The Meddler
Odell Brewing Company

The MeddlerThe Meddler
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Sour - Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #16
Ranked #6,269
4.05 | pDev: 10.62%
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
The MeddlerThe Meddler
Notes: A resurrected style from the Flemish region of Belgium, The Meddler oud bruin is a crafty concoction, comprised of several generations of brown ales, barrel aged and blended. Wild yeasts, Lactobacillus, and Brettanomyces meddle with the brew for over 18 months creating complexity and depth of flavor. Hints of malty sweet chocolate and vanilla toy with a hauntingly sour finish. Intricate yet balanced, The Meddler will leave you craving more of the mysterious brew.
Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 313 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs from California

3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to @hophound for this one.
Not a style I go to much, but I'm always down.
Pours a ruddy crimson tinged brown in color. Tan head, retention is pretty good. Moderate lacing.
Smell begins tart cherry, some leather, slight vinegar notes, and smooth caramel notes.
Taste begins with the cherry, but then some meaty plum and raisin come in, followed by some wood, leather, then a tartness that comes back with cherry and muddled berries, followed by a malty balsamic glaze.
Feel is medium to almost chewy. Somewhat active carbonation.
Overall, for a style I don't get much excitement out of, this has a lot going on. Would definitely revisit.

Aug 05, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Muddy brown color; some ruby near the edges.

Nice khaki head; slight lacing.

Oak & red wine in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Taste follows nose; this is what I wish red wine tasted like. Slightly sour but very drinkable.


May 13, 2019
Photo of BlunderfulGuy
BlunderfulGuy from Nebraska

3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Opened December 5, 2018. No date on the bottle and no real idea how it was stored until I got it, sadly, but I do know it was bottled around 2012.

Root beer colored ribbon, finger and a half of dark toffee brittle head that quickly and ostentatiously fizzled away, no head whatsoever nor any lacing after the first sip. Chocolate brown with caramely copper and ruby highlights, like an old penny. Fairly clear but not crystal.
First whiff was exciting, the second smell was less so. Maltiness, a little tartness, Werther's Chocolate Caramel candies (thumbs down for me), and everything else seemed to say the bottle had been going downhill for a while. Poor fruitiness (prunes, maybe raisin and fig but hard to say) like an extremely old sherry that was improperly stored or had been evaporating for a decade or more, no real leather or tobacco or toasty oak, some wet wood like very old water damaged furniture.
Taste is brighter at first with a nice maltiness, dark toffee bits, hints of fruit (prune) and some pleasant tartness, a drop of balsamic vinegar which I don't mind in these beers, but then it turns and falls halfway through into a muddy mess to say the least. Aftertaste has some tartness and hint of bitterness reminscent of the bitterness or earthiness from some "funky" cheeses, but only as far as that earthy funk. Overbrewed tea with dried fruit bits that sat out for a day. A little stale, nearly-burnt popcorn comes through once it warms up, but a piece from the bottom third of the bucket that was barely touched by butter and didn't see a grain of salt.
Body is a medium-light, low carbonation which is good. However, it's very slightly astringent, and the carbonation with that and the acids makes it feel prickly in a sandpapery way around the middle and when swallowing.

The lack of fruitiness and the amount of mudiness plus the off bitter and funky flavors makes me sad that I never found this when it was fresh. There are still good things going on, but so many facets have clearly gone downhill. Kept chilled, the taste is a notch higher. As soon as it warms, though, those negative facets start showing up. Bummer.

Dec 06, 2018
Photo of BeerDawgs
BeerDawgs from Georgia

4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Dark brown, with 1 finger of head and some minor lacing

S - acidic, earth tones. Excellent aroma.

T - Tart, cherries, and vinegar.

F - Medium body and carbonation.

O - A good sour, but doesn't knock it out of the park.

Mar 25, 2018
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus from Washington

3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml corked/caged beer served in a little cantillon glass. I think it was given to me by @mr-jj. No date that I can see.

Pours a dark (but translucent) brown, maybe with a very slight reddish tint. Head is surprisingly large, fine, and sustained with a lot of pretty carbonation. Smell is funky plums, tart. Nice, but fairly unremarkable.

Taste is much more bitter than I expected. Plum, tart cherry flavor, with a dark bitterness that I'm having trouble placing...makes me think of plum skin. It's tart, but not very.

Mouthfeel is medium, a little filmy. Overall, I think it's pretty decent.

Feb 17, 2018
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a flute glass. Had 3/25/17.

Pours a dark ruby, mostly opaque, with a one and a half inch foamy head and a good amount of foamy lacing. Good retention in the head. Smells of malt, cherries, light raspberries, light cinnamon, oak, a hint of cola, some black pepper in the head. Not much sour or tart in the aroma. The taste generally follows- cherries, malt, light raspberries, oak, a gentle bitterness underneath. Not much sour or tartness in the flavor, either. Mostly smooth, good body for the style, well carbonated on the high side.

Good, well crafted, enjoyable, not as expressive overall as you would like for the style. Worth a try, but a little high on the price point for what you get.

Jan 30, 2018
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$ 15.96 (Including tax)/750 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 0.629/oz) at Spec’s, DeZavala Road, San Antonio, Texas.
Undated bottle, stored at 42 degrees and served at 55 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Opens with a “Pop” and without any overflow.
Appearance – 3.75.
Body – Deep garnet, clear, slight effervescence. Layer of sediment in bottle bottom.
Head – Average (Maximum 2.5 cm, aggressive pour), light tan, fizzy, medium density, average retention, diminishing to a three mm ring and a thin large island that nearly covers the surface.
Lacing – None.
Pour – Medium brown, clear.
Aroma – 3 – Unremarkable. Faint perfume of sour fruit.
Flavor – 4 – Begins sour with some undistinguished fruitiness. Has a distinct woody character but I can’t detect the advertised chocolate or vanilla. Middle and ending flavors follow the initial taste. No yeastiness, no malt, any hops are hidden by the lactic acid, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3 – Unremarkable. Medium, watery, lively carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4 – This looks good, despite the absence of lacing. Aroma is unremarkable and the palate is average or possibly slightly thin. This tastes like any run-of-the-mill Oud Bruin and that’s a good thing. Despite this being produced with “wild yeast” (whatever species there may be in Colorado), it lacks the yeast flavor of Saccharomyces and the odd phenolics produced by many Brettanomyces sp. Despite the subdued (or missing) flavors, this is tart and refreshing.

Jan 25, 2018
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown/ruby body with a red-tinged head and thin webs of lace. A bunch of sediment pours out at the end of the bottle, to my chagrin. The nose offers a stiff sour cherry aroma, some solid caramel/pure barley malt, and an accent of vanilla. Sublime. The taste hits instantly with sharp sour cherry, but is followed by an unpleasant bitter/metallic note that carries through the finish, spoiling the warm malt and vanilla presence that comes in third. The emphasis on the sourness and balance by the intended beery notes is great, but the off flavors are pretty strong and significantly drag this brew down. The body is slightly sticky, smooth, delicately but lively carbonated, with medium-full weight.
Great beer minus the metallic and overly bitter flavors. The barrel aging and authentic sourness was obviously apparent, which lent assertive, distinctive taste with sexy nuance. Fix that up and filter it and we got a great American-made Belgian-style brewhaha going on here.

Aug 15, 2017
Photo of bnes09
bnes09 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown color. Weak head as expected. Earth and acetic acid aroma. Flavor is dynamic. Malty, fruity, oaky, earthy, funky with a mellow acidity. Sweet overall with a raisin and prune quality. Medium body. Well carbonated with slightly dry finish. Very good.

Jun 17, 2017
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fleeing beige froth over deep cherry red. 4
Cherry stone, wood, and red wine vinegar. 4
Cola, brownie crust, cherry skin, earth, cocoa husk, and earthy woody finish. 4.25
Crisp, round, half med. 4

Direct and easy take on the style. More chocolate than expected. Maybe not the depth of a Belgian, but way drinkable. 4.25

May 22, 2017
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Garnett toned brown body with lighter edging and thin cap. Sour cherry with brown sugar and toffee malts crash into oak, lacto, and a bevy of cooca dusted dark fruit in the nose. Taste is much the same, sour lemon, grape, and paper thin brett add some dimension, vanilla hints on the finish as it warms. Feel is crisp, very sour, malty but in a wet sense, and has kisses of acidity and brett, very smooth. Nice new world take on the style

Apr 28, 2017
Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
Pray_For_Mojo from Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: light brown with a vigorous tan head. Bright, ruby-brown when held to light.

Aroma: mouth-watering tart with light funk, but there is a slight offensive smell, like someone farted in your car, rolled up the windows and left it overnight.

Flavor: excellent at first, but quickly thereafter the aroma-funk materializes – burnt rubber or rotting cork. It’s as if the Brett strain turned south or if the beer got infected. The oak flavor is great and complements the sour very well.

Mouthfeel: medium, a bit heavier than I would expect given the style.

Overall: this beer is a great starting point for future sours, but the funk in this particular beer ruins it. I remember this beer as much better. Perhaps the 12 months cellaring compromised this beer. I will try this beer again. I am suspicious it is either infected or the aging ruined it.

Apr 14, 2017
Photo of KatyBeerGuy
KatyBeerGuy from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass. Head disappeared rather quickly. Different than I expected. Tartness came through quickly. Not really into the fruit fatty tasting beers, but this was okay. One glass is enough.

Jan 01, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While a very good beer in itself, this just didn't taste like any oud bruin I've had before (and I've only had Belgian-made ones before; maybe this is a US interpretation of the style?). More bitter, smoky and with pronounced roasty flavors that definitely overpower any tartness or sweetness. It reminded me of a Brown Ale that had a little bit of acidity, A pleasant beer but not if you're craving a traditional oud bruin

Sep 23, 2016
Photo of Benish
Benish from Wisconsin

4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: poured a dark ruby color with no transparency.
Smell: winey characteristics with oak, dark fruits and raspberries
Taste: Flavors are heavy and rich in raspberries - very tart and juicy. It also has this vinous quality throughout. Its sour but its tart characteristics is far more noticeable. The aftertaste has a more cranberry juice flavor to it. Also finishes with notes of oak.
Mouthfeel: its thick and lush but not a lot of carbonation. Seems to be missing here.
Overall: Definitely I enjoyed this. But not sure how someone who has high standards for Oud Bruins would rate this.

Jul 18, 2016
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Nice pop off the cork. No obvious bottle dating that I can detect.

A muddy and dark milk chocolate brown body color, with lots of tan pin head bubbles racing up the sides of the glass in solid streams. Head creation is a bit snapping sounding but manages not to dissolve. A solid light tan two finger head is produced, a bit of fizz sounding dissolve, but always stays a finger populated with a nice finger length top, fine bubbles, and a creamy smooth surface. Very interesting looking Bruin and a neat one.

Aroma is quite nice. Mild sensing tart cherry, a bit of vanilla and milky chocolate sweetness as well, but tartness is definitely up front. Aromas though are more subtle and slightly buried on the nose though. There's quite a nice bit of complexity, but it's a little hard to dig out some of the sensed flavors. Otherwise pretty solid.

Palate is bringing lots of love. Creamy mouthfeel with a lighter touch, but a nice warm tartness that is mellowed out with some mild bubbles that play well on the palate. Mid palate comes with a creamy vanilla and tangy fruit, more sensing towards berries in a way. Further milk chocolate comes with an almost milkshake like quality of taste and sweetness. Aftertaste is a bit jarring but still hand-able. Finishes a bit ashen like with a surprising slight astringent bitterness, but subsequent sips add and counter with more milky chocolate and sweetness that almost gives a fruited tangy chocolate cake quality.

A real nice take on an Oud Bruin, the barrel aging has done some real good compliments to this. I would love to have this again someday.

Jul 08, 2016
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a dark reddish brown with a HUGE off white head.

Smell - The nose is oaky and has a slight cherry skin presence.

Taste - There is a big oak presence. Cherry skin comes with coconut, vanilla, and dry red wine. The oak really sticks to the roof of the mouth. Cherry stands out more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - I really like the manner in which the oak clings to the roof of the mouth.

Overall - A spot-on version of the style that leans dry b

Jun 25, 2016
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark brown with a touch of ruby red around the edges. A one finger beige head forms with good retention and lace.
S: Tart, lactic dark cherries up front that are great. A bit of vinegar, and sweet malts. Simple, but everything is in perfect balance and so enjoyable.
T: Again the tart dark cherries are up front that are great. Then the vinegar character known for the style. Though not overbearing in any way. The malts come next. Sweet caramel, and lightly toasted malts. Again, simple, but really enjoyable and well defined.
M/O: A medium body with good, crisp carbonation. Smooth at the same time. This is really easy to drink, and an all around well done example of the style.

Everything is simple, to the point, well defined, and in balance here. Which is not always the case with this style. Often, it is to muddled, and overbearing (usually with the vinegar character). This hits all the marks and is really well made. Well done.

May 01, 2016
Photo of jzlyo
jzlyo from Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is cherries, fruit, malts and a good hint of sweetness. The flavor is cherries, raisins/slight tobacco, malts, dark fruit and a mix of mild sweetness, alcohol and tart in the finish.

May 01, 2016
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into a Westy chalice a very nice grapey/brownish color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some nice islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some nice cherries, grapes, figs, nice little tartness. The taste is very nice, malty, yeasty, with some nice tartness, cherries, grapes, figs. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, with a nice little dry finish. Overall, this is a pretty tasty brew, true to style. Recommended!

Apr 17, 2016
Photo of donspublic
donspublic from Texas

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into sniffer, no head, light ring around the side. Can't really tell the color suffice it to say it is dark. No light coming thru. Getting a little cherry coming thru on the nose. Tasty beer. Getting a little tartness, some cherry, oak, vanilla coming thru. Not as much as some have mentioned. Sharp and refreshing mouthfeel, no trace of alcohol.

Apr 13, 2016
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish ruby with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A sour and fruity aroma with a scent of fruits and lacto yeast. Brett and lacto yeast give a sour and acidic scent. Lots of fruit with hints of sour cherries, berries, apple, pear, and peach. Sweet scent of vanilla and brown sugar along with some oak. Dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, and prune. Toasted malt with hints of biscuit and cracker. A really good complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and sour Bruin taste with notes of fruits and funky yeast. Upfront funky, sour, and tart flavors from lacto and brett yeast. Mix of fruit notes with some sour and tart cherries, berries, pear, apple, and peach. Also some dark fruit undertones of fig, raisin, and prune. Sweet taste of brown sugar and vanilla along with oak. Toasted malt with notes of biscuit, toast, and cracker. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Tart, creamy, and pretty smooth.

Overall: A very good take on the Bruin style. Nice mix of yeast and fruit flavors.

Mar 28, 2016
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL into a Belgian tulip.

A- Body is dark as an imperial stout almost, but there's not much in the way of head. No lace either. Little islets of film. 4.25

S- Brown sugar and tartness and acidity approaching vinegar. Vinous and almost port-like. 4

T- Loving this taste. Brown sugar lovely. Chocolate and cherry, vanilla, notes that suggest bourbon, port or some heavier spirit. Really loving the flavors.

M- The Achilles heel to this beer is the mouthfeel. Borders on watery at times when the flavors call for something thicker, stickier, richer. The tartness is nice but could also be upped a tad, but there's a nice balance of tart and sweet. 3.75

This beer is great but it could still be better. More mouthfeel. That's all I ask for.

Mar 18, 2016
Photo of imnodoctorbut
imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

served chilled from corked/caged bomber to tulip. fair warning: this bottle is a pain in the ass to open. I've opened plenty of corked and caged bottles but this thing was rough. if you aren't careful you'll have a mess on your hands.

A: cloudy (no floaters or anything) brown with a slight nod in the orange direction. thick head immediately after being poured, but dissipates quickly with low retention. impressive lacing. it's beautiful in it's own weird way.
S: first off, whoa. secondly, coming back into focus after initial shock, there's a basalmic vinegar hit right off the bat, followed closely by a sweet maltiness, and plenty of tart fruit (sour cherry/green apple) backed by oak.
T: again, whoa. this is violent, and great. plenty going on here. one could mistake the complexity for chaos, but I find it wonderful. the oak is well pronounced, with the malted sweetness engaging in a funky dance with the sweet and sour of the fruit (still cherry and maybe apple. apple cider vinegar? sounds weird but seriously, it's delicious)
F: medium body with decent carbonation.

I find myself puckering my lips, but I'm not sure if it's from the sourness or the desire to kiss the dang bottle. it's weird. it's not as sour as it's other styled sisters tend to be, with the sweetness coaxing the sour down off it's potential soapbox. it's by no means a session beer in my opinion, but truly one of the most fascinating brews I've had in a while. it brings the funk. bring dancing shoes.

Mar 10, 2016
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl. L: Pours hazy brown with a thin tan cap.
S: Sour and malty nose.
T: Starts full and soft and malty with a surprising cherry finish, some dark malts, a little horse blanket to barnyard, a touch sweet.
F: Medium body and ver soft, creamy carbonation.
O: A very nice Flanders Oud Bruin.

Jul 14, 2015
The Meddler from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 313 ratings