Wild Ale #7 (Surf Mountain Sour) | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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Wild Ale #7 (Surf Mountain Sour)Wild Ale #7 (Surf Mountain Sour)

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Approximately 700 bottled.

Added by GabrielM on 07-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 35
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Sampled January 2012
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces not head from this completely, and expectedly, flat beer. The color has a hint of red in its gold depths and when held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, bright-gold hue. The nose smells lightly tart up front, but more like fruit with cider and perhaps a hint of pear and even kiwi leading the way. There is an acetic edge to the aroma though this is quite light and accentuates the fruity aromatics. Funky smelling with notes of musty, damp limestone, touches of urea and a touch of Brettanomyces induced phenolics that lightly scent the nose with plastic, perhaps a touch of medicinal like character and the afore-mentioned mustiness. Solid grain aromatics provide notes of dried hay, chewy pale wheat crackers, and even a hint of doughy sour-dough bread character. The nose is actually not all that bad, I wish it had more of a bright, lactic component to it, but it manages to not be overly acetic, which is quite nice.

Quite a bit more sour than I was expecting from the nose, there is a fair amount of lactic character, but there is certainly an acetic edge to the sourness that provides a biting edge to this beer. Flavors of grapefruit, perhaps a touch of tart melon and even some strawberry like flavors are brought out by the sourness here. Up front there is a touch of hay like grain character with a touch of cracker / rustic white bread flavors, but this is much reduced from the aromatic nose. The finish actually has some hop bitterness to it, it is not much, but it is enough that I noticed it and there might even be a hint of herbal hop flavor here. For a flat beer the body is actually not all that bad, I was expecting this to be a lot thinner and watery than it actually is; in fact it has a touch of viscous character to it and even a certain light heft to the body as it rests on the palate. As the beer warms up more of a cracker like grain character becomes noticeable in the finish and this adds some more balance to the beer. The acetic character becomes a bit more pronounced as the beer warms up too.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from a flat Sour that is not a Lambic, and I was pleasantly surprised by this beer; it would certainly be better with an expressive carbonation, but it actually gets by without.

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Photo of Spider889
3.89/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very clear, pale color. Not much head.

Smells quite acidic and sour. Tiny bit of vinegar aroma in there.

Tastes very balanced and well-integrated. Some nice cherry and raspberry flavors mingling with the sourness.

Light on carbonation but medium bodied.

Overall - I was really impressed here. I would love to try some more of the stuff coming out of Santa Fe now...

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.94/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had at the Moo Bar.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with very little head or lacing. Some bubbles release from the bottom of the glass.

S: Very funky and tart on the aroma, rather oaky as well. Hard to really pick out an specific flavors besides some apple.

T: Similarly acidic, very sour. One of the most sour beers I have had. There is a little bit of apple and some citrus as well as a little wheat.

M: Low carbonation, medium bodied with a very dry finish.

O: Not really sure how I feel about this beer. I loved how sour it was, and it was great sharing the bottle with a bunch of people. Not sure if I would have felt different drinking an entire pint or so of it.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This was an unlabeled extra from injuredreserve, it had painters tape wrapped around with all info handwritten. Shared with inebriatedjoker.

A: Nice deep orange color. I managed a very loose soapy looking head by pouring this from about a foot above the glass. I had already realized this had no carbonation, so I tried to give it hell.

S: I guess upon the first whiff this seems like supplication light, sorta similar. Vinegar is predominant along with various sour treatments. Smells lactic- kinda tart and sour.

T: Just as the aroma, lacto, vinegar, and whatever they infected this with really light up the taste buds. It's really tart with some bits of sour cherry. This is acidic as hell, it really hurts the teeth. It has some ok flavors.

M: Horrible mouthfeel. This stuff is soooo flat, it really kills this beer for me. Very oily and acidic.

O: This isn't really something I would seek out but it was a really cool extra. These flavors would have worked so much better with any carbonation at all. I guess if I had another bottle I would try to share it with as many people as possible.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at Zwanze Day 2011. I forget who opened this beer but thanks for the pour!

Appearance – Pours into a Cantillon Tulip with a hazy golden straw color. About half a finger of white head that leaves slight spotty lacing.

Smell – Slight citrus and funk, heavier vinegar, granny smith apples, and oak.

Taste – I had heard about Santa Fe’s Wild Ale’s and was excited to try this because of their insane enamel peeling tendencies. This was not anything like I was expecting. Oak and vinegar, slight citrus and fruits such as the aforementioned green apples, very little funk.

Mouthfeel – Lighter bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall – The only positive is I did not taste the alcohol in this beer. This was nothing special – perhaps I was having amazing beer overload that day, but this one just missed the mark. Would like to try some of the other counterparts to the series, though I doubt I will ever be able to.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Yellow orange beer with a little bit of a white head that left some spots on the sides.

S - A somewhat vinegar forward beer. Has some apple and citrus with a bit of funk.

T - Fruit, tannic notes, more vinegar. Funk is more subdued. I find this kind of ho hum, vinegar too present, little apple, some wood.

M - Kind of sticky, lighter bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - Unlike the enamel-peeling prior versions, this one didn't deliver in that category and just wasn't all that great anyway. Pass.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 08/17/11 notes. Big thanks to yourefragile for sharing this one. Thanks Michael. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a taster glass.

a - Pours a murky orange color with an inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells sour fruits, vinegar, and some apples. Light citrus and grassy/earthy notes too. Decent, but pretty average.

t - Tastes of citrus, tropical fruits, sour fruits, vinegar, and light grass. Again, pretty average.

m - No carbonation and light to medium body.

o - Overall not a great wild ale, but I didn't dislike it as much as most people at the tasting. Wouldn't seek it out again but would be willing to try it again at a tasting or something.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Jeff.

A: The beer pours a pale golden color with a small ring of white head.

S: A rather simple nose to this. As I've come to expect from Santa Fe sours, some vinegar is noticeable, though nowhere near the level of #6. Some nice tropical fruit notes to it and some grass and oak.

T: The flavor is similarly plain, but it's still good. A light tannic oak note along with some lemon, vinegar, and tropical fruits. Lightly grassy, which is really the only "funk".

M: Light bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Definitely more drinkable than other Santa Fe sours. A bit too simplistic, though.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by yourefragile. Thanks Mike.

The beer appears a hazy, light orange hue with virtually no head or lace. The aroma offers a mild sourness with notes of citrus. The nose is much more subtle than I anticipated, based on previous experiences with Santa Fe wild ales. The flavor is decent enough, but could be so much more. Surf Mountain Sour lacks the daring, bold, palate attacking flavor for which I was hoping. A mild acetic character gently emerges in the finish. It's always a treat to sample a new sour/wild ale, but this one fell a bit short for me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.17/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to yourefragile for sharing this the other night. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Poured a mildly-hazed yellow-golden color with a thin white head and some spotty lacing. White collar thorughout.

The nose was really off from the start with some notes of peanut oil and oxidation. A bit of light acidity, though nothing much. Flavor has peanuts and light wheat with a touch of lactic. Very bland and nothing meshes. Light body with moderate carbonation and a chewy factor that doesn't fit.

I haven't been a fan of the other sours in this series, but this one was off in a different direction. Completely lacking in acidity and complexity. This is not a good wild.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Alana. Shared with a few guys.

Hazy dark bronze body with no signs of carbonation and some large clear bubbles with no lace. Aroma is fairly bland, with a strong dose of wheat from the base and light vinegary apple sourness. In isolation, from the rest of the series the flavor is restrained and mild in sourness. Compared to every other sour Santa Fe has released, well, this has very little in common at all. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the end result of this is still fairly boring, particularly given the lack of carbonation at its current age. Fruit and wheat dominate the body with only traces of sour in the mildly dry finish. Watery, medium body with no carbonation. Given the change in brewers the change in direction of this series isn't surprising, but it's best not to compare this to 1-6. Not bad, but no longer a love or hate affair like previous releases.

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Photo of jodan
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber obtained from GabrielM in his LIF, thanks!
Long overdue first review, bear with me...

Appearance - Pours a brilliant, clear gold/orange. Fairly aggressive pour yields a few bubbles that disappear quickly, no lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell - Some sour apple and citrus, decent amount of vinegar and funk.

Taste - Definitely sour, not as much vinegar as in the aroma, but somewhat acidic. Some wheat from the base beer comes through. The apple and citrus are definitely there, maybe some oak. Quite dry.

Mouthfeel - Basically no carbonation, feels like a slightly sticky water, which is,n't necessarily bad. Gets a little heavy after a few drinks, some bubbles might help move things around.

Overall - Quite enjoyable, if it had a little carbonation I think I would've liked it a bit more, hopefully it'll pick up a little bit. I'd really like to try their future sour offerings.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alana for sending this my way. Served in a wine glass.

A - Almost no visible carbonation - a hard pour yields some big bubbles and a few tiny specks of lace. Lightly hazed dark orange body.

S - A hefty dose of lactic and vinegary acetobacter that is apple cider in character. Lightly sulfuric note, some fruity funk, very light oak and vinous character, and some wheat character from the blend beer. It's more restrained than #6, but still quite sour.

T - Taste is again fairly lactic acid heavy, although there's still some vinegary notes present in the periphery. Very sour, and quite dry. Some mild wheat and grain character as well. Sulfur note is thankfully gone, but much of the fruity funk has left with it. Still, far better balance than previous efforts from Santa Fe, even as it maintains some serious sour punch to it.

M - No carbonation at this stage. A little watery, with an extremely dry finish, and perhaps a touch of light residual stickiness. Does become a bit acidic after 6oz or so - weak stomachs beware. More spritz would help.

D - This was presented to me as a pseudo-Berliner, and while the wheat and lactic character is certainly appropriate I found this had far more in common with unblended lambic. Probably the strongest of Santa Fe's wild ale series, although I'm partial to the barbaric sourness of #6. If this eventually carbonates (as #6 did months later) it will be a very nice and refreshing sour.

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Photo of DaveMarner
4.36/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A - A beautiful golden bronze. Nearly no carbonation.

S - Funky right up front with some sour apple.

T - Very sour. Granny smith apple and oak. Great funkyness. This is amazing on the taste buds.

M - Really crisp. The carbonation is lacking right now, but I'm told that should improve with time.

O - I really believe this to be a great sour. I will try another one in several months and see where it's at.

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Photo of amcmaho1
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at the brewery on day of release. Found out later, that the beer was force-carbed on tap, and quite under-carbed in the bottle. The main issue plaguing this review, is the carbonation "problem," which may clear up over time with the beer being bottle conditioned.

Appearance: Golden to copper colored with small head with a few seconds long worth of retention. Little to no activity as far as carbonation goes, but the overall appearance seems decent for the style.

Smell: Things definitely pick up here...lot's of initial funk and plenty of lacto sourness. I pick up pear and green apple on the nose with some minor vinegar. Some definite oak tannins in the mix too. Really, the nose seems to be the saving grace for this beer; very pleasant with nice amounts of sourness.

Taste: Great pucker right up front, though the lack of defined carbonation tries to undermine it. Again, lots of fruity and funky notes, some slight vinegar astringency, and a bit of oak. Pretty nice balance with plenty of sourness and dryness working against sweetness.

Mouthfeel: And here we go...on tap, the mouthfeel was relatively crisp and lively. Out of a bomber though, with such low carbonation, the mouthfeel starts to feel very thick and oily (which actually wasn't terrible, but i suppose i've become accustomed to a certain degree of effervescent crispness in a wild ale). The sourness isn't dominated by vinegar like past SF Wilds, and it's still a solid beer. I just feel like better carbonation would take this beer to another level (again, with some time, that exact thing may in fact happen).

Overall: It's great to see SF keeping up with the tradition of their barrel aged wild ales, though this one proved to be a bit of a disconnect for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer, and one which i'll hold onto and try at variable times in the future. The brewery even said that the carbonation was "true to style," though that makes me think i like things that go against style guidelines even more then. I recommend trying this beer, and holding onto a bottle or two to see how it ages. It's great the New Mexico is stepping up to the plate as far as generating sour ales; this one may have just not been a homerun.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.52/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery.

A - a brownish orange color with a cloudy body and a bright white head on top.

S - a ton of funk, bread, citrus, apple, and earthy goodness. Really nice!

T - the best one yet! Plenty of sourness, but not nearly as much of the vinegary elements as the previous versions. A ton of funk and fruit hits the palate in one refreshing blast.

M - extremely crisp and pleasant. The most pleasing of this series I've tried.

O - I know I've already said it, but this year's release is definitely my favorite. An outstanding wild ale that has finally hit the balance I've been searching for in Santa Fe's sour series. The single drawback was a slight lack in carbonation for my taste, but I'm confident it'll catch up in time.

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Wild Ale #7 (Surf Mountain Sour) from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 35 ratings.
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