Blue Cheer | Bullfrog Brewery

very good
34 Ratings
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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.

For Trade:
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of largadeer
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

 543 characters

Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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 ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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 mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes

rich red liquid poured out into the glass. Full of haze and cloudiness the cherry color really just popped about as big as I could have imagined. Amazing head of nearly three fingers in height just rises up over the top of the glass, coating everything it touches and not faded for anyone. Stunning.

The aroma was to die for. Deep, tart raspberries were so strong and prevelent it was almost unlike anything I have come across before. Huge aroma, lightly tart, but yet sweet with hints of like woody notes in the back that are all but buried by the huge fruit flavor. Simply amazing as it rolls across the tongue, smooth, even carbonation just a wonderfully rich fruit flavor that would not quit. Raspberry and cherry dominate here with a light tartness

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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 Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
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 MasterSki
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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 HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Description: A Blackberry and Blueberry sour ale aged in retired oak bourbon barrels for two years with multiple strains of wild yeast.

750ml caged and corked bottle with silver foil. Thanks to a very generous unnamed trader for this beer. Poured into a snifter. The beer is reddish pink, with a pillowy 2 finger pinkish white head that recedes after a minute.

The aroma is very interesting. I think the original name of this beer was quite fitting: Sour Black and Blues. I'm not sure if that was the name of the base beer or just the original name they chose for the beer, but it's an apt one. Ripe, tart blackberries and blueberries define the aroma. The fruit is very aromatic, with some notes of oak, earthiness, and some Brett funk in the form of musty barnyard and a bit of horse blanket. Some vinegar and tannins are present.

The flavor is a burst of tart blueberries and blackberries. Some tannic acid and wine notes are present, as well as vinegar and oak. There's some lactic character that I didn't detect in the nose. Brett is present and imparts mustiness to the flavor. Some earthiness is detectable. The long finish is dry, tart, woody, and fruity. No alcohol is noticeable, and I don't know what the ABV is. Medium level of tartness and sourness.

Medium bodied with a medium level of prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and crisp.

Another great offering from Bullfrog that I'm sad to say I probably won't see again.

 1,445 characters

Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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 akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
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 DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
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 AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
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 ffejherb
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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 Deuane
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-The hue of fresh blueberry juice with a CRAZY, full purplish pink head that left massive coating in the glass.

S-Intense sourness with a secondary wafting of blueberries.

T-A blast of sourness quickly followed by the dryness of the blueberries. This is a splendid combination. Absolutely delicious!

M-Medium-light body with an intense crispness. Nice astringent finish.

D-Man this is nice...but maybe a bit too intense to enjoy more than one bottle! But, at a 750 ml bottle there is plenty to enjoy. A most impressive sour fruit beer.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The final "rare" Bullfrog bottle that I've been searching for, thanks Frank! 750ml C&C bottle poured into mini-snifter.

A - Pours a nice dark violet color, off-white head, no lace, retention, some bubbles here and there on top.

S - Nice sour/tart, funk, fruity berries, oak. Where's the bourbon barrels? Pretty much like I expected and all very solid. The tartness is there but I would have liked a little bit more here.

T - Sour/tart fruity notes, berries, no bourbon, oak. Like the nose, where's the bourbon barrels in this? I think it would have taken this beer to another level. Alas, nowhere to be found. The berries are nice and the tartness is light to medium...needs a bit more.

M - Body is light, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - Really enjoyable but I couldn't exactly pick out the blueberry or blackberry in this one and the barrel character isn't there. That said, I can pick out a "fruity" character, which I like. Overall, a decent wild from BF but nothing that blows me away.

Edit: Just opened another bottle on 03/23/12 and this bottle was simply amazing. More berries and excellent sour/tart notes. We were all super-impressed so I'm adjusting my rating based on that bottle. Not sure if it was storage condition or what, but this bottle aged much better.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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 Arbitrator
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
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 mikereaser
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of cfrances33
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of jbuddle
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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Blue Cheer from Bullfrog Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
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