Soroboruo | The Bruery

very good
23 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Soroboruo is a backwards take on a Scotch ale. As Scotch ales are typically known for big, toffee-like malt and subdued yeast flavors, Soroboruo allows our wild yeast and bacteria to shine full-heartedly, adding a delightful tartness, balanced by the soft floral notes of the heather flowers. A most unusual and quite exciting take on a sour ale.

Added by 2GOOFY on 05-05-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 158
Photo of cvm4
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage

L - Pours a brown body (think flemish or brown ale) with a fizzy tan one finger head. Not much retention or lacing.

S - Top notes of tartness, balsamic vinegar and apple. Back end gives way to some oak, vanilla and bourbon characteristics.

T - Tart balsamic vinegar, dark plums/raisins and funk. There is oak, vanilla and scotch at the end. For me, the bourbon comes through on the nose and the scotch comes through on the taste.

F - Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

O - Not a typical sour acidic bomb like I'm used to getting from The Bruery. Overall it's very drinkable.

 600 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass, 2014 edition

A- pours a deep brown color with a small fizzy white head that dissipates completely, leaving nothing behind

S- initially it smells like a Flanders red ale; tart balsamic vinegar, ripe dark cherries, earthy yeast, blackberries. Hints of scotch, vanilla & oak. Underlying caramel malt & toffee

T- tart balsamic vinegar up front resemble a Flanders Red ale, as on the aroma. It transitions into some scotch notes with flavors of oak and hints of vanilla. As it nears the finish, notes of sweet caramel malt kick in with lingers of more scotch barrel and dark tart fruit

M- body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouth feel, that continues to a slightly warming finish. Alcohol hidden well overall

O- a wee sour? It's unique and it's very good. I can always appreciate a beer that thinks out of the box

 889 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: deep brown with clear edges.

Aroma: dark fruit, funk, smoke, earthiness, light acid.

Flavor: big dark/stone fruit, plum, peach, even some tangerine notes paired with this acidity.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, kinda sticky but still finished dry.

 257 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours coffee brown with a frothy beige head that leaves a nice pattern of lacing

Smell: Caramel, blackberries, tart apple, balsamic vinegar, funk, Bourbon, vanilla, oak - a wild combination

Taste: The caramel is the first element to hit the tastebuds and it is quickly subsumed by a range of other flavors, though it lingers right through to the finish and the aftertaste; lactic blackberry, tart apple, funk and balsamic vinegar come next with acetic tones overwhelming; after the swallow the oak, Bourbon and vanilla tones emerge though I am having a tough time getting the Scotch barrel flavors at all

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Perhaps it took this beer a year to settle down and perhaps the beer was unintentionally infected (as some reviewers have noted) but these things can happen with wild yeast; this beer is drinking very nicely now and is showing of its range of complexity

Thanks, factory, for the opportunity

 976 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

When I was in the Reserve Society last year, I pretty much snatched up anything and everything The Bruery threw my way. This was one of the ones where I bought it immediately because it was something new, the probably a day later actually looked at the description and just thought, "Dammit. What was I thinking?" So it's been lying around until I decided to go through my cellar recently. And now I'm pissed I only bought one.

A: Pours a dark chocolate color. Rich, but not too syrupy looking, with a thin cream colored head.

S: You get this light sour dark fruit tartness right away. It's like a combination of super overripe red delicious apple, tart plum skin, raisin and maybe a touch of apple cider vinegar. A little bit of oak barrel in there as well as some caramel, maybe a bit of chocolate and toffee.

T: Has this nice mix of slightly acetic dark fruit, rich malt and a sharp tartness on the backend that just sticks to your tongue. I don't know if it was different a year ago, but the bourbon barrel doesn't show too much here, but there's a rounded sweetness to this beer that I think is coming from the bourbon. Finishes with tart red plum, grapefruit and maybe a little tart green apple. This tastes way more like something from Cascade's playbook than The Bruery's. Really enjoyed this one.

 1,309 characters

Photo of Reedbrew
2.52/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Really disappointed. This just simply failed in my mind. The sour aspect seemed like a flaw more than an attribute (more of a vinegar flavor than sour fruit) and the barrel flavors seemed awash is a poorly blended sea of mediocrity. Poorly carbonated to boot. One of a very select few offerings from the Bruery that I didn't bother to finish.

 346 characters

Photo of JohnCassillo
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Admittedly, didn't realize how much I'd enjoy this one. Dark fruit and malt flavors, and not overly sour. But just enough that it's true to the style. Not really a traditional brew -- from the Bruery or elsewhere -- but no complaints. A hefty, yet pleasant beer that's worth a shot.

 282 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 02/01/15. Enjoyed while watching the Superbowl; got 1 bottle of this in the RS last year. 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Smells of sour dark fruits, scotch, bourbon, oak, leather, toasted malts, sweet dark fruits, caramel, and burnt malts. Medium to full body and low to moderate carbonation.

Overall not their best beer, though I enjoyed it more than most people. Sour notes are there but not overpowering, and lots of scotch. Interesting for sure, but not something I'd buy too often, and not for everyone.

 626 characters

Photo of 01001111
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, dark brown with minimal head and not much viscosity. Reminiscent of a barrel aged porter.

S: Lactic tartness backed by a hint of caramel and bourbon.

T: Less tart but the sourness is still there. Toffee, cherries, and chocolate with a tart vein running through it. Barrel notes and booze on the finish.

M: Fairly thick mouthfeel but without any residual syrup on the finish.

O: I know this was an accident and I'd love to try what they were originally shooting for. However, if there's anyone who can pull off a tasty infection, it's The Bruery. I quite like this but it would be nice to try what they were originally aiming for. Would I spend another $20 on it? Probably not, though at a slightly lower price point I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another. This is fairly similar to Cascade's Burbonic Plague and with a bit more age on it, Soroboruo might take the lead in that competition.

 911 characters

Photo of skiking70
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like sours but don't love them, this one is very unique. This beer tastes like nothing I've ever had and that's a good thing. I would definitely try this again if available ,

 178 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split with rudzud.

Light fizzy slight fluffy head, hints of legs very dark brown almost black color.

Nose brings soured brown malts, tartness, brown sugar and caramel brown malts, sour cherry vinegar, plenty of oak, toasty buttery with mild bourbon note, little booze tingle.

Taste brings sour brown malts, quite tart, soured candy, brown sugar, caramel, weird sour patch kids like a terrible brown one, sour cherry ave acetic acid, vinegar notes, and a weird spoiled sour chocolate thing. Little booze warmth, with mild toasty buttery oak, mild bourbon, Heather is non existent. Finish is sticky flemmy, sour mild vinegar and acetic acid, sour cherry and brown sugar.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, syrupy and tart vinegar acetic acid, light booze.

Overall meh, not so great.

 782 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a darker brown hue with a thin head that fades to leave as light wisp and thin halo.

S - Aromas of sweeter malts, caramel, cherry, vanilla, vinegar, tart, barrel and bourbon. Vegetative, almost swamp like...uh...

T - Taste is sour, tart, chocolate, cherries, vinegar, sour tart chalky. Some off vinegar and funky chocolate notes, really off flavors, I don't mind the sourness but it does not go with the flavours at all.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, slick, flemmy.

O - Overall this beer was like an oude bruin, a very poorly executed one. The bourbon, sourness, and flavours don't go together at all

Serving type: Bottle

 695 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%

750mL bottle acquired through the Hoarders Society. Bottled 4/16/14. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours deep brown with chestnut hightlights and a finger and a half pale head. The foam settles to almost nothing without leaving any lace.

Smells sour with a touch of sweetness. Vinegar, vague soured fruit, faint vanilla and some floral notes.

Whoa. So much going on here. The flavors are sour and acidic overall but there is a good bit of sweet and a little savory as well. Sour grapes, Balsamic vinegar, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, tart lemon, flowers, trace bourbon, hints of toffee/ caramel, earthy leather, cherries and some booze. The taste is all over the map but there is a pleasant balance.

The body is a peculiar mix of syrupy and oddly thin for the style with low carbonation. Finish continues that blend of tart fruits and sweet oaky vanilla.

Soroborou lies somewhere in between a sour and a barrel aged wee heavy. An interesting blend of both but far from the best of either. Still rather tasty and I don't at all lament trying it.

 1,050 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


750 received in an EPIC trade from Daknole.. Perhaps the biggest porch nuking I've had in years.. Dakine is good folk and most traders already know this.

I shared this bottles tonight with the tight Boise crew.... Pours a slightly hazy dark chestnut... light tannish head has little retention and no lacing.

Nose is very nice mix of sour dark fruits mixed with bourbon and lesser Scotch barrels.. a hint of Balsamic with warmth and bigger vanilla.

Again.. sour dark fruit with some leather and complex vinous fruitiness mixes well with the big barrel presence... Bourbon/vanilla oak has a nice compliment to the Scotch element...

Light body for the 12%... Is it really? Meh... I don't care.

Pretty interesting brew to share at a random tasting that featured a bunch of Bruery beers. Thanks a bunch Dakine!!


 839 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%

Apr 2014 bottle, opened Sep 2014

A - Dark black walnut body with a light tan head. Nice retention and low lace.

S - Bright sour note right up front. Sharp lemon, SweeTart candy, scotch whisky, caramel.

T - Meh. Overpowering oak, salt, vinegar, Worcestershire, tonic water, and white bread.

M - Surprisingly thin. Dry finish.

O - An interesting concept, but unfortunately this is probably the worst beer I've had from the Bruery. The integration is sub par, and the flavor profile is unpleasantly savory.

3.29 Soroboruo
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.60 4.25 4.60 4.60 4.50 4.00 4.43 10% 0.44
S - 4.30 4.40 4.30 4.50 4.50 3.50 4.25 20% 0.85
T - 2.80 3.25 3.00 2.50 2.50 3.50 2.93 40% 1.17
M - 3.25 2.00 3.50 2.50 2.50 2.75 2.75 10% 0.28
O - 2.80 3.00 3.00 2.75 2.00 3.00 2.76 20% 0.55

 928 characters

Photo of dar482
3.75/5  rDev 0%

An big brew with huge floral honey in the front. A light tartness that is cut with the honey sweetness of this beer. There's a creamy mouthfeel with toasted malt with huge floral lavender and almost Earl Grey floral.

 216 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.75/5  rDev 0%

A-Black in the glass, one finger off white head that leaves some lacing.

S-The flowers are present, wee bit of acidic notes, some caramel and malt. Little to no barrel character.

T-Starts with a lot of flowers, some acidic notes. Still little to no barrel, some chocolate.

M-Lighter, watery, not much carbonation.

O-An interesting beer but it just didn't all come together.

 379 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.19/5  rDev +11.7%

Bottled on 04/16/14.

Pours translucent reddish cola brown. The very thin khaki head quickly disappears completely and leaves no lace.

The smell is of red wine vinegar, cherries, plums and a hint of bourbon.

The taste is of tart unripe cherries, plums, red wine vinegar and bourbon accents.

The texture is heavy bodied with low carbonation.

A pleasantly surprising dark sour that combines tart dark fruit, Scotch ale and elements of bourbon barrels.

 457 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle into a Teku
only bottling date is 2014

Thanks to rjjhoffman for sending this over as an extra

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown, nearly black, with 2 plus fingers width of light tan head. Head dissipates down fairly slowly, but leaves only a few small patches of lacing.

S: Tart sour fruits, oaky notes, vinous dark fruits, caramel/toffee, subtle floral notes, boozy ethanol, and a trace of scotch like peat. Interesting combination of aromas, but very complex and I like it.

T: Big sourness, along with some sweet dark fruit notes are the first flavors I get. There is followed by a combination of Scotch-like peat and bourbon charred oaky and vanilla characters. I also get caramel, and some vinous fruit characters. Tartness fades quickly as the palate adjusts, allowing the other flavors to come out. The Scotch peat characters build throughout the drink. Again, lots of complexity and quite good.

M/D: Fuller side of medium body, carbonation on the higher end for 12% ABV but seems appropriate for this one. Speaking of the ABV, its very well masked, and all things considered drinkability is good.

O: This beer seems to take a lot of shit here on BA but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Very complex, lots of different layers of interesting flavors, and IMO they meld together fairly well. Definitely an interesting and unique beer that is worth trying.

 1,385 characters

Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured into a tulip to a deep brown with a half finger of off white head that has little retention and lacing
S: smells of sour cherry and caramel with some wood and vanilla
T: taste is tart up front, some oak tannins, slight caramel, oak, sour cherry, hint of bourbon. swallow is a little alcohol, more barrel, with some lingering caramel and smoke.
M: this beer sits a little heavy on the palate with soft carbonation and a dry finish
O: It's an oddity but it kinda works. It isn't a sour bomb and it isn't a mess either. Enjoyable in an odd way.

 552 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for giving me this one.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial 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, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, wood, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, fruit, wood, earth, and slight bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild 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 solid for a unique sour, but I am not really getting any Scotch barrel aged characteristics in the aroma or flavor.

 705 characters

Photo of IKR
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 Vintage

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown color with a moderate sized beige head that slowly faded to a ring. A good looking beer.

Smell: Mild musk and mild floral notes. I also pick up some leather notes.

Taste: Mild citrus and floral notes, mild funk and some mild leather-like notes. More of a tart beer rather than sour. The sourness is fairly restrained.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium-bodied with a good level of carbonation. The mouth-feel is where it should be for a sour.

Overall: Yeah, I'm pretty sure the souring was not intended initially, but it's a decent sour. I'd prefer the sourness dialed up but overall not bad. Note: I'm reviewing this as a sour/wild ale. I AM NOT scoring this as a Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy.

 741 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I've not fully reviewed a beer for quite some time but I'm doing so since it's the first review for this beer.

Appearance is a nice dark tawny port brown, clear and rich looking with modest tones of wine red. Pours a fast fading cocoa brown head that's lovely while it lasts.

Nose is light cherry carmel with floral tones and hints of fresh red berries. Pleasant and reserved and invites a drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodies with light carbonation and a unique balance of sweet and sour. There is a light pucker character although for my taste I'd like more sour, but that's just a personal preference, not a criticism of the beer.

Taste is where this beer is going to make it or break it for you. Unique. The flavor profile for me is "almost there." This is a sweet and sour balance of stereotypic scotch ale and a wile ale cherry/red berry sour. Yet, there is a malt profile undertone and hints of the Bourbon barrel. All in all it tastes good but requires getting used to it a bit. I liked it more and more the more I continued to taste it. Repeated tastes show great complexities and balances of flavors. There is a whole lot going on here and I suspect that some will like it a lot and some will not. However, having tasted thousands of different offerings I can't remember ever tasting anything like the "Sour Ale Aged in Scotch and Bourbon Barrels with Heather Flowers Added." (That's right off the front label).

A very creative offering from the Bruery and continued kudos for their willingness to make some of their beers "out of the box." While I have come to the conclusion that most beers, regardless of style, should be consumed fresh (my personal taste and just my current opinion as to "most" beers - not all) this one may well benefit from a bit of age; it will be fun to see what a few months, or more, do to this one.

Finish offers layers of light "red sour" to bitter malt to bourbon tones with an end finish of flowers.

A fun taste; worth trying and likely like nothing you've had before.

 2,014 characters

Soroboruo from The Bruery
3.75 out of 5 based on 158 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.