Rick Franckhauser's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Sour Flower by Pontoon Brewing

February, 2020
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
5 / 6
34 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Sour Flower by Pontoon Brewing is being judged as BJCP category 29B, Fruit and Spice Beer.

Low levels of fresh blueberries in the aroma with a subtle impression of tartness. A touch of bready malt comes through. Nothing off but very subdued aromatics. The hibiscus is MIA (Missing In Aroma). The beer is a cranberry red color topped with a foamy deep pink head. Fairly hazy. The flavor provides moderate levels of blueberries. Hibiscus is noted in the flavor providing some additional cranberry-like tartness and tannin. The tannin effect is welcome as it helps to elevate the tartness, which is otherwise a little low to style. The sweetness of the berries may also be serving to counter the lactic tartness of the beer. Some low levels of doughy wheat malt come in mid-palate and assist in rounding things out. The finish is moderately dry and is once again aided by the hibiscus tannins. A floral note makes an appearance in the aftertaste. The beer also features a medium-light body with moderately high levels of carbonation with some mouth-drying carbonic bite but not astringent.

The beer provides a nice blueberry presence and the hibiscus aids in balancing the wheat. Overall it seems a little bigger and maltier than the style allows. I’m expecting a higher level of sourness and increased carbonation in a Berliner. The fruit addition seems to be taking away from the refreshment factor typical of the style. That said, it’s still a good tart blueberry ale.