Sonoran 200 | Sonoran Brewing Company

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Sonoran 200Sonoran 200
28 Ratings
Sonoran 200Sonoran 200

Brewed by:
Sonoran Brewing Company
Arizona, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 19.37%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The "Sonoran 200" is produced from 2-Row Malt and pure Agave Nectar. To increase the Agave flavor and sweetness we infused more Agave Nectar into the brew after four weeks of fermentation was complete. The batch was then Oak Aged for six months, achieving the perfect balance of Agave Nectar and Oak flavors, giving the Sonoran 200 its mellow body and distinctive characteristics. We suggest enjoying the Sonoran 200 in a snifter at room temperature, though some prefer it chilled or on the rocks, or as a "floater" on you Margarita. For a truly unique experience, pair it with your favorite cigar or dessert.


Added by Patrick999 on 02-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by cosmicevan:
Photo of cosmicevan
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to joefuzz for bringing this to the southampton release and sending me home with the left overs, enjoyed almost a week after opening. Enjoyed from a mini snifter.

a - brew poured a fairly sludgy muddy orange brown. Not all that attractive

s - super sweet caramel

t/m - surprisingly drinkable. Abv is well integrated and this is easy to sip. Is it sweet? You bet. But the flavor is nice. Sweet caramel. It broke up the beer at the tadting and i am digging on it right now. Not the best beer, but for what it is, this is interesting and enjoyable. Seems like it will hold up, but i have more left and will revisitthe corked bottle again soon.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for giving me a pour of this. Pours a swamp and cloudy brown-yellow hybrid color with absolutely no head. The beer is completely silent and still after the pour, as expected for a brew of this magnitude. A quick swirl generates some moderate legging on the glass, but all-in-all, this beer is pretty ugly.

The aroma is, as Chris pointed out, somewhat similar to Sam Adams Triple Bock.; however, it is much less sweet and not quite so intense (though it is still quite potent). And don't mistake me - Sonoran 200 has a huge sweetness character in the aroma, just not *quite* as large as Triple Bock. Plums, heavy booze, brown sugar, figs, potent perfume, and a heavy nail polish remover scent from the alcohol. Lots going on here, perhaps a bit too much.

After a hefty aroma like that, I'm wondering what this sucker's gonna taste like. Much to my chagrin (and expectation), it's very sweet. But still not nearly as sweet as Triple Bock - Sonoran 200 is much more drinkable, though much more than a few ounces would certainly be too cloying. Nice meshing of caramel apples, candied grapes, melted brown sugar, sticky toffee and syrupy molasses - the flavor profile stretches for miles. And while it's insanely sweet, it's actually not too bad.

The thing that surprises me the most about this is that it's literally not hot at all on the palate. It's almost 20% ABV and yet it feels not even 10%. I was expecting something that was throat and/or gut-burning, but this is neither. I don't know if that's due to the high sweetness offset, or if it has just mellowed out nicely over the years. The mouth feel is heavy, sticky, and trudges slowly through your mouth, but it isn't offensive nor bothersome for an over-the-top brew such as this one.

Thanks again to Jeff for giving me a pour from his bottle. This is one of those crazy experimental brews that it's nice to try at least once, even though it's not something you're going to be cracking very often (both due to the beer's style and it's relative scarcity). This isn't quite as complex and magical as something like Utopias, but it was much more enjoyable than Triple Bock.

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Photo of oline73
3.17/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle that looks like it should hold tequila into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a very murky amber with almost no head at all.

Smell: Really, really sweet. Caramel malt and dark fruit. Lots of alcohol heat.

Taste: Tastes like candy. Lots of dark fruit and carmel. I'm getting some notes that remind me of vanilla and banana. The heat isn't as strong as I would have guessed. Smooth considering.

Mouthfeel: The body is syrupy and the beer is flat. Some alcohol heat.

Overall: Neat to get to try this beer but I don't need more.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of AgentZero
1/5  rDev -70.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - Looks like diarrhea in the toilet that sat overnight. Wow this looks awful.

S - Maple syrup, ginseng, weird agave, alcohol, and a really disgusting sweetness. This almost made me gag.

T - Wow this is gross as hell. I literally felt the need to vomit as I tried to get this down. Tastes like sweet, rotten ginseng tea, horrible alcohol, artificial sweetener. Sean took a sip and spit his out in the sink. I choked down enough swallows to be able to tick, but I think it was a mistake.

M - Flat, hot, gross, I can't go on.

O - May very well be the worst beer I've ever had. I seem to have a massively different sense of taste than the people here that are giving this horrible concoction A's. At close to $40 for the bottle, this is a massive rip-off. I'd feel ripped off paying 40 cents for this.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer ours a flat, hazed, golden-orange color with no head.

S: Sweet. Very sweet with lots of caramel, toffee, bread, and tons of brown sugar. Tons of honey type aromas with some grapes/sweet wine, and definitely some booze.

T: As expected, this one is intensely sweet. Quite mead-like as it has a lot of honey and vinous qualities. Brown sugar, caramel, and toffee add to the sweetness, but there is something almost savory about it. Maybe white sage?

M: Medium bodied with no carbonation.

O: Significantly better than the 100, but still not something I feel the need to try again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.61/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Sonoran 200, poured from a 13.2 oz square bottle made of a very solid glass with a cork top. "Brewed with Agave" the bottle says, and in very small print, 19.37% alcohol. A gift from my brother living in Arizona.

Appearance: Poured from the glass flask into a brandy snifter. Flat. About 6 bubbles form, then pop. Flat looking liqour like beverage, which I have come to expect after reading some reviews. There is also some cloudy brown sediment in different shades. All in all, not very appealing looking for a beer. Still, I was not deterred from embibing.

Smell: Booze. Sweet alcohol. Thats obvious given the strength of the beer. Theres more to it than that. Butterscotch, rum raisens, brown sugar. Very sweet underneath the heat. The smell of this beer filled the room, strong.

Taste: Theres an initial wave of what I can best describe as Agave, reminiscent of a tequila bite but much mellower and indeed sweeter. Sweet sugary fruit like fig, date and plum glance upon the palate. Belgian candy syrup. I give alot of this fruityness credit to the yeast trying really hard to put any ale characteristics into this beverage. I get just a hint of vanilla from the barrel aging. Holy hell! What a crazy bitches brew. Cinnamon, near cloying sweetness. However, on a cold night, I found the warming effects of this beer to be pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, zero carbonation. Drinks like Grand Marnier drenched tequila but with less of a bite and more sweetness.

Drinkability: I am thankful I got to try this weird concoction. While I may not be eager to drink another, it was a worthwhile experience and very unique. Proof that Agave can be used in beer, and thats something worth noting.

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Photo of Lucklys
4.26/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After sitting for a while, the Sonoran 200 appears a clear burnt amber color and has almost a quarter inch of sediment piled on the bottom of the rectangular bottle. Good or bad judgment aside, I decided that in order to maximize the scents, flavors, and overall mouthfeel I should give the bottle a few good turns to reunite the sediment with the liquid. Almost immediately, the liquid turned murky with the swirling mix and while it retained most of its burnt amber color, it also made me think of melted butterscotch candy. There was no carbonation, and thus no head, leaving it with quite a solid facade.

I should mention that while I've been keeping the bottle in the refrigerator for safe-keeping, before I tried it, I let it sit out for about an hour to allow it to warm to just slightly cooler than room temperature. By the time I got around to smelling and tasting it, it was probably close to ~60ºF. And when I finally did smell it, holy sweetness Batman! My nose was overwhelmed with heavy shots of maple, even stronger brown sugar aromas mixed with a lighter butterscotch toffee, and what resembled cane sugar, but could have very well been hints of concentrated agave. It smelled like a very sugary candy, with the tiniest bit of alcohol peeking through the amazingly sweet nose.

I was almost afraid to put a drop of this in my mouth for fear of instant cavities, but trusting that the sweetness was due to the intense agave and not fake sugars, I took it sip by sip. I'm going to repeat this: Holy sweetness Batman! This beer is ridiculously super-sweet; like liquid butterscotch candy poured over a melted brown sugar/cane sugar concoction. I was never really able to recover from the initial wave of sugar as the next thing to flood my mouth was lots and lots of agave and maple syrup, both of which carried quite a heavy feel in the thin liquid, smoothing the whole thing out beautifully. With all of the just-short-of-cloying sweetness and the slow swirls of sediment when I mixed it, I expected the beer to present a medium to thick mouthfeel, but found myself thankful of the thinner mouthfeel, as any thicker and it would have been far too dense to enjoy properly. I could only sip it slowly like a cordial and the best way I can find to describe the flat texture - besides thin - is caramely or watered down syrup (without taking away any of the sweetness, of course).

With so many redeeming qualities, including the almost 20%ABV being hid outrageously well by the agave, this is a beer I am happy to say I have tried and it only further increases my appreciation of Sonoran Brewing Company and all of their craft brews. I have tasted the strongest beer in Arizona and it exceeded my expectations. Being able to hold that amount of alcohol and taste more like a liqueur than beer, it's hard to imagine ever labeling this as an American Strong Ale, but that's exactly what it is and it easily takes that category to the next level.

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Photo of zeff80
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy copper color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. Left very little lace. Looks like beer.

S - It smelled incredibly sweet with a strong boozy nose. Sorta smelled like beer.

T - This this is sugary sweet with honey, maple and butterscotch. Kinda tastes like tequila.

M - It was crisp, sharp and finish dry. A light bodied ale with a big-time alcohol warmth. Feels like beer.

D - Overall, though, this is not like beer. It is a little like drinking fire with some beer-like qualities.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours from the cool looking little rectangular bottle into the glass a medium amber color, with (not unexpectedly) no head to speak of. Aromas of vanilla, a little caramel and some agave nectar. Taking a sip, I got mostly cloying sweetness and alcohol. Much more like a liqueur than a beer. An interesting experiment, but much too sweet. Thanks to Dan for the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of haknort
5/5  rDev +45.3%

Photo of sirsteve42
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of beerguru14
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour, Color, & Aroma:
First off, the bottle this comes in reminds me of a tequila bottle. It was a square and had a cork topper. The colors and logo itself are very unique and Phoenixesque. I don't normally mention much on the aesthetics of the bottle, but this is one that really stands out. I noticed a significant amount of sedimentation along the bottom of the bottle. When I finally uncorked and poured it, I noticed a lack of any head what-so-ever, pouring similar to a scotch or tequila. As far as clarity, the beer was relatively clear with just a hint of haze.

The aroma was something very unique. Up front I got alcohol. I wasn't sure if I would get much else, but with some patience I started getting a boutique of aromas wafting up underneath the heat. Butter toffee, a hint of sweet rum and brown sugar began taking shape.


Wow. I was not ready for the flavor of this brew. I was expecting an upfront alcohol taste that would mask any other flavors. I was totally wrong. The first thing I thought of was a sweet and sugary syrup. A mellow agave also made its way up that gave way to other dark fruit type flavors such as plum, date and fig. The last thing I was getting was a hint of vanilla from the oak.

Finish and Body:
The finish of this beer may have been its only weakness and a minor one at that. There was a lack of carbonation. I am sure there are reasons for this, but a slightly higher carbonation rate may have helped distract my palate from all the sweetness. Other than that, the body was somewhat on the thicker side due to the sweetness and the alcohol really didn't play as much of a factor as I thought it would.

Final Thoughts:
Overall I was very pleased with this beer. After I finished drinking it, I went to the brewery website and saw a suggestion of adding it to a margarita. I had enough left in my bottle so I did just that. The recipe I used is as follows:

1/4 oz of Don Sergio Tequila

1/4 oz Grand Imperial (Orange liqueur)

1/2 oz of Sonoran Brewing 200

2 1/2 oz of Bone Daddy Margarita Mix (the best I've had!)

The resulting margarita was fantastic. The agave from the beer really came through and complimented the flavors perfectly.

As far as the beer goes, this is one to try. I would recommend sharing it with friends so they have the opportunity to try something truly unique. Prost!

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Photo of spycow
2.25/5  rDev -34.6%

Photo of shwillivanilli
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What the hell is this, tequilla beer? Even the bottle looks like a tequilla bottle with a resealable cork. Made with agave, almost 20% ABV, and generously shared by Halcyondays, I had no idea what I was going to get. On to the beer:

Muddy orange in color, with no head forming on top. No real legs either. It looks like someone melted some butterscotch candy to make the liquid. The nose was interesting...okay, the anticipation was. I thought it would be along the lines of Cazadores, but one whiff lit up my nose! It's nothing like tequilla, and instead smells like dessert. Brown sugar, massive maple, custard...hard to believe you could get this out of agave.

Let's see, it's really sweet, and really tasty. You could make creme brulee out of this beer. I want to say maple donuts are what this beer reminds me of. Thinking of this flavor is teasing my taste buds, and they want me to buy a 12-pack of Krispy Kreme's at this minute. What's further amazing is that the alcohol is buried scary well; you'd think Patrick Rue helped these guys. The one majorish criticsm is the thin mouthfeel for such a big beer. Not carbonated either, but having some would probably make things worse.

It's no Utopias, but what is? Sonoran 200 is a great tasting drink, and perhaps one of the best beers to pair with dessert. You'd think the tickers would be all over this beer.

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Photo of birchstick
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a murky orange color out of the most unique beer bottle I have seen.

S - the nose contains a sweet nectar characteristic with some funkiness and a little bit of agave

T - very sweet, sticky honey lemon fades to honey suckles and sweet syrupy agave flavors. It is a little gingery and maple as well. The abv is very well-masked and not even noticeable in the palate.

M - very smooth body

D - super sweet and the abv is a little limiting, but this is definitely approachable and drinkable for what it is. Worth a shot as this is a very unique beer.

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Photo of whartontallboy
2/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of tpd975
3.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden with no head or lace.

S: Aromas of rich sweet honey, agave, and candy sugars.

T: Rich and sweet. The agave is there with hints of spice. Honey and brown sugar sweetness that yields to sweet summer fruit.

M: Farily full in body, rich, sweet, smooth.

D: Not bad I actually liked this one for what it is. A nice sipper.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.04/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I see that Sonoran 100 was classified as an American Malt Liquor. While I certainly see the argument for classing this as "liquor," I don't see how it has anything to do with that fairly well-defined style. I think this "200" best fits under the catch-all American Strong Ale category, and I place it as such.

Poured a small measure from the square bottle into a very large snifter, at room temperature - 70 degrees, according to my thermostat. Clear light amber. Small smattering of bubbles from the pour, but this is not carbonated, nor was it intended to be. I pretty much have to punt on the appearance, I have no idea. Hell, it looks fine for what it's trying to be, so I figure it has to go somewhere between 3.5-4.0.

As you would expect, it has quite the aroma - a lot of maple, cane sugar, vanilla, pipe tobacco. This was brewed with agave, but I'm not sure I smell any. I happen to have a container of agave nectar on me, so I unscrew the top and smell, that smells really weird. I don't smell any of that in this "beer." Still a very nice aroma. It smells a bit like this Perique tobacco liqueur I have.

Taste-wise, it's extra sweet. Come on - what did you expect? Of course it is. I get a lot of the pipe tobacco that I smelled - and *here* is the agave nectar. You definitely taste it. That, tobacco, rum-soaked figs, vanilla, maple, all the big-beer flavors are here. It doesn't taste all that alcoholic....frankly, it's so sweet, I think the sugar hides most of the ABV. With this particular beer, it's not a weakness. It's beer/liqueur candy. If you're not expecting anything other than that out of this, you'll be fine. It's a sippin' cordial, and a good one.

Feel? 4th and 15 at my own 20, I punt. It's flat and has a slightly viscous feel. Pretty much exactly what it's trying to be.

Tempted to punt on drinkability too, but in actuality it's pretty drinkable as these things go. Sure, you'll never drink a pint glass full of this. Yet, in terms of shots, drams, small snifter's pretty damned tasty, and I could have a few small measures of it.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.59/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of t0rin0. I know you enjoyed the Cantillons I sent you far more than I enjoyed this. Served in a Cigar City snifter immediately after Sonoran 100.

A - This is a little bit lighter than the Sonoran 100, and hazier as well. Looks like some sort of turbid caramel water.

S - Agave nectar, maple syrup, oaky vanilla, and alcohol. Thankfully no bacon or tires. Still somewhat cloying.

T - Taste is a little strange - there's a herbal ginger note mingling with the agave and harsh alcohol burn. Not as overly saccharine as the 100, which already makes it somewhat of an improvement.

M - It's still. Huge alcohol burn and warmth persists throughout. Sticky and full-bodied, although it doesn't linger as long as the 100.

D - Well - I thought this one was better than the 100, but it's still a far cry from Utopias or Sam Adams Millennium (the only other "beers" of this ilk). This was excellent for dipping Twinkies in, or for glazing sausages.

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Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Shared by ygtbsm94 at my place last weekend. Thanks Brad.

The beer appears still and is a hazy, orange, copper hue. The aroma is sweet and boozy. Malty, nutty, fruity, strong, bold, interesting. Caramel malt with some brown sugar, A bit oily on the palate. Low carbonation. Fun to try. Best in small doses.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +16.3%

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Sonoran 200 from Sonoran Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 28 ratings