Sonomica
Lagunitas Brewing Company

SonomicaSonomica
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #340
ABV:
8.2%
Score:
89
Ranked #7,881
Avg:
4.09 | pDev: 8.56%
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
61
From:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  0
Gots
  6
SCORE
89
Very Good
SonomicaSonomica
Notes: Sour farmhouse ale aged in Sonoma red wine barrels.
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 61 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at 1839 Taphouse. Poured a clear, amber color with golden highlights and a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass. It smelled of red wine, funkiness and some barnyard aromas. Sweet red wine-like qualities with a funky bite. Really unique.

Oct 07, 2021
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

It is worth repeating that I am not a fan of Brett, largely because its use is too frequently abused.
I'm glad that Lagunitas did not abuse Brett here.

Sonomica opens with a pretty almost amber body. Smells give me lots of wine from the barrel-aging. Tastes are balanced, enough tart to be Brett, but not too much for abuse. A very nice drying finish. Medium-mouthed. I had Sonomica while cooking dinner, but knew it was not right to pair with a bowl of pasta and red sauce. So, I went to the cellar and got Saison Dupont. I didn't save Sonomica for after-dinner salad and it paired well.

I like Lagunitas lots, mostly for it and Heineken building the largest brewery in Chicago and helping revive its West side. But I am not a fan of their ales (mostly IPAs),despite having 18 including Sonomica. Yet it is my first farmhouse from Lagunitas and I wonder why I took so long to discover this side of them that probably is quite good.

Sep 01, 2021
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got a bottle of this beer off the single shelf from a beer store in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. This is not my fav style of beer so my ratings may be low relative to those that enjoy sour/tart/farmhouse ales. It poured a mostly clear copper with thin white ring head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had tart berry, apple and white wine notes. The taste was tart leaning from start to finish. There is strong white wine presence with mixed tart berry and apple juice highlights. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a good beer.

Sep 01, 2021
Photo of Troy-Hawaii
Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 4-pack 12oz bottles $11.29 Tamuras
2020 version
Smell of prune mui, cherries, woody
Reddish brown color
High carbonation
Medium carbonation
Taste of tart cherries, prune mui, some wine characteristics, sour
Overall good for the style at a good price.

Aug 02, 2021
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet: color is rose gold, head is off white with fine bubbles that presents 1/4 inch thick and then dissipates to nothing.

Smell is light tart, light funk - hints of grape, lemon, citrus, lactic funk, light earthy horseblanket and touch of oakiness.

Taste is more emphatic than aroma but similar notes - tart funkiness, grapes, lemon, citrus, lactic, earth and horseblanket, oak barrel, light tannin and vanilla quality.

Mouthfeel is low carbonation, moderate sour sweetness, ligtht/moderate bitterness.

Overall a nice sour farmhouse style with excellent tart and sweet balance, enough funkiness to remind you of the aging and the barrel.

Jul 17, 2021
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer looks, smells and tastes like an Oude Bruin. Pretty good. Definitely no saison qualities. Not too sour but I feel this beer would be better at a lower ABV. Some alcohol burn noted at 8.2%. 6-6.5% I think would be a better seeet spot target if they do something similar again.

Jun 11, 2021
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours light amber with a 2 inch cream colored head, which lasts. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is funky, sour grapes, apple, wood, hay.

Taste is sour grapes, sour apple, wine, Brett, tangy.

Light bodied, little to no carbonation. Tart finish.

A very nice sour ale.

Apr 29, 2021
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mostly clear golden amber color, nice brightness and shades of sunset orange. A modest head soon dissipates.

The nose opens with musty and rustic with fruity notes of grape, white raisin, kiwi, lemon and lime. The aroma predicts a tartness to come, as well as notes of peppery spice, grass and wine barrel.

Tart and mouth puckering and dry in the palate. The wine barrel aging does a great job at imparting vinous flavors, dryness and grape. The malt base evokes notes of crisp cracker, doughy wheat and sweetness to balance the tartness. Fruity and earthy with notes of kiwi, lemon, lime, peppercorn and grass. The finish is tart and bone dry.

Medium bodied with a smooth yet twangy and zesty mouthfeel. The carbonation is lively at first, and then mellows out.

This was really pleasant with nice flavors from the barrel aging. Nice example of a sour Saison.

Apr 19, 2021
Photo of imnodoctorbut
imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2020 ed. bottle poured to a Jester King tulip

pours a clear reddish gold body with lines of tiny carbo bubblies trailing up from midway down the glass; it produces a small white froth head that leaves thin patches of lacing that barely hang on as it all settles down to a defined halo

aroma is funk, wine funk, and barrel. it's tart, fruity, somewhat jammy, and there's a warmth beneath it. strangely, I'm picking up an apple touch, near cidery in nature.

the taste pulls a juke move with the aroma. notes from the aroma are there, to be sure, but so are a sweet caramel nod, vinegar (apple cider vin?), a touch of grass, apricot, cherry with their syrup and jammy. at the same time, the taste is solidly grape must hanging out in old red wine hanging out in even older oak-adjacent red wine barrels. I can see and taste the cracks and deep grooves of the barrel now, actually. if the must/wine/barrel thing could be a jam, this would be the jam's taste.

mouthfeel: medium-light body, bolstered by a prickly and pillowy carbonation. it's carbonated-vinegar-and/or-wine feeling. minerally as well. with a warmth that creeps in gradually. there is a dry and bitter finish and a tart aftertaste.

overall:
it's carbonated wine...err...must hanging out in old wine hanging out in an even older wine barrel - all condensed into a jam...and then carbonated? but it also has complex shades of apricot, apple cider vinegar, cherry spread, grass and belgian rock candy. did I even mention the belgian notes? well, they're there. as is everything else. it's wonderfully presented in my opinion and superbly made - a gamble well worth the ante.
oh, and also it's a saison.
and a damn good one at that.

Apr 07, 2021
Photo of gooddaydiablo
gooddaydiablo from Texas

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

look: traditional beer ... amber color

smell: sour, not quite saison in my understanding

taste: sour ...

feel: ok ....

overall: ok level in my opinion, I'm not quite into sour beers

Mar 31, 2021
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull from California

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a large wine glass. The Sonomica pours a medium copper in color and sports a light cap of slightly off white foam accompanied by an effervescent boil emanation from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is wine barrel up front, bit of oak as it warms and followed by a balanced fruitiness. Touch of warming ethanol and spice in there as well.

Taste is good yet with a complex blend of flavors. Nicely carbonated on the tongue yields a creamy nature. Hints of fruit up front, some tartness is revealed in the middle and subtle barrel notes on the finish. Feel is smooth and balanced.

Overall a nice experience throughout. Classic saison notes are a bit subdued due to the barrel and brett, but the finished product stands on its own.

Mar 07, 2021
Photo of UndertheRadar
UndertheRadar from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color, not much carbonation. Sour fruit and wine in the smell. I do like the taste, and I found I really like it with a dinner such as steak and potatoes. There is a pleasant hint of mustiness to the flavor as well. It has a lighter feel than some beers, maybe because it isn’t as carbonated. It’s definitely unique.

Feb 27, 2021
Photo of harrypowers
harrypowers from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nearly clear amber with a short lived head with some lacing.

Smells dank, oaky and funky. Tastes of tart cherries with a slightly bitter dank finish.

Medium light body with light tangy carbonation. Light brut mouthfeel .

I like saisons for being a change of pace from the IPA's and stouts I normally have. This sour one is a change of pace on top of that!

Feb 21, 2021
Photo of BalancingBrooms
BalancingBrooms from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very quickly dissipating off white head, deep amber. Aroma is of Brett, cherry, hint of oak/wine. Taste is nice hit of Brett, hint of vinegar, oak and cherry, that tapers into a dry more white wine character, ends sweet and dry. Finish is medium long and that red wine finally comes through. Body is light to medium. Nice saison, Well see how this ages

Feb 06, 2021
Photo of jzlyo
jzlyo from Iowa

4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is spring water and very funky Belgian yeast/red wine. The flavor is fruit/cherries, malts and a long alcoholic/red wine/funky Belgian yeast finish.

Jan 18, 2021
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from the Kings Beer & Wine cooler 10-7-20 for $3.19. No bottling date visible; consumed 1-17-21.

Beer poured orange with an okay white head with the original pour.

Nose is horse blanket forward and fermented musky grapes.

Taste is a nice combination of the saison base beer with a good sized malt base that is phenolic forward but is overtaken quickly by the red wine barrel which lends a touch of vinegar and fermented grapes. Finishes with a nice pucker.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall a fun beer to try!

Jan 17, 2021
Photo of blazerkor
blazerkor from Nevada

3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It smells like some sort of alcoholic apple lemonade.

On the first taste all I get is wine, sour and a hint of hoppy bitterness. After the initial shock my second taste uncovers a lot of complexity. Grains, malts and piny hops sit under that fruity sourness.

The finish is actually balanced beery and leaves a nice IPAish bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light and a little fizzy with the puckering effect of the sour.

Overall I don't love it but you could drink it all day because it's so light and it tastes pretty good. As a beer I give it a 3.1 out of 6 but as a mixed drink or malt beverage I'd give it a 4.3.

Dec 29, 2020
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Four-pack copped from Bottle King in Glen Ridge. Pours a copper, ruddy hue with minimal frothing. Assertive aroma replete with hints of grapefruit and tanqueray. Similar overall profile. Not bad.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I've never been a huge fan of wine barrel aged beers, at least ones from American breweries. Whiskey? Fine. Gin? That has worked, in some cases. But wine aging lies solely in the wheelhouse of continental Europe. Yes, Americans have gotten better at making saisons over the last decade, but American saisons are their own thing.

Whatever.

Sonomica has a nice pour, a shade of orange that is somehow simultaneously dark and bright.

The aroma is a mix of pleasant yeasty tartness and vinous vanilla. This is a complex aroma, and while it's certainly not bad it does seem confused. The two notes are very distinct and don't really blend together at all.

Tastes like it smells... interesting, but ultimately more okay than good. Gentle tartness up front, woody vanilla in the middle, then a nice finish of quenching fruit.

Dec 21, 2020
Photo of Rug
Rug from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2020 Woodshop Series

This one looks to be interesting. A wild, red wine barrel aged saison. I’m never really huge into saisons, but I have a good feeling about this one

Pours a deep golden amber with a reddish glow and a finger of white head that fades to a ring at a reasonable rate and leaves minimal lacing

Oof, the aroma is attractive here, reminds me of a light Flanders red. I pick up notes of apple cider vinegar, sour cherries, leathery brett, lemon, and oaky tannins. Complex, but very appealing

The taste doesn’t quite live up to the complexity of the aroma, but it’s still delicious. Starts off with notes of tart cherry, lemon, and buttery oak. The swallow is more smooth and subtle, with notes of apple skin, light vinegar, and a slight leathery funk

A rounded medium body pairs with subtle carbonation and tartness for an almost dessert like experience. Definitely an after dinner beer, feels about right for the abv and finishes slightly dry and coats the mouth

All around great beer. I wish I had picked up more than one. Probably one of the best sours for a cold winter night

Dec 18, 2020
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz. capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

great color and clarity but no head. Nose is oaky and vinous with a subtle tartness. I also get a touch of red grapes, cherry, and vinegar. Solid. Beer opens with some diacytal. Buttery on the palate. I get some acidity. Vinegar, cherry, oak, and a wet wood funkiness. More sweet and tart cherry on the end with some vinous overtones. Decent but the start is not good. Body is light with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively on the palate and goes down aggressive, crisp and sparkling. Slight aftertaste.

I had high hopes for this one but just can't get over the butteriness.

Dec 09, 2020
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a surprisingly good saison. This is comparable to some beers I have had from Jester King, a pretty good compliment!

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Pinkish light amber color with decent initial head and good lacing. Strong smell and taste of red wine. Tart and earthy. Pleasantly refreshing and flavorful. I would recommend this beer.

Dec 05, 2020
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Davedrinkinbeer from Indiana

4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Smell is plesant, sour apple, grape, and yeast. A little of Brett funk too.

Taste is grapes, pears, hops, and yeast, all well blended with brett providing the backbone of all these flavors. Brett is not very strong either so it hits a perfect sweet spot between funky, sweet, and sour. Beer is mildly sticky, but finishes dry with a very nice wine aftertaste that is not overpowering at all.

This is a very underrated Saison beer IMO-- some may not like the sweet part to the taste, but this is so well blended that it is very good overall. Damn good beer and I really enjoyed these.

Nov 27, 2020
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pour is a brilliantly clear light copper with a ting of red hue. finger and half of of off white foam. Good retention and lacing for the style.
nose is red wine - closer to a dry cab - tannic acidity, funk, straw, pear
taste is a funky straw, peach, pear, red wine, tart cherries, ripe strawberry jam, grapes on the back end. tannic acidity. Quite tart, actually. lemon rind. excellent, complex beer, a touch of vanilla.
one of the best red wine barrel aged beers i've had.

Nov 11, 2020
Photo of ScaryEd
ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.1/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours a clear deep amber gold color with minimal off-white head. No retention or lacing. Bubbles tho.

The aroma brings lots of tart cherries, lemon zest, and green apple. There's also some light vinegar and funk with a faint oak note.

The flavor is far, far sweeter than the aroma lead on: Lemon drop candy, caramel, vanilla, booze and cherries. Subtly earthy. Not very balanced.

The feel is medium-full bodied with good carbonation. Syrupy, sticky, and boozy as hell. Since this is a barrel aged farmhouse ale, this is acceptable.

Overall, this is an OK at best barrel aged saison. The sticky sweet flavor betrays the balanced and tart aroma. The booze is to be expected, but this is far too much. Not worth your time, in my opinion.

Nov 02, 2020
Sonomica from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 61 ratings