Ithaca Beer Company

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American Wild Ale
4.29 | pDev: 9.32%
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 452
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.43/5  rDev -20%
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 thagr81us
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to caSSino for giving me this one in the past for buying him lunch one day at the bar! Haha! This one was shared by me at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Batch E!032! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured orange with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, blueberries, tart, and sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, blueberries, tart, sour, and slight funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a very good brew. I honestly went into this brew expecting quite a lot. While it did not deliver on my expectations, it really did a nice job of getting up there though. The blueberries on this one were the star of the show as one might suspect while still allowing other components to shine through as well. I do like how Ithaca incorporated a little funk flavor in this one to round-out the sip. A really well done brew that I would love to have more of.

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Photo of nhindian
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass. Bottle generously sent by mikereaser in the 'Hype Train BIF', thanks Mike!

Comes in a champagne bottle, corked, capped, and capsuled.

Batch E!032

A - Pours a light red, nearly pink color, similar in appearance to a rose wine or a blush. It's almost completely transparent, giving a look into small torrents of bubbles that rise from the glass. There's about a finger's worth of snow-white head. There's not much retention, leaving just small islands of clumpy foam. The lacing as well is quite fragmented, quickly breaking apart and falling.

S - The nose is full of Brett funkiness and smells exceptionally sour. Full of acidic notes and slight sugar before going all out with the fruit. Of course there's a good amount of blueberries, but I'm also getting some tart raspberry and apples.

T - Phew, this beer is definitely delivering on the promises of sour that the nose brought. The Bretty barnyard funk gives it a nice edge, and then the tartness comes to bring even more depth. I'm surprised by how much oak I'm actually getting in this, which is a nice addition. The fruits are the highlight here as well, with actually a bit more apple and grape than blueberry. In fact, I think the blueberries are a bit overshadowed by the rest of the flavors.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good, bubbly carbonation. The tartness really leaves a tingling feeling in the corner of the mouth. What really brings me to like the mouthfeel is how clean it feels in the finish.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. Overall I feel this is a well-crafted beer that brings a nice marriage between high sourness and crisp flavors. I would've loved to see more blueberries elsewhere besides the finish, but I can't say I can complain with what flavors I did get.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I brought this bottle to the latest Jackie O's release. The blue plastic cork was cool. The beer was lighter than I expected, golden colored with no blues or red or anything else. Slightly tart aroma, definitely brett but not so much on the blueberries. Likewise in the flavor, the blueberries just aren't there, except maybe hints of them in the aftertaste. But that could just be because I was looking and hoping for them.

Dry and refreshing, a lot of flavor for the low ABV, really nice beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light pinkish color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aromas of sour and tart notes are dominant with some light blueberry also perceptible. Taste is a nice refreshing mix between some sour and tart notes with a light acidic edge with some blueberries note though very limited amount of sweetness comes through. Body is about average for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very complex beer while retaining some great drinkability factor and some good complexity.

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Photo of Beejay
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DmanGTR for this brew. Batch E!032

A: Pink grapefruit in color. A light peach/ dusty rose head tops it, and dissipates rather quickly.

S: Some nice sour notes, mixed with fruit and a touch of vinegar. There is certainly an acidic note to it.

T: Very sour at the start. Tart with a hint of vinegar. The aftertaste is like nothing else I have ever had, with notes of Blueberries, vanilla, caramel and oak.

M: Light in body, DRY. Carbonation is high, but that makes sense for the style.

O: Overall very good. One of the most interesting sour beers I have tried.

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Photo of Pahn
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice. Received in a trade with shufon, and split with morningthief. Batch E!021.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a half inch fizzy white head that dissipates immediately into a white ring around the glass. Pours a bright hazy orange. Bubbles like something out of Harry Potter. (cork came out without much trouble and no gushing)

Smell: Light wine-like aroma. Tart, mild but full (earthy, almost cheesy) funk, and very effervescent (spits bubbles up at my face as I smell it). Ambiguously fruity and almost citrusy... implies kind of a hard candy sweetness along with the tartness. Slightly vinegary. Pleasant.

Taste: Sour, with subtle, at first almost undetectable fruity and funky notes up front, leading to a hit of tartness and carbonation, then ending with a long, distinctly blueberry flavored finish and aftertaste. Really gets the essence of blueberry; delicious and impressive.

This beer is not very noticeably acidic, but rather feels very clean and refreshing. I love how classy and subtle Ithaca makes these kinds of beers. The last beer I've had that was this bright and clean was Ithaca Brute.

The intensely carbonated, decently puckering tartness through the middle and the triumphant blueberry finish are both constants through the whole glass. The fruit and funk flavors up front gradually grow in complexity and magnitude, resulting in a very satisfying overall flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, very carbonated. Mildly puckering. Works beautifully with the flavors.

Overall: I really love Ithaca's wild ales. LeBleu delivers as much blueberry flavor as actually eating blueberries, as well as numerous other fruity, tart, funky flavors and a great mouthfeel. Especially notable for the absence of heat and absence of abrasive acidity. Beautiful, refreshing beer.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DmanGTR for this treat.
Pours rich copper, almost red, with peachy/rose head. Head fades fast.

Very vinegary nose, funky, green apple.

First sip, pungent, vinegary as expected. Slight fruitiness. Blueberry comes in at the very end and lingers nicely. Alot of oak,vanilla and grape seed in the finish.

Overall, a phenomenal beer. Until Beejay shared this bottel with me, I'd never ahd more than a 1oz sample. It was well worth the wait...

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, Thanks to Steelers for having me wait so long on this.

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Photo of thain709
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another bottle shard by Deuane.

Batch E!012

A - Poured with a ruby-purple body and two fingers worth of head...it was quick to fade but became a spotty cap...lots of carbonation bubbles can be seen through the sediment that is suspended...not much lacing

S - The nose is very inviting...of course blueberries are present and they come across with the sweet yet tart aroma...it's almost winey

T - The tartness settles right in at first sip...the blueberries, just like in the aroma and when you bit in to one, are sweet at first and come back with just that touch of tartness...towards the middle you can detect the oak tannins...they are just simply there to add another level of depth to this beer...the yeast flavor comes out as the beer gradually warms up...the body is very bubbly

M - Medium bodied...tart, wine like at times, very bubbly...but it leaves you with the yeast flavor...would have liked a little more sweetness as it leaves the palate

O - This was a great beer to try...I really like the Excelsior! Series from Ithaca...I feel the scores would have been a little higher if it weren't for the yeast flavor really coming out towards the end of the beer

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Photo of Mississipping
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared in line at the BASC release.

A: Pours a dusty rose color with a slight cloudiness. Appears to have ample carbonation, and a small white foamy head appears and disappears quickly. I smelled the glass, closed my eyes in awe, and opened them to find a headless beer.

S: Aroma is very tart with a slight acidity. Still contains a wonderful sweetness from blue and red berries, and a little additional tartness from lemons and grape. Moderately funky and slightly earthy. I wish I had let it warm slightly, as it appears to become more funky as it opens up. As it was, however, it smelled fantastic.

T: Very tart up front and even funkier than the smell led me to believe. Starts off lemony with white grape skins and slightly earthy before transitioning to a sweeter berry-infused middle. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, oh my! Finishes tart, actually sour, and funky. The Brett really shines through along with a subtle oakiness to create a really complex finish. A really nice drying effect on the palate after the finish.

M: Highly carbonated which, to me, matches the level of tartness well and really makes it more pronounced. It enhances the lightness of the body and makes it quite lively on the tongue. Nice tartness and drying effect really round out the feel. To me, this was very nicely done.

D: I didn't have a whole lot of this, so the tartness never subsided, making it less drinkable than other styles. That, of course, is not a bad thing at all. Well balanced, complex, tasty, and very enjoyable. I can't wait to open another bottle!

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 thanks to the DMan. Into large tulip. I've had a taste of this before, but haven't had a chance to sit down with a bottle yet.

A- This thing glows. Orange/red/pink and rosy. Very lively. Head fizzes quickly and is just a bit pink.

S- The wine barrels and fruit come on strong, as does a citric tartness.

T- The berry-skin tannic notes are fantastic- this one's berry-riffic in presence if not in flavor. Lactic sourness works well with the berry skin. Also picking up on some sweetgrass/floral notes. Wine barrels add a complex, drying finish to this one. This reminds me of eating unripe blueberries- or ones that are just starting to turn from green- the tartness is spot-on.

M- Very nice berry tartness... great flavors and this really comes together well. Sourness is in check, and really plays off the fruit.

D- I really liked this one. Very tasty and enjoyable. I hope Ithaca can increase production of this one- I'd buy it if I saw it in the stores.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note's from Captain Lawrence Rosso Batch 3 release / tasting:

Ithaca lebleu – this is a pink beer. This is an interesting looking beer, this is a gorgeous beer. This is a beer that I am happy to call my next tick as it is very beautiful. There is not much head, but ya know 1 to 2 ounce pours you wouldn’t expect it. Wow, smell, sour all day. Smooth. Blueberry they say and I pick it up a little, definitely. Mellowed by the blueberry. Like the blue colored sweet tarts. Wow, great carbonation and great flavor. It is a sweet tart, but with even carbonation and feel and good balanced flavor. This is the kind of beer that I couldn’t imagine someone saying that they didn’t like after a taste no matter who they are.

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Photo of ottovon
3.38/5  rDev -21.2%
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 Phelps
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by ejyoung and poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Cloudy burnt orange and opaque, with a frothy, sticky off-white head that fizzles very slowly to a thick top layer. Bubbles leap upward inside the effervescent brew.

In the nose: bread, green apple and some light peaches before a strong bit of barnyard funk. There might be a hint of blueberry in there as well. Hard to tell.

The flavor is nicely funky, with a gentle tartness. Again, the blueberries are very light blueberries here, though there is a distinct piquancy that tastes like bleu cheese — perhaps THAT’S where they got the name! Finish quickly, crisply and dryly. It’s a smooth, subtle, not-in-your-face flavor.

Mild tartness hugs the tongue as I move the pillow-soft medium-light body around. Light carbonation is mismatched by an impressive amount of fizz.

LeBleu isn’t mind-blowing, and could definitely use more blueberry flavor — it’s in the name, for chrissakes. It’s good, though. A classy sour with subtle, smoothly blended flavors.

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Photo of maximum12
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you very much to msulinski for picking up an extra bottle of this brew for me; always appreciate it when good trading partners are looking out for me, thanks buddy!

Well, this is the first capped-and-corked beer that I've had. A little worried when there was no puff of air, but then I saw the big blue plug & understood. Out it comes & it's not blue. I probably shouldn't be surprised, but I am. It glows like the purrfect amber ale, & there's a mini-tornado going on in the middle of the beer. Smell is a prescription-level sour. Blueberries are lighter than I hoped for.

LeBleu is tart, sour, with only a single crushed up blueberry in the mix. Wickedly acidic, dry, with an undergrowth of searing lemon juice. There's pucker in them there finish, but not enough to reach my third eye. Might be the first wild that I've ever gulped, this babe is long, lean, & luscious.

One of the most drinkable wilds I've ever had, this is a very good brew. Mildly disappointed at the lack of blueberry flavor, but makes up for it in tastiness. Happy to have tried this one!

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch E032! split with the classic and steepH20 on a lazy dog dangling afternoon.

Pours a tepid dirty purplish pink that nearly resembles grapefruit juice. Tons of sediment and floaties when back lit. While the color is different and intriguing, there's an aspect of this that reminds me of an ashtray that's sat outside during a rainstorm.

Very sour blueberry on the nose along with some musty funk

Tart and sour from the word go leaving a nice pucker. Heavy on the blueberry and dry and funky on the finish.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and makes this more of a chore than it should be.

Overall, this a good but not great wild. A bottle split three ways is the minimum I'd recommend. Enjoyed the opportunity, but was not as excited by this as I'd hoped.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pulled this out of the cellar and poured into a snifter. this is from the newest batch. batch # E! 032.

pours out a really nice looking reddish pink color with a big fizzy white head that fizzed up to nothing real quick. no lace or retention. just some fizz from a swirl of the glass. the first pour wasnt that cloudy. the last one definatly was a lot more pink and more cloudy.

the brett and acidity is definatly there, but i expected a little more to it. when you dig deeper you find funk, just slightly musty, citrus, and some of the blueberries.

lots and lots of acidity, very tart, very sour. the funky brett yeast is at the forefront with a nice dose of tart lemon citrus. earthy. finishes out with the blueberry which is definatly not overdone and maybe a little bit of some grape.

really tart and mouth puckering and it really leaves this lingering sugary acidic feel on the palate. from what ive read, some of this acidity comes from the yeast, and some from acidulated malt. big bubbly, fizzy carbonation which really adds to this beer. nicely done ithaca!

overall: it took a lot and cost a lot to get this bottle, im not sure if i would do it again, but it was definatly worth it. a solid wild.

-dregs from this went into my saison.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Bill for bringing this to share in line pre-Dark Lord Day.

Pours a murky pinkish with some nice floaties. Looks like grapefruit juice. Smells tast and sour. Lots of berry on the nose. Tastes citrusy and lots of sour tartness. Very grapefruity. Doesn't taste that much like blueberry mostly citurs and a hint of berry. Overall well carbonated and nice on the palette. Not at all what I expected

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Photo of harrymel
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch E!032

A: Pours a strawberry pink ale. Excellent clarity. Light pink foam cap of a single finger falls to a sheet of the same. No lacing. very pretty beer.

S: Initially, there wasn't much in the nose here. Took a few minutes before the farm, funk, vinegar, blueberries all came through.

T: Tart! Wowza! Very nice. Lots of blueberry. Oh yeah, and oak, tart, brett, blah blah. The sour blueberries hooked this up!

M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation. Dries the palate.

O: Fuck yeah! Delicious beer. I wish I hadn't traded three of the six I had this year.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to deapokid for this

Pours a cloudy rosy color with almost a ruby red grapefruit hue to it, very light blue tint. Large fluff of white head bubbles up but quickly dissolves, some spots of film and lacing left behind.

A nice wave of spritzy tart and funk with some slightly acidic sourness. Berry sweetness breaks up the stronger flavors with a soft touch. Notes of white wine and grape.

Pretty sour right up front with bretty tartness. White wine characteristics with unripe grapes and blueberries. There's definitely a berry sweetness trying to peek through, but feels slightly understated. Notes of funkiness and acidic sourness. Finishes quick and dry on the tongue, but fades quicker than I initially expected.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, very tingly and effervescent on the tongue, doesn't linger long during the finish. I can't say I like this better than Brute, but this is definitely a delicious wild ale. I would have liked to see a bit more berry presence but other than that this was a hit for me.

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Photo of cpmichael
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch E!032

A: Pours a reddish amber color with a hint of purple lacing on the white foam.

S: tart citrus, blueberries and funk.

T: Barnyard funk with hints of blueberries and tart lemons, which give you a little bit of a pucker, but it's not overpowering and very well-balanced. It has a nice oak finish with the funk.

M/D: very carbonated, but it's well balanced, very champagne-like. I would not call this a tongue bruiser, but it is very tart and sour. I think this bottle was delicious.

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Photo of Brew33
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally traded for a bottle of Lebleu, it's been on my wants for a long time. The bottle states this beer is blended from batches made in 2009 and 2010.

The appearance is not what I expected. Clear, almost peach colored beer with a hint of pink/red. Thin head disappears almost instantly. The aroma is sour, funky. Very similar nose to Brute. No trace of the berries. As it warms the Brett character becomes more evident. I can't think of another American brewery whose Brett/Bacteria/Funk is so instantly recognizable.

The flavor is good if not a bit underwhelming. Tart, sour, a touch sweet. Sweeter than I expected but don't get me wrong, this is a very sour beer. A kiss of Blueberry after swallow but it's really very subtle. The mouthfeel and drinkability are good, not great. It lacks the complexity you'd hope for in a beer with this pedigree and price tag. Overall, an enjoyable experience but something I probably won't revisit.

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Photo of Soonami
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Chad for sharing this great beer!

Had Ithaca LeBleu back-to-back with Upland Blueberry, which made for an interesting comparison because they are completely different beers.

LeBleu is surprisingly pale in color for a blueberry beer, a hazy tan colored with a twinge of rosy purple. There is ample effervescence but not a lot of head retention. The beer smells sour with a lot of damp straw, lightly blueberry-y and an assertive brett wildness. The LeBleu tastes sharply sour with nice funk and crisp carbonation. The fruit is really subdued compared the acuity of the base beer, but there are hints of blueberry after the first punch of sourness. The blueberry provides a nice counter-point and accent but is not the focal point of this beer. The clean dry finish is delicate and leaves your mouth puckered wanting more. Delicious beer that I can't wait to have again!

Next time, it'll be LeBleu vs. Upland Blueberry, vs. Blabaer...

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch E!032

Split into 2 Duvel Tulips

Finally got around to trying this one after my roommate decided to bust it out to celebrate our first home brew day.


A: waxish film sealed top that was difficult top get off, then there's a cork inside the bottle (below the rim). This cork was in there super snug, took me a few minutes to struggle it off with a corkscrew. Not to be opened while buzzed. This was my first beer and I still spilled a little. ** I randomly smelled the cork, and it literally smelled like a sweaty asshole, it was quite amazing **

Okay- this beer is deep ruby red with off white small bubbled head. It poured very lively with carbonation but kept a low head. Not really any lacing but theres some cloud on top of this gem of a beer that remained throughout. Lighter in color at the top (like a light pinkish). Some very small microbubble carbonation remains rising through the center

S: Screams Brett. I can tell this beer is going to be very sour and tart. Can also smell some of the brett funk here but not nearly as bad as the cork. I wouldn't be able to tell what fruits are in here, let alone blueberries, just that theres an extremely faint fruitiness behind the brett. Some clearness towards the end.

T: *First 5 in Taste!

smell x 5. So sour and tart, definitely the most sour and tart beer I've had yet. It's so damn delicious. Very crisp as well, initially. As with most beers, the first few tastes are the best. This is better colder, just as the bottle indicates ("serve <40*). The wine barrel aging is almost non-existant. If I didn't see it printed on the bottle, I wouldn't have been able to tell.

M: Mildly penetrates the pucker threshold, but only just barely and in a non-lip smacking way. Definitely a little residual sourness through the oral mucosa. Some mild heartburn does start to present itself halfway through my half of the bottle.

D: *First 5 in drinkability!

Wouldn't drink more than 1, probably wouldn't even tackle a bottle by myself, but this beer is impeccable. It's something that will definitely will please snobs and non-beer drinkers alike. Appropriate for any special occasion. I fucking love this beer. Wish I had got more than half a case in January.

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Photo of Charlotte09
4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a Rosy orange grapefruit color. Beer is slightly carbonated with with a bubbly white head that vanishes quickly.

S: Smells potent of sourness and tart fruit with blueberries and strawberries. Aroma is quite amazing.

T: Upfront pretty sour taste that coincides with the smell pretty well. Sourness is carried through with slight hints of strawberry and blueberry. Has a tart finish but follows through pretty fruity.

M: Has a pretty active body but does not overpower the taste or substance. Very Enjoyable

Very enjoyable beer, love the puckery tartness with berry combination. Would love to have this beer again, very well done wild ale.

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LeBleu from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 452 ratings