The presentation of Rhinegeist’s Science Fiction Funky Blonde immediately catches the eye. The 500mL corked & caged bottle, though elegant, poses a bit of a challenge with a cork that stubbornly clings to its confines. The label, part of the Outer Reaches series, showcases a consistent and visually appealing design language, setting the stage for what’s inside.


Upon liberating the beer from its bottle, a modest pop follows, thankfully without an explosive overflow. Poured into a lambic stemware, Science Fiction dons a radiant golden hue with a moderate haziness. A fleeting fizz settles into a thin layer, typical for sour/wild ales. The nose of this brew is unapologetically pungent, showcasing barrel-aged sour blonde ale traits. Buttered oak and oaked chardonnay dominate, accompanied by a pronounced saltiness, reminiscent of acetic acid and vinegar. The exciting pink lemonade character promises a sensory journey.


Aligning with the aromatic promises, the taste profile mirrors the nose with precision. The infographic on the label, however, raises an eyebrow. While it suggests minimal fruitiness and woodiness, the reality unfolds differently. Oaked chardonnay takes center stage, accompanied by buttery oak and vanillin, almost bourbon-like in intensity. Ripe peach flavors dance on the palate, accentuated by a bold saltiness and a judicious hint of residual sugar. The acidity, rated ‘mild,’ could be deemed more assertive, with a harmonious blend of lactic and citric acids. What truly shines is the sweetness, transforming Science Fiction into a full-bodied, rich experience that defies the typically dry nature of sours. The beer’s ability to balance these elements elevates it beyond expectations.


The mouthfeel is an oily embrace, enveloping the palate with the richness of barrel flavors that persist into the finish. Effervescent carbonation keeps things lively, cutting through the oiliness and allowing the beer to dance around the mouth.


While labeled as a funky blonde ale, Science Fiction leans more towards a full-bodied sour blonde ale with complex layers derived from extensive barrel aging. The standout features include a captivating oaked white wine essence, impeccable balance between sugar and acid, and a remarkable full body that creates a peachy delight sans any added fruit. In the realm of sour ales, this creation by Rhinegeist stands out as a masterpiece.

In summary, Rhinegeist’s Science Fiction Funky Blonde transcends expectations, offering a sensory journey that challenges preconceived notions of sour ales. From presentation to palate, this beer is a testament to the brewery’s artistry and mastery of the barrel-aging craft. Cheers to Rhinegeist for delivering a noteworthy and commendable brew.

Final Note: Critical reviews, when approached with respect for the craft and a genuine desire for improvement, serve as valuable feedback for breweries. Embracing constructive criticism can only lead to refining and enhancing the overall beer-drinking experience.