Sour Devil | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
23 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sour DevilSour Devil

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hornsup on 01-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 90
Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Note: Issue #1 (Cellared since 2013)

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear very dark cola brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and very faint reddish brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy + creamy dark tan head that very slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sour dark fruits (plum + cherry), roasted malts, and cocoa. Light to moderate aromas of bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts + dark malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of sour dark fruit (plum + cherry). Light to moderate flavors of cocoa followed by bourbon, vanilla, and oak in the finish. Minimal amounts of lingering sweetness or bitterness and just a light to moderate amount of residual tartness in the finish which lingers for a while.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very interesting - I have had some mixed experiences with sour stouts so I was happy that this one resonated with my palate. A moderate amount of complexity which I did not love at the first sip but grew on me as it came up to room temperature. Overall, I'm glad I finally pulled this one out of the cellar.

 1,438 characters

Photo of monkeybone7504
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark as midnight....It's good for the style, possibly an infected beer that they just rolled with.
The stout itself is very good and the actual sour is eclipsed by the chocolate roast. Let this one warm up.

 206 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Nick for the 750ml bottle! Poured into a wine glass; from two days ago. This is the 2012 batch, with a best-by date of May 2013 on the cork. Uh my ass, I'll bet this will still be damn tasty.

A: Pours a borderline pitch black color. The mocha-colored head is a finger high, and retains well. There's a nice ring of lacing left on the glass.

S: The stout part of this brew is handled well - there are nice notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel. The tartness, on the other hand, is very muted to the point of barely even being there. Still, it's well balanced yet rich the way an imperial stout should be.

T: There's only a faint hint of a sour bite to start. It quickly transitions into flavors of dark fruits, with a subtle chocolate and brown sugar finish. More sips reveal gentle hints of coffee and roast. I could nitpick about how weak the tartness is (I was more expecting something along the lines of Harvey's Imperial Stout, where both the stout and the sour are huge), but otherwise this is a really nice (albeit sweet) imperial stout.

M: This is where I'm let down a bit: it's slightly thin and slick in feel. It's very sweet, and the tart bite isn't significant enough to compensate. On the plus side, the carbonation is spot on, and the 10% is hidden spectacularly.

O: A soured imperial stout is a polarizing creation - this batch, at least, has such mild sourness that those who aren't sure of the style could try it (and perhaps even like it). Luckily, the stout part of this beer is extremely good, easily redeeming it. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one in the future.

 1,626 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

750 mL into tulip. best by: June 2014.

A: pours a dark brown. head is slightly on the brown side of things. very frothy. good retention and lacing.

S: sour grapes, prunes. a mild bourbon aroma, but you can tell it has been diluted. sweet, roasty, char.

T: definitely has a sour twang on it. not overly sour, but it has a presence. vanilla beans. the roast is almost entirely cut out by the acidity. sweetness as well. there is the roast again, right at the finish, but for a fleeting moment. than back to more sweetness.

M: carb is spot on. frothy and smooth. full bodied.

D: this beer is actually not too shabby, however im a little hesitant on its creation. to me, it's more of an "oops, this got infected, let's reuse these barrels again and change the beers name!" just my opinion.

 793 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a dark black pour with 2 fingers of frothy brown head, diminished slowly and created a TON of sticky lacing. aromas of bourbon, vanilla, slight oxidation, tobacco, roasted grains. smells more like a bba stout than anything sour..

yeah, there is a SLIGHT tartness up front along with the bourbon barrels, but not much there as far as sourness goes. nice amount of bourbon, vanilla, an earthy mushroomy flavor (probably from the wild yeast), a hint of light milk cut coffee. this one has a medium-full body with medium carbonation, though there is a strong presence of bourbon barrels the abv is pretty well hidden. chalky finish on the tongue.

this is a nice bourbon barrel stout, but as far as being a sour or wild ale, i can't get any of those notes i normally get from lactobacillus. i'm actually in the process of souring an imperial stout, and i will take note and be patient and let mine sit for a while longer.. i feel like sour devil didn't pick up the sour lacto notes i was expecting, which i want in mine.

 1,017 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Issue #1.

A: Dark mahogany pour is topped off by a 3+ finger, rim breaching, mushroom capping, corkboard brown head that was as lengthy in stay as a mother-in-laws visit. The head lapses eventually to a rigid and foamy moutanious structure after a very patient stay and still remains a dominant presence throughout the entire drinking process. A lasting coverage and good lace visual concludes the visual aspect.

S: Whiskey laced cork, with a whiskey scent of black malts. Hard to get much through the big foamy head but had a pleasant alcohol driven aroma to it with some barrel woodiness.

T: Sweet dark fruit is first on the flavor being joined by some whiskey laced black malts. Smoothly fine charred character is silky with a wet ash minerality and dark bitter chocolate notes. Dark fruit of sweet figs and raisins, dark toffee-licorice, and a very defined sweet and sour yeastiness that shows musky fruit, breadiness, estery pear-drop and apple-plums as well. A light mention of banana and barrel woodiness comes on the fade with an alcohol spiciness of sour whiskey mash and green apple.

M: Full bodied, luscious maltiness, chewy body has a quiet presence of carbonation that sits on the tongue with a warming whiskey and dark bitterness factor.

O: Overall this beer kept its intense nature throughout the entire drinking process, a hard thing to do with as many beers under my belt and short attention span. The wow factor started early and kept it up to the lasting sips. Great yeastiness, just the perfect amount of sour factor, not to overbearing, with a rich dark malt and dark fruit sweetness to balance things out nicely. Great alcohol spiciness but very well managable for its size, while the whiskey tones add a perfect flair to an outstanding beer already. This is not a mouthpuckering sour to the likes of Cantillon or the Bruerys tart of darkenss for the hardcore radical fans, rather a nicely blended, intriquing and perfectly balanced beer with just enough sour aspect to make you aware of its presence for those who like a bit of accent to thier beers.

 2,081 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Been some time since I've had a wild stout. The thickness of the beer meshes with the wild ale tones in a manner that incorporates it without letting it steal the show. Nose is strong with almost a berry tone. But back to how it tastes: the berry-ish tone is there too. Kind of a bright and slightly funky thing going on. I don't know if the malts are keyed up for that, or if the lacto is kicking in with that. Smooth feel. Carbonation slightly fills the mouth in a not too aggressive kind of way. A nice drinker. Certainly it could be more complex. But it could also be totally messy, which it isn't. Glad to be able to try this one. My only serious complaint: no screen-printed bottle??!! Lame.

 697 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Blue Mountain Barrel House sister brewery, purchased at the Afton brewpub.
First had: shared at a recent tasting.

I didn't love or hate this beer; it was okay, but presumably nothing that will blow the minds of sour-heads.

As I twisted the cage, I could feel the cork wanting to erupt on its own, so I held the bottle over the sink and carefully let it uncork itself. Fortunately though, this was not a gusher, apart from a tiny uprising of foam that stayed in the bottle.

Dark brown-black pour with a small cap of beige head; moderate retention and lacing. Roasty aroma, dark malts, dark bread, mildly sour ester-like undertones. Taste of toasted pumpernickel and dark grains, mild roast, unsweetened cocoa, charred wood, melded with a plummy sourness, and a vegetal flavor somewhat reminiscent of black olives. All things considered, the mouthfeel was fairly smooth, body was on the fuller side of medium, woody and somewhat bland aftertaste. Maybe not something I'd want to drink a full bottle of, but still not bad a brew overall.

 1,054 characters

Photo of timmylange
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: very dark brown; not a large head; medium head

S: robust; sour; roaster malt

T: SOUR; chocolate aftertaste; hints of coffee

M: thick and heavy; medium carbonation; leaves a thin film on the mouth; sourness settles at the back of the mouth

O: This is a great beer! And I don't even like sours. This might be my gateway into sour beers. I think what I like so much about this is the balance of stout and sour. I love stouts. The heaviness of the stout offsets the sourness and I think that makes the sour flavor bearable for me. The "stoutiness" of the beer keeps it familiar but the sourness alleviates the heaviness that stouts generally have.

 650 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this large bottle out of a mini snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with at tan head that last awhile before fading away to a wispy lace.

S: Sweet, malty, bourbon aroma.

T: Similar malty bourbon flavor with a great malt background that finishes on the sweet side of sour.

M: Medium carbonation and medium body.

O: Excellent stout – love the flavor and aromas this brew contains.

 398 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque cola color with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dry cocoa powder and earthy roasted coffee, with some toasted coconut and sour oak.
T: It tasted like sweet dark chocolate and earthy roasted coffee and metallic sourness, with some toasted coconut and oak. It had a clean, sweet and sour aftertaste.
M: It was thick with fine natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a great unique beer, with complex and enjoyable scent and taste, and great body. The alcohol was well hidden, and the finish was relatively smooth, so it was pretty easy to drink. Like a modern American version of Le Coq, and they really pulled off this challenging style surprisingly well. Could probably age really well, but no need to wait since it's also good fresh. Recommended.

 794 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: drk brn/black cloudy body, finger tan head,
ok lacing

S: big wild ale nose! light floral scent, earthy yeast,
hidden ABV, mild drk choc malt

T: same as mouth, SOUR pucker finish

M: med body, sour/creamy blended mouth

O: Interesting beer! Wish I could have shared
this with other craft beer fans. More sour wild
ale than stout. I would not consider this a Imp Stout.


 406 characters

Photo of Zraly
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle, best by May 2013.

Pours a dark black with a thin off-white head. Not quite opaque, but close enough to nod along with the stout categorization. Smells roasty and funky.

Where to start? This is one weird beer. The first sip is difficult. And I don't mean that it is heavy or the alcohol knocks you over -- the first sip is as if someone just dumped vinegar in your chocolate milk. Not exactly what you expected to wash down your chocolate chip cookie, eh?

With the next few sips, the melody of the odd flavors gels together a bit more, and the transition from chocolate malts to lactic acid becomes more or less seamless. The funky tang actually lightens the heavy-loaded front end, and you find yourself liking the beer more and more (or don't). Interesting citric notes, notably lemon, create a tart astringency on the palate.

Medium-bodied and an evil 10% alcohol makes this extremely dangerous if you are into the weirdness of it all. Sit down and stand up slow.

Maybe this pairs well with some mystery mushrooms you found in the forest. Maybe this pairs well with your cigarette post-coitus. Maybe this doesn't pair with anything as you longingly stare out the window as you pour this down the drain. I can't begin to fathom what you might want to pair this with -- my best guess is cheesecake or a lemon curd dessert for myself.

At the very least, I can say Blue Mountain has one big vagina for putting this in bottles and convincing us (me?) to buy it blindly.

I felt awkward rating this beer and sort of wish I didn't bother. This is one of those rare instances in which I both love and hate a beer. This beer asked a bit too much of me. It's complex. And I guess on that note, I have to say it challenged me in a way that most beers don't. So for that, it is something to be admired and feared.

Revision/edit: Very interesting taste but the feel and delivery on the palate is over the top in a not-so-good way.

 1,946 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to John11486 for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Best by 5/2013.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with dark roasted malt and cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with a sour cocoa flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness and acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer but the sourness in this one isn't working all that well with the roasty presence.

 662 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from corked & caged bomber into a CCB pint glass.

A: Quite dark, almost black, and opaque. 1.5 finger's worth of light tan head, and no visible carbonation.

S: Acetic, vinegary, dark fruity (cherries? grapes?), sour, and a bit funky.

T: Initial hit of cherry and grape fruitiness, then some chocolate malts and oaky vanilla. Then, rather than a big wallop of acetic flavor that I expected from the nose, it fades into almost nothing but a vague sweet malt aftertaste. Definitely unexpected, and interesting.

M: A thin body given the listed style, low alcohol, and low to medium carbonation sensation.

O: Nothing I'd seek out, but it's an easy drink. To me, it's another interesting-sounding crossover style that just falls short of really working. Seems to be a vinegary-chocolatey-sour-porter.

 827 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.64/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a translucent dark brown with auburn highlights; three fingers of foam sit on top of the liquid, sheeting the glass with lace

Smell: Sour dark fruit, with undertones of charred black bread

Taste: Opens with lactic sour flavors of prune and raisin with sweet chocolate and charred black bread adding depth, in the middle; after the swallow, the sour flavors raise the bar though the finish brings back some of the sweetness from the chocolate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with airy, though moderate carbonation; has a great Belgian stout mouthfeel

Overall: This beer really grew on me as I have had mixed experiences with dark sours; in this case, the flavors blend rather than clash and the sweet chocolate underneath provides a nice offset to the sour dark fruit flavors

 787 characters

Photo of n2185
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with three fingers of light brown head that recedes into a dense cap with great lacing. Beautiful.

S: Tart and slightly sour fruit aromas mixed with roasted malts up front, followed by smooth oak, vanilla, bourbon, and creamy chocolate.

T: Roasted malts up front with semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, oak, and smooth bourbon. A big kick of tart and sour fruit flavors hits next with a charred and bitter finish and a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body and mid-high carbonation, this beer is a bit lighter in body and more carbonated than most imperial stouts, likely due to the intentional infection. It works well with the sour flavors, though.

O: A good beer overall. It strikes a balance nicely between the sourness, the barrel qualities, and the original stout. I'm normally not a huge fan of dark sour beers, but this one is definitely one of the best.

 874 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from bottle into a Raleigh Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting snifter. Poured dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, fruit, dark fruit, earth, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, subtle sour, wood, fruit, earth, and subtle chocolate. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Going into this one I was fully expecting it to be a sour bomb, however that was not the case at all. There was a surprisingly good bit of balance going on here with just a kiss of sour in the flavor. The end note with the chocolate was a very nice touch to bring your palate back to life after taking a sip. The rest of the brew was pretty good for the style, but lacked that little extra to take it to the next level. Really glad I got the chance to try this and suggest you do the same if you get the opportunity.

 945 characters

Photo of obywan59
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly opaque, dark brown to black, with deep amber to ruby accents only at the edges. A 3 1/2 finger tan head recedes, leaving a moderate amount of rather thick lacing.

The aroma is of tart citrus. More lemony than grapefruit-like. Sweet bourbon and oak round it out.

The flavor is deeply tart from the wild lactobacillus, but is matched by the sweet bourbon and tempered yet again by the dark malt. A hint of oak gives even more depth. Very citric with dark fruit.

There is a substantial bite of carbonation upfront, but the beer is very smooth and milky overall. My burning throat reveals the 10% ABV.

I think this is my favorite of all the Blue Mountain Barrel House brews, and with this one, I've completed their repertoir. They were all good, but some were rather raw. I would say this one is approaching it's prime. Only the barest hint of rawness remains. Warming and full-flavored. Biting and smooth. Aromatic and visually appealing.

 954 characters

Photo of Wolfpack2005
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pick this one up at Tasty Beverage in Raleigh. Pour into my Bell's tulip glass.

A-Poured black, but was a darker brown towards the edges of the glass. A nice foamy 2 finger head that lingers to the bottom of the glass.

S-A lacto. sourness can definitely be detected along with chocolate, oak, roasted malts, and small hints of alcohol.

T- Upfront I'm getting a nice sweet roasted malt character with a little bit of chacolate. Then the funk/sour slowly takes over a remains constant throughout without dominating the palate. Behind the sour flavor in picking up notes of oak, coffee, and a faint whiskey after taste.

M-A nice medium body creamy mouthfeel, with slightly higher levels of carbonation for a stout.

O-A great beer from Blue Mountain. Very complex with a lot of flavors going on that actually work well together IMO. Doesn't drink at all like a 10% beer so watch out.

 889 characters

Photo of SlothB77
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bomber into snifter

A: Mahogany brown, a tinge of scarlett. No foam at all.

S: A smell of licorice, coffee and smoke. Pretty strong smell.

T: Lots of licorice and tobacco. Lemon, kiwi sour aftertaste.

M: A warm vinegary texture, smooth and thick. Low carbonation, not quite as acidic as you would expect. There is some coffee/ cream to balance that out. But definitely some lactic acid.

O: The feeling that lingers in your mouth is the vinegar sour flavor. For a 12-ounce bottle, this is manageable. Finishing a bomber is a much bigger challenge. Very vinegary.
It tastes much weaker than the 10% it claims to be.

 630 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
2.48/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bomber - best by May 2013. Poured into a nonic pint.

A - Big light brown head. Rocky with zero lacing. Black opaque beer (not viscous like some stouts).

S - Primarily coffee with spirits/alcohol. Also some lesser sweet and toffee notes.

T - Coffee and bourbon. A little sweet. Slightest hint of vanilla. Sour in the aftertaste. Little to no hoppiness.

MF - Well carbonated, even a little fizzy on the palate. Thin, dry and slightly minerally.

O - I agree that this is a complex beer. Blue Mountain attempted to brew a stout with coffee, bourbon and wild yeast - it didn't work. Is it a stout or should it be classified as a different style? As a stout I rate it low. Could not finish the bomber. I will not buy again. Disappointing for my first Blue Mtn.

 759 characters

Photo of hornsup
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a bomber. Picked up on the first day of release

A: poured a deep murky brown color, almost non transparent in light that left a short lived mocha/reddish head. Interesting

S: smells of dark fruit, wood, and tobacco with a slight sweetness

T: very subtle sour notes with more vinegar and sour fruits and some dark chocolate notes, more oak and tobacco as well. Was pleasantly surprised with the balance this offered.

M: thinner than I expected, but had some good depth to it that hung around for a while. Not much to compare it to here other than between a porter, wild and foreign stout. Slightly dry

O: first time tasting a wild stout and it was an experience for sure. Not quite to the level of success of tart of darkness, but enjoyable. Not overly sour and not a heavy beer. Best shared with a fellow.

 837 characters

Sour Devil from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 90 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.