Russian River and Sierra Nevada are two of my favorite West Coast breweries. Almost every beer they make is a winner in one way or another, so to say that I was looking forward to this would be a massive understatement. Did it live up to the hype (that I created in my brain)? Let’s find out.
Refermented in the bottle with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Brux will change and develop over time. Copper-colored, dry, and complex, with slightly tart notes of green grass, pear, spice and lemon – this ale will progress in the bottle for many years.
Brux pours a bright peach/apricot color with plenty of fizzy bubbles floating around the glass. A stream of bubbles pushes up from the bottom of the glass like a hot spring on the ocean floor. The very active head is four inches of quickly drying bubbles that eventually fades to nothing.
Sour beers are usually some of my favorite beers to smell. The tart aromas curl my nose hairs and instantly kick my salivary glands into overtime. Brux is no exception. Right off the bat the tartness axe kicks its way into my nostrils. Ripe green apple, rose, and bubblegum are the first things I picked up. After a few more sniffs (which I was more than glad to take) I noted some pink grapefruit and hay-like aromas. So far, so very good.
Here’s where things came to a rather abrupt and disappointing halt. The flavor of this beer was surprisingly bland and Belgiany. Dehydrated apricots start off each sip, with rose/hibiscus, Munich malts, and mild candi sugar round things out. A mild nutmeg spiciness comes through as it warms/mellows and added some confusion to my dismay. The lack of sourness/sweetness left me discombobulated (I don’t know if that’s the correct word for what I was feeling, but I don’t know if I’ll get another chance to use it, so I’m putting it here).
Mouthfeel is light, but has a noticeable viscosity. A mild syrupiness is present along with a hefty dose of carbonation from the aforementioned bubbles.
I had high hopes for this beer (and I mean HIGH hopes), but I was ultimately let down. Two stellar breweries made a beer that doesn’t live up to the standards they’ve set for themselves. The American Wild Ale is a style that calls for tartness, and fruit, and sourness, but sadly those things were only present in the nose, teasing you like the bikini-clad girls in a BMC commercial. Hopefully this beer will live up to its potential after a few months/years of bottle conditioning.
Overall: 5.5 out of 10
As an AMERICAN WILD ALE: 4.5 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Russian River SUPPLICATION, New Belgium/Lost Abbey BRETT BEER, Allagash CONFLUENCE ALE