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 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 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 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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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 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 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 ChrisPro
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to route66pubs.

A - Pours a translucent straw yellow without a single bubble of head. Skins definitely not used.

S - A little funk and definitely some grapes on the nose. Kind of pungent but not overpowering. Nice musty barnyard to it that sort of accentuates the fruit.

T - A great tartness with some funk and a pretty sweet finish.

M - no carbonation, but also no heat. Pretty slick and medium body.

O - Quite a drinkable beer and something I'd be glad to have again, but wouldn't go out of my way. I really think this needs more than the 6 months.

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

A - Orange colored beer that pours fairly opaque. Small head on it, that barely stuck around to be noticed.

S - Nice and tart with a bit of oak and citrus. Slightly bretty, nice grape presence that does remind me of a pinot noir.

T - Surprisingly good, one of the better Bruery beers I've had to date. Appropriate tart notes with some brett, good grape taste that gets sour. Tastes a little juicy.

M - Juicy like mouthfeel that ends a little bit watery. Kind of reminds me of Yellow Bus in that sense. Slightly sugary, medium bodied.

D - Very good sour from the Bruery that I enjoyed having and would have again. Surpring amount of ABV is not detected upon consumption.

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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 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 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 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 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 GbVDave
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a White Birch flute. Extra special thanks to errantnight for hooking me up with this from our latest volley!

A: Decent "pfffft" sound when the cap was pried off. Pours a rather still and lifeless looking apricot/peach nectar color. Nice haze. A weak bubbly head quickly pops up and just as quickly dies off leaving no collar, no skim, and no lace. Second pour was darker and with some suspended sediment.

S: At first, I was greeted with a bit of vinegar before it turned decidedly fruity and oaky. Dry oaky tannins with sour grapes, tart green apple, and lemon. As it came up to temp, I picked up tart bing cherry, then sweet black cherry, and then a bit of slightly sweet malt. With my second pour, I swirled in all the sediment and was rewarded with aromas of fresh strawberry and blueberry.

T: Very much like the smell with even more emphasis on the oak and tart fruit flavors. Vinegar in the finish gradually leads to some toasted malt. After pouring in the sediment with my second glass I picked up the aforementioned strawberry and blueberry as well as some black currants.

M: Relatively smooth with some very nice oaky astringency. The acidity is there but never too in your face. Rather it's balanced by the fruit/berry/malt sweetness and dry oak.

D: This was a very drinkable AWA that covered the bases. Sour, dry, and sweet. Very nice.

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Photo of koopa
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by beerloco at a ridiculously good tasting last night thanks!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow with a burnt umber center. 1/2 inch white crown displays no retention or lace.

Smell: Pinot Noir and brett do the dance and its lovely.

Taste: Same as nose but not as pungent.

Mouthfeel: A touch under carbonated in my opinion.

Drinkability: Fairly sessionable but the mouthfeel and flavor holds it back a bit.

This was one of the bottles we drank towards the end of the night which should be evident based on my limited notes.

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

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

No head really. Just a few bubbles then nothing. The color is very pretty though, a sort of burnt glowing orange.

Very nice nose. Plenty of horse blanket and barnyard nose. Lemon like acidity. This one is quite funky/barnyard like with plenty of tartness to boot.

Lemony acidity and tartness up front. Then horse blanket, straw, a touch of balsamic, and some oaky tannins. The finish balances the tartness, funk, and tannins with some delicately sweet and somewhat vinous grape notes. Lingering lactic tart notes.

Light body, and quite tart (not particularly over the top tartness though). Carbonation is quite low, but not to a point that I find it distracting.

The alcohol is well hidden and it is a very tasty and enjoyable brew. My only complaint is the carbonation level detracted from the look and mouthfeel.

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