Craftsman Sour Lavender
Craftsman Brewing Co.

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Belgian Saison
3.8 | pDev: 17.89%
Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 17
Reviews by Gueuzedude:
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the First Annual Stone Sour Fest, July 2007
The beer sits in my glass with a clear, full gold color and is topped by a wispy, thin white head (a pretty typical lame draught head). An interesting spicy aroma wafts from the glass; it is a mix of floral notes, some clove, something like cardamom among other things (none of which I would necessarily peg as Lavender like, it makes me wonder that all of these notes did come from the named spice). The spiciness is the dominant part of the aroma, in fact the only other note I can perhaps smell is a soft sweetness.

The beer is dry tasting, and definitely tart up front. The finish is where the lavender takes hold; the beer is not nearly as spicy as the aroma would have suggested, but in the flavor it is much more characterized as being derived from lavender. Overall the sourness is fairly soft; it is a mix of lactic and citric acid flavors, with the lactic being the dominant note. The beer is quite crisp and easy drinking; this is contributed by a perceived low final gravity and of course the sourness really helps with this as well. I really like the level of lavender in the flavor, it really seems to be at a perfect, yet distinctly noticeable level.

The spice driven aroma is quite interesting, I still can't believe it is the Lavender driving the aromatics; it is almost to aromatic at times. Really this is an intriguing beer, certainly not the best at this fest, but it was just about the most talked about beer because it was so distinct and interesting.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Drab hay color with a stillness to it. Head is almost nonexistent. Only a simple ring remains around the side of the glass.

S: Strong lavender aroma with hints of dishwasher soap, dandelions and lime stone.

T: Starts mildly sour with obvious lavender components. It pretty much goes downhill form here. Takes on a corrupt sour aspect which makes the beer taste flawed. Dishwater with soap comes next, leaving a cloying flavor. Hodge podge of spices and seasonings add contradictory flavors.

M: medium body and fairly smooth.

D: Eh. Too much seasoning that becomes much too cloying.

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Photo of bradford
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting notes from Stone 11 festival. They pulled out the 3 Liter bottle at the end of Session A and poured 3-5 ounce tasters.
Looke very hazy, cloudy, pinkish red
Smelled very floral. The lavendar makes its prescence well known as does the Brettanomyces
Taste was great. Definately the best beer for me at this festival. Sour, fruity, flowery, with a very familiar Belgian dryness and yeast
Mouthfeel was great as well. The sour beers tingle my tongu, but this was not too tart as to make it numbing
Drinkability was very high considering I only had about a half full taster. I would love to try this beer again. I don't know what the abv was on this but it was masked well. Not much of an obtrusive alcohol burn at all. Very well done beer

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Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.49/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Provisions Store,

A: Pours gold to light orange with a soft bubbly white head, some spotty lace.

S: Beautiful nose of flowers, lavender and orange peel. Angelic.

T: Direct lemon and blood orange flavours along with an undercurrent of lavender. Very slight hint of milk chocolate at the end, delicious.

M: Medium-bodied, medium acidity which melds brilliantly with the beer's flavours. Seamless.

D: Absolutely fantastic, this has become my new favourite from Craftsman even beating out Triple White Sage. Now I just need to find a place that sells this regularly.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

A: The pour is a slightly cloudy golden color with an off-white head.

S: The nose is, shockingly, full of lavender. Only a slight tartness, but just an overwhelming lavender aroma and herbal/floral overall.

T: The flavor is similar to the aroma. There is some tartness, but I find it just unable to compete with the floral powerhouse that is the lavender.

M: The body is light and spritzy, could be refreshing if it tasted better.

D: This was like chewing on a lavender plant. The beer certainly lived up to the name, but not in a good/enjoyable way.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.59/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On Tap

Woodshop Classix
Anaheim, CA

Clear golden and orange with a soapy, frothy white head. Dots of lace down the glass. Though, unfortunately, the beer stopped impressing here.

An incredible and overwhelming lavender explosion, and little to nothing else. Honestly, this smells like a bathroom (in a sterile, lavender, grandma sort of way). Yes, I understand this is a lavender ale, but this is overpowering and somewhat shocking. Points for creativity?

More grandma's bathroom lavender in the flavor as well with just a hint of sourness, but nothing at all shines through except the initial lavender.

Light to medium bodied. This was not this beer's downfall.

I suppose for a lavender ale, this one hits a homerun! But as any sort of beer drinking experience, this is no good.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Sampled at The Bruery Anniversary party. Pours a clear copper color with a slight white head. Some lavender in the nose along with something that smells like cedar. I also get whtie fruit and green apples in the nose. Very fruit forward and sweet with flavors of apple and peach along with some cinnamon spice and lemon. This isn’t too sour but has a nice medium level that ends dryly. Light/medium mouthfeel. This isn’t too bad if you don’t mind a sweeter sour beer.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.51/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a light purple and pink color, delicate white head to it. Already not looking like a tough manly be, so be it. Amazing floral lavender aroma, never has anything been so floral, this was amazing, like being in a garden nursery greenhouse full of lavenders, they did an amazing job with the nose on this one.

Exquisite sour flavors, lavender taste is not as strong as the aroma, clean, dry, sour effect on the palate. My favorite of their beers. Light bodied, heavy tart. No hop presence. Can't believe this is a saison, totally not my style, but I just loved this beer. Carbonation is just right for the mouthfeel, contributing to the light bodied feeling.

Please bottle this, make it relatively cheap and widely available. Loved it.

Had it a second time, tasted nothing like the first. Consistency might be a problem.

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Photo of blzbuh
4.59/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most unique beers I had the oppurtunity to taste at the Bruery anniv party and that is saying a lot against this line up.

Wonderful example of a subtle hand with spices. Lavender was definitely present in the nose and flavor but never offensive as can be the case with such an assertive spice.

Smell of fresh cut lavender, lemongrass, faint honey sweetness.

Taste is a wonderful herb/citric tart harmony.

Excellent mouthfeel for the style not too thin, pleasing on the tongue.

I could drink this one all day long, refreshing, tart, and satisfying. Great showing by craftsman.

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Photo of getkrunkhoe
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of FosterJM
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

774th Review on BA
Draft to snifter

App- A clearer looking amber/brown/yellow with a one finger quick receding head to it. Small bits of lace and cling as it falls.

Smell- Ive never had a beer so one sided. This just dominated with the lavender and it had a little grainy note with some soft hops behind it.

Taste- Taste follows the noise. As soon as you take a sip you are greated by a grainy lavender taste. A little sour is there but not much. Seemed a bit balanced and not overpowering on the lavender but some would say that it would be.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a lavender lemon note.

Drink- This was pretty darn tasty. I liked it a lot and im sure its pretty unique. A little sour a little floral and a little bubbly.

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Photo of Luvzsurfrz
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on draft at The Bruery's 3rd Anniversary Party.

A: Pours a light copper with a small ivory head. My taster was quite soiled from several other pours that morning, however.

S: This beer has an incredibly unique smell of LAVENDER! I've never had anything like it. No hops, just straight lavender permeates the nose like a fresh soap.

T: The taste is very similar to the smell, a blast of lavender with light fruit and citrus taste. Very little sour at all. Just crisp fruity taste.

M: Light mouthful with a bit of carbonation.

O: Overall, I was blown away with this beer. It is definitely different than anything I've ever had, and I hope to be able to try it again in the future.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool mixture of pink and purple, the head is white-pink in range, 1/2". Never had anything pop so hard on the lavender before, unique, good. It really hit those notes so well.

Taste had plenty of sour notes, lavender not as strong as the smell, relatively dry. Light body. I've had it a few times, it really varies wildly outside of the aroma. Average of scores here.

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Craftsman Sour Lavender from Craftsman Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 17 ratings