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Bullfrog Blue Cheer

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A Black-n-Blueberry sour ale aged in retired oak bourbon barrels for two years with multiple strains of wild yeast.

Previously released as Bullfrog Sour Black and Blues

FlacoAlto's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 9, 2008
As I pop the cork it fizzes up with foam just a bit, though not quite a gusher. The beer pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip with a nicely fruit stained, pale purple tinged, dirty pink colored head that starts out a fat three-fingers in height. The beer is a very dark, purple plum color that shows a hazy, cherry jolly rancher color when held up to the light. The berries are noticeable as soon as I start to pour this beer; The berry notes are quite volatile, though they get overwhelmed by the funk when I dive in for a deeper inspection of the nose. Earthy, musty, almost mushroom like notes lie just beneath the more dominant tart aromatics. This has notes to it that are similar to an oak aged red wine; a mixture of spicy, woody oak, a tannic note (despite this not being an aromatic compound) and of course the underlying berry notes. An extended dedicated, sniffing of the aroma at first yields a soft oak component and an almost nutty or grassy note, but then this is followed by a bright, ripe berry aroma that is more striking than I had previously noticed.

The first sip of this is quite dry and tart enough to make my cheeks pucker in just a bit. It picks up a fullness to the body in the middle and finish that compliments the dryness and the tartness quite well. The tartness has a nice roundness to it that makes me guess that at least a portion of the sourness is contributed directly from the fruit, though there is certainly more than would ever be contributed by fruit alone. Despite the rounded character, the sourness here is mostly lactic influenced. This finishes with a spiciness from the oak that adds a touch of warmth. While this does not have a ripe berry flavor to it this still is very berry influenced, the fruit really adds a dimension to this beer that is very evocative of red wine. It is quite interesting how the oak and the fruit really contribute a new world, red wine type note to the flavor; it is not the dominant note here, but definitely plays a significant role.

I really like the soft, almost creamy mouthfeel that this beer has. As it warms up it starts to pick up a touch of heat in the finish that is reminiscent of Bourbon. A second pour of this after a short break reminds me how sour this really is; while not at the same intensity as a "hard" Lambic, this is certainly as sour as many a traditional Lambic I have had. I really like the tart berry flavors that run through the flavor profile. This is a very tasty brew, if I had to complain it would be on the complexity. While I really like the interplay of acidity, berry flavors and barrel notes it could use a bit more funk to balance the other notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
callmemickey (3250) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 6, 2013
Purplish-red body, thin off-white head, spotty lacing. musty blueberries, a little kick of blackberry and raspberry. Light funk and oak. Assertive acidity. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, nice finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtclockwork (9988) - , New Jersey, USA - JUN 11, 2012
Bottle shared at my house with Dennis. Pours pink berry with off white head. Nose/taste is black berry, wild yeast, oak, dry wood and light aged cheese. Finishes with moderately tart berry - mostly blackberry though hints of blueberry remain. Medium body.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Dunt (297) - Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2012
Thanks to Sean for generously sharing this extremely rare opportunity. Blue Cheer is a murky deep red purple. There is about a half fingers worth of effervescent pink head. Nose is full of jammy berry goodness. In particular, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, and some oak. Bright, sour berry flavor. It’s exceptionally tart, but really balanced. The blueberry and raspberry really pop for such an old wild. Good acidity and smooth mouthfeel, spritzy carb, and a long, lingering finish. Lived up to my expectations, and probably surpassed them. I prefer this to any blueberry sour I’ve had. Hope to have a chance at some of these other bullfrog sours.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Damico (2764) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 3, 2011
...and then there was 11. Pours black and blue like a bruise - purplish dark in color like a blackberry with decent carbonation still there. Aroma is delicous sour berries in soft pleasant notes. Flavor of berries and light smooth sourness like it is still fresh in the bottle. So smooth on the palate with no puckering at all, so good!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fbm115 (184) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 15, 2011
Ey Mikey… Poured from a 750ml corked n caged bottle. Color is purple brown with a light pink head. Smell is black/ blue berry with a bit of medicinal sweetness touch of barnyard and oak. Smells kind of tart. Taste is a decent rush of tart blue/black berry, some cherry, dry, bready malt, with a bit of funkiness. Ends kind of dry. Mouthfeel is medium body with low carbonation. Overall pleasant and enjoyable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jrallen34 (3487) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 29, 2011
bottle thanks to Sean via Frank... medium prune body, a light pink head is gone right away... very light nose, only a bit berries, no tartness at all... more tartness on the taste, but still pretty light, berries don’t really show except for the finish, more black than anything, oak on the finish as well, really smooth, can’t believe this was aged in bourbon, none at all... solid

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MrChopin (3474) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAY 30, 2011
transparent ruby, large pink head lasts but with low retention, effervescence creating a honeycombed acid trip that I lose myself in momentarily, fruit pulp/seeds(?) sticking to the glass edges. Nose is very bright, low sourness bit skin from cherry and blackberry, wonderfully light. Stinging skin oxidants in flavor, bit muddled fruit sweetness through a lightly papery oxidation that grows but is coupled with seedy grit and bitterness as well, very skin like. pleasant but not reaching the level of the bright nose.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (12169) - Orange County, California, USA - APR 4, 2011
A: The pour is a hazed purple-red color, with a pink head that is well retained. S: A nice tart fruit note. Plenty of blackberries and blueberries which provide tartness and tannins. Hints of grass and wet oak with a little bit of mustiness. T: Mild funkiness with plenty of tartness. Lactic acidity along with tart blackberries and blueberries. Grass, straw, and oak provide some nice depth along with a little bit of acetic acid to the beer as well. M: Medium in body with a moderate to high carbonation and a dry finish. O: I was hoping this would be good, but wasn’t quite sure what to expect. A solid beer, but it’s too bad I probably won’t get to try this again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeTheYounger (1155) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - APR 2, 2011
Bottle shared by hophead22. Light reddish pink color. Aroma funky oak and berries. Very tart almost like pie.really good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - APR 2, 2011
750ml bottle from my man treyrab. Rating #44. Dark reddish color with a dusty white head. Tart berry aroma, really nice. Nice little fruity berry flavor, tart and a little sweet. (1544)

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