Vitis Series: Pinotlambicus | The Bruery

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Vitis Series: PinotlambicusVitis Series: Pinotlambicus

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A dry and vinous beer with hints of smokiness and a touch of oak. First running press of Pinot Noir grapes from Santa Barbara County were added to a year old blonde sour ale (called by many names around here, one you may be familiar with is Cuvee Jeune) and fermented together in stainless. The grape beer was then transferred to wine barrels and aged for 10 months. The beer is pleasantly tart, complex and refreshing; it can easily substitute a sparkling wine for any celebration.

Added by Overlord on 11-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 129
Photo of cvm4
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So this is a 5+ year old beer that hasn't been reviewed in 2.5 years.

L - Pours a semi-opaque golden copper body with a fizzy half finger head that never sets up, it dissipated pretty much as the pour ended.

S - Big pinot noir nose with sour/tart cutting through it along with oak and mild vinegar. Really a nice nose here.

T - Juicy pinot noir grapes front and center. It's not as sour as the smell was leading me on to believe. Medium tartness, some funk/earth and oak.

F - Light bodied, light carbonation and a semi-dry finish.

O - The grapes dominate here. To me, a properly stored bottle should be holding up, but I have no clue how this was fresh.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 10.4.13

A - Pours a clear light orange with a fizzy off-white head that is gone instantly.

S - Lots of pinot and wine barrel.

T - Tart pinot, oaky barrel, dry finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a light body.

O - Heavy on the pinot and oak barrel. More Grape then malt.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably my favorite brew from tonight's tasting...

Poured a fairly clear light orange brew... no real head or lacing....

The nose buggy/big brett and still pretty fruity.

The flavor is interesting for days.... tannic and fruity... brett/mild lactic notes... woody/definite winey presence... a heavier "Cuvee de Castleton" is my big descriptor..

The carbonation is light... body is fine for something this heavy...


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Photo of jvillefan
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: It has a small off white laced head. The body is an orange color.

S: Very mild aroma. Subtle tart aromas followed by caramel.

T: The wine comes through immediately. There is a medium tart and funkiness that blends well with the caramel and toffee flavors.

M: Nice thick body. How ever the carbonation is a little light.

O: Very interesting. A good but not great beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with some grape, wine, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with a wine-like flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some nice sour and fruity aromas and flavors.

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Photo of mothman
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very little head. Colorado is a clear golden orange.

The flavor is nice at first. Very sour and tart. A lot of grape flavors. Barnyard musk. Msyve some peaches and fruits. Then the flavor drops off and its bland.

Lighter bodied with low carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall it was an ok sour. Started out really nice but then lost flavor.still enjoyable.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks merc
The beer pours a cloudy burnt orange with no head. The nose is similar to a cantillon, but less intensely sour. There is a punch of sweetness upfront with a bit of acetone. The taste is quite modest with a touch of grape, tart sourness with a semi-dry finish. Honestly, this beer is tasty, but I'd like to do a side-by-side with a bottle of cantillon to see which I like better.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.12/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is apple juice with a thin scummy white head and almost flat. Nose is watered down sparkling grape juice with notes of acetic acid. This should be a treat...taste is better than the nose, hard not to be. Has some sour red grapes but still akin to sparkling grape juice, rather tannic behind, fairly sour with maybe a touch of cheese to give it an edge of funk. Quite a dry finish and decent carbonation. Body is a bit syrupy and heavy. Not too bad.

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

Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear tangerine/orange with a large bubbled thin white head which fades to the rim leaving trace lace behind. A quick swirl brings nothing back.

N: Grape skin and juice, oak, cotton candy, cheese, slightly musty funk.

T: Vinous, trace oak tannins, tart apples, peaches and pears and lemons.

M: Light body and carbonation. Tart with some tannins. Prickly pucker and sem-dry finish.

O: Not too wild in the funk department, just a nice tart vinous construct.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright orange with a very small patchy head fading immediately. Lots of bubbles on the side of the glass. Looks a bit thin.

Very wine like aromas. Tart grape skin, lemon and oak with some subtle spice.

Again flavor is very vinous. Oak adds a certain dryness, but I would still relate this as more of a Pinot Grigio relative than something on the dryer side. Tart grape, lemon and apple. A little white pepper and a musty funk.

Despite the look has a decently thick body with high carbonation.

Very strong beer. I've had a few better, but this is a good wine/beer hybrid that still has some really good flavors. I'd be happy if this were made again.

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Photo of jsanford
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light amber with a very slight have that dissipates to a thin ring. Nice aromas of white wine grapes, lemon juice, hay, and a touch of white vinegar. Very signature of the Bruery's sours. Great tart wine flavors, but not as sour as I'd expected from the nose. Grape skin flavors impart a slight woody bitterness, along with more lemon juice and citric acid. Mouthfeel is light and slick, with a medium-thin body, low carbonation, and a dry, slightly astringent finish. Really solid sour from the Bruery, and a great melding of beer and wine.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is yellow with a mild haze and a nice thin white ehad with low retention, falling away to nothing quickly. No lacing, moderate to high carbonation.

Aroma is vinous and oaky with that distinct Bruery sour aroma. I like it.

Beer is light in body, tart and oaky in the backend and sweet with a nice finish. Lactic with a mildly brighter acid on the palate gives the dry finish a nice late tartness. The grapes are really nice in there. I'd have this again for sure.

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee - thanks Greg! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a marginally pale copper orange color with excellent clarity. Very fizzy with soda like carbonation on the pour. No head even pretends to make an attempt to form on top of the collar, no lacing.

S - Light aroma, fairly tart, quite white wine like, grapey, perhaps some green apples, mildly woody.

T - Again this is quite winey. Lots of grape flavors, apples, mid-level tartness, fruity, white wine, a bit of wood. This would be a very approachable beer for a wine drinker. A bit vinegary, extremely mild malty graininess.

M - Thin, apple juice like in feel. Carbonation is rather low, mildly fizzy on the tongue, but thats about it. Tart, vinegary and very much reminiscient of wine.

O - A rather good wild ale. A bit of a different take on things. Have wine drinking friends that don't like beer?...this would be a good one to introduce them. Extremely similar flavor profiles with the grapey fruit flavors, overall acidity, crisp and rather dry.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Epic Bruery sour/wild tasting, 3/4/2012

Light golden, not much head but some bubbles evident. Red wine notes on the nose. Interesting to compare side-by-side with Oui Oui and see how much the wine grapes are displayed by the beers. The taste is fairly thin, sort of like a watered down Pinot. Much drier than Oui Oui, with a dusty finish. Minimal carbonation. Ultimately a little boring and 1-dimensional.

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Photo of jlenik
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a mostly golden color with no head retention.

s: smells like a sweet white wine. kinda of grainy and a little tart.

t: apricot notes come through along with a sweet grape taste. definitely tart but drinkable at the same time.

m: the sweetness makes this feel a little thick but the tartness and dryness mostly cuts through it.

o: nice beer. If I didn't know any better I would guess this was an Allagash beer.

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

Poured into a Ommegang flute from a 750ml bottle.

A - A very aggressive pour yields no head at all with some slight random bubbles collection on the sides of the glass. The color is nice and pale amber with tons of golden hints. Very attractive color. (4.0)

S - Copious vinous notes. Smells like a Champagne. Dry woody oak notes permeate throughout along with a nice acidic tartness. Slight vinegar is present as well. There are some perceived wheat notes as well as some nice earthy grain and slight bread. Very nice aroma. (4.5)

T & M - Starts off with some nice grape notes. Very vinous almost like a buttery Chardonnay. There is some nice tartness to the brew that is made a bit mild by some woody notes. The grape notes are amazing. This brew is so smooth. The grape notes are amazing mixed in with some nice slight fruit juice sweetness and very nice funk. The body is light and refreshing with lower CO2 but with a nice slight oily dry and sour finish. (5.0)(4.5)

O - Aging this brew probably smoothed it out a bit and IMO it taste amazing with nice sweetness pulling throughout the the tart grape notes to make a very approachable sour. (4.5)

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the Bruery barrel tasting

Clear golden color wih minimal head. No lacing. Sour grapes and a bit of oak in the nose. Tart grapes, mild funk and wood flavors dominate. Great wine characteristics. There's a nice lingering tartness in the finish. Medium body with very little carbonation. Very tasty. I really like the super tart, winey qualities. Wish they'd bottle this again. Recommended.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Rorry @ Boneyard Bistro...

A: Dense yellow rose colored beer with a hint of green. Pretty much no head forms but what little there is is pretty stark white. That's giving a lot however as this juice is pretty much flat.

S: Soft nose of acidic acid namely in the form of citrus pulp.

T: This is crazy stuff yet not in an intense sort of way. It's flavor is soft and approachable. Im not all together convinced that this is not in fact just ruby red and white grapefruit juice. Some white grape flavor develops as well. Both the color and consistency scream fruit juice. Oh and so does the flavor. Softly sour grapefruit pulp and just a touch of wood come together very simply. Delicious stuff all together, I wish I could have scored more of it. I'm not sure I have ever had a beer with absolutely no alcohol presence but if I have this is the one.

M: Thick and sort of oily.

O: Fantastic beer but I'm glad I didn't pay 3 bills for it. Altogether the flavor is simple and delicious.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.51/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a caged and corked 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: My pour has an apple juice brown hue to it with golden edges. Just a tiny big bubbled head forms with an aggressive pour - it appears to have an issue with the carbonation.

Smell: Sour white grape aroma. A little bit of funk, some grassy notes, and some oak exist to add a little bit of depth.

Taste: The flavor is flatly sour, with some tangerine, white grape, and peach flavors. The tart flavor is mostly lactic in nature. Up front there is some soft grainy malt, and later in the sip some oak comes into play.

Mouthfeel: This is undercarbonated to the point of being almost flat. Light vinegar acidity. A medium body feels heavy without any crisp carbonation.

Overall: The lack of carbonation brings the score down in a number of places. For me at least, American Wild Ales are fairly delicate, and having such poor carbonation really causes it to fall off. Beyond that, the flavor is fairly simple and sour. Not that it is terrible, but I really enjoy the complex sours more.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was released in 2010

pours a nice hazy dark golden orange. little to no head. bottle let out some gas but the beer looks rather still.

smells like gueuze, no really. lots of white grape and sour apple. a hint of vinegar. very subtle oak.

nice and tart through out. most of the flavor is from the grapes and seeing that pinot noir grapes were added to this, makes sense. very wine like. a bit of cheese and vinegar.

actually has a mild carbonation bite to it. a hint of dryness. puckering.

this was enjoyable and different. so much grape in this with a great sour base.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for opening up this one, Mike. Served into a snifter. Original bottling.

A: Pours a hazy apricot color with nothing but a short lived fizzy white collar. No head, no lace.
S: This beer definitely smells vinous and tart, and I get a touch of lemon.
T: Light tartness, good vinous flavor of red grapes, oak and gritty tannins. There is a bit of citrus and peach in the aftertaste.
M: Thicker body than most with a good chew to the mouthfeel. Carbonation is low and the finish is dry and full of gritty tannins.
O: Not being too tart made this a great beer to sip while sitting in the sun on the patio. Thanks again, Mike.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So this was a huge of mine after sampling it at a tasting shortly after the beer was released... I really wanted to give it a review because I remember loving this beer the first time around...
Anyway, oreo or drewba brought this out at a tasting so I made sure to pull my phone out!

Reviewed from notes dictated into voice notes on my iphone.

My pour was towards the end of the bottle, so I got a little murky cloudiness in my glass. Looking at the other pours (and being offered whiffs and tastes as well) they are nice and clear and remind me of a golden ale. Some small bubbles create a thin white collar around the glass. Speaking of thin, the legs on this are atrophied-- virtually nonexistent.

The nose is bright fresh citrus fruit with acidic white grape like a German Reisling. I really like this beer. It tastes great-- there's enough going on to keep every sip interesting, but nothing stands out as being overly powerful. It is well-balanced and all the flavors blend together like a CSN+Y harmony.

The body itself is a lot like a white wine: low carbonation, very acidic, good sourness, and a tartness that makes me pull my cheeks in a bit. I like it a lot.

Overall-- very very very fucking tasting beer. I'm still looking to trade for a few of these!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Got this awhile in a trade and I cannot remember from whom; Thank you whoever it was!

(A)- Pours an orange color. Produced some white bubbles and froth. Bits of lacing.

(S)- A nice bone dry acidic earthiness. Bits of white grape and plenty of oak; some funk in the wood.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Dry, but with a zesty blush-like grape component. Pinot Noir? Tastes more like a white grape to me. Nice and sour/acidic. Crisp. Far less funk than the smell; rather clean on the finish actually.

(M)- A nice carbonation level. A nice balance too. Definitely a cleaner take, yet has a vibrant feel to it at the same time.

(D)- I like this one. Nicely sour and crisp. A great thirst quencher on this hot day. Nice job.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle that I received in a trade with womencantsail. Thanks, Andy!

When I crack the bottle, I'm greeted with a faint hiss. Poured into my Duvel tulip, Pinotlambicus sits a clear, cuprous amber with a dense, choppy, off-white head that falls off to a ring rather quickly. The nose really caught me off guard. I was expecting something good, but this an unabashed joy to smell. Reminiscent of a fresh Cuvee de Castleton in some respects, there's a blend of honeydew melon, a leathery Brett character, a mildly spicy white pepper note and quite a prominent juicy grape character. A moderate funk is present, with wet hay and some cheese. Moderate tannin character is noticeable on the nose, and there is quite a bit of lactic sourness that provides a refreshing backbone to the nose. Now, I'm not sure I could pick these out as pinot noir grapes here, as the sour base beer really does hide some of the big, fruity, jammy character that I've come to find in a lot of CA pinot noirs. In any case, this is a fantastic smelling beer.

The palate opens pretty massively tart, almost surprisingly so, with a blend of mildly yogurty lactic acid and fruity sourness, moderately mineraly in nature. The mid-palate has flavors of melon, grapes and a little honey. As it warms up, the sourness grows increasingly aggressive, but there is no real acetone character, or even acetic acid, maybe it's remnants from the fruit addition? Definitely tannic, moderately tartaric in flavor and sourness, this beer does dry out on the finish, leaving a tannic bite. Again, as it warms up, the oak character does come through, with just a little vanilla and lingering flavors of oak. Medium-light in body with soft carbonation, this beer is quite excellent, though the sourness will make an entire bottle a bit difficult to finish, especially with the ABV. Not as refined as Temptation or Cuvee de Castleton, but still a very worthy effort. I'd be curious to see where the sourness goes from here, 'cos any more and it could start getting unpleasant.

Ultimately, the marriage of the robust pinot noir grape with a pale sour base works surprisingly well, mostly due to the strong sourness of the base beer. I'd love to try to see something on the lighter end of spectrum, maybe with a NZ Sauvignon Blanc? Maybe it's time I got back to brewing.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks man!

The beer is a hazy light orange color. The head is minimal and dissipates immediately, leaving no trace of its prior existence.

The aroma is delectable, with gueuze funk, grapes. It smells exactly like what I hoped for and expected.

The beer is delicious. Not amazingly tart, but certainly more tart than sweet. Grapes shine through brilliantly. A subtle grape juice sweetness is present, making this brew quite quaffable.

The finish brings a hint of vinegar and an ever so slightly acetic bite.
Carbonation is light and the body is relatively thin.

Overall, a very tasty brew. I would definitely have this again.

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Vitis Series: Pinotlambicus from The Bruery
4.03 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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