Carton Brewing Company

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Sour - Berliner Weisse
Ranked #370
Ranked #20,636
3.89 | pDev: 8.74%
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Very Good
Notes: Can beer transfer time?
Cherry Blosoms are wistful
Trap nostalgia

With Sakura we drag the joy of Spring’s regeneration into the languid summer doldrums. The evocation of that ethereal moment when winter is gone and the warm weather is drifting in; rebirth through age captured in the delicate aromatic waft of the cherry’s blossom. A simple salted sour lightened and dried with sushi rice in the mash; the promise of warmth ending dormant chill, brought forward to accentuate balmy summer evenings. Drink Sakura and revel in the yin-yang of captured impermanence.
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As the brewers in New Jersey extend their hand into Leipzig, they're reaching for the traditional sour, salty, spicy and bready taste that only a Gose can provide, they extend their imagination into the floral, whimsy and flowery side of invention with cherry blossoms.

Pouring a pale and hazy gold, Sakura shows tepid shades of peach before crowning with a loose ivory cap. As aromas of tart fruit emerge from the foam, a hint of floral, stone fruit and citrus rolls over a wheat germ earthiness and a scent of fresh baking bread. A gentle sweetness of cereal, saltwater taffy and sourdough greet the tongue, its measure of maltiness is medium and moderate.

Relaxing over the course of the middle palate, the maltiness gives way to the brisk and briny sourness that waltzes in with green apple, lemon and lime, wine spritzer and mild taste of actual sour red cherries. A floral flavor of hibiscus and rose pedals extend from the cherry blossoms before a perfumy and salty taste from coriander and actual salt additions for roundness and a offset to the brine.

Medium bodied and appropriately fuller for a Gose, the beer is more acidic than tart but only modestly sour by today's sour ale calibration. While the cherry blossom character is faint and eventually lost on the tastebuds, the resulting Gose lacks the firmness and roundness to carry the session without the insistence of its special ingredient.

Nov 01, 2019
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Traded for this beer months and months ago and finally got around to it today, right after the cherry blossoms for this year have run their course. The bottom of the can says "[email protected]" above the date of 7/14 but thankfully, this didn't taste too old or skunked when I poured it out and sipped it. This was a typical Gose in most senses but it was just a bit too salty for my likes and some of the other flavors could have been a bit more pronounced in the end.

Golden, thin, and with plenty of head, this had the look that one would expect from a Gose. Hardly any lacing left behind as I worked my way through this as the liquid slid down the side of my Carton glass pretty easily. Can't say what Rose tastes like but there wasn't much of it in the aroma as there were faint hints of lemon, cherry blossoms and tartness underneath the more potent salt. Much more of the latter was in the taste with a bit of hibiscus thrown in for good measure. The malt was a basic cracker and I had hoped that the sushi rice would stand out more, like when I had Sake many moons ago. The finish and carbonation was light, brisk, and just right for something of this ilk.

The same could be said of the alcohol as it was so low that I couldn't even feel it. While not a winner, this was a great beer for the season that like most other Goses, would hardly offend anyone who enjoys the craft. Not outstanding but a welcome change from the higher hopped brews that I tend to enjoy more. Just wish it had some more discernible flavors to it!

May 15, 2017
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2beerdogs from California

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

Big thanks to @SammyJaxxx for another unique and tasty Carton offering.
Poured from a 12 oz can.
Slightly hazy peachy straw in color. White fluffy head advances and retreats, leaving some light lacing.
Smells a tad sulfury, then moves to a slightly acidic vinegar note which is soon followed by a gentle floral cherry note, and then sea water. Sounds strange, but I'm along for this ride.
Taste is more of a dance between the salt, subtle sour cherry, floral notes, and then salt again. But just when you think it ends, the floral comes back and lingers in the finish. Very interesting.
Overall, it's such a unique damn beer that I wouldn't know what else could be done here.

Oct 03, 2016
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Nickwierda from New Jersey

4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Jesus I love this goddamn beer. Starts out lightly sour, then gives way to touches of salinity and a hint of the plum vinegar and cherry blossom, curving ever so slightly sweeter on the finish. Nothing punchy, nothing in your face, just beautifully subtle. But still incredibly flavorful, and the transition from tart to salty to umami (from the sushi rice?) to sweet is a real mindfuck. Augie says this beer serves a distinct utilitarian purpose: to quench the thirst, a low abv crusher for the Jersey summer swelter. Fair enough, and I agree to some extent - I could down four or five of these on the beach on a hot day in mid-July. But really, I think this is one to contemplate and appreciate for its subtle complexity. Fucking beautiful. I wish I'd bought a case.

Sep 23, 2016
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tobelerone from New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler fill from Underground coffee and ales in Highland NY. Typical gose but one of the heaviest on the salt I can recall. Quenching and lemony with solid acidity but doesn't rip a hole in your stomach. Medium light body and medium carbonation. Leaves you coming back for more and more. In your face salinity.

Aug 26, 2016
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dar482 from New York

4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a straw color with a medium haze.

The aroma jumps out with tart lemon, vinegar, lots of salinity, bit of sweet crackery malt, bit of floral.

The flavor follows with a full tart quality, a mix of lemon juice and Warhead, tart candies, with lots of sea water and salt to balance it out, a bit of vinegar, onto a dry finish with touches of salt lingering.

Aug 23, 2016
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I find this Gose to be a great replacement for their clam-juice and lemon grass injected digger. Way more subtle, way more old world meets new. This is salty enough to enjoy with raw oysters or sushi. It's feminine, like sex, like licking your girlfriend.
4 for originality and sexiness.

A: Very hazy peach yellow with a finger of foamy head that subsides into a ring, but neither laces or lasts (too much veg and salt).

S: Smells like an seining net or an ocean breeze near a clam hut. Saline, sexy, earthy, which is what you love or hate about it. If born near the sea, love.
T: Salty, sour fruit, and sour aspirin, drying finish. A sexy floral long taste that balances the seaward foretaste.
MF: Dry and crisp with an earthy, drying, sexy, tongue-on-skin, oral sex kind of aftertaste.
O: Original, personality, reminding me of past and future loves.

Aug 21, 2016
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Buck89 from Tennessee

3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. A hazy golden color with a frothy white head. Smells like wheat and bread with a faint floral, perfumey note. The taste is interesting, with a wheat up front, notes of black cherry and cola, and a mildly tart, salty finish. Not as tart as most Goses that I've had, but definitely interesting.

Aug 13, 2016
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can dated July 14. Poured into Kane tulip glass.

L: 1.5F head with OK retention, some lacing, and a little cap and ring. Beer is a straw/light gold.

S: Sour cherries, floral scents, yeast, light Belgian malts.

T: Sour cherry dominates, believe it or not I actually pick up the sushi rice, yeastiness and cracker maltiness, a little bit of salt on the back end, but seems less briny than a gose, which this is not.

F: Light body, medium carbonation, sour lingers on palate but it's not wildly out of balance. Good, innovative construction. Refreshing summer beer. Maybe a tad watery, but it is supposed to be a lighter offering.

O: So this has been the topic of a lot of chatter as a failed effort, but I think it's a good example of what it says it is, which is NOT a gose, which is more malted wheat, citrus, and coriander in addition to the salt. This is billed as a cherry salted sour ale and it delivers all of those things.

People like what they like; fair enough. I like this.

Aug 11, 2016
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brother_rebus from Maine

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks too clear for a wheat beer. Doesnt smell like rose blossom too much. But something floral. Iiked it a lot though. Very tasty. Great carbonation too. Well done.

Aug 09, 2016
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Slack from Virginia

3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

State colored and a bit cloudy with no head or lacing.

Smell is strongly floral and salty.

Taste a bit sweet, salty, floral, acidic and lemon.

Mouthful is light and crisp with medium carbonation. Finish is super dry.

Idk about this one. The floral aspects overwhelm the other aspects. If this was balanced it would be great otherwise it is okay.

Aug 06, 2016
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SammyJaxxxx from New Jersey

4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First off it is not a Gose.

A: Slightly hazy yellow with a finger of foamy head. Subsides into a ring.
S: Smells like an ocean breeze. Saline and earthy
T: Salty and sour. There is a floral essence that becomes almost fruity.
MF: dry and crisp with an earthy aftertaste
O: If you were expecting a fruity sour you will be disappointed because that is not what this is. If you want a salty sour that is earthy and floral than this is a homerun. Looking forward to many more of these this summer.

Jul 29, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

2.27/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

On tap at blend, served in pint glass.
LOOK: Yellow color, little head.
AROMA: very little. Not bad, just weak.
TASTE: sour, lemon, salt, pear....not my cup of tea. Strong flavors, just not great.
FEEL: Medium body, sticky.


Jul 29, 2016
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Yancey82 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a very interesting flavor profile. There is a bit of sweetness to balance the sour. The salt is very pronounced. I like it as a solid sour. May revisit this after a few more. Thanks to my bro for visiting Carton and gifting me this.

Jul 27, 2016
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MacMalt from New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this on draught in a bar. It was served in a pint glass. It poured a clear golden-honey color with virtually no head or lacing. It smelled of brine with a distinct cherry aroma. Like a true Gose, it starts sour but quickly gives way to a salty finish. The cherry is present throughout - it starts sweet and ends tart. With its modest ABV of 4.5%, you could drink several without really feeling it. However, for me the Gose is an acquired taste and I'd find it difficult to drink more than one. I thought the cherry is a nice touch and gives Sakura character, which I would expect from a Carton offering.

Jul 26, 2016
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tempest from New York

3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice, this is a tasty, well balanced gose with just a mild salty undercurrent. The cherry blossom is tough to pick out, but that doesn't matter as it works well with the lactic tang.

Jul 25, 2016
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orcrist_cleaver from New York

3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice, mid-summer's corn gold. Lightens to bright yellow when held up to light. Spotty, bubbly head that's slightly retentive.

It has a lot of salty brininess, a lot of tart Bing cherry. So much of the latter it even become a bit cloying at times, which is surprising because the beer is so fresh, refreshing and light flavorwise.

Jul 22, 2016
Sakura from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 62 ratings