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The Rare Barrel

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Wild Ale
Ranked #37
Ranked #428
4.41 | pDev: 6.35%
The Rare Barrel
California, United States
Home, Sour HomeHome, Sour Home
Notes: Golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with peaches, cinnamon, and vanilla bean.
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 452 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2017 version

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a slightly hazy golden yellow beer which is topped by a dense and slightly rocky finger and a half of white head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of juicy peaches, smooth vanilla, and warming cinnamon along with some nice sour undertones. Hints of oak and light funk as well.
T: Taste is juicy peaches, some vanilla, a nice sour peach note overall, some warming cinnamon spice, a touch of oak and a hint of funk. On the swallow there's more juicy sour peaches, more vanilla, and some lingering warming cinnamon along with some acidity that hangs around.
M: This beer has a body which is kind of in the middle of the road. The beer is somewhat effervescent without being super prickly while the beer has a drying finish due to the acidity.
O: Overall this is a world class sour beer. There's a really nice amount of complexity along with some really awesome flavors that are extremely well integrated. Definitely one worth trying.

Aug 05, 2021
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Gold in color with with a lightly hazy complexion. There’s a fingernail of off white around the rim and and covering three quarters of the top. The aroma is of peaches, vanilla, oak, and cinnamon. I’m tasting peaches, vanilla, and cinnamon. The mouth is moderately carbonated, but a bit smoother than anticipated due to the oak aging.

May 01, 2021
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BerryKumquat from California

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Generic blonde color.
S: Vanilla flavor with wood at the end.
T: A small fizzy drinkable ramp up to a strong body and sharp finish.
F: Peachy and light,
O: Decent and simple vanilla and peach.

Nov 10, 2019
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JLK7299 from North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I do not quite remember where I got this but I have been sitting on it for awhile and finally just cracked it. Wow! It’s really tart but also really tasty! Great on a hot humid summer day!

Aug 11, 2019
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this bottle! Reviewed from (very) long-standing notes. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hunahpu's Imperial Stout goblet. 2015 vintage bottle, consumed 12/21/15.

A: Moderately hazy bright gold, with a thin white head that starts to form but fades quickly. Low level of visible carbonation.

S: Tart and moderately funky. Lactic acidity and the pales of cracker malts. Some hints of peach fruit (this does increase as the beer warms some) and a fair amount of oaken dryness. This comes across as a bit vinous, though I don't think wine barrels were involved.

T: Lactic tart, tart underripe peaches, and cracker malts. A modest funk here too, and the oak tannins. After the initial swallow, more tartness and peaches. Then a big hit of cinnamon and dryness comes on after the swallow. Very dry and modestly tart with more peaches at the end. I'm searching for the vanilla, but not finding much if any.

M: A light body for style. Low alcohol presence, and carbonation sensation on the low side of average.

O: Enjoyable – like a tart peach cobbler. I didn't grasp the concept reading the label – I just had to taste it first. This wouldn't be my first tier California fruited sour to seek out, but it was plenty enjoyable for sure.

Jul 26, 2019
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Parmesan from Colorado

4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L:. Pours a cloudy orange yellow with a medium white head and no lacing.

S:. Fuzzy juicy ripe peach, with notes of cinnamon and vanilla, a bit of funky Brett.

T:. Fuzzy juicy ripe peach, some slight cinnamon and vanilla, a definite Brett funk, very unique and amazing.

F:. Light to medium body, with slightly prickly carbonation.

O:. Rare Barrel knocks it out of the park with another amazing sour.

Mar 23, 2019
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hazy pale gold. Smells amazing with peach skin, cinnamon, vanilla and some funk. Tastes nice and tart and like the inside of a peach cobbler. Sweet peaches, cinnamon and a lot of vanilla. Really great beer.

Dec 06, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2018, Red Session. Aroma has tart passionfruit, guava and melon. Taste is sour, fruity, acidic and dry. Really nice fruity and fresh sour ale.

Jun 03, 2018
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from wyoming on BA. Thanks muchly! Pours a cloudy straw gold with an initial abundance of foam. 20 seconds later, zilch but that's kinda typical of the style. Tart peach aromas, bits of cinnamon, wood. Taste is tart but mixing with the subtle cinnamon spiciness is quite unique and delicious. It gets woody near the finish with hints of vanilla. Low end of medium bodied, the carbonation is on the zesty side which helps to bring out the flavours. A treat to say the least, a 2017 Sour of the year to say the most.

Nov 28, 2017
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BarrelAgedG from California

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Old Town Pizza Roseville.

A: medium orange color that starts with a minimal amount of head which dissipates quickly(reminds me of my last relationship)

S: smells sour with a fair amount of peach. Don't get much cinnamon or vanilla

T: sour peach, lemon, faint vanilla and a hint of cinnamon on the finish

M: I would say medium bodied with a bit of effervescence and high acidity

O: this is a very well done beer.. I would say the best peach sour I've had.. definitely worth it if you see it and I would argue worth acquiring it if you can

Jun 27, 2017
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MFMB from Idaho

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5 across the board. Had a few sours in my day, some good some not so good. This one was excellent. Pours a cloudy peach to straw yellow with a bubbly whit head that is gone as fast as you pour it. Nose is of cinnamon, light peach and yogurt. Taste of Greek yogurt with fresh cut peaches blended in. Notes of vanilla and cinnamon but the cinnamon to taste is not as prevelant as it is in the nose. Nice light oakyness that is all wrapped up in a pastry like malt backbone. It's what peach cobbler would taste like if peach cobbler were beer.

Jun 18, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 vintage, so batch 2?

This one pours a golden orange color, with a small head, and a good amount of lacing.

The aroma on this is so drool-worthy- sour peaches, caramelized sugar, cinnamon sticks, sweet vanilla cream, pie crust, and lemony sourness.

This is one of the most unique beers I've ever had, it's so well balanced and tasty. It's essentially peach cobbler in sour beer form. I was worried the cinnamon would be very weird in a sour- it's not. It's perfectly placed here, adding a bit of warming spice to the creamy sour peach and sweet vanilla frosting and vanilla beans. The peaches are sour, but also remind me of peach pie filling- probably my mind filling in the blanks given the attempt to make this like peach cobbler. There's some caramelized fruity breadiness, too, which works well with everything else. It's not quite as sour as other Rare Barrel beers that I've had.

This is light bodied, crisp and clean, with a sourness that very lightly lingers on the palate.

This is just delightful. One of the most unique and delicious sours that I've had in my entire craft beer career.

Apr 19, 2017
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 6/26/16

A: Bright medium gold with some honey and yellow around the edges - light chill haze - medium sized, white head, fades to a few wisps, maintains a small collar, leaves a few spots of lacing

S: Bright peaches with some spice - very nice amount of peach - peach flesh, peach juice - some cinnamon and vanilla, but these aromas are buried by the peaches - bright sour with some acidity - some oak as well - some soft pale malts

T: Sour peaches - really nice ripe peach flavor, with some juice and flesh - an undercurrent of spice with some cinnamon - some vanilla, which goes along well with the oak - chewy wood - very sour, with very sharp acidity and lemons - puckering - some light, pale malts and a touch of sweetness - lingering sourness in the finish

M: Medium body, minimal carbonation, lingering sour

O: More cobbler is required

The highlight of Home, Sour Home is the sour peach explosion. The oak, cinnamon, and vanilla are a bit subdued. It's very, very sour; it comes close to absurdity, but it doesn't cross the line.

Jun 26, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy goldenstraw color with a one finger white cap that fizzes away; spotty lacing

Smell: Stone fruit, peach and apricot with biscuity tones underneath; some tartness in the aromatics along with cinnamon and vanilla

Taste: Fruit flavors forward with peach dominant as well as apricot and lemon; cinnamon and vanilla build through the middle; some oak in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: The cinnamon, vanilla and stone fruits blend nicely; an excellent concoction

May 18, 2016
Photo of Phil-Fresh
Phil-Fresh from California

4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


A: Moderate peach flavor, lightly funky, moderately light sourness, with light vanilla and cinnamon spices. There is a light clean, slightly sweet malt character in support with a faint barrel presence.

A: Golden color, quite clear with a light white uneven head that quickly dissipates in the glass.

T: Moderate tangy peaches up front, coupled with moderately light, slightly sharp sourness. There is a light malt flavor and very faint barrel character, with a dry finish.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation, the beer is sour but not very acidic - though feels just a touch thin.

O: Yum! This beer is very fragrant and the aroma is reminiscent of a peach pie. The beer has an interesting dynamic between the tangy peach flavor and light vanilla and cinammon spices. Super easy to drink and quite tasty!

Apr 15, 2016
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breadwinner from California

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fun stuff from RB. While this beer has a few flaws to my palate, its uniqueness scores it some real points and definitely makes it a recommended tick. Surprisingly clear gold color, zero head. Nose is where this soars, a touch stinky out of the bottle, but once it opens up this is peach cobbler, just like the bottle says. One note would seem to stick out for a bit, then fall back to let another take center stage. Cinnamon owned things first, almost giving off a french toast sort of vibe, then the peaches and vanilla came out to play a bit later. Desserty for sure. Enjoyable for sure. Palate is a bit briskly tart, not much funk to give it an extra layer of depth, that's my main qualm. But, again, it's hard to fault a mission accomplished, as sure as sugar this tastes like a pastry, mostly peachy, sometimes, as with the nose, a little more cinnamon-forward. Maybe just a bit too aggressive on the carb and a bit thin. Overall, really fun stuff and a welcome departure from the usual sour beer w/ cherries/raspberries/apricots added.

Mar 18, 2016
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bennyman12 from Missouri

4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fun beer. Double fisted with 2014 ba darkness. Btw, if you don't double fist sours and ba stouts, you're doing it wrong.

Smells and tastes just like peach pie--I totally get the vanilla and cinnamon combo. Wait, or is that Apple Jacks I'm smelling and tasting? Definitely Apple Jacks. I like Apple Jacks.

Feb 27, 2016
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Houser from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the flavors of this beer mesh so well together. i love how you can discern each major flavor in this beer. the peach is very apparent, the cinnamon adds a great supplement, and the vanilla on the back end finishes off this beer. well done rare barrel.

Feb 10, 2016
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LambicPentameter from Nebraska

4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this long-time want in trade from BA Stroszek. Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bomber with a "15" marked on the front and "blend 23" marked on the back. I'm not exactly sure what the blend number means, but I do believe this is batch #2 based on the year. Poured into a classic Duvel tulip-shaped chalice.

Appearance (4.25) - Pours a bright sunglow yellow with faint amber highlights where the light refracts through the liquid. The highlights are faint because the body has a pretty solid haze to it in spite of my attempt to keep the sediment in the bottle. Atop sits a finger of bright white sudsy head that is a mix of creamy, smaller bubbles and a few larger ones from the pour. Retention is fleeting, fading in short order and leaving little to no lace clinging to the glass. Ends up with a few lazy islands of film adorning the surface of the liquid after the majority of the head has gone.

Smell (4.5) - Initially, not much going on here but peachy fruit overtones and a considerable acidity from the wild bugs therein. I can't help but be disappointed initially, because I was expecting so much from the infusion of cinnamon and vanilla. However, this beer becomes pretty outstanding with a little bit of time out of the fridge. It's a beer that should be drank no colder than cellar temperature, and really probably benefits from close to room temperature. With some warmth, the cinnamon is coaxed out to intermingle with the juicy peach notes and the sharpness of the acidity is rounded off by the softer notes of vanilla, although admittedly the vanilla is hard to single out of the overall smell.

Taste (5.0) - Much like the smell, my initial sip of this was very tasty, but a massive disappointment. I was worried that the additives had faded in the time since this was bottled. Peach and some bright fruity acidity were all I was getting up front. However, again, the warmth was a friend to this beer. As it warmed, the cinnamon and vanilla both became more prevalent, eventually fusing with the delicious sour peach to form something akin to a tart peach cobbler, which may sound strange, but in execution was amazingly cohesive and flavorful. Just enough cinnamon to notice it's presence but not overwhelm the more delicate peach and vanilla. Enough vanilla to meld with and take the edge of the sourness, but not cloying and overly sweet. I could talk all day about this taste. On taste alone, it's one of the best I've ever had.

Mouthfeel (4.5) - Light bodied, but with a nice juiciness that avoids a feeling of thinness. Carbonation is moderate to low, with the acid in the beer doing a lot of the work creating a dynamic feel. Finish is surprisingly dry given the vanilla and fruit, but still has just a touch of sweetness.

Overall (4.5), this might be the best American-made sour (I know "sour" isn't really a style so much as a taste profile) that I've had the pleasure to try. All the elements work together in harmony, but the taste is really where the brewers have fully realized the concept, creating a beer that is a well-integrated blend of the components without becoming muddled or confused. I need more bottles of this in my life.

Feb 01, 2016
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jvillefan from New York

4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Review #226

A: very clear golden color with an ivory head that lasts long enough to set the bottle down.

S: Very sour, acidic, and peach right up front. The aroma is very complex but everything balances extremely well. The aroma is very complex but everything balances extremely well. Return Sharon

T: The flavors in this beer are very well-balanced. There is intense sour right up front, it is followed by some sweetness either from the grains or the peaches and finishes with a nice sour peach flavor. There is a decent amount of vanilla vanilla added and from the barrel character. The complexity of flavors with the balance is a rare feat achieved in this gea there is a decent amount of vanilla berry from the vanilla added and from the barrel character. The complexity of flavors with the balance is a rare feat achieved in this gear beer.

O: Once again the rare barrel has made an exceptional beer. In the growing list of beers I have tried from them this rinks near the top. This beer is very unique and I believe there is no comparable beer to it on the market right now. This beer is worth actively seeking out if you can get your hands on it.

Nov 23, 2015
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Tele from California

4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle (2015)
Consumed: 11.14.15

A: 4.5 Pours a clear gold with a small off-white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: 4.25 The nose is really impressive; it smells so much like peach cobbler. The peaches are definitely up front with the cinnamon and vanilla filling in as the crumble. As the beer warms, some mild funk, green apple, and white wine show up as well.

T: 4.25 Like the nose, flavors are well balanced. Starts off a bit sweet then moves into tart peach and oaky flavors. Vanilla and cinnamon are nice and mild, adding a warm compliment to the oak and peach. Funk is almost nonexistent, but green apple and white wine are more forward than on the nose. Sweet peach lingers on the slightly dry finish.

M: 4.25 Body is nice and carbonation is pretty lively early on. Carbonation seems to fall off rather quickly though.

O: 4.25 This is a fun, tasty beer from The Rare Barrel. Not their most interesting beer, but impressive in it’s restraint and execution of combining peach cobbler and sour beer.

Nov 15, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. Served in a wine glass.

Poured a slightly hazy, straw-yellow body with an orange hue. Two finger white head, good retention. Wispy lacing. It looks a fair bit like the other Rare Barrel sours I've had. Smells of oak, sweet malt, a bit of leather, moderate vinegar, stone fruit, a hint of raw vanilla bean. Not so much cinnamon on the nose; but on the flavour, it pops out quite a bit, but not overwhelmingly so. It's on the sweeter side, not sugary but more of a stone fruited sweetness. Mild peach skin, oak, cinnamon, hint of raw vanilla adds a slight astringency that helps balance things out. It's delicious, moderately acetic. Mouthfeel is medium-thinner bodied, about right for the style, good carbonation, definitely easy to drink, very tasty. A nice sour with a bunch of different nuances to it that keeps it interesting. I enjoyed the cinnamon on the palate with the vanilla bean rounding things out.

Oct 22, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is a recipe that i love, and an execution to match, just brilliant in all aspects, i loved this beer so much. a little hazy in the pour to think golden ale as a first thought, but its not real messy, and has a nice belgian looking white head on top. it smells like all three extras in equal parts, but one after the next. cinnamon first for sure, more warming and comforting than spicy, then sweet vanilla, and finally peaches, which seem baked or grilled, staring to caramelize. its an odd combination for a sour beer, and i am nervous about the acidity before i taste it. however, unlike many of their other beers, the lacto side is turned down a few notches, and the beer is allowed to be comforting instead of aggressive or caustic, and i think thats the real genius here. its drinkable and autumnal and pleasing, not a sour beast, although it has a nice tang to help dry it out, and to pull some wood flavor to the fore. oaky and fruity, the peaches stay authentic, and the cinnamon and vanilla turn into highlights and accents rather than leaders, which is intentional i bet, and beautifully calculated. if all beer was this good, it would be less special when you found one, and i was really jazzed up to discover this thing. i still think i like becoming the best from these guys, but this is a mighty impressive offering. perfect mix of fruit, spice, wood, and sourness.

Oct 14, 2015
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy golden peach color with a very thin ring of lacing.

S - Funk, cinnamon, vanilla.

T - Very nicely balanced between peaches, vanilla, cinnamon, and funk with a lingering peach tartness.

M - Solid medium body, low carbonation.

O - Not a fan of sours and this is extremely well done.

Sep 29, 2015
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a slightly hazy orange color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer is pretty funky with some peach notes and spice in there as well. The taste gives off the peach and cinnamon, struggling to get much of the vanilla though, it finished very tart. The feel of the beer is a bit heavier than expected. Overall this was a very good beer.

Sep 29, 2015
Home, Sour Home from The Rare Barrel
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 452 ratings