LeBleu - Ithaca Beer Company

Not Rated.
LeBleuLeBleu

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

445 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 445
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 713
Gots: 92 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: almychristopher on 01-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 445 | Reviews: 207
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanx to Crittervision for this bottle, shared with friends in Buford at the massive Meat Meet!

A. Pours a fat, foamy head (think Brute) atop a purple-gold brew. Head dies fast. Eventually dies altogether.

S. Y;know... this smells like Brute (dry champangey malt, semi-sweet, white grape, light lemon funk) but with a dose of berry. Blueberry, blackberry? maybe... has that wild 'field' character, the kind your hands take on after picking berries. Which is to say, quite nice, and more characterful than Brute. This is very nice.

T. Overcarbonated. That's about where the cons end... this is basically Brute with a shot of berry juice, which I REALLY LOVE. Champagne-like, fine funk-sour with the aforementioned berries coming in to add flavor and character. A fine, fizzy, celebratory berry sour brew. I want more.

M / D. Highly carbonated, explodes in the mouth (like most Ithaca big beers...) which makes you sip it slowly. Is this by design or just how these things turn out? Finish is blueberry and lemon - lactic.

LeBleu is a very good beer, and not only should Ithaca make more, but they should send me some, because I am cool. Big props to Critter from NC for this fine berry gift!

More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the Ithaca Luminous release, how fitting, right?

This was a huge highlight, possibly my favorite sour ever.

Pours a murky, hazy, golden orange, with not much head or lacing.

Smells like a great mixture of sweet and sour- with some floral notes as well.

The taste is pretty awesome. Mild to medium tartness, like some sort of puckering sour candy, with some citrus fruits as well, some hay, sour lemon. There is a long and sour finish to this one- it lingers for a while on the palate, and leaves the lips tingly.

Light bodied, crisp, refreshing, spritzy carbonation.

Just awesome. I wish they still made this one.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a hazed lighter shade of amber with light pinkish/purple colored head that was gone pretty quickly.Alot of sourness and funk in the nose, a little of that tartness comes from fresh blueberries,not quite puckering on the palate but close,there is just enough fruity sweetness to counter balance the almost lactic sour punch.Its a little sharp in the feel but its quenching on a great spring-like day like yesterday.Not a huge fan of sours but this is well made and again its thirst quenching.

Photo of MadScientist
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

E!032 Thanks Jeff.

A: It pours with a two fingers of thick rocky foam that starts of with a pink blush but fades to off-white as the foam drains. The beer is a pale amber with a red hue and a bit of orange. Despite the haze and the floaters this is a great looking beer.

S: There is a light berry aroma with under a moderate amount of sharp, acidic sourness. The sourness has a some of hay and a faint horsiness like a nice Lambic there isn't any of the Brett character so I'm think this might be just Pediococcus and Belgian Yeast. Nothing else is coming through, so no hops, no malt and no diacetyl.

T: It's got a nice sharp sourness to it but not as much as I seem to remember from the one had a couple of years ago. The fruit flavors are of light blueberry skins and have faded as is to be expected when you age a the fruit will fade and the lambic character will dominate. A light vanilla flavor probably from oak. There is a light complimentary sweetness mid-palate but this ends up being vary dry on the finish. The after taste is a sweet tart sort of a flavor with a faint bit of fruitiness.

M: Moderately-light bodied with a strong, fine carbonation that dances across the palate. The high carbonation brings a light dryness to tongue.

O: An elegant sour fruit beer, this one being a couple years old has more of the Lambic qualities coming through. The sweet tart balance help up the impression of the fruitiness. It worth the headache of release day to get bottle if I can otherwise I'll have to hunt down Cantillon to satiate my need for awesome, dry sours.

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$19 at DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY...batch E!024, blue foil, cap and synthetic cork. Was a frother at first, but calmed down after the initial spew. Pours clouded medium reddish plum, under a pinkish, loose and delicate head, that quickly goes to peaked merainge, then a 1/2 coating and all kinds of wild and elegent lace and more froth, nice looking brew. Also one of the loudest heads I can recall, active bubbles! Champagne feel all over this one.Fairly tame nose with some barnyard, fresh fruit and horsey notes. Crisp, moderatly sour, but not biting. Fruity and fresh tasting. More barnyard picked up, lasting sour, tart fruit, complex and tasty, sour beer lovers/wild ale lovers will be all over this quality offering. Another impressive brew from NY state's Ithaca. Well done!

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this great American sour.

The beer pours an orange-pink color with a huge white head. Not sure why, but I was expecting the beer to be blue colored so it was a little disappointing to have it be the color it was. It is very strange but the beer is popping like Rice Krispies after it pours. The aroma is pretty strong blueberries once the beer settles down, but at first the aroma is a strong funk. The flavor is tart blueberries with some light funk, oak and medium tartness. Very high carbonation and medium mouthfeel. The beer is very good, but the carbonation could be toned down a little bit. With this much carbonation, I can see why people have had bottles explode on them.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pulled this out of the cellar and poured into a snifter. this is from the newest batch. batch # E! 032.

pours out a really nice looking reddish pink color with a big fizzy white head that fizzed up to nothing real quick. no lace or retention. just some fizz from a swirl of the glass. the first pour wasnt that cloudy. the last one definatly was a lot more pink and more cloudy.

the brett and acidity is definatly there, but i expected a little more to it. when you dig deeper you find funk, just slightly musty, citrus, and some of the blueberries.

lots and lots of acidity, very tart, very sour. the funky brett yeast is at the forefront with a nice dose of tart lemon citrus. earthy. finishes out with the blueberry which is definatly not overdone and maybe a little bit of some grape.

really tart and mouth puckering and it really leaves this lingering sugary acidic feel on the palate. from what ive read, some of this acidity comes from the yeast, and some from acidulated malt. big bubbly, fizzy carbonation which really adds to this beer. nicely done ithaca!

overall: it took a lot and cost a lot to get this bottle, im not sure if i would do it again, but it was definatly worth it. a solid wild.

-dregs from this went into my saison.

Photo of boatshoes
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this beer via a recent trade and have been excited to try it. I'm a big fan of Brute and missed out on this when it hit distribution in Manhattan.

Appearance- Pours a beautiful hazy pinkish-red out of the bottle with a massive three fingers of pink head as well. Lots of carbonation but not quite the gushing I expected after seeing a few threads about corks popping while in cellars. Surprising amount of sticky lacing left and great head retention, with it finally dying back to a sheet across the top of the beer.

Smell- Hmm, initially some mild notes of funk, followed by a whiff of tartness and blueberry skins. Some other fruit flavors mixed in as well, of a black raspberry nature. A nice smell, but I didn't quite know what to expect as this is my first blueberry lambic.

Taste- Berries are more up front in this department and it starts off with blueberry skins and other assorted mixed berry flavors. Followed by some very mild but present funk. Finishes with a mild tartness that is well balanced and no-where near as biting as I was expecting. Solid flavor profile.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel reminds me a bit of Juliet where I was expecting it to deliver because of the massive head but ultimately found it overly thin even for the style. I don't know what it was about it, but I perceived it as a touch watery in the mouth. Drinkability was decent as well, but I found the flavors to become progressively muted as the beer warmed and by the time I finished my glass they had gotten a bit dull.

Overall, a solid sour and a nice introduction for me into blueberry wilds. I prefer Brute, but I'm glad I had a chance to try this.

Photo of Soonami
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Chad for sharing this great beer!

Had Ithaca LeBleu back-to-back with Upland Blueberry, which made for an interesting comparison because they are completely different beers.

LeBleu is surprisingly pale in color for a blueberry beer, a hazy tan colored with a twinge of rosy purple. There is ample effervescence but not a lot of head retention. The beer smells sour with a lot of damp straw, lightly blueberry-y and an assertive brett wildness. The LeBleu tastes sharply sour with nice funk and crisp carbonation. The fruit is really subdued compared the acuity of the base beer, but there are hints of blueberry after the first punch of sourness. The blueberry provides a nice counter-point and accent but is not the focal point of this beer. The clean dry finish is delicate and leaves your mouth puckered wanting more. Delicious beer that I can't wait to have again!

Next time, it'll be LeBleu vs. Upland Blueberry, vs. Blabaer...

Photo of pwoods
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RoyMunson for sharing.

750ml brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a murky grapefruit juice amber. Decent head on the pour with some retention. Some lacing.

S: Good sourness and some nice funk. Funk isn't quite at the cheesy level but pretty good. Some berry aroma but doesn't really scream blueberry. Light tartness from some citric light fruits.

T/M: Plenty of sourness with a little bit of the green fruit tartness. Good funkiness. Musty and dank. Some more of the berry flavor but again, doesn't scream blueberries. Medium to medium light body with higher carbonation.

D: Low ABV and refreshing.

Photo of mutterfudder
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled thanks to the generosity of HopStoopid120. Thanks for the trade!

A - Pours an odd off-pinkish purple with a pinkish head. One of the oddest looking beers I've seen, but given the ingredients, not unexpected. The beer is incredibly fizzy and settles to a pencil-thin head.

S - Some mild blueberries and funk. Some other reviews note that it smells a bit like berliner weiss, and I'd agree with that. Some mild funk but was hoping for more.

T - Tart blueberries followed with a sour tinge. The sourness is not out of control, and is well balanced with the fruit. As expected, these are the predominant flavors here, not much else.

M / D - The mouthfeel is very nice: Exceptionally carbonated, almost as much as a seltzer. It serves the beer well. I only had about a 7 oz pour, but wish I had more.

LeBleu is an above average beer. I believe after my first taste I said "I could drink this all day, any day". Not mindblowing but a very solid offering.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to the one and only Lum for sending some of these badboys my way.

Pours very very fizzy (it will try to climb out of the neck if you're not careful, but certainly no gusher. Awesome light ruby color and a giant super fizzy head that retains for a long time.

Nose is alot of wild funk, slight ice cream like blueberry, and a bit of wood.

Taste is alot of awesome sour funk, the blueberry is slight, but if you mix up the sediment a bit it comes out much more. Very soft, dry finish, perfect amount of tartness, but could stand a bit more maybe, either way close.

Mouthfeel is actually not overcarbonated despite the beers intent to foam up easily. viscosity is perfect.

Drinkability is yet again ithacas strongsuit when it comes to sours, will easily put this away.

Another sure winner from ithaca, but between this and twelve im nervous about their carbonation issues these days. This beer will be AMAZING with some significant cellar time but im afraid it might blow up. I guess we'll find out. Either way, great beer, and yet another great sour from Ithaca.

Photo of beerfan99
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch E!032
750 ml bottle consumed on 5/13/2011

A: Light reddish-orange in color, resembles grapefruit juice in color alone. Carbonated enough to create a small head, but dissipates quickly.

S: Strong smell of brett and pleasant fruit aroma. Definitely one of the more powerful sour beer smells.

T: Sour and tart, but not completely over the top. The fruit flavors and sourness was well-balanced and easy to drink. Unable to determine the flavor imparted by the barrel-aging.

M: Definitely acidic, as you would expect. As I mentioned earlier, the carbonation seemed to be on the light side.

O: An above average wild ale, but I would not recommend trading for it.

Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Pizza Plant with Dan the owner and others. The smell is great, you know its a sour and the yeast adds further delight. Medium mouthfeel with a somewhat tart sourness, its a sipper and comes across like a wine or good fruit wine. A very good sour beer. Complex in the mouth, with the yeast and residual sugar offsetting some of the sourness, not a palate shredder as I feared. However my palate still records it many hours later.Peachy colour with good head.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally getting to review this one... courtesy of schen9303. Poured from a wine bottle into an Ithaca tulip after having a fight with the cork...

A: Gentle pour yields a massive 5 finger very light pink fluffy fine head that never dissipated... Beer is a reddish bronze. Lacing looked like a whirlwind... The first beer I can say had too much head retention for me.

S: Funk, tartness, wood, oaky, slight red fruit, and not the slightest hint of blueberries... false advertising... but it still smells nice.

T: Opens sour and funky, oakiness is detectable. Red fruit and funky tartness remain in the middle. Finishes slightly sweet, tartness dissipates. Upon the second sip, the blueberries are more detectable as the sour and funk fades... comes in at the opening, lasting to the middle.

M: Light bodied, coarse, carbonated, dry, but not as dry as some other sours I've sampled. Finish is dry but also a bit messy, sourness lingers a bit.

D: The name of the game is balance for this beer. Not too sour, not too sweet, just right in every way. It isn't gonna blow anyone away but its probably not gonna dissapoint anyone either. The hype is deserved and I can't wait to have another!!

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DmanGTR for this treat.
Pours rich copper, almost red, with peachy/rose head. Head fades fast.

Very vinegary nose, funky, green apple.

First sip, pungent, vinegary as expected. Slight fruitiness. Blueberry comes in at the very end and lingers nicely. Alot of oak,vanilla and grape seed in the finish.

Overall, a phenomenal beer. Until Beejay shared this bottel with me, I'd never ahd more than a 1oz sample. It was well worth the wait...

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, Thanks to Steelers for having me wait so long on this.

Photo of Corkpuller
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been drinking the last release of LeBleu a couple times a year. It just keeps getting better. This is my favorite sour. Period.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big ups to brandoneast for this!

pours a rose and copper with a hint of haze. massive white and lightly red tinged head. quickly dissipates leaving light retention

light blueberry with a light sour and malty smell. light hints of lemon and grape.

light in the flavor with a nice smooth sourness up front that quickly fades. nice light biscuit like malt body. has a bit of a wheat flavor.
nice light but profound blueberry flavor, if that makes sense.

the carbonation is off the wall, way too carbonated. i found myself swirling the glass over and over to rid of it.

loved this... i would love some more!

Photo of nickd717
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to soulforpeanuts on BA. Basically as an extra because Rick is an awesome trader. Shared this at Russian River at the PtY release.

Pours a fairly light and hazy pinkish-golden-orange color with a fairly fizzy white head.

Aroma is bretty barnyard funk, blueberries, white wine, and a little bit of malty sweetness. As for the flavor, well, someone mentioned SweetTart candies, and I definitely got some of that. Blueberries are definitely noticeable, as well as bretty funk and yeastiness, and sweet bready pale malt.

Medium-light body with very high carbonation, maybe even a little too high.

Drinkability is solid. Overall, this beer is pretty good, but didn't really wow me as a great example of the style.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch E!041. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Pinkish hazy hue. Kind of a peach color. Initial head and then nothing but some bubbles and sediment.

Smell - Light delicate blueberry aroma. Good funk and a lemongrass tartness.

Taste - Similar delicate blueberry flavor up front. Tart, but not even really sour. Less funky than the aroma belies. Wheat malt flavor in the back. Gritty, with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Light. Good light sourness and well carbonated.

Overall - Looking for more fruit. And maybe a little more sourness. Interested to see how this develops. I had a batch 1 that was way too sour and had lost all of its fruit. Somewhere in the middle could be very interesting.

Photo of thagr81us
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to caSSino for giving me this one in the past for buying him lunch one day at the bar! Haha! This one was shared by me at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Batch E!032! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured orange with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, blueberries, tart, and sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, blueberries, tart, sour, and slight funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a very good brew. I honestly went into this brew expecting quite a lot. While it did not deliver on my expectations, it really did a nice job of getting up there though. The blueberries on this one were the star of the show as one might suspect while still allowing other components to shine through as well. I do like how Ithaca incorporated a little funk flavor in this one to round-out the sip. A really well done brew that I would love to have more of.

Photo of Gmann
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml corked, capped and foiled bottle and into my Duvel tulip. Pours a clear rose color with a geyser of carbonation bubbles rushing to the top due to the etching at the bottom of the glass. The head is the lightest of pinks, big and sudsy, left some thick clingy lacing. The aroma is woody and sour from the oak. I don't pick much else up as the oak is quite strong. The taste has a lemony oak sourness though not as strong as the aroma. Hints of blueberry flavor pop through towards the end. Not really all that sour, which is good, and the hints of blueberries fit in nicely. The feel is light and awfully fizzy but it was intended this way; finishes dry. The sour is kept in check but is the showcase. A very refreshing ale. Not overly sour so the drinkability is quite high. And as a plus the bottle didn't even come close to gushing on me.

Photo of akorsak
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dashirey for picking up this 750 mL bottle for me earlier this year.

A: The blueberry addition has given the ale an unusial color, amber with just a bit of a darker tint. I'm hesitant to say blue, just darker. Four fingers of white foam disappeared as quickly as they were conjured up. No lacing around my glass.

S: The nose is a beguiling blend of sweetly tart blueberry juice, oak and just a little bit of funky citric aromas. The oak, always comforting, is no exception here.

T: The ale is amply carbonated. My first sip was the prickly tingle of bubbles over everything else. There is little in the way of blueberry, lost to the critters still hard at work in the ale. Oaken flavors are more apparent after each sip passes through. After sitting for a half an hour, during which time the ale bubbled like an active volcano, more funkiness came through. The citric flavors are strong, lemony with a nice pucker factor. Oak is there but it does struggle to get through the citric bite. The blueberry presence is very mild, a footnote to the impressive bite of this ale, until the finish. There is adds a tart natural bite to the drink.

M: Very citric. The tartness is all-encompassing, devouring most all other flavors. The lemon feel is powerful.

D: Drinkable but very tart. As wild as an American ale can come.

Photo of naproxen
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Made the snowy trek on New Years Eve from Syracuse to Ithaca with BeerTruth for this much anticipated release. The sample we had at the brewery barely held me over until this morning's Le Bleu and blueberry pancakes breakfast :)

If a beer can be pretty, this one is the princess barbie of beer in my Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. The thick, very pale pink head stays in a meringue like state for a good 3 minutes before reducing to a heavily laced glass and a thin but persistent layer of froth. The color itself is medium reddish/purple pink, hinting at hues of slight amber, hazy body. It kind of reminds me of a thinned out raspberry jam.

Le Bleu reminded of me of Brute at first inhale, but I like the nose on this much more. The blueberry is very well hidden in the nose, I think it adds more of a balance and sweetness that stands it apart from brute. These blueberries come out much more in the taste, but again not trying to win over all the other flavors that are here as well. It starts out sweet and blueberry, turning right into a pleasant sourness with a hint of vinegar, and a dry finish and slight sour puckering. I actually think I am getting more blueberry now in the aftertaste which is a lovely departing gift. There is no question as to the drinkability on this one, at 5% it is crisp and refreshing.

Edit: Blueberry is coming out much much more now that it's been sitting here another 10 minutes.

I enjoy the addition of fruits to sours/wilds. In more cases than not, the fruits work well to balance out some of the more extreme flavors that the wild yeasts produce. Le Bleu is an excellent example of this. The blueberries never jump out and scream "taste only me", opting instead to bring all the flavors together. Le Bleu is drinking amazing right now in its youth, I look forward to seeing what age evolves this into.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light pinkish color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aromas of sour and tart notes are dominant with some light blueberry also perceptible. Taste is a nice refreshing mix between some sour and tart notes with a light acidic edge with some blueberries note though very limited amount of sweetness comes through. Body is about average for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very complex beer while retaining some great drinkability factor and some good complexity.

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LeBleu from Ithaca Beer Company
95 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.