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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
Photo of PincheNorteno
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I drank this when it was very fresh, and didn't know what to expect. I'd first tasted only one wild ale prior to this and was intrigued.

Mine poured a simple brown from the can, with a slight hue of copper if held to the light, a tad cloudy. Immediately you know that this brew is special. Medium bodied with a complex earthy woodish aroma, there's a great dryness and subdued tartness that hit your nose. The flavor is totally unique, it just reminded me of something rustic like stables and hay, Brett is not overpowering but it's funk is beyond words.

I still have a single can of this that I intend to cellar at least another year.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had a number of cans since last years release, and I have a few more for the coming years. Pours a golden amber, well carbonated, spritely and energetic. Aromas of lemon, honey, toast points, caramel, must and earth. Flavor is of warm mushrooms and citrus, earthy backbone under and flowery perfume and citrus blanket. Fan-fuckin-tastic.

In the last year it's gotten earthier, meatier and deeper flavored. The citrus has ebbed, banana notes coming into the forefront and spice growing. It's dirtier yet more caramel notes stand out.

Vivant- keep fighting the good fight.

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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.

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Photo of MichaelNickerson
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a light copper with semi cloudiness

Smell - not sure what I truly think about the smell, but I relate it very much like clean carpet. It's a very fresh smelling beer

Taste - fruity including apple and lemon with some sweetness to it. Finishes with a nice toasted bread

Mouthfeel - extremely thick beer with mild carbonation

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber in color with a slight red hue. Frothy one finger off white head that has good retention. Lots of small carbonated bubbles all through the beer.

Nose has a distinct tart yeasty Belgian charicter to it. Slight clove notes with hints of dark cherry and strawberry fruits

taste is great some light fruity flavors show up first and disappear quickly into a mildly tart Belgian tang. Some more dark fruity plum like sweetness overlays a light grainy malt.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing but still somewhat stick from the fruity sweetness.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into New Glarus pilsner glass.

A: Pours a nice copper/amber color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly.

N: Lots of big tropical fruit notes, with some lasting sweetness that I pick up. Apple, mango, papaya, pineapple. Absolutely amazing. Nice brett character coming through as well.

T: More of that papaya, mango, and apple sensation from the nose. Really interesting, and quite flavorful. What a wonderful beer, honestly. Has a sweet body, but is balanced nicely by a slight hop.

M: Bright, and a bit prickly but almost sticky. Has some residual sweetness that sticks on my palate, but it isn't a terrible thing.

Drink and overall: Very tasty. I really enjoy this beer. I have a case I'm going to age for a while, and crack through out the winter and from then on.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Never thought I'd see a beer pimping the memory of a French culinary pioneers. Nothing wrong with it, just a tad unexpected, is all. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber topped by a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises nearly-tart mandarin orange, grapefruit zest, farmhouse-style funk, light apple cider, and a hint of sweet caramel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the Brett accentuating the innate tartness of the orange and the grapefruit without muddying the waters or ignoring its own funk. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a damn tasty brew, one that manages a lot of flavor without overdoing any aspect. Good times.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a can of Brewery Vivant's Escoffier Bretta Ale a couple weeks ago for $4.09 at The Lager Mill. I'm not the biggest fan of American Wild Ales and I haven't tried that many, but when two brewery's that I really like come together to collaborate on beer I'm going to take a chance on it regardless of style, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip.

A- I really like the design of this can, it's not they typical special release can and it doesn't have a sticker, I really like the custom job they did on this can. It poured a slightly hazy light golden color that took on a nice amber hue when held to the light with a fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it didn't leave any lacing. This beer was pretty average looking the color was nice, but the head and lacing were pretty disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a nice fruity aroma with some green apples and pears sticking out the most. After that comes a pretty slight vinegar aroma followed by some nice bananas and Belgian yeast with some of those nice spices coming through from the yeast. Towards the end I get a light funky and barnyard like aroma with some straw seeming to stick out the most and it had also had a pretty high amount of sweetness. The aroma is pretty nice, it's fairly complex and not overly funky, I like it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with green apples showing up first and imparting a nice crisp and clean flavor that kind of reminds me of a good hard cider. After that comes a light vinegar flavor that is similar to red wine vinegar. I also get some nice spicy Belgian yeast flavors that quickly give way to some light funky flavors with some straw and a very light horse blanket flavor. On the finish there really isn't any bitterness but there's a light amount of medium tartness that takes it's place and helps tie all the flavors together with a tart green apple and cider like aftertaste. This beer had a good taste, it was pretty complex and the flavors were nice and not overly funky or tart.

M- Very smooth, crisp, pretty dry, on the light side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. Thee mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I liked this beer and I thought it was a good example of the style with my limited experience with this style, I thought it was pretty impressive, like I said I'm not really a fan of this style but I found myself enjoying this beer and how complex it was. This beer had really good drinkability, it's 9.2% but I can't taste any alcohol, it's very well hidden, it's almost dangerous, the flavors really held my attention, but one pint can is probably the right amount for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the taste, aroma and how great the alcohol was hidden, those three things made this beer pretty good. What I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, the head was just pretty dull and I expected a little more. I would buy this beer again, but not often, it's a nice tart and slightly funky treat to have every once in awhile, this would make a good introduction to the style and I recommend this to just about anyone.. All in all I was impressed with this beer, I came into it expecting something pretty wild and funky but this beer turned out to be just tame enough for me to enjoy, I like both of these brewery's and they came together to make a pretty nice beer, good job guys, I hope to see more collaborations in the future. 2013 Edit, had can with over a year of age on it and it was tasting really good, the alcohol was pretty much non existent.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dusty's in Okemos, which can be counted on to have exactly 1 interesting beer on the list. Memory is a bit fuzzy. But I was really impressed by the interplay between the Brett, the belgian notes, and the apple juice flavor. Really made for a good tart beer. A little more of a Brett aroma could have put it over the top. My first Vivant beer didn't do much for me. This one did.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- Clean copper body with loads of carbonation. 1-finger, khaki head fizzles to a light film all to quickly. Lacing falls back into body.

S- Lots of funk. Fruity esters of green apple and grape peels. Underlying caramel malt gets stronger with warmth. A little wine-like, woody? Vinegar quality comes out as it opens up. Muted beginnings really improve later on.

T- Oh that's good! Lots of tart funk. Granny Smith apples, grapes, red wine vinegar. Dry finish. ABV is is apparent, though in no way harsh. While my description may be lacking, the flavor of this beer is not.

M- Tart bite. Dry. Quite clean with medium-heavy carbonation. Medium body.

O- Awesome flavor. Very drinkable. With somewhat limited experience in the wild/sour world, it's hard to describe all that's going on. With the very limited MI release ( I only got it when my local shop happened upon an extra shipment), I'm hoping for more availability with the New Belgium version. I think I'll hold on to the rest of my 4-pack for some special occasions.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is officially my first review of a Wild Ale from a can, an first from Vivant for that matter. Here we go... poured into oversized Tripel Karmliet glass. Appearance is a deep orange, almost red with nice clarity. Thin white head forms and barely retains. Some lacing present. Nose is intriguing, things start with bretty funk, similar to what I would expect from a Gueuze. Notes of lemon, sourdough, and a touch of the beloved horse blanket character are present. I also pick up some acidic components towards the end with a touch of cherry. Taste starts with mellow fruit character and a wave of sourness. The sourness is overtaken by funk which dries the palate. A final touch of tartness and cranberry character is present on the finish. A very well rounded brew with a very complex flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation. Overall, very impressed with this. The abv is non existent. This is a legit Wild that is available for a great value.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

a very nice clean amber pour with a finger of head which quickly dissipated. aromas of oak, wine barrels, funky brett yeast/farmhouse/wet hay/jasmine, grapes, bananas. this is a very strong tasting wild ale.. lots of banana like in a tripel, caramel, with TONS of barrel flavor, jasmine/flower petals, grapes/wine.

medium to full body with modest amount of carbonation, a very dry finish and an overall sweet beer. this is a very nice (yet strong) wild ale, full of flavor (both beer-like AND wild yeast).. usually wild ales lean towards the yeast and making it as funky as possible.. not this one, this is a full flavored beer, very belgian tripel/dubbel in grain bill style, with a hint of brett and tons of wood and grape flavors.

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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!

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Photo of finstadp
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I recently had the pleasure of trying the Escoffier Bretta Ale from Brewery Vivant. This beer had a wonderful light bronze appearance. The aroma was very fruity and pleasant. The flavor was light bodied with delicious fruity notes. This is definitely a refreshing beer that would be great on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A collaboration brew between Vivant and New Belgium. Fermented with Vivants house yeast for primary, then New Belgiums Brett Bruxellensis. 9.25% ABV

Pours out to a clear dark golden, forming a tall creamy yellow head. Firm carbonation about 3 carbs or so contributes to it's excellent retention and lacing. The nose is great...you get fruit like papaya, apple and mango from Vivants yeast and then the dusty, musty barnyard nose from Brett with some sour gummies in the mix. Mouthfeel is fullbodied. The taste is great...a tripel style malt bill, more than likely some sugar to get a nice dry finish, a pleasant bitterness which prevents the beer from being overbearing or one-dimensional. Finishes with tropical fruit in the aftertaste and a subtle metallic note interspersed with a mild sourness.

An interesting beer. I don't think this beer would be very good in a year or so...the sourness will likely be overpowering by then and mixed with the bitterness and metals, probably wouldn't sit well.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky orange/brown with a bit less than a fingers worth of white head. The lacing slides down without sticking.

The nose is very funky to say the least. Horse blanket and some slightly tart notes blend with sweet lemongrass and apricot.

The flavors are similar to the notes but much more intense. Some dry and semi-tart barnyard funk flavors come around first, followed by some juicy tropical fruits such as apricot and guava. The high ABV is pretty well hidden underneath all of the flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and is pretty sticky. Ample carbonation that works well with the slight tartness.

Overall, this is a pretty good example of what brett can do to a beer and how it basically intensifies the flavors. Pretty tasty stuff.

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Photo of lstokes
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber with a bright off white head, this smells like fermenting funky fruit--I'm mostly getting pineapple and tropical fruits--and those fruits carry into the taste, with the addition of some European hops, a nuttiness, and a lovely drying hint of funk. I get a hint of alcohol but am surprised by the 9.2%. Nice Americanized take on the Geuze!

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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 ploobs
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a can from a 4-pack.

A - lots of carbonation, head fades to nothing and it has an apple-juice color.

S - mildly sour, light vinegar smell with sweet undertones.

T - deliciously light, clean flavor with a slightly sour mixed with floral taste.

M - feels clean and fresh in your mouth, and carbonation is not too much.

O - great beer, particularly if you like the flavor of Brett beers. I'm looking forward to drinking the rest, but also plan on aging one to see how the flavor changes (says on the can that it can mature up to 5 years).

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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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Photo of pb9613
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Looks like apple juice. Extremely clear with a decent head, but that evaporates during the drinking experience.

Smell – A lot of funk on top of a heavy apple/pear. The malts start to come through as the beer warms slightly in the glass. There is no hop to speak of but that is not uncommon with Brett beers.

Taste - Play that funky music white boy. A touch of apple cider vinegar on top of the malt builds. Like most Brett beers, there are very little hops.

Mouthfeel – A very dry beer with a medium body. Carbonation is excellent.

Overall – A solid sour beer. I have only just begun to appreciate the “wrong” side of the track in the beer world. I cannot wait to try the New Belgium version of this collaboration. Until then, I will continue to enjoy this funky example of an “American Wild Beer”. This is a misnomer since most beer in this style is not using wild yeast but a controlled yeast strain just like a standard IPA.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date, but probably August 2012. Pours fairly crystal clear golden orange color with a good 1-2 finger fluffy off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart apple, pear, grape, apricot, grass, herbal, bread, earth, clove, honey, funk, and light yeast spiciness. Very nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of tart apple, pear, grape, bread, grass, earth, clove, toast, honey, banana, light funk, and yeast spiciness. Fair amount of earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruit, bread, toast, grass, clove, banana, earth, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; fair amount of tartness that showcases a good amount of sweetness complexity; zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly slick and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian style wild ale. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a tulip

appearance- clear, and deep orange, almost red in color. one and a half finger head that recedes slowly to a lacing along the sides

smell- wonderful smell of green apples and bretta.

taste- not quite up to the nose. the tart apples and bretta come in nicely but there is a slightly off taste that follows that is a little musky. the alcohol is well hidden and the taste mostly consists of sour and funk.

mouthfeel- lighter in body and pretty strong carbonation. a nice drinkable beer

overall- i really enjoy this beer except the slight muskiness that comes in the taste. i can't wait to try this with a little age under it.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into tulip - thanks erikkoppin

Hazed golden pour with some copper hues, topped by a fluffy, building white head which leaves streaked webs of lacing littered all around the glass.

Funky and slightly tart in the nose with fresh cut grass and wet hay. Bretty with hints of citrus fruit and spice, soft floral note and warmth.

Powerful brett presence up front, coupled with lemon peel and tartness. Funky yeast, spice, cut grass and floral notes punctuate the profile on top of a mild malt backbone. Dry, bretty finish with soft warmth.

Fuller medium body, higher carbonation, bubbly and full on the tongue. I was a little worried this would be over the top, but couldn't believe this was over 9% once I actually drank it. Perhaps a little strong with the brett, but still a decent wild ale.

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