Sour Wench | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sour WenchSour Wench
364 Ratings
Sour WenchSour Wench

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Berliner Weisse

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Gueuzedude on 08-05-2007

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 364 |  Reviews: 85
Reviews by ChrisCage:
Photo of ChrisCage
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Love the artwork as always! This one pours a tangerine/reddish orange with a lovely white head that contains pinkish overtones and appears to be reasonably dense.....the retention is modest with a once finger thick film settling into a patchwork of bubbles over the brew. Carbonation on this mostly clear beer is lumbering and not very aggressive to say the least, while the lacing is also sleepy, with a small grouping of circular protein laced patches clinging to the side of my glass. Not a bad looking fruit beer!

S- Clean, tart berry fruits are prominent.....think strawberry/rhubarb, with raspberry/blackberry undertones throughout. Malt smoothness that reminds me of yeast, biscuit and some general sweetness that reminds me of a milkshake in terms of robustness. The finish is tart, clean yet lingering on the nostrils

T- Cleansing and very tart berry fruits are present thoughout the taste....this is like I have picked an unripe blackberry and or raspberry and or strawberry and bit right into it! Yeasty funk is also happening here and it definitely hits the sides of the palate and puckers one up! Wheat like grain is mixed into the taste as well that has apple fruits, slight citrus, and jammy on the finish!

M/O- Light bodied, crisp, refreshing, and well carbonated which it didn't look like on the appearance. The alcohol is well hidden and it really does cleanse the palate......I feel like I've picked fresh slightly unready berries straight from the orchard and have made a fruit salad! I would have this again and after some oily Xmas finger foods this has been a pleasant surprise! Recommended!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Dewsby
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Withheld complaints are all stylistic. This beer is far too strong to be a Berliner Weiss, and it was bringing almost some acetic notes to the table making it reminiscent of a good lambic or flemish sour. I enjoyed the beer so much I really don't want to dock points.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 1,363 characters

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of heddar33
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of magictrokini
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like bubbly cranberry juice with a big, rock pink head. Sweet rasberry nose. Refreshingly sour taste. Lots of rasberry more than blackberry flavors with a sweet malt back. Approaches the taste of a rasberry cobbler, but without the sugar. At least it made it fun to try something differrent.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red in color with a fingernail of pink around the rim and most of the top. The aroma is of faint blackberries, but I really had to search it out. I'm tasting blackberries and that's it. The taste isn't overbearing. The mouth is light, crisp, and refreshing.

 266 characters

Photo of ehammond1
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
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 MattyG85
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopsForBrains
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.16/5  rDev -41.6%
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 BenoitWF
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
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 iSrALE
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of OStrungT
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a thick, fluffy reddish color head. The head fades slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a subtle backberry aroma. It smells slightly sour. It really has not more depth than that though. Sour blackberries is all I smell.

As with the aroma, I only taste sour blackberries. That is not to say that this beer is not good, just that is is very one dimentional.

This beer is highly carbonated, fitting the style well. It leaves, go figgure, a sour blackberry aftertaste.

This beer might be a decent session beer. Its lack of depth would make it easy to drink all night.

Overall: Will I ever have this beer again? I highly doubt it. There are many other better sour beers out there. Sorry Ballast Point.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of biboergosum
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of estajoe
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of augustgarage
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
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 brewerburgundy
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Miramar location.

Deep hazy raspberry red. The head is pinkish and only exists as a ring.

Tart berry; it's hard to tell if its blackberry or raspberry.

More of the same. Lemon citric sourness, a little sweet but tart raspberry, everything is very measured.

Thin, might be more fun with just a few more bubbles.

It's a good Berliner. I'm not sure I've had any other blackberry beers, but it comes off more as raspberry.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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)
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

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.

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Photo of mcthfg
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Sour Wench from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 364 ratings