R&D Champ Du Blanc
New Glarus Brewing Company

R&D Champ Du BlancR&D Champ Du Blanc
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Wild Ale
4.3 | pDev: 7.67%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
R&D Champ Du BlancR&D Champ Du Blanc
Notes: Our Champ du Blanc is a blend of aged sour blonde ale and Chardonnay grapes. Spontaneously fermented in our Wildfruit Cave through the cool winters of 2015 and 2016.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 96 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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JarlowMarlow from Florida

4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Opened 1/21, stores in Florida cellar since release.

Highly carbed with bright white head. Comparisons to vig hold up. Vinous on the nose and crisp dry white finish. Much cleaner with a lighter tartness compared to earlier tastings. Would love a couple more.

Jan 18, 2021
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought October 2017.

A - Crisp clean gold color, clear and with a quickly fading white head. Carbonation is aggressive and cola-like, producing a very rapid fade to a headless beer with no lacing.

S - Strong hit of fruited acidity, wild notes of farmyard and lactic, limestone and lemons. Deep nose, for certain, with lots of texture.

T - Follows the nose, with acidity out front, a bit of farm and grass, and a fruity wine aspect, hinting wood and grapes. The finish is tart, juicy. Delicious.

M - Very forward carbonation keeps a prickly feel, and the acidity lingers after the swallow. Not a quick drinker, but the ABV is hidden well and does not suggest warmth or lingering weight.

O - Holy smokes, this one is surprising. The combination of flavors and the huge ABV suggests wine, but the sour flavors are those of a traditional beer, and the result is both satisfying and challenging simultaneously. So glad I got a chance to try this.

Jan 01, 2019
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handmuffin from Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

500 mL bottled May 2016 served in a tulip glass at home.

Look: Pours pale gold in color. Medium high clarity. Large bright white head that quickly diminishes to a lasting ring of bubbles along the glass. Streams of small bubbles continue to rise energetically. No visible floating particulates. A small amount of white sediment left in the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Opening the bottle releases a strong aroma of sour white grapes and green apple. The aroma after pouring is more white grapes, bright acidic sour and wild funk. Very minimal malt detectable. No hops detectable. No alcohol detectable. Definitely smells like a blend of white wine and a wild ale.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma: a blend of white wine and wild ale character. The taste starts somewhat mild: a little fruity, barnyard, musty. The middle is more sour with a stronger grape flavor. The finish is the most wine-like, with a little sour lemon and green apple and slightly sweet. There is very little detectable oak flavor that would be expected from a Chardonnay, possibly due to minimal contact with wood during the aging process. Low bitterness. No alcohol flavor detectable.

Feel: Medium body, slightly fuller than would be expected from the flavor. Medium high carbonation. Semi dry finish.

Overall: Champ du blanc is a great blend of a wild ale and white wine. The aroma and flavor are a constantly shifting from bright grapes to funky yeast, with the sour character acting as a bridge between them. There is no aroma or flavor that indicates the 10% alcohol percentage; the only clue being the unexpectedly full body. Overall this is an exceptional beer that surpasses expectations of what beer can be and would be a great way to introduce a oenophile to sour beer.

Aug 30, 2018
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bobv from Vermont

4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moderate pour yields a 1/2 inch white head over a bright, light golden body with no lacing as head is gone in seconds. Nice nose of funk, oak, and chardonnay grapes. Taste mirrors nose wonderfully with a very nice dry finish. Loving the oak on this! Nice feel and overall, what a nice wild ale from these guys. Cheers to New Glarus!

Jun 12, 2018
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Lucular from Maryland

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear sparkling pale straw yellow with a minimal fizzy head. Aroma and taste are dry white wine, funk, chalky minerals, oak, leather, lemon peel, tart apple, and light biscuit. Alcohol is present but doesn't feel like 10% abv. Very champagne-like.

Jun 04, 2018
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Frudel from Canada (QC)

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bright yellow color, very fizzy when pouring, no retention, no lacing.
The nose is very great, overly funk, mineral, oak, that's is right on the target!
Taste follows up what we were smelling, white wine alike, with a citrus tartness, mineral notes. Champagn-esque?
Sparkling in mouth, that is an excellent barrel aged sour for sure! Pretty amazed!

Apr 02, 2018
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another exceedingly sparkling brew out of the R&D series, this one has a light amber body with another loud, fizzy champagne-like head that instantaneously and cleanly disappears like magic.

Smell is clean oak with white wine undertones, green grape, a hint of pils-esque corn, and sharp subdued funk.

Taste is quite sharply yet cleanly sour, with a very crisp effervescent carbonation that again is much like champagne, while simultaneously having a sharp, lactic and woody funk, and also reaching into acetic territory, with flavors of green grape, white wine, and even mixed berry. It stings the tongue a little and burns a bit on the way down.

Nov 09, 2017
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Khalil. Thanks man.

Pale yellow, nearly clear, body with nary a head. Aromas of mineral funk, lemon zest, oak, fruity alcohol. Pleasant, drinkable, tasty.

Oct 06, 2017
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kevanb from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, poured into a 14oz snifter glass. Enjoyed on 6.3.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a bright golden color, clear with lots of bubbles and a fizzy white head, no retentio and no lace. The aroma is nice, strong white grape with nice funk, very bright with strong mineral water, soft oak and a growing acidity, quite citrusy with some vinous acidity as well. The flavors are nice, lots of chardonnay-esque white grape, almost even champagne like with a strong mineral water character, nice funk, refreshing tartness and nice oaky and wine like acidity with a hint of lemon peel. The mouthfeel is nice, lively, crisp with plenty of carbonation and a medium light body with a dry and tart finish.

Verdict: A good wild ale from New Glarus and a good expression of white grapes and white wine qualities. Balanced, bright, refreshing, a very tasty beer and an excellent showcase of the blending prowess New Glarus has.

Sep 09, 2017
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WesMantooth from Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled May of 2016

It is a cloudy/unfiltered bright yellow gold with a bright white head that quickly receded to a fine ring.

It smells phenomenal! Ripe fruity pear/green apple and green grapes, straw, wood, a little must and funky yeast, and crisp light grains.

A lot of green/white grape and pear. Semi sweet and just a little bit of funky tartness. Some pilsner like grain and lingering musty oak.

A lot of white wine character, but it never dominates. This is very smooth and very balanced, and one of the best Wild Ales I have tried.

Jul 08, 2017
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ML bottle from last year’s Great Taste weekend in August; the R&D release has been a lovely bonus the past couple of years.

Poured very gently to leave the gelatinous yeast lurking belly to the bottom of the glass, & thus minimal, quickly vanishing head. Looks like white grape juice infused with 24 karat gold. Smells incredible. Sweet white grapes mashed up with sugary lemons & oak.

Champ du Blanc is flat…& effervescent. Bubbling in the mouth like champagne or pop rocks at first sip, it gives off a light, airy impression. The sourness is light, lemony, dry, with a strong note of oak, hard well water with trace minerals, grape must, &…grapes. More tart than sour, & that means I can drink more than 1 ½ ounces at a time.

This wouldn’t make the NG Greatest Hits album, but that's only because of all the amazing stuff they've put out over the years. Excellent beer.

Jan 14, 2017
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Dactrius from Wisconsin

4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours with no head. There are initially a few bubbles which quickly disappear. Appearance is otherwise a beautiful clear golden color. Smell is white grape with just a bit of sour. Taste is refreshing grape with a nice amount of sweetness but still manages to be dry. Sourness is there but on the weaker end. I had no idea this was 10%, it doesn't show at all. This is really refreshing and excellent but I wish it was more carbed (looking at other reviews maybe I had an off bottle?).

Nov 20, 2016
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thatoneguymike from Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful pale golden color with an ever so slight nose to it. Just a hint of funky cheese on it, but I don't get a whole lot more on it. The taste gives a slight pucker, as it never trounces into the sour realm, but rather delivers with notes of lemon and grapes, backed with a bitterness and a crisp dryness on the backend. The alcohol is very well hidden. The beer is so damn bubbly, but it adds to a beer like this rather than pissing me off when a beer of another style is overcarbed.

All in all, I dig it. Not a life changer, but it's pretty damn tasty and just different than a lot of the stuff that's out there. Well done, NG!

Oct 22, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to rudzud

Light fizzy head disappears quickly, slight hazy pear yellow color.

Nose awesome funk almost gueuze like, white wine vinous, fruity funk, little malt gristy, pretty fruity and funky, sour acidic.

Taste brings more great funk, sour acidic funk, nice lambic sour funk thing, fair acidity, little white wine vinous, musty grape, nice oak, toasted buttery oak like a nice chardonnay oak. Finish little flemmy, mild acidity, more lambic like funk, buttery oak lingering.

Mouth is light to med bod, nice carb, little acidic and flemmy

Overall pretty nice, good funk, white wine vinous grape is nice but wish there was a little more.

Oct 21, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

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

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice slightly hazy golden straw hue with a thin head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of tart lemons, cheesy funk, light grapes. Rather gueuze like. Very very aromatic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice light buttery oak, good soft white grapes, the wine notes are solid. The funk is really potent, nice and cheesy. Lemons are good, rather pleasant.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, bright, clean.

O - Overall this was a very solid R&D offering from New Glarus. I wish there was a bit more grape notes. The funk levels were very nice though.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 21, 2016
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw yellow color. Very little white head.

A fairly big sour. Much more body than most. A lot of white grape flavors. Some sour and tartness. Oaky. A bit of funk.

I enjoyed this, but was hoping it would be a bit more like Vig.

Oct 16, 2016
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden tone with a light haze, ample foam that settles to a thin skim with spotty lace.

Aromas of white wine and brie cheese rind, with a similar taste. Vinous and tart, but also reserved and balanced. Crisp and light bodied with a somewhat supple feel. Finishes dry with a mild oak presence. Easily drinkable.

While not the most complex or funky, it's well crafted and fruit forward with a light tartness. Overall worth a try.

2018: Developed well, pleasantly oaky and lingering Chardonnay grape, super dry.

Oct 09, 2016
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Austin32 from Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very impressed with this. The wine barrel aging is the star of the show here with just enough funk. Agree with other reviewers that this will get very interesting ( better ) with some cellaring.

Aug 24, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle. Opened at the brewery at the release. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a slightly hazy lemon yellow body, one finger white head, plenty of effervescence, bits of lacing, fair amount of retention. Smells of dry white grape must, a lot like a chardonnay versus say pinot grigio; a lot like fresh Vigneronne. Not so much on the funk, more of a light oak presence, minerals, light acidity on the nose. A very grape-forward aroma. Flavour is similarly white grape-forward, again like Vigneronne but none of the signature Cantillon funk. This has a light lactic acidity, minimal funk, light oak. No tannins. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit heavy and custardy for a wild ale. But no indication of the 10% ABV. None at all. Grapes follow through on the finish; as it is a grape-forward beer. Overall, this is potentially the grape version of Wild Peach- all big fruit out of the gate, some acidity but if it follows Wild Peach, it should sour and dry up some more, even funk up a little bit in a year's time. Don't sleep on this one. Obtain right away if you enjoy white wine grape sours.

Aug 15, 2016
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle sealed with NG pressure cap.
poured into unbranded tulip glass.

Appearance: Translucent golden yellow body with thick cap of white head that quickly dissapates to no head and white ring around the glass.

Smell: White grapes and oak. Light on the funk, but I am sure that will change in less than six months.

Taste: Mild to moderate sourness; definitely a 4 out of 10. Buttery and rich white grapes, but very similar to a fruity chardonnay wine in the flavor profile. Dry earthy oak. Fruit forward and light on the funk...for now that is.

Mouthfeel: Dare I say that this is light bodied? Well it is... It boggles my mind that this beer is listed at 10%. It is seriously not conceivable that this is 10% abv. It drinks like a really light 5% sour. This has to be a label mistake or something...I dont know! Low carbonation. Light crisp, and dry sour ale.

Overall: This reminded me a lot of Cantillion Vigeronne if it had no funk to it and it still has Dan Carey's own spin on it. I think this will get funkier, just like Wild Peach and Wild Barrel have done. This R&D release really impresses me and it shows that Dan's has mad blending skills and a keen eye for fruited Wisconsin spontaneously fermented beers. I would say that this is my 2nd favorite R&D beer that Dan has blended; Very Sour Blackberry is of course the best.

Aug 13, 2016
R&D Champ Du Blanc from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 96 ratings