Blue Sunday Sour | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
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Blue Sunday SourBlue Sunday Sour

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This unique anniversary libation, heritage-blended from our library of barrel-soured beers, exhibits deeply layered flavors of malt and oak, with a tart finish.
Pairings: wild game,poultry & charcuterie.

17.1° Plato 8.7% abv

Added by lackenhauser on 07-13-2008

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 590
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.11/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 7/26/08. Bottle shared by notalush. Pours a mahogany brown with a HUGE tan head. Flavor is oaky and bourbony. Flavor of some sourness and LOTS of barrel (bourbon). Not a fan.
Aroma: 5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 4/10
Palate: 2/5
Overall: 10/20

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.28/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After being fooled into buying 4 bottles of 'Envious,' I decided I just wasn't going to buy any Blue Sunday... Well surlytheduff must have read my mind and decidedto toss one in as an extra in our most recent trade.

Served in a tulip and shared with my wife and brother in law.

Dark, prune-colored purple brown body with a small fuzzy head. Weak retention, no lacing.
Smells of oak, some dark fruits, and a bunch of malt.
The flavor adds a chalky tartness on the finish. Not really sour at all, and not really very good in my opinion... Too malty and too sweet-- i prefer dry sours, but the sweetness is too much because it cuts into the sourness too much and makes the finish remind me of sweet-tarts.

Feels medium-full with low carbonation.

Overall-- this just doesn't work for me. I was hoping for more... I like the brewery, but I have now decided to avoid their fruit beers and sours from now on.

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Photo of StormKing47
2.53/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared with cmurren25, Jwiss22, JayW73 and Lane23 at a little tasting, was expecting much from this and here's why...

A- An awkward brown color with a mix of tangerine and ruby hues. A good amount of carb leading to an off-white head. This is the best part of this one, trust me.

S- What a muttled mess of aromas. A burst of spoiled grapes that give off that sugary sweet and sharp acidic aroma. It's almost as if they left this out in the sun like a traditional lambic, but it was a complete accident. Seriously sharp acidic aromas with some warming and I would say a sweet, boozy bum wine aroma that is just awful.

T- Nothing, seriously nothing. It's like tasting seltzer water. As cmurren25 stated "maybe they were short on the batch and 50/50 blended the base beer with water". Is there even such a thing as a gueze with water? I get none of the aromas in the taste, no wood, no mustiness, no grapes, not anything.

M- Seriosuly thin bodies, virtually no tingle, no coating, no pucker not anything. What the hell is going on? I sam shocked and confused by this.

D- Yea it you enjoy awkwardly colored seltzer water. This one is just a mess in a bottle. It's not that it tastes awful there's just nothing there. No taste, no tart, no sour, no wood notes, NOTHING!

New Holland needs to just stop and actually try once in awhile. Just because you sour a beer does not mean that it is going to be the best thing in the world.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2012 vintage...

A: Pours a translucent red color with about one full finger of off-white head. The foam settles quickly, leaving solid lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is cherries, spoiled fruit, sour funk, and bourbon-esque alcohol. There is more funk and rotten fruit than anything else.

T: Starts out tart and acidic. It's off. Way off. There are tons of spoiled cherry and plum notes. I get hints of old vegetation. It's pretty sour and just plain nasty.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet with the sour coming on strong right after. It's a total mess and I don't think it's infected. I just think that is how it is. There is lingering sour and alcohol in the finish.

O: Not a good beer at all. Skip it at all costs. I don;t want to drink this ever again. It's just plain gross.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter at SmallBar - Fullerton.

Seeing this on-tap, I had to try it. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a finger of cream-tan foam. The nose comprises funky berries, green apple, sour grape, and what may or may not be toffee in the background. The taste follows closely, with each of the sour/tart components competing with each other for dominance, though it's all in vain, as they just end up bleeding each other out, creating a melange of odd tastes on my tongue. It's hard to explain, beyond me just saying it's unpleasant. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat oily feel. Overall, a sad little sour, one that doesn't know what it wants to be, so it just drops out of society and fails at panhandling.

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Photo of cfrances33
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 bottle served on 7/10/12 poured into a tulip.

Pour: Half finger light tan head and a deep ruby brownish body. No notice of sediment.

Smell: Tart blueberries and cherries.

Taste: Completely follows the nose. Too much blueberry for me. Maybe some brown sugar in there. Meh.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and juicy, but too much so. Almost like a puree.

Overall: Forgettable.

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Photo of Viggo
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, thanks to hoppymeal for hooking me up a while back.

Pours a clear dark reddish brown, some orange highlights, huge light tan head forms and settles down to a medium sized layer, leaves some lace spots on the glass.

Smell is weird, very fruity, lots of woodiness, funky sour, rotten fruit, apples, some caramel, horseblanket, very strange.

Taste is slightly better, a bit nutty, really strange and fruity, kind of rotten, wood, lemon acidity, a bit of whiskey, sour fruit, very weird finish, like nutty sour fruit.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with high carbonation, very weird beer. Thanks Derek!

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Photo of brother_kenneth
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer has a vinegary quality to it that I cannot get into. Pours a dark reddish brown and has a nose of malt and vinegar. Taste is also malty and vinegary with some funk in there as well. The finish is very short, which made it easier for me to drink.

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Photo of match1112
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage 22oz bottle

a: clear garnet body with a half inch of tan head that quickly disappears.

s: very tart. more cherry than blueberries

t: lots of berries on the tongue, kinda like a bad flavored soda. very acidic and tart.

m: seems a little syrupy, good carbonation, mouth puckering dry finish

o: drinkable, makes a decent intro into sours, alochol is hidden well.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Blue Sunday 2011

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours clear amber with two-inch tan head that lasts briefly but some foam rings stick to glass' interior. Vigorous effervescence. 

S: Malt vinegar is the dominant note in smell. Additional aromas include grapes, grape skin, wood, cherries, and a bit of vanilla. I get the impression that the beer will be a little sweet and salty. 

T: Yes, it is quite sweet, but not disproportionate to the sweetness found in a Flanders Red Ale like Rodenbach Grand Cru. Grape, cherry and vinegar notes follow next. The sourness in Blue Sunday is medium-light, so not as big of a player as I suspected. Wood and/or fruit pits join these elements for finish, which is astringent. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and paradoxically limp. 

O: I'm still amazed that New Holland was able to brew a decent, approachable American Wild Ale. It is definitely pedestrian and is therefore recommended mainly as an introduction to the style or as a relatively cheap sour fix ($12 for a 750 ml bottle). 

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650ml bomber courtesy of viggo I believe - thanks man! Pours a nice amber color with four fingers of thick, light tan foam which tapers off, leaving light lacing on the glass.

Quite an odd duck this one is, and I can't say I enjoy is as much as I wish to. Light vinegar, caramel malt, good cherry presence, a hint of apple peel, thin cola notes, light lemon tartness, wood with a touch of perhaps bourbon, touch of cocoa, light esters, funky, a hint of nuts, light sweetness with a drying finish, sharp prickly carbonation. Overall, a little on the thin side with nothing really being all that exciting.

All over the place - perhaps like a Belgian dark which got infected crossed with a Flanders red? Whatever it is, it doesn't really come together.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a stemmed flute

Appears a cloudy, ruby infused brownish body with a bubbly tan head that rose and fell rather quickly. Mild lacing left on the glass.

Tart with oak and cherries. A band-aid/medicinal funk mixed with a mild dose of horse blanket rounds out the aroma. Not an overly aggressive nose nor is it enticing.

Horse blanket comes to the front a little more on the palate with the band-aid quickly in tow. Tart cherries and plums and a touch of vanilla to help cut through the tartness. Some oak woodiness rounds out the flavor.

Medium-light body with a tart, dry finish. Relatively mellow all around.

The drinkability was average due to the overall fact that this falls short to most other in its style. A good try, but overall it falls short of expectations.

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Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of fizzy tan head. Color is a dark ruby brown.

Aroma: Light sour notes. Cherries, oak, and funk.

Taste: Vanilla, spices, sour funk, sour cherries, and oak.

Mouthfeel: Very fizzy with some sourness. Light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, a very fizzy sour. The feel was like brute or lebleu. Not overly tart. Relatively drinkable, but nothing I was crazy about.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The sour ale pours out as a brown color with a quick dissolving tan head. Strong sour smellalong with some tart cherries or raspberry aromas. There are also some aromas of wood in there too. Tasted sour and just a little fruity as well. It was pretty light feeling and had minimal carbonation. Overall this beer is pretty good for someone who's into this style. It really takes a lot for me to get these under my belt but I try to anyway.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle.

A- Pours a brownish color with light red hues in the beer when held up to the light. One finger off white head shows poor retention. Light streak of lace here and there on the glass.

S- There is a mixed berry aroma in the front of the beer which leads to a strong lactic acid whiff. I pick up some light red wine notes in this along with oak. Alcohol doesn't really show and once the beer starts to warm the fruits really start to bring forth more ummph.

T- Light sour fruits seem to come out first in the flavor. This turns to more of just a juicy fruit (not the gum) flavor down the line with the beer. Small sour funks toward the middle of the beer really put a quick zing on the tastebuds but only a quick zing sadly. Some light oak notes toward the ending of the beer along with hints of tartness from the fruit and moderate alcohol flavor.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the beer. Tart fruit, light oak, and funk left on the palate. Aftetaste was alcohol, tart fruit, and some sourness overall. Flavors were put together a little too well for the style if that makes any sense. No off flavors were detected while drinking. High alcohol drying on the palate after each sip.

D- This beer was drinkable even though it should have been a little less so. The ABV was hidden for the most part but the sourness needed to come out more I thought. A nice try at this sour but something or somethings were missing.

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Photo of BierFan
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: Big light tan head, lots of carbonation. Seriously the carbonation in this beer is Duvel-esque, perhaps even more carbonated than Duvel. The body is a really dark ruby red, almost black.

Smell: The smell is alot of oak. Kind of smells a little oxidized.

Taste: The taste is fairly sour, but not overly so for me. Unlike the smell, in the taste the oak is in the background and not upfront. I was expecting this to be more complex, but not a whole lot is going on in the taste besides sourness.

Mouthfeel: Thin with a lot of carbonation.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. No date or info. next-to impossible to remove cork too.

Thank you Sweemzander for sharing this beer!

A - Dark ruby and clear, the pour shows it's immense carbonation as the light khaki head rises to four-fingers almost instantly. Moderate retention and patches of sticky lacing around the glass.

S - The aroma is very thin but the main components are sour cherry and light malts with a grassy nose and a not-so-good sour funk. A bit of barnyard but not a very good aroma. It's more of an old muskiness than a good wild ale aroma.

T - Strong oak flavors abound with a backup of tart cherries and a sour finish. A bit of biscuity malts in the background and no hops. Fairly one-dimensional and it's very oak-flavored.

M - Soda-like carbonation spritzes across the palate which gives it a lighter-bodied feel. Has a tart, sour finish with a lingering dryness.

D - Not bad but this beer would be much better when it's fresh I think. A better New Holland beer than most of their offerings because it doesn't feature a ton of sugar. A good stab at a wild ale that's pretty drinkable for what it is.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


A: Like an apple juice/grape juice blend. Dark but completely translucent. Very frothy, albeit small head that stays clung to the sides.

S: Almost smells like gummy bears/worms in its sugar content. Barnyard sour upfront, quickly overpowered by oak that almost smells of bourbon.

T: Less tart than the smell. Oak is also more subdued. Almost has a wine like fruit taste and flatness.

M: Carbonation is low but still there. This beer doesn't contribute much to the mouthfeel which is good for being a sour imo. I wish the carbonation was more lively though. As I drink more I get the distinct burps that remind me of drinking too much brandy, gross.

O: Atypical beer, atypical for the style too. Not really toward my fancies though.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with a faint wisp of off white head around part of the rim. Plenty of vibrant carbonation bubbles head up from the depths. The aroma is of flat grape soda and Brettanomyces. The taste is much more appealing than the nose lets on. I get some raspberry and blueberry flavor and tartness. There's also some oak which lends is some of the dryness in the body. The mouth is otherwise moderately carbonated..

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Photo of billab914
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Russian River tulip. It looked brown at first but it gets a real nice mahogany red color as the light hits it. A thin off-white head barely covers the top of the beer.

The aroma is tart and acidic with some sour dark fruits to it as well. It's a little sharp with some vinegar to it, but the sour dark fruits are good.

The taste follows through with more sour dark fruits throughout. It's got a bit of a sour wine like character to it. The oak definitely shows up in the finish as well. It's moderately acidic, but not too bad.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was a pretty decent beer but not a standout in the style. It just seemed to lack complexity to the sourness to me. Not bad overall though.

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Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a purple/scarlet with minimal head. No head retention & lacing

S: Sourness & woody notes

T: Follows the nose, a little blueberry as well up front. More of the same, leafy & woody hops surface as well as this warms. Finishes tart, with a little blueberry, some dryness & little bit of leafy hops

MF: Medium body & minimal carbonation

Okay, nothing special. I get more hits than misses from these guys. I've drank a lot of good sours/wilds lately, this doesn't measure up. Not bad, but I won't buy it again either

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Photo of champ103
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A finger and a half of white foam rises. Then recedes in a minute. Light lace left behind.
S: Vinegary, sour cherries up front. Not much else. Some toasted and caramel malt. That is about it.
T: Follows the nose with a nice tart/sour fruit flavor up front. Best I can tell, cherries. A bit on the vinegary side. Then the malts come in. Toasted, caramel, and sweet. Maybe just a bit of wood coming through as this warms?
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Not nearly as crisp or effervescent as I would like. A bit muddled and even a little thin. Not hard to drink. I will finish the bottle with ease.

A decent, run of the mild wild ale. Maybe a good starter starter wild for those that are not up to the intense funk/cheesy/sour that many can be. Still something I am enjoying.

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Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Leftover bottle from a local beer dinner. Label was different that the one pictured, indicating New Holland's 12th anniversary, with the number 12 juxtaposed over an oak barrel.

Into a small stemmed flute this poured a burnished orange, visible streams of micro bubbles rapidly pulsed through it. The retention was good, and left arcs of lace inside the glass.

Wet wood, possibly an old bourbon barrel in use here. Very mild amount of wild funk, and I do stress mild. Pretty tame.

Effervescent feel with slight astringency, remnants of bitter oak tannin in the drying finish. Some tobacco and medicinal Brett flavors peek through the murky fog. Carbonation is good, but the astringency kills it a bit for me. It may be splitting hairs, but this isn't truly sour. Overall it has some interesting barrel character, but is too dialed back and muddled to really stand out.

Shared this bottle, which is probably the ideal way to enjoy it, in a smaller serving.

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Photo of Floydster
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle received in a trade with hoppymeal, thanks Derek, consumed on 12/6/08, reviewed from notes I took on a napkin from Dennis and Mike's motel room, poured into my taster glass from Strong Ale, color was a mix between a dark red and medium brown, my pour was too aggressive but there was still way too much bubbly white foam, close to three inches in my small glass, good retention, weak lacing, smell was the best part of this beer with soft brettanomyces, herbs, mild vinegar, vinegar, citrusy fruits, and berries, flavor was a little disappointing with more mellow flavors than the aroma made you think, more toasty than sour with a little funk like an earthier saison, little sweet in the finish with a weird smoky flavor, it was served pretty warm already so did not change much during the drinking experience, mouthfeel was bad and way too foamy, like a overly carbonated champagne if that is even possible, too dry as well, taste lingered a long time, could not drink this bottle myself and glad I shared it with about six people, not heavy or anything, the sensation just ruined it for me, this might improve with some age or get worse with even more carbonation, it will be interesting to see, still worth checking out but this is not a wild ale that I could say really worked exceptionally well

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage 22 oz. bottle poured into a New Holland Brewing High Gravity Series branded cervoise glass

Pours amber with deep burgundy hues topped with a fizzy beige head that quickly dissipates. Balsamic vinegar, tart black cherry, overripe blueberries, and a touch of oak on the nose. Opens with black cherry and tart blueberry, joined midpalate by malty balsamic vinegar notes. Finishes with continued sour but juicy fruit notes. Moderate to lighter end of medium bodied thanks to a significant malt bill. Light but present fizzy, cola-like carbonation. Fairly smooth. Solid beer that has some characterisics of a Flanders Red. At times a bit too sweet for me, however there was more to like than to not like.

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Blue Sunday Sour from New Holland Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 590 ratings.
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