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Ithaca Excelsior! Le Bleu

 (RETIRED)
overall
99
97
style
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

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RATINGS: 245   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Brewed with New York Blueberries and Brettanomyces, LeBleu is a blend of barrels filled in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It’s finished in the bottle with Champagne yeast. Enjoy the dusty rose appearance, mouthwatering aroma of ripe berries, piquant flavor and quick finish.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sirpsycho (393) - Murrysville, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2010
Bottle. Pours a pinkish/purple, very large head, slightly pink, the absolute loudest carbonation I have ever heard in a beer ! Aromas of subdued blueberry, yeast and citrus in the background, very slight touch of funk. Sour and slightly sweet notes, yeast, nicely subdued blueberry that doesn’t get cloying, champagne dry like finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
brokensail (9940) - Orange County, California, USA - FEB 28, 2010
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.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
Fred82 (2093) - Québec City, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 23, 2010
2oz tasting at EBF
Aroma : Tart and a bit acidic. Blueberries. A bit barnyard
Taste : Acidic, tart, a bit mouth puckering. A bit barnyard and slightly lactic. Awesome fruity and tart finish.
Overall : This is some pretty awesome stuff.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
GMCC2181 (1495) - Newark, Delaware, USA - FEB 23, 2010
Bottle shared by notch at SL. Cap and corked. Poured a nice pink color with a big head. Aroma of a tartness and fresh blueberries. Taste is fresh blueberries, strong tartness/sour but not over powering. Blended together very well. Texture was a little to much carbonation, lots of lively bubbles bouncing around. Overall a very enjoyable sour. Thanks notch

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
travita (3704) - Frisco, Texas, USA - FEB 22, 2010
Bottle thanks to bman1113vr. The smell is fruit juice, tart, fruits, funk, and slight acidic. The look is red pink in color with a fizzy white head. The taste is blueberry, tart, funk, and fruits.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 22, 2010
Poured a pinkish gold with a large white head. Very nice metallic and Bretty aroma. Dusty with a light tart fruit nose. Leather notes grew as the beer warmed up. The flavor was mildly tart and fruity with some citrus acidity. Short dry finish with a light body and very lively mouthfeel.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jercraigs (7348) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 21, 2010
2010-02-19. Pink gold body with a nice foamy white head. Aroma is modestly funky with subtle blueberry and fruit character. The funk grows as you delve deeper. 7+ Flavour is sour, very mild fruit, touch of blueberries that I might not have identified if I did not know what fruit it was. Light funk, interesting fruit character re-emerges in the aftertaste as the sourness subsides a bit. 7+ Average palate is pleasantly carbonated. Subtle and nuanced, it is pleasantly sour without being over the top. Very nice. Bottle shared by GregClow.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 21, 2010
UPDATED: JUN 20, 2010 Sampled January 2010
Extremely fizzy, the beer pours with a purple / pink tinged off white colored head. Even a careful pour sees my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip filling up with foam and even overflowing the sides of my glass. The beer is a murky, honey / pale-amber color that shows a red-tinged, light amber color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of earthy, musky Brettanomyces backed by a subtle, floral fruitiness. Somewhat cheesy smelling (in a funky farmhouse cheese way), musty (like damp, slightly molded earth), . The fruitiness here is quite noticeable, even if not dominant, and for some reason I want to describe the aroma as pink; I can’t really figure out why, but this is what the blueberry notes make me think of, perhaps it is because the beer smells very floral like too. The smell of pink (definitely a fruity smell), I am not sure what it is, but this describes it perfectly for me. There is a light tartness to this beer, almost more urea than lactic smelling. Yep this is definitely heavily influenced by Brettanomyces.

Fairly dry tasting as it hits my tongue, there is perhaps a hint of sweetness let that accentuates a fruitiness to the finish. The fruit in the finish really lingers and it morphs into various flavor phases; berry like at first, it then has a lightly chalky children’s aspirin flavor (fake grape I think) and finally it has a blueberry skin tannic edge that tastes of fleshy ripe blueberries but causes a touch of puckering from the light astringency. There is a nice, light tartness to this beer; mostly lactic, with just a wisp of urea towards the finish, and there is probably both an influence from the blueberries and perhaps even the wine barrels. Speaking of which, the oak here is nicely soft, it is noticeable, but doesn’t dominate the other flavors; there is a definite textural tannic structure to the body in the finish, there are some softly spicy oak notes as well as a lightly toasty wood character in the middle and finish. My wife tastes banana in this beer, and now that she mentioned it, there is a soft note of this here that I pick up on.

After a fresh pour I have some opportunity to eat foam lest my glass over-flows again. The foam is light and fruity tasting with a soft acidity. The beer underneath this voluminous head is quite fizzy, which seems to work for this light, tannic supported, beer. While the fruitiness here doesn’t seem to be distinctly blueberry based, it is at a really nice level; there is a definite influence in the profile of this beer, but it only adds to the complexity and doesn’t drown out the funky and barrel derived notes. This is one of those beers where a 750 of it disappears way faster than you would prefer. The funkiness isn’t quite as pronounced as it is in the aroma, but it is still quite noticeable with a definite muskiness, some woody mushroom flavors and a finish that has a light, chalky, slightly medicinal phenolic character to it.

This is actually quite nice, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this is damn good. I did really love Brute batch 1, but I still haven’t gotten it into my head that Ithaca brews some tasty sours; and they do. With the blend of 1, 2 and 3 year old barrells this might evoke some comparisons with Lambics, but this is definitely not that, even if it does have many of the flavor components from a Lambic. This isn’t nearly as sour (which is really the main difference), but I still am enjoying this with out the bracing acidity I so often crave. This beer does show the great finesse that I like to see in a fine Gueuze; it is a balance between earthy notes, a strong muskiness, light oak, noticeable fruit and, in this case, light acidity that makes this beer such a joy to drink.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerbill (3271) - Laurel, New York, USA - FEB 21, 2010
750 ml bottle shared by goldtwins. Pours a slightly hazed golden rose with a slight tint of plum. There is a moderate-large somewhat fizzy white head. Very pleasant aroma of light Brett funk, along with some mild vinegar, and some very light berry. The blueberries are honestly barely there in the nose. The flavor is more Brett funk with some acidic spritz and more noticeable blueberry than in the aroma. Bright and lively on the palate with carbonation similar to a sparkling wine. Very enjoyable as it is, although I wish there was a little more presence from the blueberry.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dogfish120love (880) - Westfield, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 20, 2010
Pours a cloudy orange with no head. The aroma consists of grapefruit and sour barnyard aromas. It is mildly sour with a little funk and lavander notes and soap


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