Sour Banshee | Blue Mountain Brewery

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Sour BansheeSour Banshee

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Evan on 04-25-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 46
Photo of tigg924
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy bright yellow with one inch head and high carbonation. Taste is grapefruit, light bourbon, and sour mix. Above average tart sipper that I am glad I got. Have others I prefer in the style, but this is good.

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Photo of Elsuperjefe
2.32/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

I took two sips and I was done. Over bitter and over sour. Nothing really made sense to me. No balance. Having said this... My sister loved it!!! Go figure.

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Photo of J-Rye
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually liked this one. I bought it on sale for $14.99 for the 750mL. Bought it a couple more times thereafter, as well. At first sip, this was way, way unbalanced, but I gave it some time, a lot of time, to calm down, chill out, and come together. Once it hits its temp point this is a very good beer. The sour comes through and mixes well with the bourbon and maltiness, bringing out some vanilla and molasses tones with the nice sour and funk. Worth the warming wait.

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Photo of ohhsnap
2.63/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Really falls flat, and was very disappointing. Advertised around town as an "under-the-radar, brewed-once-funky-sour" that came nowhere near the positive words or price tag. Look, smell, feel are all very mediocre. The overwhelming scent and flavor is oak. Overrides both the wild and the sour components. Subtle hint of sour but this felt more like an ordinary old ale versus a wild or sour or barrel-aged anything. Needs a lot of work.

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Photo of sweetcell
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

as a sour, this beer is disappointing. there was some hints of tartness in there but pretty subtle. perhaps this beer needs aging for the bugs to do their thing (there are dregs in the bottle so i would assume that it contains live bugs).

however, as a bourbon barrel aged belgian'ish ale, its damn good. the mild sourness works really well with the bourbon character.

i will be picking up more bottles of this. it's very nice fresh but i'll age at least one bottle to see if the sourness increases.

EDIT: i contacted Blue Mountain to ask them about the beer, and apparently cellaring won't do much (at least not as much as expected). they wrote:

"Sour Banshee is an unpasteurized, unfiltered pale American Wild ale. The base beer is introduced to oak barrels during which time the naturally occurring lactobacillus do their thing. After bottling the lactobacillus will remain viable for a short time, continuing to produce lactic acid and CO2. This will continue until the residual sugars upon which they thrive are consumed. In addition, this beer is dry hopped pretty heavily in the barrel and the resulting hop acids seem to retard the growth/proliferation of the lacto a bit.

The finished product you have in your cellar will age/develop over time, however little will be due to the remaining lactobacillus. There just won't be many viable bugs left. "

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich sour and bourbon barrel aging combo.

Presentation: 750 ml corked and caged brown bottle. Front label with a purple background and two splashes of dark pink over the double outline of the name. Side notes describe the ale, main brewing process, and brewery profile. Cork shows bb Nov 2015, and bottle details 30 IBUs , 16.5 plato OG, and 7% Alc. by Vol. Served in a Cantillon tasting glass.

A - Deep amber to pale amber pour. Fairly clear with some sediment haziness as one progresses through the bottle. Rich creamy head, with sturdy retention, nice surface memory and lacing.

S - The nose offers a pleasing sourness coated with vanilla and bourbony oak. The barrel shines the longer but retains a very stimulating sour freshness. Hints of grass, and citrus punctuate the range.

T - Nice sourness, some straw and grapefruit with a hint of funk. The sourness is firm but not overwhelming and gives way to a clear vanilla, and oak range with a distinct hint of bourbon.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. It has a nice tingle to it, but it feels quite creamy, the dash of sourness lingers under the sweet barrel, and brings back a note in the finish.

O - Nice offering: the sour aging in the bourbon barrel works more as a rhythm than as a blend. And that is fine…

Notes: It sure is an interesting and somewhat predictable twist for a US sour: bourbon barrel! And it works, it is particular, with distinct nuances. I kind of like it. The bourbon/sour shines more harmonically in the nose… It is unusual but it syncs. The flavor maybe does not move as remarkably, but there is a nice bourbon finish to the sourness that weaves it back together very efficiently.

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Photo of rizzoboy
4.4/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this but I am a Sourhead. I would have liked more sourness but I thought that it was a rather ingenious paring of flavors. Some aging would do wonders with this I think.

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Sour Banshee from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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