Sour Wench Blackberry Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sour Wench Blackberry AleSour Wench Blackberry Ale
BA SCORE
3.67/5
214 Ratings
Sour Wench Blackberry AleSour Wench Blackberry Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 08-05-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#31,137
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
214
pDev:
11.99%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
19
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 214 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of NolaHopHead
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zazzi82
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Brewing Co. "Sour Wench Blackberry Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "SW 17 17226 09:45" (whatever that means)

Notes via stream of consciousness: Nice label as usual. The beer pours a hazy ruby colored body beneath a creamy, pinkish head. The aroma is lightly fruity and berry-like. The flavor delivers that berry, and it's pretty clearly blackberry. There's nothing on the label that says it's either real fruit or an extract but it comes across as authentic so who cares? It's tart as well, quite tart, but not puckeringly sour or biting, and that leads it to a dry, acidic finish with some mild fruitiness lingering gently. Minimal bitterness. Light-medium in body and gently effervescent. Is it really 7.0% ABV? It doesn't seem like it, and the alcohol certainly never shows. Overall I'm quite impressed. It's authentic, refreshing, not too sour and not too funky or weird. If there's anything to argue against it, it would be that it's one-sided. That however would be misguided. You could ask that it be richer and more intense, or perhaps lighter if for some reason you wanted to go that direction, but any more complexity would probably just distract from the tart fruitiness which is the focus. Really nicely done. Easy to drink, refreshing, and satisfying.

 1,289 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish purple with amazing head and lacing. Smells of sour blackberry/raspberries. The taste is awesome, I cannot drink many sour beers but this one is amazing, super sour but not hard to drink, loads of blackberry and tartness but a nice drinking beer. I have to give this high praise as the best sour to date.

 320 characters

Photo of dustin22martin
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mpenske
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GiselesGazelle
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - about half a finger of pale pink head, retains a very thin layer of foam across the top. Stringy lacing. The color on this is really beautiful, somewhere between a deep ruby red and violet tinge. Totally unique.

Smell - BlackBerry, raspberry, currant on the nose.

Taste - well, this is very blackberry forward, but that's not a bad thing. In fact, the blackberry dominates. That's a strong note. I question that anybody could distinguish something that's not blackberry from this. Little bit of sweetness from the fruit. Lactic acid bite. Hint of a metallic aftertaste. I'm usually one to think that sours should be barrel aged, as the kettle really imparts its flavor here. But well done, they've definitely given this one enough time to mingle.

Mouth feel - moderate carbonation with medium body, almost like a fruit juice. Pucker, if sours aren't your thing. Crisp finish.

Overall - interesting style, what would you call this, an imperial berliner? Usually berliners are low alcohol content, about half this ABV. Berliners are a style that tend to be very light to moderately tart, but this one hits the average berliner out of the park. It has a very nice lactic mouth feel on it. While I hesitate to call this *really* sour (I'm a sour fiend), it will almost certainly make your mouth pucker if you're not into the style. I'm actually surprised the rating is as low as it is. To be fair, the blackberry is really one note. This isn't a beer that I'd call complex by any means, but I really think it's a victim of its style. If you like tart, lactic mouth feel and blackberries, you will love this one. I was underwhelmed by their sculpin, but I'd absolutely buy this again.

 1,696 characters

Photo of Scotty_Karate
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of biboergosum
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle - not sure what makes this one sour; the blackberries, or something else?

This beer pours a clear, medium magenta colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat fizzy pale pink head, which leaves but a few specks of remote islet lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of musty blackberries, underripe cherries, soured milk, a further lemon/lime tartness, gritty and grainy pale malt, a hint of estery yeast, and some understated leafy, herbal, and floral green hop bitters. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, mixed dark berries, sour lactose, some lemony acidity, mild yeast, and more weak leafy, musty, and gently perfumed floral verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its workaday frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, as the general sourness here is of the benevolent sort, seemingly. It finishes off-dry, the muddled fruit and malt lingering in that particular direction.

Overall - this is an all right fruited up kettle sour, with the atypical elevated ABV hardly even noticeable. Probably a lot more refreshing midsummer, as opposed to on a pretty blustery autumn day, but it's sliding back just fine, just as well.

 1,222 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/8/2017. Pours slightly hazy ruby red, light pink/purple color with a 1-2 finger dense light pink head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of fairly sour/tart/tangy blackberries, cherry, plum, lemon, green apple, red grape, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light lacto funk, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of blackberries, fruity/acidic yeast, and bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of fairly sour/tart/tangy blackberries, cherry, plum, lemon, green apple, red grape, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light lacto funk, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness and berry tang on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy blackberries, cherry, plum, lemon, green apple, red grape, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light lacto funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of blackberries, fruity/acidic yeast, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/tangy fruit balance, and zero puckering flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from tartness and fruit tang. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderate creamy/bready/grainy, fairly acidic, and lightly tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is a very good fruited Berliner weisse. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of blackberries, fruity/acidic yeast, and bready malt flavors; very smooth, easy, and refreshing to drink with the mellowly lactic/tangy/drying finish. Quite a bit on the malty side, but acceptable given the ABV; not overdone. Nice levels of Lacto complexity and fruit presence. A very enjoyable offering and well made style example.

 1,967 characters

Photo of PJCarnell
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Calraven
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Wasatch
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear dark ruby red color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy/foamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, tart, yeasty, with lots of blackberries. The taste is malty, tart, yeasty, with lots of blackberries. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well. Overall, tasty, but would not buy again.

 399 characters

Photo of madelf66
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of liquorpig
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Avatar113
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sir_Goatman
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Haybeerman
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JuiceMan818
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of HungarianCount
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of habaceeba
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mchegash
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: A bright dark red, with very pink foam.

S: Red fruit/berries, but still has a vague beer-like smell

T: The vague fruit aroma from the smell becomes clarified in the taste, and blackberry is distinctly present. Unfortunately it's not very good. It's not bad--slightly sour fruit juice with carbonation and alcohol--but just is one of the least good fruit beers I can remember having. It does remind me of Founder's Rubaeus...but in a "Rubaeus is so much better than this!" kind of way. Overall I would say that something doesn't feel quite balanced right. Maybe the blackberry is too strong, or it doesn't blend well with the sour...I can't quite put my finger on it.

F: Medium body, average carbonation, perhaps a bit syrupy.

O: As noted above, it's far from being a "bad" beer, it's just not really that great.

 819 characters

Photo of jooler
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of varian7
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sour Wench Blackberry Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 214 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.