LeBleu | Ithaca Beer Company

208 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by almychristopher on 01-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 452
Photo of Arbitrator
2.18/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Generously shared at the Pliny the Younger release by nickd717. Thanks Nick.

04/13/10 -- I had it again recently (courtesy of bring) and I'm still not convinced this is near the top end of the AWA style. It's not fair to compare it to Blabaer exactly, but this isn't in the same league as Consecration, Supplication, Red Poppy, or even Brute!

A: Pours a pink-tinted light amber body. The head is light beige with, again, a pink tint. It retains poorly, falling into a thin layer of scattered bubbles. No lacing.

S: Blueberries, light citrus, barnyard, and light lactic sourness. Some white wine and oak. A fairly weak aroma overall; it's neither pungent nor complex nor well-defined. Just satisfactory.

T: Pretty lacking in blueberry. I attended a nice sour tasting in early January that introduced me to many of the big names in the sour world, including Blabaer. LeBleu, I poured Blabaer, I smelled Blabaer, Blabaer was drank by me. LeBleu... you're no Blabaer. Light fruitiness, a definite lactic presence, and a definite brett presence: but the beer is undeveloped in all of those areas. I get a hint of chardonnay (?) and oak that seem like the beer just needed more time in some barrels to let the flavors develop. Light blueberry in the aftertaste. Weak flavor.

M: Surprisingly overcarbonated. VERY fizzy, distractingly so (cutting into the flavor a lot). It's light-bodied, obviously. A tad on the dry side.

D: I could easily drink a lot of this (after swirling out all the bubbles), but I wouldn't say it's a good sour in the spectrum of all that I've tried: it doesn't compare to anything from Russian River, Lost Abbey, or Jolly Pumpkin. Heck, it's nowhere near as good as Brute! I doubt I'll seek this out on my own, seeing how hard it is to trade for. I'm thankful I got to try it. But it's just not very good.

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Photo of bbb099
3.08/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Much thanks to scottfrie as he felt generous enough to share this one with me.

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Hazy pinkish, caramel color. Reminds me of guava juice. White colored head that thinned out within seconds, leaving almost no head. Looks very unique.

S - Funky, tart, sour smell. I did not smell much berries in mine.

T - Puckering sourness that cover up a lot of the berry flavor. Cheesy and sweaty finish. To me, it was a little too tart as it goes down, but then again this is only about my fourth wild ale, so it's possible that I'm just not used to it.

M - Pretty low carbonation. Full bodied.

D - Not quite my favorite sour beer. Drinkability was not great mostly because I felt more relieved as the stinky aftertaste goes away.

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Photo of nickd717
3.35/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to soulforpeanuts on BA. Basically as an extra because Rick is an awesome trader. Shared this at Russian River at the PtY release.

Pours a fairly light and hazy pinkish-golden-orange color with a fairly fizzy white head.

Aroma is bretty barnyard funk, blueberries, white wine, and a little bit of malty sweetness. As for the flavor, well, someone mentioned SweetTart candies, and I definitely got some of that. Blueberries are definitely noticeable, as well as bretty funk and yeastiness, and sweet bready pale malt.

Medium-light body with very high carbonation, maybe even a little too high.

Drinkability is solid. Overall, this beer is pretty good, but didn't really wow me as a great example of the style.

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Photo of ottovon
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

shared by ejyoung.

A: a light coppery-pink, with a big off white, pink head. lots of bubbles.

S: a lot of funk. Barnyard and earth. there is funky cheese, with subtle hints of blueberry and straw.

T: funk. lots of brett. it is earthy and barnyardy. the blueberry is there if you look for it. there is also some tartness in there, and some bleu cheese flavors.

M: light and carbonated.

O: pretty funky. i am not sure if i would go for this again. it isnt a bad beer, but not a beer i would go for again.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thank you, [insert yourself here], for sharing this at Jay's birthday get-together. E!032

Appearance -- Pours a golden peach hue with mild haze and a wispy white head. Nice color.

Smell -- Bright acetic character, very funky, but not much fruit character. A bit of a letdown. Still, nice.

Taste -- Again, very bright and acetic with tart lemon, but much less funky character. Not much berry presence, but skin tannin-like flavor.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with spritzy carbonation.

Overall -- At this point I've had every batch of LeBeu by luck and have yet to be impressed. The blueberry presence is nearly non-existent, but even so it's not even as good as Brute, so it can't rest on those laurels. Just...not terribly interesting.

Not bad, but given what it takes to acquire, I would never seek it out.

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Photo of brystmar
3.44/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Opening batch 1 (E!021) this weekend means I’ve now tried all 3 vintages (E!021, 32, 41).

Massively over-carbonated, despite a minimal pop from the cork. Dry, zesty lemon aroma; yeast is more citric than funky. Fruit has mostly dropped off, and, similar to my experience with other batches, I’d never guess there were blueberries in this brew.

Not bad, I suppose, but there are many superior fruit sours out there which are far easier to obtain. Batches 2 & 3 are *much* better.

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Photo of vacax
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a strenuous battle to extract an annoying PVC cork, LeBleu poured pink or rose in color, quite fizzy with an initial giant head that died down quickly, but ended up a pretty decent thick foam cap with some appropriate lacing. Not too many blueberries in this either considering it ended up pink. Aroma is floral, with a lactic almost wheaty graininess that reminds me of a Berliner Weisse. Flavor is flowery, light amounts of grain, quite lactic, some acetic acid, no real berries in it. Underwhelming flavor. Feel is a bit light and overly fizzy. A fair example of a fruited wild ale, nothing I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to shrek806 for this one! 750mL capped and plastic blue wine corked champagne bottle. Batch #E!032.

Pours an orange-pink hue with some faint bone-white suds.

Nose smells super tart with brett! Barnyard-y and wet leather, lemon juice, grapefruit zest, cherry juice, and and and something...

Palate is super tart and fun-kay. Preserved lemon on the front, followed by juicy thin blueberry flavors and then wrenched in all sorts of different directions by brett-infected wood. Going to let this breathe a little and warm up a touch before continuing this review...

...palate has smoothed out a bit and more blueberry flavors have come out. Carbonation level is wonderful and keeps the mouthfeel interesting. But there's something seriously odd on the finish that doesn't sit well with me - something from the yeast or maybe the wine barrel. Finish is strange.

Notes: A solid AWA, with great appearance and mouthfeel. Flavors are a little off in my book and prevent this from being epic.

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Photo of largadeer
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks, Barry.

Hazy purple-pink, nearly opaque. Champagne-like carbonation feeds a large and lasting white head. Mild barnyard and mineral aroma, a hint of tart berry, faintly lactic, decent but mild. There's no distinct blueberry character. Tart on the tongue with a bit of lactic acidity and light blueberry flavor. A bit vinous, lightly drying, not terribly sour or flavorful. Flavor drops off quickly in the finish. Highly effervescent with a spritzy, somewhat thin body. One dimensional but not bad.

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Photo of tprokop7
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 32 (Jan 1, 2011 release).

Popped the cap to find beer leaking past the blue synthetic wine cork, which pulled out easily, and it started to foam up (likely because it'd only been chilled for an hour).

Beer was deep purpley-pink, very cloudy. Slight off-white head, but not too much.

Aroma is tart and has a generally fruitiness, but discerning blueberries specifically is tough. Flavor is very tart at first, but fades quickly. Very underwhelming. Not as much fruit flavor as I expected. Slight sweetness.

Hoping this one gets better with time, the 2010 was nicer but I didn't get to try it this fresh. Three of us barely finished the 750.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to pecorasc for opening this one up. Split the 750 mL bottle four ways.

A- Poured a grapefruit color with pink hues throughout. Produced three fingers of white, foamy, carbonated head. Dissipated pretty quickly, leaving a thin white film on top of the beer.

S- Mild scent of blueberry skins and barnyard funk. Mild lactic presence. Nothing over the top or distinct. The aroma was very similar to some berliner weisses I have had before, but with a fruity note.

T- Much like the aroma. Pleasant notes of blueberries upfront with some fruit skins. Very mild on the acidity. Some brett and barnyard funk in there as well. Noticed some oak in the back end too. Very one dimensional.

M- Way too carbonated. Borderline champagne rather than a beer. Flavors were masked as a result.

D- The flavors weren't that bad, just too simple and too bubbly for my taste.

Overall, pretty disappointed in this one, especially since I loved Brute so much. The carbonation really muted the depth and complexity of this beer. It's an okay beer, if you like celebrating with a beer rather than champagne.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to WorldWideStout for getting me a few bottles. This was a ridiculously tough cork to remove, and I even got sprayed in the face once I finally got it out. But, I won't hold that against the beer. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: More of a lighter amber or copper color than pink or red, but it did have some pinkish hues to it. White/pink head comprised of bug bubbles rises quick and falls to leave a small layer on top. Decent lacing.

Smell: Berries, Citrus, funk, sourness. Not an overwhelming amount of blueberry in it but it was there. Some sweetness, both sugary as well as from a mild chardonnay flavor. Was hoping there'd be a little more blueberry in this. I loved Abita Purple haze (i know i know, different style and different berry) but I still was hoping this would have a strong fruit profile like that one did. The funky sourness made up for it though I guess.

Taste: Chardonnay and other sweeteners are present. Again, not a big blueberry flavor but there is a fruitiness that you pick up at the end. Bit of an awkward aftertaste, but not bad. The big issue is I find this to be vastly over-carbonated, even for the style. I love sours, and have had some pretty heavily carbonated beers (and other beverages in general) but this one seems to dominate too much. From the time the beer hits my tongue, even through the middle, the carbonation just kicks away any other flavors and its even enough to cause some stomach discomfort after a while. It's only towards the end and into the swallow that the flavors come out. I don't know, it was unusual I thought, not what I was used to and not what I expected.

Mouthfeel: Again, over carbonated. But otherwise, very light in body and a very refreshing beer. Berry flavors linger a bit which is enticing.

Drinkability: Pretty good. I could finish the whole bottle no problem. It's pretty low in ABV which makes it an inviting session beer.

Perhaps this beer needed more time to settle down, or needs some age on it? But it was very very carbonated to the point where it took away some of the joy of drinking it. As it was, I can honestly say I prefer many other sours and wilds more than this. I'll grade it for what it was, and perhaps revisit another bottle in a month or two and see if I didn't just have a bad bottle or something. All that said, still a good beer worth trying.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Fantome tulip on 5/29/12

Batch E0!21

Split with spider889 and MbpBugeye

A) Medium hued burnt and browned orange. What an effervescent critter - it filled up about 80% of the glass. As Seth put it, it looked like cotton candy melting in water. It is a furious dissipation and leaves speckled lace. The second pour holds about 1/3rd inch of retention (and hold it does for a long time). Light pink foam.

S) The aroma is on the floral side in the sense it has a soft blueberry note. Earthy blueberry skin and semi-sweet blueberry flesh tones. The barrel is modest too with mild, musty oak. Faint husk notions. It smells clean at first but turns funky as it warms.

T) Tart ghosts haunt the palate with a semblance of Sour Patch candy, just not quite as sweet. Upfront, it is sour enough. The midsection and finish turn toward raw brett funk; musty, dank and dirty. The oak imparts a dry, vapidly wooden finish. More brett and barrel than berry at this point. There is faint blueberry when cold but it falls away entirely once warm.

M) The feel is tilted toward the lighter side. Carbonation is vigorous and fizzy, accenting the sour flavors. Damp oak residuals.

D) LeBleu is a decent-drinking, brett-heavy tart and sour sipper. Pretty much any blueberry has fallen off by now. I like it pretty well as is, but I should have drank a bottle fresh.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.56/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to steelersxl for this. I chilled this beer for well over a week and it still gushed when I opened it. Pink in color with a very healthy white head foaming all over my glass. Smells quite sour at first and then super yeasty. I honestly was not too impressed by the aroma. The flavor was nice and sour with hints of blueberry but they were very subtle. This was easy to drink but it was not nearly as good as Brute.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this one at a recent beer tasting between a couple BA’s. Thanks Brad for busting it out! Pours a beautiful tinted rose/blue color that is exceptionally clear of any sediment. The head is a big fluffy pillow of white foam with a blue-purple tinge to it. The smell is sour sweetnes that reminds me of berries. Tart and sour at the same time. The initial taste is a little overwhelmed by the high carbonation stemming from the champagne yeast but as that subsides you get flavors of sourness/tart, along with the blueberries. Slight taste of barrel. Mouthfeel as I said is extremely light stemming from the champagne yeast but really goes well with this beer. An extremely drinkable beer! Light and airy with a nice sour/tart flavor. I wish I had another bottle!

Re-rate: Bottle, Batch E!021. Just as I remember from my first rate but the rates is slightly more funky and sour as I recall. The carbonation is still quite high. Still very enjoyable but now having other sours, this just isn’t as good as I first rated.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin for sharing this one!

A- Body is a translucent dirty rose hue. Pours with a 1/2 finger thin white foamy head.

S- Nose has a slight tart character, a bit of vinegar, and blueberry. Nose is soft and pretty well balanced-with blueberry being the highlight.

T- The entire flavor profile is mild to moderate in strength. Its slightly sour, slightly acidic, with a blueberry character than is neither tart or sweet. Decent balance with nothing overpowering.

M- High tingly carbonation, slight yeasty consistency-but somewhat thin.

D- This is a good blueberry ale overall with a nice yeasty presence. Not as wild or sour as most wilds and sours-but this makes a great fruit beer. Probably my favorite by this brewing company so far.

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Photo of beerfan99
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch E!032
750 ml bottle consumed on 5/13/2011

A: Light reddish-orange in color, resembles grapefruit juice in color alone. Carbonated enough to create a small head, but dissipates quickly.

S: Strong smell of brett and pleasant fruit aroma. Definitely one of the more powerful sour beer smells.

T: Sour and tart, but not completely over the top. The fruit flavors and sourness was well-balanced and easy to drink. Unable to determine the flavor imparted by the barrel-aging.

M: Definitely acidic, as you would expect. As I mentioned earlier, the carbonation seemed to be on the light side.

O: An above average wild ale, but I would not recommend trading for it.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

DSC brought batch 21 and I brought batch 32. We shared these at our EPIC sour tasting...

Batch 21 is overcarbonated, batch 32 is just right... The review will be geared at batch 32, but comparisons may be made...

This reminds me of blueberry Clearly Canadian... Of course, no one at the tasting remembers ...

Looks a light hazy pink. White head is minimal, but present. Some small spots of lacing.

Smells like the brute-- oaky, champagne, and dry. Some blueberries come in, but not as much as I expected.

Taste is just as expected-- oaky, dry, champagne finish, with some blueberries. Tasty and pleasant, but not as good as brute. The tartness is muted and dulll-- I was hoping for more.

Body is good: carbonation is high and bright. Light body.

Easy drinking. Very tasty. I like this and enjoy it, but I can take it or leave it.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.5

Pretty orange color. Line of bubbles races upwards. Head dissipates fast.

Nice smell, lots of subtlety. Grape, cherry, blueberry, oak.

I want to say cherries, but the fruit taste has a darker edge to it: definitely blueberry. Very well done as the blueberry is in the background, I was worried it would be a syrupy blueberry bomb which it's not at all. Yum.

The carbonation on this is wicked out of control. Champagne anyone? Interesting but totally takes over, too much.

Finish is very pleasing, clean and spritzy carbonation refreshes the palate. Enjoyed this one a lot. Well balanced, nuanced and tasty.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Thanks to Javier for opening this on 1/24/2010. Juxtaposed alongside batch 4 Blåbær, which was a mistake. LeBleu was completely overshadowed next to that, so I held off on reviewing it until I opened a bottle today and was able gave it my full attention. Thanks to WorldWideStout for the bottle.

The beer pours an attractive pink tinged reddish orange with a huge soapy three finger head. Retention is excellent and lacing is scattered.

The nose is lightly sweet with a grain-like quality and a faint mustiness. Subtle lactic notes are detectable. The berry aroma is quite faint. I suppose it could be construed as blueberry, but it just smells like a general berry. A vinous aromatic perfume quality is perceivable, and there's a dash of buttery oak.

The flavor opens with a light berry sweetness. Again, it don't taste a lot like blueberry to me...just general berry. Regardless, whatever type of berry flavor it is begins fading midpalate when a grainy quality begins to emerge. Brett is musty and sourness is clean and restrained, growing stronger toward the finish. Oak is noticeable. Nearly all flavor is erased in the oddly abrupt finish with only a bit of wooden grain lingering. My palate is left disoriented and searching for a resolution. The mouthfeel is dry and crisp, but the carbonation is too high which I find detracting.

I loved Brute so I had high expectations for this. This is a solid beer, though the fruit is very faint, the flavor is a bit muddled, and the finish is anticlimactic and precipitous.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

From a 750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a light pink magenta with a big frothy white head, big bubbles, fizzy.

S: Intriguing mix of blue cheese, Brett funk and blueberries. Complex and elegant.

T: Very nice blueberry base though they're not as prominent as I was expecting. Complex Brett flavours come out. Goat and blue cheese. Quite enjoyable.

M: Effervescent, very fizzy. Way too carbonated initially making it impossible to taste. Definitely needs massive swirling to lower the carbonation.

D: I've been wanting to try this for the longest time, I've never had a blueberry sour before. A nice beer once the carbonation problems are dealt with.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to huey782 for trading me this one. This one pours a very hazy reddish orange with a fizzy two finger head that stuck around with a lot of tight bubbles clinging to the glass. The smell is all sour! Its all horse blanket with a hint of sweetness but no blueberries at all. The taste starts out sour with some funk that is what I want in an American Wild. The blueberries are an afterthought that linger in the aftertaste. There is hardly any sweetness at all. There is an unpleasant overripe fruit in the finish as well. The mouthfeel is pleasant with the champagne yeast but a little thin. If it wasn't for the bad taste in the finish this one would be very drinkable. Not too bad though and always great when its a sour!

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.77/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a very hazy light pinkish red color with lots of bubbly white head that has a hue of pink to it.

S-the nose is lighter with nice ripe blueberries and some hints of raspberries. there is a hint of funk to it but very faint and notes of vinegar behind.

T-the taste is solid, nice blueberries up front with a light hint of funk to it, good acidity and touch of vinegar and some more bleuberry and tartness in the back.

M-prickly on the palate, medium to light body with strong carbonation and prickly on the back of the throat.

D-pretty straight forward but the carbonation is a little strong and brings some strong prickly burn in the back of the throat. not a lot of complexity but not bad.

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Photo of claspada
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch E!021 which I believe was released in December 2010.

Pours a golden honey amber color with a massive bubbly white head that recedes quite rapidly which is surprising considering how massive the head was. Champagne like effervescence and rising bubbles from the bottom just like a champagne would.

Aromas begin with quite a bit of citrus, lactic and cider vinegar notes, but nothing which necessarily says "blueberry". There is some mild funkiness and a decent amount of white vinous and oak smells. Perhaps a fresher bottle would have had more berry.

The tastes follow the nose which is also somewhat disappointing. While there was some very light indiscernible berry flavor, it wasn't necessarily something which I would pinpoint as blueberries. Like the nose, there is a slight citrus/acidic notes and Brett funk, but that and the sourness are not all that intense. Lots of oak and white vinous notes permeate the flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a lot of carbonation that continues to scrub your palate well after you consume. Finish is super dry and clean from the Brett and oak.

Overall, this was a huge disappointment for me. I was hoping for a lot more berry flavor and I got more of a champagne beer. Reminds me a great deal of the Brute from Ithaca with a tad bit of citrus/berry in the background. Maybe a fresher bottle would have had more blueberry but the Brett yeast has eaten up most of it hereafter a year plus in the bottle. A decent sour but too much carbonation and not enough berry flavor has this in the unlikely to revisit category.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Richard for sharing this one yesterday at our tasting.

A: The pour is a mixture of light red, pink, and light purple with a very fluffy white head which quickly died down.

S: There are quite a bit of citrus, lactic, and floral notes to the nose, but nothing which necessarily says "blueberry". There is some mild funkiness, but a decent amount of oak.

T: The flavor was somewhat disappointing. While there was some berry flavor, it wasn't necessarily something which I would pinpoint as blueberries. Like the nose, there is a slight Brett funk, but that and the sourness are not all that intense.

M: There is a very high level of carbonation which some might say is too much. The beer is crisp and dry, which I very much enjoy.

D: Certainly a drinkable beer, especially with the crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, but the flavors appear to fall short. It could be because we had Blabaer right before, but I was very underwhelmed by this one.

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LeBleu from Ithaca Beer Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 452 ratings.
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