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Bottleworks XII | The Bruery

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Bottleworks XIIBottleworks XII

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Witbier, 8% ABV, sour mashed 1-2 days, and fermented with a blend of Berliner Weisse culture and Belgian Witbier yeast. Beer is barrel fermented in large red wine barrels (132 gal. barrels). Raspberries are added to the beer towards the end of fermentation directly to the barrel, and aged on the raspberries for a minimum of 1 month. The Berliner culture contains souring bacteria and the raspberries will add acidity to the beer. Brewed to commemorate Bottleworks 12th Anniversary.

Added by julian on 02-28-2011

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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 1,026
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah time to review another classic. Great peach, purple and pink like notes throughout the color scheme. Gets more yellow with age. Full 1" of white head.

Aroma mixed up sour, tart raspberries, wheat and spice rack. Thankfully the spice rack chills out more with age.

Taste was a great mixture of sour, wheat and berries. Just a treat everytime, a melange of wheat, spice rack, berries, grist, berliner, wild, witbier etc. . .

Very well done and unique.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a duvel tulip to a hazy orange with a three finger dense white head that fades quickly and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of faint raspberries, lemony sourness, oak and funk
T: Taste is nice tartness up front, raspberries, wheat, slight spice, oak and funk. Swallow is juicy raspberries, a little more tartness and some oak at the back with some lingering funk
M: Light but not watery on the palate with slightly prickly carbonation and a drying finish
O: Another great sour from The Bruery. THis one isn't too tart but it's very good. While the raspberries are a little muted from the age you can still tell that they're there.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a clear yellow color with a nice foamy white head that retains nicely

S- aroma is highlighted by lactic sour notes with lots of tart cherry, followed by toasted wheat, lemon peel, peach, green apple & dried hay

T- lots of fruit up front with notes of try cherry, peach, mango, lemon, some vinous white wine. Earthy and woodsy sour finish with a linger of hay and more fruit

M- light body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a puckering dry finish

O- very enjoyable sour that has a nice balance of fruit and tart

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a very interesting beer with a lot going on. Compared to other Bruery sours, the sourness is dialed back. The raspberry flavor is subtle (although it could have just dropped off a bit since this was bottled in 2013). I could have done without the spices, which overwhelmed the flavor profile a bit.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shoutout to our opponents in Los Angeles for this one. A celebratory beer for a Mets playoff appearance for the first time in 9 years. 2013 edition so approximately 2 years old. 750 ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A - Lots of carbonation and head. Not quite a gusher but almost. I expected pinker due to the raspberries, but this one looks like straight up champagne.

N - Tons of funk. Not even sour, just extremely funky. I get some sweet fruitiness just on the edges of the nose.

T - This really tastes more like a brett saison to me. Not a bad thing at all, but I was expecting fruitier and sour-er-er. Yeah, it's plenty tart, but it's mostly a funky tartness. Much like the nose, the raspberry flavor is only marginally distinguishable. Perhaps I waited too long.

M - Very tingly on the tongue, and it's almost buttery. Dry on the finish.

O - A very nice beer. Nothing overly impressive, but enjoyable. Let's go Mets!

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Bruery mercy-poured into a taster after I pleaded with the bartender to give me a pass on the "bring a toy" rule they were using to restrict access to a few choice beers. Didn’t hurt that I bought a couple of bottles, too. Appearance is pink-orange with a white collar. Aroma is funky, lactic, oaky, citrus, grape skin, raspberries. Taste is tart berries, acidic, and funky to open. Light fruit sweetness and oak bitterness supply some balance. Medium bodied, thin crisp texture, lively carbonation, dry abrupt finish.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright copper with gold and orange accents. Light white head of 2 fingers settles quickly into a ring. Aroma that is a mix of dark and bright fruits, lemon, pepper. Pretty sharp and a fair amount of acidity detected. Flavor is tart as expected. some vinous notes, lush raspberries, and subtle spices on the back end. The feel of this beer is impeccable- intense carbonation, prickly, light, clean, and dry. Best quality, and maybe the best feel to a sour I have had. Also like the fact that I could pick up some of the booze, which is a nice change on the style.
Terrific sour and well deserving of its phenomenal ratings.

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Photo of errantnight
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

One of my favorite Bruery beers, ever. Balanced and nuanced, with big fresh raspberry notes and a full, dry wit as its base. Wheat character is present but restrained, yeasty esters are on the mild side, but that's pleasant for a beer this big and fruity. Just a joy to drink, and one that I'd be happy to see them enter into regular rotation (and come up with a name for).

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. I've been wanting to try this for a while now. 750ml capped bottle into Tired Hands stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a foamy 3 finger white head with poor retention. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Lacing is very sparse and spotty with little cling. Decent.

Nose is sour peach, citrus, cane sugar, yeast and mango. More sweet than tart and pretty subtle.

Opens pineapple, peach and mango. Some peachy tartness in the beginning and middle mixed with yeast and cane sugar sweetness. A peach skin tart and light bitterness at the back end. Finishes yeasty, spicy and dry and puckering. Fruity and yeasty finish. Really nice.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Foamy and prickly in the mouth and goes down biting and aggressive. Finishes dry with a bone dry aftertaste that coats the mouth. Excellent.

For the most part, I haven't been impressed with Bruery's sours. This one is different though. Mellow yet complex with great feel. I'm glad to have had the chance to sample this one.

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Photo of Jonada
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. 2013 edition. Poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a dark golden yellow or light orange with 1 finger of an off white head that fizzles away to a thin ring. Body is very hazy but translucent with quite a bit of visible carbonation.

Smell: Raspberries, barnyard funk, hay, oaky red wine, mild spiciness, wheat, green apple. Red wine character really intensifies as the beer warms.

Taste: Raspberries are most prominent but not overwhelming. It's definitely not just a raspberry beer. In addition to raspberries are notes of wheat, witbier yeast/spices, oak, red wine and a hint of sour cherry in the finish. Sourness is medium and more of the clean, lacto variety compared to the more funky aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slight softness and medium carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: Really good stuff. The fruit addition and barrel aging each add noticeable flavor and complexity to an already solid base beer. Worth seeking out if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%

Bottled on 06/11/13.

Pours a murky straw yellow. The 1/2 inch off-white head disappears completely and leaves very faint spots of lace. There is visible floating sediment.

The smell is of tart citrus, raspberry, red wine vinegar and barnyard funk.

The taste is of tart raspberry, citrus fruit and red wine vinegar.

The texture is light bodied with high carbonation. A steady stream of bubbles rise up throughout the drink down.

This is a solid enough effort. It is not overly tart and the raspberry notes help to balance out the sour base.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle from a trade with Sean I think. Thanks dude! 2013 edition pours hazy golden yellow with a huge fizzy white head that dissipates relatively quickly. Aroma of funky yeasty wheat malts, very vinous in the nose with some light raspberries, mild coriander type spice, and plenty of tart sharp sourness. Smells oaky and extremely dry. Flavor is light raspberries, funky wheaty malt, yeasty, but of spice bite, tart and lactic through and through, super dry, plenty of oak. Some Berliner influence, but not the huge unpleasant wheat note I get from those (a good thing in my book). I was hoping for a bit more raspberry and red wine but everything here is integrated into a very light and airy brew with very high carbonation and high drinkability. Not bad.

I actually started enjoying this not as it warmed a bit. Got juicier and fruitier throughout. Yum.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite American Wilds out there. It has a good sour bite without being overpowering and a lot of flavor. Easy to finish the bottle with just one person, or perfect for a large share.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.44/5  rDev +4%

Jun 2013 bottle, opened Sep 2014

A - Really nice head; 3 fingers of creamy white foam with ok retention and lace. Moderately opaque apricot body.

S - Wit-to-saison-like aroma. Wheat bread, orange, hay, dried cilantro, lemon zest, rose water, plant stems, and a wisp of blackberry jam.

T - Really nice balance. Creamy wheat, tart raspberries, black cherry, bitter herbs, dried grass, and bright sour blood orange.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body. Nice dry finish.

O - A well executed, clever take on the style.

4.44 Bottleworks XII
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.00 4.25 3.80 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.01 10% 0.40
S - 4.60 4.60 4.65 4.50 4.68 4.25 4.55 20% 0.91
T - 4.80 4.45 4.50 4.30 4.33 4.25 4.44 40% 1.78
M - 4.60 4.50 4.55 4.25 4.38 4.25 4.42 10% 0.44
O - 5.00 4.75 4.70 4.00 4.40 4.40 4.54 20% 0.91

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this bottle as part of a trade with BA Black_Rider. Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle with a bottling date of 6/11/13 etched on the side. Poured into a Belgian style tulip glass with an exaggerated flare around the rim.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful hazy golden amber color with notes of apricot and peach flesh depending on how the light diffuses through the body. Atop the body sits two fingers of stark white fluffy meringue-like head that retain for white some time before eventually dissipating to a half finger perma-layer of bubbles across the top. A steady stream of carbonation rises up from the bottom of the glass to replenish the head.

Smell - Wonderful blend of ripe raspberry and lactobacillus tartness waft out of the glass, taking over any more traditional elements on the nose you might expect from the base witbier. There is also a nice presence of oak and some wine characteristics come out as well. There is even a faint bit of citrus zest that begins to come through on subsequent whiffs.

Taste - While the aroma was very good, it was only a prelude to the fabulous blend of flavors going on in the taste. Bright acidity and tartness come through from both the raspberries and the lacto, but there is more than just tart--the inherent characteristics of the raspberries come through in a very distinct way, but manage not to overpower the other components of the beer--this is still very much outside the realm of "fruit beer". The barrels come through in a nice way as well, lending a funky oak element along with nice vinous notes reminiscent of wine must.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation that plays well with the high levels of acidity and subtle puckering feel on the palate.

Overall, just a really well-done beer. It's not as full-on sour as many of Bruery's best offerings, but I think that's to it's benefit. The sourness is just one component of a beer with a lot of depth and interest to offer. I love how the use of fruit and lacto take the subtle bit of tartness that you often find in classic witbiers and turn it slightly on its head, amping up the sourness, but not at the expense of the overall beer. I'd love to get my hands on some more bottles of this.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. On-tap for the 3rd Anniversary Party at the Phoenix Club. 5/29/11.

A: Pours a clear yellow under a huge 2-inch thick white head which quickly fades and leaves spots of lace.

N: Funky, wonderfully sour fresh raspberry, red wine, oak tannins, grass/hay.

T: Bite of astringency, tangy citrusy zest and sour with a wallop of sweet fruits, tannins and vinous notes.

M: Moderate body and semi-full carbonation. Finishes sour and tart, wheaty and fruity.

O: Very good. Went back for more.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden yellow with a nice white head. Good looking sour

S - Light tart raspberries, lemon, sweet tarts, and oak

T - Soft Berliner Weiss with straw and a light earthy grassy up front. As it goes in there is a light tart presence, sweet tarts and raspberries. Nice soft and balanced

M - Soft mouth feel, light tart aspect, and slightly chalky like after you eat a sweet tart

O - Good sour that is well balanced with light tartness and some good fruit presence from the raspberries

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
8% ABV, 2013 Edition

A - Hazy golden yellow in color, raspberries add the slightest tint of pink to the beer who's head, despite the billowing carbonation, disappears from acidity.

S - Undeniably sour, the aroma is rich with lactic acidity that kills head retention but smells o-so good. Spicy notes of coriander manage to make their presence known through the fresh raspberry fruitiness and red wine barrel oak and tannic grape skin undercurrents.

T - While the aroma bursts with sourness and fruit, the flavor immediately commands attention towards it's imperial wit base; big orange peel-like citrus and coriander, along with hefty pale malt and soft wheat. Crushed frozen raspberries leave a lingering light tartness that recalls the fruit while it's sour mash, aided by the oak aging, brings lactic acid through the finish that destroys any wine flavor.

M - Sparkling carbonation dances on the tongue while the otherwise silky smooth-textured beer courses over the tongue. The bone-dry finish is sharp with acidity and raspberry tartness that ends up lingering more prominently than sourness.

O - The Bruery's Bottleworks XII has a lot going on; layers of complexity continue to unveil in this big beer from it's impressive imperial witbier base through the deep finish. Fruit thrown in the mix while oak aging in red wine barrels makes for a unique sour that crosses all sorts of boundaries for a delicious beer worthy of aging.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a glowing golden yellow, opaque, monstrous 2 fingers of near white head, quickly dissipates, very light looking head. Lacing is pretty decent.

S - Oh ya, lots of sour (mildly vinigary) raspberry, some light wine tannins, almost has a light sugary clove-like (or some kind of spice i cant quite put my finger on) to it as well

T - Acidic and sour up front, transitions nicely into a huge sweet fruity sweetness as the raspberries kick in finish leaves some tannins and minimal puckering sourness lingering through the finish.

M - Medium bodied or so, definitely on the heavier end of the spectrum for what it is, pretty serious carbonation that works fantastically for this one!

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Photo of JulioH
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice cloudy orange beer. Smells like brett right off the bat. It looks like orange juice was poured in. Taste is very refreshing. This is a wild beer. It could be a Berliner, a witbier, a sour ale, it can be whatever it wants to be. Body is a bit thick.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Original batch provided by Ditmier tonight .. Thanks buddy. Pours a hazy pale yellow.. foamy white head... good lacing.

Nose is big lactic... almost yogurt like... raspberry is way in the background..

Flavor has a fair amount of tannic notes with berries that almost seem "old"... pretty tasty, but seems way past prime... a bit of oak on the finish.

Light body.. good bubble... very drinkable despite my above negatives.

Thanks Eric... There cannot be too many of these left in cellars.


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Photo of GJ40
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Duvel glass. 2013 Edition.

A - Heavy yeast build up around the top of the bottle as if stored upside down for a while. A huge white head! Golden with a slight haze. Big chunks at the bottom.

S - Fruity, floral and slightly funky. Not especially strong but nice.

T - Nice leading tartness followed by a good depth of flavor including raspberry, red wine, sour cherry and sour apple. Smooth and well balanced.

M - An active discharge of fine bubbles. Almost a Pop Rock effect. It grabs your attention but it doesn't distract.

O - A very tasty beer! There's a wine characteristic and/or richness that would limit how much or how often I have this but it was well worth a try.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-EBF sample pour. A slightly cloudy yellow color we some orange highlights. Thin white seam of foamy head.

S-Generic fruitiness that also brings with it a tartness. Funky yeast. Some spiciness in the nose as well. Underripe berries. Dry grain.

T-Flavor is sweet and tart. Tart berries and fruits (not specifically raspberry). Wheat and oak. White wine. Funky yeast and wine grapes. Finishes with its sourness.

M-Surprised by its ABV. Feels and tastes like a 5% beer. Crisp feel and prickly carbonation.

O/D-A cool beer with a cool description of how it was brewed. Refreshing to drink for sure. There was plenty going on in this brew.

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Joe for sharing this one!

Pours a hazed orange with rapid champagne streamers of carbonation in the glass, with visible remnants of raspberry seeds floating around also. Thin layer of surface foam that parts quickly and leaves some spotty flecks of foam in the glass.

Aroma is sharply acidic, less overt fruit at this point, more acidity and light wild funkiness.

Taste is moderately sour, puckering and finishes very dry. Some light fuzzy raspberry skins lend a fruity bitterness almost, maybe from the tannin in the seeds or skins. Very quenching and pretty drinkable, though fairly acidic. A good one to share.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a whole bunch of head (pretty much the entire glass) and has pretty good retention as well. The head is pure cotton-white while the body is a dull lemon to pale straw that appears as hazy, golden lemon when held up to the light. A considerable amount of lacing has already been left behind.

Nose- Starts off with lots of fleshy, dark red fruits. Raspberries first but then some cherry. Notes of acetic acid and indications of red wine and red grapes. This starts to mellow and shows light stone fruit notes- some peach and apricot. Even a little bit of pear and some citrus (lemon, mostly) are revealed after swirling. Bottle shows a spicy sour note that touches on soy sauce, some sweet and sour sauce.

Taste- Definitely dominated by stone fruits and dark red fruits but both are less boisterous than those shown on the nose. This is much more delicate and sublime and is definitely not as sour as I guessed it was going to be. Peach, apricot, cherries, and a little bit of raspberries but not as much as their specific addition would indicate. Some straw on the finish along with slight acetic acid that gives a little bit of pucker on the end. No real indication of heat and pretty drinkable. Some spiciness on the finish- pepper, coriander, but also something else. Slight earthiness that has hints of barnyard, fungus, and stinky cheeses. Softened by dominant notes of peach and pear- raspberry is mostly on the edges. Some complexity and presence but this beer is more about incredible balance and integration. Already, really good to great in my opinion but I want to see how it opens up. Seems to lack a certain je ne sais quoi that would make it great. Still, very very good. Slight hints of wheat, some citrus (lemon at the forefront). Some hints at champagne or mimosas. Very clean tasting.

Mouthfeel- A little more than light bodied with a nice effervescence that has some expansion. Slight tingle on the tongue with a dry finish. Just as delicate as the pallate.

Drinkability- Very accessible sour that shows what aspects of a Berliner Weisse can do. Twenty bucks a bottle seems quite reasonable but I probably wouldn't go through the trouble of acquiring this again.

Overall- Very good beer that flirts with being great. I don't think it quite reaches that status but I'm sure most would disagree. Definitely worth a try and I would not balk at the price- it's worth it.

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Bottleworks XII from The Bruery
4.27 out of 5 based on 1,026 ratings.
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