Balaton
Side Project Brewing

BalatonBalaton
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Style:
Sour - Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #1
ABV:
5%
Score:
95
Ranked #498
Avg:
4.43 | pDev: 5.87%
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
226
From:
Side Project Brewing
 
Missouri, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  73
Gots
  50
SCORE
95
World-Class
BalatonBalaton
Notes: Balaton is our Wild Missouri Brown Ale that was fermented in and aged in local Chambourcin Barrels with Missouri microflora for over a year with Michigan Balaton Cherries. We wanted Balaton to be soft, yet complex, so it is only 5% abv with a higher level of Brett influence and more impactful oak presence to balance out the signature Side Project acidity and the tart, cinnamon notes of the cherries.
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 226 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Harrison8
Harrison8 from Missouri

4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bloody-burgundy-ruby with a finger of off white foam that bubbles away quickly. Aroma is rich dark cherry, tart green apple, plum and a little cellar stone at the base. Tangy twist is well defined and melded into the profile. Flavor profile is dark cherry, cellar stone, grassy, herbal, plums and figs. Initial profile is a burst of tangy sour that recedes to reveal a lightly sweet finish. Mouth feel is crisp and medium-thin. Overall, lovely dark cherry qualities wrapped up into a mild tangy and sour ale. Remarkable.

Served in a 12oz Side Project tulip from a 375mL bottle. Blend #2.

Feb 07, 2020
Photo of Rristow
Rristow from Ohio

4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from bottle. Pours a ruby purple with white head. Aroma of cherries, grapes, vinegar. Taste is moderately to heavily sour tart. Lots of cherry on flavor with wine sourness. Quite puckery but well done.

Jul 29, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to have at a bottle share, thank you for your kindness stranger! Pours murky red with a ring of pink tinted white foam. Smell has deep and non-sweet cherry with brett, oak, flowers, and some of vinous elements. Taste as much of what the nose lead on, the cherry is the clear leader but very wild, floral, vinous, and has a strong wood backing. Slightly acidic and tart on the finish, but my overall impression of this beer is wild and botanical. As always for side project, it is a well-made beer. The feel is wild, sneaky bright, properly oak soured, and very well-balanced, the right amount of brett. A fun take on the style

Jun 13, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pouring dark and foggy Flanders-like reddish-brown, a fuzzy, fizzy khaki head quickly dies to a thin ring.

A very sour punch hits up front as very cinnamon-marzipan forward cherry pie flavors come with toasty crust and all. Charred oak backs as the crisp tingly light body finishes semi-dry with a touch of lemon. It's almost roasty at times.

Jun 10, 2019
Photo of Biggiekrock627
Biggiekrock627 from Maryland

4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle and as it warmed up the cherries really came to the forefront.....like a tart cherry blast that created almost a mouth watering pucker.....just wanted to drink more and more. Paired with some chevere, truffle honey and crusty bread. Amazing

Apr 19, 2019
Photo of jheimbigner
jheimbigner from Washington

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - pours a very earthy red oude bruin color with a off white head.
S - cherry, lacto, funk, cinnamon
T - sweet jammy cherries! Mild acidity, tart, nice cinnamon
F - light effervescent, does not coat tounge
O - great cherry beers. Not quite a rodenbach

Feb 17, 2019
Photo of sandstd1
sandstd1 from Maryland

4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown on the pour, head dissipates quickly but resilient carbonation.
Light nose of fruit and acidity. First taste leans more on vinegar. I like to wait a few sips into the sp sours to acclimate, and after a few tastes I get light cherry and the vinegar falls away. Feel is spritzy.

Overall, glad I tried but not at the fuzzy, fosse, or abricot df level.

Nov 11, 2018
Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

blend #2 poured from a 375mL bottle into a wine glass. pours a light but dirty brown that ends up a darker brown as it accumulates in the glass with a decent amount of light tan head which fades very quickly. smells of oak, must, cherries, to a lesser extent wine, cinnamon, and to an even lesser extent a bit of cider / vinegar. taste is a delightful amalgamation of cherries, oak, cinnamon - almost like a cherry pie with a dash of cinnamon and an oak crust (although it could pass for graham cracker crust). it has an autumn / holiday taste to it. feel is slick and smooth. not overly bubbly. overall, very well done beer, a nice take on the sour brown ale and kind of unique in the SP 375 series. lower abv, less acidity / sourness and the fruit seems to add more to the flavor aspect than the sour aspect.

Aug 03, 2018
Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
putonyourwalkingshoes from California

4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a beast this sour is at 5%. Monstrously anapologetic unlike some of the blond sours I've had from side project.

This is as good as a Flanders style can get. Sour upfront was intense but subdued over time. Just a great sour packed full of good oaky flavors

Mar 29, 2018
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours the color of tawny port with fluffy ecru head that fritters away to a film; spotty lacing

Smell: Black cherry (both sweet and tart elements), cinnamon, graham cracker and acetic tones

Taste: Black cherry dominates the front end, with the sweet and tart elements rotating across the taste buds; through the middle, the cinnamon and graham cracker flavors mimic a pie crust; the finish is dry, oaky and rather sour

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; puckery

Overall: One of the most interesting sours I have ever tasted; tremendous complexity and carefully constructed

Thanks, Reed, for the opportunity

Oct 11, 2017
Photo of Rutager
Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a Flanders red with some sexy tonez. Nose has a ton of woody funk, cherry kool-aid powder, and subtle sweet floral notes. Quite sour but not abrasive like so many of the style, tart and lightly sweet cherry juice, a little woody dry funk. Not a ton of depth but more going on than most. Really nice for the style.

Mar 16, 2017
Photo of von_kaiser
von_kaiser from Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

foggy flanders like appearance. insanely tasty and tart similar to a cherry pie. extremely drinkable....one to enjoy by yourself. if you're a fan of wild ales and flanders reds, this is one not to pass up. will seek out again.

Dec 27, 2016
Photo of rabbott2
rabbott2 from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

10/12/2016 drank from my side project bulb

L-dark dark red, almost black. Kinda syrupy with a quick disappearing white head

S-sour, cherry burst, oak definitely present after warming

T-a tad acidic and not much funk but the cherry is fantastic. Oak as it warms

F-nice tartness and really lingering tastes

O-a great fruited sour by SP. probably won't have this again but glad I sought it out

Oct 13, 2016
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had at Zwanze Day at Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter, MI.

Pours a brownish red with some soapy bubble residue on top. Smells earthy and rich with cherry essence- like a fresh cherry pie without the sugar sweet smell. An acidic twang tickles the nose towards the end. Taste is tart strong cherry, and more cherry and more cherry. Finishes dry and bold despite the tartness up front. Big cherry coats the mouth. Feels slightly fizzy and soft. Great beer for the Michigan cherry lover (like myself). I really liked how the cherry wasn't compromised by the yeast, tartness, or malt body. Big bold cherry, not too sweet or sour. Great beer.

Oct 04, 2016
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: deep red with no head
S: cheery and cinnamon! Wow this smells cheery pie.
T: cherry and cinnamon! Has the sourness to go with it.
F: a little heavy for a sour at 5%. Not quite as easy drinking.
O: another great beer from sp!

Aug 06, 2016
Photo of fireazzi
fireazzi from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Really well done. Got the taste of cherry skins on this, a slight hint of cinnamon came across on this for me as well. Smelled so good and so fruity and soooooo funky. the funk on this is perfect.

Jul 22, 2016
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.53/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375 mL bottle. Murky brown body. Smells of cherry pie and cinnamon. Strong acidity and red wine. Tastes sour right up front, but has a nice spice character. Sourness builds until it’s a little too intense and vinegary. Has a caramel malt flavor, too. Medium body. Had this at Hunahpu and wasn’t impressed, but it’s not bad.

Jul 12, 2016
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger from Texas

4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish color with ivory colored head. Tart cherries, lots of cherries on the nose with a decent amount of funk as well; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with lip puckering tartness from the cherries. Very nice.

Jul 06, 2016
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this one is amazing! so lucky to get to drink a few beers from this highly acclaimed brewery lately. the balaton is an impressive kriek type wild beer with some really neat wild yeasts in here. not super blood red or anything, but with a little color to it for sure, maroonish more than red, with a modest haze and half an inch of white head comprised of little tiny air bubbles that pop and resurface at about the same rate, active and pretty. it smells nice too, tangy cherries first, a little cough drop sort of thing to it, but also true fruit at the same time, a mix of both. its juicy for sure, but not so fruity that it isnt beer first. lots of funk to this, also quite acidic and puckery, but not quite as sour as it is interesting and bretty, farmy and musty and complex, reminds me of some of the old world krieks out there with bright clean acidity, but also a woody mature funky yeast profile as well. the grain base seems super light in feel, wheaty i guess, but the fruit is well out in front of that. smooth and drier for the style on the back end, really drinkable for what it is. some brown ale character, but like an oud bruin with all the acidity, a red wine tannic thing with it, and very little body for the color. i know i am supposed to savor every drop of this rarity, but its hard because its so interesting and delicious. one of my favorite fruited wild ales from these guys so far. impressive quality, these guys really do deserve most of the hype they have generated for themselves, the beers are incredible and distinct. if you like kriek find one of these!

edit: this was a little overly acidic the second time around, and quite a bit more evidently a sour brown as a base, not just colored by the fruit. more sour than i could drink a lot of, but it sure gets a reaction from the palate, and the carbonation is shockingly high. really cool beer!

Jul 04, 2016
Photo of DraughtJunkie82
DraughtJunkie82 from Missouri

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a beautiful deep reddish brown with a white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Cherries and Funk you know you're in for a treat.

T: Cherries and a mild funk like sour cherry pie. Delicious

F: mild carbonation mild funk good cherry flavor very well balanced.

O: A very well balanced fruited sour. Very good!

Jul 04, 2016
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark black cherry color.

Cinnamon cherry pie and crust. The nose is amazing. Flavor is more tart cherries. Very fresh. Also has a baked pie flavor. Tart and acidic. Sour.

A really awesome beer, but extremely tart and sour. The nose is so unique.

Jun 23, 2016
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Murky tawny brown, thin layer of creamy tan foam that sticks around momentarily. Minimal spotty lace.
Aroma is nice, definitely a little richer Balaton cherry with traces of cinnamon bark.
Taste is also nice, tart and cherry forward, puckering tartness with a dry clean finish.
Smooth and even carbonation, creamy texture. Balanced and tasty.
Oud Bruin base blended with cherries, an old tradition in the Oudenaarde region of East Flanders.
Thanks to Steve for this one!

Jun 12, 2016
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Full review #1175.

375ml bottle sealed with silver pressure cap.

poured into Side Project Sour Flute.

Appearance: Deep crimson red body with small cap of off white head that dissapates quickly.

Smell: Authentic cherry skins and flesh and a moderate amount of SP house funk. This is more funky than most Side Project fruited sours. Dry oak and maybe even a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Moderate sourness and moderate funk, yet this still comes out slightly more sour than fruit forward. Sourness is 6.5 out of 10. Cherry skin, cherry flesh, and even a hint of cherry lifesavers. Lots of woody and earthy oak character and a lingering sour finish that has just a hint of cherry.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied sour with almost, but not quite moderate carbonation level. Lingering dry finish that is somewhere between semi dry, but not full on completely dry.

Overall: This is up there with some of the best cherry wild ales that I have drank. My preference of wild ales is fairly acidic and Side Project always pulls that off with their fruited American wild ales. This beer even reminds me of a flanders red.

Jun 10, 2016
Photo of RAlmeida77
RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts

4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle I received via trade. Dark reddish brown....almost a flanders color but a little more red. Minimal lacing.

S - Cherries and some funk. The cherry aroma lets you know that it's going to be the star of the show with this beer.

T - The taste is very similar to the nose. Starts with some nice cherry sweetness then fades into sourness. This tastes like a sour version of cherry pie filling and it is wonderful.

M - As with other SP sours, the feel is perfect. Right amount of carb and a semi dry finish that leaves me wanting more.

O - This was my first SP beer and it didn't disappoint. Outstanding fruited sour that really made me have a craving for cherry pie! Easily one of the best cherry sours I've had.

Jun 03, 2016
Photo of PBRmeasap1980
PBRmeasap1980 from Indiana

4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from SP cellar - On site consumption only

A- Redish brown
S- Tart and sweet cherries
T- Sooooo much cherry, but then there is a bit of spice that makes it taste just like a home made cherry pie with tart pie cherries. Tart, but finishes sweet. Almost like a magic trick. Mind is blown on this one.
F- Smooth
O- Easily in my top 5 beers of all time.

May 23, 2016
Balaton from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 226 ratings