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Escoffier Bretta Ale - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Escoffier Bretta AleEscoffier Bretta Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 191
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 22
Gots: 30 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.25% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GRPunk on 09-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 191
Reviews by sweemzander:
Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz. can poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a clear orange color. A good head of white froth formed. Good retention and lacing.

(S)- A dry but lively Brett, almost cheesy funk to it. Not in your face, but definitely the main component here. Subtle bits of lemon and caramel.

(T)- The Brett is there for sure. Has a definite spicy; almost clove-like yeast. Finishes lightly sweet/apple cider-like.

(M)- A good crisp carbonation level. It has a nice balance to it; the Brett definitely is the centerpoint of it, so dry and funky is the name of the game.

(O)- I look forward to seeing what time does to this even if I have never tried aging beer in a can. The Brett could use some more maturing to cut more of the sweetness out of the beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Put "Brett" on the label and I'm immediately drawn in like a pike to the shiny metallic lure; being a local Michigan beer only makes it more alluring. Escoffier pours a translucent copper color - hazy, but not quite as hazy as I was expecting this bretta ale to be. The gray-tinted foam settles rapidly atop the brew as it loudly fizzles and crackles as it wisps away to nothing but a collar.

Funky ass Brett fills my nostrils with the first whiff; it's the kind of Brett that makes you wonder why the hell people enjoy beer that smells like a horse's ass... but dammit, I love it. Old, overripe, funky pineapple tartness, dirty barn floors, and damp, musty bales of hay. I'm unsure if this beer was made with 100% brettanomyces, but from the aroma, I would be shocked if it wasn't.

It's not completely one-track minded, however. There's a very nice fruitiness that combats the funk and keeps things from getting too out of kilter. Strawberry, cherry, and lighter hints of apple and lemon zest. There's a subtle tartness that comes along with the fruit, but not enough to make me think that this beer will be anything close to "puckering" upon taking the first sip.

And I'm right, for the most part. The fruit comes out first; apple, cherry, and pineapple with a sharp and nearly astringent tartness, but not enough to make you wince or grimace. The tartness quickly fades into the funky abyss. It's like licking a barnyard wall after a strong rain. So musty and old and funky, but in such a strangely compelling way.

Just as you start digesting the lovely horsey funk flavors and earthy must, the fruit makes a Aerosmith-like comeback at the end, finishing strong with some tart, bitter cherry skins, a mild citrus push, and a touch of acetone. If anything, Escoffier was quite a bit more complex than I ever thought it would be. Carbonated heavily, medium bodied; slick and fairly soft on the palate.

Very interesting beer, right here. Not quite a sour ale or a "wild ale" as it's listed here, and it's actually much closer to being a Belgian ale. Think something along the lines of Orval, perhaps with a bit more funk and tartness. I'm assuming some extended shelf time will only develop this beer and stir things up a bit more. Excited to see how it plays out over the years to come.

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Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Spartan213!

(Aged for 6+ months)

Clear dark orange and amber. Moderate near-white head. Decent retention. Standard, irregular lined lacing left down the glass. Pretty.

While the aroma is certainly yeast-forward, there's some definite candied, mandarin orange character as well. Some grass and farmhouse elements play nicely. I like this quite a bit.

The flavor is similar, with yeast and mandarin orange notes playing nicely, decent amount of barnyard and dry grass, and low bitterness. Incredibly drinkable. Alcohol is exceptionally well hidden. As it warms, this becomes a touch too sweet.

Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation.

Easily, the best saison I've ever had from a can!

 731 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jeonseh
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Can poured into a HF tulip

A - Light copper color with a reflective body. Had a one finger crisp white head that settled down to only slight foam on the slides. Lots of carbonation trailing upwards

S - Light tart lemon, slight vinegar, and Brett initially. There is also a soft green apple that reminds me a bit of Chardonnay

T - Light sweet apple, lemon, and slightly grassy. Lots of amber malt comes in the middle to give it a bready, slightly sweet that reminds me a bit of Fat Tire actually. The finish is slight green apple and bready malt.

MF - Medium, slightly thick beer with light carbonation. Dry finish

O - Overall, this reminds me of a slightly tart and bretted version of Fat Tire. There is a lot more bready, sweet malt than there is tartness or Brett. Slightly disappointed by this one.

 807 characters

Photo of goast8127
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of CloudStrife
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an amber gold with a one finger white head which dissapates fairly quickly. Leaves a ring a thin covering. Lots of small bubbles visible in the body.

S: Has a hoppy yet funky aroma with a backing of malt. Nothing overpowering.

T: Initially fairly hoppy with a kick of Brett funk. Some smooth sweeter malts in the background. Enjoyable to sip. Booze is pretty well hidden in the tartness.

M: Smooth easy drinking. Has a dry and crisp feel to it. Slightly more than average carbonation.

Overall a collaboration I am glad was made possible. Two breweries focused on the Belgian spirit.

 632 characters

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wild mildly sharp aroma, enticing. Orange colour orange taste,in fact a long finish of orange, though mildly sour mid-sip.Some tart berry, lemon Good drinkability. Brian’s can, thanks for sharing. Sweetened by sugar, brett. Perhaps next batch will really hit the mark.

 270 characters

Photo of MSEGUIN
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into Tulip. Very impressed by the funk, and apple "juice" notes. Just getting into really enjoying sour beers and happy to have this made so close to home and its awesome that Vivant collaboated with New Belgium. Definetly will have this again.

 255 characters

Photo of schmidtmattsays
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of emilylee
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of rolandboy
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of beergorrilla
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of mobius387
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SpdKilz
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of emerge077
2.99/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Cellared this for awhile in hopes it would improve, but it seemed the same.

Decanted into a tulip glass, it has a bright clarity and saturated orange copper color. Initial head of foam dwindles to nothing, no lace or surface skim at all which is odd. KInd of a dull winey appearance.

Brett aromas of wet hay, spice and dried fruit. Tangy and a little sweet.

More tanginess in the taste, just sort of oddly jarring and sweet, slick with low carbonation. Not much complexity, some minor dried fruit notes, mushy apple baby food, dull and overly sweet. Reminds me more of an Old Ale like Gales than a Bretty Belgian. Not dry at all really, just flabby and sweet with an odd tangy Brett finish. Not a fan, will probably dump out the last can... it's not worth drinking.

 771 characters

Photo of zach60614
1.5/5  rDev -61%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a Bruery tulip.
9.25% ABV, no date.

A - Escoffier must have been filled to the brim, because opening the can caused a spray of beer to dot the surrounding area with liquid. It pours a clear bronze color with a quickly forming off white head that disappears with no lacing left over.

S - Sharp wild yeast emerges from this beer's aroma quite abruptly. Traces of barnyard funk swirl around the dry toasted amber malt with subtle notes of peach, lemongrass, and mango behind.

T - Conflicted flavors clash without rhyme or reason in Escoffier. Toasted amber malt and the beer's somewhat clean, crisp feel suggest a Vienna lager but subtle Belgian yeast notes cloud that with coriander and lemongrass spice notes. Nuances of tropical fruit blend with a variety of European hops for a disjointed profile that moves into a finishing trace of wild yeast tartness, peaches, and faint spicy alcohol.

M - The first sip is like carbonated apple juice; somewhat thin but not exactly watery and sweet with a finishing hint of tartness. This beer avoids it's high alcohol level exceptionally well; too well I would wager. Sourness opens as it warms, and dryness and spice begin to flourish. Despite the disjointed flavor the feel flows incredibly well from malty sweetness to a dry, sour finish.

O - Brewery Vivant's Escoffier leaps from style to style with it's varying ingredients and yeast strains but in the end it's a beer crying out to be paired with unique foods that compliment it's strange flavors and tart finish. Keep an eye on your consumption though; this one hides it's alcohol all too well.

 1,617 characters

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Escoffier Bretta Ale from Brewery Vivant
86 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.