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 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 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 alpinebryant
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw brown with some tiny brown sediment that will probably settle in about a year.

Smell of strong pinot noir grapes as stated on the bottle mixed with brett, green apples and funk.

Taste of green apples. I was excited when this started out, there was a high level of carbonation, an extremely strong granny smith apple tart flavor (which didnt leave even after flat) and green grape flavor souring on brett mold along with a heavy oaked flavor. As I let it hang out for about a half hour, this really became extremely flat. I cannot honestly remember a beer becoming so flat after opening. Well carbed at opening time, flat within 20 minutes. Typically I think most people would say that beers are a great thing to let breathe / warm up and come to room temperature. I would say that this is not the case with this beer. As some very old wines go, this one has completely transformed within a half hour and I strongly recommend letting it sit for 5 minutes to get that overcarbed tingly feeling over with, then share with a few friends because you will not be able to enjoy it at its prime before becoming flat.

That said, the body is rather light, and I think there is potential, but this one fell flat for me. I like to think it is a rare miss from The Bruery and am glad that I only have two bottles of it as that was the limit to purchase.

Overall : yeah it is a sour, which is a nice thing, but I know they can do better and so do they.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a cloudy golden color with no head and no signs of any carbonation. I don’t mind my beers with low carb but this is a little disappointing. The aroma to me is rather minimal and subtle with only slight notes of grape, maybe a little pepper, and oak. Sweet start gives way to a dry, lemon sourness. Not overly complex by any means but very straight forward. Overal, not bad but I wish it had a touch more carb to help the flavors and aroma come out a bit stronger.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked this one open last night since I have been interested in trying it for some time. Thanks first and foremost to my CA Reserve partner IPA247 for his diligent shipping of this one east.

A - I like the bottle at least. Sturdy bottle with nice label. Poured into my tulip with gusto. Pours the color of apricot/orange Jolly Rogers candy. Almost no head at all with just a couple of bubbles that quickly turn back.

S - Pretty much on point. Smell is of sour grapes, some vinegar and funk, and maybe a bit of other fruits as well.

T - Follows the nose pretty much. Sour grapes but not puckering. Fairly light and crisp on the tongue. I think the best way for me to say it is that it seems like a poor man's copy of Temptation or another wild/sour that is crafted better.

M - Pretty light with not much going on. It poured very still so it is certainly thin but it is OK.

D - Glad I got to try this one and I would probably give it another chance. I don't think that this is their wheelhouse at all. They would be better served going back into the lab and working more on this particular style before releasing something similar again.

All in all, it was OK and I was glad I got the chance to sample it. As far as it holding up to its "neighbor" in CA for this style, they ain't close.

Thanks again Jeff for all your efforts in continuing to ship these beers east. I really apprecitate it.

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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 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 GradyS1
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-poured hard into a lost abbey tumbler and there is very little life to this one, a small lacing forms that seems to disappear instantly, light orange yellow cloudy
S- a musty grape smell, reminds me of a gueze a lot. Light acidic grape juice smell.
T-grape juice and sour apple, similar to a still limbic. Sour finish but not overwhelming
M- very little carbonation, has almost a syrupy texture to this one.
Medium body
Overall I liked this, it reminded me of an unblended lambic. I liked the Taste but was not a fan of the mouthfeel

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave for the Bruery hookup!

Pours a clear peach with no head and no lacing. Not a bad color, but quite dull looking.

The nose is somewhat earthy with white grape and a touch of funk. Light acidity with hay and faint fruit.

Juicy white grapes with light acidic sourness roll around on the tongue. The taste has an even balance between sweet and sour. Touch of oak vanilla. Not overly complex, but still good.

The mouthfeel is somewhat slippery and slick with very light carbonation. Could use a little more liveliness. Light acidic sourness throughout.

Drinkability is good. This is definitely an easy drinking American Wild. Much like a lightly soured white wine. Could use a few more bubbles and hopefully a bit of age will make it more interesting. However, this would be a great beer for introducing people to the style, since the sourness is low and it is very wine like.

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Photo of craytonic
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: First pour was near flat, second pour had decent carbonation. Odd, I know. Also started out near clear and gueuze like but quickly got murky. No lacing on any of the pours.

Smell: lactic tartness, bit of vinegar, oak and grapes. A bit musty.

Taste: Sour with oak, green apples, light funk, and grapes. A bit subdued

Mouthfeel: My bottle was a bit under carbonated

Drinkability: Drinkable enough but I wish there was a bit more to it.

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Photo of PlinyTheKid
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Milky, cloudy, golden yellow. Little to no head.

S: Upon opening the bottle, a strong, grape smell trapped within the bottle bursted out. Overpowering essence of sour grapes and funk.

T: Strong tastes of tartness and funk upon the first sip. A little bit of sweetness from it, but pretty much mostly a tart flavour.
The tartness will slowly go away upon aging, and I feel as though the funk will mask most of the sweetness.

M: Contains very little carbonation, some sourness wrapping around the palate, but nothing too overwhelming.

D: Very drinkable at the moment from the bottle. It is very smooth, and has a really nice flavour. For a grape based beer, this is definitely a must-try.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle at the Bruery -bal tasting

A: The pour is a slightly hazed golden amber color with a finger or so worth of white head.

S: A nice lactic tartness to this one, but not super powerful. Definitely a strong grape presence to the beer with a soft, subtle oak character. The grapes provide a bit of a sweetness that I wasn't quite expecting.

T: Like the nose, there was more sweetness than I expected, especially when cold. Sort of simple in terms of the flavor with a mild to moderate acidity and not too much overtly oaky flavor. A slight cheese flavor at times, too.

M: The body is medium with a smooth, soft carbonation to it.

D: Why can't these guys just leave Cuvee Jeune as it was? I had pretty high expectations for this and it didn't quite meet them.

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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 yourefragile
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle split into snifters.

Pours a still, clear honey copper. Quickly fading head of a few white bubbles, no lacing or retention.

Dry, fruity nose; lemon, peach, and Pinot. Light rubbing alcohol.

Wine and fruity grapes dominate, mildly sour; no tart or funk.

Medium thick, syrupy, light carbonation. Very vinous.

A nice sour, the Pinot adds a nice unique flavor, though it's be hard to work on this bottle alone.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jale shared a bottle of this (thanks a ton Jim!). Very excited to try a sour from the Bruery, as their barrel treatments on other beers have been pretty successful.

Initial pours were a golden orange color with hints of haze, and later pours became more of a hazy amber color. Almost no head, just a ring of bubbles with each pour no matter how vigorous.

The aroma reminds me of several other wild ale / lambic grape concoctions (Cuvee de Castleton comes to mind, also Vignerone). Tannic and vinous, grape skins + grape juice + mild brett.

It tastes about as expected, quite a bit like CdC or Vignerone, tasty but it becomes a little tiring working through the entire 750mL. Not so much in the way of sourness, maybe a little stronger in the aftertaste, but a lot of grape character for sure. Later pours tasted much like the initial pours despite the changed appearance.

Very light carbonation, again competing with CdC. I liked it, I'd have it again any time. Very approachable wild ale, although not really in Russian River league yet.

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Photo of nickd717
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle obtained as a Reserve Society allocation.

The appearance of this beer is interesting. A minimal head fades quickly, and what remains is a flat-looking liquid that looks like I'd imagine 1 part red wine and 3 parts pilsner to look like. Slightly hazy golden-pinkish-reddish color.

The aroma is excellent. Huge vinous pinot noir notes, blackberries, lactic tartness and funk, and considerable oakiness from the -bals.

The flavor is a little weaker than I'd like, but that said, it's damn tasty. Nice pale malt base but not much sweetness from it, as a lactic tartness is dominant. Very big on the wine flavors, like a dry pinot, with oaky barrel notes. Some other dark fruit as well.

Nice and acidic on the mouthfeel with medium body and carbonation a little lower than I'd like, but it works fine as a beery wine substitute.

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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 SpeedwayJim
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Shared with schen9303. Poured from a 750ml champagne bottle into a Cantillon Iris glass.

A: Standard pour yields a coarse 1 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear peach-apricot. No lacing. A rather shabby looking beer overall.

S: Nose is crushed spoiled peaches, white grape, and a citrus spice. No real funk or tartness and super subtle overall. Too little oomph for me.

T: Opens mellow peach, grape, and citrus tartness. Very soft. Yeasty and spicy sour towards the middle with notes of apricot, peach, and orange. Bready with a slight dryness at the end. Finish is lemon, white grapes, and some lychee. Rather mellow like the nose but exceptionally well balanced.

M: Light to medium bodied with little carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth with some light bubbles going down. Moderately dry finish with a tingly and sticky aftertaste. Perfect in every sense here. One of the best mouthfeels I've encountered in a while. At over 8% ABV, this beer deserves a 6.

D: A big winner from the Bruery, Pintolambicus doesn't blow you away with its appearance or smell, but where it really counts in the taste and feel, this beer is second to none. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by bmanning. Served in a tulip.

A ridiculously-hard pour yields not even a quarter-inch of head. Only a few bubbles sitting on top and these quickly fade away. After there, there is a very, very thin collar. The nose is really quite vinous and reminds me a lot of fresh Cuvee de Castleton. There is a bit of grapes along with some moderate lactic sourness. A slight vinegar presence is there as well. Slight pucker factor leads into the taste, though it's not incredibly sour. It definitely needs some time to dry out and hopefully add a bit of funk to complicate things. At the same time, this definitely gets better as it warms up and I enjoyed the last sip of the glass much more so than the first.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cognac orange. No head or lacing.

Butter, oak, tart, lemon in background.

I thought this was going to be a butter bomb but it's not at all. Light/medium sourness mixed with light acidity, lime, spice, dried fruit - apricot. Fruitiness without having a dedicated fruit that you automatically think of.

Dry, one-dimensional finish.

Not particularly complex or earth shattering but a very well rounded wild for sure. Somewhat surprised by the low rating.

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Photo of jale
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle with a great friend(turdferguson).

A: Pours a straw color with orange hues and very little head.

S: Initial sours notes of a wild and mild wine grape aroma.

T: upfront mild sourness. The middle of this has some flabbiness from the pinot, not in a bad way but adds a sensation seldom found in a beer.

M: Light carbonation with light-medium body.

D: I could drink a little more.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a burnt orange, with a very mild head, smattering of bubbles.

S: Pretty nose. Grapes, sour cherries, grape skins and rose petals.

T: Lemons, very fruity with the pinot flavour. Notes of tangerine with an enjoyable lactic acidity. Flowery finish. On the lambic side of the sours for sure as the name implies.

M: Medium-high acid, very low carbonation, almost flat, but the acidity adds some body. Good aftertaste, lingers on the palate.

D: I'd like to try this on-tap with a little more carbonation. That being said the flavours are quite good, The Bruery certainly knows how to make sours.

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

Poured at Bruery Annaversary. 2.5 oz pour in a 5oz glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours super cloudy with a white ring of lacing. Straw color. Little lace.

Aroma is super funky tart. Barnyard with lemon citrus tartness.

Taste is tart and funky. Like an unblended lambic or geuze. Little grassy with a slight sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very dry but kinda smooth.

Overall pretty tasty but nothing special. Would have it again if more readily available. Not worth the hassle trying to obtain though.

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