Sour Reserve
Upland Brewing Company

Sour ReserveSour Reserve
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Style:
Belgian Gueuze
Ranked #13
ABV:
6%
Score:
94
Ranked #510
Avg:
4.39 | pDev: 8.88%
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
401
From:
Upland Brewing Company
 
Indiana, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  525
Gots
  88
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Sour ReserveSour Reserve
Notes: BLEND 1: Batch Years Blended 2006 (our original batch of lambics), 2008, 2010
BLEND 2: Batch Years Blended All 2008

Sour Reserve is a tart, dry, and refreshing blond sour ale, with multiple layers of flavor by selecting premium barrels of aged Basis. Expect flavors of peach, cherry, wine, cider with rich aromas of lactic sourness and multiple fruity notes. Effervescent carbonation creates an inviting and experiential sour beer session.
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 401 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours clear golden, with a short white head that fades quick, leaving just a wisp on the edge of the glass. Beautiful.

S - Pungent hit of acid, funk, minerality, and fresh dark soil.

T - Layers on layers of flavor, with acidity out front, a complicated melange of fruit, lots of wildness, and wood and barrel. The result is lush and rewarding.

M - The acidic bite produces a moderate prickly feel on the tongue, moderate weight, and a close that leaves a lingering trace long after the flavors fade.

O - This has been a beer with a huge reputation locally, a real get. It is worthy of the kind words, an example of a difficult style done well and delivering not just a solid rendition, but also a pleasurable experience.

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Tsar_Riga from Indiana, May 23, 2020
Photo of brentk56
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Blend 6 (2015)

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy apricot nectar color with a one finger head that fades to a film; splashy lacing

Smell: Quite the funk fest, with oak, green apple, lime and vinous white wine tones

Taste: Acetic from the outset, with green apple burgeoning into lime; funky and vinous, through the middle with a tart finish that brings a hint of vanilla

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; major pucker factor

Overall: A spectacular brew with a lot of subtle fruit among the sour elements

Thanks, JHE73, for the opportunity

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brentk56 from North Carolina, Jan 19, 2020
Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 4/2017, batch K-17. Pours slightly hazy pale golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, cherry, plum, raspberry, gooseberry, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, red/green apple, white grape/wine, hay, straw, grass, oak, peppercorn, wet wood, leathery/musty/lacto funk, wheat, cracker, white bread, light white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and light-moderate pale/wheat malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, cherry, plum, raspberry, gooseberry, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, red/green apple, white grape/wine, hay, straw, grass, oak, peppercorn, wet wood, leathery/musty/lacto funk, wheat, cracker, white bread, light white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate lactic tart/sourness, Brett/wine tang, and yeast/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of sour/tart/tangy lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, peach, pear, pineapple, apricot, cherry, plum, raspberry, gooseberry, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, red/green apple, white grape/wine, hay, straw, grass, oak, peppercorn, wet wood, leathery/musty/lacto funk, wheat, cracker, white bread, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and light-moderate pale/wheat malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/sourness, and yeast/oak spiciness balance; with minimal puckering flavors after the finish, Moderate increasing dryness from lingering tart/tang/sourness, yeast/oak spiciness, and carbonation. Medium-high carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, grainy, acidic, tangy, tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 6%. Overall this is an incredible gueuze style. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic/spicy yeast, oak barrels, and light-moderate pale/wheat malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink with the moderately sour/tart/tangy/drying finish, not overly lactic. Amazingly well rounded classic barnyard Brett/Bacteria complexity, great oak presence, and solid pale/wheat malts against acidity. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

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superspak from Michigan, Feb 04, 2019
Photo of MacMalt
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from cork and cage bottle (bottled April 2017) into tulip glass. It pours a cloudy honey color with a half finger of foamy, bright white head and a thin layer of lacing. It's highly effervescent. The nose features sour lemon, oak, chardonnay wine, sea salt, and spices. It's as tart as can be with lemon, apple, oak, leather, and earthy notes. Each taste is unique and bold but they blend really well. It's tangy and finishes nicely crisp. Light in body with lively carbonation and a moderate 6% ABV, it's easy to drink a second pour. Overall, this is as fine a Gueuze as I've had; it's very well-crafted with bold flavors and a pleasing mouth feel. I understand why it's so highly rated and sought after.

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MacMalt from New Jersey, Nov 04, 2017
Photo of FFFjunkie
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look is a hazy golden straw and poured with a finger of bubbly white head.

Aroma is acidity, wine barrel and a faint hint of green apple and funk.

Taste tart green apple, wine barrel and maybe some dark fruit and funk on the back end.

Feel is crisp and dry. Acidity lingers a bit. Carb is on the higher side.

Overall a very nice sour. Good acidity and the green apple comes through very well with the wine barrel.

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FFFjunkie from Illinois, Sep 01, 2017
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Transporting the tastebuds straight to Brussels, the Upland brewers bring a new and exotic taste to Indiana by reaching back into brewing history. A balance of fruit, spice, sour and earth align for a complex and refreshing session.

Pale gold and foggy to the eye, the beer's trickle of lace is a mere prelude to a tangy scent of weathered citrus, saddle leather, sea air and wine must waft onto the senses with a pungent and earthy perfume. Its taste is shy with sweetness while a smooth wheat and vegemite creaminess gently rolls onto the tongue.

As any malt influence dissipates rapidly, its the funk and fauna of yeast and bacteria that steal the show on the middle palate. Notions of sea brine and white wine wrap around the citrusy taste of lime, lemon and grapefruit peels. The oaken decay of cellar funk, dried attic woods and cured leather play into the dehydrated fruit flavor of pineapple and gooseberry. Sour throughout, the acute acidity is a refreshing clean cider and vinegar accompaniment.

Dry, crisp and cracker-like, this Batch 1 has fully matured to a powder-fine finish with a mature sourness, refined earth and mouthwatering margarita-like saltiness. Beautifully briny and rife with damp burlap, the finish is fast, clean and gentle with echoes of oak rolling calmly behind.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, May 24, 2017
Photo of jlindros
3.46/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Nice creamy head, legs, hazy hazy color.

Nose big sour blond funk, Brett lambic funk and a rubber, big waft of acetone, tart fruity.

Taste brings great characters but also bad characters, more alcohol like acetone, lots of fruit, lambic funk Brett, rubber as well, eh.

Mouth med to lighter bod, decent carb, acidic.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Dec 07, 2015
Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros and Kyle. Happy birthday Kyle.

A - Poured into a hill farmstead tulip a crystal clear amber hue with thin wisps and no head. Solid.

S - Aromas of acetone, vinegar, apple skin, horse blanket, light malts, really subtle funk. Very aromatic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of harsh acid, vinegar, lemons, funk, very nice tart apples. Lots of almost enamel peeling tartness.excellent.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, sharp, super acidic.

O - Overall this beer was super tart, very sharp and acidic. Excellent vinegar notes. Really delicious.

Serving type: bottle

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rudzud from Massachusetts, Oct 13, 2015
Photo of Keananmichael5
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid sour! One of the more tart beers that I had at gabf and it was really tasty. Any type of sour is good in my book and this one did not disappoint.

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Keananmichael5 from California, Sep 29, 2015
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #83 (Dec 2013):

Here we have Blend No. 4, a blend of new and old sour beers (“old” meaning several years of age). The broadness of flavors and the complexities behind each one are all beautiful. We had hoped for a bit of carbonation here, but regardless, this is a real treat.

STYLE: American Wild Ale
ABV: 0.0%
AVAILABILITY: Rotating

LOOK: Hazed peach hue, no head or lacing

SMELL: Funk, peppercorn, musty cellar, horse blanket, mint, tart, earthy, vinous, wood tannin

TASTE: Still, slick, moderate-sized body, deep tartness throughout, pungent, prevalent wood, wine-like, barnyard, musty, pineapple skin, mild broth, faint spice, lemon oil, finishes dry, lingering tartness

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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts, Jun 12, 2015
Photo of brandoneast
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch #3 quite sour with hints of unripe pear, Granny Smith apple and tangy goat cheese. Hmm now that I think of it, all those things would have been nice in an omelette and could have been a tasty pairing with this batch 3.

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #5

Pours a delicious orange color with a head that rises and falls quickly.

Smell up front was great, but the more it sat and opened up the better it got. Plenty of that Upland acid and funk, but as it warmed so much fruit and minerals came through. Lots of stone fruit, plenty of crushed stone, rich earth and tannic barrel compliment the amount of funk.

Same goes for the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-medium plus with nice crisp carbonation and a faint sweetness on the finish.

I absolutely loved this beer, and while I haven't been a fan of the other Uplands I have had, this one vaulted to the top of the sours I have had so far. On par with Duck-Duck-Gooze.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Todd for the share!
Batch #3.

Yellow-straw color with a slight haze, lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass, feeding a wispy white head at the top; minimal lacing. In the nose, lacto-lemon, apple skin, hints of sulfur and crackery malts. Pretty darn sour on the palate, lacto, lemon and apple acidity, moderate notes of sulfur, yogurt, cobwebs, some acetic puckeriness, oak, dried leaves, and distant crackery malts in the background. Medium body, dry and acidic mouthfeel, lively carbonation. Interesting to call this a gueuze, but I guess the brewing/blending process makes it that. Regardless, a solid and enjoyable sour overall. I'd like to try it with a few years on it.

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Rifugium from North Dakota, May 18, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml of Blend #3, opened up by Doug right after K13. Poured into a snifter today, 1/24/2014.

App- hazy dark yellow-gold body, 1 finger white head, ok retention, no lacing. I was the second person to pour and the first person's pour had a much clearer pour. Clearly there's a good bit of sediment floating around in here.

Smell- straight up acidity and sourness, oak, non-descript fruit aromas, a little bit of Upland funk

Flavour- 8/10 sour quotient, quite acidic. Malts, stonefruit, dry oak tannins. But most of all, vinegary sour.

Mouthfeel- Nice full bodied, well carbonated, on the verge of creaminess, goes down very well.

Overall- Very enjoyable beer that is extremely sour, but adds just enough more on top of the acidity that it's not just a sour bomb, but is fairly complex. Enjoyed the stonefruit flavours and the dry oak finish on this beer. Upland is the real deal.

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Stevedore from Wisconsin, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to Alex for sharing this one.

Blend 3.

Pours a murky honey orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is super sour with malt, fruit, vinegar, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and vinegar flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a fantastic beer with an awesome set of aromas and flavors coming from this blend of barrels.

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UCLABrewN84 from California, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.34/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 3.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Small white head. Thin collar.

Smell - Really acidic. Nostril flaring acids. Acetic.

Taste - Really strong sourness. Acetic. Some pale malts. Dominated by sourness.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Extremely sour.

Overall - I can't taste much beyond the sourness.

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Photo of jeremiahoden
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amen to southhouse brew! The best gueuze I've ever had! When Caleb gets a sour right its right. I love all of the Uplands that I've had. Ive had them side by side with the russian rivers,cascades, cantillons,and drie fonteinens. Upland is world class! This is for batch # 2 and #3

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a wedding snifter.

Batch 3. This seems like a nice enough capstone for the evening, eh? It pours a cloudy sunset straw-amber topped by a half-finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises tart lemon zest, light vinegar, light funk, and orange juice. The taste brings in more of the same, with some hefty sourness and a few veins of slightly-sweeter red wine vinegar every now and again. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry, sticky finish. Overall, a damn fine sour, one that brings the tartness with a vengeance. Not a bad beer to finish the day off with.

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TMoney2591 from Illinois, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3

Cloudy yellow. Smallish head. Very little retention. No lacing. Aroma is quite sour. Green apples, lactic acid, sour tarts, slight vinegar note. Taste is similar. Quite sour. Actually very sour. There is a green apple sweetness in the mix that reminds me of one of those extreme sour candies. Mild pale malts. Lighter body. Minimal bitterness, if any at all. Decent carbonation.
A very sour beer. If you're into such beers, you'll enjoy it. If not, this is an intensely sour beer.

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Florida9 from Illinois, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of mjohnson17
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch 3 poured from bottle into teku

A: Nice carbonation, head dissipates to leave a nice dense head-ring of about 1/4 inch. Beautiful orange color. Had yeast protein floaties but I don't mind.

S: Amazing. Lots of sour acidic notes; lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and well as vinegar.

T: This was the standout from a stellar tasting lineup. The flavors are so well balanced; there's tons of acidity but the malt is there to counter, it's dry but not overdone, There's a full creaminess to it, probably lacto, that's a very welcome too. There wine wine barrel characteristics come through nicely too; some sour grape musk, slight tannins, and smooth oakiness.

M: Light and crisp yet full and creamy like a really well done gueuze should be.

O: Best american sour I've had, and certainly the best example of an American gueuze out there. Batch 3 is better than batch two and is a damn near perfect beer.

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mjohnson17 from Illinois, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of southhousebrew
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Blend #2 & #3 (several tastings, bottle)

This is, by far, the best Gueuze I've ever had. Foreign or domestic.

The acidity level and associated flavors, the wide and unique range of yeast/bacteria driven flavors and aromas, the level of fine carbonation. Its. All. Perfect.

Its a privilege to live so close to a brewery producing such a great product.

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Photo of belgianb
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, but more like pressed apple juice - think Bellini - cloudy with a small but pretty head at first - some lacing, but lost quickly

Smell - overwhelming vinegar and rotting citrus, mostly grapefruit, some vanilla around the edges, but all gone musty - like a teenager's hamper or an old wet band-aid -

Taste - vinegar and citrus with some pleasant red wine notes from the oak barrels - tart throughout - sharp and then a swoosh - like dipping your glass into a summer's compost bin - creamier than last year's reserve, which is slightly disappointing -

Mouthfeel - smooth up front with a nice burn in the back - sits like weak acid on the tongue, but the pain fades too quickly - the burn is not harsh in the back end - more like a scrape - it doesn't overwhelm the taste -

Overall - one of the most complete and rewarding sours out there - more refined, more soulful than anything else on the market - not quite as life-changing as last year's reserve, however - you want to drink this cold and fresh, because it doesn't sit will in the hand -changeable, mercurial, which is not always a bad thing - we're still saying it's really good, even as we feel a little let-down -

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belgianb from Indiana, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 2. Pour is glowing orange, light haze, and tight white head. Nose is orange citrus and tangerine, juicy wine and barrel, light musk and cheese and seemingly acetic. Taste is juicy, oily, orange citrus and tangerine, wine barrel and oak, light cheese moving to acetic acid. Burn in finish, not horrible but increasing, semi dry, assertive carbonation and a bit heavy on the body.

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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.09/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to GuisseppeFranco for this one. Batch 1 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Cantillon flute. Had at a tasting 5/19/2013. Reviewed from notes.

Beer is a cloudy peach. No lace, thin legs, and no head. Not much to look at.

Nose is sweet, pulpy with some light tartness, a touch of mango and a bit of acidity. Aromatic and pretty appetizing.

Opens tart lemon, hay, and wood. Sour mango and apricot notes at the middle. Gueuz-y. Finishes some vinegar and lemon with a well balanced malt presence. Aftertaste of tart tropical fruit. Pretty simple overall but well balanced and the flavors work well together.

Light to medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Spritzy and bubbly in the mouth and silky and filmy going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Appropriate.

A very solid beer all the way around and pretty in-line with the rest of Upland's wild offerings. Certainly worth trying.

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SpeedwayJim from New York, May 19, 2013
Photo of jeonseh
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2; Bottle shared with NWI tasting group

A - Light golden with orange hue. Small white head full of carbonation. Small amount of carbonation trailing upwards

S - Lots of white vinegar tartness. Slight oak and lemon as well. Overall, you can tell that this is going to be a tart and sour beer

T - Really tart and sour beer. Get sweet-tarts, lactic acid, and lemon initially. There is a light blue cheese funk to it but this one is definitely more on the tart side. Light oak comes through in the finish as well

M - Lots of carbonation but the beer manages to have a nice pillowy softness to it that makes this light in the mouth

T - This is a Gueuze that leans more to the tart side than the funky side. This is definitely one of the tarter beers that I've ever had. It's a mouth puckerer.

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jeonseh from Indiana, Mar 09, 2013
Sour Reserve from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 401 ratings