of this beer is a translucent reddish violet color capped by a thick white fez of foam that, as is the case with so many other sours, dissipates into nothingness almost immediately, leaving behind no hint that it even existed.

The aroma is extremely funky, and the blueberry and even strawberry aromas are complemented nicely by the funk. The flavor is certainly filled with fruit - again the blueberries are dominant, but I can also discern some raspberry character as well. As with Frambozen, there is a nice sourness and funk without any astringent or overwhelming acidity. Vanilla from the barrels comes through as almost as afterthought. We all agreed that they barrels used for this aging must have been very old, used to avoid stealing focus away from the beer itself.

This beer is very nicely balanced, both in the presentation of the fruity flavors and barrel characters and the juxtaposition of sweet berries versus the sourness imparted by the yeast and the bacteria. A little light on carbonation, and somewhat lighter than was expected.

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Blue Cheer from Bullfrog Brewery
Beer rating: 85.3% out of 100 with 34 ratings
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