Saboteur | Odell Brewing Company

very good
144 Reviews

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Oxymoron on 04-23-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 293
Photo of melliott2811
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saboteur Brett Barrel Brown Ale

"Intense earthy undertones. And notes of vanilla and pineapple come together with a sour silhouette. Aged in American oak barrels."

My second (third?) tasting of this beer. First was on tap in sampling glass. This review is of 22oz bottle poured into SanTan brewing specialty glass.

A: Thick, dark pour with an inch of smooth creamy head that sits atop the beer through the duration of the tasting, accenting the rich mahogany color of the beer and goading you into taking another sip.

S: The sweet aroma of this beer wafts out as the cork is removed from the bottle, hitting you with fruity notes from the pineapple. Once in the glass, the fruitiness no longer overpowers you and the oak comes into play along with the caramel malts.

T: The vanilla was not prominent for me in aroma, but comes into play when tasting. I'm glad it sits more in the background; too many beers these days overwhelm with vanilla if they deign to use it. Sourness of the Brett blends with the pineapple and oak to give a different type of sourness and to mask the 10% alcohol (yeah, I think the booze barrels actually help hide the alcohol of this one). As you swallow the beer, the sourness slowly follows, trickling down your throat and leaving you with a mellow dark malt & vanilla flavor.

M: The intriguing flavor profile and medium body combine with just the right tingle of carbonation to provide a well-rounded mouth feel. Leaves me feeling a little boozy, but that is understandable as the beer has high ABV and lingers on the tongue for a moment after swallowing.

D: By far my favorite offering from Odell. Wonderful color and flavor arouse the senses and expand the palette. Not a typical beer. Good for long sessions as well as samplings and lunch/dinner pairings. I don't agree with pairing with cheese though.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to LtDan for sharing this one at the Bruery 2nd Anniversary.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a tan head.

S: A pleasant and mild tartness with a somewhat substantial funk. A solid fruit and sweet malt presence as well, which is interesting.

T: The tartness is in the form of fruits, perhaps cherries, and provides a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the base beer. There are some barrel and booze notes, which is odd for a wild beer, but not off-putting.

M: The body is medium with plentiful carbonation and a somewhat dry finish and a touch of warmth.

D: A really nice beer, and one that seemed kind of like it could go either way. I'd be interested to see how this one ages.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle purchased in Ft Collins for $12.99

The cork came out easy but there's a huge pop after that so no worries.

It pours a very dark brown with reddish hues and a 1 finger head of offwhite foam. The foam retention is very good and the lacing is exceptional.

The smell is all Brettanomyces...lots of funk and a bit of sour, don't ya know. ;^) I'm trying to get some of the base brown ale out of it but I can't. Hopefully the taste is more complex, at least to *my* nose, which is far from perfect.

The taste is big and quite the abv bomb. Whoah. Gotta get past it and judge the beer itself.

The Brett influence is right in my face when I start off and then I can taste some Brown ale goodness with a bit of roast and chocolate, and the wild part comes in again with some slightly to moderately sour notes that I guess is pineapple like. It varies during each sip. Still can't get over the alcohol and the vanilla flavour seems to accentuate it. Sorry.

Medium bodied with the same for the carbonation. I'm not too fond of the overall mouthfeel. It's kind of sticky.

Drinkability? In my face alcohol is a real culprit here and in no way, as it is now, is this brew a 5 star drinker or even a 4 star. Cellaring could change the whole scenario. That being said, I don't mind spending an hour or more sipping on a brew that doesn't hold back on the tasty flavours that this brings to the table. No regrets on giving this one a go.

Edit: I found this in town and picked up a couple of bottles. I just finished one so I thought I'd comment on my second sampling.

First off, the alcohol, though there, wasn't nearly as in my face as I described originally. Some warming after the swallow, that's all. I also seemed to enjoy the complex flavours more and enjoyed the vanilla and less "explosiveness" of the Brett. I don't know what kind of mood or what I was in with the first bottle but my second go turned out to be a very pleasing session. I'm gonna have to change my scores accordingly. This is an excellent brew.

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Photo of riored4v
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/8/10

Poured into a snifter. Dark brown body with hints of ruby. 3/4 finger tan head that faded to a thin layer.

Smell was slightly toasty/nutty with a good amount of cherry. Some chocolate and mild dark fruit tartness. Brett and dark malts blended great.

Taste is very similar to aroma. Nice chocolateness, toastiness backed with a good cherry tartness. Sublty hints of vanilla. Nice maltiness but balanced bitterness in finish.

Mouthfeel was a medium body, medium/low carbonation with a mildly sticky finish.

Drinkability was good. Slightly sticky but overall very drinkable and no signs of ABV.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown; almost black. Poured a 2 finger tan that dissipated to a half finger cap. Lots of sticky lace.

S: A lot going on here. Yeast esters, ooak, bourbon. Burnt toast and alcohol and yeaty funk.

T: Sweet then sour. Oak and alcohol. Very comples and a lot going on here too. Toasted malts like a brown ale, yeast notes like a wild alre and bitter in the finish for some stab at balance.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Warming and dry.

D: Very interesting, very complex. Definitely a sipper, but I can see keeping a bottle aroiund for beer geeks.

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Photo of bigbelcher
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Unusal beer. Supposed to be a brettanomyces beer but the flavors and aromas of brett were muted. Actually somewhat sour like from Lactobacillus. Head was thick and creamy. Kind of like a Belgian farmhouse ale but something just wasn't balanced with the beer. Was not my favorite of the night by far.

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Photo of oakbluff
2.9/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on draft- muddled brown colour with minimal head and lacing. Nose- musty, nutty. Taste- brett flavour profile is strong, but doesn't mix well with the boozy hotness of the underlying beer. The alcohol heat was overpowering any malt subtleties. Some figs, nuts and caramel. A messy beer.

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Photo of CrossFitAlex
4.78/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this at The Muddy Pig in Saint Paul, MN.

The beer is a dark brown color with almost no light penetration. A beautiful beer.

Tasting notes - Nutty. Pineapple and fruity nose. Low carbonation; a decent sour bite. Filling with good mouthfeel. Alcohol is present. Nutty flavors and sour brettanomyces balance great! Farmhouse feel.

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Photo of Phelps
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saboteur at first appears an inky brown with no light penetration. A hold to the overhead lamp, however, reveals some beauty: hues of deep amber, scarlet and black coffee shift and shimmer. A pillowy khaki head crowns the beer, receding ever so slowly and leaving thick trails of lace reminiscent of an ant farm. Has more bubbly effervescence than I've ever seen in a beer. It's a party in there.

Sour brett rules the nose, but it's balanced by an enticing sweetness. Notes of honey, rye bread and sauerkraut all make appearances, paired with burnt sugar and some orange citrusy hops. Remarkable.

So many brewers of sours let the funk take over the beer, but the flavors here are dialed in to perfection. Funky yet roasty, sour yet sugary. Bready and caramel sweet, with a roasted malt character imparting notes of dark chocolate at first, followed by the tartness of cherries and dark fruits. Very nice.

Feel is the slightest notch beneath medium. Carbonation is understated and perfect. A slight alcohol burn flames through the nostrils and down the throat.

I first tried Saboteur at a recent Odell beer flight, and it was far and away my favorite offering. I immediately bought a bottle. A supremely satisfying sour, and one I'll seek out wherever I can.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml $13. This says it is a brett barrel brown ale and so I got confused into thinking it would be an oud bruin but it is not. Dark brown color of course and looks good enough to me as all beers usually do. It smelled very plain, there was some brettiness but the smell really disappointed me. The flavor made up for the smell, it was good. A bit of pineapple, a little wood, really interesting and tasty without much alcohol going on. Overall I would not buy this beer again unless they improved the smell and dropped the price a couple bucks.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ODell has done it agian. This beer pours a rich dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a thin off white head. The aromas are that of your typical brown ale with some citrus and a slightly sour funk from the yeast. The palate was both sweet and sour. A toasty brown ale with flavors of tart cherries, chocolate, caramel and dark fuits. I will definitely be picking up another one of these.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a dark opaque brown with a large bubbly rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is musty earthy yeast with a tart acidic sourness and lots of brett in the background.

The flavor is sweet sugary chocolate and caramel malts up front with some dark fruits that leads to an acidic brettiness in the finish with notes of bitter leather. As it warms some vanilla comes out. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, this didn't taste as good as the times I've had it on draft. This is maltier and sweeter with the weird leathery notes. The draft version seemed milder (lower alcohol?) with more brett present.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle.

Served cool - about 50 degrees - into my St. Bernardus Watou glass.

Saboteur has a rich dark brown color with red highlights when held up to light. The thin off-white head settles almost immediately. A thin sheet of lace is left behind.

Aroma is evident as soon as the cork is popped and it's simply wonderful. A seemingly simple brown ale base with a light toast is overlain with mild sour funk from the wild yeast and vanilla from the oak barrels.

Flavor is quite special as well. Again, flavor is similar to a toasty brown ale, almost a porter. Then the wild yeast comes through with tart cherries and port wine. There's a little sweetness in the way of caramel and toffee. The oak is nicely judged - good vanilla. Very complex and good depth of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body with ample carbonation (maybe too much) and alcohol that could be a bit on the high side. These factors are probably the main downside of an otherwise a great beer.

Overall very tasty brew. The brett is mild but this would be a great intoduction to wild beers. I think this one will age really well given the alcohol content and that the funk will further develop with the passing months or even years. I'm looking forward to Odell's future offerings - they're definately getting pretty creative. Of course their regular offerings have always been impressive.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a pint at Odell's and was shocked to see a brett beer. Shocked! Sampled a mostly cloudy dark brown color with more of a chestnut brown hue throughout. A soft white head that didn't last through the tasting but did last a while. Decent lacing as well.

The nose is soft on the brett character. The malt comes out with a soft chocolate and malt aroma. Some lighter bready and toffee notes but subtle. The brett is noticeable with some clean horse blanket and funk aromas. Some minor goaty and herbal notes. The brett is very distinct but is very clean and specific. Not much sour which is ok. Some grassy hop notes that surprisingly blend well.

The taste is similar. The brett comes out a bit more versus the nose. A nice goaty and horse blanket taste that again is very distinct from the rest of the beer. Almost like it was added secondary to the beer. Some light funk notes that linger into the finish, but just distinct brett notes. The malt it there with a more malty taste and hints of chocolate and toffee. Very clean with a light lingering hop aroma. The brett comes out more as it warms and leaves a distinct brett flavor that lingers into the finish.

The body is moderate and a lighter carbonation. But this does allow the brett to come out more. Overall a subtle brett beer that blends well as a base beer and a brett beer. Would have liked to see this after some time, too bad you can't fill a growler up.

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Saboteur from Odell Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 293 ratings.
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