Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. / Russian River Brewing Co. Collaboration, California
Beer: Brux Domesticated Wild Ale
Serving: 750 ml cork and caged bottle
Information: 8.3% ABV
Style: American Wild Ale
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
Pairings: Rotisserie chicken-topped mixed greens salad tossed with light raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
Brux is gently hazed, pouring a golden honey color with an effervescent light ivory head that diminishes to next-to-nothing pretty quickly. Not a trace is left on the glass, sadly.
Potent earthiness flourishes through Brux from the maltiness, hops, and yeast with suggestions of shaved, fresh oak. Dry biscuit with little more than a dribble of honey sweetness lays the groundwork for the complex yeast to work. Light citrus notes lap at the olfactory senses gently while a very mild, “domesticated” wild aroma subtly emerges, providing toned-down barnyard notes and a vanilla cream Yankee candle-like scent from a vigorous swirl.
The first sip quickly splashes a surprising banana Runts-like flavor on the tongue despite the lack of fruity esters on the nose! More malt-driven, biscuit and sweet pilsner attributes blend for a healthy backing capable of supporting wild development while a light citrus touch follows up with, once again, very mild yeast characteristics. Brux is complex but very subtle, finishing pretty cleanly, especially for a wild ale. After a few sips, Brux leaves a gentle, interesting tropical fruit blend-like flavor on the tongue.
Bright carbonation sparkles on the tongue while this medium-bodied wild smoothly crosses the palate with next to no trace of wild sourness, though faint tartness emerges gently. Earth and citrus notes add a balancing dryness to the finish, which cleans the tongue while bringing you back for another lip-smacking sip.
Color me surprised, I had imagined this beer to be a little more assertive and wild but Brux is odd in that it’s extremely subtle; something neither Sierra Nevada nor Russian River seem to output on a regular basis. Then again, the beer does call itself a “Domesticated Wild Ale”, aka, something a little more suitable for the masses; a “training-wheel wild” if you will. After the initial, “huh” shock subsided, it became clear this is a damn fine beer that’s incredibly well made suitable for aging, and I’m pretty excited to see what time does with the yeast!
Score: 85 / 100 - Wonderful