Buzzards Bay Cranberry Lambic | Buzzards Bay Brewing

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Buzzards Bay Cranberry LambicBuzzards Bay Cranberry Lambic
20 Ratings
Buzzards Bay Cranberry LambicBuzzards Bay Cranberry Lambic

Brewed by:
Buzzards Bay Brewing
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ybnorml on 11-24-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by bjohnson:
Photo of bjohnson
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as a semi holiday gift from my future father-in-law who absolutely loves Buzzards Bay. I've been waiting to try this bad boy. Silver foil on top, caged and corked. Aged in cabernet sauvignon barrrels for a year then infused with local cranberries...Yum! Any better brew for Valentines day? Shared with eheff

A: Pours a very murky dark cranberry color that's bordering on plum. Big fizzy champagne like head. Five fingers in the flute glass. Sticky thick lacing. Looks like pieces of cranberry are floating around in there.
S: Sour tart notes of cranberry. Woody with slight wine like aromas. Cranberry aromas aren't overpowering but sort of take a back seat to the lambic yeast.
T/M: Tarty sourness as the lift of the curtain. Sourness rips across the palate and finishes with a sharp tingling feeling the joint where your jaw bone connects to your head. Tartness hangs on the palate with a cranberry bitterness.
D: A very nice brew for this day. I'm not sure this would be a regular for me, but definitely a good one for a special day. A sipping brew this is.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review is from the February 2007 issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Buzzard's went all crazy on us with this one. They brewed a special batch of their Black Lager (Schwarzbier), aged it in cabernet sauvignon-soaked French oak barrels for a year as it matured with a secondary fermentation, and then added local, fresh, crushed cranberries, and finished it with some funk. Let's taste it.

Scary pour on this one, even for veterans like us. Chunks of yeast and cranberries everywhere! But the bottle says to expect this and recommends that we "Don't panic, drink the beer." Okay, okay.

Opaque, rich brown topped with a beige, slightly pink, ultra creamy head with amazing stick and lace. Sharp in the nose, with sour berries, pepper and band-aids. First sip is a bit puckering, sharp, with limes and salt. Cranberries, oh yeah, and they work very well with the style. There's a delicious vinous quality to this beer, too, with a distinct, oaky back and deep dryness. Very dry finish. Quenching.

Besides the cranberry chunks sticking to the sides of the glass, we love this beer. Very authentic, artfully constructed; should no doubt please the geekiest Lambic-phile, or piss them off completely. Well done.

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Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL thanks to Jason. Nice nose of a fairly straight forward young lambic, blessed with a tartness of fruit skins. Dry and cottony right from the start. Incredibly deep dark ruby black pour (weird to make this with a black lager), with mountains of rose tinted foam. Flavor is parching, plenty of linens, pear seeds, tannic apple skin and pucking lime juice. There's palpable cranberry pulp in there. Corner of the mouth invoking. Fairly well acidic. I feel like the cranberries and the cotton of the lambic are fighting. It's dry on dry. I wish there was a touch of sweetness to balance out the cottonmouth. The cranberry flavor is nice, as is the wild fermentation of this beer, but I'm not totally into the combination. Also, the lambic character is incredibly clean, almost antiseptically so. There's very little budge room for wildness, which is fine, it just leaves out some of the nuance. Overall, highly impressive for an American brewer (especially Buzzards Bay) to make such a daring brew and pull it off.

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Photo of tzieser
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage bottle-- got this one from the brewery. Only has a front label-- doesn't say anything about chunks of cranberries in the bottle.

Pours a very dark red/maroon color. Nice creamy head that settles to a decent lacing around the glass. Delicious scents-- smells of cranberry and a little bit of malt in the background. Tastes nice-- pretty tart up front, just like cranberries (i love cranberries, so i loved that touch), with strong tastes of yeast and hints of malt. Amazing.

Overall-- you gotta try this beer. Even if you hated Sam Adam's Cranberry Lambic, this stuff is delicious. Not even comparable to the aforementioned garbage. Definitely give it a shot.

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Photo of auxiliary
2.12/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

This is not a true lambic, because it is not like other lambic or fruit beers. They took thier black lager and barrel aged it in a Cabernet Sauvignon soaked French oak barrel for over 8 months. Then they added crushed South Coast cranberries in the barrel.

This is not using the same cranberries as last year I was told.

appearance - Dark red color, did leave some lace on the glass from its creamy head.

smells - Lots of cranberries here.

taste - Mix of cranberries, and the black lager. Some sour and tartness from the lactic bacteria that fermented.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Didn't like the sour taste, was too sour for me. I did get through half a glass. The 3 of us dumped the rest. I don't know how I gave the worst review. I just don't like sour beers.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 release, poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a large light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: There was a strong whiff of cranberries as I popped the cork. After pouring the aroma consisted of cranberries, dark malts, coffee and chocolate, which makes a lot of sense since the label states that they took a batch of the Black Lager, aged it for 12 months and then added the cranberries. It’s a quite different combination but it works.

T: The taste starts out malty and you get the flavors of coffee and chocolate briefly, up front, but then the strong tart flavor of the cranberries explodes and the coffee and chocolate flavors fall into a complimentary background. I’m certainly pleasantly surprised with how well this beer comes together in spite of the seemingly weird combination of components. The after-taste is tart with a little sweetness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style while being unique, this is certainly not a beer that you could pound but it’s a nice one to sip. When I saw the words “Cranberry Lambic” I had a horrible flashback, as I’m sure most others did, to the abomination that is Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic. This beer is about as different as you could possibly get from it, while still being able to use the same words in the beer’s name. It’s a completely different, unique and pleasant beer experience and has restored my faith in the use of cranberries in beer as Buzzards Bay Brewing seems to have done it the right way here.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of jaxon53
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brentk56
4.82/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a nicely structured khaki (slightly pink) head that eventually declines to a creamy, latte-like film over the beer, all the while leaving swathes of thick lacing around the chalice

Smell: Interesting combination of elements; there is is an underlying tone of black bread, with just a hint of chocolate; on top of that is the tart cranberry and the funky Brett; lastly, hints of red wine grapes from the cabernet barrels are apparent as well

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of tart fruit initially, with the black bread and chocolate moving in shortly thereafter; by mid-palate, undertones of funky horse blanket make subtle inroads in the flavor; after the swallow, there is an initial dry, red wine woody aspect that emerges (particularly if you swirl the beer in your mouth for a while before swallowing) just before the tart cranberry flavors, which dominate until the end, which is very dry and imparts an oaky character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full creamy body with soft but meaningful carbonation

Drinkability: I just think this is a supurb beer, very creatively brewed that is deserving of a much more widespread appreciation than it has received; to my palate, this is as good as any of the American Wild Ales that Tomme Arthur has brewed and that is no small achievement

Thanks, drjim34, for the chance to try this extraordinary brew

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark brown with a creme head. Nose is lactic funky sour. Minor wood tones. There seems to be a theme going with all these wild ales and lambics lately with these similar fragrant tones. I suppose we're all using the same yeast strains? Flavor profile is bringing subtle fruit tones from the cranberries. A combination of slight sweet tones and bitter edges. Smooths out as it warms. Feel is smooth on liquid and carbonation as well. This is pretty east to drink. Well put together and with good balance. This isn't bringing the type of complexities that the Belgian lambics are, but it's well put together. I can dig it.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this bottle about a month ago and had it chilling in the beer fridge since hoping any sediment would settle. Still when I popped the cork it fizzed like shaken champage.

Pours a brown-red color. Red is more apparent in the stream of the pour. Thick enough that no light can sneak through the goblet. Thick, frithy white head with lots of spidered lace. Nose is cranberries. Ah, I miss the Cape.

Flavor is a bit disappointing. Definitely front-loaded and back-ended with cranberries which is quite nice. But there is a sweetness that i almost fake--like nutrasweet. Also, can't pick out any of the yeast flavors that I usually associate with lambics. Nice tart and puckering finish. Thin and water mouth which is a bit disappointing. Still a nice attempt by an American brewery (that is underated in my opinion) at a style you do not see very often this side of the pond.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 Release; Sampled December 2008
Pours with a fat, two-finger thick, darkish tan colored head that I fairly dense. The beer is quite dark, with a opaque burnt amber color; when held up to the light the beer passes just a touch of light, but remains quite opaque with a deep haze and a touch of ruby red color around the edges. Up front there is a nice tart berry character but as my nose gets down into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip the oak character becomes quite dominant, the oak can't shake the cranberry character completely though and there is also a backdrop of Brettanomyces funk. The barrel contributes aromas of vanillin, spicy oak and an almost a bourbon like character, while rich fruit notes of tart berries, prunes and black currants are also here, as are funky notes of musty wood, a touch of butyric acid sweat dried leather and a sharp and funky phenolic note that lightly spices up the aroma. Other notes of black pepper, lemon pepper, toasted malt and a touch of savory add to the overall character of this complex nose. The aroma is quite rich, the beer smells like it has a lot more body than a typical Lambic.

The beer is actually fairly light bodied, it was almost shockingly so after immersing myself in the perceived richness of the nose. The lightness is about right for a Lambic, though seems to be missing that lush, almost creamy quality that a good Lambic has. The beer is somewhat tart, though not aggressively so and this mixes in with the roasted grain character in the finish that further dries things out. The roast character isn't huge, but does contribute a cold, slightly acidic, burnt, cold, black coffee flavor to the finish that has a touch of charcoal in it. The dark grain actually contributes a fair amount to the acidity of this brew. Interestingly there isn't much cranberry flavor noticeable, it seems to contribute more to the nose. As the beer warms up it picks up a bit more texture, body and an almost creaminess. This definitely needs to be served on the warm side of cool, as it was a bit too thin at first. The oak character, so noticeable in the nose, almost plays a secondary role in the flavor; the beer has a substantial spicy oak component, perhaps a touch of buttery oak and a certain tannic quality that can coat the palate and dry out the overall effect of this beer.

My second pour has me noticing an interesting farmhouse cheese note in the aroma, though it is quite fleeting. While not overwhelmingly roasted, the base beer puts a very strong stamp on the character of this beer; toasted, lightly roasted grain notes are quite noticeable and keep this from being anything remotely resembling a Lambic. It is certainly a stretch to call this a Lambic of any sort, not only is the base beer completely wrong, but it doesn't really have the requisite mix of flavors either. Still, name aside, this is an interesting, pretty tasty brew that is fun to drink.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a nice creamy off white head. The aroma has a dominant wine/grape character with a sharp cranberry background. The taste is very sharp on the palette. The cranberry dominates the flavor with the dark lager notes drifting around in the back. The finish oaky and very dry.

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Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of Floydster
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle received in a trade with blisscent a few months back, thank you for sending me this want of mine Nelson, currently drinking out of my Duvel snifter, 2008 vintage

A-Dark brown with ruby red highlights, 3/4 inch bubbly off white head that lasts a little while, comes back after one swirl, nice ring arounf the glass, some lacing too, berries floating around in the glass
S-Cranberries, Cabarnet wine, tartiness, vinegar, musty scents, cherries, caramel, and lactose
T-Starts off sweet with berry-like flavors, sweet dark malts in the middle, finish is dry with both cranberry and a lot of oak, slightly tart too, continues to stay true to the classic lambic style and get progressively more dry, harsh cranberry that is almost like pomegranate juice in its strength of fruit flavor, still tarty by the end
M-Tart, fruity, oaky, and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, thought it was going to gush but it did not, taste lingers long
D-Could drink this bottle and got about 3/4 of the way through before giving the rest to my dad, not overly boozy or anything just fruity and almost too dry

First beer from Buzzards Bay and also the first time I have had a lambic with this fruit in it, actually works pretty well and I look forward to more breweries experimenting with it soon, would drink this again, probably will improve with age, recommended

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Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of timmay41
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, nearly impossible cork to pop off from the 750ml. Yank, twist and pull and it doesn't budge. As you take a break and recover your manhood, the pressure the bottle is under actually pushes the cork up a little. Takes time, muscles, and results in a sore hand, but worth it for the pour...

Appearance: pours a surprisingly dark, brownish amber. Generous two finger ruby-reddish head calms down, leaving a nice foam lacing. Can't get over this color. As others have indicated, this isn't a true or traditional fruit lambic & I'm already noticing why. The opaqueness is shocking.

Smell: cranberry bouquet dominates. I'm not picking up much else, but admittedly i've been drinking big, hoppy beers of late.

Taste: cranberry tartness supported by malty smoothness. rather acerbic, dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: more body than the '06, but still rather light. It drinks a little more like a Duchesse or Panil Barriquee than a Cantilion Rose.

Drinkability: pretty drinkable. The unique characteristics of this offering make it an enjoyable venture. As the brew warms its development keeps things interesting. I chilled this bottle for 90 minutes; I might try about 45 minutes next time. Feels like something i'll enjoy even more in late spring/early summer. Glad I picked up another bottle to age.

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Buzzards Bay Cranberry Lambic from Buzzards Bay Brewing
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 20 ratings