Cosmic Dust
The Rare Barrel

Cosmic DustCosmic Dust
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Wild Ale
Ranked #179
Ranked #1,722
4.26 | pDev: 7.04%
The Rare Barrel
California, United States
Cosmic DustCosmic Dust
Notes: Golden sour aged in oak with hibiscus.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 194 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Magenta clean pour. Oak and hibiscus in smell and taste, but nothing else much, save a passing lacto cherry or lemon zest. Body is thinner, yet decently sour and oaky. Just doesn't have any second level, very simple and subdued, light crispness. Nectar like

Dec 24, 2020
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Tavour, it appears that I am the first review of the 2020 re-release. This probably is not entirely fair; given I am not partial to Wilds. But, I'd like to think I'm not biased and can appreciate when a brewer truly knows how to make this finicky style. It seems Rare Barrel does. Although many reviews from the 2014 release indicate this is below Rare Barrel's norm. Hopefully, they improved this recipe.

I like pink Looks and Cosmic Dust is. Smells are tart, mostly lemon, some herbal hibiscus. Tastes also lead with the tart and the citrus and then some earthy berry that grows on a low bush, like strawberry. Finishing nicely tart, its medium body and light bubbles let what is good in this Wild shine.

My first from Rare Barrel, they get one of my quickie brewer reviews. While not a student of Wilds, these guys seem like one of the pioneers who specialized in the style and set its standard. If you really want to geek-out on the sour for five minutes, see the video on their website, "The Search for The Rare Barrel." As for me, I just might visit for lunch the next time I am in Berkeley, my old stomping grounds as a student and culinary, still, hotspot for culinary innovation.

Oct 17, 2020
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives the color of pink grapefruit juice, capped by a think pink head that leaves a few streaks

Smell: Tart lemon and floral hibiscus tones

Taste: Tart and floral, with lemon and hibiscus tones, with a hint of raspberry; earthy flavors arrive in the middle but the finish is tart and lactic but rather dry

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Very interesting how this beer ranges from tart to floral, with a dry finish

Jul 24, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros. Batch 1

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear light honey hue with a thin head that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of incredibly light hibiscus, faint malts, really light tartness. Incredibly bland.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, really really faint floral notes with incredibly light and subtle tartness. Light lemons and soft barrels.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, thin, light, watery.

O - Overall this was a very underwhelming Rare Barrel beer, very little anything going on. Super mediocre with very little hibiscus notes or barrel.

Serving Type: bottle

Apr 01, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared with rudzud
Light fizzy head fades quickly, crystal clear apricot orange color.
Nose typical sour blond, some stone fruit and funk, weird mineral like almost sulfur thing, very very little hibiscus, golden malt note, faint oaky barrel.

Taste brings more typical sour blond, little malty note, fair sourness, tart acidic funk with little generic fruity note stone fruit if anything, little toasty oak, little lactic acid and little buttery thing not sure if oak or diacetyl. Finish sticky little flemmy lingering sour blond.

Mouth is med to lighter bod thin, lighter carb, flemmy.

Overall meh.

Mar 31, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought the commercial tug job on this was gonna result in a red colored beer, but no, this was golden and yellow for the most part. Big oak and citrus nose. Flowery.

Oak, red wine, sour, assertively so, strawberry and tangerine taste to the sour, very acidic.

Glad I got to try it at the barrel fest, would not pay $30 a bottle for this. Its a good beer, but not a great beer, and that is great beer territory prices.

Dec 23, 2015
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

This berry pink colored ale is a fantastic one. It smells sweet, tart, and mellow with aromas like strawberry and hibiscus. It's delicious and not overwhelmingly tart. Quite fruity, bringing to mind strawberries, a bit of lemon, some tartness, and hibiscus. It is gentle in the mouth with light carbonation, and among the beers that I tried during the Beachwood Sour Fest, this was my favorite.

Oct 28, 2015
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Goblinmunkey7 from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blind Review

Appearance: A glowing molten gold. A quick flash of bright white head disappears almost instantly. No head, no lacing, no collar. A slightly effervescent carbonation pulls throughout.

Smell: Apricots and peaches thrown in an old cellar. Old stone. Slightly musty. Tons of fruit and it's treading a line between apricot and peaches with a heavier lean to apricot. Solid lactic tartness. Just loaded with fruit. Some sharper lemon notes tickle the nose. Malts run a little sweet with some definite undercooked biscuit aromas. Lime zest. Clean. A hint of solvent and band-aid but it's buried and is only picked up thanks to retro-olfaction.

Taste: Apricots. Any doubt on the nose is erased by the taste. Slightly mealy fruit with a quick touch of pear. Mildly lactic with some additional lemon jiuce and a quick flash of grapefruit zest. A bit of citric acid on the sip. Apricot skin. Slightly powdery with a fruity juiciness. Clean and slightly sweet. Did I mention fruit?

Mouthfeel: Ever so slightly creamy medium body with a moderate carbonation. Mildly astringent. Citric acid prickles a bit.

Overall: Oh hells yeah.

Mar 28, 2015
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jegross2 from Illinois

3.59/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing Cosmic Dust, a sour golden ale aged on oak with hibiscus from The Rare Barrel out of Berkeley, California.

Score: 84

Blend #10 (2014 vintage bottle) served in a Kate the Great snifter and enjoyed on 12/23/14. Thank you Tim for sending me this bottle!

Appearance: Pours a clean and transparent honey color with a thin layer of fizzy head that quickly settles. Minimal, spotty residual lacing from swirling. Not an "alive"-looking or "active" sour beer in appearance. 3/5

Smell: Sour grain, oak, lemon, light vinegar, a hint of something floral and a kiss of butteriness too. Some fruity bubblegum-like aroma comes through too as it warms up and breathes, which makes the aroma quite interesting and somewhat distinct from an otherwise cookie-cutter American wild ale (AWA) nose. 4/5

Taste: The taste is a lot more generic AWA than the nose, particularly because there is no fruity bubblegum-like character underlying it all. Sour grain, a hint of corn, oak, and lemon zest. Finishes with a lactic acid flavor. With some sips, I feel like subtle berry notes (raspberry?) come through on the finish as well, but I easily could be overthinking this one. Mostly crisp, but there is a little lingering young funk (and butteriness) too. Solid (but no hibiscus). 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, appropriate carbonation. Dry and tannic on the finish. Has a nice sourness that is not too intense. Mild acidity. 3.75/5

Overall: A solid, but indistinguishable sour golden ale from a new, but promising brewery (their head brewer used to work at The Bruery). I liked the mild acidity and sourness, but the butteriness knocked this one down a few pegs for me. I could see this being better with age. Also, where was the hibiscus?

Cost: $30 for a 750 ml bottle.

Dec 24, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brent for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Blend No. 10.

Pours a hazy yellow-orange with a foamy off-white head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour with grain, fruit, and buttery wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit, acidic, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

Dec 15, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

of all the rare barrel stuff i had the pleasure to try last night, this is perhaps the least exciting of the lot, certainly the least memorable and distinct. its a great base golden sour, but the addition of hibiscus never comes through as prominently as it might. im not looking for a glass of perfume here, artificially pink and unbalanced, no, but i think its perhaps under dosed slightly, so the beer seems under flavored next to their others. that said, its a fantastic base beer, with a great oak profile and just enough lactic sourness to pucker me up but not singe the enamel off my teeth. carbonation is awesomely bright though, and the light body and only moderate acidity keep it real easy drinking, probably more so than their others. i prefer egregious or map of the sun to this one, but its still top quality beer from a brewery who is about to get real famous if this sour thing continues.

Oct 04, 2014
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scottfrie from California

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at TRB. Tulip. Reviewed from notes.

A: Served a beautiful clear shade of glowing fuchsia pink or ruby grapefruit color with a light pink collar that left streaks of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Tart smelling with floral but not perfumey scents, acidic lemon, and subtle hibiscus. Hibiscus is a subtle food flavor so this smells as expected.
T: Tart notes of sour fruity candy. Definitely floral. Once I knew this was hibiscus it's spot on. I also taste raspberry and lemon zest. Tannic and earthy. The finish has a candy-like sweetness but is not cloying by any means, and the aftertaste is very puckering and very very dry and tart with lactic acid.
M: The mouthfeel is very gritty with clinging tannin. So dry it clings to my throat and is almost hard to swallow – in a good way. Medium-light body, soft and fluffy carbonation. Very mild acetone in the aftertaste.
O: Fruity and floral overall with an earthy natural quality. One of the drier beers I’ve come across thanks to the hibiscus. Like drinking a parched desert. Very awesome and unique beer.

May 30, 2014
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Beerenauslese from California

4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A single barrel release on draft at TRB.
Orange gold color, very clear. No head.
Smells funky, fruity and floral, a llittle vanilla and oak.
This has a lovely tartness of ripe berries. The hibiscus adds yet more tartness, floral notes and interesting complexity. It comes across as wine-like, but the malt provides a light grain foundation--it reminds me of a berry tart. Well integrated, tastes awesome
Nice mouthfeel, with light carbonation.
A memorable sour, but now it will always be memories, as it is gone.

Mar 23, 2014
Cosmic Dust from The Rare Barrel
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 194 ratings