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Blue Sunday Sour

Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Pungent and tartly sour, New Holland’s Blue Sunday Sour lives up to its moniker, showing a distinctly wild side, a quenching acidity and overtones of aged American oak. A complex blend of barrel-soured beers, this brew challenges conventional concepts of what beer should be. Faintly wine-like and packed with ripe raspberry, black cherry, and wafts of briar, the nose is reminiscent of a well-aged, old vines Zinfandel. Tim picked up on rich berry sweetness and wood aging, noting a “powerful red wine and oak presence,” deeming the aromas perfectly integrated. Lee, however, keyed in on the sourness, likening it to “sweetish, well-aged malt vinegar,” and found the wood character just a bit dusty. Dark and brooding, this is a deep brown yet brilliantly clear ale that throws a low, but well-sustained beige head. Held to the light, the beer reveals scintillating flecks of ruby, amber, and garnet within. The flavor, not unexpectedly, tends toward sourness, interwoven with cherry and vanilla. Tom enjoyed the “bright acidity and underlying fruitiness,” but opined that the wood aging may have gone a bit too far and added a slight, lingering harshness in the finish. The flavors struck Lee as “earthy, sweet, and almost beet-like” in their sweetness, appreciating the counterpoint sourness and surprising dryness in the finish. Not a beer to be quaffed, Blue Sunday Sour lends itself to sipping in quiet introspection.