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Saboteur - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SaboteurSaboteur

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

290 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 290
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 110
Gots: 62 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Oxymoron on 04-23-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 290 | Reviews: 143
Reviews by TJBurgess:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
2.66/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Thanks to Jeff for the bottle share. It pours a deep, deep, burnt-brown color, almost appearing pitch black once it finally makes it to the glass. It's completely opaque, capped off with a thick and lasting, foamy tan head; it's huge, vibrant, and leaves some nice patches of chunky lacing on its way down.

The aroma is pretty enigmatic; a mild fruity and heavily floral mixture, bombarded with a slew of many, many other things. Mild cocoa powder, vanilla hints, plums and dates, licorice, dry oak, weird spices like sage or coriander, and a hefty dose of cheese-cloth funk, moldy hay, and horsey barnyard. Doesn't smell very tart, mainly just floral and funky. Not bad, but really, really weird.

Some roast and chocolate exhibits the first sip; this beer is surprisingly not sour at all. I kind of went into thing expecting something along the lines of a Flanders Oud Bruin, a la La Folie, but I was quite mistaken. The flavor profile is more strange and weird than the aroma, and I already know I'm going to have a difficult time describing this one.

Earth, dirt, deep black licorice, heavy perfume and florals, laced with rotten cherry, wet and moldy wood, funky cheese, sweat, horseblanket and musty cellar, and a touch of pineapple from the Brett. Unabashed funk, to an unnecessary degree. This beer is not very good, and as it got warmer, it only got worse. The funk leaves a pretty rough aftertaste and makes this beer hard to drink.

The problem is the lack of balance. All funk and pungent, perfume-like floral notes combine on your palate to form the worse aftertaste imaginable. Where is the tartness that everyone else seems to pick up? Medium bodied, ample carbonation, and a someone oily and sticky mouth feel. I tried to like this beer, and it sounds like something I'd love, but it's just a rambling attempt at a Bretted brown and actually pretty difficult to finish.

Photo of brownbeer
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice. It's looking to be deep mahogany in color with ruddy highlights and an ultra thin layer of brown foam spread across the top.

This is a very complex beer, especially the aroma. Black currant, black cherry, vanilla, subtle brett, a devil's food note in there. Very nice. It's important to note how tame the brett is at this stage. It's in there, but not dominating at all. Very well done.

It doesn't taste quite as good as it smells, for me. It's chocolaty and medicinal, an odd combo. Dark berries friending the medicinal brett character on facebook, working together nicely. There is some red wine character. The alcohol is noticeable and ever so slightly distracting. It's full-bodied with very fine carbonation, which starts out a bit strong, but opens up nicely and starts to work in its favor as I drink on.

Great beer. One to contemplate.

Photo of wrycon
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A quite deep mahogany. Against the light you can detect the deep ruby notes on the edges. Big, dirty-white head. Fat lacing and respectable retention. This head is sticking at a half-finger and going nowhere. Love the nose. Pungent, overripe fruit, wood, banana peel and the unmistakeable brett funk. Quite a bit of carbonation up front which dances on the tongue and peppers it with hits of funk and bready malt. That carries through the front 2/3rds and the back end flattens into a tangy, languid malaise. Truth be told, I like this beer a lot, but the back end nearly makes me question that decision.

Like It? It's good, but not great.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 2012 bottle poured into a snifter. Local bar had it cellared.
Pours a nearly opaque, deep brown with hints of ruby in the light that barely makes it through this very dark beer. A thin, dark tan head that quickly fades to some light dusting.
The aroma is leather and cherry and oak.
The first sip is quite remarkable: WOW. Crazy, dark fruit and black cherry and then a hit of tart and funk. Maybe a bit of dark chocolate and spice. i even get a hint of cinnamon as it warms. I don not notice the alcohol at all.
The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with just a hint of carbonation left.
Overall, this is a beer that has aged beautifully. Wish I had a bottle.

Photo of Beaver13
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a dark opaque brown with a large bubbly rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is musty earthy yeast with a tart acidic sourness and lots of brett in the background.

The flavor is sweet sugary chocolate and caramel malts up front with some dark fruits that leads to an acidic brettiness in the finish with notes of bitter leather. As it warms some vanilla comes out. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, this didn't taste as good as the times I've had it on draft. This is maltier and sweeter with the weird leathery notes. The draft version seemed milder (lower alcohol?) with more brett present.

Photo of Jason
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle.

Decent lacing on the glass, not pitch black but close. Big aroma of dark malt, toasty wood, tart cherries and minty phenols. Medium body with an all around decent smoothness and crisp bite. Creamy maltiness pulls hard on the palate with a drying woody flavor. Light on the hops though the peppery alcohol and herbal phenols help to balance. Kiss of tart cherries. Slight roasted grain is dry and bready. A breath of alcohol, dry finish with wood fading fruit.

The 10% plays like it is not that big, Brett and barrel have won my taste buds over.

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is brett with some oak and cherries. The flavor starts off as that of a nutty brown ale and then you get a lot of lot of complexity. I get some cherries, bourbon, brett, oak, vanilla and chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A unique beer and one that I think really works well.

Photo of bsp77
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark brownish-black with persistent tan head and bubbly lacing lines.

Smell: Molasses, caramel, tart cherry, light oak and alcohol. The smell is actually more complex than described, but I can't identify most of it.

Taste: Sweet caramel, brown sugar and very fruity malt backbone, with a strong layer of tartness and earthiness enveloping it. Cherry, vanilla and light spice lasts after each sip.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, chewy body, semi-dry tart finish. Warming.

Drinkability: This is an odd one, albeit quite good. Slightly reminds me of Three Philosophers, which is a Quad with a touch of Kriek. Whatever this is, it is a great sipper, and very different from the 12 ounce bottles that Odell makes. Shows how versatile they are as a brewery.

Photo of brow1901
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice dark color almost black. Slight brown tinge to the fluffy head. Leaves nice lacing and has pretty good retention.

S- I really like the smell of this brew, excellent funky scents. Pick up lots of pineapple not so much barnyard. Also the base brown beer adds some nice malt scents and a touch of hop.

T- Not as much sour as I would like but that always seems to be the case, it just needs a year or two to dry out a touch and sour up. Besides the slight sourness the base beer adds nice coffee flavors and roasted malt flavors.

M- Perfect mouthfeel. The slight sourness adds enough scrubbing power to wash away the stickyness of the thick brown ale.

D- Pretty good drinkability especially for 10% abv. I had no trouble finishing the 750ml.

Photo of CrossFitAlex
4.78/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this at The Muddy Pig in Saint Paul, MN.

The beer is a dark brown color with almost no light penetration. A beautiful beer.

Tasting notes - Nutty. Pineapple and fruity nose. Low carbonation; a decent sour bite. Filling with good mouthfeel. Alcohol is present. Nutty flavors and sour brettanomyces balance great! Farmhouse feel.

Photo of GilGarp
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle.

Served cool - about 50 degrees - into my St. Bernardus Watou glass.

Saboteur has a rich dark brown color with red highlights when held up to light. The thin off-white head settles almost immediately. A thin sheet of lace is left behind.

Aroma is evident as soon as the cork is popped and it's simply wonderful. A seemingly simple brown ale base with a light toast is overlain with mild sour funk from the wild yeast and vanilla from the oak barrels.

Flavor is quite special as well. Again, flavor is similar to a toasty brown ale, almost a porter. Then the wild yeast comes through with tart cherries and port wine. There's a little sweetness in the way of caramel and toffee. The oak is nicely judged - good vanilla. Very complex and good depth of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body with ample carbonation (maybe too much) and alcohol that could be a bit on the high side. These factors are probably the main downside of an otherwise a great beer.

Overall very tasty brew. The brett is mild but this would be a great intoduction to wild beers. I think this one will age really well given the alcohol content and that the funk will further develop with the passing months or even years. I'm looking forward to Odell's future offerings - they're definately getting pretty creative. Of course their regular offerings have always been impressive.

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Masterful creation of oak barrelled ale, only a hint of sour, a sweetness that yields to spice and a little carob. Enjoyable drinkable. Very dark brown,slight horse aroma. Love the brett, a littl sugar.Smooth,appropriate carbonation, caramel.Well hidden alcohol.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split the large bottle with a few friends that enjoy sours. I'll say upfront, I wished this beer was more complex and that I'd let it sit longer. I want to see more funk. At the same time, I do appreciate the balance struck between the big, mildly sweet cocoa, vanilla and light caramel flavors and the sour lemon tang. I dare say it was a legitimately balanced sour. In fact, the sourness also lightened up the body, making this fairly drinkable for the strength. The malt was big enough to give a nice contrast to the Brett, but I guess I just want it to go a little deeper. Drink this beer if you want something big and different from a sour.

Photo of kkrez
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes:

The latest from Odell’s Single Serve Series, Saboteur is a rarity that you do not want to pass up. They brewed a monster chocolately brown ale, added some brettanomyces for the secondary fermentation and through it into oak barrels to age for four months, and what an end product!

The nose smells of chocolate malt, slight barnyard funk, smoke, vanilla, and oak.

The taste has a lot of the same and more. Every sip brings on something new. The huge chocolate malt and the light brett funk play off each other harmoniously. The 10% alcohol is hidden beautifully.

The mouthfeel is perfectly heavy, and slightly creamy.

This is one of the best uses of brettanomyces in a beer that I’ve had, not too funky, not too tart or sour, just perfect. Big cheers to Odell for pushing the envelope and trying something new.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big khaki head atop a brown body. Great retention.

Smell - A little bretty. Deep caramel notes. Some chocolate.

Taste - Bretty and earthy. Lots of deep caramel and chocolate. Dry.

Mouthfeel - A little heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - A clash of flavors. Meh.

Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Macaddodles in Joplin, MO...

Pours a bright chestnut/mahogany color with 2 fingers of spongy tan head. Good head retention & average lacing

S: Much sourness & some barn yard, & a little bit of cherry as well

T: Caramel, oakyness, faint leafy hops & more present grapefruitty hops, along with some figgy notes wrapped around some woody sourness. More sourness on offer as this warms along with cherries & figs, raspberry sourness/funkyness really starts to pick up along with figgyness, along with dryness. Finishes dry, sour with figs & cherries

MF: Medium bodied to chewy with subdued carbonation, enough to work with the flavors on offer. Becomes more warming; once warm

Drinks really easy for the style & the 10% ABV is stealthily hidden here, approach with caution. Real sour freaks may find this too restrained, but I will pick a few more bottles given the chance to see how this one ages, doing well so far. I consider this a great entre' /step up offering to this style ..

Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to Rake for sending me this one in a past trade! Shared this one with my doppelganger on my birthday while hanging out at his gun store! Served from bottle into a Russian River -tion chalice. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a one finger light tan to cream head that remained throughout the glass. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, funk, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, BIG funk, earthy, musty, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really wish there would have been some sour/tart aspects going on in this one as the funk felt out of place with the roastiness I got in this one. Got easier to drink as it sat in the glass, as it was quite abrasive while cold. Definitely a sipper for sure...

Photo of morimech
2.65/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The latest release. Even after chilling the bottle this was an explosive pour. Tulip was filled with foam. It took a long while before the foam settled to a thick cap. Curtains of lace is left on the glass. The liquid is a dark brown once it forms. Annoying pour throughout the bottle.

I smell wood. Not oak neccessarily, but decaying wood. I also get some mint and herbal elements. Not what I was expecting.

About the only exciting thing about the flavor of this beer is the woody flavor. And that is not all that impressive. It is earthy, I'll give it that. Very herbal and medicinal.

Seems the carbonation lost all its pop in the foam during the pour. It does nothing to really improve the body. The body is moderate in heft.

Another disappointing beer from Odell in the large format. I think I am done spending good money on these beers as I do not think I have enjoyed a one.

Photo of emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahoghany color, a bit murky, with racing visible carbonation. Some lacing arcs around the edges, with a firm cap of foam.

Smells like musty cellar, red wine, and bakers chocolate.

Dry Brett funk, wet hay and cherry pits, earthy dark malts and a some cocoa in the back. An interesting blend, the funk and malt dominate, with a mild tartness in the back. Residual dry bakers chocolate, and vinous dried fruit. Pretty interesting and not your typical dark wild ale. Brett gets less intense and more palatable as time goes on. No trace of the 10% abv.

Photo of philbe311
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle at Capone's during Philly Beer Week

A - A fingers worth of slightly off white head shows modest retention before leaving a thick ring of foam around the edges of the snifter and a thin veil of lace in the center... The darkest of brown colors... Some slight carbonation can be sign at the top of the glass especially when slightly agitated side to side... A slight bit of light leaks in through the top of the glass...

S - AN outstanding aroma... The brettanomyces tingle the senses... Touches of oak and vanilla... Light touches of dark fruit... A delectable mix of sour and slightly sweet...

T -A subdued sourness permeates... Touches of vanilla... Some malty undertones... A touch of oak...

M - An excellent beer until we get to this category... A little to fizzy for my liking... Also a bit on the thin side... Medium bodied... A tad on the chalky side...

D - The 10% ABV is hidden in no way what so ever... The mouthfeel and drinkable take a little away from this otherwise stellar offering and my introduction to Odell... A solid beer that I recommend trying and that I wouldn't shy away from in the future, but not a must have by any stretch of the imagination...

Photo of Ambiorix
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled, poured into a La Maudite snifter. Dark brown pour with a desnse tan head. The nose is sour, with estery notes, a bit of barnyard and wine-like as well. Flavor is barnyard, dust, brett bitterness, caramel malt, and dark cherry. Finish is bitter with a slight hint of alcohol warmth.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.38/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to d4radio for the bottle!

Pours a deep murky brown with a huge light tan head that's pretty foamy. Good retention.

The strongest smell I get is sour cherries. Can definitely tell there is some maltiness to this and lots of brett.

Starts out with some oxidized caramel sweetness. The brett takes over and adds a sour note although just general sourness, not the cherries from the nose. Finishes slightly earthy and bitter with a touch of oak. Sourness is very minor.

Lots of carbonation. A little too much really with a medium mouthfeel.

Odell missed the mark on this one. The flavor profile completely clash and it ends up just tasting like the one time my homebrewed brown ale got infected. The sourness does not at all complement the base beer in this case. Slightly better as it warmed, but still really difficult to get through a glass.

Photo of yamar68
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - most recent batch

BOOM! Cork shot out like a rocket, scaring my dogs half to death.

a - I let it settle for a good five minutes but still ended up with a snifter that has four fingers of an off white to tan head. Low clarity with some hazy deep mahogany. Brilliant lacing.

s - Sour cherries, sweet bread, bits of floral, honey, sweet tarts.

t - Very interesting which is exactly what I was looking for. Light fruits that ride the malts - hardly sour. Slight alcohol is well incorporated.

m - To me, this is the highlight of the beer. Really quite amazing. Bubbly velvet froth without the over carbonation annoyance that usually accompanies that. Really pleasant to drink.

o - Innovative and delicious. Maybe put on some safety goggles before cracking it though.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish amber, burnt sienna in color/ cloudy with a small whispy offwhite head that left a light coating on the sides and bottom of the glass.

oak with a light funk are pressing here. Some light spice and as it warms up lots of cherries coming at me now.Cherries from the start, very nice. light oak and woody notes press in mid palate and as it warms a nice touch of spice starts to come through, almost peppery at times. Some light apple vinegar like flavor in the finish as a dry finish fades off.

A smooth, medium bodied ale, nice carbonation here prickled at the tongue at times. Coating and just right.Very smooth, with almost no hint of alchol hanging on this one at all. Very easy drinking here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Not too heavy

Photo of MEsquandoles
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 into Great Divide glass (bigger version of the Goudenband glass).

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Trappist looking head.

Smells of cocoa, toffee, and chocolate covered sour cherries. Some Dubbel-y flavours and lil spice and pepper. Pineapple, a little wood-aged rum. Brett is not dominating. More funk in the aroma as it warms.

Taste like a Quad. A lot more roasty and wood than the aroma.
Where's the muthafuckin' Brett?!? There's definitely leather, but not the funk I was hoping for in a 100% Brett fermented.
Pineapple upside-down cake, chocolate and vanilla, caramel, and wood, a little rum and whiskey.
More spice and cola as it warms, banana and clove, warming finish.

Feels good. Full-bodied and creamy like a Quad, but a little drier and with some funky intent.

Not harsh, but not as drinkable as a "wild ale" that's more sour/funky and dry.

Worth trying, but def. to be shared with 1-2 people. I'd rather a Dissident for the price though. And I was reminded of Avery Brabant at moments, but prefer the Brabant. This was wel made though, but I bet they were expecting more from the Brett. I think this is def. more appropriate in the "Belgian Strong Dark Ale" category on BeerAdvocate than "Wild Ale".

The bottom of the bottle brings some funk and warmth, partly through an alcoholic presence.

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Saboteur from Odell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 290 ratings.