Old Sour Dewberry | Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery

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11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TMoney2591 on 09-17-2013

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 2
Photo of egrace84
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Duff27
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: Batch 2014Oct10-Dew-271. Bottled: 11/19/14. Brown glass. Simple neck label. Unbranded pry-off pressure cap.

Expectations are high; I'm a fan of this brewery and this sounds intriguing. Served cold into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Austin, Texas. Reviewed live, though I'm not sure what style this is supposed to be; I do know it's sour-mashed...

24 IBU. 7.6% ABV.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide head of off-white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Has a supple soft presentation and a smooth even consistency. Retention is good - about 5-6 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Plump.

BODY: Deep dark amber of above average vibrance. Has a richness to it. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good looking brew, but looks more like a copper ale than anything else. Still, its depth of colour is impressive an d I like the head.

AROMA: Wow. This is unique, and it's taking me time to process what's there. Copper malts, rich treacle, bready malts, bread crust, English malts, tart currant/berries (especially blueberry and raspberry), cream, brown bread, amber malts, and a modest sourness (maybe a 4/10 in terms of intensity).

If anything is dominant, it's the blueberry. This is highly appealing, and I don't know that I've ever come across an aroma quite like it.

Aromatic intensity is mild. There are no off-notes, nor is there booziness.

TASTE: Blueberry dominates, with equally tart subsidiary berry & currant notes in there too. The English and copper malt backbone lends it enough sweetness to balance its admittedly tame sourness, but what's interesting about this is that it's already a better copper ale than most copper ales I've had before you get to the tart and sour notes; when you factor those in, this becomes even better. It's got some breadiness on the fringe and the treacle is never cloying, but what astounds me is how well it balances a classic copper ale build with evocative sour berry notes...you'd never think those two wouldn't clash. Impossibly, this has stellar cohesion of flavour and is effortlessly balanced. I'm really liking it, and I'm not sure I've had a beer quite like it.

Sure, some will find it lacking in terms of sourness and tartness, and I'd contend they could afford to push it further. But it's no slouch in terms of depth of flavour, complexity, or subtlety, and it tastes like a gestalt whole; this is far more than the sum of its parts. Duration of flavour is above average. Flavour intensity is average.

As an intermediate homebrewer, I'm confounded by this. I can't even begin to imagine what the grain bill looks like.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, ideally medium-bodied, plump, slightly creamy, and ideally thick. It's never syrupy, puckering, or dry (as you might logically expect it to be), and this texture helps elevate the beer; its light powdery feel accentuates the berry notes, helping to evoke a powdered sugar-covered berry vibe that I'm really digging. It's almost perfectly carbonated to boot, and is somehow refreshing. Overall presence on the palate is great.

OVERALL: Incredibly drinkable - especially considering its high ABV (which is itself shocking; this drinks like it's 5%). This one bottle of beer is making me look at Black Star Co-Op in an entirely different way, and I wonder if I've done myself a disservice by not exploring their house beers more. I'll be sending this to my regular trade partner and would recommend it to friends. Absolutely a unique brew, and one I already want more of. Maybe I shouldn't even post this review so as not to attract attention to this beer; I kind of want to keep it for myself. If only it weren't so pricey...


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Photo of rdooley
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of MrBeerExpert
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tumbler.

According to my research, this is a resurrection of an award-winning Pro-Am beer created by Black Star members Dan and Joelle Dewberry. It's an English old ale brewed with a sour mash. Right on. It pours a murky sunshine sienna topped by a half-finger or so of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises dankly-fresh blueberries, sweet caramel sauce, very light rye bread, and a twinge of tart blue raspberry. The taste brings in more of the same, with a sort of sour pineapple juice things mixing with the aforementioned components. What results is a liquid, tarter version of a blueberry Pop-Tart. Sort of. Maybe. Something like that. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mostly fluid feel. Overall, a very nice beer. It's easy to see why this won some accolades.

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Old Sour Dewberry from Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 11 ratings