The Wanderer | The Bruery

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The WandererThe Wanderer

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Wanderer is a special blend of oak aged ales that we made with Craig and Beth from San Francisco's City Beer Store. Blending a mix of sour ales and our anniversary ale the base of this beer has a delightfully sour tinge on top of a hearty malt backbone. To add to the flavor, Craig and Beth selected blackberries and bing cherries to be added to the ale adding to it's already fruity complexity. This ale went on to win the silver medal for wood & barrel aged sour fruited ales at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

Added by t0rin0 on 05-04-2011

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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 882
Photo of KevSal
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Update: ok so i had this guy at a tasting yesterday from the bottle and it was stellar. ive had this one a hand full of times now and everytime i love it more and more. ive seen how far ill go for a glass (went up once on break time from work to have a glass at city beer when i heard it was on) i have to be honest with myself this one is perfect in my eyes.

Original Review 4.53

On tap at city beer, had this guy side by side with Marron Acidifie.

4 A- a dark bubbly copper with a 1 inch beige head. looks fantastic.

5 s- its greatest feature. this guy smells amazing. very complex, lots of things to smell here. the fruits come through first, cherry and blueberries very present. acidic notes, subtle bourbon and vanilla come forth as it warms, very unique, i love it.

4.5 t. follows the nose. i let this guy warm up in my hands and it made a huge difference. Bourbon becomes more pronounced. very enjoyable. should have ordered 2 of these guys rather than a side by side!

4 m- thick for a sour, medium bodies. good for the tyle. carbonation is present. just enough

4.5 o- granted this is one of my favorite styles, but this one actually surprised me. it was much more enjoyable than i expected. the massive amounts of fruits used on this guy really make it, the bourbon notes are a pleasant surprise.

this one is the clear winner against Marron
wish i had more of this guy to cellar than the allotment i got, should have brought the gf dangit. am going to thoroughly enjoy my bottles for sure.

EDIT: after having it again several times this guy really is a great beer. consistently surprising me with the nose and taste.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

- 2011 vintage
- Tapped at Bruery Tasting Room (opening day) on 4-Jul-12
- Poured into tasting snifter glass.
Oak and cherries dominate w/ hints of vanilla. You could just smell the depth and complexity. Tasting good oak presence and real sexy fruity complexity! Strong malt backbone w/toffee and caramel provide jammy texture. Getting some plums as well, which now I believe is the blackberries + cherries combo giving that sense. Very balanced vinegar and tartness.
Best sour I've had to date!

- 2011 vintage
- 750 mL bottle cellared on 16-May-12 and tasted on 4-Sep-12 (aged about 10 months).
- Poured into stemless wine glass.
Begins wth a fantastic gush of fruity complexity and tartness. Cherries, apple, plums, blackberries. Somewhat jammy. Then the 2nd phase hits with an oak, earthy flavors with creamy texture. Then the tartness finishes dry and left with hints of barrel and fruits in aftertaste.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a gorgeous nice dark amber color with some great ruby hints. The head is a nice 2 inch slightly off-white/ecru. It is dense but not too much and quite active. Very nice looking beer.

S - Delicious aroma. Wow. Sweet cherry notes, cinnamon and slight cider notes complimented with some nice tartness. As it warms the cherry notes get more intense and you perceive some woody notes and funk. The tartness comes in on the back end and balances out the sweet aspect.

T & M - Very fluffy mouthfeel. Wow. This beer is great. Carbonation is fluffy and allows some slight tartness to start creeping in the flavor that later intensifies a bit with some nice vinegar and some tart cherry notes. There is some nice sweetness slight cider notes, some nice sweet/tart cherry and very woody hints. There is some funk in the middle as well. Boy this beer is complex. There are some nice slight caramel sweet notes and some apple cider notes in there. This is all tamed and plays backup to the vinegary sour notes that aren't too overwhelming but clean and refreshing. This beer is delicious. As it warms there is some nice spicy wood that creeps up as well as the cherry and blackberry notes. Mouthfeel is fluffy and nicely carbonated with a nice dry finish.

O - Great sour. Has to be one of my favorites out there. Very well crafted with great sour notes and aromas that work well with the other flavors. The sour notes don't overwhelm but you can feel their presence.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.79/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Bruery Annaversary party. Poured into a 5oz glass. about a 2.5oz pour. Glass was rinced. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a cloudy mahogany color. Thin light tan head dissapated to a ring. No lacing.

Aroma is nice. Funky and tart with caramel and dark fruits.

Taste is nice and sour tart. Little bit of funk but has a nice caramel sweetness. Soo tasty.

Mouthfeel is so smooth with a high carb. Coats mouth with the flavors.

Overall this was a damn tasty beer. I wish I had a bottle. May need to give up a Veritas to get one.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Edition

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a deep reddish brown topped by a dense two finger light tan head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: Smells of oak, sourness, berries, funk, leather and caramel
T: Taste is a huge sourness up front with a whole lot of jammy blackberry goodness. Decent oak and funk as well as a little bit of leather. Swallow is more sourness with blackberries, funk, and slight lingering oak.
M: This beer has a medium mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation and finishes on the dry side from the acidity
O: Overall, this beer is hard to put into words. It's absolutely exceptional. From the level of sourness, to the fruit addition, to the amount of complexity this beer is damn near perfect. I'm curious to try one of my younger bottles to see how it is fresh. WIth careful aging this beer is simply fantastic.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Served a cloudy, rich brownish-red color with a thin finger of frothy white head atop. The head faded down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - The aroma is full of lots of sweet and sour cherries, with some other berries and citrus in the background, and some clear oak character coming through.

T - Starts off with lots of big sour and tart cherry flavor with some acidity and some other fruit flavors. There is some oak and a bit of funkiness as well. Through the middle, more oak character comes through alongside more sourness and berry flavor. The finish is full of fruit flavors, with cherry, berries, and citrus elements coming through and some oak adding complexity to the mix.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth with lots of sourness and acidity that is almost puckering at times.

D - Very drinkable. The sourness and the tartness were very strong and rich here. I really enjoyed the mix of the various fruits and the oak, it really worked very well.

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Photo of dubinsky
4.73/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap, 8oz/$9 pour into a tulip, at The City Beer Store for their collaborative release with the Bruery to commemorate their fifth anniversary and obviously mutualy beneficial relationship with the Bruery.

A - A murky dark amber and mahogany beer with a 1/2 finger off white head that stuck around for a minute and then receded leaving behind some lovely lacing.

S - I love sour beer noses and this one has it in spades. Awesome bursts of sour cherries, raspberries and vinegar in the front. The end of the nose was a bit sweeter, not giving my any real identifiable smell that i can put my finger on.

T - The taste was very familiar, with great sour cherries and apple cider vinegar funk off the bat. The cold pour was very tart at first but i noticed as it warmed up it became sweeter and the flavors of the fruit and the barrel became more identifiable. Unfortunately i had to run back to the office, but who knows what i would have found if i could have stayed there longer.

M - Medium bodied with slightly higher carbonation compared to the Marron Acidiefe that my friend was having at the same time. The sourness was spot on. There was no puckering to speak off, and although dry to the fact that its a sour, it didn't dry my mouth out at all like other sours have.

O - A great sour beer. I think that the flavor profile is complex enough for the sour snobs, but the mouthfeel and the taste are easy enough for a sour rookie like my friend to enjoy. We both bough the bottle limits. Congrats to both the Bruery for yet another great beer, and to City Beer for the wonderful place to shop for craft beer in SF.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes taken from a bottleshare at the Phoenix Sun in NYC. Thanks kindly to Mike (pretty sure Mike brought this one...all apologies if I got that wrong - converse with me and I will fix it) for sharing.

a - deep murky brown with 3 fingers of foamy head.
s - really nice sour smell. smarties. brett funk. sweet. berries.
t - WOOO that's good. Awesome even. great sweetness and great sourness. perfect balance. the berries in this are perfect. REALLY tasty.
m - sour, but not puckering. a bit prickly on the mouth.
t - overall i am blown away by this beer. berry sour with oak. blueberry and cherries mix great with the oak, just phenomenal.

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Photo of unitmonster
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Bruery/DFH collaboration charity event, and at Bruery 3rd Anniversary party (bottle).

A - Dark, rusty looking brown color. Not very appetizing.

S - Delicious acidic, sweet berries, and oak.

T - More delicious sweet berries (blackberry, blueberry, cherry), some oak flavor, and funk!

M - Dry, like a champagne. Does not leave a heavy feel on the throat.

O - I love this beer. I am always seeking out bottles of it.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got a bottle from City Beer Store, brewed for their 5th Anniversary. Happy Birthday City Beer Store.

Pours a nice, hazy ruby(ish) with a bit of brown. The head started huge in the snifter. The lacing is moderate and the head dies after a bit.

The smell starts with the sour blackberry right before the cherry. The sour leans towards vinegar, though it isn't in a bad way. There is a slight earthy afterthought with a hint of booze.

The taste is all sour with no break. I think the blackberry is still more noticeable than the cherry but they're both there. No noticeable alcohol, a dry woody aftertaste, very nice.

The mouth is good, but a bit heavy with the carbonation. On the plus side, it never ever was flat.

A pretty amazing Wild Ale. Super sour and a great addition to City Beer Store's BDay. Sad I was too late to get tickets.

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Photo of dmsohyea
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bruery 3rd Anny fest. Taster glass.

A: Deep red with a tinge of orange. Small head dissapates quickly and doesn't leave any lacing.

S: Smells of cherry, raspberry, cranberry, citrus fruits like orange and lemon. Some tartness on the nose as well. Just outstanding.

T: Is extremely well balanced. Follows the nose almost exactly. Tons of different berry flavors melded nicely with citrus. Sourness is there but not overpowering. Tastes just perfect.

M: Mouthfeel has low carbonation and slight astringency from the high acid level. This may have benefited from just a touch of extra carb.

O: In the two catagories that I really care about, taste and smell, this one is an absolute winner. I hope to find a bottle of this someday and enjoy it again.

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Photo of warnerry
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A - Pours a beautiful clear brown-tinged ruby color with about one finger of light brown head.

S - Lots of fruit in the aroma, with cherry and blackberry leading the way. Also a big lactic acid presence with no detectable acetic acid that is often found in Bruery sours. The fruit aromas are mostly on the tart side, though some sweetness comes through. Funk presence is pretty mild, but definitely there.

T - Similar to the smell, the is a big fruit presence. Jammy blackberries and tart cherry juice. Lots of lactic acid and a decent amount of funk. I love how the taste manages to be tart, fruity and creamy all at the same time. Maybe a touch of acetic acid, but lactic acid dominates the sour flavor profile. A mild oak presence as well. Very nice.

M - As mentioned about, a nice and surprising creaminess to the mouthfeel. Nice amount of carbonation, making it just a touch prickly.

O - Easily my favorite of the Bruery sours I've had, and one of the best American Wilds I've had as well. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel.

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Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours with a frothy head capping the mahogany colored liquid; the head fades rather quickly though it does a lot of dotty lace behind

Smell: The first sensation is from the lacto and the fruit, as it smells like blackberry/cherry yogurt but there is tremendous depth, underneath, with a fig and caramel tone

Taste: The blackberry flavor emerges first, bringing the characteristic sweet and tart tones; black cherries round out the fruit elements and by mid-palate, the lactic tartness really starts to build; underneath, the caramel, fig and brown bread adds depth; after the swallow, the oak, vanilla and a hint of Bourbon creates additional complexity, with the finish being rather dry and tart

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Among the best of the Bruery's sours, this one is a keeper

Thanks, lincolnbeard, for the opportunity

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Photo of Rutager
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Appearance. Pours a hazy rust-brown with two fingers of pale yellow/off-white head.

Smell. Whoa! Funky sour cherries, red apples and dark berries! It's a nice sweet hayloft funk with some dank old wood. Getting just a little cantaloupe as well.

Taste. Nice sour light fruits, cherries and some dark berries. Quite sour and tart without being anywhere near uncomfortable. Some good dry earthy funk and old wood as well. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with strong, fine and smooth carbonation. Again, very nice.

Overall. Yes sir, this is how to do an American sour. Really enjoying this one.

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Photo of pastradul
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stoen sour fest. Pours a dark brown with a very small light tan head that has good retention and leaves light lacing on the glass. Looks quite cruddy in the glass. The aroma is huge fruit. The blackberry and cherry both come through strongly. Some light bourbon, oak, and acetic notes come through as well. The taste is sweet with big fruit. A lot of berry come through (blackberry, raspberry) as well as the cherry with a good tartness. Light bourbon notes come through in the taste as well. The finish has a bit of an acetic burn to it. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Overall, quite an enjoyable beer. I look forward to trying it in the future to see how it is as the fruit fades a bit.

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Photo of lestat314
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this 2 times on tap at bruery 3rd anniversary event, and at the provisions store rare beer flight.

A- lovely rich hazy amber color with substantial head that laces nicely. very inviting.

S- substantial tart berry odor, and slight funky aroma rises from the head of this wonderful beer.

T- Very well balanced sour flavor, mixed with complex berry flavors and some wine character as well. loved it.

M- one word.. clean... was just so beautiful to drink down and left my mouth refreshed and happy

O- amazing, well balanced sour. would love to have some at my disposal on a regular basis.

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Photo of Tele
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle (dated:3.2.16)
Consumed: 4.17.16

A: 4.25 Fairly murky, reddish-brown. The small, light tan head looks nice, but only lasts a minute or so and doesn’t leave any lace.

S: 4.25 Mild aromas of oak, lactic tartness, and berries. A bit of brine and lemon are in the background as well as some funk.

T: 4.75 Flavors are excellent and extremely well layered. It starts off rather tart with some mild cherry flavor before getting a bit dose of oak and vanilla. The sweeter elements and old ale start to kick in, bringing along lots of blackberry and more tart cherry. The finish lingers with light tannins and fresh blackberries.

M: 4.5 Nice body, but slightly low carbonation. The dry finish is really nice though, making up for the low carb.

O: 4.5 I think this is one of The Bruery’s more impressive beers. Flavors are so well balanced and interesting; never too sour or too sweet. This really demonstrates excellent blending on their part. If the nose matched the flavor, this would be almost perfect.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, JealousChalice!

(Aged for 1+ year)

Hazed auburn and bright ruby with a nice crown of off-white, persistent bubbles crowning the top, eventually leaving thin ribbons and dots of stick down the glass. Very pretty.

Bright, expressive, fruit-forward aroma (cherries, blackberry, and currants), along with quite a bit of acidic sour character, a little vinegar, and only a mild funk.

An incredibly flavorful beer: big fruit notes (cherry and blackberry), with a huge level of sourness, complementary vinegar, and a bit of funk.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Very nice.

Perhaps The Bruery's best sour.

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Photo of Jonada
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. 2013 edition. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with less than 2 fingers of a light tan creamy head that settles to a thick ring. Body is dark but still somewhat clear when held to light.

Smell: Sour cherry, red grape, sweet berries, leather, funk, lactic acid, oak, slight caramel like sweetness in the background.

Taste: Medium, bordering on high sourness hits you right away and carries through to the finish. After that initial sour burst, it gives way to jammy blackberry, sour cherries, mild funk, slight oak, lacto and brown bread. Dark berry and oak linger into the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation borders on high. I'm not tasting the alcohol at all.

Overall: Probably my favorite brewery beer to date. Unlike some of their beers where the sourness has been out of control, this one is spot on. There's a nice amount of sourness, but still allows the fruit and other aspects of the beer to shine through as well. This one is definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. 2013
(A)- Pours a murky mahogany brown color with some reddish highlights to it. Some white froth that dissipated quickly
(S)- Silky jam-like fruits. Tart acidic oak meets subtle vanilla. Quite nice and flanders-like
(T)- A great contrast of fruits - tart cherry and rich yet equally tart blackberries. The oak takes a back seat to the barrage of fruits yet adds just a touch of vanilla in the far background
(M)- Great carbonation level. Overall, its a superb combo of big ripe fruits and oak. Good level of sour acidity without it being too sweet or medicinal
(O)- Easily one of, if not the best sour I have had from the Bruery. Its wonderfully balanced. Amazing fruit. And it isnt enamel ripping sour

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Photo of Knapp85
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a hazy amber color with an off white head. The retention is nice with a pretty good lacing. The smell of the beer is of tart and fruity. The taste of the beer is very good, the fruit comes out really well the oak and there is a beautiful vanilla flavor with nice grape-like flavor. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated with a dry finish. Overall very good sour, leaves a film in my mouth. Still very good stuff.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a tinge of concord grape juice and a one finger tan head.

S: As soon as the beer poured, I got a big hit of tart mixed berries. Getting closer, you get some sweet berries and cream notes, blackberry, juicy cherry, oak, leather and some vanilla. Smells fantastic.

T: Starts with a slightly lactic (almost Greek yogurt-like) and sharply tart underripe blackberry and red cherry skin note. Then, the flavors smooth out and you get a long push of red cherry, vanilla and caramel. Finish brings a burst of flavors. Light brown bread, date, underripe mixed berries, cherry skin tannins and just a hint of wood. A really well done beer. Love The Bruery.

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Photo of RodneyX
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually found this beer kind of ugly as it was a cloudy orange and brown color that didn't leave any lacing. The smell was very nice with lots of berries and barrel aging notes. There was some great funk and sour. Taste was a real winner as well with a great wine quality and tannic notes. Good sweetness and funk.

Its a pretty unique beer, and definitely glad I was able to acquire this one.

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Photo of brystmar
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous pour; mountains of white head leave behind sticky lace. Strong, pungent aroma with wild American yeast, wine barrels, and sour fruits approaching my nose.

Love the taste! Tons of lacto & sour fruits, good acidity and tart fruits. Plenty of funky dark fruit, plums, yeast, lots of tasty sourness and fruity funk. A hair too much carbonation; easily remedied by waiting for it to warm in my glass.

The complexity of various ingredients in my glass would never come from a traditional Belgian blend master. Wanderer is exactly what I love about (and expect from) American sours. Fantastic!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Cycle snifter.

A: Dark reddish brown, fairly hazy, with a big light tan fluffy head and low levels of visible carbonation. It's a pretty beer for sure.

S: Funky, tart fruit (cherries and sour raspberries), toasted sweet malts. A mixed lactic and acetic sourness, and oaky dry tannins. Smells really nice.

T: Very tart cherries, blackberries, and raspberries. Some acetic quality as well. Quite sour and lactic acidic. Dry oak tannins. Toasted malts make a brief appearance, but are quickly swallowed up by sourness and lemony citric. In the end, there are very tart blackberries lingering after everything else fades.

M: Medium body for an AWA. Lots of tingling carbonation sensation that eats at the gumline a bit. Low alcohol presence.

O: This was a really, really nice wild ale. Very sour. Very good. Very recommended.

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The Wanderer from The Bruery
4.29 out of 5 based on 882 ratings.
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