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Ranger Creek Releases First Beer Aged in Their Own Bourbon Barrels as Small Batch Series No. 4

Discussion in 'Southwest' started by Todd, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. raffy313

    raffy313 Savant (450) Texas Dec 15, 2010 Verified

    Ended up being our only drain pour of the night. There were some definate off/sour flavors and zero barrel. Way too thin and an overall disappointment. I think the fact that we drank it in between some massive porters(Twilight..., Alpha Klaus), and stouts(BT, Kabert, HardywoodGBS, Moat Water... OK, now I'm just bragging ;)), didn't help the Ranger Creek cause at all.
    mattisloco and cfh64 like this.
  2. H0rnedFr0gs

    H0rnedFr0gs Advocate (520) Texas Mar 12, 2012 Verified

    I've now had 4 bottles, all from the same store, and each was excellent. I like the base beer plenty and the added barrel was nice.

    Too each their own but I'm perfectly happy taking bottles off your hands. My one beef was the price, although it doesn't make sense that RC won't revisit this. It's not like they will stop making their whiskey nor the MSP. I hope that when it becomes a ~annual release that the price will come down.

    Had I had a soured one I might feel different but I'm happy with my purchases and would happily buy more if able
  3. DanzBorin

    DanzBorin Initiate (0) Texas Apr 11, 2012

    Had this on NYE. Color me unimpressed. Was the MSP that was muted but showed zero barrel flavor.
  4. jamescain

    jamescain Advocate (695) Texas Jul 14, 2009 Verified

    This is what I said early on about RC. Very few of their beers have impressed me, certainty not enough to spend the kind of cash they were asking for small batch #4.
  5. channels321

    channels321 Savant (310) Texas Apr 16, 2012 Verified

    Gave bottle #2 a try and it is also infected, again zero bourbon barrel flavor, basically tastes like a soured MSP. Very disappointing, especially since I hear good things if you get a non infected bottle. Well you are welcome for my $16 Ranger Creek, you won this time.
  6. starkmarvelo

    starkmarvelo Advocate (540) Nevada Jan 20, 2010 Verified

    When I had it, I got a lot of smoked meat like flavor, kinda like jerky. I liked it and I thought it was intentional. Is that the sour flavor everyone is talking about. I tasted the same thing in #2, from the fruit woods that they used to smoke the malts. It was the best part of #2 for me.
  7. mattisloco

    mattisloco Advocate (500) Texas Feb 13, 2007 Verified

    It seems like you may have had ones that were not infected. The flavor I got out of my #4 was acidic sour mess... Bileish almost.
  8. TapThat

    TapThat Savant (250) Oregon Nov 8, 2012 Verified

    I've had 2 of these so far (both from Spec's Brodie) that weren't infected. Has anyone sent them an e-mail or call about this yet?
  9. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    LOL. I just remembered I gave one of these away as a Christmas present that I bought with the infected one to someone that doesn't know craft beer, but likes their bourbon.

    I got a feeling he's gonna be making the ol' "baby eating a lemon" face when he dives into this one.
  10. blatherbeard

    blatherbeard Savant (430) Texas Sep 30, 2007

    So i went out on a limb and bought a number 4 at Rosedale market.

    It wasnt near as bad as some have had but you could definitely say something was off.

    No bourbon taste at first, and carb was super low, with a bit of green apple/oxidation for sure, but as it warmed it definitely got better. Still no bourbon and nearly no carb, but the other flavors came to the fore and the apple oxy left near the end of the glass. id buy it again to test it for sure. Definitely not a drainpour by any means.
  11. Ford

    Ford Advocate (570) Texas Sep 8, 2012 Verified

    The one I tried certainly had that bbq in your mouth type of taste.. it was good..not great for me.
  12. Texas_Speed

    Texas_Speed Savant (325) Texas Aug 22, 2012

    I bought a few #4's before Christmas. I cracked one open the other day and it had really low carb and no bourbon taste. It didn't have a sour taste that some have been experiencing but it definitely did't have a bourbon taste either.

    I was really looking forward to this one and was kind of disappointed. Hopefully the couple other bottles I have will be better than the first.
    blatherbeard likes this.
  13. mindswoop

    mindswoop Savant (255) Texas Dec 22, 2011

    My first one was good but second was infected. Bummer.
  14. mindswoop

    mindswoop Savant (255) Texas Dec 22, 2011

    Also opened my first 3...which was also infected. I won't buy any more with crappy track record on this series. Pathetic.
  15. UHCougar12

    UHCougar12 Advocate (555) Texas Feb 21, 2011 Verified

    I picked up a #3 at specs downtown last week and it wasn't sour. I will say it.was not.worth the $6.50 I paid. Won't be checking.out any further releases that's for sure.
  16. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    What's sad is that the 1 (out of 3) SB#4 that they got right was damn good.

    I wish someone from Ranger Creek was on BA so we could ask about their QA (or lack thereof). Wish there was some way to get a refund on those 2 bottles, but I'm over it.

    I'm just wondering what Joe Six Pack would be thinkin' if this was his first ever craft beer experience. LOL. Ya know that must've happened somewhere, right? hahah.
  17. videofrog

    videofrog Advocate (525) Texas Nov 13, 2010 Verified

    For those of you concerned about infections, be sure to try emailing Ranger Creek. I notified them of some really old MSP that I found a few months ago at an Austin store and they were prompt and informative in their response. As for #3 & #4, I'm still sitting on one of each and hoping for the best.
  18. mindswoop

    mindswoop Savant (255) Texas Dec 22, 2011

    I agree with Lutter that my one good bottle of #4 was great!
  19. dumptruck81

    dumptruck81 Savant (460) Texas Dec 28, 2011 Verified

    I just cracked a small batch #2 and it seems to be infected also. I'm no expert but... Seemed to have much more head retention than it did a few months ago, got a big chunk of yeast in the glass, and tasted a bit of Brett funkiness. Unfortunately the Brett funk didn't do this one any favors either. I somewhat like the Brett in #1 and #3, not in #2 though. It's a shame because I really ranger creek but the infections are ramped in the small batch series and their have been some infected regular line up bottles also. I'm going to send an email for feedback.
  20. pushstartnow13

    pushstartnow13 Savant (255) Texas Nov 28, 2011

  21. dumptruck81

    dumptruck81 Savant (460) Texas Dec 28, 2011 Verified

    Brett in a bourbon barrel aged stout? The vast majority most likely doesn't really care for that sort of thing.

    Either this guy writing that works for ranger creek or is a crackhead. A little surprise in each bottle? No... Either a little or a whole lot of Brett is waiting in the bottle. So you've got a really limited shelf life on the small batch bottles(2 or 3 weeks?).

    I have really been a fan of ranger creek but that write up is just goofy and I really hope try get things figured out.
  22. mindswoop

    mindswoop Savant (255) Texas Dec 22, 2011

    So both the 3 and 4 now have brett according to the article, even though there was no mention of that in the press release from RC themselves.

    There's way too many comments of infections and inconsistencies amongst different bottles in this thread for small batch releases.
  23. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    cfh64, TxUltraRunner and champ103 like this.
  24. H0rnedFr0gs

    H0rnedFr0gs Advocate (520) Texas Mar 12, 2012 Verified

    I've now had 3 good and 1 bad all from the same case. When it was on it was f-ing awesome...first sip of the soured one and the difference was clear..I still finished it mind you but I wouldn't knowingly send one out as an extra (as I had planned for all my spring boxes).

    I had similar feeling about 3. Some bottles were great and some had more buttery notes than others..

    I'm excited to see where this line goes but first perfecting their system and improving the bottle variation are a must to remain viable at that price point. My beer store sold thru their first case quickly..I suspect their second case will get aged for free
  25. DanzBorin

    DanzBorin Initiate (0) Texas Apr 11, 2012

    I'd rather get a buttery #3 than a good #4.

    Even with no signs of sour it just wasn't good...
  26. cam_williams

    cam_williams Aficionado (235) Texas Oct 3, 2012 Verified

    Both the #3 and #4s that I had that were on were very very good beers. I have had the infected batches of each, which really upset me, because I would like to buy more of each because I enjoyed them, but I hate the crapshoot of trying to get a non infected one.
  27. Ford

    Ford Advocate (570) Texas Sep 8, 2012 Verified

    Yeah... I'm not going to play the Ranger Creek game for a while...
  28. bleeng

    bleeng Savant (295) Texas Aug 16, 2005

    Opened my only #4 last night that I had picked up in Dallas earlier this week. Reminded me of an imperial lambic-very strong funk/off/fragrant/bitter flavors with a hint of the original intent of the beer faintly in the background. Now I wonder about those bottles of 1 & 2 I have....
  29. mindswoop

    mindswoop Savant (255) Texas Dec 22, 2011

    Opened my third and final 4. Infected again. 2 infected, 1 good. Poor showing Ranger Creek.
  30. ThirdEyePA

    ThirdEyePA Savant (380) Texas Nov 7, 2011

    My #1 was for sure infected. I initially thought it was just weird since it's labeled as an Oak Aged Rye Oatmeal Pale Ale. That alone sounds like a clusterfunk. The taste definitely had some funk in it, plus the wax smelled like vomit.

    My #2 wasn't infected that I noticed. I thought it had a little tartness, but not enough to call a funk. Just typical Saison flavors.

    I have a bottle of 3 and 4 that I was planning on drinking at some point within the next couple of months, but now I think I might go ahead and bump them up next in line just to get them out of the way. I'm very disappointed to read all the poor reviews in this thread. I was very much looking forward to #4 until I read all this.
  31. cfh64

    cfh64 Champion (785) Texas Aug 16, 2005 Verified

    So this guy acknowledges a sour taste (unintentional and shouldn't be there) and thinks it elevates the beer "from delicious to simply stunning". I'm not one to tell people what they and shouldn't like but when someone is writing for a beer magazine...forget it, I'm speechless and will just leave it at that.
    BeerZack and rainerschuhsler like this.
  32. ThirdEyePA

    ThirdEyePA Savant (380) Texas Nov 7, 2011

    Ok so I opened #3 last night and it was putrid. It poured waay darker than it should have, and the head was massive and reeked of funk. I took one sip and then poured it down the drain.

    After that I figured I might as well open #4 and while it wasn't as far-gone, it was also infected. And it's a shame because the front end of the beer was pretty good, but on the finish you get that unmistakable sour funk.

    Has anyone contacted Ranger Creek about this? I know these 12.7oz bottles aren't cheap, and it's just unacceptable for that many to be infected. I bought one of each, #1, #2, #3, and #4 and 3 of those 4 were infected.
    cfh64 likes this.
  33. mindswoop

    mindswoop Savant (255) Texas Dec 22, 2011

    I emailed them last week and gave them a link to this thread, but no response. Maybe they are sick of getting emails about their small batch program sucking or just don't read their email. I dunno. Either way, it's their relationship with the craft beer scene to kill if they so desire.
  34. ThirdEyePA

    ThirdEyePA Savant (380) Texas Nov 7, 2011

    Yea, I sent them an email as well. I would expect professionalism to take precedence over pride, but if that's not the case, they won't be around long anyways.
  35. dumptruck81

    dumptruck81 Savant (460) Texas Dec 28, 2011 Verified

    I know we're getting in the habit of shitting on ranger creek for the Brett infections of the small batch series but #3 is drinking fantastic right now. I just cracked one and its really fucking good. The nose is sour but the taste is upfront fruity followed by some Brett funk and tartness. Since it's most like unintentional, I know there are probably variations in how much Brett is in each bottle but this bottle is really damn good.

    If you have one I crack it open just make sure to have it upright for a while and leave the last fifth in the bottle when pouring to avoid any chunkulars.
  36. gtermi

    gtermi Champion (780) Texas Apr 21, 2010

    I honestly loved the funk and sourness of 3 and 4 and I thought they were fantastic.
  37. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Y'all that liked the sourness of 3 & 4... did you ever have one without the sourness?

    Because those kicked ass.

    The sour/funky infected bottles of 3 & 4 I had were... interesting... but they didn't feel like they should be drank that way.
  38. Bummer. I wanted to hold on to these for awhile. Guess ill just drink em up over the weekend
  39. Cablejelly

    Cablejelly Savant (275) Texas Sep 6, 2010

    As someone who's been in contact with multiple cases of this, I'm gonna chime in. I'm not sure how limited these are in most places but Austin is flowing with small batch (1-4 still)... that's important to mention so I'm not seen as a hoarder ;) I picked up a case, dated 11/27/12, and immediately noticed how flat this was. (it was also $7/bottle so if you're seeing $9, go elsewhere ;) ) I'll admit, I loved the flavor profile but the carbonation (or lack thereof) was so bad, you could hang a bottle upside down like a nitro and still not get a head. So what do I do? Pick up another case of course. This one dated 11/28/12. Pours perfect, 1 1/2" head with a slow pour down the middle of both a tulip and snifter, just perfect! Bottle #2, same, but bottle #3 blew up in my hand (slight exaggeration but it was probably infected.) At this point I begin to question Ranger Creek via their facebook page. In the mean time, I come across another case dated 11/26/12. That belongs to someone else and every beer out of it is hit or miss regarding carbonation. Some flat, some explode, some are just right. So here we are, 3 cases, 3 different dates, all with their own properties. Why is this important? When I ask Ranger Creek about this (and I have a few times) they say, and I quote, "I'm at a loss. We only did one bottling of Small Batch 4. All the bottles we've cracked either for quality control or personal consumption have been properly carbonated. I'm not sure what it could be at this point?" That comment can be seen on their facebook page timeline, december 30, 2012. I would highly suggest they stop bringing in the general public for bottling and maybe keep better tabs on what's written on the bottle OR admit there were multiple bottlings. I can understand being a day off but we're looking @ three different days here. If the bottles were labeled in advance, at least put the same date on all of them because now I'm faced with 3 different dates, 3 distinct cases (kinda) and a rep from the brewstillery telling me everything was bottled on the same day and acting like I don't know what the hell I'm talking about (keep in mind, there's been other communications between us.)

    I like ranger creek in general, enjoy the small batch series, and love supporting local brews but something about this situation, especially the responses I'm getting (or lack of) just don't sit well with me.
  40. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    That's funny... My first thought was about the general public being allowed to bottle the beer.

    Do they not have a bottling line at all? Anyone ever go? Do they at least train the people on how to bottle? What kind of sanitation methods are they using? (chemical? heat?)

    I imagine some kid putting his boogery hands inside each bottleneck now. :)