Archive for the ‘Ancient Herbed Ale’ Category

Fraoch Heather Ale by Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Look at the label of beer #161, Fraoch Heather Ale.  It looks very medieval and is getting me psyched up for Game Of Thrones on HBO tonight.  Great show by the way…very much like an adult Lord Of  The Rings (which I also love).  Williams Brothers Brewing Company brews this Ancient Herbed Ale or Scottish Gruit in Scotland.  This type of ale has been brewed in Scotland since 2000 BC and according to their website, might be the oldest style of ale brewed in the world.  Fraoch comes from an ancient Gaelic recipe “leann fraoich” meaning heather ale.

Into the pint glass went this honey colored brew with a frothy white head.  It was absolutely mesmerizing to look at with hundreds upon hundreds of carbonation bubbles rising to the top.  The nose was very subtle…it had a flowery aroma and was very clean smelling.  It had a very nondescript taste…there was a bit of a malt flavor similar to biscuit or cracker and that was about it.  I really didn’t get any heather or much of anything else in the flavor which surprised me since it had a bit of a floral like smell.  It had a light body to it, light carbonation and was a bit crisp and kind of refreshing.  It was an easy drinking beer but that being said…it didn’t make we want to have another.

I say give this one to the Jesters to imbibe…there are far more worthy beers out there for a King to pour into his royal chalice.

Rating: C

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Kelpie Seaweed Ale by Williams Brothers Brewing Company

I heard an old Scottish tale that says to drink anything brewed with seaweed the night before a major snowstorm will render that snowstorm into a mere rain shower.  With another winter storm bearing down on NJ, I figured why not give this a try?

Beer #44, Kelpie Seaweed Ale, is from Scotland and is brewed by Williams Brothers Brewing Company.  This beer is part of the Williams Brothers historic ales from Scotland collection and is brewed in the style of a Ancient Herbed Ale with an ABV of 4.4%.  According to their website, before the 1850’s there were many coastal alehouses that brewed their own unique ale using barley grown in fields fertilized by seaweed.  Interesting indeed.

This was a dark beer, not quite black.  It was closer to a very dark brown.  The thinnest of tan heads formed in the glass.  The appearance reminded me of a stout.  The nose was very light.  It had a sweet chocolate aroma with something else in there I couldn’t identify.  Taste followed the nose up front but tailed off to that something I couldn’t identify again.  Mouthfeel was odd, it hit me as a medium bodied drink but then finished off very light and watery.  There was quite a bit of carbonation going on in this beer.

This was an odd brew…or should I say strange brew?  I felt this beer had an identity crisis.  It sort of reminded me of a stout but the mouthfeel was all wrong for that.  Those unidentifiable smells and tastes…I could only guess the seaweed was the source of them.  Did I like it?  Not really…it wasn’t horrible…just odd.

Did it work to turn the snowstorm into a rain shower?  Tune back in tomorrow to find out.

Rating: D

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