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Lambic | Rivertown Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
74 Reviews
LambicLambic
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
rivertownbrewery.com

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fermented by exposing the beer to untamed yeasts and bacteria native to Rivertown Brewery, known as House Funk. This blend fermented for over a year in wine barrels.

Added by mcallister on 04-26-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
74
Ratings:
296
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
9.07%
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
57
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 296
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with malt and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy yellow in color. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a thin collar around the edge. The head completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of sour lemon juice and barnyard funk in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has a little bit of sourness with hints of lemon juice.
M: It feels relatively light-bodied and a little tart on the palate with a low amount of carbonation.
O: For a sour beer, this is definitely very easy to drink. It would make for a good selection for people who are just getting into this style.

Note: 2011 vintage

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why is it that I overpay for Belgian-syle beer (especially sour ales) that are made by American breweries, even when I anticipate that they will sorely disappoint me? Answer- because every now and then, I am rewarded with excellence. That happened today.

Rivertown's Belgian sour experiments leads them to this 1-year Lambic, released in 2012 and has developed young taste and then given time to finish its fermentation in the bottle and building carbonation and foam character- dying out diligently along the way.

As the beer pours, it decants with light carbonation,yielding a soft creamy head and lacing delicately on the glass. Underneath, the rusty-orange elixir settles with a dense yeasty haze and diffused glow.

As the mouth reaches the rim of the snifter, the pungent tartness ensues. Aromatic with cider, under ripened berries and orchard fruit- soon to follow are the more earthy tones of cellar-like must, cork wood, sea air, horse hair and mild saddle leather. Sour limes, bitter citrus pith and light white wine vinegar come to live in taste and carry through to a finish of sharp acidity and soft wheat bread.

Where the ale is sour to taste, the flavors are very controlled- not to allow the texture to become astringent or bitey. Mild warmth and tartness finish the ale but with a short thin and watery stint in between. Clean, palate-stripping and refreshing - the ale is dry and wine-ish in aftertaste.

I'm happy to say that the ale is spot-on Senne Valley. If the glass blindly arrives at my table and if told it was an authentic Belgian Lambic, then I would have agreed. With few years under their belt, the Rivertown brewers have figured out the sour puzzle in masterful display.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010: capped and corked

Appearance: Opens with a loud pop when I extracted the cork (I was expecting a foamer but that didn't happen) and pours a cloudy honey color with a spumous head that fades somewhat quickly leaving a few patches of lace

Smell: Lactic crabapple, with pear, oak, Sauvignon Blanc grape, grass, barnyard funk and hay

Taste: Oaky and dry, up front, with a significant lactic element; crabapple, pear and Sauvignon Blanc grape tones building; the tartness builds, into the middle, bringing barnyard funk and hay tones; the finish reveals a nice blend of the fruit and funky tartness

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not many reviews of the 2010 vintage here and perhaps none of them have this much age on it; wow, was I impressed with how this bottle has matured; would be hard to pick this out if one were asked to identify the American lambic from a group of Belgians

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (2011 vintage drank in 2015): Poured a hue golden yellow color lambic with small bubbly head with limited retention. Aroma of light green apple notes with some tart notes and light vinous undertones. Taste is also dominated by tart green apple notes with some vinous notes, light oak and light funky ester with a thin finish. Body is thinner then I was expecting with OK carbonation. Not bad but doesn’t have the depth of the top Belgian lambic producer.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dave for sharing this, only recently on the radar.
Review from written notes.

Hazy pastel orange, some flecks of spotty foam here and there around the edges. Thin veil of skim across the surface as the foam dwindles away.

Tart and faintly sweet aroma, fruit forward, orange and minerally white wine, champagne, mimosa-like.

Brightly tart and sweet fruit flavors, nectarine citrus, tangy lemon. Mellow vinous feel, a bit cidery, though not getting any vinegar or acetone at all, more of a clean tart lacto. Some slightly bretty funk that reminds me of warm white wine. Mildly acidic with some bite to it. Could be a little drier, and show more oak character. Overall though, a great example of an American Wild Ale inspired by traditional Belgian Lambic.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing this beer as an American Wild, not as a traditional lambic, as it would not stack up nearly as well when compared against Cantillon, 3F, etc.

Thanks to Eric for opening this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a light straw-yellow color with a mild white head. The nose brings some light cheese and funk with a bit of acidity. The taste starts like a berliner with some mild grain and wheat plus a touch of acidity. Some mild peach and apricot character there. Light body and mild tartness with low carbonation. The nose brings some bready yeast as it warms. Mild acid in the finish. A really nice attempt and a solidly-drinkable brew, especially on a pretty warm evening.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud for sharing, 2011 vintage.

Pours a light fizzy head little lacing murky carrot peach orange color.

Nose is nice, plenty of fruity funk, tart fruit sour, little berry like and vinous, light oak barrel and toasty, light straw grainy funk and hay, mostly tart fruit.

Taste starts like it wants to be super sour and funky but doesn't quite get there, some tart lemony fruit, hay and grassy funky but light as well, touch of a sour berry fruit, etc. Light grainy bready yeasty malt quality. Decent acidity and overall tartness, but feels slightly thin. It's not heavy sour fruit or funk but not subtle either. Finish is tart and puckering, mouth watering light acidity, tart fruit almost grapefruit like, light bready malts, lingering tartness.

Mouth is med bodied , nice carb, light acidity.

Overall nice, much better than I expected from a lambic from Midwest, although not top of the top but still a well done lambic.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2011 vintage. Pours lightly hazy bright golden straw color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big tart apple, lemon, pear, grape, clove, oak, hay, grass, vinegar, white wine, funk, leather, and yeast earthiness. Awesome aromas with great balance and complexity of yeast and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of tart apple, lemon, pear, grape, clove, oak, hay, grass, pepper, white vinegar, funk, white wine, leather, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of acidic tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, clove, oak, hay, vinegar, grass, white wine, leather, funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of fruity/spicy/funky yeast flavors with moderate barrel presence; with a great malt/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Lambic style! All around great balance and complexity of yeast and barrel flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink with the moderate acidity. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a white head. A light vinegar note, but still a decent lactic character. Lots of lemon peel, straw, and a decent funkiness, though mostly just must. A touch of oak and green apple. The palate is a little dull, but not awful. Good tartness with oak, green apple, lemon, and a touch of white vinegar. Not terribly complex or funky, but still nice.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by djmiller92. Thanks Dave.

The beer is really hazy and yellow hued, with a thin, white head. The aroma is really nice, with an authentic Belgian lambic vibe. Funky citrus, yeast, hay, straw. The flavor is quite enjoyable, though it lacks the complexity that was potential in the aroma. The finish is not as full or exciting as the first half of the flavor profile. A decent example of an American gueuze.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rivertown Lambic 2012 

Appears apricot hazed hue with a light white head fine streaming bubbled carbonation. Fine speckled lacing left behind. Aroma light fruit hints of cherry peach I'm not sure which fruit this lambic uses, wild yeast notes excellent stuff acidic lactic yogurt notes. Flavors are pungent with tart lively acidity, bitterness from nutty earthy yeast and aged hops rolling complexity with hints of peach/strawberry Chobani yogurt dynamic yeast lively flavors great beer. Mouthfeel bone dry lively carbonation effervescent wine like great finish goes down as uber authentic lambic not like a sugar infused Lindemann, I'm in awe. Overall excellence in a bottle, these brewers are inspired keep the sour wild ale program kicking and you will be successful.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage.

Appearance - Pale hazy body. Not a lot of head. Thin white collar.

Smell - Lemony acidic aroma. Malty. A little grassy.

Taste - Very malty. Lemony sourness that builds. Puckering in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy for a sour. Malty. Pretty sour in the finish.

Overall - Not a complex flavor, but it's decent.

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

Thanks TurdFurgison for opening this bottle. An Ohio Lambic, who knew?

Beer is yellow, like straw, with a diffuse white head with low retention, moderate carbonation and no lacing. Looks like a wild to me.

Aroma is sweet and bright with lactic and acetic sourness. Interesting.

There is some nice lactic sourness with an acetic brightness, mild malate and some citric too. All the players are on the table here. There is a shift here to the brightness and away from the lactic creaminess, this beer would take some sour fruit well. Overall a great attempt and I'm looking forward to other sours from these guys.

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Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork to piece, made due with what we had.

Short white head on a orange/yellow beer. Leaves a clad and some lacing.

Woo, tart aroma. Lemony.

Sweet initially then turns to very, very tart. Leaves the mouth watering.

Very carbonated, adds an element. Medium medium thin mouthfeel.

Good "local surprise" here. Would have again would recommend to sour fans. Thanks MaxSpang...go to snobbybeer.com!

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9/3/2011

Bottle shared by Riko, thanks!

A: Yellow and very hazy with a fast fading white bubbly head. 

S: The aroma is surprisingly wild, with horsey barnyard and leather notes. Brackish and lactic lemon notes are evident. I get a little vinegar.

T: Tart and acidic up front with lemon and oak. Dry and lightly salty with leather and earth. Moderately lactic. The finish is tart, oaky, and acidic.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: Surprisingly good.

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Photo of rudzud
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros, poured into a Kate the Great tulip. 2011 Vintage

A - Pours a hazy light golden hue with a light, light one finger head that left some gentle clouding and a nice halo.

S - Nice vinous notes along with some light oak and barrels. Quite subtle and inviting.

T - Taste starts with some awesome very sour lemons and oaky barrels. Super fruity and acidic but then it kinda fades and fizzles out unfortunately to become somewhat pedestrian and mild. Still, quite interesting.

M - Mouthfeel is very, very nice sharper carbonation here really works with that initial sour kick.

O - Overall, surprisingly good. Who would have thought a decent lambic could come out of Ohio!

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Photo of spinrsx
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle

Appearance – Hazy yellow/amber colour with a small size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains/wheat, citric/lemons, vinegar

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. Most of the taste is made up of tart citrus and some vinegar. There is also some wheat/barnyard flavour and a bit of a rustiness. It ends with a tart aftertaste.

Overall – Pretty good stuff. I wasn't expecting much but the flavours are very good and the beer isn't that far off from some of the more renowned lambics I have tried.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml capped and corked bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a flute, the beer pours a hazy straw gold color with about a half inch white head. Head retention is decent, and there's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is lemon peel, oak, and some funk. It's a nice but light aroma. The brew tastes like tart apples, pears, lemon peel, vinegar, and some funk. Nice lingering tart finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium and it's well carbonated. I think this is a good brew, I'd buy this again in the future. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to duff27 for this bottle share! Thanks Chris!

reviewed from notes 5/10/12.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: pale yellow with 1 finger of white head. Yeast settles down into the bottom of my tulip rather quickly.

Smell: prodominently funky lemons, but it smells good.

Taste: Easily a moderately sour beer. Funky lemons just as the nose implies. Mild hay and wheat notes. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Low bodied beer with medium carbonation. Really eppervescent carbonation. Really fresh tasting sour beer.

Overall: This has gotta be an under the radar sour. Its made in Ohio of all places and thats where an under the radar sour would probably come from! Get yourself a bottle if you like a sour brew.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by TurdFurgison the other night. Thank you, Eric. I'm reviewing this as an American Wild, rather than a true unblended Lambic.

A hazy straw yellow with a dense, white head with mild lacing, this looks pretty decent. Straw, grass, hay, a little sugar, white wine and a definite cidery aroma, this smells sweet and has some light fruit character, particularly white peaches. Mildly musty and sulfury as well, and as it warms up, it takes of a definite fart-like character. The palate opens tart, scrumpy, mildly cidery and very white-wine like. Not very funky, this reminds me of Batch 1 of Brute. Clean sourness, mild sharpness and with just a hint of acetone in the back, this beer has a medium-light body and a rather high level of carbonation. Drying on the finish with straw, funk and a little fruit, this is a nice, vinous wild ale.

Despite the flaws I've mentioned in my review, I felt this beer still worked, which is why my scores are a little higher than you'd expect from the review itself.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Matt! 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a hazed golden yellow color. Some subtle white bubbles formed.

(S)- Quite dry but with a vibrant acidity. It oozes sour lemon head/peel. great yeasty bits amidst a potent sourness overall. Quite awesome for me.

(T)- Not as sour as the aroma foretold, but it is balanced nicely. Some wheat-like yeasty bread meets some acidic lemon rind at the end.

(M)- A spritzy carbonation level meets a light but zesty acidic lemon citrus overall.

(O)- It is definitely a successful lambic from the states. Always like to see more breweries around here try their hand at my favorite styles.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 1.5.14
Thanks bstyle!
VIntage 2011

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a small soapy, white head that fades pretty quickly.

S - Tart, oaky, lemon, slightly floral.

T - Tart lemon and orange, oaky and finishes funky.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Nice tartness, oaky, citrus with a pleasant funk. Good beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdiddy for breaking this beer out. A great label with a bottle shape that is very reminiscent of a single malt. 2010 vintage served in a tulip. Pours a pale gold hue with a hazy clarity and a loose, quarter inch bright white head that dissipates into a thin, tight white band around the edges. Nose is somewhat Cantillon-esque - salty, funky, citrusy, cork. Reminds me a bit of a funky version of Ithaca Brute. Taste follows nose - no surprises; however, the funk is less prominent than suggested by the aromas present in the nose. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light) and slightly astringent, but not overly so. Carbonation is pleasant, not overly assertive and even from start to finish. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would love to track down a couple more bottles to cellar. The surprise of the night for me.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, corked and capped a la Cantillon, $11.99 in Columbus. A lambic from OH, I'm very interested to see this. From the label: "Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, our award winning lambic beer is instead produced by exposing it to the wild yeasts and bacterias that are native to the Senne Valley, of Brussels, Belgium. It is this unusual process involving over a year of fermentation which gives this beer its distinctive flavor: DRY, VINOUS, and CIDERY, with a crisp sour aftertaste."

This pours a hazy golden color with a thin foam that laces in splotchy clumps. Authentic aromas, softly tart with good mild funk. It tastes sour in an approachable way, hints of citrus fruits, a lasting bite. I think it tastes fantastic, definitely better than some from the authentic land (Belle-Vue in particular has earned my indifference, as has MortSubite).

Light carbonation, very appropriate mouthfeel and really drinkable. This stuff is really good, I guess I'm surprised.

This is a very nice lambic, I think it would be great if they keep some in oak for a few years so they can take a stab at gueuze in the future. It would be very cool to see this type of development in the USA, especially in OH.

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Lambic from Rivertown Brewing Co.
3.97 out of 5 based on 296 ratings.
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