50 / 100
Bottle given to me by Jez, reviewed live onto this website because I haven't gotten around to entering reviews otherwise in about six months.
Pours a pale gold colour with - maybe, yes - saffron tinge through the body. Head struggled to be born when I poured and it's definitely breathed its last breath by now, it's a flat and remarkably dull-looking beer. I mean it looks like yellow water by now. OK colour but nothing else to recommend it. At all.
Smells fairly vinous, with a notable champagne yeast kind of character (honestly, at 6.8% it wouldn't surprise me if they've used a little champagne yeast in this to raise the ABV and dry it out) but a good Marzeny malt base, a touch of caramel sweetness and a floral character complementing the sourness nicely. It's not very sour but it's got a good piquant edge to it, quite pleasant.
Taste is a little odd, really. More distinctly sour than the aroma made me feel but there's a strange meaty substance to it, not just from the floral saffron addition but because the malt is really too thick in body for this palate. There's a strong undercurrent of biscuity, caramelly malt that has a slight spice note midway through before the tart notes take hold. Quite champagney again on the back, fairly dry with a slight woody edge as well. It's not unpleasant but it's a very odd and uncomfortable marriage of elements - thick malt with tartness, a dry attenuation and a touch of rich spice. I feel like the thinner, more refreshing version at <5% may have been quite complex and fascinating. It feels a bit bloated and pillowy as it is.
Mouthfeel is yeah, look it's thick and weird. It needs way more pucker to match the flavour because the tartness just feels heavy-going and flabby.
Yeah, it's an interesting proposition but it's a classic case of trying to do too much in one beer: the saffron is a decent idea, but why raise the traditional ABV of a kettle-sour (or sour mash) beer as well? It ends up a bit of a mess.
57 / 100
22oz brown bomber purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a pleasant, slightly hazed golden colour, with a coarse-bubbled white foam head that leaves intricate lacing. Body is light, but that's not a big surprise for the style or the ABV. Carbonation is swift and minimal. Looks decent enough.
Nose is rather pleasant. It definitely has pineapple to it, but it's also a bit tarter than you expect for pineapple, with a slight lactic acidity to it. It also has a very slight vegetative or herbal note which makes it veer in a different direction.
Taste is also solid, but not particularly special. There's a thin, kettle-sour acidity to it on the front, that almost has a metallic twang to it. But after that, there's undoubtedly pineapple flavours to it, giving a kind of fake candy note to it. It almost has a sherbet and fairy floss character on the back.
Feel is very light. It's too light to support the flavours in my opinion, and it either needs to properly embrace the acidity, or it needs to have more heft.
It's okay, but it's another weird choice from Grimm. I've had some lovely beers from them, but the Pop! series seem to be a bit of a misstep to me.
Mildly hazy gold colour with overly generous head that whisps out a bit at the edges to leave some uneven clumps of lace. Alright but yeah the head is voluminous without substance, it's basically a politician.
Smells fairly pleasant. Funk with some good acidity to it, touch of some nice tropical stonefruit like guava, and some interesting spice notes - cinnamon and maybe ginger. Smells good is the point.
Taste is wow, another twist. Hmmm, not sure how I feel about that. The funk is gone, replaced by a far more pronounced fruit note like the fruit adjunct is all that's driving anything. Maybe a touch of pineapple, grapefruit and yes more guava, that then goes a little brassy late-mid and the finish lingers with more tropical and slightly tart notes with a touch of lime to it. Tangy, refreshing; not a long finish and not what I expected but pretty decent really.
Mouthfeel is a little thin with some juicy character around the edge.
Drinks well; tart but fresh and a good tangy sweetness to it as well. Pleasant drop.
48 / 100
Pours a pale orange colour, cloudy. Head is white and dense with just a rim around the edge. Cloudy. Looks standard.
Smells mildly fruity, kinda creamy as well. Not much acidity and not a lot of character to the fruit. Yeah pretty unimpressive.
Taste is not that great either. Has a long berliner yeasty character that gets quite cloying. Touch of fruit to it, maybe some stonefruit but also just mildly citric. Not all that cleansing because of that strong spent grain and bread yeast character. Just not very impressive.
Mouthfeel is decent for the style, mainly because it's big. Like it's kind of cheating to throw way too much malt into this style and then laud yourself for it having a bulky body. It's decent, but not really a Berliner texture, and not enough pucker.
Drinks fine, but doesn't have a lot of character. Not that great really.
60 / 100
Pours a pale gold, mild haze. Head is white and generous, nice foamy crown with tendrils of thick lacing adorning the glass. Looks good.
Smells pineapplesque. Tart and zesty with some piquancy to it, aided by the wildness of the fermentation. Little sweet fruitiness, mostly tart. Slight acetic character which is duff but otherwise quite mild.
Taste is fairly sweet and pineapply upfront; develops some tartness which is not bad but then a more earthy and yeasty character late which is really not ideal. Just gets dry as well as a little cloying, taking on some of that pineapple character without it turning very fresh. It finishes fairly clean though, so it's just a passing Berliner bready note which I often find just because it's light bodied with yeast forward flavours. Not a great deal of character and its just a little unbalanced in the middle, but it's a decent mild sour.
Mouthfeel has a bit of sizzle on the middle but the body is otherwise fine. Light.
I've had better Berliners and better use of fruit, but I think the construction largely makes sense and as a result it goes down easier than it might have.
61 / 100
Can gifted by Jez, enjoyed by myself.
Pours a brilliant blue-tinged red colour with foamy white head, maybe a slight pink tinge to it. Doesn't really stick and body is clear. Looks a little soft-drinky but with head.
Smells funky. Quite earthy, with a barnyard kind of rankness, some mild fresh sweetness from the berries and a hint of citric hop. Decent blend but not as vibrant as the tangerine version.
Taste is a little lacklustre. Nice enough fruity blend upfront with some mild mandarin and orange notes, blending with some sweeter berry notes that hang on towards the back. Mild but distinct tartness towards the back with a slight lacto acidity, and then dries up to a bit of a yeasty finish. The back is a bit unfortunate but is actually quite a nice transition and finish to the slightly sweet berry mid-palate. It could still use a fair bit more freshness upfront.
Mouthfeel is mildly fizzy and a little thin. Good amount of texture though, for the size and style.
Drinks fairly fresh but not as fresh in flavour as it could be, just turns a little grainy and bready and needs more life to the front of it.
22oz brown bomber purchased from Santa Clara Liquor in Santa Clara, CA. This is a, quote "dry-hopped Berliner weisse style ale brewed with lemongrass, vanilla and milk sugar".
Pours an excessively cloudy yellow colour, looks very much like slightly elderly lemon juice, with a thin cap of white that swiftly becomes little more than film. Carbonation is initially coarse, but before long it disappears altogether, leaving the glass looking very still and dead. Hmm, I'm skeptical.
Nose is rather pleasant. There's a crispness from the berliner weisse base, which gives it a touch of acidity, but the dry hops are the element which stand out the most to me. They add a herbal element over the top, with touches of citrus—to my mind, certainly from the hops, and not from the lemongrass. But it's pleasant.
Taste is kind of backing up my skepticism. It has a tart, aspirin character on the front, with only really a thin suggestion of true lemon sourness. It sticks around though with a lingering lactic character which does no-one any favours. It ends up with a kind of cardamom character, a little like a curry burp. I'm actually not a fan.
Feel is thin and light, with a bite from the acidity.
Overall, I'm actually unimpressed. I've liked Grimm's beers in the past, and I thought with this they were going to deliver something unexpected and unique. But it's kind of like what you'd get if you brewed a mediocre Berliner weisse, then dry hopped it and added lactose to it. That's a shame, because I was hoping for something better than the sum of its parts.
Can given to me by Jez for Christmas, tried by myself one evening in February.
Pours a pale golden colour with clumpy bubbles stuck to the glass. Head is overly voluminous, fizzles out pretty steadily with a density that's maybe a touch too thin and sparse. No real lacing. Looks flawed, a bit odd, but not bad.
Smells surprisingly bitter. Kinda bretty really, with an earthy farmhouse kind of aroma. Touch of tangerine and grapefruit giving a slight freshness but it's otherwise just earthy, and quite spicy with a slight woody edge as well. Decent though.
Tastes a little better. Not that it was bad. Nice tropical fruit character on the midway and late-mid, with pineapple and some more tangerine. Sourness is not very pronounced but there's a slight puckering texture on the mouthfeel as it pulls towards the finish. Otherwise mildly creamy malt character and soft fruit notes. All pretty subtle, and not exciting, but I respect how restrained it is in the size and thinness and it's pretty refreshing.
Drinks pretty well; not necessarily something I'd return to with any relish but if it was all I had available all night I'd be pretty content.
69 / 100
Pinot Noir barrel-aged berliner weiss. Tried on Invasion Day night out of (what else?) a champagne flute.
Pours a pale champagne colour with steady flow of bead; not much head to it. I mean I poured it into a champagne glass and really it doesn't look like beer at all. I like it though; I'm looking forward to a champagney beer to be honest.
Smells bretty, and pleasant. Nice vinous oak character to it, with some faint berry character. But yeah not a lot of tartness to it that isn't just oak-driven and -dominated. Definitely adds to the whole champagne ruse at least, so I'm still enjoying deceiving my own senses.
Taste is definitely a bit more beery, at least in a sour sense. Nice tartness upfront with a big melon, cantaloupe kind of character that develops those big vinous characters midway, big oak that's quite fruity with berry notes, adding a touch of tartness and some sweetness as well, then the finish is a little dry but also mildly yeasty giving more beery character to counteract the wine characters and just add a bit more length and depth to the finish. It's a fairly simple sour, but a good oaky character that really does make it a champagnesque experience.
Sizzly, thin feel. Bit dry but somehow more malty and substantial on the finish than it really should be. Otherwise more sense-deception, it could be a sparkling wine.
Drinks well; a light, refreshing and fruity beer with a good oaky complexity that dominates without overwhelming the size of the palate. This is really clever brewing and ageing; the beer has enough character to shine through the oak but otherwise it's a nice set of complementary flavours. It really lends credence to my assertion that beer is superior to all other drinks, simply because you can get these dry and oaky characters as if you're drinking a nice sparkling wine, but it's just 3.5% and able to be slammed down as you like. Pleasant summer drinking.
82 / 100
Dry-hopped Tangerine Berliner Weiss. Can bought for me by Jez for Christmas, reviewed by myself on a Saturday night.
Pours a very cloudy pale yellow colour, slightly saffron tinged. Head is decent when poured but just settles into an unstable ring of bubbles. Some clumpy yeast sediment plopped out of the can at the end, and I'd say it's a shame but the last beer I had that happen turned out to be a cracker. So I'm OK with it; looks fine.
Smells lovely; big rich citrus character with a real depth of sweetness and acidity but just overall a fresh zest to it all. Touch of musk and honey around the edges as well and some floral touches from the dry-hopping. Smells great; really great.
Taste is pretty good, for the style for sure. The late-hopping and tangerine character kicks off early, so the very slight grainy malt upfront quickly turns zesty and fresh, with a big citrus tartness but without a harsh or astringent character. It also softens the palate for the necessary tartness on the back, which is a bit more puckering, but also juicy like a good tart lemonade. Mild bitterness on the back as well really just mellows it out, and it tastes like some ingeniously subtle hopping that lets the wildness dominate but without overloading the palate. That's an unusual profile but very nicely balanced.
Sizzly mouthfeel; touch of puckering dryness. Not too much of either though and they're kind of necessary for the style.
This is very clever brewing. I've found that Sailors Grave do some silly, over the top avant-garde things, that often have too many elements, and I've found them hit-and-miss in the past. This, though, is high degree of difficulty that's been thoughtfully and professionally brewed. It's taken a while but this is the first beer that's really made me understand the love for them. Top tier stuff.
41 / 100
Day 13 of my 2017 #fletchmas Advent Calendar. Reviewed blind. In this case it was - clearly - a necessary thing but not good for a beer as left-field as this.
Pours a deep burnished brass colour, nice and vibrant. Head was foamy when poured but no longer exists, like countries that make cars with an H gear. Steady bead is fighting a futile battle to revive it. Looks flat, but not dead.
Smells kinda bland. Mild malty notes - not adjuncty but reminiscent of brown sugar. Hint of some subtle fresh fruit on there - possibly citrus and possibly apple/pear. Seems decent but there's very little aroma.
Taste is um. It certainly is. Um. It's weird. Starts quite malty, with English toffee character but it quickly turns very tart with this underripe cherry note, tart and kinda prickly. Develops a bizarre coffee flavour midway, that lasts to the back. Just this very mild roasty character and with the tartness just gives this flavour of weird bin juice, like rotting vegetable mass. Slightly coppery, and even though it's not pleasant, it's still also very bland.
Mouthfeel - well there's actually a decent body on there, with not much other texture. Feels bizarrely chalky late from the light fizz that seeps through.
Yeah, this is not good. Because it's so bland, it's drinkable in spite of the fact that the flavours aren't enjoyable. But it's weird, and off-putting, too, so although it's not inducing gags I don't want to continue with it.
Yeah, honestly when I found out what this was I find the concept fascinating (if misguided). Respect for trying out-there things, but it's really not successful in this case.
61 / 100
Tried on tap at GABS 2017 (from the brewery stall).
Looks bizarre. Looks like a spectrum of red hues, up to a pinky orange kind of colour. Cloudy. Quite absurd.
Smells funky and weird. Orange, spiced buns, dark fruit. Not quite tart enough to justify the weirdness, oddly sweet in the end.
Taste is better, maybe. Sweet citrus notes. Tangy, but sweet - kind of jammy and somewhat malty too, for the style. Not too bad.
Mouthfeel is fizzy, and tangy. Bit thin, and too much pull. Not great but kinda expected for the style and size.
Drinks alright. Quite sweet though for the style, and not really as cleansing as it should be. Don't get a whole lot of whisky either.
44 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased for me by Sam as part of the 2017 #fletchvent advent calendar. Reviewed blind.
Pours a very, very pale yellow colour, with minimal carbonation, attested by the wimpy fzzt as it's uncapped. Head forms a mild crest of white to begin with but dissipates to the thinnest of rings. Body is very light, but also kind of dead.
Nose is pleasant—bright and crisp and tart, with a hint of the plasticky acidity I associate with Lambics. It has tart fruit coming through as well, like unripe kiwifruit and gooseberry (ed: yes, and guava). There's a faint chalkiness, and a hint of raw wheat, but they're undertones to the main event, which is very pleasant.
Taste is a bit of a miss for me. It has that corporeal, organic yeasty note I get from Berliner Weisses—off and clinging like drinking the water that coalesces in the bottom of a garbage bag. The tartness towards the back tries valiantly to clean it out, with some notes of feijoa and celery, but it really fails to hide the off character to me.
Feel is thin, with some sharpness from the acidity, but definitely lacking carbonation.
Yeah, this is not a winner from me. The tartness is underdone, and leaves it in a kind of unpleasant limbo where it can't quite escape the other off characters that come with being a sour beer. I'm not a fan.
59 / 100
On tap at GABS festival 2017.
Pours a straw colour, slight cloudy haze in the body. Head is foamy, white, but dissipates pretty quickly. Looks standard; not that impressive though.
Smells grainy, with a big cereal sweetness and a touch of carbolic note, maybe slightly champagne-esque. Quite unimpressive; not much to it.
Taste is alright. Some caramel sweetness upfront but a bit more malty and drawn out. Develops some slightly funky notes midway, with some vinous character giving French oak and champagne, and a slight underripe green apple note towards the end. Decent tartness on the finish and a good fruity note.
Body is OK for the style but obviously a bit thin. Airy, but OK.
Not a bad drop; could use far more citrus/grapefruit though as it tastes like a pretty standard Berliner Weisse.
42 / 100
Brewed for GABS 2017. The tasting notes were a bit of a mystery but it seemed to be a sour experiment in "low carb" beer satire, or some crap. Tried at the festival on tap.
Pours a straw colour with light bead in the body showing through the light haze. Head is cream-coloured, foamy but not retaining well with just a rim left behind.
Smells off. Really off. Touch of sour apple maybe but mostly corporeal, with compost and dirt, just smells of garbage. I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt but only because it's Bentspoke.
Taste is a trifle better. Most of the familiar sour beer hallmarks are here with little pizzazz. Apple, pear, touch of citrus with a slight grapefruit bitterness on the back. Fruity, sizzle, lemonade maybe. Not great.
Watery body, the carbonation fizzes through a little harshly. Meh.
Not great, has a distinct weirdness all over it. The unpleasant characters of the nose kind of infect the whole experience.
56 / 100
Kombucha Sour, brewed for GABS 2017 and tried there on tap.
Pours a very, very pale yellow with a slight green tinge to it. Head is white, just a thin rim of foam. Looks intriguing.
Smells of very little. Some light grainy notes and a very faint touch of wood. Just indistinct; too subtle if there's really anything there.
Taste is also fairly non-descript. Some grainy notes to begin with before it becomes decently sour on the mid. Apple and cider characters with a touch of lime citrus zest. Slightly crisp and tart on the back which is cleansing and not bad, but there's very little that's really interesting here. Fairly nothing.
Decent texture with a tingly carbonation. Not bad.
Decent cleanser but very little value to this otherwise.
Fruit sour beer brewed for GABS festival 2017. Tried at the festival in Melbourne on tap.
Pours a pale straw colour, very very cloudy, almost opaque. No head, maybe just the remnants of a ring of white foam. Otherwise looks good though, and typical for the style.
Smells fruity, and pleasant. Tropical, tangy fruit notes with kiwi and a touch of citrus from the sourness. Tangy and pleasant.
Taste is tangy too, with a strong kiwi character that's quite impressive and pleasant. Not a lot of malt presence as it's a lighter drop, but that fruit note really swells on the middle then turns tart for the finish, with a touch of citrus bite to it. Refreshing and pleasant.
Decent body for the size and the style, good bitty presence in the mouth.
Not bad, very fruity and tangy cleanser.
Despite a fairly middling initial reaction, I retried and shortlisted this for favourites, and it ended up my #13 beer of the festival.
62 / 100
Lactose, Custard Apple and Vanilla 'sour' brewed for GABS 2017. Called it a Berliner Weißbier as I don't have any other stylistic info, seems apt for the size.
Pours a straw colour, big sedimenty cloud in the body. Head is white, made up of tiny bubbles and retaining well. Looks great.
Smells subtle. Notes of tart green apple, with maybe a hint of oak and a touch of sweet spice as well. Not a whole lot to it, really.
Taste is quite similar. Cereal grain upfront, that develops some tart cider notes on the mid - green apple and a crisp tart note, then finishes quite yeasty. Touch of lactose sweetness on the back. Not great. I expected a lot more, particularly as I love custard apple and I feel it could really explode in the mouth if used less judiciously than they seem to have here.
Mouthfeel is pretty good for the style and size. Thin, but not particularly puckering. Has a good presence.
Decent cleanser, but tastes overall like wasted potential.
47 / 100
Tried in a taster at GABS 2017 in Melbourne.
Pours a very clear golden colour, with a very light body and minimal carbonation. Head forms coarse bubbles of white that leave minimal carbonation.
Nose has a churlish funk with perhaps a slight acidity that gives an impression of grapefruit. But there are other less salubrious characters too: corn, and a weak resiny note. It's underwhelming to say the least.
Taste starts pleasantly: clean and sharp, but then it really devolves. There's a sweet, corn-like cereal note that clashes nastily with a metallic acid note. Finish has a suggestion of lime, combined with more of that nasty cereal character. Yuk.
Feel is very thin and underwhelming.
It's not undrinkable, but it is really underwhelming. And the metallic acid note is really not very pleasant at all. Overall, I'm not a fan.
Dragonfruit & Hibiscus Berliner Weiss, brewed for GABS festival 2017. Tried there on tap.
Pours a bright vibrant red colour, clear body with dense, white head that looks almost nitro-poured but I don't think it is. Looks amazing and very exciting.
Smells floral, and fresh. Actually doesn't smell much like a Berliner Weiss, with some sweet vanilla character blending with crisp apple notes and floral aromatics. Very pleasant indeed.
Taste is largely floral, too. The hibiscus notes are quite strong but otherwise there's not a whole lot going on around the edges. Touch of spice midway and finishes a little tart but not quite as fresh as one would expect. Bit subtle and disappointing after that aroma.
Decent body, good for the style and the size.
Nice enough beer, but it doesn't quite go sour enough to make the flavours pop.
61 / 100
Kettle-Soured Wheat Ale brewed for GABS 2017, tried at the festival on tap.
Pours a gold colour, very sedimenty with cream-coloured head, nice and foamy with a good crown retaining. Looks a little flat, but good for the style.
Smell is disappointing. Sweet, and insipid largely. Notes of champagne, green apple, with a crisp yeast note, and hints of cereal grain and vanilla. Could definitely use more acidity on the nose.
Taste is fine; distinct cereal grain particularly upfront, that sort of returns on the back together with a slight yeasty character. Green apple, and a slight hint of vinegar on the late mid cleanses it up quite nicely. Palate is decent and clean, crisp and mildly tart. Nothing spectacular at this festival but not bad.
Full body, surprisingly. Good texture for the style. It's quite chewy for the size.
Bit uninspired as an offering from Shenanigans. Could have put a much bigger Shenanigans twist on it, really, because it's fairly standard and as such kind of a mild cleanser and little more. I'd be impressed with something like this from a big-house brewery but I just have high standards for these guys.
62 / 100
Mixed-fermentation Berliner Weiss (Brett and Saison Yeast) with hops, brewed for GABS festival 2017. Tried there on tap.
Pours a champagne colour, very sedimenty and cloudy. White foamy head, retains well. Looks great.
Smells funky, not overly sour. Some sweet vanilla and spice notes to the malt, blending with a champagne vinous kind of character, with some lemon and underripe green apple around the edge. Hoppy, I guess, too. Quite pleasant.
Taste is a bit lacklustre compared to the nose. Not a whole lot on the front, then develops some saisony barnyard characters on the mid-palate before descending into a light vinegary tartness. Back is mostly citrus and it's more hoppy than anything, with a slight salty character lingering on the back. Bit confused and incoherent.
Decent body, holds its own against what tartness is there.
Bit uninspiring overall, just feels like a haphazard mishmash of different things, but there are some elements that could really pop if they weren't so concerned with doing so much with what's there and could emphasise the good characters instead.
355ml can purchased from Slowbeer.
Pours a very pale, rather clear yellow colour, with a fizzy crest of white that persists as a weak ring, and leaves no lace. Carbonation forms in tight, fine streams. Body is very light and thin. Looks probably as it should for a Berliner.
Nose is, probably, suitable given what they're going for. There's a pronounced yoghurt-y lactic character that comes through, but it melds with some oddly nutty, toasty notes, and a suggestion of whisky to give it a rye sour mash kind of aroma. Other notes come through as well: bitter almond, cherry, coconut and vanilla. But these provide a kind of unstructured cacophony rather than a coherent complexity.
Taste is similar, although here it really does taste a lot like a whisky sour. There's a nuttiness that works with the acidity to provide a faint suggestion of rosewater. More almond, more oakiness and vanilla, and a slight bite on the back that finally, feels more like citrus than fermented yak's milk. Feel is light, and fairly spritzy.
Overall, I think this pretty solidly accomplishes what it wants to. That doesn't mean I particularly like it all that much, but I have to respect it at least.
59 / 100
Blackcurrent Berliner Weiss brewed for GABS 2016. Tried at the festival in Melbourne.
Pours an interesting hot pink colour, reddish really, slightly cloudy. Head is white, foamy, but doesn't stick around. Looks alright, not amazing.
Smells yeasty, bready. Some slight funky notes, barnyard and a touch phenolic. Slightly spicy as well. Dry, fairly uninviting.
Taste is better, with more fruit adding a new dimension to the sour mash notes. Berries, touch of citrus that gives mandarin character, fairly sweet. Some funky barnyard notes late and a faint hint of saltiness. Blackcurrants too, yeah. Somewhat tart-sweet and overall fairly funky. Not ad.
Decent body but the pull from the wildness is a little sharp.
Not a bad cleanser. Decent sweet/sour blend.
74 / 100
Bottle poured for me by Jez.
Pours a champagney yellow colour, small bubbly head that sinks to nothing, can get a few loose bubbles with a swill. Some isolated pockets of bead in the glass and no real lace at all. Looks either bad or very tart.
Yes, it's tart, and wonderfully so. Big meaty bretty aroma with tart vinegar, citrus and earthy lucerne notes. Herbal too, plus some passion mango and oregano. Big sour complexity but not overly astringent, has a good underlying sweetness that makes it delectable.
Taste is quite tart from the get-go. Vinegary with an edge of citrus, it travels, via champagne flavours, to the mid-palate where it's quite sweet and fruity, with notes of mango and lemon, possibly some agave notes as well. Finishes dry/sour, again slightly vinous, with a touch of French oak, woody and slightly buttery-sweet. Clean on the back. Perhaps doesn't quite reach the highs of the nose but is very pleasant indeed.
Sizzly on the front and slightly dry-sharp on the finish. Touch of bubbly texture. Bit harsh but alright.
Very tasty drinking; well-controlled wildness that still aggressively challenges with intriguing complexities.
Post-review edit: I drank this blind and had a sort of lambic-wild-ale beer in mind. Knowing it's a Berliner Weiss I'm actually better inclined to it but there's also not a whole lot of pineapple/kumquat. So scores unaltered.
48 / 100
750ml brown bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Shared with Sam back in Sydney.
Pours a mildly hazed pale straw colour, with a very fizzy head of white bubbles tht coalesce like soda and end up leaving not head at all. Some persistent carbonation leaves a thin bubbling around the edge. Body is light. Looks okay, but trending towards insipid.
Nose is a little bit disappointing. I mean, in fact, it's a reasonable berliner weisse nose, with some mild tartness and a suggestion of lacto, tending towards vinous acidity. But it's also completely lacking the fruit characters it advertises on the bottle. Ok, so maybe if you're really looking for it you can convince yourself there's a slight pineapple note, and maybe part of the acidity comes from kumquats. But it's so subtle as to be pointless. I'm a bit underwhelmed.
Taste is similar. There's an overwhelming emptiness on the palate, coming partially from very high carbonation, partially from the hole lacto leaves in the mid-palate, and partially because you end up searching in vain again for the pineapple and kumquat and are left floundering in the void. In reality, it's quite a clean Berliner palate, with a building tart lacto finish and no harsh grainy characters like you often get in an improperly performed sour mash. But honestly, again, it's not very interesting.
Feel is almost what you expect, but when there's so little interest, a perversely thin body pocked with aggressive carbonation doesn't do it any favours.
Overall, I'll pass, thanks. This isn't terribly interesting in any case, and it's a woeful disappointment when you're looking for the characters it promises. There are better BWs out there anyway, and really, that's all this is.
On tap at the Royal Albert. 'Kettle sour' beer brewed with peaches and hibiscus.
Pours a rose-tinted amber, almost red. Peachy, I guess. Weird bubble clumps at the edge. Head is small bubbles, white, fairly thin but retains firmly. Not bad, certainly unusual.
Smells fruity, floral. Yeah delivers what ot promises. Deep sweet aroma, mostly just botanicals, touch of herbs. Mildly medicinal on the back. Feel it could use more malt character to ground it, it's all just aromatic adjuncts.
Taste is fruity, peachy. Gets a slight sour note reminiscent of sour candy midway. Finishes with a big fresh hibiscus character, slight grain yeast residual, just a subtle hint of bread which does ground it slightly but then lingers too long. Hint of ginger without the spice. Mildly tart and unsubtly fruity. Bends towards bitterness overall with the wild yeast notes, slightly medicinal. Still, quite intriguing and quite tasty.
Decent presence. Fluid, mid-range in terms of body. Not thin but certainly light. Great for the style and size.
Quite drinkable. Some odd notes but overall a rewarding package.
45 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, cloudy and sedimenty. Head is non-existent, just a rim of tiny bubbles. No lacing. Looks kind of dull, but not bad. For the style.
Doesn't smell OK. Grainy, sweet, cereal-esque. Smells of sweet, puffed rice, rice pudding, under-attenuated mostly. Not what I expected, and generally oversweet.
Tastes a bit better. Slight tart edge on the front, then gets a slight grainy cereal note midway with corn and rice again. Finiahes a bit dry, but not wholly clean; residual sugar on there. Yeah not loving this. It's not what I expected from the style, but generally just sweet, yeasty and a bit adjuncty.
Bit of pull but largely from carbonation it seems. Thin otherwise.
Bit thin, and way too sweet. I've had berliner weisses before that taste quite similar to this, and they were fresh on the tap, so I don't think it's a shipping/grey market/age issue, just the yeast taking hold of the flavour without puckering it up enough to make it tart or refreshing. Disappointed with this.
500ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a surprisingly dark yellow colour, almost golden, but very hazy. Head forms a futzy surface of white that peters out, leaving on the thin ring. No lacing. Body looks very light, although the carbonation is pleasantly fine and powdery.
Nose is a little disappointing. There's a thin, slightly vegetative tartness to it, perhaps a little like raw wheat porridge, slightly floury and a little bit dank. Maybe a hint of lacto if I'm looking for it, but also wit a good dollop of wet yeast. I'm unenthused. Deeply.
Taste is not good, verging on actually nasty. If you swig it heartily, you can maybe ignore some of the unpleasant flavours, instead getting a rather flat, soda-like acidity that leaves nothing in its wake. But it's really missing true sourness, and when it lingers it starts to feel particularly bad. Wet grain notes, flour and powdered aspirin, with a strong yeasty aftertaste that gives a pong to the back palate and leaving a truly nasty aftertaste. It's not good.
Feel is very light, slightly spritzy, which would work if there were more bite to the flavour.
Overall, I'm genuinely not a fan. However, to be honest, I've been equally not a fan of other similar Berliner Weisses from Germany, so this may be a fair example of the traditional or commercial examples. That doesn't make me like it any more, but it perhaps excuses it a little more.
On tap at Cammeray Craft.
Pours a pale gold, Berliner colour, very cloudy. Head is white, dense but sinks to just a rim of lace. Nice texture to the head when it was there though. Looks pretty standard for style but that's a nice look.
Smells very funky. Fruity notes of melon combined with champagne vinous characterss, grape and melon with an off, festering note too. Could use more fresh or sour notes as it's a bit too much funk on there.
Taste is far more zingy, and pleasant. Melon fruit with cantaloupe and watermelon vying for attention. Zesty and fresh on the mid palate then finishes with a bizarre milky creamy note. Not so bizarre as I know how it's made, but bizarre in how palatable it is. Finish is quite sweet but with lingering sourness and funkadelic flavours playing at the edges. Fresh and cleansing and really quite bizarre. But pretty great.
Inevitably thin, with a big pull from all the bugs in there. Tart and puckering at times but not bad.
Quite a pleasant summery drop. Feel like the fruit could be used to sweeten as well as tarten and it would be beautiful, it's really very sour and funky and weird overall, but well enough handled.
Raspberry cherry weisse. So it's called pHuchsia, right? Because it's bright pink (fuchsia) coloured, but acidic, so pH. It's a me-calibre name and I like the baroqueness of it. Tried on tap at the Draft House in Fitzrovia.
Rude red, slightly pale pink at the edge. Head is virtually non-existent, just a rim of thin bubbles. Steady bead. Looks OK.
Smells fruity; raspberry tartness and a touch of sweetness. Fairly standard and non-descript but delivers what it promises.
Taste is refreshingly tart. Big dark cherry note and fair berry hint although no distinct raspberry. Slight lemony Berliner weisse character, puckering just a bit on the back. Quite crisp and refreshing though. Could be accused of being soft-drinky but for the sharp wild yeast note which is very pleasant.
Fairly thin, non-descript. Some pull on the back from the tartness.
Could use a bit more distinct fruity character. Nicely handled Berliner with good, whelming (in the sense of not over- or underwhelming) tartness but some more fruit character - especially raspberry - would really bring this to life.
81 / 100
750ml dark green bottle purchased from Slowbeer. Matured in chardonnay barrels with bitter orange and Brett. brux.
Pours a rather clear, fine pale yellow hue, with a rocky frothy, boisterous head that settles out to a persistent mess of champagne-like bubbles. Carbonation is fine and vibrant. Body is light and fine, as you'd expect. Overall, it looks good.
Nose is excellent. Demi-sec champagne notes, accentuated by a fizz of carbonic acidity, which leavens the rather hearty wood note. Slight bittersweet fruit notes come through, peely and almost tending towards tannic. As it warms, or as you swirl it, there's pleasant notes of black peppercorns and perhaps a little coriander seed. It's a nice combination.
Taste is very dry, and extremely clean. Palate has a brut vinous quality to it that really does present a facade of sparkling dry white wine. Some barrel towards the back, with a woody, almost floury biscuit-tack quality. This is lifted a little bit by some of the fruit peel character, that still never lends sweetness, but provides some aromatics at least. Finish is pithy, and punctuated by the acidity, leaving the body (such as it is) to effervesce away to nothing, leaving just a arid dryness on the finish from the memory of the acidity.
Feel is spot on—crisp and bright, with persistent fine carbonation.
Overall, cracking stuff. This is super clean, dry, pithy and astoundingly drinkable. The elements are beautifully used in concert, leaving a beer that's harmonious for all its disparate characteristics. I'm now going to very happily enjoy the rest of this large bottle
86 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a definitely odd colour, perhaps a could of shades deeper than a pub lemon, lime & bitters, but not far off. Reasonably clear in the glass too. Body is light, not unexpectedly for 2.7% ABV. Head is off-white forming a fine ring that doesn't leave much lacing. Carbonation is fine and streams swiftly through the glass. Looks good, and unique.
Nose is very fragrant, with bitters coming through along with orange peel and lemonade. This is all pricked and spiced with a bit of cinnamon and clove, very nicely indeed.
Front is really nice on the palate, with a tart, powdery lemonade character coming through along with some fragrant spicy bitters. Light, clean, well-constructed tartness through the centre with a hint of tartaric acid. There's a linger of bitters and spices and a fragrance like sugar-sweetened citric acid crystals. Aftertaste is slightly peppery and fresh, with a cleanness and a lingering unknowable fragrance in the finish.
Feel is light, tart and powdery. Very clean and perfectly suited to the beer.
Overall, this was so refreshing and incredibly interesting. An absolutely unique beer, and one of my stand-outs at GABS. This wasn't just a beer modelled after a Lemon Lime & Bitters, it was a unique beast with its own merits.
75 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a very pale straw yellow colour with a psychosomatic tinge of green to it. Haze is very prominent in a light-weight, lightly carbonated body. Head is white, what there is of it, but it dissipates very quickly to almost nothing.
Dirty, funky and pithy on the nose and quite potent. There's a touch of seaweed to it and lots of tart finger-lime citrus notes. That sea character comes back though with a fragrant, slightly pongy character of clam shells. It's certainly interesting.
Taste is lime-forward on the front, with a clean, bright, fragrant mid-palate. Biting citrus comes though on the back with some definite acidity, and a linger of carbonic soda in the finish. Aftertaste has a bit of that pithy lime again.
Feel is very light, but this is appropriate for the beer.
Overall, I found it really quite refreshing, and moreover quite interesting. I think I'd quite happily drink a bunch of this.
79 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a very, very pale yellow with solid hazing and a very light body. Head is white and only really forms a thin ring that leaves minimally persistent lace. Looks suitable for the style at least.
Nose is slightly sulphury and a little farty to begin with, but once this clears off, there's some pleasant lemon notes if no genuine suggestion of tartness. Clean in the end with some Belgian yeast notes. Quite pleasant.
Palate is better. Here, we get a nice tart but clean bite on the front with the flavour of lemon, turning pithy and smooth by the mid-palate. Back is very clean with a smooth downturn into a fine frothy finish, leaving the aftertaste very clean. It's well-structured and very nice.
Feel is very clean but with enough to support it. I like it.
Yep, this is a really good brew with lots going for it. Oddly enough, I'm not sure I retried this at GABS, but I'm pleased that it's made an appearance in bottles after the fact at least.
76 / 100
The second-lowest ABV beer at GABS is also one of the most enticing.
Pours an amber colour with slight pinkish tinge. Touch of cloud with nice foamy white head. Nice colour, it looks like Angostura.
Smells like Angostura too. Soft drinky, with soe nice sour lemon and grapefruit aromas. As interesting as a soft drinky beer can smell.
Taste is pleasant, and refreshingly tart. Loads of lemon and lime including pith and zest all over that, and finishes with a twang of bitters. Nice acidity to it and well handled to deliver an LLB flavour but a beery and particularly berliner weissy finish; tart and crisp.
Bit of pull on the mouthfeel, body is surprisingly full for 2.7% though.
Pleasant. Ross has kept the beer in this, but made it with good, emblematic character.
This beer got better the more you tried it, and on retrying was my #3 beer of the whole festival.
Pours a straw colour, hugely cloudy which gives it substance. No head at all but that's expected for the style, and the colour is nice.
Smells sour, tangy. Loads of lime to it with a touch of crisp green apple as well. Otherwise light, and slightly yeasty.
Taste is tangy and citric. Big lime character but rounded with lemon zest, some underripe Granny Smith apple and then again yeasty on the back. Not bad.
Body is surprisingly thick, I can only assume from actual sediment cloud. It's actually quite a nice pad for the tartness.
Good as a cleanser; not hugely exciting on its own. Not sure if I'd drink lots of it but it's useful to cleanse with.
70 / 100
Pours a very pale straw colour, hugely cloudy as one would expect. White head, large bubbles, but retaining OK. Not bad.
Smells oaky and fruity. Peach ester with notes of coconut as well as green apple and crisp champagne. Not quite sour enough but loads of awesome.
Slightly tart on the palate. Champagne again with citrus that gets somewhat sour towards the back but finishes crisp. Touch of vinegar that gets slightly ascerbic. Not quite as much character as the nose promised, but nice enough berliner.
Decent body but no real texture to speak of. Not bad.
Very nicely put together Berliner Weiss, fairly to style though and nothing that really captures my attention.
69 / 100
Pours a pale canary colour, cloudy. Whispy bubbles, white on top. Not bad.
Smells smokey, meaty. Touch of spice. Slight chocolate edge. Could use more tartness but interesting and appealing.
Taste is smoky, meaty again. Weird mix with slight tartness, fresh citrus with unripe apple. Smoky and a distinct chilli note on the back. Ummm weird. Flavours OK, odd blend. What else would I expect though.
Thin, decent texture, not too harsh but a bit of pull.
Weird. An acquired taste. Not badly put together but I just don't like the blend all that much.
62 / 100
Pours a pale gold, cloudy, no head. White rim. Looks berliner weissy.
Smells wild. Somewhat tart. Citrus, pear, custard apple and a touch of salt. Not bad.
Taste is similarly tart, fairly earthy and funky. Notes of pear, crisp apple. Green, touch of rhubarb. Earthy bitterness on the back. Decent, but a distinct off flavour late which doesn't sit very well with me.
Bit of pull, very bitty and dry. Soda-esque in a way without the fizz.
Not bad, feel like more freshness on the back would be the key.
71 / 100
Tried some time ago on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney. Hadn't gotten around to entering my review—at the time of publication, I believe the beer is long gone, sadly.
Pours a very pale salmon colour, certainly not particularly red or blood-like—I guess salmon is to red as radioactive green is to black (cf. Cephalopod). Head is very fine and white, sitting in a pleasant ring around the glass. Very light body, which isn't unexpected. Fine carbonation. Looks good.
Nose is quite pleasant. Fine wheaty acidity gives it a crispness, and some fruitiness gives it a bit more depth. There's also a slight vinous quality to the acidity as well—in some respects, it's pretty one-note, but it's refreshing.
Taste is also very refreshing. Slight aspirin tones, lemon and soda and perhaps a little organic rhubarb note to it. Acidity is certainly not really pronounced, but it comes through in the feel which is light, spritzy and refreshing. There's also a hint of something a little spicy on the back, which is also quite pleasant.
Overall, this was very quaffable and very enjoyable. I think I like it better than I did the Cephalopod, even though they're similar in many ways.
Tried on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne. This is an adaptation of their regular Circus of Sour Berliner Weisse.
Pours a pale chardonnay colour with some hazing through it. Body is very light. Head is firm and solid though and forms a white crest and filmy rings of lacing. Not much carbonation noticeable. Overall, it looks very good.
Nose is actually a little unpleasant. Acidity comes through, but along with it is a big stench of cleaning chemicals and a bit of ass. Chardonnay character that was supposedly here is nowhere—it smells more like a hospital, perhaps with just a suggestion of woody oak.
Light, frothy entry on the palate with some mild acidity to it. More sweaty funk through the centre, like licking a hairy armpit. Really quite weak. Faint papaya on the back with a little musk and very weak acid. Aftertaste has a character like watered-down goon. Feel is very light.
Overall, it feels a bit pointless. Despite my descriptions, it's not actively bad—it is certainly weak though and while I could drink more of it, I'd have to ask myself "why bother?"
75 / 100
A strawberry sour, designed as part of the unique collaboration between Thirsty Crow and Bootleg: PB&J. This is the "jelly" part of the sandwich. Reviewed each in isolation before trying the blend. Tried on-tap at GABS2014 in Melbourne.
Pours a very pale, surprisingly clear champagne-pink colour with a fine ring of white around the crest. Body is very light, but that's not unexpected. Some streaky lace forms, as does masses of vibrant carbonation. Looks pretty good.
Nose has artificial turkish delight characters to it, along with Allen's jelly snakes on initial whiff. It turns a little bit more vinous as the acidity comes through a bit more, turning into a slight funk as it warms. It's pretty nice.
Clean, light entry on the palate, before the jelly starts to come through. Definite artificial red lollies, concord grape, turning again slightly vinous and more sour as the acidity rises. Back is clean, crisp and light with a mild bite of carbonic acid. Very dry aftertaste. Feel is light, but clean.
It's a weird combo just by itself before you even put it with the PB. The jelly sweetness and the dryness on the back makes is almost seem like a dichotomy. All up though, it was a nice, and unusual brew. It was a shame the PB didn't really match its standard.
75 / 100
Tried on-tap at Dejavu in Melbourne during Good Beer Week 2013.
Pours a bright, light red colour with solid hazing in the body. Weight is fluid but fairly solid. head is a pink-tinged white, creating a foamy styrofoam edge to the beer that leaves lace in specks. Looks good.
Nose is big and sweet, with all the aromatics of strawberry. Jammy, rich, sweet and sticky. There's not a hint of acid or tartness. It's extremely unusual and a little disconcerting, while still maintaining a pretty impressive true strawberry aroma.
Then, the beer spins on a dime. On the palate, the strawberry almost disappears. Light, crisp spritzy entry with the only suggestion of that fruit aroma we'll again see. Aspirin and biting acid on the mid-palate, clean and bright. Clinging tartness on the back, and dry as bone. White, dusty earth in the aftertaste. Feel is dry and acidic.
This is extremely refreshing, but utterly weird. I can't get over the difference between the nose and the palate: it's sweet and jammy in the aroma, but cuttingly acidity in the flavour. Very, very strange indeed.
44 / 100
Pours a pale straw colour, hugely cloudy, almost opaque. Head is white, foamy, medium retention. Not bad.
Smells herbal, grassy. Dry upfront with notes of champagne and a touch of French oak putting me in mind of a chardonnay. Lucerne towards the back, with a bit of spice. Not bad.
Touch of champagne upfront on the palate, develops a slightly tart green apple character midway but finish is all yeasty. Yeah, definitely lacking the acidity and complex finish of a good Berliner weisse, just finishes bready. Quite meh.
Thin body, touch of carbonation. OK for style I guess but there's also a lack of tartness pull which adds to my disappointment over the palate.
Unimpressive drop. Had some promise initially, but didn't deliver as a Berliner Weisse.
75 / 100
750ml tall brown bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. They put this somewhere between Berliner Weisse, Rauchbier and Saison. That was well enough to pique my interest, even as I questioned their sanity.
Pours a quite clear yellow golden colour, with a big frothy head of white, that persists for a long time. Lacing is pretty decent and the carbonation is fine. It also looks like it has a bit of heft in the body, despite being only 3.8% ABV. Looks good.
Yep, nose is something like what I expected as much as I expected anything. Definite smokiness, almost peaty and slightly medicinal, with an underlying wheaty sourness that gives slight lactic overtones as well. There's a carbonic acidity to it as well. Very strange, but not unpleasant for it.
Yep, the taste is similarly weird: let's not beat around the bush, it's fucked up, but in the best possible way. Crisp wheaty acidity on the front of the palate, backed up out of nowhere by a slightly acrid, smokiness with no sweetness to it whatsoever—again, it feels slightly peaty and medicinal when mixed with the acidity. Taste is quite dark, despite the colour: it causes no end of cognitive dissonance in my brain.
Feel is quite fine and slightly frothy. It works well.
Yeah: this is bizarre. Hopfenstark have done something really weird and probably against some sort of law of nature. But for all its oddities, it works in some sort of perverse way. When I try something truly unique like this, I have to appreciate it.
69 / 100
12oz brown bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with Sam and Rich.
Pours a bright yellow-gold with a fine hazing through the body. Head forms a decent surface of pure white that stays with some persistence. Minimal lace. Body is light. Looks pretty good overall though: about what you want from the style.
Nose is great: crisp and tart, with bright pinging citrus and a suggestion of farmhouse funkiness. There's a sharp savoury character to it as well, almost like a hot salsa, which adds it's own spike to the aroma. Very refreshing, very bright, very exciting.
Taste is pleasantly clean and tart on the front, with a bright citrus and a slight acetic acidity. Mid palate stays fuzzy and a little bit underdeveloped, although it brings back some suggestions of that chilli sharpness. Unfortunately, there's a very dirty, yeasty and slightly unsavoury character on the back that I've seen in a number of berliner weisses now: it gives a gritty and slightly unpalatable finish to what should be otherwise light, crisp and refreshing. At the very least, it has some of those same classic characters, but I'm not particularly enamoured of them.
Overall, though, this is a very solid stab at the style, and it's actually done pretty well. The tartness is well-structured (and indeed if I could just have more of the same I'd be pretty happy), but there are things which stop me from being truly effusive. By the end of the bottle though, I was pretty happy drinking it.
62 / 100
Finished off a very enjoyable tasting session at Tørst with this one.
Cloudy pale orange. Head is white, small bubbles with thin rim left behind. Bit dark, actually, for the style. But nice.
Smells very funky. Tart, vinegary, to the point of smokiness actually, which is a little bizarre. Hugely organic. Bit yeasty. Not bad.
Taste is tart, gets more tart and also funky and organic. Big apple cider note with cider vinegar edge. Gets a little bready and almost like a bread pudding with raisiny sweetness. Tart overall, a bit dry. Barnyardy. Mulchy at times too. Tastes nice, but has a few very odd moments through the palate.
Bit of body, gets a bit of a pull but not very puckering.
Decent Berliner weisse, very much in the organic school of beers.
43 / 100
For a brewery with only two regular beers, White Rabbit pulled out all the stops during GBW 2013. I tried at least three new beers from them, including this one at GABS.
Pours an extremely pale, yellow-white colour, with solid hazing and a rather light body. Head is white and forms soms solid but inconsistent foaming. Not much lace, and not much carbonation, although the body's so light it's a little difficult to tell. Overall, it looks like a pretty stylistically appropriate Berliner Weisse.
The nose is less so. Slight wheaty characters come forwards, with a hint of musty grain. Almost no acidity or tartness is present, and instead it gives off a dull, generic lager character. Quite unimpressive.
Taste starts light and crisp, with a rounded but muted grain character hinting that there could be good things to come. But instead everything drops out, leaving the centre of the palate empty, with just a slight sludge wheat-porridge character. On the back is a touch of salt and a light, floury finish.
Feel is faint, with a suggestion of chewiness, perhaps just from the porridge character.
Overall, this is a pretty poor Berliner Weisse. There is no acidity or sourness at all, and without it, it's just bland, verging on offensive. I'm am truly not a fan.
72 / 100
Pale straw colour with fair cloud. White head, mild lace left behind. Steady bead. Good.
Funky nose; organic and quite saisony really, with a touch of lemon pith, grapefruit and melon. Pleasant; could use a ramp up on the tart factor.
Citric upfront on the palate; notes of pith, some grapefruit and kiwi. Yeasty midway with a slight funk - organic and slightly grassy. Clean, pleasant and fairly lemony. Nice.
Bit of pull and sizzle. Not really puckering, it's quite nice and smooth for what it is.
Clean and tart but not over the top. Nice Berliner Weiss.
71 / 100
This is a "black berliner weisse", made black (or at least a murky grey) by the addition of squid ink. Yes, this is probably the weirdest beer you'll have this year. Tried on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney.
The appearance is, well, ugly, awful and unpleasant. Inky grey colour looks like ash suspended in greenish-tinged water. Fine but minimal fizzy carbonation. No head whatsoever. It looks like the grey water left in the bucket after mopping a particularly filthy floor. Sure, it's unique, but it's ugly, ugly, ugly and makes you wary of even taking a sip.
Sharp lactic sourness on the nose, quite precise and prickly. Crisp vegetative notes come through along with some mushed grainy notes. It's bright, light and quite pleasant: everything the appearance is not. It's crazy.
Taste is crisp and light again with some prickly acidity right up front. Green appleskin, rubbed lemon along with some mineral water acidity and effevescence. Grape skin comes through as well—in some ways it's almost a soft-drink. In any case it's wacky.
Feel is lovely, fine and bubbly, setting off the acidity with the prickle of carbonation.
Really, this is just weird though. It's a really decent Berliner Weisse underneath the wackness and wackiness, but the quid ink really doesn't do it any favours. As it stands, it's a curiosity, but I'll wait until the non-adulterated version comes along. Good beer should be able to stand by itself, and doesn't really need the gimmicks.
91 / 100
Had on tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne; writing this review from notes but suffice to say this was the beer of the festival for me.
Pours a very, very, very pale straw colour. Huge sedimenty cloud throughout, would be opaque but there's not enough colour so the light shows through easily. Head is white, foamy and retains OK. Very interesting-looking beer.
Sour, tart nose giving the impression of puckering already. Very funky but with wow, yeah that classic Watermelon Warhead aroma. Melony and fruity with a dangerous acidic note to it. Intense and magnificent.
Fruity and more puckeringly sour on the palate. Dry but with a huge watermelon fruit note, loads of funk and acid throughout but with the fruit notes just adding a bit of a sweeter character giving it a real sour candy edge. Champagney at times as well. Just bloody love this beer. Funky, wild, sour, untamed but still able to do tricks and entertain. Just wonderful.
Feels like I have popping candy in my mouth. Very dry and puckering at the back. Amazing.
Unique and wonderful drop. Fascinating, enjoyable; maybe a little too puckering but it's so tasty I couldn't care less. At 2.9% they should be serving this gem at every sporting venue. What a treat.
650ml bomber purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. The bottle recommends two ways of serving it, one straight, and one "mit Schuss". I thought I'd give both a try, although I have no woodruff, so made do with grenadine. Scores and the bulk of the review are for the unadulterated version.
Pours a rather clear pale golden yellow, with a fizzing head of white that froths for a while, and then settles down to almost nothing. Body is clear and light, and rather thin, which is not unreasonable or unpleasant for the style. Overall, decent look to it.
Nose is clear and crisp, with a tart apple fragrance and a touch of woodiness. There's a slight sweetness too, perhaps a suggestion of vanilla, and a grainy slightly true German depth, which lends some savouriness. Not bad.
Taste is what you expect. Clear and crisp, with a mild tartness and a pinch of salt towards the back palate. Slight leafy note on the front, crushed vegetation or green tea perhaps. Mostly, it's just light, crisp and refreshing. Solid stuff.
Feel is slightly biting, but light and slightly effervescent.
"Mit Schuss", the syrup actually really blanks a good deal of the acidity and freshness, even though it doesn't add a lot itself. It's more that it smooths the edges, and probably makes it more approachable overall: I much prefer this particular BW on its own, although I've enjoyed a woodruff-spiked concoction in the past.
Overall, solid stuff. This is fairly middle-of-the road for the style, and it's not a style that I've ever been hugely enamoured of, so it's certainly not a wowing experience, but it's decent, drinkable, and very refreshing on a hot day.
76 / 100
Bottle purchased from Slowbeer.
Pours a bright lemony yellow colour, with some moderate hazing and stack of fine carbonation. Head forms, you feel, not because of any weight or residual proteins in the beer, but just because the carbonation is rising faster than it can dissipate on the top. Very light body. Overall, it's a very decent looking Berliner Weiss (-ish thing, as they call it).
Nose is pleasant enough, with a bright citric overtone above a slightly rough, slightly meaty, but rugged wheat basis. Pleasant lacto character doesn't overwhelm, but actually adds some depth to the other characters in the brew. There's a cleanness to it, but also a pleasant roundness, possibly from the German wheat beer yeast, or possibly just from the wheat in the grist. Overall, I'm pretty impressed: it sits together a lot better than the others in the series have.
Taste is also good. There's a clean, direct character running through the palate, giving a sharp, slightly thin, but refreshing bite to the front and mid-palate. On the back, there's a touch of bitterness, but it's a lemon-pith or grapefruit character, rather than being hop-driven. Acidity is mild, but it sneaks up giving a slight tingle on the back and a touch of crushed aspirin. Feel is actually very goodâsmooth, but frothy from the carbonation: it works nicely with the flavours.
Overall, I'm impressed. Moon Dog have an erratic record with me, and having tried the other two beers in the series, I was not expecting this to be as good as it is. This is a clean, crisp-drinking "Berliner-ish type thing". It doesn't have the acidity of a true BW, but the lemon character works a lot better than the guava or melon did.
Pours a musty yellow colour, that seemed quite clear as I poured it, but in the glass seems hazy. Head is formed of fizzy white bubbles, that settle around the edge of the glass, and don't stick around for long. Body is light in weight, but I'm tempted to say slightly too dark in colour. I mean, it's not bad overall, just a little average.
Nose is greenly organic, with hints of acidity and a (yep) noticeable melon rind character. It has almost a rubbery, lambic-like character to it, but without the pronounced tartness and powerful yet refreshing grunt. It's certainly interesting though.
Taste is mild and light, with a crispness on the back that deconstructs itself into rindy watermelon characters and a bit of vegetative rot. There's a touch of acidity to it, more in the centre of the palate than towards the back, but it's almost like the sparkle of carbonated water than a lactic bite. Finish is relatively clear, apart from the lingering build up of pithy watermelon rind.
Mouthfeel feels a little overcarbonated, which is probably acceptable for the style, but usually the style would have more of a puckering acidity to complement it.
Eh. It's better than the MacGuavaâwe'll see how it fares against the Billy Ray Citrus. Unfortunately for Moon Dog, this has appeared on the Aussie beer scene close to the very much better watermelon berliner weisse from Feral; the comparison for Moon Dog is not favourable.
Purchased from Slowbeer, drank with @tobeerornottobe.
Pours a pleasant cloudy yellow-gold colour, with a fine, filmy head of white. Decent sudsy lace, but a little inconsistent. Body is very light, with a fine bead of powdery carbonation. Looks pretty good, overall.
Nose is slightly funky, but slightly nutty, with a herbal, organic overtone, but not a huge amount of crispness, or direct lactic, Berliner weisse character. Also, not a lot of guava. I'm not overly impressed, to be honest.
Taste is clean and slightly organic, with a brusque herbal greenness on the back. It really doesn't have much of a guava character, nor does it have much of a true, clean Berliner Weisse crispness. In fact, it feels a little empty and unfulfilling. Feel is light, but empty.
Overall: eh. Really, this doesn't do much that's particularly interesting. Usually Moondog do interesting if not successful. This time they've done neither. Unimpressed.
90 / 100
Had on-tap at GABS. A 2.9% Berliner Weisse, fermented with watermelon juice in chardonnay barrels.
Pours an exceptionally pale yellow. Indeed it's almost whiteâyou just can't get any lighter than that. Firm white ring of foam forms good lace. Fine carbonation despite the extremely light-weight body. Looks great.
Nose is, yep, everything you expect. Big watermelon character, which when mixed with the clean, bright acidity gives the sense of Jolly Ranchers, or indeed the eponymous watermelon-flavoured Warheads. There's a funk to it as well, that almost gives a juicy kalamata olive character. You know, just to keep you interested if liquified watermelon Warheads wasn't enough...
Lovely entry on the palate with the acid giving a crisp, sharp start, mingled with the soothing cool watermelon fragrance. Very little on the middle, before an upswell in funk leaves a green vegetative cleanness on the back. Acidity is piercing and full, and helps to create an exceptionally clean finishâthere's always the risk of some lingering yeast notes on the back in Wilds, and this does a great job.
Overall, this is a ridiculously delicious and ridiculously drinkable beer. I'm almost blasÃ© about Feral doing incredible sour beers nowadaysâevery one of them is amazing, so I'll only be shocked when they bring out one that's sub-par.
In summary: AMAZING STUFF FERAL KEEP GOING, THANKS!
11 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Pours a very pale yellow, slight haze in the body. Head is white, quite creamy and dense with trails of lace here and there, not too sticky. Looks OK, yeah.
Smells foul. Sickly, pongy sweetness from the get-go with a sense of mouldy wet grain, honey and oatmeal. Just a fermented rice porridge character. Doesn't smell right at all, it's an absolute stinker.
Taste has a weird, possibly accidental sourness to it which is actually the highlight. Apple-esque with a lactic acidity on the front that's sour without being hugely tart, and ends up sort of weakly fruity. Finishes horribly sweet, with that fermented rice pudding flavour, oatmeal and honey notes. Off-balance, off-putting and just plain offal.
Watery thin and fairly plain. Not terrible texture but it's hard to keep this foul liquid in my mouth long enough to tell.
Two words. Actually is drain pour still two words or is it one, now? Drain pour, anyway. Ouch.
Pours an exceptionally pale yellow, almost tending towards the colour of pear juice, very nearly transparent. Head forms in a filmy bump on the top of the glass, although it falls down to almost nothing. Body is exceptionally light. Fine carbonation. I like how light it is, otherwise it's a bit lacklustre.
Nose... Ooh dear. Yes there's some slightly rank acidity to it, but it's actually dominated by a really quite unpleasant corny adjunct/cereal character, that melds with a touch of floury yeast to give a really rancid aroma. Some green vegetative qualities to it, but the cereal/flour character is really unpleasant.
Taste is a bit better, giving a tartness on the front that snaps the palate a bit like tonic water. But after that, it just sings with that bland flouriness, and very little body whatsoever. Flat finish doesn't even give it the sparkle to be really refreshing. Blergh.
Not one of my favourite Berliner Weisses, and one which makes me question the genre yet again. Probably just really needs that woodruff syrup.
70 / 100
Pours a very turbid pale marigold colour, with large carbonation bubbles skulking up to the top. Head is white and foamy, pretty humble but decent retention for the bubble size. Lace is not really there. Looks quite nice.
Smell is fairly funkadelic. Tart and crisp with a lot of acid, giving me Granny Smith apples, cranberries and citrus, all contained within a nice spice jar with cinnamon, ginger and a marmalade sweetness hanging at the back. Nice complexity, crispness, balance. It's ticking many of my boxes.
Taste is interestingly tart. Very fruity with a large melon component that starts early and gets far more pronounced towards the back. Not actually as much acid as I anticipated; the texture puckers slightly but doesn't take hold like other Berliner Weißes I've had. Slight tart berry component late-mid and a strong vinous character on the back is helped by the dry texture. Mostly sour towards the finish but it doesn't linger, and leaves you nicely refreshed, like a very strong lemon squash.
Could use a touch more flavour on the front and perhaps more of a flourish on the finish. It's quite enjoyable as it is, however.
75 / 100
Purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City (great location, by the way - check it out). It seemed interesting enough to bring back to Australia and share; when I purchased it I was unaware it was the top rated Berliner Weisse here, but now I'm glad I bought it.
Pours a cloudy and turbid, very pale golden colour, with a huge soapy and sudsy head of white foam that burgeons up and the cascades down in a very vibrant display. Hard to see much carbonation through the haze, but I imagine it's pretty effervescent. Looks pretty great, what I want a Berliner Weisse to look like.
Nose is pungently sour, with a big carbonic acidity throughout, that is just highlighted and accentuated with a lilting uplift of zesty lemon rind on the back, and sweetened with the promise of confectionery sugar. Dusty and a little refined, it's a more complex and complete aroma than I've yet had from any other beer in the style.
Taste is pleasantly sour, but not puckering, and again lilts nicely with a touch of citric zest. A little sweetness is present throughout, and the body is extremely light and effervescent without getting too gassy or bubbly. Slightly yeasty grit on the back, which detracts a little from the pure refreshment, but the delicate backbone of the beer more than makes up for it.
A lovely, refreshing and very light beer. It's the sec champagne of the beer world. Very easy to imbibe, and incredible delicate, but with a lilt and depth of character that is surprising in a beer designed so much from a refreshment point of view. Lovely.
Pours a pale straw colour with a lot of haze; almost opaque. Head is... hang on, where's the head? Oh, it's not there. That's a shame. Yeah, no head at all. No carbonation. No lace. Look, I'm aware that stylistically head might be a difficult thing to produce, but face facts - that looks BAD.
Nose is intriguing, but not sure I like it. Lots of honey, with some tart notes on there, lots of floral nectar characters. Rose petals and slight metallic characters but very sweet. Oddest thing comes from a huge whiff of popcorn that seems to pervade all through that. Buttery and savoury; a very unusual smell and I'm really not sure about it at all.
Taste is...disastrous? Well, let's not be too hasty. Tangy on the front with lots of tart characters, mild lemon zest and almost vinegar notes. Simple and just that one note up to the mid, then finish gets bland and yeasty, a salty character and hint of dry bread on the very end. Fairly weird and overall frankly a bit bland. The start is nicely tart, but needs more of that on the finish. It's weak and very confused. The finish doesn't match the majority of the palate and it's just not very enjoyable. It has aspects that might be interesting if better handled, but as it is, it's just confusing.
Yeah, it's flat as could be expected, but a decent body for a low ABV. Just a bit dry on the back. Not much texture but okay for the palate.
Not a big fan of this beer. The finish needs some work and more flavour. I've said this before but DFH has my respect for their experimental nature only - their beers themselves just never really manage to get me into bed.
Purchased in San Francisco and carried back to Australia at the request of @LaitueGonflable.
Pours a hazy, and extremely light yellow colour. Head fizzles to begin with , but disappears very quickly, leaving it looking pretty flat and delapidated. Looks a little like lemon juice. It's as flat as that anyway. A bit average.
Nose is redolent with spicy and sour peach characters. Slightly medicinal, bit of green vegetation. Decent acid characters for a berliner weisse, with that slight upturn in fruity peach that is pleasant.
Taste starts light and peachy, with a lightly bitter peach-skin bite, but it then descends immediately into a huge and festering rotten yeast character. Minimal body, which is fine, but it has nothing to cleanse the very rank yeasty note that sits on the palate for far too long. Although there's minimal acidity on the palate, after a while, it feels like there's an acid buildup in my stomach, burning a hole in my intestines. All up, it's not a very pleasant experience.
Not a beer for me. Really, I haven't had a really pleasant Berliner Weisse from outside Germany, and this is yet another sub-par example. The peach character tries its hardest to give something to the beer, but it fails in my opinion. Not a great beer. Dogfish Head again try something different (and I love them for trying), but yet again they fall short.
Pours a pale straw colour with steady carbonation. Head is good when poured, and retains remarkably well for the style. About half a finger left. Fast but sparse carbonation throughout the brew, great Berliner Weisse look.
Nice sour nose, very champagney indeed. Lots of fruit with white grape skins and wild cherry notes, plum and blackberry as well. All very tart and fairly light. Fresh and pleasant
Taste is not as sour as i'd expected, reasonable tartness, but really doean't pucker the way the nose made me expect. Fair champagney character on the front witb hints of lemon juice and a slight washed cheese rind note. Middle is crisp and quite refreshing with some grape character and mild peppery spice from the yeast. Overall a bit simple, a light and drinkable sour beer. With this little complexity, ideally it would be mouth-tearingly sour, though, which it isn't.
A bit of puckering on the front is the most impactive part of this beer. Finish is not very dry at all. Not bad, but could have done far more violently erotic things to my mouth and I wouldn't be complaining.
Actually quite drinkable which makes me feel it's not a great berliner weisse. I asked the bartender if they ever serve this one with blackcurrant syrup and he looked at me as if I was barking mad. I hastened to point out that I didn't WANT it with syrup, just curious. And for that reason alone I feel this is probably toned down a bit to make it drinkable. While I'm not an expert on this style by a long shot I would say that while this is pleasant I feel it's probably lacking some classic stylistic characteristics.
Pours an extremely pale yellow, verging on colourless, very cloudy with a thick fine head of pure white foam. Lacing is very good, and the extreme, fine carbonation looks like tiny streams of pure effervescence. A very sophisticated and refined looking beer, and just exactly what you want in a Berliner Weisse.
Loads of funk and acidity on the nose, tart citrus rind, grapefruit, composting greenery and crushed vegetation. A hint of wet burlap sack, and a more organic yeast character are also noticeable. Not bad.
Taste is far different from expected. There's only an initial tart character on the front of the tongue, which disappears almost immediately, leaving a thin biscuity character, and an odd flavour of marzipan. The yeast funk is noticeable, and the finish is left quite phenolic and rank. Mouthfeel is extremely thin, which I guess is average for the style, but without much acidity, it just leaves exposed the very mediocre back palate.
Everything just fell away once I took a sip; this beer ends up thin, bare and empty. Maybe this is a Berliner Weisse which really requires syrup to give it any character (or rather, to cover the weak, but unpleasant characters it has). It was promising on the nose, and it looked the part, but it couldn't hold its end up when it counted. A shame.
42 / 100
Had without syrup, of course.
Pours a good champagney appearance, pale with bubbly head, voluminous at first and doesn't stick around. Translucent light saffron appearance, looks quite nice, really.
Smells vinous but with a distinct sour character to it. Has characters not unlike vinegar, with very little else to it. Smells sour; not disgusting, but not hugely beer-y and not all that appealing.
Yeah, slight sour character most of the way through the palate. Very dry, puckering mouthfeel with a hint of carbonation, with a lot of vinous characters. It is quite similar to drinking a chilled bottle of champagne that was, prior to being chilled, in the sun for too long. Vinegar and a puckering cider aspect, nicely complex but a bit of a struggle to get through.
It's not the most drinkable beer I've ever had, but it does have its charms.
Served straight - no syrup.
Very vaguely cloudy, champagne-yellow colour, withb a loose-bubbled, highly carbonated head. Head dissipates to a loose ring. Good lacing.
Sour apple juice/cider vinegar nose. Hints of grassiness, and an odd smell of fresh egg whites, which is not unpleasant, despite how unusual it is.
Not as mouth-puckeringly sour on the palate as I expected, rather more like an oxidised white-wine sourness, or the lightly acidic flavour of selzer water. It has the astringent constricting quality on the mouth, but not the flavour of over sourness. It's rather pleasant, in a rather unusual way. Or maybe I should say it's unusual in a rather pleasant way.
Less character than I expected, but possibly more drinkable as a result. Unfortunately disappointing for the most famous Berliner Weiss, but I'll try it sometime fresh in Berlin.