Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Saboteur - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SaboteurSaboteur

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

144 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 292
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 109
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saboteur Alström Bros
Reviews: 144 | Hads: 292
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. (290 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to beersack for the share.

A - Looks like a good Porter. It is brown, verging on black, and is capped with a decent amount of mocha-hued froth, leaving small articles of lace.

S - The aroma is tart and chalky, with an impression of overripe fruit that perhaps is most akin to tamarind. There is a roasty and slightly smoky element and something of a copper-metallic odor as well. Unusual. The brown-ness of the beer is still quite obvious.

T - Tastes/smells like a mediocre blend of LaFolie and SFTOW. The flavor is equal parts tart Wild Ale and roasty Porter. There are some notes of red wine, cocoa-carob, a hint of tart cherry and a lot of caramelized unattenuated sugars. The beer is fairly tart, so the sweetness is tempered, but it is still there. I get the copper-metallic thing again, and some chalky oat flavors too. Overall, I am not thrilled with this, but it may age well though I am no expert on such matters.)

M - It is creamy and fairly well-carbonated, but still I am not thrilled.

D - Ehhh. It is okay, an interesting tart-sour-wild type of brew. Probably best for curiosity or introduction to this type of flavor profile (tart-sour-wild...) (1,174 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark brown with some maroon highlights and finger of foamy brownish head with slight lacing.

The smell is a bit funky with some sweet malt and a little molasses flavor. There is a little fruit flavor in the background as well.

The taste is chocolate and some toffee flavor. Soem light funky flavor is present but is a little muted.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied. It seems to be a bit thin but goes down well with a nice finish. (500 characters)

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. (645 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
2.86/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked it up on our trip up to Darkness Day and popped it open out our All Hollow's Eve tasting with the usual Chi-BA suspects.

A - A brown beer with a tan head. Moderate lacing.

S - Some oak, a lot of brett, the brown characteristics are somewhat missing.

T - I was dissappointed by this beer, as I thought it sounded like something that could be pretty good. Tasted like a boring brown with some brett added. Did not capture the interesting characteristics of each, instead was kind of bland tasting, a little sweet and somewhat milky, got worse as I continued drinking it.

M - Medium carbonation and body.

D - Not hard to drink, but I ended up dumping about 1/3 of my glass after I got bored with trying to like it. I'd pass on this one. (745 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle provided by Mike at our tasting last night...A medium brown pour that looks watery. Lots of carbonation showing off a light tan head with good retention but so-so lacing...A boring one toned aroma of brett on oak, no characters showing this is a brown ale...The taste flips the script as a lot of the brown notes come through especially on the finish showing off lots of drinkable coffee light bitterness. The coffee is accented by the brett. Actually a few tastes going on, but somehow I'm bored.

The beer is described as a brown with brett and that's what this is. A classic example of what this would be if you imagined it but its either just a bad combination or poor execution as I'm left uninspired. (720 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark crimson color. A bit of an off white head with some pretty decent lacing. The nose brings some sour cherries, funk, oak, light leather, a bit of earth, and some mild fruits. The taste is a bit of cherry and dark fruits along with earthy funk. Really nice combination of sour and funk in the feel with a bit of tartness. Drinks pretty well and is pretty good overall. (401 characters)

Photo of crusian
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bottle from my awesome girlfriend from some place in kansas.
Cork is a pain in the ass to pull out. I hate Pulling out the cork... I prefer to get help from the carbonation, usually it means that it is pretty flat, and initiates my disappointment... but I got a nice pop out of it, which was a huge relief.
pours a nice dark thick brown with about 3 fingers of head, not too much, not too little. I am not sure I agree with the style of american wild, as the bottle says brett barrel brown. ale... and specifically says brown ale in the description, nothing about a wild. brett does not instantly make a wild.
The head refuses to die. two fingers persist after about 5 minutes.
On the nose is actually a tinge of sour, but not too much, and actually smells like it wont taste sour. Vanilla and sweet come through on the nose as well, coming from the barrel aging.
The taste is as I expected, there doesnt seem to be much sour at all on it, but pinapple does come through, along with the vanilla and oak flavors.
drinkability is not too high, this may age well, and become more complex, but at this stage, not so much, falls a bit flat for me. (1,143 characters)

Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle boasts an interesting description of the beer. Served at 48°F, caged and corked. A focused effort was required to pry out the cork and unleash the fog.

A: Heavy carbonation leaves a four-finger head atop the beer after pouring into a goblet. Darker than I'd expected, this deep brown ale is clear enough to let ruby highlights through when held to the light. The cap is creamy, thick, and rocky, and stays until the glass is empty, leaving smears of sticky Belgian lace on the glass.

S: Saboteur has an amazing nose, hitting first with strong notes from the oak barrel. After the vanilla and wood, malty, caramel sweetness come through, competing with a slight sourness. The Brett yields aromas of wet leather, an abundance of minty spiciness, other phenols, and a hint of smoke. Wood, however, is definitely the headline.

T: O'Dell has found the perfect balance for an exceptional brown. A menagerie of flavors mingles in your mouth: biscuity, toasted, bread-like malt; a touch of chocolate and sprinkle of vanilla; some deeper roasts and smoke; a touch of pineapple; and tart, funky flavors to restore balance. The finish is warming from the alcohol, but the 10% ABV is definitely well-hidden.

M: Saboteur's mouthfeel is creamy, and medium-full bodied.

D: High. This beer is a fantastic example of a barely-sour brown, which is complex but maintains good balance between the varying flavorings. The high alcohol content does make Saboteur dangerous, though. (1,477 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated, almost burnt amber color that shows flashes of a brilliantly clear, ruby hue when held up to the light. The head leaves quite a bit of lacing on the sides of my glass and even forms a textured surface as it slowly subsides. The aroma has a buttery tartness to it up front that seems to be mainly contributed by the oak. Specific aromas of some sort of fruity tartness that I can't quite place, buttery oak notes, a spicy woodiness and a definite spicy oak character (peppery and a touch like Bourbon). Other aromas of light cocoa, toasted grain, rustic brown bread crust and, once you really start to dig for it, ample biscuit malt character and whole grain cracker notes. The nose actually is quite malt driven once you get past the initial oak and funk. Brettanomyces aromatics contribute a soft, musty funkiness that has a hint of muskiness to it; much of the Brett character seems to get muted by the fact that it is competing with all that oak character. The aroma is really quite fruit like, especially as the beer warms; it reminds me of notes of dates, ripe figs, caramelized raisins and perhaps a touch of cherries

Somewhat sweet tasting, though really this is more a complex, rich malt character that has lots of complex sugars and caramelized notes that aren't particularly sweet. The body is pretty thick and viscous, a beer to be savored even if it is not overly heavy. In a complete role reversal, the malt character is big enough in the flavor profile that the oak plays a much more subdued role. More subtly oak influenced flavors of barrel spiciness, a malt boosting buttery note and as the beer warms flavors of vanillin and a woody fresh sawed quality. Malt influenced flavors of caramelized brown bread crust, touches of molasses, ample crystal malt, touches of toasted grain husks, really chewy dense whole grain bread crumb and as the beer warms more lightly roasted malt character that can contribute significantly at times. The oak also seems to accentuate a spicy, warm, almost hot alcohol note in the finish (though this is a 10% alcohol beer too). As the beer warms up the otherwise very missed Brett character starts to contribute a funky cheesy quality to this brew as well as touches of foot funk, barnyard musk and evne a touch of light tartness noticeable just underneath the malt. An ample fruitiness contributes notes of rich, though not sweet, raisins, earthy figs and a big note that reminds me a lot of dates.

I had forgotten that this was only a Brettanomyces beer, for some reason I was expecting a sour; this is definitely not a sour beer, but it has definitely pleasantly surprised me none-the-less. With the ample fruitiness this reminds me of some sort of dark, barrel aged, Belgian'ish Strong Ale. The Brettanomyces is fairly subdued at this point and could almost, though not quite, be attributable to a funky Saccharomyces strain. The oak can be a bit too much in the aroma at times, but the balance of the flavor definitely makes up for this. Perhaps a warning to those that are planning on holding on to bottles of this, it is already approaching excessive carbonation and with all the body / residual sugars that are left in this beer it will only get more so (Brett is funny that way); watch out this might get explosive in a year or so. (3,445 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep brown with ruby highlights and a fluffy tan head that leaves a few whip cream looking puffs behind.

S - Chocolate, nuts, dark fruits and hints of funk.

T - Sweet malt, chocolate, nuts, leather, woody oak followed by some acidity and hints of lemon and funk.

M - Medium body with a bit of biting acidity and a good amount of carbonation.

D - Not a big fan of the chocolate/nutty combo and acidity. Very similar to an Oud Bruin I brewed that I am hoping the chocolate/nut ages out. (492 characters)

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. (262 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle pours a deep brown color with some hazed highlights showing through. Nice cap of fluffy brown foam retents well and shows some good lacing.

Nose is brett-laden for sure, but I also get some notable sourness I am excited about. Caramely malt background shows nice depth and fortitude.

Base beer tastes really good, deep roast and toasted toffee - lots of malt complexities. Brettanomyces is there aplenty and generally plays well with the lightly sour, vanilla bourbon character. Very unique beer, one sip is fantastic and the next can change like lightning. I cant even make up my mind about this one after finishing half a bottle. As it warms, more woody-vanilla-barrel character shows. Might age well, though a total brett-bomb is not out of the realm of possibilities either. (794 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this 3-4 times, but this is my first experience with a bottle.
Pours a reddish brown with a pretty big off-white head.
The nose is citric, sour, and a bit funky...but roasted malty notes creep up a bit, too.
Unlike the draft varieties, I'm getting a lot more malt from the bottled version. Roasted chocolate malts followed by sour cherries and funky yeasts. Age has mellowed the yeast so it doesn't have the harsh finish that early versions did. Almost like an American sour dubbel.
Texture is thin at first, but the carbonation kicks in when you start to swallow.
Our bottle was gone pretty quickly, although it's certainly no session beer. A great beer that I think will age well, too. Even 6 months has served it well. (726 characters)

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

Bomber poured into brandy snifters

App- Dark brown with an ever so slight rouge tinge. Very little toasty white head.

Sm- Definitely brett,but not an overwhelming funk. Roasted malts. A sour cherry tinge.

Ta- Roasted malts. Oak with sour cherries. Brett comes through with some barnyard, but fairly mild considering this is 100%. Slight caramel sweetness mid palate. Finishes medicinally/herby. Can't say I love that aspect but, adds complexity to a beer that is already got a lot going on.

MF- Fairly high level of carbonation for what I would expect with a barrel aged beer, but it seems to work.

Dr- Highly drinkable, minus the medicinal qualities, considering the ABV. All the strong flavors seem to takeover. Great bottle to split with two people. (758 characters)

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. (825 characters)

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. (566 characters)

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into glass tulip.
55°F

A: Deep brown body with garnet edges topped with a thick creamy head of moderate retention that leaves little lacing, and a thin creamy cover.

S: Chocolate and coffee notes with just a hint of funk. Little hop character. Very intriguing.

T: The funk is more forward on the palate, but very subtle. The malt is subdued but lends an unassuming sweetness and coffee character. The booze is unmistakable, and probably a bit too strong, but would probably mellow with age.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Very smooth. Almost perfect.

D: A bit too boozy to be highly drinkable, but the flavor profile works great. This would compliment a juicy steak like a dream.

O: Fantastic beer. Best offering I have tasted from Odell. I plan to put some of this away to see how it ages. (815 characters)

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. (1,314 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown with ruby hues. Strong, rocky off-white beige head. Moderate to strong carbonation. Looks good in my Duvel glass.

S: Strong pineapple, vanilla, toffee and chocolate. Faint aroma of funk in the end. Slightly tart, yet sweet. Some alcohol in the end as well.

T: Wonderfully complex with chocolate and vanilla maltiness. Toffee and caramel round out the malts. The brett kicks in with tons of pineapple, more vanilla and a pleasant funkiness. The beer isn't overly sweet, but tastes more like a desert than a session ale. Some roastiness in the end. The hops are present, with an earthy bitterness. Nicely complex but not too over the top.

M: Medium bodied and silky smooth. Finishes dry on the palate. Moderate carbonation. Refreshing.

D: A really solid wild ale. I really am not a fan of these in general, but this is a nice one. Not too sour to drink and not too funky. Lots of great balance and flavors throughout. Very nice. (941 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Dark red brown color with a tight little tan head. No real lace. Smells of sourness with hints of cherry but the brett is also really present. The aroma is actually pretty nice on this. The taste is decent with flavors of the cherry and brett. The brett takes center stage in this one. I really wish this tasted like it smells but then again this is a brand new bottle and with time this could get really good. Light/medium mouthfeel. (442 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Another offbeat offering from my beer-o'-the-month club. This one pours a surprisingly opaque black-brown topped by an effervescent finger or so of light tan foam. The nose comprises a solid whiff of musty dank, backed by toasted walnuts, cinnamon, cardboard, ammonia, and straight lemon juice. The taste holds notes of graham crackers, toffee, cobwebs, oak, hay, and a small dose of brett in the background, which fades into a sort of sour cherry/raspberry. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a rather smooth, creamy feel. Overall, a solid, somewhat unique wild; it's easy to drink, but I can't see drinking it very often. (683 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm, Sabotuer pours, well brown with a small bit of ruby highlights. With a heavy pour a small tan head is produced that leaves no real lacing. The aroma is faint but lovely. Bit of funk, bit of Brett, bit 'o barrel and loads of malty-ness. The aroma is probably the best part of this beer. Flavor is less then what I expeceted. A small amount of Brett and barrel flavor up front and way on the back end. Everything in between is tons of roasty, chocolaty brown ale malt. Long lingering after taste of strong malts. Mouthfeel is average for a strong brown ale, drinkability is eh, well, its a strong beer and I think by the time I'm finished I'll be happy to be finished. (672 characters)

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

Looks nearly black, like a porter, with just a tinge of burgundy. Small head, though will form a 1/4" cap with a hard pour. Inviting sour flavor, a bit of cherry. That wild yeast really gives it a distinct and enjoyable tart flavor, taking a big brown ale to a new realm. Texture is superb: feels extremely light and fluffy, like a true Belgian ale; hard to believe it's 10%. Finishes fairly light and leaves a nice tart fruit aftertaste. I'm really pleased with this! One-and-a-half glasses would have been perfect; drinking the whole bottle to myself was too much. (566 characters)

Photo of urwithdave
2.89/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my CCB snifter.

A- the best part of this beer. Pours dark brown in color with ruby highlights. 3 fingers of head with pretty solid retention. Nice lacing left on my glass.

A- sweet malts and some funk. Not a lot of funk. Mostly a sweet molasses. Nothing much else going on.

T- caramel, chocolate and vanilla. Maybe some toffee notes. The funk is subtle. I can appreciate where they were going here, but it's honestly a mess imo.

M- very thin. A sweet finish with little brett influence. Carbonation is good.

D- I am going to finish this bottle off. I will not revisit it though. (600 characters)

Saboteur from Odell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.