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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: 132 | Ratings: 1,028
Photo of ptykozoon
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours papaya orange. Dense white head that dissipates into a layer. Love the color.

Barnyard, orange peel, smells like a lot of bacteria with a minor fruity undertone.

Sour raspberry, apricot, dry oak, very faint pear. Grassy earth notes. Lemon pang. Very tasty.

Soda pop carbonation and mouthfeel. ABV tastes around 6.5% - well hidden. Drinkability is good.

Unique and solid sour. One of the best The Bruery beers out there. The Bruery is getting damn good at sours.

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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 thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one on the One Year Anniversary of My Accident/Surgery! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a slightly hazy pale golden yellow with a three finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, funk, wheat, fruit, subtle sour, and raspberry. The flavor was of sweet malt, funk, fruit, tart, sour, and raspberry. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one had quite a bit of really nice things going on in it. The aroma was a bit more complex than the flavor, however the flavor was quite a bit more pleasant. Everything going on in the flavor here was really nice and when there was one note, another followed close behind that worked in unison to help you get through the sour/tart mashing on your palate. This was a really well put together brew that I’m really quite glad I got the opportunity to try!

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Joe for bringing this out to round out an extremely solid tasting weekend. Finally getting around to entering the last review from that weekend (3/25, 3/26). The final Bottleworks anniversary beer enjoyed during the weekend.

Pours a pink rose color that is juxtaposed against the hazy white color of a traditional Belgian wit. After the pour, this rosy liquid is capped by a healthy layer of creamy head that leaves a splotchy laced pattern on the glass. When held under light, light day-glo orange hues fill the body of beer. Nice.

Aromas of raspberry and a strong lactic sourness along with the phenolic notes so typical of wits that contribute white pepper and coriander. The lactic sourness citrus flavor is prominent along with the fresh raspberries, though the sourness is nicely balanced against the wheat and malt backbone of this beer. There is a light and fresh bretty funk, not so earthy or barnyard-like at this point. The flavor profile is rounded out by white pepper and a touch of clove.

Light on the palate, and the sweet fresh raspberries work very nicely with the yeasty notes to create a great beer. Very solid stuff, this is.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(bottle at Dak's tasting!). I really wanted to try this one and I'm really happy it made an appearance. Pours hazy red grapefruit color. Aroma has some funk and grapefruit/citrusy notes. Taste is sour/tart. Medium bodied with some fizziness on the tongue. A really nice beer.

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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 portia99
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle (2013 vintage) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a faintly hazy barely orange tinted golden color in the glass. Three fingers of fizzy, almost soda-like head forms quickly and falls just as quickly giving way to a very small white collar and an endless stream of aggressive bubbles that cause the surface of the beer to churn a little bit from all of the activity.

S - Earthy and mildly funky aroma up front, a bit musty. Mild fruit presence - can't decide if it is more raspberry or red wine influence...seems to be a combo of both. After getting a few more whiffs, the fruity raspberry presence takes stronger hold of the aroma yielding fresh picked red raspberries with their sweet and tart combination coming thru nicely. Mildly tart, low level graininess for malt backing.

T - Quite fruity with strong raspberry flavors...again, like fresh picked from the garden. Refreshingly tart and lacticly sour...not super sour, but on par with a good lemonade - thirst quenchingly tart. Fruit fades away towards the finish where the red wine character picks up, more tannic, cherry and dark berry-like in its fruitiness. Wood oak flavors from the barrel as well. Base beer is a bit unassuming. Very low graininess, hints of lemony citrus.

M - Lighter body with a very strong carbonation. Tart and refreshing. Very nice fruity character with very fresh raspberry flavors - some of the best, most natural tasting raspberry character I've ever found in a beer. Low musty funkiness that fits in very appropriately.

O - Very good raspberry summer refresher. Great, fresh raspberry character in aroma and flavor. Crisp and refreshing tartness and tingly carbonation. Base beer is pretty basic with the fruit and wine barrel yielding most of the character. Alcohol presence isn't noticeable even at 8%. Mild funkiness. Very nice beer - expected a ruby colored beer with an overwhelming abundance of raspberry. Instead, I got a nicer balance. Tart, a little bit of funk, well balanced and garden fresh raspberry addition and subtle wine barrel influence...what I got was better than I expected...and I had high expectations for this ahead of time.

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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 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 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 mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing this one; thanks again Brad.

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

s - Smells of raspberries, fruit, spices, some definite funk, and light bread or wheat. More funk than I was expecting in the smell.

t - Tastes of raspberries, tart dark fruits, light sour citrus/orange, light spices, and some funk. More tart than funk in the taste, whereas the smell was the other way around.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Mout puckering thanks to the tart raspberries in the taste.

d - Overall this was an interesting beer that I liked. I think some people were mixed on this and got more of the witbier characteristics, but I got a lot of funk in the nose, and a lot of tart fruit in the taste. Would like to try again sometime.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Cloudy bright yellow, nicely carbonated, one finger head.

S-Wheat, not much funk, oak, light raspberries.

T-Great balance. Wheat, oak, raspberries and a slight tartness, lemon and orange.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation, crisp dry finish.

O-Not as sour as I was hoping but the balance was amazing.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Give it up for Nate the Great cracking this cool looking bottle at our Shogun vs. Bones night.

A - Really good looking beer. A bright, hazy orange color with a good sized white head that leaves some spots on the sides.

S - Funk, brett, some lacto-sourness. Great citrus and something that is almost like tangerines. There is slight vitamin smell that brings this down for me a little bit.

T - Awesome tasting beer with good brett and lacto notes. There is some great citrus fruit taste consisting of raspberries, oranges, and tangerines. Very sour and tart, with a juice-like quality to it.

M - Juicy, medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - This is a great beer, would love to have more. Reminds me a little bit of Pinotlambicus. Easy to drink and tasty.

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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 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 UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to dots of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace also form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, wood, and some wine aromas. Taste is much the same but is pretty sour and funky as well. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great beer with a solid aroma and really nice set of flavors that make it easy to drink.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Bruery does some exciting things. Doing it to commemorate a top Seattle beer store and you expect something good. On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Wow, this beer is goldenrod colored. Little head on the pour and only a few spots of lace around. The aroma brings to me sweet accents of lemon and a kiss of raspberry. The flavor, straightforward, yet relaxed, easy to translate, and very tasty! It tastes almost like a raspberry lemonade. There's a small dose of funk and vague spice, but even without those lesser notes, the base flavor would rock anyway. The carbonation level is light, perhaps from aging, though its mouthfeel is still at an acceptable level. Better late than never, and I'm glad I got to taste this creation.

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Photo of tpd975
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Brouwer's

A: Pours a nice light orangish yellow. Nice tall white head that leaves nice lace.

S: Lactic sourness, with hints of acidic citrus, and musty tart raspberries.

T: Nice tasting and nicely acidic. Lactic sourness, citrus zest, and a hint of spice. Light wheaty graininess with a nice tart berry finish.

M: Sorta light and zippy, tart, acidic, with a nice hint of berry.

D: Overall pretty enjoyable, drank the whole bottle by my lonesome.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Brad!! Glad to try this one

Pours a hazy pale yellow. Lots of nice white head. Looks pretty solid. Smells funky as shit. Horse blanket. Wow... Crazy. Smells very odd. Tastes sweet. Wheaty. Very funky. Tart. Veery interesting. I really enjoy the beer. Not too sour. Nce, well carbonated. Overall top notch

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 750 mL three ways, poured into red wine glasses. Reviewed 3/20/2011.

Ar: Floral and tart, acidic, strong wheat, tropical fruit, very strong flowery character, raspberry, slight funk, nice wit aroma, strong elements of the bruery yeast/classic profile

Ap: Super cloudy, salmon pink, like tropical fruit emergenC, medium white head, fair retention

T: Acidic, raspberry, tropical fruit, strong floral, unique, very strong raspberry, tastes like an emergenC in a lot of ways, nice wit subtleties behind the fruit, the more i have it the better it is, good bitter citrus wit spicing to balance, sweet but balanced by spicing and acidity, tangerine, bright fruit, brett/funk

M: high slightly rough carbonation light/medium body, tart, somewhat criisp

O: Raspberries a bit too strong in taste, nice wit complexities, unique and interesting, best raspberry sour i've had

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a nice Berliner Weisse like hazy straw golden color with some nice bright yellow hints. There is a nice fizzy white head that is dense and active but quickly dissipates of to a nice thin film. Hazy and hard to see through but nice and bright.

Aroma is delicious and refreshing. Definitely some refreshing bready wheat notes. SOme nice lemon rind notes and slight grassy hop notes. Nice yeasty funk with some slight wood notes as well. The funk is nice and present as the beer warms. Refreshing strawberry raspberries can be felt in the nose as well on the back end with some slight tart notes as well. The Berliner Weisse notes are pretty easy to note.

Refreshing and light with some nice crisp and fluffy carbonation. Starts off with some nice tart notes with lemony and citrusy sourness. Nice and refreshing and fruity. There is also some nice slight raspberry sweetness and some nice slight fruit tartness. The funk is definitely present especially on the middle and back end. Nice woody notes and slight barnyard and corn husk funk with some slight spice notes. The finish however comes back with some nice fruit juice notes and tart notes. With a crisp dry finish. Quite nice.

Pretty good sour. This definitely is very loyal to the Berliner Style base but with the added delicious fruit notes of the raspberry.

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Photo of jampics2
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #750. I want to thank all the big and little beers who got me this far!

Speaking of the big seven-five-oh, Bottleworks XII was a 750ml bottle served in a goblet by the fine folks at Brouwers Cafe. $25 and well worth the trip!

An orange colored beer with hints of pink sits on the bar in front of me. I'm distracted by the architecture of this beer cave, but snap back to it just in time to see the nice white head start to subside. The head leaves a touch of lace as it descents, but the constant stream of bubbles rising in the cloudy liquid replenishes it for the majority of the session.

The smell is intense and slightly off-putting for someone who doesn't love dirty sour beers (or lacto intensive beers like a Berliner Weiss). There's a decent amount of sulfur and diaper smells, but there's so much more. Lurking below those strong scents are some layers of raspberries, coriander, lemons and red wine.

As I gaze around me, sitting here in Seattle at perhaps the best beer bar in the world, I feel lucky. Not in a Clint Eastwood way, but I feel like sometimes a great beer can make you feel like you're at home even when you're thousands of miles away. I feel lucky that establishments like this exist and that legendary, world-class beers like this one are there to enjoy.

Speaking of which, I'm ready to enjoy this one! After the first sip, my mouth can't help but smile. This is really, really good. Huge lacto funk greets my tongue, giving impressions of lemons and horsehair. Some raspberry flavors are present too, but this doesn’t scream fruit beer. Coriander and spice help the tartness seem more grounded and earthy. Then, the barrel hits and red wine and oak notes close out a wonderful palate. No alcohol is noticeable. This is an advanced course beer, but one that has so much depth and rewarding flavors. As I enjoy the glass, bullshit with the bartenders and soak in the majesty of Brouwers, I smile and sip, and smile and sip.

The body is great - it's a bit denser than expected from a "witbier", but it works. The carbonation is on the high/sparkling end of things, but that's OK. Overall, this beer lived up to the hype. If you're sensitive to sulfur or dirty sour smells, you may not be able to get past that, but bear with it, trust me, it's worth it!

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a light pale color with a quickly fizzling, fluffy cap of bright white head, quickly receding to a ring. Minimal to no lacing but above average retention.

S: Nicely funky, lovely oak and cinnamon, vanilla, loads of raspberry, lime, berliner, and floral notes.

T: Dry raspberry and some citrus and green notes, wheat, oak, complemented by the funk and quite light tartness, with kind of a sweet and sour finish. The berliner definitely shows through.

M: This doesn’t drink like an 8% beer. A little milky, with medium body and medium-high carbonation.

O: Highly drinkable and very good complexity. The oak treatment is really nice, but I’m not entirely sure I can detect the red wine’s influence.

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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 ehammond1
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

The Bruery Provisions
Orange, CA

(Aged for 1+ year)

Highly carbonated, golden color with a quickly forming, though quickly fading near-white head. This doesn't leave much in the way of stick down the glass. Appropriate.

The aroma is quite sour/tart, with some definite raspberry sweetness, along with some cherry and wood notes. Complete, bright, expressive, and incredibly enjoyable.

The flavor does not disappoint after such a nice aroma. The big lactic sour notes are strong, with complementary flavors of raspberry and oak. Clean, bright flavors.

Medium bodied with high carbonation. Very appropriate for the style.

This is just as good, if not better, than I was hoping for!

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Bottleworks XII from The Bruery
4.27 out of 5 based on 1,028 ratings.
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