Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale – Heather Ales (Alloa, Scotland)

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  • My Rating: C+

Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale – Heather Ales (Williams Bros Brewing) *1 of 4pack Historic Ales of Scotland*, 6.5% ABV – 330ml, (Alloa, Scotland)

on the back label:

“Ebulum – Elderberry Black Ale. Introduced to Scotland by Welsh Druids in the 9th Century, elderberry style ale was part of the Celtic Autumn festivals where the ale was passed round the people of the village. This recipe was taken from a 16th Century record of domestic drinking in the Scottish Highlands. In medeaval [sic] times elderberries were used for many purposes and are known to be high in fruit oils. It is a rich black ale with fruit aroma, soft texture, roasted grain and red wine flavour, with a gentle finish.”

Ingredients: water, barley malt, elderberries, oats, hops, yeast

  • Style: (elderberry) Fruit Stout
  • Taste Profile: sweet acidic malts -> creamy/elderberry/roast/red wine/soy sauce -> roast/licorice/bitter malty finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14/4pack, Nov 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours almost inkjet black/super dark brown with almost no head and not much retention. Roasted malts and soy sauce on the nose.

Attack: 7/10-sweetness mixed with citrus/light acidity,

Mid-palate: creamy mouthfeel, yeasty elderberries, sweet roasted malts, red wine, soy sauce

Finish: persistent 5/10-sweetness, bitter roast, woodiness, hints of licorice, medium malty bitter finish.

A good decent body on this black-fruity-bitter beer. The texture kind of thins out near the finish but otherwise a decent brew.

 

Alba Scot’s Pine Ale – Heather Ales (Alloa, Scotland)

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  • My Rating: B-

Alba Scot’s Pine Ale – Heather Ales (Williams Bros Brewing) *1 of 4pack Historic Ales of Scotland*, 7.5% ABV – 330ml, (Alloa, Scotland)

on the back label:

“Scots Pine [Pinus Alba]. Introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular in Northern Scotland until the end of the 19th Century. Alba is a ‘triple’ style ale, brewed to a traditional Highland recipe using the sprigs of spruce and pine collected every Spring. This complex rich tawny ale is best drunk at room temperature from a wine goblet.”

Ingredients:water, barley malt, pine, spruce, yeast.

  • Style: (pine & spruce) Spiced Ale
  • Taste Profile: sweet caramel malts -> bright pine/mild citrus -> alcohol/pine/med malty-bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14/4pack, Nov 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours translucent medium-dark copper orange with a very small dissipating head, thin ringed retention, some slow streams. Light sweet malted caramel on the nose, with hints of pine.

Attack: 7/10-rich caramel malted sweetness

Mid-palate: malts, bright pine, creamy-half-fizzy mouthfeel, mild lemon

Finish: alcohol detection, persistent pine airyness, light-med malty bitter finish.

An interesting, balanced and very drinkable brew. Unique pine taste with a solid caramel malty backbone.

 

Fraoch Heather Ale – Heather Ales (Alloa, Scotland)

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  • My Rating: C

Fraoch Heather Ale – Heather Ales (Williams Bros Brewing) *1 of 4pack Historic Ales of Scotland*, 5% ABV – 330ml, (Alloa, Scotland)

on the back label:

“Fraoch is Scotland’s native ale. Heather ale has been brewed in Scotland since 2000 b.c. Brewed using heather flowers and Scottish malt, it has a distinctive floral aroma, full malt character and a dry wine-like finish. As one of the oldest styles of ale in the world there are many legends and folklore surrounding it.”

Ingredients: water, barley malt, heather, myrtle, hops, yeast.

  • Style: (heather) Spiced Ale
  • Taste Profile: med-sweet thin apple -> honeyed malts/grass -> very dry/coriander/crisp tingly finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14/4pack, Nov 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours cloudy orange marmalate with almost no head, a bit ringed retention and lacing, a bit of activity and a few floaties. Smells of malts and honey.

Attack: 6/10-sweetness, thin mouthfeel, hints of apple

Mid-palate: honeyed malts, grassiness

Finish: cuts very dry, mild coriander, crisp finish.

Hmm I don’t get that much out of this beer. It’s rather plain and underwhelming on my palate – thus I give it an average rating.

Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale – Heather Ales (Alloa, Scotland)

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  • My Rating: C+

Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale – Heather Ales (Williams Bros Brewing) *1 of 4pack Historic Ales of Scotland*, 5% ABV – 330ml, (Alloa, Scotland)

on the back label:

“Grozet: Auld Scots for Gooseberry (From the Gaelic – Groseid). Since the 16th century Scots monks and Alewives have brewed special concoctions from a blend of malts, wild spice and ripe gooseberries. Bringing together these various ingredients in a beer the brewer attempts to offer a drink which is refreshing, full of flavour and a pleasure to consume. Amongst the Scots literati of the 19th century the Green Grozet was immortalised as ‘a most convivial drink’.”

Ingredients: Malted Barley Bree, Wheat, Gooseberries, Bogmyrtle, Hops.

  • Style: (Gooseberry) flavoured Wheat Ale
  • Taste Profile: sweet/sour barnyard -> light malt/apple/gooseberry -> grapefruity bitter hops/lingering bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14/4pack, Nov 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, flavours not bold enough

Tasting notes: pours translucent amber yellow with almost no head, a few very slow streams. A light nose consisting of citrus/gooseberry/passionfruit/peach.

Attack: 6/10-sweetness mixed with 4/10-sourness that fades + minor barnyard

Mid-palate: light malts, hints of apple, gooseberry

Finish: sharp transition grapefruity bitter hops, mild tartness, lingering hoppy bitterness

To me this is a “texture” beer as opposed to a “flavourful” beer; By that I mean that this beer involves paying close attention to the transitions of sweet -> sour -> barnyard -> fruit -> bitter hops -> tart -> lingering bitter finish.