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 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 largadeer
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at The Bruery's -bal tasting. Amberish blond in color, looks a bit like chardonnay. Pours from the top of the bottle had good clarity. Carbonation is moderate, creating a small white head that disappears completely after a while.

Musty vinous aroma. Plenty of funk and fruit backed by a mild lactic acidity, a bit sharp and cheesy. Nice interplay between the fruit and bacteria.

Very fruity on the tongue. Lactic sourness meets bright fruity white wine. Lot of musty, cheesy character from the brett and lacto. Light body, light to moderate carbonation; plenty bubbly for the style. The finish is clean with a mild lactic sourness that lingers.

Pretty nice stuff, though The Bruery is still a few steps behind the likes of Russian River and Lost Abbey with their sour beers.

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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 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 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 mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bright, golden, amber color right out of the gate. A very nice, and slightly hazy looking consistency to it, I did notice copious amounts of bubbles coming up through it, throughout the session.

The aroma was very nice and tart. Huge aromas of Brett coming off of this immediately, turning the whole experience over to the funk that was in the glass, very nice to see. lots of grapes and geapeskins with a nice sour and fruit like finish that was draped in dry oak like taste. deep, resonant sour taste, seems to be a little more tame that what I was expecting, nice tones of wood raveled in throughout as well. Really well blended, the aging is really coming into play here now. Very dry finish with the long lingering taste of sour Brett that as time fades,

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

Thanks to Jason for sharing this one. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of white foam that sizzles to a thin ring, leaving behind a few spots on top and no lace. Murky peach juice body - slightly milky.

S - Brett tropical fruit notes, some sour grape notes, some under ripe stone fruits. It's quite nice, and as it warms some more horse and barnyard comes out.

T - The taste is significantly more acetic and sour, with notes of lactic sourness as well. Just lots of sour grapes - the name of the beer is quite appropriate. There might be some other sour fruits in there too.

M - Very dry, somewhat zesty carbonation, medium body. Lots of residual cottonmouth and sour candy sensations.

D - Quite nice, and very drinkable. It's very acetic, but I gladly refilled my glass. It's not on par with the rest of California sours, but it's a step in the right direction, and a hell of a lot better than the awful Barrel Fermented Autumn Maple.

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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 Gobzilla
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pale orange in color with pale yellow highlights and had a very bubbly thin head leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: pineapple, pinot grapes, tangerine, and citrus fruit aromas stand out on the nose alongside tart character but had nice bretty funky oak barrel notes; very appealing nose.

T: the tart qualtites are nice upfront on the palate with citrus, oaky, bretty funky accents and had a touch of vanilla. After a few sips the tangerine, pinot grapes and pineapple flavors were coming through quite nice.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, fruity, vinous, oaky, funky, and tart finish.

D: the beer was more tasty than people said it would, goes to show you have to taste it for yourself. Everybody does have a different palate and taste buds. I thought it drank great.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Redlight Redlight; January 2011
A vigorous pour scares up a frothy, quickly disappearing, white head that sits on top of a hazed, orange-straw color body. The aroma has a nice funkiness to it, an earthy character as well as a fair amount of oak aromatics to it. There is a lactic tartness to this beer that accentuates an aroma of green apple (which gets bigger as the beer warms up) and a medicinal-phenolic note. This is quite a bit more fruity than I would have guessed; is it the pinot influence? I am not sure as the fruitiness seems a bit more generic, but it is certainly there.

The beer has a lactic slickness / texture and tartness to it up front; this continues through to the long finish, but there is also a berry fruit character and tannic oak structure that also lingers in the finish. The oak flavors are quite prominent, but still pretty well integrated with the other flavors found in this beer. The pinot influence is actually quite prominent too; this is quite fruity, but in a controlled, balanced way. A base grain character contributes notes of grassy malt, and pale malt character that add to the balanced, all-around effect of the entire beer. It is really quite interesting how fruity this beer is, at times it is quite huge, but always remains quite well integrated.

This is quite a nice beer, the individual components are incredible, but the integration and balance that the beer as a whole achieves is just very well done. This beer achieves a balance, integration and finesse that is just quite amazing. Despite this it almost doesn’t seem characterful enough (at least when you look at notes individually). I could definitely see it needing a little something to push it into greatness; more tartness, or funkiness would likely go a long way towards this).

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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 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 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 HopHead84
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #800


Poured from a bottle at the third session of The Bruery's 2010 Reserve Society -Bal Tasting.

A: Golden with good clarity and a small bubbly cap.

S: Nice aroma. Reminds me of a cross between a lambic and a white wine. I detect notes of white grapes, redolent of Chardonnay. Musty barnyard, cheese, and oak.

T: Lightly tart and moderately sour in a lactic sort of way. Acidity is low. The flavor displays more oak than the aroma, and the taste is of musty white grapes with barnyard notes. The finish is tannic and drying.

M: Low carbonation with tannins and some acidity.

Overall: This was quite good, and a nice change of pace from the big Barrel Aged beers at the event. I liked this, but I think I preferred Cuvee Jeune

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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 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 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 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 jrallen34
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting color of medium gold in the middle, much lighter on the sides, with a weird opalesque shimmer to it. Light carbonation...Successful complex aroma of apples, grapes, wine, and oak with little tartness...The taste is a nice surprise, complex still with an great feel for an all around great drinking experience. Dry white wine, oak, grape skins, sour. The feel is super tannic and sticks to your mouth. Easy to drink.

A great new Bruery beer, who knew they had it in them???

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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 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 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 thagr81us
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one with the group! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured yellow-orange with a very minimal off-white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, sour, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, white grapes, sour, tart, and wood. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The aroma on this was a little bit of a letdown if I'm honest, but still pretty good. The flavor made up for this fact adding in the tart aspect to bump this one up another notch. Very glad I got the chance to try this one. I would suggest this one to others as well.

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