West Ashley | Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

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West AshleyWest Ashley

Brewed by:
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Orange, lactic, and bursting with apricot aroma, West Ashley is built for consideration and conversation. While Ashley starts as a simple Saison, careful aging in French Oak Pinot Noir barrels with apricots, our house microbes, and warm encouragement transform her into a tart, complex and delectable beer.

Added by illidurit on 08-26-2012

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 969
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really hazy golden color with a bit of white foam. Aroma has lots of unripe apricots and lemony funk. Taste starts with tart, unripe apricots, stonefruit skin, acidic fruit juice, really dry finish. Light body, really dry, medium carbonation. Overall it's a great, fruity sour. Very refreshing and easy drinking.

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Photo of rabbott2
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

batch 12 (we think) drank on 4/2/2017 side by side Westly

Look - moderate head that disappeared fairly quick, fairly thick body, light orange / dark yellow color. Sexy

Smell / Taste- a lot of oak and interesting fruitiness to go with the apricot burst. That interesting fruitiness I not know is the pinor noir barrels because I thought this was just oak barrels. That definitely explains the complexity that really puts this beer on another level.

Feel - perfect level of tartness while the flavors just soak into my mouth and linger so nicely.

Overall - amazing beer. Glad I have a couple more.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Churchills sour fest. Really nice bright color. Can smell the funk and the sour taste was great. The apricots weren't super strong but it was really sour.

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared thanks to Maakun. Hazy pale golden with a white head. Notes of funk, minerals - salt, baking soda - peaches. Light tart and very complex. Medium body, medium carbonation and a tart, floral and fruity aftertaste.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color is hazy peach-orange with a minimal display of carbonation, maybe a thin blanket before dying to nothing.

Smell is tangerine, nectarine, and lemon--bright!

Taste is really tart grapefruit, tangelo, and cranberry. I have to say, it's so bright and tart, I think the apricot kind of gets drowned out by the work the microbes and oak are doing, unless these are particularly bright and citric apricots. It's not a bad thing though, this is pretty standout stuff.

Semi-dry with a slight sting on the tongue mid-palate.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It looks and it smells beautiful, but it missed the bull's eye I was expecting. It's still a very good apricot sour, but I'd take Fou Foune over this any day.

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Photo of amano_h
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An overwhelming blast of apricot and oak up front. It's actually quite difficult to get past these two very distinctive aromas as they're very unapologetically in your face, but some subtle hints of lemon zest, barnyard funk, and milky caramel-like lactose surface with some time. Bretty notes of horseblanket and hay intensify as the brew gets even warmer.

Whether or not the SARA had this specific vision in mind, I think the beer itself is an embodiment of the Apricot as a whole, from the inside out, in terms of the flavor. Allow me to elaborate.
The first impression that the beer imparts on the tongue is mouth-puckeringly tart, as if you're sucking on a whole apricot pit by itself. Before there's any time to dwell on the sudden sour influx, a nice juicy apricot wave with a supporting cast of lactic acid and oak--this is the flesh of the apricot. The brew has a well-rounded sweet fruity finish, reminiscent of juicy nectarines, much like the sensation you get when you chew on the skin of the apricot.

Medium-bodied with lively carbonation. The abundance of fruit in this beer really accentuates the creamy mouthfeel that SARA magically imparts upon their ales; at one point I could have sworn there was milkshake traveling down my throat as opposed to a very well-made American Wild Ale from a town that people from Santa Cruz go to when they need clothes that aren't hipster or from the Salvation Army, since Santa Cruz is adamantly reclusive about allowing corporations and non-local into the town.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm not much for sours, but this was great. Not as tart as some other brews I've tried, which made it much more enjoyable fore me. Apricot came through well with that funk also.

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Photo of avas
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Batch 12. Consumed 9/12/16.

A: Hazy, vibrant, glowing gold/orange in the glass. This is a beautiful looking beer that looks like pure sunlight. Little to no head (a few medium soapy bubbles) on the pour, but a thin ring of tiny bubbles sits on the edge of the glass. A few wisps of lacing with some alcohol legs for sure.

S: Big musky funk character accompanied by HUGE tart apricot notes. More prevalent oaky pinot noir aroma fades as it warms, succumbing to the tart, juicy fruitiness. Bits of lemon and citrus, but nothing overly acidic.

T: Tons of tart apricot up front. The apricot notes change tremendously as it warms, becoming sweeter and incredibly juicy. The final sips tasted like straight apricot juice--absolutely insane. Bits of musty, cheese-rindy funk, but mostly just zesty, tart, juicy fresh fruit. Apricot is, of course, dominant, but but supporting roles are also played by green apple, lemon, and peach.

M: Medium bodied feel with bright, effervescent carbonation that glides across the tongue. Not a particularly creamy beer, but the unfiltered nature of the beer adds a certain weight to it. It has medium plus sourness, but nothing overly acidic. It's quite dry from the start yet so clean, making for an extremely drinkable sour.

O: I feel slightly embarrassed to say it, but this is one of the first sours I've truly sat down to enjoy and review. But damn, am I lucky to have such a perfect introduction to the style. An incredible balance of tart, juicy fruit, oak barrel, and musty, rindy funk blends with an effervescent yet delicate feel to provide an incredible drinking experience. For such a sour beer, West Ashley is refreshing and clean enough to go down very easily. Looking forward to delving deeper into sours moving forward!

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the source in Capitola. To me, this was basically Saison Bernice with apricots added, aged in oak. It is a pleasant combo. You have the base saison adding a full body, nice carbonation / effervescent mouthfeel, slight funk, lacto. This one is quite tart, but I wouldn't call it sour. The apricot addition wasn't that apparent in the nose, but it did round off and pair with the base saison and oak flavors very well. I was surprised to find out that this was aged in a pinot noir barrel, because I didn't pick up any specific presence, just oak really. It goes down with a significant tart bite, leaving your mouth dry and aftertaste of tart lemon, oak, and hint of apricot. I really enjoyed drinking this and would happily have again. But, jesus it was a pain to get over here from the peninsula and unfortunately that means it will be a long while since I enjoy some SARA treats again. Sante!

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Photo of kitch
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 750ml bottle at Himmergiet with no discernible bottled on date on the bottle although the menu states that it was 2016. Poured into a mini wine glass.

Appearance: It poured a hazy golden straw colour with a minimal white head and sparse lacing.

Aroma: An initial whiff of something that reminded me of tuna salad followed by tart, apricot, berries, funk, grass and hay.

Taste: Sour, tart, apricot, raspberry and cranberry.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: My first SARA beer and it was a very enjoyable and refreshing sour. Now I really want to get my hands on more West Ashley and other SARA beers if possible. Just not so easy for me…

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 11 had at a share in July 2016. Lots of fruit on the nose and taste, lots of barnyard funk also. Carbonation and acidity were both spot on, very good sour.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub on 09/01/16.
Pours cloudy orange with a thin khaki head that remains as a thin ring on top and leaves faint spots of lace. The smell is slightly funky with sour fruit accents. The taste is of tart, unripe apricots and oaky, earthy undertones. Medium texture with sharp carbonation.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy bright orange, a nice lingering white head. Aroma pops with lactic tartness, apricot sweetness and a bit of lemon. Nice smooth tartness and a medium body. Finishes refreshing and beautiful! Great sour.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange-ish gold, not as deep as say a Fou Foune, but it's a beautiful looking beer. A touch sulfurous on the aroma, definitely getting those apricots. It is soft and restrained while providing ample apricot character. There is a touch of bready, wet cereal, cheerios on the finish. Just a touch. Overall, a really good apricot sour and one that I had on my personal whale list for some time.

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Photo of danh53
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hard to find anything wrong with this beer. It's not the most complex, but it's extremely well crafted. Color is beautiful, bright apricot. Aroma is apricot, lemon, wine barrel, slight bread and funk. Taste follows the nose. I was surprised by depth of apricot flavor since it wasn't the most recent batch. It's very sour with a full mouth feel and perfect carbonation. Everything about this beer is right on point. Definitely worth the hype.

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Photo of moose1980
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this with the wife to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. As such, perhaps the perfect 5 also has to do with the atmosphere. However, I simply could not find a fault in this beer. (I haven't reviewed many beers, but this is the only 5 I have given. I do understand that some people would never give a perfect 5, ever, but it's hard to find a really hyped up beer like this that fully lives up to it, and then some.)

Hazy, sun-like orange-yellow with minimal head. The aroma was one of my favorites of all time; even though this bottle was acquired via trade and I believe was the batch prior to the latest, it was still bursting with juicy apricots. However, as great as the fruity aroma was, it was the funk that I loved most about it (which perhaps had benefited from the age). Even my wife likened it to taking of a horses saddle, although we had ridden earlier in the day so that could have influenced her olfaction :-) The taste was ripe apricots, musty funk, and finished with the just the right amount of puckering tartness. A full body supported by adequate carbonation with a perfectly dry finish.

Again, I can understand that some folks might frown upon ever giving perfect 5s across the board. Of course it is always easy to deduct a bit for color or on mouthfeel, but this beer was absolutely beautiful.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My first taste of a SARA beer and came away very impressed. Dripping with apricot flavor and some nice funk mixed in, it absolutely lived up to the hype. Two person split so got a nice big pour and was beautiful from beginning to end.

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Photo of KMachHops
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (b11) to a tulip.
Look: Opaque orange with whip of head.
Smell: Apricots and funk.
Taste: Unripe apricots, lemons, and tartness.
Feel: More carbonation than I like.
Overall: One of the best from SARA.

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Photo of Magbas
3.47/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Batch #10. While clean on flavor, it was pretty much a one note mouth puckerer. Wouldn't pass on trying it again, but was a bit overwhelmed considering the hype.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a taster. Lots of apricot and barnyard funk - lactic sourness was present, but not overwhelming. Nice beer, but didn't live up to the hype for me.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice orange presentation yields a good 1/4" white head, hits with lots of citrus notes, orange pulp, apricot. Lots of lactic sourness and a minimal amount of french oak.

Bursting with orange colored fruit, leans more apricot than anything else. Very juicy, fruit content is top notch. I love Fou Fune, but there are seriously good albeit admittedly different apricot wild ales in the States that are plenty worthy. This is right there among Cascade, Map of the Sun and Filmishmish. I don't really grasp on this beer what makes it a saison moreso than a wild ale, its definitely sour and is so sour its difficult to see it otherwise.

Whatever you call it, its a tasty beverage.

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Gorgeous apricot and warm yellow orange hues; moderate white head and retention
S: Juicy apricots, peaches and tart fruits
T: Naturally the apricot steals the show with this one and makes a decidedly tasty statement complemented by a slight tart funk
F: Balanced if not a little bit light on the mouthfeel
O: I enjoyed this beer immensely; West Ashley has an impressive tart flavor that still allows its fruit base to shine. Even my wife, who hates beer, liked this one. The apricot/fruit taste is not overly sweet (like a Peche 'n Brett can be), but extremely balanced. The whale status surrounding this beer is well earned, but as other reviewers have commented there are several other comparable beers (e.g., Fou' Foune, Logsdon, Side Project) that might just be a bit easier to land for us living on the other side of the country. Not sure if I'd seek this out again, but I certainly savored this bottle.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It took a while to track this beer down, largely due to its west coast whale status and the majorly inflated trade values created by the Bay Area hype trolls, so I am glad that I finally located a trader who would go dollar for dollar on this bottle.

The taste is tart, funky, and lightly fruited with a dry finish.

Overall, a very well balanced and enjoyable beer. It would probably taste better with a bit more tart and a lot more fruit, but that would then become a different beer.

Now having tried it, I have no real need to revisit this beer for quite some time. For what a single bottle of West Ashley commands in a trade, I would be better off trading for Fou' Foune (which is a better beer) or drinking two modestly priced shelf Allagash or Russian River sours.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a light, bright, and mildly hazy straw-yellow in color. A very smell head of about 2 millimeters forms and hangs around only a little while before being reduced to a bit of film and bubbles on top of the beer. The body of the beer is mostly hazy, but does retain some translucency when held to the light. Not much lacing as this one is drank, which is expected with the lack of much head.

S- Huge, juicy, and lightly tart fruit smacks the nose right off the bat. The apricots are really the star of the scent right up front before a bit of funk and light mustiness kicks in during the middle of the smell. Wild yeast imparts a touch of light, fresh cut hay to the scent right after the initial apricot tartness. On the back end, the fruit returns, this time with a lighter and slightly sweeter impact to the scent, leaving out the sour aspect its first appearance has.

T- As this beer hits the tongue, the flavor follows the scent closely. Tart and fruity hits first, with the characteristic 'seedy' tartness that many stone fruits display. The tartness is moderate in strength, providing enough punch to not quite make you pucker. Apricot juiciness comes right after the tartness and turns the flavor primarily towards the fruit. The middle of the drink sees the light funk from the scent make an appearance, although it is even more subtle in the taste than it was on the nose. Light hay gives way to more juicy fruit goodness that leaves apricot juice lingering on the tongue well after the drink ends.

M- On the palate, the weight of the beer is rather light, but doesn't quite reach the 'fluffy' impression that many beers of a similar style display. The carbonation is fairly high, as expected. Alcohol is not a factor, either in taste or weight of the beer. On the whole, the beer feels like a glass of carbonated fruit juice.

Overall, this is really a world glass fruited saison. It borderlines on tart enough that it should just be considered a sour. The beer displays both moderate tartness and light funk with a ton of the apricots mixing in there. Seek this one out and try it if you can.

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West Ashley from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
4.47 out of 5 based on 969 ratings.
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