Apropos Of Nothing
The Rare Barrel

Apropos Of NothingApropos Of Nothing
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American Wild Ale
Ranked #144
Ranked #1,300
4.3 | pDev: 7.44%
The Rare Barrel
California, United States
Apropos Of NothingApropos Of Nothing
Notes: golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with elderberries and lavender
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 182 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cjgiant
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A ruby to burgundy pour came from the bottle, bringing a light pink froth from the bottom of the glass. The latter becomes a large ring and eventually just a few spots of lace.

The smell of berry was quick to hit my nose as I poured. I didn't get any lavender initially, but a closer inspection of the aroma shows the lavender is far from a hidden component. I can't say this beer smells of elderberry, not knowing that specific berry's aroma, but I get a mix or blackberry, blueberry, and cranberry. The fact this is a sour might mean some of those notes are not directly from the berry.

There's a little sharp acidity up from, then the berry medley flavors come through. The carbonation is a little stronger than expected, joining the tartness to increase the bite a little. When this passes, the tartness dulls and a little lavender-accented earthiness escorts my taste buds across the oak floor to the end taste.

Nice mix of flavors, a little more tart than the bottle led me to believe, which is fine. The feel was the only off thing for me - a little bit heavy on the carbonation.

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Photo of VABA
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a ruby color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has sourness, elderberry and lavender hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a sir, elderberry and lavender flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good American Wild Ale

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Photo of bobv
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2019 Vintage.
6.8% abv.
25.4 oz bottle.
Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 1/2 inch light pink head over a pinot noir colored body with some lacing. Nose of elderberries, grapefruit, and very slight lavender. As it warms, the lavender becomes more pronounced on the nose. Taste mirrors smell as the lavender comes forward with a really nice gentle sourness and acidity right through the finish of elderberry tannins. Nice feel and overall, a very pleasant experience and would definitely recommend and have again. Cheers!!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this after the DIPA fest (17th annual) last weekend. I really dig the name to it, pretty dope.

Pours a light purplish red color, fizzes up another pinkish leaning head color on it. Aroma is kinda cranberry like, the lavendar is very subtle. Reminds me of that one beer I had at the Stone Sourfest years ago and Bed Bath & Beyond store.

Taste, a dry, cranberry like tartness and mouthfeel. Gritty. Not as sour as I expected it. Acidity is average. I dunno, so many of RB's beers are either very little variation from the golden sour or dark sour base, but this one definitely got outside of that small variation comfort zone. Unfortunately it also made it into the less favorite realm of my Rare Barrel samples thus far.

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Photo of The_Epopt
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

looked gorgeous. I assume this is the same base as their golden sour Sourtooth Tiger but the color imparted by the elderberries (smells like dad) and the light touch of the lavender really set this apart. Definitely would drink a lot of this, too bad I couldn't bring it home.

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Photo of Marius
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CBC 2016. Dark ruby with a pink head - perfect look. Blueberries, cherries, fruit sourness without any vinegar. Sour aftertaste, medium to light bodied and with a medium amount of carbonation.

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Photo of thebigredone
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not a huge fan of this beer, but I appreciate you sharing Steve.

Great color, but the nose and flavor remind me a bit of potpourri or some kind of Yankee Trading candle. Some blueberry, some of what must be elderberry - just not working for me.

I dig fruited sours, just not this one.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a deep blueberry color with a finger of fluffy off-white head that has a touch of lavender to it. A thin bubbly collar lasted the whole beer through.
S: Extremely juicy and fruity nose bursting with elderberry juice. Lavender is potent as well and complements the elderberry very well. This has got to be one of the best smelling beers I've ever drank. Lavender is extremely refreshing smelling. I get hints of lactic funk and slight earthy must as well.
T: Just as exceptionally jammy and juicy as the nose. Very intense and sweet elderberry flavor mixed with refreshing and smooth lavender. The finish has a kiss of lactic acid, and I get slight nuances of mint, earth, and lemon citrus. Aftertaste has some residual berry sweetness and smoothing lavender notes.
M: One of their heavier and fuller bodied beer with a smooth mouthfeel. Drying finish with some gritty tannins clinging to the throat.
O: One of my favorite if not my favorite beer from TRB thus far. The elderberry and lavender is one of the best combinations in a sour that I ever had. This was wonderful.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2015-04-30in Portland, OR at Apex on tap

Smells and tastes of lavender, eldeberry and Brett funk. Quite fruity. Mild-moderately sour. Light body and carbonation. Crisp and very refreshing.

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Photo of HopsintheSack
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep red color with a light head that quickly disappears.

Smells very fruity. Strong berry jam odors with a slight lavender smell hidden in there.

The taste is very fruity with the lingering lavender taste showing up towards the end of the sip. Taste just like fruit punch in my opinion, but with the lavender at the end. Just like the smell. No sourness at all, maybe a bit tart, but almost nothing that makes me feel like its a sour. More of a fruit beer.

I found this to be a bit under carbed from where I would have preferred. Left it a bit syrupy and coating in the mouth.

Overall the fruit flavors and overall taste was great. I was really disappointed with the lack of sour or tartness. Also could have had more carbonation to thin out the coating feel.

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Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Fantastic beer. Appearance is a deep red with a purple-ish. Taste is strong berry fruit with a nice tart and floral backbone. Very flavorful and easy to drink. I was worried about the lavender giving it a soapy finish, but the impact is delicate. Love it.

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Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A split with rudzud.

Pours pinkish lavender fizzy head that foams up nicely but fades fairly quickly, semi clear but darker ruby almost purple like brown color.

Nose from afar brings nice lavender, a fruity like berry elderberry or boisonberry, blueberry as well, fresh berry, then up close is sweet syrupy condensed fruit, jam, mild wild funk, and berry seed. Very slight cheesy funk as it warms.

Taste brings more sweet fruit, jammy fruit berry, boisonberry and blueberry as well as elderberry, nice sweet jammy pie filling. Light golden malt doughy flavor, little syrupy note, bready candy note, with nice mild funk level, sourness. Flemmy finish with lingering boisonberry, elderberry, and blueberry, mild tartness and faint funk decent sticky.

Mouth is med softer bod, decent carb, little flemmy.

Overall so much berry and nice tartness, very tasty and enjoyable, prob the best I've had so far from then.

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Photo of rudzud
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a beautiful clear purple ruby hue with a light off white lilac hue that fades to leave thin halo.

S - Aromas of loads of elderberry and lavender, from a distance. Up close I get a cheesy funk. Great berry notes but the deeper I inhale the more cheesy funk I get which really distracts from the wonderful berry qualities.

T - Taste is delicious berries, blueberries and elderberry. Light lavender this is a really tart golden ale with awesome berry notes. The funk is more hidden with great pie/jam berry notes. Really delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, though flemmy on the finish.

O - Overall this beer was really delicious. Awesome berry notes really made this beer shine. My favorite Rare Barrel to date.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Knapp85
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out on the purple side. The smell of the beer is loaded with acidic notes, maybe some subtle lavender and elderberries on the nose. The taste is sour, the herbal fruit flavors are kind of put to the back burner on this one. The feel is lighter bodied. Overall it's a really interesting combo of things in this beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep red body. Small white head and a thin collar.

Smell - Very interesting. Floral. A light berry aroma. The lavender lends a bit of sweetness.

Taste - Berry flavor more pronounced. Moderate tartness. Floral flavors don't translate quite as well, but they add an interest component.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Pleasant sourness.

Overall - Probably the best Rare Barrel beer I've had. Love the floral components.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: Red wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap. Brown glass.

Served cold into a goblet at low altitude in Austin, TX and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as an Ameriican wild ale per the label's description - which implies the style.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half a finger wide. White colour. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. A biteen soapy.

BODY: Appealing red. Raspberry coloured. Not too vibrant. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Looks good overall. I'm excited to try it, but it's not unique or special.

AROMA: Lavender; I hate lavender. The elderberry is very juniper-esque, evoking a dry gin character that I find revolting. Sourness is quite mild. This is a wretched aroma for a sour, and really turns me off to the beer.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: The elderberry is lovely, with a characteristic tartness, subtle dryness, and nice albeit limited sourness (~2-3/10 in terms of intensity). Faint juniper berries give a gin-like taste that I actually don't mind. Lactobacillus bacteria is indicated as the source of the sourness; it's clean and sterile rather than spontaneous and wild. I don't get much oak, if any at all. Nicely smacky. Yogurt.

I hate the lavender. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. By no means a subtle brew; it's quite overt. Simple but not plain. It's decently balanced.

TEXTURE: Mild acidity. Smooth, wet, tart, lightly powdery. Not quite soft enough. Medium-bodied. Not too thick on the palate. Complements the taste well, but it doesn't elevate the beer.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

OVERALL: Unusual in that the aroma is revolting, but the taste is lovely. Drinkable but odd. There's something weird here and I can't quite put my finger on it. I loathe lavender, but the elderberry is lovely. I'm torn regarding this beer; I'd like to revisit it in-depth (when not at a beer tasting) to really discover what's going on here. Well worth trying if only for the experience.

Highish B-

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really interesting. A golden ale as a base, but you wouldn't guess it - the elderberries and lavender push it purple. Imagine drinking a lightly bittered dark-berry tea mixed with an unsweetened cranberry juice.

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Apropos Of Nothing from The Rare Barrel
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 182 ratings