Vitis Series: Pinotlambicus - The Bruery

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Vitis Series: PinotlambicusVitis Series: Pinotlambicus

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125 Ratings
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Ratings: 125
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 110
Gots: 44 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A dry and vinous beer with hints of smokiness and a touch of oak. First running press of Pinot Noir grapes from Santa Barbara County were added to a year old blonde sour ale (called by many names around here, one you may be familiar with is Cuvee Jeune) and fermented together in stainless. The grape beer was then transferred to wine barrels and aged for 10 months. The beer is pleasantly tart, complex and refreshing; it can easily substitute a sparkling wine for any celebration.

(Beer added by: Overlord on 11-08-2010)
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yourefragile
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle split into snifters.

Pours a still, clear honey copper. Quickly fading head of a few white bubbles, no lacing or retention.

Dry, fruity nose; lemon, peach, and Pinot. Light rubbing alcohol.

Wine and fruity grapes dominate, mildly sour; no tart or funk.

Medium thick, syrupy, light carbonation. Very vinous.

A nice sour, the Pinot adds a nice unique flavor, though it's be hard to work on this bottle alone.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Shared with schen9303. Poured from a 750ml champagne bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

A: Standard pour yields a coarse 1 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear peach-apricot. No lacing. A rather shabby looking beer overall.

S: Nose is crushed spoiled peaches, white grape, and a citrus spice. No real funk or tartness and super subtle overall. Too little oomph for me.

T: Opens mellow peach, grape, and citrus tartness. Very soft. Yeasty and spicy sour towards the middle with notes of apricot, peach, and orange. Bready with a slight dryness at the end. Finish is lemon, white grapes, and some lychee. Rather mellow like the nose but exceptionally well balanced.

M: Light to medium bodied with little carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth with some light bubbles going down. Moderately dry finish with a tingly and sticky aftertaste. Perfect in every sense here. One of the best mouthfeels I've encountered in a while. At over 8% ABV, this beer deserves a 6.

D: A big winner from the Bruery, Pintolambicus doesn't blow you away with its appearance or smell, but where it really counts in the taste and feel, this beer is second to none. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of AgentZero
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange colored beer that pours fairly opaque. Small head on it, that barely stuck around to be noticed.

S - Nice and tart with a bit of oak and citrus. Slightly bretty, nice grape presence that does remind me of a pinot noir.

T - Surprisingly good, one of the better Bruery beers I've had to date. Appropriate tart notes with some brett, good grape taste that gets sour. Tastes a little juicy.

M - Juicy like mouthfeel that ends a little bit watery. Kind of reminds me of Yellow Bus in that sense. Slightly sugary, medium bodied.

D - Very good sour from the Bruery that I enjoyed having and would have again. Surpring amount of ABV is not detected upon consumption.

Photo of jale
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle with a great friend(turdferguson).

A: Pours a straw color with orange hues and very little head.

S: Initial sours notes of a wild and mild wine grape aroma.

T: upfront mild sourness. The middle of this has some flabbiness from the pinot, not in a bad way but adds a sensation seldom found in a beer.

M: Light carbonation with light-medium body.

D: I could drink a little more.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jale shared a bottle of this (thanks a ton Jim!). Very excited to try a sour from the Bruery, as their barrel treatments on other beers have been pretty successful.

Initial pours were a golden orange color with hints of haze, and later pours became more of a hazy amber color. Almost no head, just a ring of bubbles with each pour no matter how vigorous.

The aroma reminds me of several other wild ale / lambic grape concoctions (Cuvee de Castleton comes to mind, also Vignerone). Tannic and vinous, grape skins + grape juice + mild brett.

It tastes about as expected, quite a bit like CdC or Vignerone, tasty but it becomes a little tiring working through the entire 750mL. Not so much in the way of sourness, maybe a little stronger in the aftertaste, but a lot of grape character for sure. Later pours tasted much like the initial pours despite the changed appearance.

Very light carbonation, again competing with CdC. I liked it, I'd have it again any time. Very approachable wild ale, although not really in Russian River league yet.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave for the Bruery hookup!

Pours a clear peach with no head and no lacing. Not a bad color, but quite dull looking.

The nose is somewhat earthy with white grape and a touch of funk. Light acidity with hay and faint fruit.

Juicy white grapes with light acidic sourness roll around on the tongue. The taste has an even balance between sweet and sour. Touch of oak vanilla. Not overly complex, but still good.

The mouthfeel is somewhat slippery and slick with very light carbonation. Could use a little more liveliness. Light acidic sourness throughout.

Drinkability is good. This is definitely an easy drinking American Wild. Much like a lightly soured white wine. Could use a few more bubbles and hopefully a bit of age will make it more interesting. However, this would be a great beer for introducing people to the style, since the sourness is low and it is very wine like.

Photo of GradyS1
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-poured hard into a lost abbey tumbler and there is very little life to this one, a small lacing forms that seems to disappear instantly, light orange yellow cloudy
S- a musty grape smell, reminds me of a gueze a lot. Light acidic grape juice smell.
T-grape juice and sour apple, similar to a still limbic. Sour finish but not overwhelming
M- very little carbonation, has almost a syrupy texture to this one.
Medium body
Overall I liked this, it reminded me of an unblended lambic. I liked the Taste but was not a fan of the mouthfeel

Photo of Gobzilla
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale orange in color with pale yellow highlights and had a very bubbly thin head leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: pineapple, pinot grapes, tangerine, and citrus fruit aromas stand out on the nose alongside tart character but had nice bretty funky oak barrel notes; very appealing nose.

T: the tart qualtites are nice upfront on the palate with citrus, oaky, bretty funky accents and had a touch of vanilla. After a few sips the tangerine, pinot grapes and pineapple flavors were coming through quite nice.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, fruity, vinous, oaky, funky, and tart finish.

D: the beer was more tasty than people said it would, goes to show you have to taste it for yourself. Everybody does have a different palate and taste buds. I thought it drank great.

Photo of GbVDave
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a White Birch flute. Extra special thanks to errantnight for hooking me up with this from our latest volley!

A: Decent "pfffft" sound when the cap was pried off. Pours a rather still and lifeless looking apricot/peach nectar color. Nice haze. A weak bubbly head quickly pops up and just as quickly dies off leaving no collar, no skim, and no lace. Second pour was darker and with some suspended sediment.

S: At first, I was greeted with a bit of vinegar before it turned decidedly fruity and oaky. Dry oaky tannins with sour grapes, tart green apple, and lemon. As it came up to temp, I picked up tart bing cherry, then sweet black cherry, and then a bit of slightly sweet malt. With my second pour, I swirled in all the sediment and was rewarded with aromas of fresh strawberry and blueberry.

T: Very much like the smell with even more emphasis on the oak and tart fruit flavors. Vinegar in the finish gradually leads to some toasted malt. After pouring in the sediment with my second glass I picked up the aforementioned strawberry and blueberry as well as some black currants.

M: Relatively smooth with some very nice oaky astringency. The acidity is there but never too in your face. Rather it's balanced by the fruit/berry/malt sweetness and dry oak.

D: This was a very drinkable AWA that covered the bases. Sour, dry, and sweet. Very nice.

Photo of koopa
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by beerloco at a ridiculously good tasting last night thanks!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow with a burnt umber center. 1/2 inch white crown displays no retention or lace.

Smell: Pinot Noir and brett do the dance and its lovely.

Taste: Same as nose but not as pungent.

Mouthfeel: A touch under carbonated in my opinion.

Drinkability: Fairly sessionable but the mouthfeel and flavor holds it back a bit.

This was one of the bottles we drank towards the end of the night which should be evident based on my limited notes.

Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle obtained as a Reserve Society allocation.

The appearance of this beer is interesting. A minimal head fades quickly, and what remains is a flat-looking liquid that looks like I'd imagine 1 part red wine and 3 parts pilsner to look like. Slightly hazy golden-pinkish-reddish color.

The aroma is excellent. Huge vinous pinot noir notes, blackberries, lactic tartness and funk, and considerable oakiness from the -bals.

The flavor is a little weaker than I'd like, but that said, it's damn tasty. Nice pale malt base but not much sweetness from it, as a lactic tartness is dominant. Very big on the wine flavors, like a dry pinot, with oaky barrel notes. Some other dark fruit as well.

Nice and acidic on the mouthfeel with medium body and carbonation a little lower than I'd like, but it works fine as a beery wine substitute.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

No head really. Just a few bubbles then nothing. The color is very pretty though, a sort of burnt glowing orange.

Very nice nose. Plenty of horse blanket and barnyard nose. Lemon like acidity. This one is quite funky/barnyard like with plenty of tartness to boot.

Lemony acidity and tartness up front. Then horse blanket, straw, a touch of balsamic, and some oaky tannins. The finish balances the tartness, funk, and tannins with some delicately sweet and somewhat vinous grape notes. Lingering lactic tart notes.

Light body, and quite tart (not particularly over the top tartness though). Carbonation is quite low, but not to a point that I find it distracting.

The alcohol is well hidden and it is a very tasty and enjoyable brew. My only complaint is the carbonation level detracted from the look and mouthfeel.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a burnt orange, with a very mild head, smattering of bubbles.

S: Pretty nose. Grapes, sour cherries, grape skins and rose petals.

T: Lemons, very fruity with the pinot flavour. Notes of tangerine with an enjoyable lactic acidity. Flowery finish. On the lambic side of the sours for sure as the name implies.

M: Medium-high acid, very low carbonation, almost flat, but the acidity adds some body. Good aftertaste, lingers on the palate.

D: I'd like to try this on-tap with a little more carbonation. That being said the flavours are quite good, The Bruery certainly knows how to make sours.

Photo of Beerisheaven
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked this one open last night since I have been interested in trying it for some time. Thanks first and foremost to my CA Reserve partner IPA247 for his diligent shipping of this one east.

A - I like the bottle at least. Sturdy bottle with nice label. Poured into my tulip with gusto. Pours the color of apricot/orange Jolly Rogers candy. Almost no head at all with just a couple of bubbles that quickly turn back.

S - Pretty much on point. Smell is of sour grapes, some vinegar and funk, and maybe a bit of other fruits as well.

T - Follows the nose pretty much. Sour grapes but not puckering. Fairly light and crisp on the tongue. I think the best way for me to say it is that it seems like a poor man's copy of Temptation or another wild/sour that is crafted better.

M - Pretty light with not much going on. It poured very still so it is certainly thin but it is OK.

D - Glad I got to try this one and I would probably give it another chance. I don't think that this is their wheelhouse at all. They would be better served going back into the lab and working more on this particular style before releasing something similar again.

All in all, it was OK and I was glad I got the chance to sample it. As far as it holding up to its "neighbor" in CA for this style, they ain't close.

Thanks again Jeff for all your efforts in continuing to ship these beers east. I really apprecitate it.

Photo of PlinyTheKid
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Milky, cloudy, golden yellow. Little to no head.

S: Upon opening the bottle, a strong, grape smell trapped within the bottle bursted out. Overpowering essence of sour grapes and funk.

T: Strong tastes of tartness and funk upon the first sip. A little bit of sweetness from it, but pretty much mostly a tart flavour.
The tartness will slowly go away upon aging, and I feel as though the funk will mask most of the sweetness.

M: Contains very little carbonation, some sourness wrapping around the palate, but nothing too overwhelming.

D: Very drinkable at the moment from the bottle. It is very smooth, and has a really nice flavour. For a grape based beer, this is definitely a must-try.

Photo of craytonic
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: First pour was near flat, second pour had decent carbonation. Odd, I know. Also started out near clear and gueuze like but quickly got murky. No lacing on any of the pours.

Smell: lactic tartness, bit of vinegar, oak and grapes. A bit musty.

Taste: Sour with oak, green apples, light funk, and grapes. A bit subdued

Mouthfeel: My bottle was a bit under carbonated

Drinkability: Drinkable enough but I wish there was a bit more to it.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by bmanning. Served in a tulip.

A ridiculously-hard pour yields not even a quarter-inch of head. Only a few bubbles sitting on top and these quickly fade away. After there, there is a very, very thin collar. The nose is really quite vinous and reminds me a lot of fresh Cuvee de Castleton. There is a bit of grapes along with some moderate lactic sourness. A slight vinegar presence is there as well. Slight pucker factor leads into the taste, though it's not incredibly sour. It definitely needs some time to dry out and hopefully add a bit of funk to complicate things. At the same time, this definitely gets better as it warms up and I enjoyed the last sip of the glass much more so than the first.

Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for sharing this one. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of white foam that sizzles to a thin ring, leaving behind a few spots on top and no lace. Murky peach juice body - slightly milky.

S - Brett tropical fruit notes, some sour grape notes, some under ripe stone fruits. It's quite nice, and as it warms some more horse and barnyard comes out.

T - The taste is significantly more acetic and sour, with notes of lactic sourness as well. Just lots of sour grapes - the name of the beer is quite appropriate. There might be some other sour fruits in there too.

M - Very dry, somewhat zesty carbonation, medium body. Lots of residual cottonmouth and sour candy sensations.

D - Quite nice, and very drinkable. It's very acetic, but I gladly refilled my glass. It's not on par with the rest of California sours, but it's a step in the right direction, and a hell of a lot better than the awful Barrel Fermented Autumn Maple.

Photo of jrallen34
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting color of medium gold in the middle, much lighter on the sides, with a weird opalesque shimmer to it. Light carbonation...Successful complex aroma of apples, grapes, wine, and oak with little tartness...The taste is a nice surprise, complex still with an great feel for an all around great drinking experience. Dry white wine, oak, grape skins, sour. The feel is super tannic and sticks to your mouth. Easy to drink.

A great new Bruery beer, who knew they had it in them???

Photo of alpinebryant
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw brown with some tiny brown sediment that will probably settle in about a year.

Smell of strong pinot noir grapes as stated on the bottle mixed with brett, green apples and funk.

Taste of green apples. I was excited when this started out, there was a high level of carbonation, an extremely strong granny smith apple tart flavor (which didnt leave even after flat) and green grape flavor souring on brett mold along with a heavy oaked flavor. As I let it hang out for about a half hour, this really became extremely flat. I cannot honestly remember a beer becoming so flat after opening. Well carbed at opening time, flat within 20 minutes. Typically I think most people would say that beers are a great thing to let breathe / warm up and come to room temperature. I would say that this is not the case with this beer. As some very old wines go, this one has completely transformed within a half hour and I strongly recommend letting it sit for 5 minutes to get that overcarbed tingly feeling over with, then share with a few friends because you will not be able to enjoy it at its prime before becoming flat.

That said, the body is rather light, and I think there is potential, but this one fell flat for me. I like to think it is a rare miss from The Bruery and am glad that I only have two bottles of it as that was the limit to purchase.

Overall : yeah it is a sour, which is a nice thing, but I know they can do better and so do they.

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle at the Bruery -bal tasting

A: The pour is a slightly hazed golden amber color with a finger or so worth of white head.

S: A nice lactic tartness to this one, but not super powerful. Definitely a strong grape presence to the beer with a soft, subtle oak character. The grapes provide a bit of a sweetness that I wasn't quite expecting.

T: Like the nose, there was more sweetness than I expected, especially when cold. Sort of simple in terms of the flavor with a mild to moderate acidity and not too much overtly oaky flavor. A slight cheese flavor at times, too.

M: The body is medium with a smooth, soft carbonation to it.

D: Why can't these guys just leave Cuvee Jeune as it was? I had pretty high expectations for this and it didn't quite meet them.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at The Bruery's -bal tasting. Amberish blond in color, looks a bit like chardonnay. Pours from the top of the bottle had good clarity. Carbonation is moderate, creating a small white head that disappears completely after a while.

Musty vinous aroma. Plenty of funk and fruit backed by a mild lactic acidity, a bit sharp and cheesy. Nice interplay between the fruit and bacteria.

Very fruity on the tongue. Lactic sourness meets bright fruity white wine. Lot of musty, cheesy character from the brett and lacto. Light body, light to moderate carbonation; plenty bubbly for the style. The finish is clean with a mild lactic sourness that lingers.

Pretty nice stuff, though The Bruery is still a few steps behind the likes of Russian River and Lost Abbey with their sour beers.

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #800


Poured from a bottle at the third session of The Bruery's 2010 Reserve Society -Bal Tasting.

A: Golden with good clarity and a small bubbly cap.

S: Nice aroma. Reminds me of a cross between a lambic and a white wine. I detect notes of white grapes, redolent of Chardonnay. Musty barnyard, cheese, and oak.

T: Lightly tart and moderately sour in a lactic sort of way. Acidity is low. The flavor displays more oak than the aroma, and the taste is of musty white grapes with barnyard notes. The finish is tannic and drying.

M: Low carbonation with tannins and some acidity.

Overall: This was quite good, and a nice change of pace from the big Barrel Aged beers at the event. I liked this, but I think I preferred Cuvee Jeune

Photo of slayer3604
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

^^^ AGAIN you review first. GRrrr....

A- Gold, haze and some very very sparse head. Actually found solid chunks of (I guess grapes????) floaties/sinkies in the bottle and some that came into the glass. I like that. I like that a lot.

S- Has a nice tart but very subtle nose, with bright fruit, sweet typical Bruery malt background and a little bit of airy funkiness here and there.

T- The equivilant of a nice cask ale in carbonation, but it leaves room for the nice grapey middleground that is promised in the name. This is where Bruery trumps 10/10/10 in their attempt to make a grape beer. Has a balanced sourness, that isn't ambient but rather blends into the rest of the beer. Lots of bright fresh and over ripe fruit and some sweetness in the finish.

M- Even though its not carbonated as much as a "regular" beer, it has a creamy, firm and lasting mouthfeel. Very nice.

D- For 8.4% its very smooth and a damn good beer to boot.

Photo of Overlord
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden orange. Some light white bubbling, and a thin white crust of large volume-d bubbles, but no real head. I was hoping for some champagne streams, but alas, twas a fairly flat brew.

Smells faintly of vinous notes, with some .... cherry-ish grape ... currents as well. Lot of indiscriminate berry/oak in the nose.

Taste is, oddly enough, perhaps more muted than the aroma. Big pleasant vinegar/vinous/oak base (it's gentler than it sounds ... kind of interesting, actually) and some hints of cherry and grapeskins. Somewhat light for a sour, actually, despite the flat mouthfeel. The rarity does it a disservice, as it's actually a bit more accessible than some of the more bracing offerings out there.

If there's a downside, needs more carbonation.
**even a few extra weeks in the bottle really built up some carbonation.

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Vitis Series: Pinotlambicus from The Bruery
91 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.