Sour Wench
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sour WenchSour Wench
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Style:
Berliner Weisse
Ranked #604
ABV:
7%
Score:
85
Ranked #30,891
Avg:
3.76 | pDev: 12.77%
Reviews:
96
Ratings:
396
From:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  19
Gots
  69
SCORE
85
Very Good
Sour WenchSour Wench
Notes: Our Sour Wench Blackberry Ale is a fruity Berliner Weisse-style beer bursting with Oregon blackberry flavor and aroma. The fruit addition adds a beautiful violet hue, and the taste has an approachable soft tartness from kettle souring. This artful gypsy will surely lure you into the world of sour beers.

10 IBU
Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 396 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought a 4 pack of Sour Wench in the fall, and the first time I tried it I wasn't impressed, but each bottle I tried, I liked it more. It's a solid sour, not in elite company, but still very enjoyable, especially if allowed to warm up a bit before drinking. Glad to see more sours popping up around San Diego!

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Photo of KRug
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/11/19, enjoyed side by side with the white wine BA version that I've had before

Pours a deep red, about of finger of slightly pink-white head that settles to a ring really quick

Mild acidity in the nose, with jammy blackberries and blueberries, a bit of vinegar, and medium malt

The taste is immediately sweet berry before giving a tartness for a brief second, and then it's straight back to sweet, more strawberries this time around than anything

Pretty mild carbonation here, really drinks more like a wine cooler or something than a beer, super light, especially for the abv, and way more sweet than tart

It was tasty, but not something I would get again. Compared side by side to the BA version, this is nothing. The barrel aging really transforms this into something special, more like a beer than this, it's much more tart and authentic. I get none of the classic Berliner tartness here

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass
Appearance – The beer is served a pinkish-purple color with a tiny fizzy pinkish head. The head fades very fast leaving just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is very heavy of a tart apple cider vinegar smell mixed with a big tart blackberry aroma. Along with these smells comes some notes of sweet red grapes a touch of musty smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a tart green apple flavor mixed with a moderate showing of a sour blackberry flavor. There is a touch of hay upfront as well and a little bit of plum. The tart blackberry grows stronger and stronger as the taste moves forward, brining with it more tartness and some other fruit flavors of raspberry and cherry. These flavors all take the taste to its end where one is left with a sour and tart fruity taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is light and crisp with a carbonation level that is rather high. For the mix of tart blackberry and sour green apple flavors, the light feel is wonderful and makes this brew approachable and refreshing.
Overall – A rather nice and refreshing Weiss that hides the alcohol extremely well. I am not a connoisseur of sour/tart brews, but this one is good.

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Photo of monkist
4.49/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great sour ale this one is! Or at least, I’m not being proper with the description: it is not sour as in a “sour ale” but sour as in it is tart, as a nice Berliner Weisse should be. But it isn’t salty or pucker, it feels like it has been infused with blackberries and the sourness comes from the acidity of the fruit. Very well done! Very drinkable, I backed it down in about five minutes @ Poki Fry in Guam while waiting for my food. Love Ballast Point, there’s nothing they would do wrong!

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Photo of AnnaJepsen
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite summer beers. This beer has everything I love about beer and sours intertwined! The sour berry flavor and then the hoppy taste in the middle. I love the lingering after taste of the berries! A must try for sour beer drinkers!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In the teku it is a red/orange color. There is a tiny white head that disappears rapidly.
Aroma of sweet fruit, oak, and wine.
Berry, cherry, and oak taste.
Nicely tart, refreshing.
Tart and tasty. I would drink this again.

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Photo of CanConPhilly
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L - 1-finger pinkish head atop a translucent maroon body.

S - berries, sugar.

T - mildly tart blackberries with a sprinkle of sugar. No bitterness. Moderate-low sweetness. Low booziness.

F - medium body and carb.

O - rather underwhelming.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Beautiful ruby color with perfect clarity. The head has a distinctly pink hue, and retains well. Spotty and patchy lacing. A gem to behold.

S: Vinous and pinot noir-like on the nose. Lots of blackberry, some cherry and cherry blossom. Smells mildly tart. Floral and pear notes too. Sweet and toasty malt base with perhaps a pinch of cocoa/nuttiness.

T: Blackberry at the outset. Cherry and red berry flavors further express themselves as the beer opens. Tartness is moderate and well-balanced with malt sweetness and accompanying flavors of cocoa and toasted grain. Long finish of blackberry jam and mild tartness.

M: Medium bodied. Full, somewhat chewy and creamy. Carbonation scrubs firmly.

O: Fantastic. Not the most complex perhaps, but the balance and drinkability of it is perfect. There's a reason it took a medal at the GABF. I wouldn't call it a Berliner-weisse though, it's far bigger and richer in body than that. It's a very approachable beer even for sour initiates, and it's an excellent crossover beer for wine drinkers. Very pinot noir in feel. Makes for some awesome chocolate pairings too.

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Photo of Garyhaber
5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful color with red or purplish tint. Great sour pucker with a light tart flavor. Very refreshing and crushable beer, I would have this any season or day of the week. Definitely fruity and sweet aroma.

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Photo of KooVee
2.49/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Bb in 4m.

Reddish brown with a tint of magenta. Fine-grained foam that dissipates quickly.

Nose is more cherry than blackberry. One-dimensional tart aromas.

Taste is thin and narrow tartness. More cherry.. with a sense of the bitterness of the stone. No aftertaste to speak of. Feel is OK.

Maybe proof that blackberry is too limited in taste to carry a sour. The sourness is also boring, though. A disappointment.

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Photo of VABA
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a dark hazy purplish color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has subtle tartness and blackberry hints
T-The tastefollows the nose with a subtle blackberry and a decent tartness
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent blackberry sour beer

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Photo of NedFredHead
2.91/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Tart and sour for sure, but it could be any berry in the background -- not really getting the blackberry notes. I tasted more of a cherry flavor. Goes down smooth. Otherwise there's not really much going on here, and so far the least impressive beer I've had from Ballast Point.

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Photo of Squire
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden red leaning more toward red color with light whitish cap.

A subtle aroma of ripe berry that is not immediately distinguishable as blackberry but the aroma is clean.

Taste is sharply tart but not mouth puckering. Again, can't really call it blackberry, more of a blackberry/raspberry/marionberry/dewberry mix but certainly berry. Also can't find a flavor for the underlying grain which strikes me as being there as a carrier for the berries. Flavors are simple and finish clean.

Fairly thin texture with balancing carbonation.

One of my favorite brews is Duchesse de Bourgogne Flanders Red Ale which I mention just to give an idea of my taste platform for sour beers generally. If that style is the model then most of the craft sour beers on the market that I've tasted fall short of the mark. This Sour Wench from Ballast Point being a case in point. Perhaps the best use for Sour Wench is take it to a party thrown by your Bud Light friends to spike up whatever you're served.

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Photo of WashingtonBeerBud
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

FYI not a big sour drinker.

I start off with the smell, which you can definitely smell the blackberry and a bit of sourness to it. A fresh blackberry smell, not something that could potentially ruin the flavor but not something that gets you "excited" either.

It pours decent, has a very nice dark/reddish color to it, very appealing. non-existent head to it, which was a bit of a dissapointent.

Taste, at first you get a foamy feel with it, followed up with the blackberry taste which was excellent, then the sour comes after but not too much to totally take out the flavor, flavor remains intact with a dry sour following, very nice.

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Photo of EMV
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear maroon/burgundy pour with thin fizzy head. More lacing than expected.

S: Tart and fruity.. blackberry and lemon rind.

T/F: Tart without being sour. Strong blackberry... lighter lemon/citrus and mild funk. Currant and grains/wheat. Light bodied... cooking cherry later in the swig. The finish is fruity and dry.

O: A pretty solid Berliner Weisse... good fruit flavor.. nice tartness.. and higher ABV than expected for the style. The blackberry compliments the kettle soured beer nicely, and again more tart than actually sour. A good intro to the style.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Slightly hazy, dark reddish-purple with a small light pink head. Average retention, and rings of lacing.

S: Blackberry jam, plum, raisin, grape juice, blackcurrants, red wine, red wine vinegar. A nice balanced of acidity, funk, and jammy/candied sweetness.

T: Blackberry jam, plum, and blackcurrants upfront. Grainy wheat malt in the middle. Quite fruit-forward, moderately sour, and moderately acidic. Lemon zest, green apple skin, cherry, and pomegranate notes as well. A hint of hay and coriander.

F: Medium, well-carbonated, smooth, and well-rounded.

O: A good fruited sour ale. Enjoyable and recommended.

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Photo of BenoitWF
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found it more acidic than sour. Nevertheless overall a good beer. Easy to drink. Tastes more like a cider than a beer due to the pronounced berry flavor which is expected from a blackberry sour ale

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Photo of Sabtos
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A puffy, soft Pepto pink head rests atop a dark red chill hazed body.

Smell is strawberry and blackberry Gushers with a hint of spice or pepper.

Taste is tart sour blackberry-cherry exclusively, through a medium-thin body with a crisp dry finish.

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Photo of Shade1951
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle, pours a lovely raspberry red. No head or lacing to speak of. Smell isn't overwhelming, but there is tartness and a hint of berries. The flavor doesn't disappoint. Quite tart with just the tiniest bit of sweetness. It's slightly mouth-puckering, which is what I like in a sour. Well carbonated, and all around enjoyable and refreshing.

This is one I will definitely get again.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a lightly hazed ruby red with a large foamy white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is blackberries and wheat.

T - The taste is blackberries, lemon and wheat.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - A decent fruited Berliner.

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Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a pint glass
A: Deep red, thin head
S: Raspberry, a touch sour
T: More raspberry, a nice sweet/sour balance
M: Light-bodied, fairly tart
O: Not too complex but very refreshing

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Old Chicago.

It pours a semi clear red with plenty of off white foam.

Smells of blackberries, lemon, wheat, decent level of tartness suspected.

The taste is nice blackberries, almost puree like, wheat, lemon, good tartness.

Good mouthfeel, good brew.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the German sour wheat ale as its underpinnings, the brewers at Ballast Point have transformed the style into something, fruitier, juicier, more robust and maybe even more elegant and soft. Still sour at its core, the sassy ale can turn "wench" in a hurry.

Sour Wench pours with a rusty mauve hue with ruby and garnet shadows playing on the eye. Its loose and lathering foam brings a zesty scent filled with citrus, orchard and berry fruits along with a faint must of attic-like conditions and a tingle of tartness. Sweetness splashes the tongue with the fruit juices of blackberry but also a malty influence of sourdough, pastry and hard candy.

Trending swiftly from sweet to sour, the middle palate shows a rapid transition away from barley and wheat. Crisp, tart and highly flavorful, the blueberry taste is overt while background flavors of plum, black cherry, raspberry and grape play into the more robust fruit flavors. But its the underlying fermented flavors and their green apple, lime, lemon, gooseberry and sour white grape flavors that win out in the end.

Medium bodied yet seemingly fuller because of the beer's dark fruit influence and robust sense heightens the beer's character. But the finish of brisk acidity and its gentle after palate of weathered wood, burlap and whole wheat brings the beer once again back to its Berlinerweiss roots.

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Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a dark ruby color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled of blackberry, lemon and some wheat. Nice sour blackberry taste with hints of lemon and wheat.

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Photo of Tone
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy red color. 1/3 inch head of an off-pink color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of slight bacterial funk, slight yeast, and strong fruit (similar to blueberry). Fits the style of a Berliner Weissbier. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is an elevated tartness as well. Tastes of sweet malt, yeast, slight bacterial funk, fruit, hint of pale malt, and a hint of citrus hops. Overall, good fruit aroma, blend, and body.

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Sour Wench from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 396 ratings