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Elder Brett: Saison-Brett Golden Ale | Epic Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
93 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
93
Ratings:
410
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
20.4%
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
69
For Trade:
5
Elder Brett: Saison-Brett Golden AleElder Brett: Saison-Brett Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Epic Brewing Company’s latest barrel-aged beer brings something new—wild yeast. This brew is a collaboration ale with Crooked Stave Artisan Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. Chad Yakobson, brewmaster/owner of Crooked Stave, is well known for his skill and knowledge in the brewing of sour and Brettanomyces driven beers. The beer was brewed at Epic by the two brewers. Kevin Crompton, Epic’s brewmaster, and Chad spent several weeks working on the recipe and selecting the proper Brett strains and barrels for the beer to morph from a golden Sasion into a Saison-Brett Golden Ale.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 01-28-2012

User Reviews
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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 410
Photo of chanokokoro
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an unbranded tulip glass

Pours a very slightly hazy deep gold capped by a one and half finger bright white head that dissipates fairly quickly stil leaving behind a bit of wispy lacing. White grapes, accents of chardonnay, hints of oak, grass, and light earthy notes on the nose. Light citrus, fresh grass, yeast, pear and hints of fresh apricot initially. Earthy, hints of funk, and yeasty notes midpalate; finishes with fresh cut oak, chardonnay, and white wine vinegar. Lighter side of medium-bodied, silky smooth. Collaborations can always be a bit of a crapshoot, but this one is a huge success. An excellent, complex brew I cracked with absolutely no preconceptions. Consider me impressed.

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Photo of Auraan
4.96/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured a hazy yellowish orange with a thin white head that dissipated quickly leaving no lacing. Scents of apricot, barnyard like funk, and sour notes. Flavor is pronounced sour notes, some fruity (green grape) notes, a hit of lemon, light hints of pale malt and a dry, white wine-like finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a medium carbonation level. An excellent brett beer, with deep sour notes and a good degree of complexity on the taste and a bit less complex, but still excellent, scent. A very good beer that I'd try again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded silver pressure cap and simple lime green/beige label served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I loved Big Bad Baptist and I love a good saison, but I'm not big on Crooked Stave. Release #2. 9.5% ABV according to my bottle.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head of fair cream, nice thickness, and pretty decent (~4 minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a clear translucent pale yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not a great appearance for a saison, but it's not unappealing.

Sm: Pear, white wine, white grapeskin, lightly tart brettanomyces - nowhere near as funky as I expected, pale malts, crystal malts, light lemon citrus esters, cidery character, buried delicate wood barrel, and light pale grains. A subtly executed aroma of mild to moderate strength. No alcohol is detectable. It's not quite what I expected, but it's good. More a golden ale than a saison based on the aromatics. Any hopping is light and floral in character. Intriguing.

T: Hm. There's good and bad here. White grapeskin is the first thing I get. It has an overly sweet pale malt body. Hopping is floral and generic. The white wine aging takes a turn for the worse around the climax, where it quickly devolves into a crappy white wine mixed with cheap pear cidre. Ugh. Overdone crystal malt is prominent. Where's the subtlety of the aroma? I'm not liking this one at all; I didn't expect it to be this bad. Terribly balanced. Poorly built for a saison. I don't get hardly any brettanomyces; no funkiness and only a bit of tartness. What went wrong here? Is Batch #2 considerably different than Batch #1?

Mf: A bit acidic. Coarse and wet. Unrefreshing. Overly thick. Overcarbonated. Poor presence on the palate. Horribly executed for a saison. Doesn't suit the flavour profile or the style hardly at all.

Dr: I used to think Epic was crappy based on the Brainless beers I tried. Then I had Big Bad Baptist and wanted to try more Epic. Now, I'm moving back towards leaving their beers on the shelf. Is this brewery really this hit and miss? Or can I pin this one on Crooked Stave? Terribly done for a saison, lacking any degree of subtlety, balance, or sophistication. Really disappointing. I'll have trouble killing this bottle due to the low quality. Not at all recommended. Unexpectedly bad.

C-

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love what Brettanomyces does to beers, even when they aren't considered a sour style. The teeth churning dry, funky-fresh earthen character adds complexity and seduction to nealry every beer that attemps this feat. This time- Saison!

Opening with a densly hazed light gold appearance, the beer sheds an tall column of foam that's comprised of both tight knit froth and loosely knit bubbles. Strong in its retention, it randomly laces the glass with clumped pockets here and there- somewhat pelicle-like.

A brisk whiff of sulfury sea air wafts over the nose, en route to aromas of apple cider, dried limes, weathered wood, cellar-like must, and sweat that layers on a grainy-sweet scented bed of light malt.

Earthy in taste, the supple grain sweetness of baking bread and light honey rise first, just ahead of the tart fruit flavors of crab apple, dried limes, white wine and citrus peels. As the beer gains earthen character, other complements of dust, must, brine, and plaster rise to greet a bitter-tart interplay in finish.

Medium-light in body, the already dry Saison textures are further ripped appart by the powdery smooth dryness from the wild yeast. Bone dry to finish, the ale is almost more completely appreciated in aftertaste where the carbonation keeps all those flavors and aromatics captured hovering above the tongue.

Elder Brett is a fantastic and whimsical ale that really goes back to the true farmhouse brewed ales. Similar to Boulevard's Saison-Brett, this one also carries all those intangibles of Brettanomyces in its look, aroma, taste, and all the way through texture.

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Photo of mactrail
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Attractive pale golden in the Brugs chalice with a modest mustache of foam. Appealing spritzy mouthfeel but light in body. Release #2 is 9.5% ABV.

Flavors of apple and pear skins with a touch of sweetness and honey fragrance. I think this is one of the better varieties of Brett-infused brewing. It includes the flavor and dry funk without submerging the fruity Saison character. Actually this reminds me of a French cider, but seriously amped up. Dry at the end, but fortunately not as intense as many Belgians.

Another good example of Epic's brews that include restraint among their virtues.I think this would stand up to most of the Belgian breweries in a blind taste test. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido.

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Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Americo via Sammy, 650ml into a tulip. Release #2 as stated on the bottle.

Translucent golden yellow, with a light white head. Light retention and lacing. Nose of brett, oak, pear, vanilla and a touch of booze-y sweetness. Taste has more oak, vanilla, pale fleshed fruits, pear and a delicate barrel notes. Medium full body, sweet finish with a touch of alcohol. Well done, only improves as it warms and I move through the glass.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big brett aroma, saison brett. Odd spider lacing. Funk aroma, a sour edge. Yellow bodied. Boozy smell in the finish, bigger than the listed abv. A pleasant drinkable sourness.
Bottle from recent US trip.A recommended try for funk and saison fans. A good and unique Brett.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle share; thanks Dan!

Poured a slighly hazy golden-yellow color with a small cap of white bubbly head. Classic Brett profile in the nose, floral with light notes of citrus and spice. Taste was mildly tart, call me crazy but I got a very distinct cinnamon flavor in there, like Big Red gum, overlaid on secondary flavors of pear, lemon, white wine, pale malts; floral elements in there too. Light-medium body, with a moderate carbonation, crisp and easily drinkable.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into tulip at papago in Scottsdale. I am such a huge fan of crooked stave so im pumped for this.
The initial pour is a bit of a let down...poured an aggressive foam but diminished to nothing pretty quick. Really awesome funk aroma mixed with some sweet grape like aroma. Taste is slightly sweet grape or white wine funk...but somewhat tart. Some floral or herbal notes as well.
Super easy to drink this brew and so enjoyable.
Awesome.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted beer glass at Papago in Scottsdale.

A - Clear light golden color, minimal white head that dissapates quickly, minimal lacing.

A - Sweet funk.

T - Some faint bitterness, too sweet.

O - Hides its ABV well. A wine of beers. Not enough funk.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, Release #2 (9.6% ABV, Brewed on December 12, 2011. Packaged on November 14, 2012). Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a slightly hazy gold color with about a half inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is very nice, the brew smells like apple juice, brett, green grapes, lemon peel, and some peach. Taste is similar to the aroma, the brew tastes like brett, green grapes/grape skins, white wine, green apples, bready malt/grain, pears, lemon peel and some light peppery spice. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a good brew, I'd like to pick up some more. $11.99 a bottle.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Snifter, reviewed from notes. Thanks for sharing Dan!

A: Pour a very pale yellow, lighter than apple juice, with almost no head that faded into a thin collar leaving spotty lace.
S: Super brett on the nose, very earthy and dry. I get hints of green apple and vinous notes of white wine.
T: Buttery taste full of brett, smooth buttery oak, golden fruits, and white wine. I’m getting some sugary honey in the aftertaste. Spicy and dry.
M: Light clean and smooth mouthfeel with fine carbonation.
O: Very good, fairly complex, with a great brett-white wine profile. I enjoyed this one, thank again Dan.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a tall tulip

A: Pours a very clear light golden color with active carbonation throughout. A finger of head forms on a fairly vigorous pour.

S: Reminds me of Crooked Stave. Very fruity - pineapple and lemon with a slight lactic sourness. A touch of barnyard and a nice white wine aroma.

T: Again, I am assuming they must have used Chad Yakobsen's yeast here - it reminds me of his beer. Light lactic acid with lemon peel, pineapple, and a hint of mustiness. The yeast is very distinct in his beers. I get a strong white wine flavor as well that pairs very well with the yeast to give a nice sweetness to balance the tartness and slight acidity. As I keep sipping, I get a grassiness and floral taste that adds to the complexity. No hint of ABV.

M: A bit on the thick side for the style with strong carbonation. Good.

O: I really like this beer - like I said, it really reminds me of Crooked Stave. I wish there was a bit more funk and spiciness to it, but the flavors mix very well together. It's insanely drinkable, too. The white wine and slight sourness supplement each other well and the tartness, floral and grassy nature, and slight funkiness complements this well. Oh, and so drinkable - I finished the bomber with no problem at all.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Release #2. The bottle says 9.5%, but the website says 9.6%.

I love the concept of this beer. I like Saisons, I like Brett beers, I have been hearing great things about Crooked Stave, I dig the whole Mormon reference, and so on. But Epic missed a HUGE opportunity with this beer by not using Elder flowers, which I found intoxicating in Mamouche. I'm just saying.

To the beer!

It has a little chill haze, and a thin head that disappears post-haste, leaving little to no lacing. Smells good, though. It's a little funky, and promises to be sour. And sure enough, it IS sour. It's not mouth-puckering, though. It's like a liquid SweeTart, if one of the flavors were "funk".

This is a fun beer. It's fairly easy drinking. It never really develops beyond the initial impressions, however. I was hoping it would keep revealing itself to me over time.

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Photo of rangerred
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a clear medium gold with barely some thin wispy traces of a head. Plenty of carbonation with small bubbles rising throughout but all quickly dissipate when they reach the surface. No lacing either.

An average amount of funk in the aroma but not quite to the level that I was expecting. A little bit of grape and oak reminiscent of a Chardonnay along with lemon/lime and some white bread.

The brett is even less pronounced in the flavor, unfortunately. There is more grape skin and oak but it is subdued as well. A bit of tart lemon and lime come through nicely complimenting the tartness from the wild yeast. Mouthfeel is a bit thin which is ok for the style but the finish is not at all crisp and dry like it should be.

Overall, I am a bit disappointed with this beer. I really wish all of the flavors were more forward and less muddled. I was really hoping this was going to be a Brett bomb. An ok beer but really not worth putting tons of effort into seeking out.

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Photo of TheAngryBurrito
3.57/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very transparent apple juice color with almost no head. Very fruity (almost apple cider like) flavor, with a mild brett finish. The flavors are all very mild, while I prefer stronger flavors in my beer. Overall I enjoyed drinking this, and would order it on tap, but it is not anywhere close to being the best in this category. Purchased at Valley Beverage Company in Sherman Oaks, CA.

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Photo of yamar68
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have a huge amount of respect for Crooked Stave, so I just had to give this one a shot. 2012 vintage:

Bright, clear straw gold with loads of quick consistent beading. A finger of stubborn paper white carbonation retains well, leaving a good amount of lacing behind.

Smells as bright as it looks... sour apples, sweet grains, not quite as pungent as I hoped.

Pale fruit skins and white grapes on the palate. Very light, very approachable... not what I would expect from Crooked Stave but it certainly is palatable. A subtle abstract funk surfaces at the finish, along with a rather wet mouthfeel. I'm excited to see what the brett does with some age on it.

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Photo of cocojoe
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This bottle is release #2, which clocks in at 9.5% ABV

A: Very clear, light golden color. Very little head.

S: Definite white wine character, green grapes, lemon citrus, bananas, a little funk and tart.

T: The front is very smoothe and sweet, the middle brings in the tart funk with zesty lemons and chardonnay, finishes, semi dry with some grainy notes. Alcohol is fairly well covered, but you can clearly feel its warmth.

M: Light, and clean

O: Not as tart as I was expecting it to be. The aroma gives notes of that tart quality, but the flavor is much more smoothe and cider like. I enjoyed this beer, just not what I thought it was going to be.

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Photo of Ryanbux
4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Release #2, 9.5% ABV. Purchased from Epic Brewery's store in Salt Lake on 12/14/12 and consumed on the same night. 22 oz. bomber into an epic pint glass.

A- Very light blonde color, crystal clear. Not much head to it, what little head it had dissipated very soon after pouring. No haze or cloudiness to this beer. Some bubbles rising up but not too heavily carbonated.

S- Smells sour,I pick up notes of apple and pear, maybe even some peach. Not much hop aroma but I love the smell of sour that is accompanied by a slight touch of alcohol scent. At 9.5% I would imagine it nearly impossible to hide the boozy smell.

T- Dear God this tastes like heaven as far as Saisons are concerned. Smooth where you want it to be smooth, crisp where you want it to be crisp, and sour where you want sour. It isn't overly winey like a lot of saisons, it still keeps it's beer character. Good malt notes and DELICIOUS fruity esters. It bites the tip of your tongue and finishes smooth. The perfect amount of carbonation. Despite being 9.5% I really can't taste much alcohol. Perfectly well balanced.

M- Light body, well attenuated. Perfect amount of carbonation. Not to sharp on the palate but also not to mild. This beer amazes me. The best Saison I have ever had.

O- As I mentioned, the best Saison I have ever had, and I have had quite a few, several being award winners. Perfect balance of fruity esters and malt. I could drink this often but at $12 a bottle, I' m afraid my wallet will only allow me to drink it on occasion, when released. In short, if you ever have the chance to try this beer...DO IT! Your palate will thank you.

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Photo of kagent777
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber directly from the brewery poured into my perfect pint. This one is from release two, with 9.5 %ABV. Epic website does not have info up for batch two. This was released fairly recently.

Appearance: A nice effervescent crystal clear pale straw. Lots of nice bubbles streaming to the surface, almost looks like champagne. Leaves a sheet of lacing as I drink it down.

Smell: I get a lot of white wine notes that smell very dry and almost sharp. I do not get "horse blanket". I am new to brett beers, so take my review with a grain of salt. I do get a musty cellar sort of smell, I do not recognize it so it must be from the Brett?

Taste: Starts out white wine like, then goes a little funky with a good mix of barrel and brett (I assume). The finish finally returns to more familiar "beer-like" territory at the end. The wine note is a touch sweet with fruit notes as the beer warms, but certainly not cloying. The grain note on the end is light with a cracker taste. Very complex. I do not want the bottle to end.

Mouthfeel: A lighter beer in the body with plentiful carbonation that is still smooth.

Overall: This is a very interesting take on beer and I am glad to have tried it. I certainly will not get it often with it being 12 a bottle, a little steep for my tastes. Very happy to have this available in the market. I hope they are careful with the yeast.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a tasting, thanks. Beer is yellow and mostly clear with a white head, moderate carbonation, a nice set of lacing.

Aroma is brett and there is a nice spicy floral notes.

Beer is decent, a nice brett funkiness and very floral in the palate. It doesn't seem like something i would like but it turns out to work together. I do like this beer, a lot. I'd have it again.

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Photo of oberon
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large tulip glass a somewhat hazed lighter golden with a thinner than expected white head atop.Alot of tart green apple in the nose,a tinge spice with funk induced brett somewhat subdued wich didn't bother me.Again tart green apples play a big role on the palate with the funkiness being a little more assertive,a decent breadiness holds well thru the finish,the alcohol lends just a little sweet zip.Not bad,it's not as funky as many of the farmhouse brett in fused styles, but it's not overly complex either.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1470th Review on BA
Bottle to Wine Glass
22oz

Batch 1
Purchased for 12.99 at Lone Hill Liquor

App- Its a golden color with a deeper orangy/yellow center. On both 1st pour and second pour the head was slightly off white with only about 1". Semi dotted cling.

Smell- The beer opens with a small Brett aroma and ive only had 1 from each Epic and Crooked Stave but smelled like both their in house strains with a soft funk, hay, grassy aroma.

Taste- I wasnt expecting the base beer to come in so heavily. The base reminds me a lot of Pranqster and just touches of Brett come in with soft flavors and only snippets of funk and grassy hay. A bit of what I will call Pear and Green Apple mixed come in last.

Mouth- A fuller medium body and a medium-low carbonation. A certain fullness all around. Residual Brett, funk and slight pear/apples.

Drink- I felt it was a good beer. Nice collaboration but certainly not a $12.99 beer. A straightforward golden w/o a lot of nuances.

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Photo of SiccarPoint
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Release 1, 8.8% ABV. Purchased c. 20/7/12, Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, consumed 27/7/12. 22oz bottle. Poured from fridge.

A - Yellow gold, slightly hazy. Decent, white head, but falls back pretty fast leaving a little lacing.

S - Heavy Brett barnyardyness on the front, but giving way to slightly herbal/floral white grape crispness. Hints of green apple. A lot like a good sauvignon blanc. Is there actual elderflower in here? I think so, but quite subtle.

T - Brett returns, but not overpoweringly sour. Melds very well with the fruitier side - again almost wine-like, with gooseberry, green apple, sauvignon flavours. Wheat makes it way through. Quite bitter, but not hoppy as such; very well balanced. Hints of oak, but just giving structure, not intrusive. Flavoursome, but not overpowering. Crisp end to the flavour, but with welcome lingering topnotes.

M - Love this. Prickly carbonation from tiny bubbles, but not over gassy. Light body, you'd never guess it was 8.8%, but carries the flavour really well. Very impressive.

O - Great beer. Smell, taste and body all work together really well. Very well balanced. Recommended.

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Photo of kjyost
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle acquired at Princeton Liquor in Maple Grove, MN. Poured fridge cold into a wine glass. Release #1

Pours a hazy yellow with a nice white head that leaves some nice lacing. Nose is dominated by the strong barnyard brett aromas, and light notes of fruit, which makes me want it even more now. Body is more balanced than the nose with some saison-like qualities in it. Pepper, funk, fermented grapes, light oak, light medicinal aromas and citrus all play through at different times. Quite dry. A very enjoyable beer, I wish I had bought more than one. Sampled back to back with Saison Brett by Boulevard and this beer was preferred by both sampling. Worth having lots of.

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Elder Brett: Saison-Brett Golden Ale from Epic Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.