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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 standardcherry
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CBC Clerkenwell bottleshare

A: Dark orange color. Nice sized white head.
S: Lots of sourness and funky lemons. Pleasant.
T: Not as sour as I was expecting, but I did get tons of hay and funky lemons. Some mild wheat notes to balance it out.
M: Small bodied with medium carbonation. I enjoyed the dry mouthfeel. Pretty effervescent. Refreshing.
O: Very good lambic from Ohio out of all places! Very enjoyable.

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

750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy dark golden yellow color, topped with a thin, watery white head, leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Musty, sweaty funk, a solid amount of acidity, leaning a bit towards acetic. It smells better than I expected, there are some attributes of its Belgian counterparts here that are more present than you typically get in American sours.

T- Moderate amount of acidity, both lactic and acetic here but still leaning towards acetic. Some wheat and grain flavor, along with a bit of lemon and stone fruit.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, dry finish.

O- A very solid American sour. I've gotta emphasize though that this is not a lambic, and never could be (it also probably shouldn't invite that comparison either, which can only ever be unfavorable for itself), but besides the linguistic technicalities this is a really nice, tasty, drinkable sour.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a vast orange gold with minimal tan head

S - tons of sour and horseradishy heat. Smells fantsdtic

T - Fairly hard hitting sour horseradish flavors up front slightly watery aftertaste and finish. Great flavor though

M - medium bodied and drinkable

O - fizzes out towards the end but absolutely fantastic up front. I dont know why but I always associate a certain taste in many sours with horseradish... does anyone else know what im talking about?

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.4/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip. 2012 vintage. Like the Rivertown Gueuze I had a little while ago, the cap came off of this way, way, way too easily. While this beer may have been flat anyway, the gueuze should not have been.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed orange brown color. No head.

3.5 S: The nose on this is sharp and acidic. Loads of lactic acid with plenty of acetic underneath. Tangy and fruity with peach and apple. Melon and some vinous notes underneath. Hay and dry woody funkiness, but it doesn't hold a candle up to the acid. Oak without much tannic astringency.

1.75 T: Wow. On the pucker-scale, this one shoots right past mouth-puckering and straight to ass-puckering. Most of the time, the first sip makes a sour beer seem more sour than it is. Your palate needs a couple sips to acclimate back to sours. This beer does not apply. It's fully unbalanced with bracing acidity and unrelenting intensity. I can feel my tooth enamel dripping down my esophagus. If you can taste anything past the acid, you might say this beer is tangy and fruity. Again apple, peach, and vinous fruitiness. Hay and oaky woodiness. It's so damn sour that I can't keep it in my mouth long enough to discern any other flavors.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Not really any carbonation. Drinks like a thick water, which is a nice mouthfeel for a lambic.

1.5 D: If I'm dead tomorrow then it's probably because I finished the bottle by myself. Wholly undrinkable, even for the most seasoned lambic drinkers. I'm not a sour noob, so I'm not overreacting. This may be even less balanced that the Cantillon Kriek I had a while back. Brace yourselves, acid is coming.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a trade from one of you fine people last year but I have forgotten who, thanks bud! The first whiff of the opened bottle reeked of cider vinegar, uh oh. I poured a couple glasses and it was an amber orange color and while not quite translucent it wasn't turgid or anything. The aroma settled down after a couple minutes and it was less vinegar but still had an apple cider quality. Flavor was more cider, sour, apples, not bad at all. If you are judging this as a lambic you will be sorely disappointed but I do respect them for going down a difficult path. As an American wild ale its just fine. There are just some qualities to authentic lambic that Americans haven't nailed yet, maybe its the funk, maybe its the yeast, maybe its a je nais se quoi.

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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 ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. Fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Sweet wheat, tart green fruits, oak, wine, vanilla, lemon zest, funky Brett, lactic acid, pepper.

T - Very tart green fruits, sweet wheat, lemon zest, oak, wine, funky Brett, mild pepper and vanilla, lactic acid.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a tart and dry finish.

D - Very nice lambic. Great overall balance and complexity.

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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 FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1684th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
750ml

Shared with JohnBoots and JCDenver

App- A still looking buttery orangey yellow. No bubbles. Just sat in the glass. Pretty standard "lambic"

Smell- So I really feel bad for opening this after L'Brett. There was nothing exciting about this. Still, oaky and a bit of butter behind it. Slightly dry and malty.

Taste- Its a bit better than I thought it would be. Although after the L'Brett. This fell a bit short. Slightly oaky, a little lemon and butter. A small amount of oak but generally we all felt it was good, above average but not the best lambic.

Mouth- A slightly sweet and lighter medium with a medium carbonation. The residual oak and butter is a little small.

Drink- Its better than average, but not the best beer in the world. Pretty solid.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Bright golden, thin lacing

SMELL: Musty, lemon zest, medicinal, bay leaf, pepper, tart, yeast, oak, faintly vinous

TASTE: Fresh sourness, oak, musty cellar, goaty, yeast, bready, lemon, faint cider, mint, strawberries, mineral

Most brewers steer clear of naming their beer a “Lambic” due to the Senne Valley indigenous affiliation and expectations that come with it. Rivertown is obviously paying homage to the originals with their own twist. From the pop of the cork and an amazing aroma, to the freshness of sourness and oak of the wine barrels, this one is here to impress. Top notch.

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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 suspect
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle courtesy of RocPorterFanatic (TiMiaB BIF) into an Ithaca Excelsior Tulip glass.

A: Crystal clear golden color with some copper hues. Aggressive pour leads to a pure white 1 finger fizzy head that disappears fast. Slight lacing, not uber consistent.

S: Nice blend of funk, sour notes, fresh cut grass and some citrus peel.

T: Follows the nose directly with wonderful blends of typical lambic flavors. Not quite as tart as many of the gueuzes but this is an unblended lambic so a bit of a toned down tart can be expected. The funk shines and then is balanced nicely by the pull of the sour fruit flavors. Almost a crab-apple flavor to it.

M: Well carbonated, nice and fizzy. Light-medium body.

O: An easy drinking, delicious unblended lambic. Not that many American breweries are brewing traditional lambics but this one is highly recommended.

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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 minnesotaryan
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TomTwanks for hooking me up with this delicious beer!

Poured into a snifter, pours a nice hazy peach color, not much head on it.

Smells tart and funky, nice sour apple and vinegar on the nose.

Taste is excactly what I want in a lambic, sour and tart fruit(lemon, pear, grape and apple) bready malt, wheat and of course funky wild yeast.

Mouthfeel is a bit light, but it is nicely refreshing and has good carbonation. Leaves a lingering tart green apple flavor.

Overall this a great beer, holds true to the style, highly enjoyable. Would gladly drink again.

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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 Tilley4
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up on a whim after seeing it for the first time on the shelves....

After glancing thru the reviews, this looks like it might be a good choice...

Lovely aromas of grape and pear with hints of lemon and maybe even a little lime as well... Very fruity and tart aromas blend with a slight, ever so slight funky earthiness... Interesting...

First sip and while not bracingly bitter or sour, it's definitely not subdued... The other reviewers didn't get this bottle... It's not La Folie sour but it's definitely a mouth puckerer... Tart and refreshing while never getting tiresome to drink... The grapes and lemon are present all the way and the hints of the oak here and there give this a nice touch...

I liked this beer a lot and it's one that I will get again... I don't have access to any other domestic lambics and this is one that I could see myself having again... very nice and well done...

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours semi-clear dark straw with a finger of creamy white head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Sour lemon, wheat and some white wine notes. A little bit of black pepper as well. Smells a bit like a Pinot Grigio.

Some lemon and pear up front. Very soft up front flavor. Rounds into a bit of drying oak near the end. Not overly sour. Just a touch.

Light bodied perhaps a bit too much so with medium carbonation.

Solid lambic that I'll be happy to have anytime I'm in Indy and can snag a bottle, but nothing overly special. I'd prefer more of a sour kick.

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Photo of sommersb
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 08-23-2012
Freshness: 2011 Vintage
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle, pry-cap covered in foil
Glassware: Cervoise glass
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Pours a dark golden/orange color, semi-clear, showing lots of bubbles in the glass. A nice sized white head fades fairly quickly, leaving only a little amount of lace.

Aromas are quite tart and sour, with pleasant lemon citrus notes.

The taste is also tart and sour, dry and with hints of cider and wine. The label says it was aged in oak wine barrels, which makes sense based on the fruit and woody flavors. No hop bitterness.

Crisp and highly carbonated on a medium body. The finish is dry, with an apple-flavored tart aftertaste.

My first unblended lambic, and I enjoyed it. I'm still not very familiar with the range of sour beers, but can say it was tasty, even though it seemed just as much of a dry cider or white wine as it did a beer.

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Photo of Auracom
2.27/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Completely random share from Dan, thanks. 6 oz. poured into a Cantillon flute on August 2nd, 2012.

A - Light, hazy, peach coloring with a thin soapy head. Instant dissipation. Moderate lacing.

S - Subtle but in a decent way. Light oak, green grapeskins, lemon juice, and dry hay. There's a trace note of yeast spice and or honey-like malts underneath.

T - Very muted, incomplete taste. Slight lemon vinegar with primarily effervescence throughout.

M - Appropriate carbonation, light body, non-existent finish.

D - Wow this is the most boring lambic I've ever had. The aroma was soft and semi-inviting but the taste was mega-fail.

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Photo of kaips1
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a brandy snifter

This is upon opening has some of that classic lambic smell, which is always a good thing. Once entering the glass it bubble up about 1/2 a finger of head before quickly disappearing into a very slim rim of bubbles. the nice golden hue of the beer is vibrant and cloudy at the same time. the aroma from the opening still last in the glass and is very enticing, which leads into the taste. the taste wasnt quite as stellar as the smell, it has a bit of watery essence at the end of the sip, that would be the biggest complaint. 1 or 2 yrs down the road i can see this developing more in the bottle. the mouthfeel was spot on for a nice american sour. overall im glad i have a second bottle and ill be seeking at least one more out. good job Rivertown, I cant wait to get my hands on the other sours from this "local" brewery.

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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 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 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 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 DCon
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed 2- 8oz pours from a tapper @ the East Nashville Beer Festival in Nashville, TN. Tapped from a White Tap Handle that has Lambic and Rivertown on it into my 8oz East Nashville Beer Festival Tasting Glass. Had to go back for a second of this!! Favorite of the entire festival.

Aroma- A big amount of funk from the beginning and then finishes with light citrus. Very sweet to the nose as well.

Appearance- Received with a less than .5 finger head that dies immediately. Has a clear, dark golden (almost light orange) colored body. Leaves no lacing behind.

Flavor- Huge citric and funk from the beginning to end of the taste. Sour barnyard and complexed sweetness. Enjoying every last drop of this!

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, HUGE Carbonation, Tons of puckering with dry flavors, and then has a high tart finish. Perfect for this style!

Overall Impression- While sour beers are some of my favorites out of any style, this one rocked the festival into conversation all day about it! If you get a chance, pick up more than one bottle and I'll take one off your hands in a trade! Perfect unblended lambic attributes. The appearance and smell were above average but the rest of the beer has high marks!

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