Pours a deep burgundy color, relatively clear, with a beige head that sticks around longer than that annoying couple from your last New Year’s party and drops more curtains of lace than a Victorian-era interior designer. OK, enough with the similes or tropes or whatever you literary purist folks want to call them… on to the beer. Now this is a Brett beer! The name references Brettanomyces, that wonderful wild yeast that is the very bane of the wine industry, responsible for sabotaging so many batches of precious vino, but which works magic on beer when properly applied. In this case, the Brett has given us more pineapple notes than a fruit cup. Fans of Brett’s effects on beer tend to appreciate the produce-aisle characteristics it can offer up on the nose, and the musty, horse blanket funkiness that is offered up in the flavor profile. Kick it up even further and you will get distinct notes of fresh-cut pineapple, which this beer exhales heavier than a week two The Biggest Loser contestant. Keep sniffing and you can expect the notes of chocolate you’d anticipate in a big brown ale, with some spicy, citrusy hops hanging out in the background, offering up hints of fresh mint as the beer warms. A big, bold, complex nose for sure. We’ve been sniffing it longer than a dog at a fire hydrant exhibit, and we’re still finding a little something new. Seriously, 15 minutes at this point. Time to move on to the sipping. Oh wow… this beer has more flavors than a Baskin Robbins. As we drew our first sips, the first thing we noticed even before the flavor registered was how full-bodied and viscous this amped up funky Brett Barrel Brown ale is. Syrupy stuff, but so rich with flavor—a nice variant on the Brett treatment since so many Brett-fermented beers are relatively thin. Not this one. The tartness is instantly obvious, but the beer is so big—it is at its core a double brown ale after all—that both sweet and sour battle it out with no clear winner. The balance of power will shift however toward funk and sour as the beer ages and more of the residual sweetness is gobbled up by the very hungry Brett living within each bottle. Some toasty notes from the barrel make their way on the scene, along with a flourish of vanilla (this too will grow as the beer’s sweetness mellows over time, leaving a bit more space for the vanilla to assert itself). Chocolate, espresso, lemon peel, oranges, mint, cocoa-powdered SweeTarts candy, white wine, lactic sourness… the list goes on and on in this very complex ale. Finishes mildly sour, with pineapple notes first, followed by chocolate and American brown ale notes in the fade, supplemented by impressions of dried citrus fruits. Wow. This is one helluva beer. We’ve stashed away a few bottles and encourage you to do the same—this is a beer to check in on every 6 months for the next 3-4 years (seriously!). The high ABV is masked in most sinister fashion (itself very saboteur like), but it is high enough that the Brett action will progressively slow down, meaning you have to give it plenty of time to evolve. For a food pairing, the brewery suggests the following: “stop by your local butcher for a 1/2 pound of Buffalo Corned Beef and then by your local baker for a loaf of Marbled Rye, return home and enjoy a glass of Saboteur with a Reuben on your back patio.” We tried that, and it rocked harder than a Zakk Wylde show. But we added some cubes of Pepper Jack cheese and it was more mind-numbing than an overly-simile-packed beer review.