129 of the Best Sour Beers, Blind-Tasted and Ranked
How We Taste & Test Beers
Composed entirely of Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) judges who have all studied, trained, and been tested on their ability to discern characteristics in beer, our panel is independent and doesn’t include any CB&B editors or staff. The panel tastes all beer blindly—they do not know what brands and beers they are tasting until the tasting is complete.
Our goal is to inform you about the strengths and weaknesses of these beers as well as their relative differences (not everyone has the same taste in beer, so accurate descriptors are more valuable than straight numerical values). The quotes you see in the reviews are compiled from the review panel’s score sheets to give you a well-rounded picture of the beer.
As our reviewers judge, they score based on the standard BJCP components: Aroma (max 12 points), Appearance (max 3 points), Flavor (max 20 points), Mouthfeel (max 5 points), and Overall Impression (max 10 points). We’ve listed these individual component scores, and the bottom-line number is derived from adding then doubling these component scores to produce a rating on a 100-point scale. Note that we round the component scores to the nearest whole number, so the math won’t necessarily add up.
Our judges use the following scale in valuing scores:
95–100 » Extraordinary World-class beers of superlative character and flawless execution
90–94 » Exceptional Distinguished beers with special character, style, and flavor
85–89 » Very good Well-crafted beers with noteworthy flavor and style
80–84 » Good Solid, quality, enjoyable beers
75–79 » Above Average Drinkable and satisfactory beers with minor flaws or style deviations
50–74 » Not recommended
We’d like for you to keep one thing in mind as you read our reviews: Your perception of a beer is more important than that of our review panel or editorial staff. Reading reviews—on the Web, in a magazine, or in a book—is no substitute for trying the beer yourself.
Samuel Adams / Boston Beer Co American Kriek (82)
Banana notes mix with a spiced earthy funkiness that is a welcome surprise after the strong Belgian yeast aroma. The cherries are tart and present but have a sharp edge to them—more plum than fresh cherry. The linger is funky, long lasting, and dry. Sherry and some woody vanillin character are apparent. Finishes with tartness and some sweetness on the tongue.
Brewery De Troch Oude Gueuze (83)
Sharp, bordering on harsh acidity/tartness up front, which comes through as lemon zest with a high pucker factor. Lemon fades to the finish. Strong, sharp Brett. Taste of lemon water in the finish keeps this beer refreshing. The beer sits on your tongue and is sticky after the finish.
Brasserie Dupont Monk's Stout Dupont (83)
An interesting combination of plum, cherry, heavy roast, and effervescent herbal qualities that give an almost menthol, numbing note. The roast turns into a burned incense, with smoke at the back end. Very interesting yeasty character in the middle of the palate, with some slight barnyard and farmhouse characters.
Destihl Synchopathic (83)
Tart and fruity, aggressively acidic and mouth puckering, with some backend sweetness to provide a bit of balance, but it’s still skewed toward acidic. The hops bitterness is assertive with some citrus notes that lean toward lemon juice, grapefruit, and vinegar.
Kannah Creek Apricot Sour (83)
The aroma promised more than the flavor delivered. The smooth-ish yogurt culture-like Lacto blends with a touch of strong fruit bitterness, but it’s not on a mouth-puckering level. The fruit flavor complements the esters. As it warms, the toasted malt character opens up, followed by subtle apricot and peach stone fruits, and leaving with a dry finish.
New Belgium Brewing Transatlantique Kriek (84)
Funky fruit character—the notes of sweet cherries with tart cherries are very present. Smooth mouthfeel from carbonation. Moderate carbonation carries the low cherry notes throughout the sip and into the linger that is medi- um lasting. Cherry note is very pleasant mixed with just the right amount of sweetness. Nice and juicy but not too sweet. The tartness is present but not overpowering and adds complexity.
Destihl Raspberry Lynnbrook (84)
The raspberries have a medium-to-low fruit flavor, and despite the distinct smell, not as strong as expected. Medium-high funk with a slight vegetal note and faint sulfur. Strong acidity distracts a bit from the fruitiness. Finishes dry with a hint of lingering tartness and very little bitterness.
AC Golden Brewing Company Peche (85)
Nice peach fruitiness with a touch of apricot. A very subtle hint of butter along with the peach. Tart citric sourness quickly melds with fairly strong peaches and starts to overtake the fruit. The Brett character adds complexity without too much funk. Slight undertone of rubber/sulfur lingers in the aftertaste. Touch of husky graininess at the tail end.
Aspen Brewing Company Silver City Ale (85)
Moderate graininess up front. Light body is a bit thin but refreshing. Very slight tartness with some dry apple-like fruit notes, akin to a dry cider with a crisp finish. Medium carbonation and light body, with some malty biscuit notes that balance the tartness. Light and subtle lactic sour toward the end of the sip that lingers longer than expected.
Freigeist Kopenickiade (85)
Sour apple notes combined with some tartness of the lactic acid up front, along with some woody funkiness and a hint of sweat from the kettle sour. The low hops bitterness doesn’t get in the way of the tartness. Notes of dry apple with a medium dark fruitiness that could be mango, mixed with white grape.
Tallgrass Brewing Raspberry Jam (85)
Big fruit notes all over the board—moderate raspberry, juicy lemon, and sweet gummy Lifesavers—with light sweetness, acidity, bitterness, and malt. It’s clean and fruity, with ester fruitiness boosted by the fruit additions. Some fructose sweetness in the aftertaste, and a dry finish.
Avery El Gose (86)
A sharper tartness up front, with just a hint of funk, that dissipates quickly and gives way to a bit of lemon and floral notes. Medium-light body with a touch of malt sweetness. Some of the hops bitterness includes grapefruit and evergreen—the grapefruit goes well with the spicy notes of pepper and nutmeg. The saltiness is there but fits comfortably into the mix. The finish is dry, with a slightly bitter finish.
Toolbox Das Fruit (86)
Strong citrus sourness, with bright acidity and some fruity sweetness. The juicy peach and apricot open up the flavor, followed quickly by tart lemon juice. The acidity takes over for a brief second, allowing the cereal malt quality to come back in the dry finish.
Brouwerij Boon Kriek Boon (87)
Strong cherry flavor well matched with smooth acidity and light level of sweetness. Sweet but blends with a slight lemon tartness that keeps it from being too sweet. Very light funky note. Nice tartness/acidic/lactic character hits the roof of the mouth and adds nice complexity. High wine notes of cherry and moderate citrus notes, grapefruit and lime. Light carbonic bite then nice hit of acidity. Linger is dry with lasting fruity notes.
Kannah Creek Hop Citrus Zest Sour (87)
Assertive lemony tartness with a candied lemon character that comes through like a Lemon Warhead. Moderate malty-sweet backbone that’s funky and bready. Some sour citrusy hops flavors with moderate bitterness that are sideswiped by a sour tang, and stay through the finish. The initial malt sweetness fades to a nice, dry finish.
Smuttynose Blueberry Short Weisse (87)
A bit of underripe blueberry, which is accentuated by the dry acidity and lemon notes, almost lending a hint of vegetal. More ripe juicy blueberry comes through afterward, and the finish is balanced with both fruit and tartness lingering just a touch but not too much. Very light malt support that’s cracker-like, and light body with a dry finish.
Fate Uror Gose (87)
Moderately tart up front, with a touch of citrus sweetness. Light, tart sweetness in the middle that transitions into more prominent sour toward the finish and is medium lasting. The tartness is refreshing but the body lacks some sweetness to hold this tartness up. Slightly salted, crisp, with a refreshing finish. The acidity stays through the finish.
Fat Tire and Friends Fat Sour Apple Ale (87)
Sweet and tart apple followed by subtle tartness develops into hints of biscuit malt sweetness. The acidity is definitely present, but not particularly sharp or tangy. A dry cidery bitter character contributes some grapefruit and citrus aftertaste. Clean and refreshing.
New Glarus Brewing Company Serendipity (88)
Very sweet, Jolly Rancher– flavor with a light acidity. The fruits are hard to discern, but it tastes like unfer- mented apple juice and plums. Low sour could use bit more oomph to back up the sweetness. Malt profile is hidden, but hints at a touch of bread, without which this would push very close to wine cooler territory. Linger is fruity and has a light strawberry note mixed into the fruit.
Brouwerij Van Steenberge Monk's Cafe (88)
Flavors of blackberries and cur- rants. Fruit cocktail: pear, maraschino cherry, apricot, pineapple. Light tartness gives way to a very sweet, light-bodied beer. Finish is cotton-candy sweet. Malt is almost chocolaty. Doesn’t taste like a Flanders. Moderately low acidity is out of style. Strange perfume and grape flavor. Spicy phenolics. Odd flavor combo. Slight carbonic bite. Creamy body and a sweet finish.
The Bruery Sour in the Rye (88)
Dark fruit, strong acidity. Moderate tart notes up front with a green-apple note in the middle of the sip. As it warms the green apple gives way to a rich sourness that is obvious but doesn’t overpower the substantial esters that add a lot of depth to this beer. Apple, pineapple, and passion fruit deliver a refreshing complexity.
Vanberg & DeWulf LambicX Private Domain (88)
Fruity notes of peach and apricot, a touch of strawberry, some lemon zest, moderate tobacco and other earthy notes. Light, sharp, dry Brett horse/hay funk helps to dry the beer out in the finish. Slight acidic tartness in the middle, but finishes with an orange/ grapefruit-rind type bitterness. Carbon- ation is lower than most.
Madtree Shade (88)
Light raspberry up front with a hint of tart funk to support, but very subtle and muted. A nice honey-like sweetness and fruitiness are expertly balanced with the complex acidity. The body is very light and thin, with a soft malt note, and a slight buttery/nutty finish.
Original Ritterguts Gose (88)
Hints of apple with some mild tartness, and the noticeable salty character adds flavor. The malt expresses a bread-like sweetness with some subtle spices that add complexity. Lactic tartness hits up front and carries through the finishing sip. The moderate grape adds a touch of light, watery vinegar for background depth. A dry carbonic bite carries in the finish.
The Dudes' Peach Berliner Weisse (88)
The thick, sweet peach character is very present throughout the taste. Tartness hides behind the flavor and comes through subtly, with a touch of dissonance. Carbonation is moderate, but could be a bit higher to counter the heavier body. The end of the sip is light and sour, but the finish is very sweet.
pFriem Gose (88)
This beer has a nice balance of sweetness with a slight tartness and some salt character. Some passionfruit and melon, with light raisins mixed with mango. The salt comes through midway, along with some light sweetness, then finishes with a moderate sourness and malty wheat-like sweetness. Moderate carbonation with a medium body.
De Cam Geuzestekerij Oude Lambiek (89)
Moderately high acidity with a sharp Brett character. Slightly sweet citrus up front with earthy hay notes. Finishes a bit thin and dry, which may also be from the lower carbonation (nearly still). Dry apple character and pleasant tartness but a fairly soft palate. Bitterness (orange peel) lingers, along with sourness and a hint of sweet.
Odell Brombeere (89)
Big blackberry up front, with a light tartness right after that extends to the finish. The sourness is restrained, but still adds to the refreshing character of the beer. Light body, moderate carbonation, and light malt tips the balance toward sweet. The fruit flavors linger nicely in the aftertaste.
Hangar 24 Craft Brewery Chandelle (90)
Lots of lactic acid and tartness up front with just a subtle hint of apricot fruit and sweetness to balance. Very light pineapple, mouth-puckering lemon sour. Body is a tad light. Nice leathery Brett frames the sour. Long-lingering lactic with a touch of apricot. High carbonation provides a warmth in the finish.
Brouwerij Bockor N.V Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge (90)
Flavors of tart green apple and lemon. Some barnyard and a touch of acetic. Strong yet smooth lactic flavor lends a moderate-high sourness up front with an almost sour-candy-like note that fades quickly into a dry finish. Little to no malt character, medium body, and a crisp acidic finish. No alcohol bite but a slight tart, acidic bite as it warmed up.
The Bruery Oude Tart (90)
Cherry sweetness accented with dark fruit and berry notes. Moder- ate acidity with some slight fusels in the finish and a strong lactic-acid character with a hint of acetic. Heavy carbonic bite, deep wood notes and a slight astringency. High sour punch up front with little malt or sweetness to support it. Slight green apple note after I let it rest on my tongue.
Great Notion Zest (90)
The lactic tartness hits up front and carries notes of lemon, lime, and grapefruit. The high carbonation brings out more of the tartness, and a light body rounds it out. There’s a slickness to the beer that carries through the finish and sits on the tongue with some lactic and slightly butter slickness. The aftertaste is like wood from an old barn—dry straw, rich, earthy, peaty.”
Prairie Artisan Ales Funky Gold Amarillo (90)
Tart and refreshing. The lemon, mango, and melon fruit sweetness hits with the high sourness and tartness up front, which adds some fruit complexity. The hops provide some complexity in the middle with some spice and citrus notes. Good carbonation brings out the tartness almost to the point of being harsh, and nice refreshing finish.
Avery Brewing Company Spontanea (91)
This beer has a nice champagne-like taste with the high car- bonation. The moderate tartness with a slight sweetness transitions into a semi- dry linger that is medium lasting and a light tannic finish. As it warms, there are more grape notes. The acidic sourness is present but not overpowering. Nice lactic flavor. Mellow and rounded.
Odell Brewing Company Brazzle (91)
Sour, but not overly so. Enjoy- able malt complements the sourness, with no real bitterness to speak of. Some light berry notes and cherry-like fruit fla- vors add complexity with a touch of Brett funk that pulls it all together. Moderate puckering up front that subsides quickly. Medium herbal note and long-lingering berry notes with a bit of tannin.
Three Floyds Brewing Company Skull'Ole (91)
Very high tartness from the first sip all the way through the long, long-lasting linger. Otherwise, very nice cherry flavor and some interesting choc- olate and coffee from the malt. There’s a slight sweet and smoky BBQ note right in the middle of the sip that is quite wonderful. As it warms, strong cherry notes come out. The bracing tartness lingers through to the finish and sits on the tongue and teeth.
New Belgium Brewing La Folie (91)
High fruit up front similar to a fruit leather. Strong dark fruit sourness and dark malt character that doesn’t give much sweetness but complex bread and toasty bits in the background. Tart cranberry-like astringency. Very earthy and funky Brett character, finishing with a slightly sour bite. Finish is dry and crisp with a lingering tartness.
Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne (91)
Flavors of blackberries and cur- rants with lots of cherry and, perhaps, apple. Moderate-high malty sweetness with a hint of acetic astringency. Slight carbonic bite. Creamy body and a sweet finish. Very sweet with some lactic sour. Low carbonation with a rich medium body. As it warms, the perception of sourness increases.
Creature Comforts Athena (91)
Grapefruit with a moderate lemon and melon note that transitions into a sour, light puckering finish. The nice, balanced apple and peachy sour continues well after the sip has finished. Very crisp, with high carbonation and a medium malty sweet wheat body
Destihl Here Gose Nothing (91)
Complex, unique tartness up front, with hints of lemon juice, which works surprisingly well with the moderate level of salt. Nice, soft malt background that balances the tartness, and no hops bitterness. Huge coriander, with a SweeTarts mix of malt and sour, and a big salty kiss that lingers into the aftertaste. Every sip hits pretty strong, but some of the other notes have to build to be noticed, like the phenolic spiciness and ester complexity.
Jester King Craft Brewery Funk Metal (91)
Semisweet and dark chocolate notes quickly overtaken by a tart acidity. Nice sweet malt character with some good roasty toast notes from the malt. Lactic lemon-like acidic flavor adds sweet and sour notes and complexity. Some funky earthy wood quality adds to the scope of the beer. Dry throughout due to bugs chewing through anything that makes a stout thick and rich.
Funkwerks Raspberry Provincial (91)
The raspberry dominates, with hints of underripe tartness and sweetness, then gives way to a subtle lactic tartness, which carries a bit more thanks to the dry, light body. There’s a hint of hops bitterness and light banana, as well as very light wheat malt character and simple sugar. It finishes dry and light.
Weldwerks Apricot Gose (91)
Moderately sour up front with apple, pear, and apricot flavors to add a touch of sweetness. Pronounced tartness that outpaces the subtle flavor of the apricot. Not as balanced as it could be, yet the apricot is still plenty evident. The high carbonation makes it light on the tongue and refreshing.
Gueuzerie Tilquin Oude Quetsche (92)
The fruit notes in this beer come through very nicely: peach, apricot, pluot, and plum. Moderately strong sweetness and fruit-skin tannic bitterness with a light cherry aftertaste. The acidic, lactic tart character helps to build this beer and dances with the fruit notes. Nice Brett notes help to finish this beer and dry it out.
Wicked Weed Brewing Genesis (92)
Light clean lactic sourness with flavors of apricot/peach skin. Cider-like green and red apple flavors. Lime and grapefruit notes with a low green apple note. Grainy malt sweetness. Cinnamon and bread crust tart sourness is very smooth, lactic. High fruitiness up front with a rush of moderate sour notes com- ing in. High carbonation complements the sour notes. Slight wood or oak notes. Linger is slight and sour.
O'so Brewing Company Door Kriek (92)
Very, very dry. High tartness, with notes of cherry and slight lime citrus. As it warms the tartness subsides into smooth funky notes. Lactic tartness is balanced by some nice sweet cherries and barnyard-like musky earthiness. The finish is bright and cleaned up well.
Cascade Brewing Kriek Ale (92)
Cherries and cranberries are present. Nice juicy character. The sweet sourness of this beer is really nice. The acidic tartness helps to finish the beer out. Some background malt character. Moderate carbonation with a medium body consisting of cherries and medium sweetness. The carbonation of the beer leaves a nice warming. Linger is a slight dry cherry note that is medium lasting.
Lagunitas Aunt Sally (92)
Lots of grapefruit flavors—tart and citrus, bordering on pith, followed by a light, restrained tartness and a hint of malt sweetness. The resinous hops add to perceived body. The finish is a touch bitter, but balanced, with a hint of astringency. It dries out rather quickly.”
Sierra Nevada Otra Vez (92)
Crisp melon mixed with bubble gum and slight salt character. Notes of a green stem combined with watermelon rind. Lower tartness than other Goses lets the complex flavors shine.
To Øl Sur Simcoe (92)
The flavor is complex and unique. Sour up front with a nice hops flavor of light lemongrass and grapefruit, and a bit of mint. Light hops bitterness appears toward the end of the sip, but in the background. It finishes fruity and tart, with light lemon citrus flavor.”
Grand Teton Brewing Gose (92)
Surprisingly full body—a little too salty, but blends well with the mineral-water notes. The assertive hops flavor smacks into a pillow of soft sourness, accompanied by pineapple esters and a maltiness that adds a touch of sweetness. Lemon juice and a hint of lime zest play well with the hops notes of pineapple, grapefruit, and tangerine. The finish is dry, which accentuates the tartness a bit.
New Glarus Brewing Company Wisconsin Belgian Red (93)
Very strong sour cherry flavor that’s sweet with no bitterness and a bit of lemon acidic tartness. Some nice spice character— a touch of cinnamon or some pumpkin spices. The sweetness then fades to a cranberry-like tartness. Has a crisp carbonic bite that pairs well with the slight alcohol warming toward the end of the sip. The sweetness lingers in the finish.
O'so Brewing Company Framrood (93)
Nice big raspberry flavor com- plemented by a firm but not excessive sourness that is most present once the sip has ended. Other Brett-derived flavors are stronger than the acidic tart- ness. The cheesy quality comes through some in the flavor, but not as much as the aroma suggests.
Brasserie Cantillon Kriek (93)
Dry and tart with the sweetness coming through with the acidic tartness in the back. Cherries are the dominant flavor with slight hints of tart grapefruit. Some earthy, woody, goaty notes give some nice complexity to this beer. The finish has a lot going on with some tart cherry sweetness and some lactic acidity. Linger is moderately lasting and dry with slight peppery notes.
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition (93)
Upfront mild earthy and spicy pepper character swells to a sharp lactic high point with spice notes hitting in the dry finish. Light pineapple, touch of cherry and plum, light caramel after- taste. Sharp tartness and acidity lingers, but subdued enough for subtle apricot and pineapple notes to peek through.
Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose (93)
A lactic tartness hits up front followed by some melon-fruit sweetness that helps to balance and cut through the acidity. The acidity and melon sweetness carry through the light and sweet finish. The saltiness only adds to the melon sweetness, which transitions to a medium-sour finish.
The Libertine Brewing Company Our Intention is War (93)
A healthy amount of tartness up front, with brown sugar and a vinous character that gives way to the roast character and bitterness. Malt complexity is there but secondary to the tartness. Creamy body and sweetness, which provide an incredible amount of depth and balance.
Wiley Roots Blood Orange Gose (93)
The orange is present but not overly sweet, with hints of raspberry, pear, pineapple, and apple notes that are supported by a tartness that helps to enhance the other flavors. The salty character is nice, the tartness is light, and the carbonation is good with a refreshing finish. Good complexity of complementary flavors.
Wicked Weed Dark Arts (93)
Intense boozy sweetness, with strong molasses, brown sugar, and slight burned sugar notes. Fruity raisin and plum esters hide behind the cane sugar. The yeast character is almost Belgian—it’s difficult to nail down, but it’s nice—and the Brett characters aren’t evident in the taste … just the slightest hint of funk. Hints of toasted bread and bread crust with vanilla.
To Øl Gose to Hollywood (93)
Moderate fruity lemon tart up front with light grapefruit mango and raspberry. Light bitterness toward the end of the taste and finishes with a light sour note. The moderate carbonation plays well with the sourness creating a nice level of complexity. Crisp and refreshing.
Evil Twin Nomader Weisse (93)
The tartness up front is bold with some nice big white grape acidity and lemon-like tartness—nice balance of the acidity and fruity notes of tropical fruits and mango. Very little carbonation—a bit could help the balance. The beer finishes clean and refreshing through the taste.
Great Notion Blueberry Muffin (93)
Moderate sour with big blueberry muffin sweetness that’s kept in check by the acidity and carbonation. The base beer is simple, with a clean primary (not kettle) fermentation that’s clean and neutral. The bready sweetness carries the assertive blueberry flavor, and the tartness comes through more in the finish.
Almanac Beer Co Valley of the Heart’s Delight (94)
Bold tart kick in the front with lemon and acidic tartness. The apricots come through and provide some sweetness but sit behind the lactic character in this beer. High carbonation level helps to finish this beer nicely. Tastes more like cooked apricot (apricot pie maybe) than fresh fruit.
Brouwerij Oud Beersel Oude Gueuze Vieille (94)
Big peach, moderate apricot, citrus notes of lemon, orange, pink grapefruit, and pineapple. Moderately high acidity, slight lemon-zest bitterness, and a long tail of peach. High carbonation gives it a champagne-like character. Acidity and tartness struggle a bit to compete with some of the subtle citrus and pineapple fruit notes. Finish is rather dry.
Jester King Brewery Colour Five (94)
The heavy blueberries almost instantly dry out, leaving just a subtle amount of light malt and just a bit of funk. To call this beer dry would be an understatement. The fruit character, though pleasant, is gone as soon as it arrives as the bitterness and esters overpower it.
The Libertine Brewing Co. Stocking Stuffer (94)
Pronounced tart cherry sweet and sourness that’s balanced with stone-fruit flavors—apricot, plum, and pluot. A touch of malt complexity with a healthy amount of funk add to the experience. The barrel is restrained, adding just enough spiciness to add depth. Nice warming chocolate roast character in the back, with a woody character that’s earthy and lingering.
Funkwerks Dry Hopped Provincial (94)
Strong citrus notes up front with strong grapefruit, lemon, and lime from the hops, and tropical fruit. The earthy funk from the hops leans toward pine and resin and adds complexity without being distracting. The aftertaste is a bit grassy with a touch of lemongrass and apricot at the tail end.
DeStihl Brewery St. Dekkera Reserve: Pomme (95)
White wine grape and sharp lemony sourness. Slight vanilla note and touch of coconut sweetness extends into the linger. Malt character is outrageously complex and well-balanced. The fruit is very subdued with notes of passion fruit. High sour notes create a bite and puckering. After it warms, there is a plum and soy sauce–like notes.
Vanberg & DeWulf LambicX Oude Kriek (95)
Moderate cherry note with very little sweetness and a hint of spice. The beer has a nice drying character after the start with some subtle tartness that’s mild but cleansing. Moderate carbonation is well-balanced with the tartness, and the linger is not too dry or too sweet. The acidic tartness helps to finish the beer out with a nice carbonation that leaves the beer a little warming.
Allagash Brewing Company Nancy (95)
Crisp and sour, it’s tart, but not too tart. Strong carbonic bite plus notes of lemon, orange, and even some sharp pineapple flavor. Cherry as it warms. Funky Brett and barnyard-like notes mix with a medium tartness. Just the right amount of carbonation to carry the complex flavors. Slight salty, lime notes after the sip. The tartness hits more in the finish and stays at the top of the tongue.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company Feral One (95)
Present, but restrained, sour- ness with a generous serving of Brett fruitiness (more fruity than funky). Mod- erate peach and pear with a touch of pineapple, lemon or lemongrass notes. Barely there bitterness supports a light, slightly caramel malt body that carries sour and fruit well. The aftertaste has a crisp acidity, touch of sweetness, and fruit notes that linger quite some time.
Brouwerij Girardin Gueuze 1882 (95)
The layers in this beer change through the experience. Orange peel bitterness and sweetness give a fruity and tart character to the beer without being too sweet. Brett funk is mostly farm-like and earthy and pairs nicely with the acidity. Nice acidity up front with pineapple, peach, and lemon-zest notes. Light malt character with a bit of rhubarb bite on top of leathery under- tones. Carbonation was just right.
The Bruery Tart of Darkness (95)
Lots of tartness and acidity, both lactic and acetic, with just a bit of Brett-like funk and notes of white bread. Not much caramel or chocolate malt flavor or character. Stout roast character is washed away by the obvious mixed bug sour. Tannic wood character is beautifully balanced with the cherry fruit flavors.
Funkwerks Apricot Provincial (95)
Assertive lactic tartness and acidity emerge up front, with flavors of lemon and lime, reminiscent of a Lemon Warhead. The stone-fruit and pear flavors play a background role and add complexity, which works with the light body to balance the level of acidity. The acidity dissipates quickly, leaving a dry malt sweetness in the aftertaste.
Tallgrass Brewing Co. One-Eyed Jacques (95)
Bright yeasty prune esters and a white pepper phenolic dominate but still showcase the roast. Banana and clove, with star anise, black licorice, and a touch of floral spice. Lime and lemon citrus notes. The coffee and dark caramel character comes through as it warms.
Boulevard Hibiscus Gose (95)
A well-balanced Gose that’s tart without being too tart. The slight salty character adds a refreshing balance to the residual sweetness and lemony tartness. The carbonation helps with the light sour and herbal note at the end of the sip.
Exile Beatnik Sour (95)
Strong sourness that lingers for quite some time, as well as some assertive mineral flavors that are accentuated by the carbonation. Moderate sweetness from the fruity raspberry and light grapefruit (without the sour) that has a light, pithy finish. A light salty character adds to the beer. Finishes clean and refreshing.
The Rare Barrel Ensorcelled (96)
Strong berry with light acidity, moderate-to-strong tannins, and a bit of barrel character (coconut, oak tannin). The wild character comes through nicely as lactic acid, with woody and earthy notes. Slight malt note with a touch of caramel and a sweetness in the aftertaste that plays with the sour in a nice way. Love the deep fruit notes.
Goose Island Beer Company Lolita (96)
Flowers first with delicate berry notes, moderate jammy notes and acidity, some sweet malt, light lemon zest, and big raspberry. Fruit tannins and acidity help balance the sweetness. Just enough bitterness to round things out with some Brett in the aftertaste. Light tannic notes add structure and support fruit and sour notes. High tartness with a slight “fresh hops” note.
The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale (96)
Light lactic sourness, moderate acidity, and a light floral character. Fruity notes of fig and cherry and some oak. Herbal notes reminiscent of pumpkin pie spices. Light body with a moderate carbonation that supports the sour notes. High sourness with a slight chocolate (?) note that continues slightly into the linger. Moderately high acid sharpens the whole thing. Subtle sweetness when you look for it.
Vanberg & DeWulf LambickX De Troch (96)
Bold lactic tartness hits up front with strong lemon and orange. Spiced character and earthy, funky Brett character supports the fruit. Nice carbonation level. While there’s some tartness, it’s fairly softened by age—main flavor is a very nice earthy barnyard. A bit like drinking a margarita given the flavor profile of mostly tart citrus. Dry and lingering acidity.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Flor D'Lees (96)
Initial high tartness with a slight tea, herbal note that transitions into a smooth, creamy aftertaste. Hops bitterness is very low and doesn’t clash with sourness. Moderate citrus notes, similar to lime. As it warms the citrus becomes more grapefruit and lingers a bit in the aftertaste. Finishes dry with very little residual sweetness on the back of the tongue. Funk is more subtle in the flavor compared to the aroma. Aftertaste is medium lasting and is more herbal than anything.
Destihl Counter Clockweisse (96)
Tart and tangy, with moderate esters to give it a dry, tart cherry character. And at the same time, it’s also a bit lemony with a hint of vinegar. The acidity lingers just enough without becoming unpleasant, with a mild astringency with a touch of leather that seems mostly tied to the acidity. Very little malt or hops character, and the finish is tart and dry, but surprisingly crisp.
New Belgium Brewing Clutch (96)
Smoky malt character, with an appropriate tartness. Lots of coffee and chocolate notes, pronounced roast, with an almost sooty note. Bread crust and melanoidins are present throughout, especially as it warms. Nice fruity esters—pear, cherry, and raisin—with a sour cherry lime flavor at the back end. A bit thin on the body for a stout, yet flavorful, and somewhat dry in the finish.
Dry Dock Sour Apricot (96)
Very juicy, with overpowering fruit flavors—mostly apricot, but with moderate banana and pear. Moderate lemon-rind acidic notes are between lactic and malic and are enough to balance the sweetness. There’s a light touch of wheat and very light noble hops note, with mouth-filling carbonation, and a lingering fruity aftertaste.
Toolbox Cucumberliner (96)
The cucumber flavor is very present throughout the taste. It’s light, crisp, and refreshing, and provides a light sweetness. Behind the flavor sits a nice tartness that adds a defining note. The moderate carbonation at the end of the sip plays up the sourness and helps the cucumber flavor persist throughout the finish.
Cascade Brewing The Vine (97)
Grape and tart lactic flavor, with some muskiness. The moderate tartness transitions into a medium grape note. Nice grape character with acidic lactic tartness. Very high carbonation with high alcohol adds to warmth in the finish.
Brouwerij Oud Beersel Framboise (97)
I was expecting sweetness from the aroma, but there is none. Big jammy blackberry, light acidity, slight black pepper notes, almost black currant. Good raspberry dry notes up front that are not long lasting. Moderate carbon- ation plays well with fruit characters. As it warms there is a little sweetness with a touch of herbs toward the end of the sip. Nicely attenuated dry body. Funky earthy notes play a supporting role.
Odell Brewing Company Friek (97)
“Multiple Kriek-style ales are fermented with wild yeast and tart cherries, then moved into oak barrels. We add raspberries just before the final blending. Sweet and tart flavors mingle with a sparkling dry finish.”
Firestone Walker Brewing Company Agrestic (97)
“Toasted oak and lemon pith swirl on the nose and palate, followed by an amazing harmony of vanilla, coconut, Earl Grey tea, and spice. The finish is crisp, with mouthwatering acidity and chewy tannins.”
AC Golden Brewing Company Kriek (97)
“Colorado-grown Montmorency sour and Bing sweet cherries went into our Kriek, which is a blend of golden and burgundy sour ales aged for 12 months in wine and bourbon barrels.”
Dogfish Head Festina Peche (97)
Up front the beer hits with a lactic tartness that is immediately followed by a sweet peach fruitiness. The sweetness is there and pronounced but it isn’t cloying like some peach beers are. The peach fruit character carries through the finish with nice carbonation.
Jester King Brewery Bière de Blanc du Bois (98)
Moderate tartness up front with a mix of tart grapefruit, tropical fruit, and white-grape notes. The linger starts with the tartness and then diminishes into a wonderful grape character that is semisweet and very pleasant. The tartness is nice and helps this beer from becoming too sweet. The beer finishes clean with nice grape notes.
Side Project Brewing Blueberry Flanders (98)
Very fruity cherry and vanilla with seriously tart lactic flavor. Blueberry and plum and a rocking bread toast build complexity. Lactic and acetic are well-balanced. High tartness up front with a bittering cherry or lime note that creates a puckering. The linger has a bright fruity sourness that is long lasting.
The Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa (98)
Fruit is bright and strong, perhaps dominating the wild notes. Dry finish lets the fruit come through without cloying. Tannins aren’t overly strong and add structure. Initial impression is sharp acidity, but this gives way to a smooth fruit backbone and moderate Brett lemon-zest notes. Cherry notes with a generous serving of tannins and leather make for a delightfully complex palate.
Goose Island Beer Company Juliet (98)
Sweet apricot, pineapple, and light lemon zest balance the moderate acidity. Berry flavors are well placed with moderate fruit tannins and sweaty Brett funk to keep it interesting. No malt or hops, but some honey-like sweetness really helps balance the acid components. Lots of woody and earthy aftertaste. Moderate carbonation plays off the tart sourness.
3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek (98)
The balance of the sweetness to the tartness in this beer is really nice. It is not too bold but the nice sharp lactic notes bring boldness to this beer. The carbonation is really nice and helps lift the beer as well. The sweet cherries help to finish the beer and keep it juicy and sweet. Very nice sour cherry character. Not too much barnyard, but still sour complexity.
Kannah Creek Biere du Framboise (98)
The berry fruitiness is pleasant up front, complemented with a nice malt complexity that includes bread crust, biscuit, and light toast. The moderate berry flavors are accentuated with a touch of Lacto and salt, nuts, and raisin. The malt backbone balances the fruit and tartness, which all linger just enough to remember the flavor.
Fort Collins Brewery Kettle-soured Dark Cherry Red (98)
Big cherry notes, almost cherry pie, with a touch of raisin, date, and almond, and spices of cinnamon and ginger. The complex malt backbone features hints of biscuit and caramel, with bread crust flavors that only enhance the cherry-pie notes. The acidity doesn’t overpower the other flavors but is just enough to accentuate.
Perennial Artisan Ales Suburban Beverage (98)
Assertive sourness on the initial taste, and the lemon citric acid flavors are substantial. Some tropical fruit and stone-fruit notes with a pleasant warming holiday spice, followed by hints of orange marmalade and lemon juice. The saltiness seeps into the finish, and the aftertaste is spicy and full of juicy fruit.
New Holland Brewing Company Blue Sunday Sour (99)
Very rich yet refreshing. Moderate acidity (clean and crisp) with a touch of toasted malts and sweetness and big body (for the style). Moderate red wine and big cherry notes. Sourness is present in just the right amount to complement the deep, highly kilned malt notes. Residual earthy and wood notes complement the firm sour base.
Side Project Brewing Blanc de Blancs (99)
Sweet, tart, lactic, and bold. This beer has a strong mouth-puckering lemon tartness that hits in the front and some Brett flavor with slight malt undertones—could be vanilla or oak barrel. The grape notes follow through and sit behind the tartness in this beer. High carbonation adds to the alcohol warmth in the finish.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Origins (99)
Very nice sour flavor—goat and horse blanket. Intriguing tobacco, oak, and mesquite/cedar notes on top of light fruit notes of cherries and figs, with burnt sugars and malt bread in the finish. An earthy, musty cellar flavor. Crisp carbonic complements the lactic flavor with aggressive tartness and slight oakiness. Body has a touch of fruity sweetness but is hidden by the sour.
Jester King Craft Brewery Atrial Rubicite (99)
High tart and raspberry notes up front play with the high carbonation to create an appetizing pucker. Notes of spicy black currant and fruit-skin tannins play against the big jammy notes, with a touch of sweaty horse blanket as it warms. Linger has moderate raspberry notes with no residual sweetness. The warmer it gets, the more the flavors open up.
The Rare Barrel Map of the Sun (99)
Apricot juicy fruit character is present in the front and carries through. Lactic-acidic tartness hits in the middle with a nice kick, but the sweetness of the malt and fruit helps to clean it out in the finish. This is a little more citrus than apricot. The Brett character is delicate and a bit hard to pin down, but adds depth and supports the acidity and fruit very nicely.
Cascade Brewing Apricot Ale (99)
Light Brett bitterness adds complexity. Candied apricot notes along with some berry notes and a bit of spice. A nice lactic tartness provides complexity and balance and accentuates the fruit without stealing the show. Finish is pleasantly balanced between tart and sweet, with fruit throughout.
Allagash Brewing Company Farm to Face (99)
Incredible, delicate peach character, coming through as white peaches or white nectarines, with just a subtle tartness and acidity to balance the huge peach notes and sweetness. Sweetness comes through more from fruit than malt with tons of peach character in the finish.
Side Project Brewing Thicket (99)
Bubbly blackberry juiciness, light jammy and wine notes, with big Brett sharpness. High tartness up front with moderate carbonation to back it up and moderately strong tannins. Tobacco, plums, leather, and berries come together to deliver a firm backbone for the tart notes to follow. The sourness complements but does not overpower the intense fruit flavor.
Russian River Brewing Company Supplication (99)
Lots of fun fruit flavors—pineapple and tropical hops flavors. Acidity is moderate, but assertive. The Brett character makes this beer unusual— high sour notes up front that grow and grow and grow, then diminish, then roar back. There’s a slight sweetness toward the end of the sip and a slight sting from the fruit at the very end of the sip that is unexpected but welcomed.
Perennial Artisan Ales La Bohéme (99)
Moderate acidity with a very well-balanced malt bill. Raspberry complements the acidity with a slight tannic bite. Tiny amount of cherry sweetness right before the carbonic/sour bite. As it warms, there is a slight herbal note. Nice soft lactic flavor with a tiny hint of sweetness that ties the entire beer together with a nice bow. Dry cherries with a wood-type character leave a dry, fruity, lasting linger.
Brouwerij Rodenbach Grand Cru (99)
Flavors of cherry, blackberry, fig, and biscuity malt with a clean lactic sour. The light sourness is well balanced by the round, full-bodied malt character. Lingering sweetness and a dry finish. Some spicy phenolics. Moderate tartness up front that’s mildly fruity. High carbonation with a medium body. Linger is dry with fruity notes and is medium lasting. Acidity is moderately high and balanced by the residual malt character.
The Bruery Rueuze (99)
Moderate tartness up front with stone fruit (plum, peach, apricot, very light cherry), and a moderate Brett earthiness (but not bitter). Rich, complex fruitiness accented by high carbonation. Aftertaste is semidry with very enjoyable lacto sourness that’s balanced by enough malt flavor to create a nice, round impression on the tongue.
Boulevard Brewing Company Love Child No. 4 (99)
High sourness up front with grape, apricot, cherry, and slight plum sweetness. Slow alcohol warming toward the end of the sip that transitions into a medium-lasting aftertaste of alcohol and tart. Medium sweetness complements the high sourness but stays in the background. Good funkiness as it warms up. The finish is balanced, with just enough malt to support the sourness.
Allagash Brewing Company Coolship Resurgam (99)
Multidimensional without being overbearing. Firm, pleasing lactic sourness acts as a backbone to hang multiple flavors. Brett earthiness pro- vides a pineapple-y, horsey complexity that really works well with the sour. Moderate acidity, lemon zest, light pear, and apple. It’s everything you would expect—earthy, woody, wild, and all the components combine to become greater than the sum of the parts.
3 Fonteinen Oude Gueze (99)
Sharp citric sourness up front joined immediately by coconut, pineapple, and mango. Aftertaste is a smooth bitter/sour blend. The coconut twist is a nice surprise. Bold flavor hits up front with fruity sweetness, apricot and peach. High carbonation helps the fruit come to life and provides warmth. The Brett wood character and funk is very present but not overpowering.
Brasserie Cantillon Classic Gueuze (99)
A nice balance between the lactic tartness and sharpness with
a funky, earthy character. Citrus sweetness carries in the tartness and has the bitter sharpness of an orange or grapefruit peel. Notes of lemon peel, subtle stone fruit (apricot and peach) and some earthy Brett and spice notes keep everything complex yet grounded. The dry finish accentuates the tartness and Brett character.
Two Brothers Artisan Brewing Sour Beer #2 (100)
Fruity with pear and tropical fruit notes, plus a bit of cherry, lemon peel, and low oak. Nice lactic sour flavor accented with earthy barnyard followed by a quick twang of acetic sourness. Moderate sour up front that lasts into the linger. Pleasant in its light malt touch. Finish is dry, crisp, with a bit of green apple—almost champagne-like. Body is light. Slight alcohol warmth.
Gueuzerie Tilquin Oude Gueuze (100)
Tons of peach notes along with a nice tartness that carries through. Hints of raspberry along with a subtle citrus note. Fruity notes throughout— orange, lemon, pineapple, and peach. Moderate sharp Brett, moderate acidity, light pepper notes, moderate apricot, light coconut. High carbonation presents all the flavors and aromas
Brouwerij Lindemans Cuvée René (100)
Blend accentuates the fruit notes—big peach and apricot, moderate plum, pear, and tangerine, light pineapple—and the high carbonation gives it definition. Tartness and Brett notes sit in the back with funk that isn’t overpowering. Bright acidity, quickly opens up to tangerine, ginger, and light mango. A light bit of leather and wood softens the edges. Nice lingering dry finish—extremely drinkable.