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Escoffier Bretta Ale - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Escoffier Bretta AleEscoffier Bretta Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

46 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 191
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 21
Gots: 31 | 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 Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
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 ThickNStout
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can from IAmJacksHopTongue that I have kept for almost 2 years now. Served in a goblet.

Pours a brilliant copper with a finger and a half manilla froth. The head fades quickly to a thin ring and a little surface haze, leaving nothing in the way of lace.

The aroma is very assertive with yeasty barnyard funk. Some malty wet hay and vaguely sugary sweetness lingers in the background. Lighter notes of spice and mild fruit also make appearances.

The flavor is considerably better than the nose led me to expect. Over ripe fruit, white wine, wet hay, yeasty funk, old vegitables, mild clove, simple syrup, candi sugar and a little alcohol. This almost comes across like a funky mead. Lots of fruit and funk with a nice booze bite.

Medium full body with faint carbonation. Finish is dry with funk, meady sweetness and a little spice.

I'm not much of a wild ale aficionado but Escoffier is some good stuff. The heft of it's body and the sweetness give this an edge over most other wild ales I've tried. I can't speak to what this was like when fresh in late 2012 but this particular can was delicious. (1,112 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I gotta give props and novelty points for my first "sour" beer in a can.

poured into duvel tulip.

Appearance: clear and dull gold yellow bodied beer. 2 finger of white head dropping quickly to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Malty, fruity, mild funk, earthy. Smells very saison like.

Taste: Wheat malts, straw/hay and wild honey. Biscuity and bready malts. A little bit of horse blanket. Very strong yeast presence in this beer. Finishes with a slight green apple and white grape tartness, some earthiness, and a touch of booze at the end.

Mouthfeel: low end of a medium bodied beer with carbonation that on the high end of low carbonation levels. Semi dry beer almost has a white wine feel to it. Little bit prickly carbonation and its also a little bit syrupy.

Overall: I would say this beer is mislabeled on its style. Its like a belgian strong pale ale with bugs in it and maybe even some saison influence. Its not much of a wild ale to me. Its a very different animal and it quite unique. Just had a bottle of a chardonnay barrel aged saison and this beer is on the opposite end of the spectrum of that beer and I loved the other beer! I think that if the beer had a drier mouthfeel and was more tart and funky the beer would have been a homerun. Still nice beer that interesting in its own right. (1,311 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
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)

Photo of ferrari29
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer poured from can into a Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a half finger sized dark beige colored head; doesn't hold very well; body appears effervescent; color is dark copper, slightly reddish hue; moderate amount of lacing

S - Sweet, sugar and biscuit; extremely malty and packed with brown sugar; spices; caramel and banana; fruity

T - Deep malt flavor; touch of sour flavor on the sides of the mouth; fruit - like grapes and a touch of banana; moderate hop aftertaste; yeast; slight touch of mold at the beginning of the sip; alcohol - you can taste the ABVs

M - Effervescent; bitter aftertaste

D - Smooth malt flavor; great alcohol taste; very good beer, plenty of alcohol (690 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got this beer for free at work, its been sitting around for a while... no bottling date but my guess is that it is quite old. Although, I just noticed that it says ages up to 5 years on the can so maybe the delay might be good for it. It certainly wont get sun damaged.

A&S: Very lively fizzy head when poured non aggressively. Translucent light copper colored beer with a off white head that dies quickly. Very intriguing aroma: peaches, pears, grassy hops.

T&M: Very fruity and flowery upon first taste. At first the was finish is kinda offensive... I tried to check to see if there was any plastic lining to this can, it doesn't appear to be any and it tastes like there isn't. This later faded away to a sour green apple tart like taste. non-bitter with super well hidden alcohol. Moderate amount of carbonation, on the lowish side of mouthfeel.

Overall: Minus the unfortunate can finish in the beginning of this beer it was pretty solid. Overall enjoyable but would have been a bit disappointed paying around $5 for this one, like it was originally marked as. Rather have the wild something something (1,109 characters)

Photo of qthompso
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip from a 16oz can. No date to be found anywhere.

It pours a really clear light caramel orange. A finger of cream head that didn't stick around long.

Good funk on the nose. Aside from the Brett, there's a really nice sweet, tropically nose to this beer. I'm a big fan of the smell.

The funk that I would expect up front is definitely there are pretty strong. If you're a fan of the barnyard dankness of Brett, you'll enjoy this. Acidic, sweet, and maltier than I would've guessed. The tropical nose led me to believe that this would be a rather bitter beer but its breadier in the finish. The hops are certainly still there but don't add as much as I was expecting.

Good carbonation, pretty full mouthfeel on this beer. It's a 9.25% ABV beer, which is surprising. There's definitely a noticeable heat to the beer but not as much as I might've expected given the high ABV. For the style, pretty drinkable but I don't know how many more I could have in one sitting (if any).

Overall, a solid collaboration between Vivant and New Belgium. I had the chance to try both the Vivant version and the NB version side by side at Darkness Day and I would certainly say that Vivant's release is more interesting, which was also the consensus of my group. (1,264 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A bit of a gusher, but once that was addressed the beer pours a brilliant copper color with a massive head; nice stickage and lacing that sheets

Smell: Caramel, yeast, banana and funk

Taste: Caramel tones, up front, with rotting fruit tartness developing - fortified white wine grape, apricot and banana; the funk builds, after the swallow and both tart and funk flavors linger on the palette through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting beer that is likely beyond its prime; the combination of the sweetness from the malt and the tartness from the wild yeast strains makes me think that there is more at work here than just the Brett; the flavors aren't great and it reminds me a bit of an Oloroso sherry (781 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint can into a Hopleaf tulip.

A: Pours a clear brass with a small white head.

S: Mild berry-like tartness, some caramel malt and light hoppiness, some dry brett.

T: Very mild tartness in the taste, quickly washed away by the usual amber ale maltiness. Bready, caramel, slight hop bitterness, warmth.

M: Medium-bodied, light carbonation.

O: The aroma is pretty good, but the taste doesn't quite live up to it. I like this beer, but cutting down the ABV and giving the brett a little more conditioning time would make it a lot better. Still, it's miles ahead of New Belgium's "Brett Beer" as a brett-centric offering. (621 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice smooth cream colored head easily flows from the pint sized can. Brew has awesome clarity and is a dark hazelnut color.

Apple/pear scent rises above a slight vinegar scent. Funky and lots of horseblanket going on... Slightly banana, but in a Triple/Quad kind of way.

Very dry and not sour. Funky and wild, forsure. Bitter green apple dominates the palette. Tons of barnyard funk... Belgian characteristics in it's undertones. Carbonation is mild and bitterness is too. But, highly dry and grassy. Sweetness is prevalent too.

A good brew, a nice extra, thanks Adam! Recommended, very unique for the style/collaboration, not overwhelmingly my favorite, but well worth a try. (681 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can shared by Thorpe, thanks!

Pours a clear, medium dark copper with a transient thin white head that fades to a thin ring of bubbles. Nose of brett, sugar, apple, lemons, grass, and cinnamon. Pleasantly sweet and tart flavor, with a yeasty and bready base, with some sugar and green apple sweetness before a slightly tart finish. Medium light body with soft carbonation, well hidden alcohol. Pleasant but not exceptional. (429 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark orange, somewhat rusty coloured, with a light tan finger and a half of bubbly head and lots of streaming bubbles. Leaves some foam behind.

The aroma is definitely funk, with some wet hay and musk, granny smith apple skins and a dash of acidity.

A somewhat odd taste... There's the Brett and a touch or tartness, and surprising fruity sweetness. It grows on you.

Mouthfeel is average. Somewhat low in carbonation, slick, somewhat soapy.

Unique and pretty enjoyable. Worth the try for sure. (513 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Brewery Vivant, served in a tulip.

Rose red body, without any retention or lacing to speak of. No real brett character on the nose, but holds cranberry, raspberry, red delicious and Granny Smith green apples. Taste has more tart apple character, berries, light spice and malt sweetness. Wasn't picking up much brett here either. Medium body, no alcohol. Tart finish. An alright beer, but I wasn't taken aback by this offering. (437 characters)

Photo of Holland
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Otis for giving me this as an unexpected extra!

A: golden to almost amber orange in color with a small head that stays with it, covering half of the top and producing some decent lacing.

S: some musty smell, but it's mostly dominated by yeast and some fruity esters.

T: starts with a slight bitterness, then sweetness and light fruits, and finally a light malt flavor. Some Belgian yeast-like flavors come through, but almost no sourness and only a small amount of funk.

M: fairly heavy body for the style with medium carbonation makes for a stickier feeling than I'd like.

O: solid offering, but by no means would this be mind blowing unless it was the first foray into the world of brett. Definitely more fruit oriented than it is sour or funky. (767 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
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 spointon
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I poured this one from a tall can into a Duvel stemmed tulip.

A= This ale poured a crystal clear orange amber color with a 3/8" white head. The head dropped to zero super fast. No lace to speak of.

S= Aroma was mostly one note...apple skin tannic...with a bright burst of the Vivant house yeast esters to give it what little depth it has.

T= Starts off lightly sweet, then moves into the ralm of tart apple and grape skins. Not a lot of malt character, or any hops, or any real esters or Brett character to note. It's really a sort of blah, one note beer. Finishes puckery with that apple skin tannin ruling the day.

MF= Light to medium body, with a moderate carbonation level. Not a lot of visible carbonation release despite the nuclear ion point in the glass.

D= Pretty drinkable, but the flavors are very one note and the brett is almost non-existant. If I didn't know this was a brett beer, I wouldn't know this was a brett beer. (939 characters)

Photo of TubaManJack
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: a light golden copper body and a rim of lasting lace pretty standard for what would expect with barely any carbonation.

Smell: a weak and light nose there is some must but there isn't a tartness or horseblanket bit which I come to expect.

Taste: slight bitterness with some fruit but I was expecting more yeast funk to be there. It's kinda like a wet farmhouse ale even after it warms up.

Mouthfeel is different- for a higher than average abv I would have expected a longer and thinner finish but when combined with the lack of carbonation- it seemed a little dense and sluggish.

Overall I feel like the carbonation was lacking and thats why I don't feel that this beer had a fair chance with me. If I did have a can of it I'd be glad to try again and chalk some of this up to the bar's undercarbonation. (824 characters)

Photo of emerge077
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
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 Treebs
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

16 oz. can served in a Brewery Vivant snifter.

A: Pours a grapefruit like color with a white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin collar that leaves some sticky lace down the glass.

S: A good amount of Brett is present in the nose. A little funky with some slightly cheesy undertones. Orange sweetness and fruitiness as well. Pale malt sweetness.

T: Oaky and dried grass with a good deal of Bretty funk. Grape-like with a very drying texture. The booze is sweet and not that well hidden. A bit of newspaper as well. A rotten plum flavor sort of creeps up on the back end. Not terrible, but not that appealing.

M: Medium to light bodied with a very drying texture. Medium high carbonation.

O: Very imbalanced and the Brett overtakes everything. I've been disappointed from Vivant lately. Hopefully they pick it back up and make some more balanced beers. (868 characters)

Photo of Thaddeus
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Clear amber color with an average head, foamy and white.

Aroma & Taste: Had a weird smell and taste I couldn't place. Reminded me of a marsala wine I tried earlier in the year. Had some notes of soy sauce, but also had a sweetness and earthiness to it. (265 characters)

Photo of pschul4
2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Kind of aprehensive about trying this after how bad my first to BV beers were but here goes

A- Pours copper with a huge 3" off white head that isn't going anywhere fast

S- Getting a hint of sour with some funk along side it. Nothing too pungent

T- Meh. Kind of sour with some off notes to accompany it along with some boozy. Not digging this at all.

M- Smooth but not much good to say about it

O- 3 brewery vivant beers and 3 drainpours. I have nothing good to say about this brewery (490 characters)

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