Balaton
Side Project Brewing

BalatonBalaton
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Sour - Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #1
ABV:
5%
Score:
95
Ranked #493
Avg:
4.43 | pDev: 5.87%
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
222
From:
Side Project Brewing
 
Missouri, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  75
Gots
  51
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: 222 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by RAlmeida77:
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
More User Reviews:
Photo of BigRedDog
BigRedDog from Indiana

4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown in the body with hints of ruby toward the edges. Cappuccino foam head that dissipates, forming a slight ring around the outside.

Smell is light. Some lactic acid on the front end fading into a sweet cherry pie aroma.

Taste follows the nose. Tart punch right up front fading quickly to a lactic sour that coats the tongue. The finish on this is amazing. Sweet and tart cherries meld with some malt to form what I can only call bliss. This is a very well made beer.

Mouthfeel is medium, with enough body to support everything going on, but not heavy or syrupy.

Mar 07, 2016
Photo of Memphisjoe14
Memphisjoe14 from Illinois

4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look: Nicely carbonated, brownish red color

Smell: Cherries, Yeast, Lucky Charms

Taste: Like a god damned cherry pie only less sweet. Really really amazing. Changes a bit as it warms up. A little baking spice maybe?

Feel: Feels good in the mouth

Overall: My favorite fruited sour from Side Project yet, and I've had about half of them

Mar 06, 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 bennyman12
bennyman12 from Missouri

4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite elements of this one are the regal burgundy color, the way the sour isn't as dominant as other small format sp, the mouthfeel (impressively full for the style) and the way the fruit comes through most fully in the finish. Also it does not create that mucous thing on the back of my tongue like some sours. (I'm sure that was a burning question in all of your minds, right?). One of my favorite fruits from sp for sure.

Mar 08, 2016
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- As soon as you open this one, the carbonation is apparent, with a slow rise of bubbles that accelerates up the neck. A quick pour does the trick and produces a very dark, murky, reddish-brown colored body. The head is tan in color and only around a little while. Lacing is minimal.

S- Nothing too complex here. Sweet cherries are the first impression to hit the nose and they dominate the front two thirds of the scent. A touch of funk kicks in following the sweet cherries and is then replaced by mild to moderate sour cherries at the end. Overall, the smell is much sweeter than I expected for the style.

T- The taste basically follows the same path that the scent did, starting with cherries a bit on the sweeter side, then moving more toward a sour cherry flavor. There is less funk in the taste than the smell, but it is still there and lends a flavor to the beer that is almost like a cherry pie, with a touch of biscuit and cinnamon notes in there. The lingering flavor on the tongue is definitely moderately sour cherries.

M- Like many of Cory's fruited wild ales, the carbonation level in this beer is very high. Combine that with the fairly light weight on the palate and the tart and fruity flavor and you have a beer somewhere between thirst quenching and sour-satisfying.

Overall, this is one of Cory's better fruited wild ales. The fruit really shines through and isn't overpowered by the base sour beer. The cherries are both sweet and sour, instead of just dominating the tongue with tartness. This is definitely one to seek out if you are a fan of cherries.

Mar 18, 2016
Photo of loganburgh
loganburgh from Michigan

4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nov 02, 2016
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz from California

4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jun 05, 2016
Photo of Arsenal0328
Arsenal0328 from Missouri

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

Apr 03, 2016
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004 from Illinois

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

Mar 12, 2016
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549 from Texas

4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 13, 2016
Photo of bmf5581
bmf5581 from North Carolina

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

Apr 21, 2016
Photo of SadMachine
SadMachine from New Jersey

4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jun 18, 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 kevanb
kevanb from Illinois

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

375ml bottle, poured into a Side Project oversized wine glass. Enjoyed on 5.5.2016, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a murky reddish brown color, burgundy hues that's very hazy with a bone colored head, about a finger or so high, great retention but no lace. The aroma is nice, tart cherry skin, musty funk, pie spice, some dirty and earthiness with a bit of a crusty grain aroma. It's pretty simple, straightforward a la kriek, solid expression of the fruit but not much of a wow factor. The flavors offer plenty of sour and tart cherry, a bit juicy, a bit pitty and earthy, mild funkiness, pie spice flavors come across again well with some lingering grain flavors to help balance the beer. The mouthfeel is good, very lively, medium body, coats nicely with some prickly carbonation and a crisp, puckery finish.

Verdict: A nice wild ale from Side Project that showcases cherries quite well. It's not the most sour beer either, something I've come to expect from Side Project, which is appreciated. At the same time, there isn't anything too special about this beer, a bit on the heavier and darker side but has a nice pie filling flavor and is pretty easy to drink.

May 07, 2016
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 polopaul20
polopaul20 from Maryland

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

Jun 01, 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 dfhhead25
dfhhead25 from Pennsylvania

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

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of jvillefan
jvillefan from New York

4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jun 19, 2016
Photo of imyourhero21
imyourhero21 from California

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

May 03, 2016
Photo of Trio2shine
Trio2shine from California

4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

May 09, 2016
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey from Texas

4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jul 25, 2019
Photo of HoldenDurden
HoldenDurden from Illinois

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

May 09, 2016
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy from Florida

4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Apr 02, 2016
Balaton from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 222 ratings