Ballast Point Sour Wench Blackberry Ale
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RATINGS: 107   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.27   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 20   EST. CALORIES: 162   ABV: 5.4%
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Sour Wench was a Home Brew Mart recipe that we made every year for the Southern California Home brewers Fest in Temecula. This Blackberry Ale was originally developed by Ballast Point’s original Master Brewer Peter A’Hearn and Colby Chandler. While interning in Germany, Peter fell in love with the Berliner Weiss style of beer. A beer made with a procedure in which the mash was soured. The tartness of the Oregon State Marion Blackberries, at one pound per gallon, was a perfect addition for this sour style. Sour Wench is not aged in oak barrels. In the end, it’s a great bridge beer into the Sour Style’s.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 5, 2007
Sampled on tap at the First Annual Stone Sour Fest, July 2007
This beer appears so different from your standard beer that it seems artificially colored; topped by a frothy, purple pink colored, two finger thick head. The beer is a clear, bright, cherry red color. This has a fruity nose to it that leans towards notes of strawberry, currant and some tart, berry-like notes, but it does not scream blackberry to me. Some berry skin aromatics add a touch of sharpness to the aroma, but there is really not much else noticeable here.

The beer is quite dry tasting and really not that tart at all. It is definitely packed with lots of, light tart, blackberry fruit character. I would almost guess that this is just a wheat beer that has had fruit added. It is not really sour at all and what tartness is here seems to be fruit derived. At the very most, the sour-bug character has just started. The body of this brew has a medium fullness to it, where some fruit derived tannins seem to add the palate coating character.

This is a weak example of a sour beer, though it is a decent fruit beer. If I had had this outside a sour beer festival, I might have enjoyed it more; I definitely would like to see a bit more sour funk here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - AUG 1, 2007
On tap at the brewery. Deep red raspberry color. No head, but nice fine-bubble lacing. Nice fruity raspberry aroma. Taste is kind of watery. A tad bitter, but not from the hops. The IBU level is a low 10. Sourness is mild, almost undetectable.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 1, 2007
On tap at Liar’s Club. Pours with a crystal clear red body topped by a medium thick, pinkish head with some lacing. It smells like easter egg coloring...loaded with vinegar notes. The flavor is slightly sour yet a touch sweet with notes of vinegar and fruit. Light bodied, crisp and dry.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
badlizard (5539) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUL 27, 2007
On tap at Stone. Opaque berry red color with a pink fizzy head. Berry and malt aroma. Tangy blackberry seltzer taste with a slight sourness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - JUL 26, 2007
Sampled at the 1st annual Stone Sour Festival. Interesting flavors that were sweet with berries. Sour did come through but I thought it was more sweet.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - JUL 21, 2007
Taster @ brewery. I actually didn’t get the sweetness that Jon found. But, it wasn’t completely sour either. It was like a strange halfway point between a sweet lambic and a sour one, if that makes sense. I wont pretend to act like I know much about sour beers, but this was pretty lame.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
WeeHeavySD (3360) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - JUL 19, 2007
Taster at Ballast Point. Pours purple with a pink head. Very fruity taste overall, with a sour pucker. They call this "crack whore," but why I’m not sure. Its pretty damn tasty but a little too sweet to be a true sour in my book. Wouldn’t mind another taste.

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