Sour Wench Blackberry Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

43 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 08-05-2007

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 176
Photo of captaincoffee
3.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ballast Point Miramar. Possibly a very different version than what is reviewed here by others since this was 7%. Pours a murky pale brick red color with just a bit of head. Nose is very fruit forward. Pretty much solid blackberry with a tart twang that lets you know what it is. Taste is mildly tart as expected, with a reasonable amount of fruit coming through without feeling like juice. No real salinity. Overall, a very simple and refreshing fruit berliner weisse that lacks complexity.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

4oz pour in a snifter at Brouwer's.

Pours medium red with a pinkish head. Smell is slightly tart with a strong berry aroma.

Taste is bitter-sour, with a bit of a grassy or straw finish. Medium berry flavor, not enough tartness, and a strange mishmash of all the flavors. Not a good balance of anything.

Mouthfeel is light and thin. Overall, not a huge fan. It's OK.

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Photo of hotsudge
1.69/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Tried this at the Boston EBF, the first one I had to dump thinking maybe my cup wasn't clean enough and the flavour wasn't fairly represented.

Tried it a second time and had to dump that one too. The flavour was awful. Sour dirty socks. Sorry guys, but this was dreadful until many of your other beers.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
1.9/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Mixture of pink and purple colors. Didn't bring any head to the game though. Aroma hit the dirty funky feet notes, something all to familiar with blackberries. Lots of gym smells in this one, and it isn't part of the aroma, it pretty much is the aroma, devoid of fruit, full of jock strap.

A firm wheat base lacking sour, tart or fruit. WTF? Almost oxidized like newspaper notes.

I absolutely love some BP beers. This one, I pretty much loathed.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours dark ruby red with a frothy maroon pink head that settles to a thin layer and leaves a little light lacing.

S: Tart, fruity notes, sour cherry, blackberry, lemon, and a little funk.

T: Pleasantly tart, lactic lemon, fruity blackberry, a little sour cherry, some funk, maybe even leathery (?), and a hint of light malt.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Cool to try, but just not as clean as a lot of the other sours I've had.

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Photo of Tommo
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This looks and smells like it could be decent, however, it is in no way sour in any way shape or form. Ph likely above 4.5. Therefore you are buying a 9 dollar cup of blackberry juice-beer. This sucks, dont buy it

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Photo of MLDucky
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this better than the average I guess. Beautiful color, nose was faint blueberry. First taste was high acidity, but nice fruit in the background. Eventually as this warmed it became just tart with nice fruit flavor. I would definitely get this again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Cub Room in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a brilliant clear dark-ish red, with a inch and a half of head, and no lacing.

Smells super strongly of sour berry and sour cherry, and not a whole lot else.

This is fairly one note, but luckily, the one note is very tasty. Very juicy, lots of blackberry, and some sour cherry. Maybe a little bit of vinegar, but not much. It's got a moderate level of sourness, about 5.5 or 6/10.

This has a super juicy mouthfeel, with a higher level of carbonation. It's quite drinkable.

I wish this was a bit more complex. Nonetheless, it was really tasty.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%

on tap at the tasting room in Little Italy
this is a berliner weiss, and it is quite pleasant. Nice level of tartness and the blackberry comes out nicely. For all that, something is missing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

looks awesome, better than the rest of it really, deep deep blood red with a high degree of clarity and a peculiar stillness to it that in this instance seems inviting rather than disappointing. the nose is cool, fruit first for sure, but definitely packs a pucker. the blackberry is robust in the taste too, which is hard to do, but it seems more like juice than beer, lacking any real grain or hop character at all. the stillness gets weird in the feel, its woefully under carbonated and with such a dense body, it just sort of feels heavy and lingers too long. if it was charged up better it would be twice the beer i think. wishing for more for sure. i like the flavor though, and the sourness is right there in the finish to clean up the fruity sugars, but its missing something for me, and is leagues below something like atrial rubicite for quality fruit sour, but is still worth trying.

edit: better beer this year, they must have made it again or it aged well. more carbonated and much more dry, some of the body has really stepped back too. improved recipe or execution would be my guess. i liked it a lot more this year than last. on tap at cheba hut on champa while it lasts.

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Photo of dnwold
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Belmont Station in Portland, OR. Had a craving for something crisp and tart, so I thought I would give this one a try. Refreshing beer that cured my craving for a crisp refreshing Berliner Weiss. Blackberries gave a nice color, but not overpowering.

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Photo of rawfish
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A deep cardinal red with diving a few notches towards violet, very clear, foamy, finger high head, white but stained pink by the body of the beer. Relatively poor retention and no lacing on the glass.

At the time of drinking I was not aware that blackberries were the fruit in this beer. Slightly grainy eluding to the malt in this beer but largely fruity with cherries, red berries and shades of vinous acidity.

Momentarily grainy and slightly musty. Berries and bing cherry ring the palate up, thin flavor, slightly sweet before a pleasant sour flash releases with a clean finish. Alcohol is low and the tart flash leaves some dull lemony acidity on the tongue.

Watery body with tight prickly carbonation. Alcohol is blended with the sour flash which is refreshing but either long lasting or powerful.

A simple, one dimensional sour beer. It was great in the 90 degree weather. Refreshing and while watery and a bit grainy, fully features the blackberries. Not unlike a timid Berliner Weisse with light blackberry syrup.

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Photo of cbutova
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled and reviewed from notes taken during SDBW last week.

A- Semi murky pink body with a small creamy off white head. Decent head retention and the foam falls to a nice ring. Moderate spotty lace leaves the glass speckled with patches.

S- Something funky almost like hay and barnyard but not quite the same. Juicy berries fill out the rest of the nose with a fresh character.

T- Changes quite a bit here, somehow tastes like a black raspberry milkshake with great juicy berry hints and a nice tartness. Some lactic lemony tarts and fruity/berries all the way.

MF- Foamy and creamy texture to a light dried out body. Tartness at a low to medium level but does enough to add a huge compliment to the flavor.

Juicy and tart berry blast, somehow like a milkshake to me.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on tap at bainbridge barrel house - served in taster

Pours a clouded purpley pink color with some darker hues. Thin head dissipates almost immediately leaving little lacing or retention.

Fruity tart nose with hints of blackberry and soft acidity. Touches of funky yeast and oak with red wine. A little understated.

Mild sourness with blackberries and dark fruit. Oak, red wine, red grapes and light funky brett. A bit watery and thin throughout, with occasional tart blackberry notes. Finishes a bit sour and dry.

Lighter medium body, decent carbonation, thin and short-lived on the tongue. Blackberry wild ale sounds promising, right? Unfortunately, this one is average at best.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1447th Review on BA
Draft to Taster

@Bruery Provisions for Experimental Sour Flight

App- A mismash of colors in the glass with purples dominating with a bit of pink and red highlights. A nice one finger head that left a little trace of bubbles on the top.

Smell- It was very similar to a artifical Lindemans, with a pungent blackberry note. I told callmecoon it reminded me of Boons farms from when I was younger. Just didnt feel like beer.

Taste- It was sweet, but not tart nor sour. A bit thick on blackberry but expected and didnt really give off a good craft well made flavor but more of a sugary drink taste. It was okay.

Mouth- A thicker body kinda syrupy with a thicker carbonation and a residual blackberry. About average for what the flavors brought to the the table.

Drink- Just okay, I was expecting a lot more out of this. Good thing it was a small pour.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the ColLAboration beer fest at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear red cranberry juice color with a foamy reddish-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is all about some tart and sour berry aromas. Taste is of sour berry flavors up front with some malt/grain flavors on the finish. There is a slight butter flavor that comes out as the beer warms. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into sniffer glass.

Appearance: bright red, pours 2 fingers of thick pink head that quickly fades. Lots of lacing.

Smell: blackberries, subtle funk, red wine vinegar, sour cherries.

Taste: moderately sour, blackberries, red fruit, tart, barnyard funk, red wine vinegar, grape juice.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, light carbonation, dry finish, tart.

Overall: not as sour as past years, but good taste. Very drinkable. Somewhat unbalanced. The extra dry finish seems out of place and brings this otherwise great beer down.

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Photo of CenCalMario
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On top at Blue Palms.

Appearance is quite nice, nice carb, nice head retention- more than expected. Smell is light acidic, sour blend with Blueberries. Taste nice, low to med sourness, tart. Mouthfeel is good, not heavy or overly light. Refreshing. Overall a nice beer, would have another. Easy sour beer for transitional sour drinkers.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.16/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Conflux of pink and purple, muddled, not really pretty, thin to no head. Aroma was funky, like feet, not good, even if some like funk, this was just sweaty gym sock.

Lacked either sour or blackberry characteristic, the wheat stood out, which was unfortunate. Very minorly tart. Fruit difficult to appreciate, as the bitterness blurs some things for me. Mouthfeel makes me think it was aged in cardboard. Thin at times.

Just not my thing, can't really get a good blackberry sour for some reason. Tasted at Stone's Sour Fest.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap into tasting glass. reviewed from notes.

A- Pinky purply spritzy liquid, head settles out in a blink of the eye. Good color on this one, though.

S- Aroma is to die for, I loove berries in beer, and I love the smell coming off of this one. Blackberry preserves. A bit sweet and maybe artificial, but I still dig it. C'est la vie.

T- A bit of a let-down. Not saying the blackberry isn't here, but it takes a big step back. A mild berry sweetness and moderately cutting tartness. The whole thing lacks a punch, though.

M- Watery, a bit light, would have liked to see this carry a bit more heft in body and flavor.

O- I liked it... I think with some tweaks it could be a lot better though. Needs more everything.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse - served in a snifter.

Opaque deep carmine liquid with an active pink head that recedes to nothing. No lacing.

Dark berry aromatics with suggestions of wine barrel, blackberry syrup, and perhaps mild hops.

Tart, sweet, wild, fruity; while the nose seemed faintly artificial, the full flavor of the plant, extending down to the roots is represented. Vague toast probably from malt. Medium finish is not quite dry.

Slick with low carbonation; not quite medium-bodied.

A unique flavorful fruit beer with an incidental sourness (that is by no means its defining aspect).

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.47/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Walked in the door of Ballast Point this afternoon with my wife and jokingly said, "hey look baby, it's your beer!" seeing the name "Sour Wench". She got a kick out of it and we ordered a couple tasters (much to our liking) and decided on a 1/2 gallon of it to bring back to the pad.

From the tap to growler. Here's what was printed on their chalkboard - Sour Wench Blackberry Ale: ABV 6.0%, SG/IG = 1060/1015, IBU = 20

Poured from a growler into a Geuze Boon Lembeek glass for myself and a Lindeman's Framboise glass for the wifey.

A: Pours a real pretty cherry/candy apple red hue with a good head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing in its tracks.

S: I grow blackberries in my garden here in OB and am very familiar with the smell and characteristics of blackberries, and the smell is on point with what I pull out of the yard on a regular basis - pungent and fruity earthiness that is recognizably tart and acidic, balanced by aromas of fresh baked sour dough bread.

T: Right on point with the nose, but the berries are even more prevalent - really like chewing on actual blackberries; as sweet as they are they tend to be overpowered by their tartness. The finish is bready like fresh baked biscuits. Extremely well balanced and perfect coastal summertime drinker - love this one (as does the old lady).

M/D: Light bodied and right where it seems as though it may thin out, the carbonation comes through to give this one some depth and just enough body to give it some character as well.

The drinkability is ridiculously friendly, and the wife and my only gripe is that we only filled one growler with this stuff. Wish'd we had grabbed two - next time for sure!

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Photo of ehammond1
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary Party
Blue Palms BrewHouse
Los Angeles, CA

Clear red, pomegranate, and slightly purple--a very strange, unique color. Interesting to say the least.

Powerful aroma of blackberries and some tartness, along with a musty, funky, (somewhat) off-putting, wet wood funk. Again, interesting.

Sweet blackberries and cardboard without a huge amount of tart sourness, though there's definitely some musty funk. The flavors don't come together cohesively at all.

Thin to medium mouthfeel without enough carbonation.

An interesting and unique beer, but not something I have any desire to try again.

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Photo of ChanChan
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the library ale house in Santa Monica Califas

Apperanace: ruby red in color with a one finger white head.

Aroma: Blue berry, raspberry as well as a sour note. The smell is faint in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with tons of carbonation very refreshing!

Taste: Tart, lemony, this is what I imagine would be the taste of pink lemonade with beer mixed into it.

Overall: This is a fun beer to drink the color makes you forget you are drinking a beer. It would go great on a hot summer day. I Would definitely buy some more if it was available in bottles.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Home Brew Mart. A traditional German Berliner Weiss made with Marion Berries.

A: An enticing mixture of red and purple, with a frothy pink head. Good clarity and a very nice color.

S: Marion Berry and vanilla with a little wheat and grain, as well as a decided tartness. Lactic notes are pervasive and the berry influence is pronounced. The beer smells lightly sweet, but it's much drier than previous batches.

T: Lightly tart up front with a burst of Marion Berry. Faintly sweet, though not sugary like the previous batches, with some light grain and bread. Upper low to lower moderate clean lactic sourness throughout. Finishes tart and fruity, with lingering Marion Berry.

M: Lower medium body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry, sticky, and crisp.

Overall: A damn enjoyable fruit Berliner Weiss style beer. The increased sourness on this batch makes for a much more enjoyable and complex beer than the previous batches, which were more akin to a watered down sugary fruit beer. Refreshing stuff. After I drained my taster I was left longing for a pint. Try this new batch if you get a chance.

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Sour Wench Blackberry Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 176 ratings.
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