Bonnie The Rare
Jester King Brewery

Bonnie The RareBonnie The Rare
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Sour - Berliner Weisse
Ranked #551
Ranked #41,419
3.66 | pDev: 15.57%
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States
Bonnie The RareBonnie The Rare
Notes: A traditional Berlin-style sour wheat beer, based on the meticulous research of beer historian Ron Pattinson. Big thanks to Kristen England of Pour Decisions Brewery for all of his help along the way and to our good friend Andrew Pogue, whose test batch first inspired the idea.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 137 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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WTKeene from New Mexico

3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a small Jester King wine glass.

Appearance: Very flat looking, next to no head. Yellow/gold, mostly translucent. The last pour looks gross, a brown cakey Brewers yeast dreg is lumps everywhere.

Smell: Light tartness typical to the Berliner, not much else. Hint of metallic and a touch of apricot.

Taste: Brewers yeast, has a bit of a sour thing but not much. Somewhat metallic, quite watery. Light apricot flavor. Slight grain on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Almost flat. Thin, watery.

Overall: Decidedly meh. I was expecting a lot worse, I've heard this beer is "cursed." But if it went through a particularly sucky period, that's gone now. Now it's just clearly past its prime and boring.

Mar 02, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Calvin (ApostleBrewing) for this goody, shared with rudzud and others.

Almost no fizzy head, clear yellow pilsner color.

Nose toasty wheat, light sour lemony grass thing, light musty earthy.

Taste stats with light lemony grassy flavor, toasted wheat, grassy hay light, earthy slightly sour funky, bready, light mineral, little watery. Finish is dry and light bitterness, little funk and sour wheat, bready, little sticky.

Mouth is lighter bod, little watery, very little carb.

Overall not bad but not what I expected, little watery, decent sour and more toasty wheat.

Jun 10, 2013
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice lightly hazy golden hue with almost no head, no lacing.

S - Aromas of light wheat and faint sour notes.

T - Taste is very nice light sour and funk, subtle fruitiness, gentle wheat. Very stiff and subtle.

M - Mouthfeel is very nicely carbonated.

O - Overall I enjoyed it, very soft and subtle.

Jun 09, 2013
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chugalug06 from Colorado

2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Murky, yellow-orange with one-finger soapy white head. Head goes away fast.

Lemon, orange, and bready coriander.

Watery, lemon, orange, spiced, thin, light, highly sessionable, very faint tartness, high carbonation, nice sweetness, dry like chardonnay...

Recommended, only because I'm not sure what it cost, anything over $9 and I'm not sure it's a good value. Misses style only slightly. Very refreshing brew for a hot winter day.

Mar 07, 2013
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Justin_Neff from Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a CCB snifter. Big thanks to Azzy for this one.

A: Aggressively poured yields a murky golden yellow color with fizzy bubbles that dissipate almost instantly. Zero lacing on the glass - as to be expected from the style. The color is nice.

S: Smell is fruity and sweet. Smell is eerily reminiscent of white wine. Smells like grapes and hints of citrus.

T: Watered down a little bit. Not a lot of taste. Similar to the smell but not as complex as the smell would suggest. A lot of the taste is dominated by yeast esters and sweet fruitiness.

M: Love the light body and high carbonation for this one. This is exactly what I want in this style. Dry, light, and full of carbonation.

O: This had all the components for a great berliner, except for the one that is arguably most important - taste. I'll give JK a pass, as this is the most disappointing I've had, but still not bad. A little above average overall. I'll try again next year if released again, but won't trade my life away to obtain it.

Feb 02, 2013
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thagr81us from South Carolina

3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one at a past Random Sunday Tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured golden yellow with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, lemon, citrus, tart, sour, and lemon rine. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, citrus, earth hop, spice, bell pepper, and funk. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. Upon taking in the aroma I was thinking that I was in for something special, however the flavor was a little bit lacking as compared to the aroma. While it was still good, it just didn’t have quite the amount of complexity and acidity that I got in the aroma. The flavor was a good bit more earthy. Glad I got the opportunity to finally try this one and wouldn’t mind doing so again in the future to see how it develops over time.

Jan 15, 2013
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TheRealDBCooper from Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

1.58/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Very light and thin with a weak head that dissipates to nothing in seconds. Almost no smell with just a whiff of "maybe something has turned in the fridge." Even the flavor of rare can't help this one. Water with a touch of plain yogurt and powdered vitamin C.

Jan 15, 2013
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 12.17.12
Thanks johnsaulrubio

A - Pours a clear, light orange with an average fizzy off-white head that is gone instantly.

S - Barnyard funk, tart and acidic lemon.

T - Funky tart lemon, acidic and bready, lighter here with a sweeter finish.

D - Good carbonation with a light and thin body.

O - Funky, acidic and citrus with a sweet bready finish.

Dec 24, 2012
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cfrobrew from Texas

3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving type, bottle

A: clear bright yellow with some slight opacity, very minimal head but still carbonated.

S: funky, wheat with malt and some sourness.

T: the first bottle I had a little while ago I remember being a bit more tart. This one seemed much more in line with the Berliner style than the sour. Still there was a strong funky ness and wheat characteristic followed by a slight sourness.

M: bright crisp carbonated and smooth

O: I like this beer a lot. I rated it higher than I would because the last one I had was so much more sour. Either way it's a fun beer to have, I just prefer it to be more sour.

Nov 24, 2012
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mikereaser from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

When I popped the cap on this one I was hit with an aroma of corn and yogurt, like opening a container of yogurt. As stated below, there seems to be a big pilsner malt backbone to this beer. There was very little foam to speak of, just a ring of small bubbles around the glass.
The taste is very grainy, again the pilsner malts stand out. There is very little of the berliner sour that comes through, except in the finish. There is a bit of a lemon taste to it that sticks with you long after its gone from your mouth. The mouthfeel is light and crisp while being lively on the tongue.
I am enjoying this beer, but it is definitely lacking the tartness that I was expecting. Its somewhere in the middle of a wheat beer and a berliner.

Nov 04, 2012
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks are owed to both BA's canadianghetto and mhenson42 for hooking me up with bottles of this. Poured from a 750ml into a snifter. The brew appears a somewhat clear golden color with a bit of haziness about it. A mild yellowish tinted head forms composed of rather large bubbles and rapidly and audibly dissolves to nothing. A swirl releases some bubbles from solution that collect around the rim of the glass but never reform that initial surge of a cap.

The aroma of this brew catches me a bit off-guard with a mild scent of corn and lacto-like cheese and yogurt. More sniffs of this brew bring out a fresh scent of wheat and pilsner-like footy malt. There is an overall almost candy-like sweetness to this brew that is faintly reminiscent of canned peaches of sorts or some other indistinguishable fruit. It is an interesting aroma for sure but not really what I look for in the style. Not bad, just a bit unique and out of place per se.

The taste includes a bit of residual grainy sweetness like pilsner grain mixed with a bit of footy quality and raw wheat. At times, the flavor is mildly corn-like just as the aroma suggested. Some earthy funk mildly like cheese and yogurt. This brew reminds me of sour mashing but without the off-character that is sometimes associated with it. The aftertaste includes a lasting wheat sweetness and mild lemony fruit tinge.

This is a light bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is light and easy drinking but displays just a bit too much focus on malt and not enough tartness. The residual sweetness is a bit much and it overall is lacking the tartness and crisp snap to the finish that I look for in the style. As a summertime beer, it is fitting and something I could throw back pretty effortlessly but considering the trouble getting it and the price tag, there are others out there I would opt for instead of this one.

Oct 19, 2012
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videofrog from Texas

4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 750ml bottle into a Jester King flute. No freshness date.

A: Pale, cloudy yellow. White head dissipates almost instantly on both pours. Thick yeast sediment hiding at the bottom of the bottle presents itself on last pour.

S: Yeast funk, wheat malt, slight sour.

T: Grainy wheat malt with a lactic sour taste. Citrusy fruit there as well. Just what you'd expect from a Berliner Weiss.

M: Crisp and highly carbonated. Very drinkable.

O: Great session beer. I enjoy Austin Beerworks Einhorn a little better, but this hit the spot for an after work pre-dinner drink.

Oct 13, 2012
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brandon911 from Texas

4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Jester King Brewery in one of their snifters.

It poured a pale golden yellow, a little hazy with half a finger of head that quickly went away. The smell was crazy, really different from anything I've ever had. It smelled sour, similar to yogurt, a little funky, some bright citrus and fairly hoppy and sweet. The taste was along the same lines, but even more yogurty. It had a little bitterness on the tongue and had some sour grapiness and wheatiness too. The mouthfeel was smooth with almost no carbonation.
I apologize for how hard this is to describe, but I realllly wanna find some more like this, try it if you get a chance. I have a feeling that this is a really polarizing beer though.

Sep 16, 2012
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Gobzilla from California

3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a golden yellow in color with pale yellow highlights and a nice thin head which left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: funky earhty with spice was noticeable upfront on the aroma with apple, slight pear but with grainy notes and a little tart astringent qualities.

T: the tart character was more prominent on the palate alongside toasty grains, apple fruitiness, some spice, citrusy accents a touch of bretty funkiness.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a funky, mild fruity, spice, grainy, tart and slight dry finish.

O: definitely one of the better offerings from JK. Pretty solid brew all around, glad I tried it.

Sep 06, 2012
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wagenvolks from Texas

3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a Cuvee de Jacobins tulip.

Bonnie the Rare pours with a bright goldenrod body showing good clarity. The head is off-white and scant, retreating quickly to a tiny wisp of foam. Aromas bring forward light, pleasant notes of citrus peel, souring bacteria, and vegetation. A bit grassy, and a bit grainy, with some barnyard funk hiding in the background.

The flavor is...interesting. Comes off as a combination of pineapple and pickle juice on the front of the palate--briny, sour, and somewhat sweet. Mid-sip gets a clean note of bread crust and bleached wheat crackers before the finish adds a tinge of tartness to the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is spot-on for the style, with a prickly carbonation level and medium-light body that drinks easily. Still, the flavor combinations just don't mesh for me. Bonnie isn't a bad Berliner Weisse, but for Jester King, it qualifies as a 'Rare' miss.

[Edit: Tried this on tap at Jester King in early '12, and it was much better. Gave it a 4/5 as a 'had']

Sep 03, 2012
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EgadBananas from Louisiana

2.91/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy sunny, light orange. Vigorous pour yielded a two finger head, dissipated very quickly. The aroma was slightly bready, with only the faintest note of tart. Not much else. Taste was again, only faintly sour or even tart, little wheat notes and touches of orange. Light bodied, very light on the carbonation, average feeling.

Though I'm not the most experienced in Berliners, this was just boring and lacked a lot...

Sep 03, 2012
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tulip glass. Thanks to bentwookie for this. There aren't enough berliners out there.

A: A thin cap of head covers a murky, dark straw body. So-so retention, the head disappears completely leaving a still looking beer.

S: Tart, peppery spice and slightly sweet malt, earth, candied dried pineapple.

T: Lacto tart forefront gives this a nice zing. Tasty. Wheat, lemon, apple and pear backbone. Minerally at the end, I guess the well water?

M: Medium-full body and light carbonation.

O: Very light, refreshing. Great beer for the warm weather.

Aug 30, 2012
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, released Summer '12
White wine glass

A: This one pours out a cloudy, hazy yellow color. There isn't a ton of head, only a thin white layer. There are some tight tiny bubbles. No lacing being left on the glass.

S: Smells of mild funk. Some yogurt like sourness. Wheat. And the JK farmhouse yeast comes through as well.

T: Nicely tart and refreshing right from the start of the sip. In the middle of the mouth, you get those European hop varietals. Grainy, grassy wheat. The finish is slightly white wine like and dry.

M: Light bodied. Easy drinking.

O: Another solid offering from JK. Liked this one a lot. Carbonation might come up a little more with bottle conditioning, but that is one of my only knocks on it.

Aug 27, 2012
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gtermi from Texas

4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very nice golden yellow body with a white head that fades to nothing in seconds.There is also a lot of wheat or yeast floaties.

S: The smell of this beer is very amazing. Tons of different smells like banana, apple, wheat and a tiny bit of corn.

T: The flavor is pretty light in flavor, but thats expected for a beer at 3.7% alcohol. It does has some very nice flavors that do stand out like some banana and funky yeast and also a great amount of sour.

M: There is a lot more crispness than what I was really expecting and it really adds to this low alcohol beer. It tingles all across the tongue and all down my throat.

O: All around, this is a very nice beer. Very refreshing and enjoyable to a hot August day. Please make this many more times Jester King!

Aug 25, 2012
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PhatAtUT from Texas

3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from 750mL bottle into buffalo bayou brewing co. snifter.

A: pours with zero head. looks flat, just like a glass of apple juice.

S: funk. straw. grapes. apples. smells pleasant. sort of like a white wine.

T: fairly sour right up front. not overwhelming. sort of a faint sour apple taste. touch of bitterness to go with the funk on the back end. well balanced. very tasty.

M: i was worried about the carbonation based on the pour, but there are no problems in that department. for being a low abv beer, it has a surprisingly full feel to it. very enjoyable, extraordinarily drinkable.

O: not a style i have a ton of familiarity with, but i found this very enjoyable. great evident sourness but not completely mouth puckering. wish this was available in 4 or 6 packs rather than 750s.

Aug 25, 2012
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MattSweatshirt from Texas

3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pouring down the middle produces a small soapy white head that dissipates quickly leaving a cloudy golden body.

With the wild yeast and wheat in the nose I feel like I’m out at a farmhouse. The fruity element is just as prevalent with lemon and a sweet orange.

The beer has a modest tartness. Lots of wheat, lemon and a funk finish make this pretty great. There is a light lacto/yogurt element going on.

Not much carbonation. It looks flat after a bit, but my burps are telling me it’s there. Despite being such a low abv beer the body isn’t totally thin and the wheat makes this smooth.

This is a great beer and an even greater summer beer. The flavor and mouthfeel make for an enjoyable and refreshing drinking experience.

Aug 22, 2012
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another offering from Jester King Craft Brewery that I decided to try, a 750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Bonnie the Rare Berliner Weiss has a cloudy straw yellow appearance. Interestingly, there was a decent amount of carbonation, but produced almost no head, the little that formed only stayed around for a few seconds.

S - On the nose I get citrus, citrus, and more citrus, with a sour note, and that unmistakable barnyard funk.

T - On the palate I mainly get lemon zest, with some orange peel mixed in, a hint of tart grapefruit as well. On the finish, the tartness really shines through, very interesting.

M - Light-bodied on the palate, maybe due to the higher than expected amount of carbonation I feel. Which surprised me since I didn't get much head on the pour.

O - Another fantastic job by Jester King, Bonnie the Rare is well done. The beer is truly in the style of a Berliner Weiss, has all the characteristics of that style. There is an interesting play going on between the tart citrus flavors and the malt, with the tartness winning out. I really enjoyed this beer.

Aug 22, 2012
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elNopalero from California

4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This delight pours a light, hazy golden-straw color. I pick up some funky, slightly tart and sour aromas, followed by a slightly tart and lemony taste. It’s light—delicate, perhaps—and has an effervescence that keeps it from getting bogged down by everything going on. Flavorful finish, like lemon zest or citrusy essential oils. Yum.

Dec 27, 2011
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Mora2000 from Texas

4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle. Purchased at The Common Table's Jester King/Mikkeller beer dinner.

The beer pours a slightly hazy yellow color with no real head, but a few bubbles to show that the beer is not flat. The flavor is full of wheat, with some nice orange peel notes and a slight bit of tartness.

The flavor follows suit. The dominant flavor is wheat with a little bit of light funk. There is also some lemony tartness which really adds to the beer.

Thin mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Nov 21, 2011
Bonnie The Rare from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 137 ratings