Rosso E Marrone | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Rosso E MarroneRosso E Marrone

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red wine grapes mixed with sour brown ale to create this truly unique sensory experience. Aged in oak barrels with Brettanomyces to help marry the flavors and impart a distinct sour character found nowhere else. Rich, vinous, tart and tangy are the flavors of this classic American Sour Ale.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-28-2009

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Reviews: 198 | Ratings: 649
Photo of monsterzero
1.51/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Batch #1 375ml bottle shared 4 ways.

A: Very murky/cloudy. Orange-red haze.

S: Apple cider vinegar with a hint of funky earthiness.

T: Fresh-squeezed orange juice (w/ pulp) with a splash of apple cider vinegar.

M: Very thin and surprisingly acidic.

O: Very much passed it's prime. Insta-drainpour.

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Photo of 7ways
2.58/5  rDev -39%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Mud, blood, and swamp water. Not a very nice color, but less impressive is the head, which recedes seconds after it attains it's full height of about a centimeter. Vigorous swirling both immediately and minutes later produce nothing.

S- Rhubarb, grandma's dark hard candy, cooking wine, and fresh soil. Reminds me of Haandbakk and Avery Brabant, but sweeter and more subtle.

T- Like drinking sour red wine or grape juice out of a wooden barrel. Very tannic. More fresh soil, which is a nice aroma, but not such a nice taste. Lemons, apples, funk and leather in the background. Very dry, and the back of my throat feels like it's being stabbed. I get the same thing with Ommegang Rouge, but with that beer it's more tolerable, maybe because something in the flavor makes up for it.
Edit: There was some flavor I was trying to come up with but couldn't, now I've got it: Balsamic vinegar.

M- Carbonation is low, which in my opinion is not "to style". In fact, it was Lost Abbey low by the time I finished the glass. All I know is I need some bubbles to wash away the acid. My teeth hurt.

D- 12 ounces was jut not a pleasant experience.

Ever since I tried CdC and SFTO Rum, I've been a big Captain Lawrence fan. This is the second time I've had Rosso. I thought I just got a poorly sealed bottle the first time, but no. All the things I didn't like about Nor'easter and SFTO Wine (infected?) were summed up in this beer. It lacks whatever it is that makes Oud Bruins one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.71/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Steve for sending me this one. A bottle from Batch 2.

A: The pour is a dark amber color that's perhaps a bit more on the brown side. The head is off-white in color.

S: The nose starts off with sweet malts, cherries, and red grapes. Red wine vinegar becomes very apparent quite quickly and is followed up by an unfortunate amount of butter.

T: Very heavy on the vinegar which provides a big sourness right off the bat. Unfortunately, lots of metallic and buttery flavors that just ruin this beer.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is light to medium. Grape? skins provide a bit of a chewiness...

D: I remember having a bottle of the first batch and thinking it was pretty good. However, this one didn't quite live up to that experience.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.73/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a murky brown/red color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of weird funk is quite powerful with some sour and oak notes also noticeable. Taste is also overpowered by the weird funk notes which didn't agree with me (I usually did the barnyard notes but those were too much) and a sour lightly acidic finish. Body was quite full with medium carbonation. I had a hard time getting into this one - probably one of the worst from a usually excellent brewer.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.91/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-review of a batch 2 bottle shared by womencantsail. Thanks, Andrew!

A: Pours a maroon body that leans more toward the brown side. A light haziness to it. It's capped by a small off-white head. Not much in the way of lace. The bottle had solid chunks in it (cherry skins?) that can only be called "disgusting."

S: I liked batch 1, but batch 2 is not so great. Butter, cat piss, mild sulfur. Some oxidation is evident (cardboard), with a sweet, brown-sugar aroma rounding it out. Tart cherries and cherry skins in the nose. Moderate acetic sourness. Grapes.

T: The taste captures the aroma well. It's lightly oxidized, buttery. The cat piss aromas give the beer a harshness that kind of works with the tartness of the white wine, barrel astringency, and acetic finish. [I guessed that it was aged in wine barrels, but realized later it was made with grapes. They're evident but I didn't have the skill / palate to identify anything about their color or strain.]

M: Light-medium bodied.

D: It's decent, but I'm not that impressed. Batch 1 was showing signs of bad oxidation (cardboard), though I still enjoyed it. Batch 2 has some off flavors. I am not impressed enough to seek it out again.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the bottle, Dyan.

Appearance: Murky, muddy reddish-brown. Pours with a tiny off-white head that disappears pretty quickly; carbonation levels are fairly low.

Smell: Damp, musty basement, tart tannic red wine, some spices, a bit of soap and cardboard. A very muddled beer.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sour and tannic, a bit like grapeskin. Metallic mid-palate with some odd earthy funk. Heavyish body with low carbonation. The finish is somewhat mineral and oxidized, not entirely pleasant. Had this one side-by-side with Cuvee de Castleton, and thought that beer was far superior.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: tawny color. hazy. no head. 3.5
S: acetic acid. caramel. cherries. no sign of grapes. very flanders like. hot alcohol. 3.5
T: quite acidic. some harsh alcohol. 3
M. low carbonation. medium body. vinegar bite in aftertaste. 3
O: eh. nothing special. out of balance. 3

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Photo of jethrodium
3.44/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle. Batch 2. Thanks for sharing Phyllis. Pours a cloudy brownish amber with no head. The aroma is big grape, some light brett, some caramel sweetness, and some lactic acid. The taste is sweet and quite sour. Big grape, some lactic and acetic acid, and a light brett funkiness. The finish is moderately dry with a bit of earthiness. Medium body. Low carbonation. It definitely could have used some more carbonation. Not bad, but nothing special.

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Photo of NuclearRich
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Batch 2, bottle won at a benefit raffle at mikro in hamden.

A. Murky amber brown. Slight head forms then fades.

S. Tart cherries, red wine, vinegar.

T. More vinegar than pleasant tart, but not terrible. Just disappointing. Sweet malts over tart cherries, a tad funky.

M. Tart, astringent, light.

O. Sadly not what I wanted it to be. A good lambic impression but just a little off

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Photo of zeledonia
3.51/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3. Tasted 3 August 2014.

Pours clean from the top of the bottle, muddy at the bottom from the yeast. Color is medium amber-brown. No head at all, not surprising for a sour.

Smell is a robust, barely fruity, tart acidic sour. Kind of woody and acidic. Not lemony or citric, more hollow.

Taste is a combination of sour and bitter that I don't really like. Starts out a little fruity, with some sweet to balance the sour. But then it turned to a dirty, muddy, slightly bitter, slightly tannic chalky biting sour. Dryish red wine tannins that don't work well for mNot a whole lot of variety to the flavor.

Feel is really nice. Medium-light; feels heavy but fluffs up with fizzy carbonation.

An okay sour. Biggest problem I have is that it doesn't have that much variety of flavor. It's straight-up sour, but a sort of dirty sour, with a bite to it that I don't like. Not my favorite, and not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown/red color with a finger of head. The aroma is sharply acidic with a bit of lip gloss character. Big amounts of oak, as well as some sunflower seeds and dirt.

The flavor is tart grapes up front with a dry oakiness and some raisin in the finish. There is also an earthy character I'm having a tough time pinpointing. Very dry and somewhat sour.

The body is medium and carbonation is too high yet still fine for the style.

Overall this beer is good but there are some off flavors. Not sure I would go out of my way to seek it again, but I do enjoy it.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to t8000shx. Thanks Ben.

Dark rusty red brown. Tart grapes and cherries. Wine barrel influence is strong. Some of the base brown can be picked out. Flavors are mostly mild sour cherry and oak. Lactic sour along with moderate vinegar. The brown comes through in the finish. The high ABV is hidden well. Medium body. Not bad but not world class in my opinion.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: Green glass. Batch No. 2015. Hood cap n cage over a cork. Dull label. 12.7 fl oz.

"American sour ale."

HEAD: 1 finger wide of pale khaki colour. ~5 minute retention. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head ecedes.

BODY: Murky amber-brown. Some yeast particulate is visible within.

Appears aptly carbonated.

AROMA: Cherry skin, acetic acid, red grapeskin, faint lychee, backgrounded oak barrel/dampened vinegary oak wood, the beginnings of pleasant oxidation as indicated by a faint cardboardy tone, bacterial twang and intangible wild characteristics, mild (~2/10 in terms of intensity) sourness. Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Supple grape skin marries well with the pungent acidity showcased in this balanced build, Harmonious notes of mild sourness (maybe a 2/10 in terms of intensity), bacterial twang, and red grape mix in this delightful melange of flavour (if you'll pardon the pretension implicit in that phrasing). Depth of flavour is superb; flavour duration is apt. Flaovur intensity is mild.

Medium-bodied, smooth, wet, acetic, acidic, twangy, delicious.

The oak tones are a bit more muted than would be ideal, but the oak barrel overall does lend a natural cohesion of flavour to the build.

They really killed it with the mouthfeel.

OVERALL: Captain Lawrence surprises with this treat of a brew - a classic red wine barrel aged American sour ale with plenty of balance. Not just a lactobacillus bomb (like so many others in the contemporary sour ale arena), Rosso E Marrone is a brew that will impress even the most discerning of drinkers. I can't wait to have another.

B (3.65) / GOOD

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shrek806 (I think!) for this one.

375mL green glass pry-top bottle. Batch #2 (Jan 2010).

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with very little off-white head which leaves no spotting.

Nose is densely packed with raisin-y fruits and leather. Fresh and dried figs, dates and prunes, but also plums, starfruit, and orchids. Both bright and brooding.

Palate is bright and sparkly with some tight carbonation and high acidity. Bone freakin dry. This reminds me of a brut rose. Flavors are of dried fruits and leather, plus lots of granite or rocks-n-gravel minerality. Finish is drying, maybe from the oak?

Notes: All the flavors are spot on and all the pieces are right, but they don't quite fit together properly. I think it's too dry for it to work. I had this one at one of the BA beerfests a few years ago and remember it being better. Was probably Batch 1. Soccerman7 told me that this batch was bottled with Champagne yeast which would explain the dryness and the crackly carbonation.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the post-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one.

Pours a murky 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 sour with malt, grain, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, fruit, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but slightly one dimension in its sourness.

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Photo of kasper
3.69/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a murky burnt amber with ruby highlights; close to no head, just some medium-to-large tan bubbles that fade to a ring; no lacing.

S: Traces of a distinguishable vinous tartness appear the second the muddled "fizz" burps from under the cap; loads of brett, charred wood,

T: Quite acidic, pungent brown malt flavors and sweet grape peek through then fade towards a medium-dry, woody finish; you can really taste the wine barrel on the end, with lingering traces of brett. Ends kind of tangy, generally speaking

M: Medium bodied; low carbonation; stark acidity helps carry the feel.

D: I'm not a big fan of the Flanders Oud Bruin style, but this is probably one of the more enjoyable ones I've had.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3 into snifter.

A: Pours the murky color of baby poop. This is one nasty and cloudy diarrhea colored beer.
S: Big acetone and funk notes with grape and grape skins. This makes my eyes water.
T: Follows the nose with vinous dry grape skins and barnyard funk. I’m getting some hay, sweetish fruits and a hint of yeast as well. The finish is still bitingly acid.
M: Dry mouthfeel, soft carbonation, cleanish body and tons of acid.
O: Rough around the edges but I actually really liked the flavor. Gross looking beer though.

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Photo of kkipple
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a Batch #2 375'er of this at a small little palate buster during the Dirty South tasting sessions in Charlotte with that Craytonic guy. Thanks Matt!

A. Dark and dingy red rust. Small reddish tan head. No lace.

S. Here we go... sharp white oak, sweet and very red wine-cherry-shiraz-tannic... every smell sort of flows into the next, or maybe I'm getting drunk. Tangerine, sour-funk. Nice.

T. Quite sour and red wine vine-y, loads of white oak for dryness, tartness and lactic acid abound. Unfortunately there is a lemony acidic note that burns your throat in that way I really dislike in sours. It should be sour, not acidic... but I digress. Not really an Oud Bruin, either, this lacks any real malt heft and the sour is out of control. Might have started out as one though, who knows. It is what is is and there is enough actual flavor to like here. Fairly complex, but not mind blowing.

M / D. Dry and woody sour finish, that damm acidic sharpness lingers and takes this down a notch. Light carbonation and body.

Rosso E Marrone is a rough US sour, not one of the greats, but worth a try if you can get it. Captain Lawrence is hit or miss on their sours for me, but for people who like theirs acidic and bold, this is recommended.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier and Inflatablechair popped Batch #1 and 2 respectively side by side.... I thought #1 was on the way down hill, so this is for batch 2. Thanks Eric and Sammy!!

Pours with an okay white head... sorta orangish amber.... a little bit of haze.

Nose shows a bunch of sour notes... a bit acetic.. and musky sour... hints of cinnamon.

Flavor has big woody elements... tannic.... a bit vinous.. plenty tart... did I mention tannic? I'm having a hard time with the grapes.... instead I get cranberries and green apple skin... finishes very tart and oaky.

Body has more heft than expected ... and I like it... it helped cut back on a sorta spritzer like carbonation.

Interesting for sure... Not sure really what I think... I need another bottle :-)

The Batch #1 bottle was a bit messy... too sorta dusty...
seemed a touch oxidized.

Again, Big thanks to Eric and Sam.


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Photo of oline73
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3 poured into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to Arenbeer for providing this one and finewinemike for hosting.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a layer of off white head. The head fades to just a trace on top of the pour.

Smell: There is a dominant vinegary sourness that hits you right away. Some malt sweetness and there was a slightly off smell that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

Taste: Very tart and vinegary. There is a mild malt sweetness and a fruity note that reminded me of raspberries. I didn't pick up the off note from the smell in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really tart sour beer. The taste was nice and smooth given the abv. Didn't really pick up any alcohol. The smell took this down a notch for me.

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Photo of rye726
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for cracking this one open. After trying Cuvee de Castleton, I've wanted to try more of Captain Lawrence's sours. Nose has red wine barrels, sweet malts and tart cherries. Big notes of vinegar kind of get in the way here. Same with the taste. Good beer, but too much vinegar and acidity. Clean crisp body has a dry finish. Not bad, but too much vinegar.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into tulip glasses. Batch 1.

DISCLAIMER: had Batch 2 right after and it would have score at least a 4.4...I much preferred it to batch 1 as it had more of a fruit presence and was just much more balanced and flavorful.

A- Pours a murky, tan / brown color. Produced a fingers width of soapy, off white head. Reduced to a thin, soapy ring.

S- Combination of vinous grapes, vanilla and oak all in one. Good amount of acidity here.

T- Much more complex than the aroma. Sweet grapes and wine upfront. Finishes with an acetic, brown ale vinegarness. The middle lacked a bit because the beer soured pretty quickly.

M- Thin to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Left the palate on the dry side.

D- Way more acetic than I expected. Really was hard to finish my portion, gave me a good amount of heart burn.

Overall, this beer soured a ton, especially when compared to the second batch. The complexity and fruit flavors that lacked here, were much more pronounced in the second batch as well. Guess what I'm saying is don't age this one. The fresher the better.

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Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 poured from a 375ml bottle into my Lost Abbey Sinner stemware. It poured a mixture of brown and ruby colors with a very thin and bubbly head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of darker fruits to it. Grapes, raisins and figs all come through in it at first. It has a good amount of tartness to it with a moderate acidicness as well. There is a bit of musty sourness there as well.

The taste starts out with some of the sour grape flavors coming through. Towards the finish I get more of the woody oak flavors to it along with some of the dark fruit sweetness. Throughout the flavor I get some musty, sour grapes to it along with a moderate vinegar like flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being on the higher side. Drinkability is decent, I liked the grape sourness to it. It had some nice complexity to it with a lot of flavors going on. It was a nice beer to sip on during and after dinner this evening.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into my Darkness tulip.

A - Pours a dark ruby red with a dark tannish colored head that quickly disipitates, leaving nothing more then the body of the beer. No bubbles, no lacing, nothing. Just a muddled ruby red colored body.

S - Some nice tart/sour notes, but not too funky. Grapes, apples, pears, lots of nice sweet fruit mixed into the sour notes of the brett. There's a good amount of oak and red wine as well, as indicated that these were what the beer was stored in.

T - Tastes like grape juice with a kick of funk. The red wine, oak, and grapes are very present and right up front. The tart/sour quickly follows behind and finishes with a wine-ask tannic alcohol burn. A nice lip puckering sour finish.

M - Light to medium bodied. Has a feel similar to a red wine, perhaps a Pinot Noir but not as big as a Cabernet or Syrah. No real carbonation, which is a bit disappointing.

D - I actually think I prefer Red Poppy to this Flanders. I did enjoy this one, and wouldn't mind trying it again in the future. I think this has several more years of aging left.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rosso is a fine-looking beer. It pours a ruby-to-brown color with a smallish white head that settles down into a ring. The aroma is a powerful mix of fruit and sour scents. The description talks about grapes, which I can detect in the wine-like scent, but there seems to be more cherry than anything else. There's also a faint undercurrent of must, kind of like some poorly-visited library stacks.

The taste follows the aroma, but the sour qualities now take the lead. The fruit flavors seem darker and sweeter than they did in the aroma -- plum or fig-type stuff. It almost tastes like there's a Belgian dubbel hiding underneath all that sour. But oh, the sour packs a powerful punch. Very tart and very dry. There's a definite woody character too, especially as it dries.

So Rosso is a solid, complex sour -- not the greatest I've ever tasted, but definitely worth waiting in line for once a year. But I can't for the life of me decide what a craft beer novice would make of it. There are other sours, particularly Oud Bruins, that rookies tend to like when I make them try one. But Rosso is odd. It's almost as if it's a different, sweeter style that somebody has painted over with a very sour brush. I guess I mean it's not as well-defined as some other sours, if that makes sense. Don't get me wrong, though -- it's a mighty fine brew.

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Rosso E Marrone from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 649 ratings.
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