Intermezzo | Carton Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
May is a time for palate cleansing. Stepping past the heavier flavors appealing in the dead of winter, we arrive at the sprightlier flavors of spring and summer. In our attempt to rejuvenate, we interpreted Chef Paul Liebrandt's mid-course of green apple wasabi sorbet as a sour ale. Pureed green apples from France are added to the fermentation in order to define the familiar acidity of a lactic sour, then the beer is "dry-hopped" on fresh wasabi roots. In Intermezzo, sweet and piquant whiffs of real wasabi cleanse the bright tartness of green apple while the nutty finish of the kernel of pale malt is left to eradicate winter's weight. Drink Intermezzo because it is time to refresh.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 67
Photo of ShanePB
2.84/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served on-tap. Slightly hazy golden body, no head therefore no lacing or retention. Aromas of wasabi paste, apple and tart grains. Flavor is an immediate hit of wasabi followed by a subtle apple flavor. Finish has a quick tart note and finishes dry. As this warmed the wasabi flavor came out even more. I'm a wasabi fan but this was just downright weird. The 10 oz glass I had was more than enough. Miss.

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Photo of NiceTaps
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap in a beer glass.

It looked good, resembling their Boat beer.
It smelled good, funky sour wild ale.
The wasabi flavor was barely tolerable. I entertained the idea of a minimum rating for flavor. Carton has earned the benefit of my doubt nor do I want to kill a brew.
The wasabi also had an adverse effect on the feel. It was not good.
Carton's production facility is small. To think, Boat could've been cooking instead of this. I don't know...

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Photo of Hop_God
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very strange. Crisp and good flavor, however the sulfuric rotten egg smell was awful. But the apple and tart flavor was quite nice and refreshing.

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Photo of Fezzik1970
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I love it compared to the first one but I don't love it. It's super creative, fun and interesting. I liked it but I'm going to reach for other beers first. I'm glad they did it again because it was always the big Carton mess up in my head, and this new one is much much better, so props for improvement. Who knows maybe the next one will be as great as Carton's other stuff.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Much like the Southern Tier Creme Brulee, this is one of those beers that you'll either love or hate. Not something like anything else I've ever had from them but I'm glad that it was available at the Cloverleaf since it was a Wild Ale amongst IPA's and lighter seasonal offerings and with the alcohol being fairly recessed, this was a slow sipper that was tough to get a handle on!

The pour to this was nice - cloudy, gold, and with a grassy smell. Not a strong apple aroma but it was there along with pear and an overwhelming sourness. The yeast was reminiscent of a Wile Ale as this was funky but relatively easy to quaff. Only when this warmed up and the aftertaste settled in did the wasabi kick in. No need for a glass of water as a chaser as the funk made for a nice transition between the gentleness of the front and the slightly harsher tone in the back. Smooth, and nicely carbonated, this wasn't hard to down but it took a while for the full flavor profile of this beer to emerge.

This could be a session beer but I would find it hard to down more than one in a sitting. A few other reviews said that his was palate cleanser and that's probably the best way to describe this. It was as light as it could be for a Wild Ale while bordering on the edge of a Sour and Fruit/Vegetable beer. Enjoy it by itself and be amazed that there's nothing out there quite like this. Props to Carton for pushing the envelope with the one, even if the result wasn't terribly popular.

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Photo of pinyin
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served 39F in a 16 ounce pint glass.

Unique tasting ale. Although this is a wild ale, there isn't much sour going on here. Has a very vegetal aley flavor, but its kind of dull in comparison to Cartons IPA styled offerings.

Color is very unique just like all Carton offerings. A plazma like translucent yellow.

Nose is kind of floral.

Overall kind of underwhelming for Carton. The flavor profile is boring and bland. By the looks and description I was expecting something like PizzaBoy Eternal Sunshine, but instead it was a floral tasting ale without much malt or yeast character.

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Photo of Act25
4.01/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

'15 Intermezzo is massive sour.
A: Hazed, lacey bright white suds, stick round long enough.
S: Amazing. Blue and Chimay cheese, apples, funk, feet, sour fruit pits. earthy hay. The most cheese and cellar nose I've ever encountered, and in a good sweetened way.
T: Follows smell and more. Not as funky. Tastes sour green apples, sour fruits,fruity malts, funk, earthy hay, floral shop, barnyard floor. Lovely arc. Wine like. complex. My favorite sour thus far.

F: Light body, moderate carbonation. Crisp and it is easy to drink. Surprised how much I wanted another. I did enjoy another one!

O: Worth checking out if you like sour beers. Rare. I'd buy this often.

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Photo of IDrinkGoodBeer
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

People either love or hate this one. We have some on my friends keg fridge right now and I must say it gets a little more funk behind it after being around for a few months. Sour heads can appreciate it but other's might have some trouble getting past the noise of sour apple and wasabi. It is tart but another refreshing beer and I hope to see it around again next year.

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Photo of yankeepride
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From notes a couple weeks ago.
This one was the most challenging review I've done. I had heard wildly mixed reviews, but I try to have a totally open mind, since I don't know what other people set as their standards. I put the tulip to my nose, and the light, mildly hazy liquid assaulted me. The smell was so bad, I actually had to nose it 3-4 times, in a "can this really be happening?" kind of way. I finally let the shock wear off, and took a swig. It had a mildly sour taste, with of course a bit of funk, with a follow of something interesting. Faint, distant, yet decidedly there. It was then I recalled that wasabi was used, and the "ah-hah!" moment kicked in. For the rest of the glass, I literally had to exhale while drinking it to avoid the smell, as it was ruining the complex, layered taste. Give me this again without the stench, and I'd rate it higher, but for me, the nose was so awful it just had to factor in to my overall rating.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 05/30/13 notes. Had a 14 oz. pour in a pint glass at Stag's Head in NYC.

a - Pours a murky, pale yellow color with two inches of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of blue cheese, tart apples, funk, oak, feet, sour fruits, citrus, and some earthy barnyard notes. Nose is super cheesy and funky; while I normally like funk, it is just too much like blue cheese up front for me. Past that some decent sour apple and fruit.

t - Taste is much better to me. Tastes of sour green apples, sour fruits, citrus, fruity malts, funk, earthy notes, floral notes, barnyard. Much more sour apples in the taste and while there is light funk, it is not like the cheese smell.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty crisp and it is easy to drink.

o - Overall a very interesting, funky beer. The nose is crazy; tons of blue cheese and funk up front, but the taste is very good, with lots of sour green apples. Worth checking out if you like sour beers but beware, the nose isn't for everyone.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap, served in an Allagash style tulip

A pale hazy yellow color with a paper white cap that rose two fingers and stood firm. Clingy lace all the way down the glass.

The nose is of wet socks, cardboard, cheese, leather, green apple, and just the slightest bit of wasabi once roused.

Green apple takes control on the palate. Light crackery malt bill with green apple front to back. Funk is a little more subdued by the apple. Wasabi pokes through briefly in the finish. Less is more in this case.

Light bodied, creamy, and smooth.

This is definitely a palate cleanser, as the name implies. A good dose of funk with loads of green apples and just the lightest hint of wasabi. This is an interesting beer.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler fill at buy-rite in plainfield nj (route 22 west)

poured a murky yellow, light in color with a nice gradient.. finger of white head. the smell is very cheese-like, apple peels, feet, acidic. honestly very off putting.
the flavor is a delicious tart green apple cheek puckering sourness, milky/cheese overall feel, not getting much of the wasabi.. but this is a very refreshing funky tart sour ale. really diggin' it.

light in body with high carbonation, refreshing and very tart.

if you can get over the smell (which you will after a few sips of the beer), you will really enjoy this one. at first i was very skeptical, but ended up really enjoying this and am glad i decided to get a growler.

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Intermezzo from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 67 ratings